World View: Philippines President Duterte Cancels ‘Ceasefire’ with Communist Party

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he will send a former president to China to start talks on the ruling on the disputed claims of the South China Sea from The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Philippines president Duterte cancels ‘ceasefire’ with Communist Party
  • Generational history of the Philippines and the CPP-NPA
  • FBI investigates alleged Russian hacking of Democrats’ servers

Philippines president Duterte cancels ‘ceasefire’ with Communist Party

Duterte meets with the Maoist New People's Army on April 26, prior to being elected president (Minda News)
Duterte meets with the Maoist New People’s Army on April 26, prior to being elected president (Minda News)

Philippines President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Saturday announced that he was canceling a unilateral ceasefire with a Maoist terror group, the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). The New People’s Army is the military arm of the CPP, though in actuality they are a single organization.

During the campaign, Duterte had promised that he would arrange a peace deal with the CPP-NPA, which had been conducting terror attacks for close to 50 years, and is considered to be the longest-running Maoist insurgency in the world. Ironically, the CPP was a long-time supporter of Duterte for years when he was mayor of Davao City, believing that he supported their goal of installing a left-wing government in Manila.

Duterte announced a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA on Monday, July 25, but it lasted less than a week. Two days later, on Wednesday, the NPA ambushed an armed forces unit that was heading back to camp in accordance with the ceasefire, killing one soldier and injuring four others. On Friday, Duterte declared that unless CPP-NPA leaders implemented their own ceasefire by 5 pm on Saturday, he would cancel the unilateral ceasefire, and that’s what happened. Philippine Daily Inquirer and MindaNews (Mindanao) and CNN Philippines and Sun Star (Davao City, 16-May-2016)

Generational history of the Philippines and the CPP-NPA

The Communist Party of the Philippines was formed in 1968, at the height of the generational Awakening era and of anti-government student protests in many countries, including the United States, France, Germany, and others. A pro-Maoist activist named José María Canlás Sison began the movement with the goal of removing from power the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and of removing the influence of “American imperialism” and “Japanese imperialism” from the country. Japan and the Philippines had been enemies in World War II.

Violence and repression by Marcos’ thugs aided the growth of the CPP-NPA, reaching about 10,000 members at its peak, and was supported by weapons, money and training from China’s government. However, in 1976 the Philippines and China governments normalized relations, aided by the memory that they had both been invaded and occupied by the Japanese. The result for the CPP-NPA was that the Chinese cut off relations with them.

The Awakening era climax for the Philippines occurred after the 1986 elections, in which the presidency was won by the Corazon Aquino, widow of a popular oppositional senator who had been assassinated by Marcos’ thugs. Marcos himself was forced to flee the country, and lived in exile in Hawaii until his death in 1989.

The defeat of Marcos, who had been dictator for 31 years, was considered by many to be a victory of the CPP-NPA. After that victory, the CPP-NPA began to lose its purpose, and turned against itself, with thousands of its members being killed by other members.

Today, it has estimated that there are still about 4,000 members of the CPP-NPA. Although the organization doesn’t have anything like the power it had during the reign of Marcos, it can still pull off terrorist attacks to remind everyone that it’s still around.

Sison, the founder of the group, still directs it at age 77, but has lived in exile in the Netherlands for many years. Stanford University and (2005) and Jacobin Magazine (Aug-2015)

FBI investigates alleged Russian hacking of Democrats’ servers

According to reports, the FBI is investigating hacking and cyber attacks against servers run by several different Democratic Party servers, and that Russia’s government is suspected, allegedly to help Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Several different hacking attacks have been alleged, including attacks on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and earlier servers controlled by Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton.

Speaking as a computer industry professional and senior software engineer, several things about this story are fishy.

First, the idea that Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking of the Democratic Party servers, and then ordered the release of thousands of hacked e-mail messages through “WikiLeaks,” because he believed that doing so would help Trump is bizarre. He would be well aware that any such move had a good chance of backfiring, and could trigger sympathy for Clinton, especially by releasing e-mail messages through WikiLeaks.

The main issue is that no self-respecting “hacker” would attack the Democratic Party servers without also attacking the Republican Party servers. Even if we assume that Putin ordered the hacking he would certainly have ordered the hacking of both.

So we have to assume that the Republican Party servers were attacked as well. Why haven’t there been any releases of these e-mail messages? There are two possibilities:

  • One possibility is that the Republican Party servers were better protected, and that the attack on them failed. The FBI recently accused Hillary Clinton of being “reckless” in protecting top-secret e-mail messages on servers, and it’s possible that the same recklessness applied to all the Democratic Party servers, but not to the Republican Party servers.
  • The other possibility is that the attack succeeded, but hasn’t yet been revealed. Julian Assange, the accused rapist who is hiding out in the Ecuador embassy in London to avoid facing rape charges by two women in Sweden, has made a statement with respect to the e-mail releases by his “WikiLeaks” organization that there will be an “October surprise” with more e-mail messages. That’s expected to be a release of more Democratic Party e-mail messages, but the “surprise” might be that it targets Republicans as well.

That corporate hacking has become extremely widespread — by the Russians, the Chinese, and by private organizations.

The hacking of Democratic Party networks should remind everyone of the need for encrypting data on servers. I’ve seen myself that corporations don’t want to take the time to protect their servers, since encrypting information doesn’t create sales. ( “10-Mar-16 World View — Hackers steal thousands of employee W-2 tax documents from Seagate Inc.”)

As I’ve said repeatedly in the past, if you have responsibility for a corporate database containing such things as names, addresses, social security numbers, medical information, and so forth, then put other things on hold and immediately launch a project to encrypt each critical data element, even it means losing a few sales. Reuters and NBC News

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Philippines, Rodrigo R. Duterte, Communist Party of the Philippines, CPP, New People’s Army, NPA, José María Canlás Sison , Ferdinand Marcos, China, Corazon Aquino, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, DCCC, Democratic National Committee, DNC, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Russia, Vladimir Putin, WikiLeaks, Republican Party, Julian Assange, Sweden, Ecuador
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