Sep 172014

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA1451 2005-03-30 08:50 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 001451



E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/30/2015

¶B. MANILA 887
¶C. MANILA 1127

Classified By: Political Officer Joseph Saus
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary. The Communist Party of the Philippines/New
People’s Army (CPP/NPA), designated by the US as a Foreign
Terrorist Organization in 2002, has increased its level of
rhetoric against the USG and the GRP. While the themes of
the CPP/NPA’s public statements remain focused against US
military assistance to Philippine security forces and the
“global war on terror,” the latest particular media blitz
coincided with the 36th anniversary of the NPA’s founding on
March 29. Beyond rhetoric, there are no indications of
active NPA terror plots or operations against US targets or
forces in-country, although the group continues to claim the
right to defend itself should US troops engage in combat
operations against NPA forces. NPA opportunistic attacks
against US forces are possible if physical security measures
are reduced or inadequate, and targets are caught isolated.
The Mission and the GRP are meeting the CPP’s rhetoric
head-on to combat its misinformation and counter its
long-standing insurgency. End Summary.

Intensified Anniversary Rhetoric

¶2. (SBU) In celebration of the 36th anniversary of its
founding, the CPP/NPA’s spokesman Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal
engaged in a media blitz threatening US troops in the
Philippines and criticizing US counterterrorism policies —
specifically US military assistance to the Philippines.
Rosal’s media statements were typically full of
misinformation and anti-US bias. In a March 26 press
release, he painted US claims of instability in the
Philippines in its travel advisories as a pretext for
increased US military “intervention” — the CPP/NPA’s working
term for US counterterrorism assistance and training to
Philippine police and military forces, including humanitarian
assistance and civil-military operations. An editorial in
the March 7 “Ang Bayan” (the CPP’s official newspaper)
separately criticized the March 2005 US-RP Balikatan military
exercises as part of a “rising tide of US military

¶3. (SBU) In a March 29 “Message to the New People’s Army,”
the CPP Central Committee separately provided its combatants
a pep talk, stressing that the US-led “world capitalist
system and its domestic ruling system (the GRP) is
worsening.” The lengthy diatribe was a showcase of the
Communist worldview, citing alleged socio-economic problems
resulting from globalization, US “imperial overstretch,” and
the ineffectiveness of the Philippine “puppet regime.” The
document closed with a section apparently intended to inspire
the NPA to a higher level of people’s war, but also
describing the NPA’s general operating plans. It claimed NPA
units are growing to include “130 guerrilla fronts covering
significant portions of nearly 70 provinces, in around 800
municipalities and more than 9,000 barrios.” It added that
recruitment and indoctrination of the population continues at
a brisk pace, and that the NPA would supply itself with arms
captured from the government by attacking its facilities and
supply lines. It expressed the CPP’s hope of attaining 140
fronts, each with a company-sized unit (about 100 fighters).
The CPP Central Committee document noted its people’s war
would continue as a low level insurgency, relying largely on
guerrilla tactics. (comment: Facts and figures supplied by
the CPP are most definitely inflated. In contrast, the Armed
Forces of the Philippines announced in a January press
release that the NPA operates 106 fronts with a total of
8,240 fighters — a yearly decrease of seven percent. We
judge this figure to be deflated in order to show progress in
its fight against the NPA. End comment.)

Countering The Media Offensive

¶4. (SBU) The AFP and Philippine National Police PNP
spokesmen moved quickly to attack the CPP/NPA’s rhetoric,
calling the threats an “empty boast.” AFP spokesman
Lieutenant Colonel Buenaventura Pascual stressed to the media
that the NPA can only attack isolated outposts, and confirmed
that US troops in the March 2005 Balikatan exercise in Quezon
Province (devastated by severe storms and flooding last
December) conducted engineering, medical, and dental
missions. PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent (Colonel
equivalent) Leopoldo Bataoil said publicly that NPA comments
actually undercut its support among the population. Bataoil,
a 2005 graduate of the International Law Enforcement
Academy/Bangkok’s “Combating Transnational Terrorism” course,
also stressed the need for public support in reporting to
authorities “any planned attack so (the PNP) can respond

Comment; Threat Against US Likely Exaggerated

¶5. (C) Inflammatory CPP/NPA rhetoric is very common,
especially coming from the incendiary “Ka Roger.
Nonetheless, the NPA’s low-intensity insurgency will
continue, absent a formal cease-fire or GRP military victory,
both still highly unlikely. The NPA nearly always caveats
its threats against the US military with the condition that
US troops should not operate in “NPA areas” or directly
against NPA units — tasks the AFP or the PNP exclusively
undertake under current US-GRP procedures. The AFP continues
to provide effective security for US humanitarian operations
near NPA areas, and there are no active NPA operations
against US targets, according to Mission offices that track
CPP/NPA threats. As with any solid counterinsurgency
strategy, the key to the endgame lies in winning the hearts
and minds of the population. US military humanitarian
missions and our public diplomacy efforts at media events
have always focused on positive US contributions extended to
the Filipino people. We support and publicly acknowledge the
GRP’s own efforts in combating and weakening the Communist
insurgency, as well as other insurgent and terrorist threats
here. As reported in ref A, the NPA nonetheless remains a
formidable threat to GRP security forces and local officials
for the foreseeable future. Tensions are currently high in
CPP/NPA ranks over unsolved systematic assassinations of
leftists as well as the volatile labor dispute at Hacienda
Luisita (ref B). Threats will continue against US forces,
which may encounter an opportun



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