The Rebel vs. the General

We have been posting about our friends in the military (here, here, and here) such that for some time this blog was in danger of looking like a military mouthpiece which, of course, it is not. Our good friends from the left need not worry because we will be posting about them soon to balance things out.

For the mean time, this post is about Simon Naogsan a.k.a Ka Filiw (he made it to The List here) and his military rival, Lt. Gen. Bonifacio Ramos of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Northern Luzon Command.


Ka Filiw, if you remember from our previous post about him, is the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) spokesman in the Cordilleras. Our friend, aside from being an expert in writing press releases, is now apparently learning the ways of radio broadcasting. Not surprisingly, General Ramos is getting annoyed.

General Ramos: “I guess this Simon Naogsan is aspiring to replace Gregorio Rosal as CPP/NPA spokesperson, that’s why he is polishing his propaganda skills already.”

So what triggered General Ramos’ somewhat bitchy remark? Guess what, the two are fighting about who between the rebels and the military is the better Samaritan. (In Tagalog, nagpapataasan sila ng ihi.) For those of you who have not been following Cordillera news, last September 21 a passenger jeep fell in Natonin, Mt. Province killing eight passengers and injuring 13 others. (Details here .)

Days later, Ka Filiw claimed in an interview over Bontoc’s Radio Natin station that the NPA rebels joined government troops in rescuing the victims. He also “accused soldiers of not wanting to be involved in disaster operations out of fear of the rebels.”

In response, General Ramos countered that “soldiers have long risked their lives in the conduct of disaster, relief and rescue operations and even community projects.” The general also accused Ka Filiw of evil motives: “The truth is Naogsan and his men are not out to help victims of calamities but to liquidate residents of Bontoc and nearby areas who helped or joined the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and CAFGU.” (Note: The quoted portions in this and the preceding paragraph are lifted from the Philippine Information Agency, a government news bureau.)

Seems like our good friend, General Ramos is being overly dramatic. Come on, I don’t think the NPA is in the business of liquidating civilians. You can accuse them of eating from peoples’ pots to the point of becoming a burden to the community but methinks you overstate your case when you say that NPAs are out to liquidate people sympathetic to the military.

At any rate it’s good that the general and the rebel are doing their fighting in the media and not in the battlefield. At least, no civilian lives are endangered in a media crossfire. However, I think it is distasteful to be fighting about who was more helpful to the victims of the Natonin tragedy. The human act of helping others should never be used as a tool in a propaganda war. And also, Good Samaritans keep their mouths shut.

*****

A clarification: Even though we call them our friends, we actually do not personally know Ka Filiw and General Ramos. But From the Boondocks wouldn’t mind being friends with them ha ha.

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