DAVAO CITY — The National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao said the Army’s arrest and detention of an NPA leader on June 29 is an attempt to sabotage the peace process.
The Army last week arrested alleged top-ranking leader Eddie Genelsa, alias Lando in Barangay Bongabong, Pantukan town, Compostela Valley.
The Army said Genelsa is the Philippines 19th most wanted person.
Genelsa is facing charges of arson, murder, frustrated murder and robbery.
But the NDF said “Ka Lando’s arrest and detention is an attempt by the AFP to sabotage President Duterte and the revolutionary movement’s mutual efforts towards the peace process.”
“It is a reprehensible, premeditated act designed to preempt the peace negotiations that clearly exposes the innate warmongering character of the AFP which continues to kowtow the AFP-US Aquino’s fascist Oplan Bayanihan,” said Rubi del Mundo, spokesperson of the NDF said in a statement on Saturday, July 2.
Task for the peace process
Del Mundo described Genelsa as “a sickly 60-year old revolutionary and well-loved cadre of more than three decades of serving the people.”
Del Mundo said Genelsa was tasked to conduct consultation with the masses on the peace process during the time of his arrest, a day before President Rodrigo Duterte’s inauguration and barely three weeks before the formal resumption of the peace talks. He added the Genelsa was “acting on a special function and was defenseless” at the time.
“He was in a known NDF territory in Pantukan town specifically to unite the mass base on the upcoming peace talks, and on the proper conduct of our people’s democratic government and revolutionary forces when the proposed ceasefire agreement takes effect,” Del Mundo said.
Del Mundo added that Genelsa has been tasked to conduct investigation of certain drug lord operations in the vicinities “as per instruction by the NPA higher command in line with the revolutionary movement’s parallel efforts against drug lords, and criminal syndicates operating in collusion with some AFP units and officials in the area.”
The Communist Party of the Philippines recently welcomed the Duterte’s call for cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking.
“The CPP, through its branches and revolutionary mass organizations, have long been carrying out a campaign against drug use and drug trafficking. It carries out a cultural revolution among the masses in order to encourage them to reject drug use and instead wage collective struggle,” the CPP said in a statement.
“The (NPA) is guided by the standing order of the CPP Central Committee to disarm and arrest the most notorious criminals including the biggest drug traffickers, in order for them to be subjected to prosecution and just punishment,” it said.
Peace talk issues
After the two-day exploratory talks on June 14-15 in Oslo, Norway, both panels of the government and the NDF agreed to resume the formal peace talks in the third week of July in Oslo, Norway.
But the NDF said the Army’s “continuing militarization of practically all guerilla fronts of Southern Mindanao, the extrajudicial killing of four civilians including a Lumad Datu, the torture and summary killing of two NPA hors de combat, the arrest and illegal detention of 17 more hapless civilians, and issuance of trumped up charges against leaders of progressive organizations” happened amidst the efforts to resume the long-derailed peace negotiations.
Del Mundo said they are raising these issues and demanding concrete and immediate action from the Duterte government.
They also demand for the “unconditional and immediate release of Ka Lando, and the cessation of military operations, and atrocities against the people.” (davaotoday.com)