Battlefield losses push AFP to ravage communities, victimize civilians in Baganga, Davao Oriental

Jul. 20, 2009

The desperate 1001st Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has vilely resorted to serious violations of protocols of war and international declarations, ravaging communities and mauling and killing civilians, following the series of overwhelming head and body blows from the Front 15 Antonio Nerio Antao Command – New People’s Army (Anac-NPA) in Baganga town in Davao Oriental province.

The 1001stBde-AFP has peppered the 18 barangays of Baganga with forces from the 67thIB, 72ndIB, 25thIB and the 1105th (Provincial Mobile Group) PMG of the Philippine National Police (PNP). This brigade-coordinated operation deployed more than 500 enemy personnel in the municipality.

In the vain attempt to undermine its battlefield losses and consolidate the waning morale of its forces, the 1001stBde under the auspices of the 10thID is making a standard operating procedure of terrorizing the masses in lieu of its inability to quash the resilient People’s Army.

The casualty toll on the enemy side is telling: 7 killed including 2Lt Lucresio Julampong, Jr. and more than 10 wounded elements after the back-to-back ambuscades by the Red Army on June 14 and 16 in Sitio Bangag in Brgy. Butawan. To add insult to serious injury, Capt. Esnani Mai of the 67thIB was given a deprecating public dressing down after his vehement denial of said casualties was unmasked in the media as a blatant lie by Capt. Rosa Ma. Cristina Manuel of the 10thID who confirmed the deaths in his unit.

And what does the AFP have to show for in the face of this glaring military defeat? Nothing but state terrorism that pushes it further into deep political isolation.

In the same underhanded fashion that they employed when they rampaged the communities of New Bataan, Compostela Valley since last year, enemy units in Baganga enforced Reengineered Special Operation Teams (RSOT) that brandished a false mantle of community development and census gathering. As contained in its anti-insurgency operation plan Bantay Laya II, these RSOT formations in Baganga paraded fake NPA surrenderees who vilified the revolutionary government in AFP-orchestrated mass gatherings, employed psy-war against hapless civilians and like rabid dogs went after families of suspected NPA members. Residents, even minors, were forced as guides to hunt down the red army.

In a span of less than two months, enemy units have holed up in schools, barangay halls and health centers since populated sites such as these are shield against attacks by the People’s Army. On July 12 and 17 respectively, members of the 67thIB mauled civilians Romeo Matilac and Alex Manginlawod while being verbally-abused as supporters of NPA. Julius Gonzales almost lost his life after members of the 1105th PMG-PNP and the 75ndIB rained him with bullets on June 26. Innocent motorcycle drivers were also rendered as targets as the AFP dangled bounties as high as 10,000 pesos for their capture.

All these, commonplace as they are when AFP bandits conduct military operations in the countrysides, are clear violations of the International Humanitarian Law and Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions meant to protect innocent civilians from being victimized by armed conflicts.

The people are not blind as to the real intent of these operations: protection for the economic interests of the local ruling class and foreign investors. These enemy units are baseborn investment defense force (IDF) for logging concessions in favor of Henry Wee, the mining prospects in Manurigao and the plantations for tuba-tuba, banana, rubber tree and palm tree in Davao Oriental.

The entire revolutionary government, the Anac-NPA in particular, is supportive of the pronouncements of both panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to immediately jumpstart the stalled peace negotiations; however, the same could not be said of the rotten AFP and PNP that continue to sow terror against civilians and communities.

The Anac-NPA are one with the people in calling for the immediate pull-out of AFP and PNP forces in the 18 barangays of Baganga. We also call on the local officials of the reactionary government to stand by their constituents and prove their loyalty to the people.

Guerilla that we are, our deeply-rooted mass bases are our safe havens from these intense military operations. As a point of fact, while the revolutionary government continues to enjoy the wide support of the masses of the people and strengthen its Red Army, the reactionary government of Gloria Arroyo ebbs ever so pathetically in political, economic and social crises.

This fact shall ridicule whatever lofty pronouncement the bogus US-Arroyo regime will claim come July 27 on its last State of the Nation Address.

For reference

Dyomabuk Kadyawan


Antonio Nerio Antao Command

Front 15 Operations Command

New People’s Army

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