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Communist Pantry

The epidemic has reached us.

In case you haven’t been keeping with the news the past months, or all media of information have been clogged with Covid, there has been this recent phenomenon of police making raids on militant leaders’ residences where they would find a stash of guns and ammo, with some explosives to spice things up. Of course, the supposed possessor of the firearms would be subsequently arrested. There have been a considerable number of similar cases and arrests around the outskirts of Manila. They’re eerily similar. Leaders of organizations which are perceived to be aligned with the communist party, (some are young, female, or old)) are raided, a large amount of firearms, ammunition and grenades are found hidden in some part of the house; then they’re arrested. There is a quite relatively large number of similar cases that challenges the benefit of doubt. Allegedly, these people’s organization leaders are connected with the communist party, and judging from the amount of weapons, they must have been planning some big inter-chapter war games. Who knows? I have friends who are very invested in hobbies like that in which they get their fancy guns, they pick a large space, then they shoot each other for fun. Maybe, they just want to do it a little bit more realistic, with some explosions on the side.

What’s happening here? The Soviet Union has long dissolved. The Berlin Wall has long fallen. The eastern bloc countries have all turned to democracy. Fidel Castro has died. Come on, China and Vietnam are actually capitalist, (although, they have to do something with the exercise of freedom in Mao country). Even the African countries which tried to experiment with communism for a while have abandoned it. It’s a thing of the 20th century. Oh, but there’s North Korea, oh well.

I thought we have long done and gotten over with labor and student organizations fighting for violated human rights, and endeavouring for a revolution through armed struggle to transform society towards equality, with the proletariat pouncing over the bourgeoisie. Then the military would hunt them, being aggressive pushing towards abusive. I thought those sort of scenes ran in the 70s and 80s. It’s 2021, for crying out loud.

We’re advancing towards the completion of the first quarter of the 21st century; and we’re still employing McCarthyism which democratic nations have long denounced. Our government has a body which is exclusively obsessed to end communism. The term, “red tag” has been invented. Some celebrities who would have been perceived as sweet screen sirens have been surprisingly branded as “communist”. Even the philanthropic pantries in communities have been suspected with socialist leanings. (Well, if you think about it, the principle of the community pantry could be communist. The community’s produce are distributed according to the need of the population, without the purchase of capitalism. Maybe, that’s why the police and the military got all so paranoid with the pantries.) As Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur joins in this wave of arrests, I personally have a hard time in grasping the thought of taking all these incidents all hook, line and sinker. Why would subversive groups store a whole mass of weapons in residences? That is simply dangerous because it would most probably lead to apprehension by the authorities. Terrorists who have successfully hijacked passenger airlines, bombed major establishments, trains and cars, and executed assassinations, did not stock up guns and grenades. What they had were some inconspicuous chemicals and electronic devices. If police would raid their quarters, they might find disassembled mobile phones, wires, tapes, substances, tablet or a laptop, and maybe some pistols, but not a whole arsenal. That’s how terrorist groups have been operating for decades now. Furthermore, the New People’s Army to an armed struggle in the countryside, as opposed to the urban approach of Alex Boncayao Brigade, so it would not make sense to store their armaments in residences, far from their posts deep in the rural areas. Even for some reason, they actually made an arsenal of some of their members’ apartment, maybe they would have modified their strategy once one of their rifle reserves had been revealed. It’s like they have been making the same mistake over and over again. Even a primary school child would not repeat the same prank which had already got him into trouble. For sheer mischief, he would change his style.

But, on the other hand, what do I know? Perhaps, the military and the police have successfully thwarted an armed revolution against our stable democracy. As I write and you read these lines, officers and operatives may be hunting down the impending violent threats to peace and order. Who knows? Maybe.

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow’s cause,”

Isaiah 1:17


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