NPA on Surrenders: ‘Another Cheap AFP Publicity Stunt’

May. 30, 2006

Magtanggol Roque Command
Front 51 Operations Command
NPA-Southern Mindanao

Press Statement
30 May 2006

Another cheap AFP publicity stunt

The Magtanggol Roque Command Front 51 Operations Command of the New Peoples Army (NPA) in Southern Mindanao tags as another cheap and worn out publicity stunt by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the supposed surrender of 40 NPA supporters in Brgy. Kisante Makilala, North Cotabato last May 25.

The claims made by 602nd Brigade Commander Col. Ruperto Pabustan that it showed the success of the AFPs advocacy campaign is pure deception. What he misrepresented as NPA surrenderees were actually plain farmers who were terrorized by the 39th Infantry Battalion Reengineered Special Operations Team (RSOT). Under pain of further harassments and even summary execution, the poor peasants were forced to participate in an AFP-organized barangay assembly where residents are suddenly paraded as NPA members or supporters.

AFP special operations that combine civil-military activities with combat and psychological operations targeting the local population are a distinct feature of the US-Arroyo regimes Oplan Bantay Laya. During these special operations, peasant groups are marked for destruction and its leaders are threatened. Barangay officials deemed as cooperative with the local mass organizations are likewise harassed.

That the AFP employs such brazen tactics against the exploited farmers shows the level of desperation they have reached. What the enemy failed to achieve in coin operations against the Peoples Army they desperately try to attain by attacking the fundamental human rights of the people.

If success in the campaign to wham the people is measured by fascists like Col. Pabustan in terms of the number of fake surrenders, reported civilians paraded as NPA supporters in the same fashion as that in Brgy. Kisante, then the AFPs claim of success is not without basis. No wonder that as the number of incidents of fake surrenders in barangay assemblies-cum-forced mass surrenders increase, the number of membership of farmers, lumads, women and youth organizations as well as the number of rural barrios covered by the guerilla bases and zones continue to rise.

The lies spewed by the AFP cannot reverse the tide of the revolutionary struggle. The feudal and semi-feudal exploitation of farmers by the landlord class and the wanton violations of human rights by the reactionary States regular, police and paramilitary armed forces, together with the deep-seated political and economic crisis of the ruling system constitute the very basis for people to seek a radical transformation of society.

No amount of AFP special operations can stem the advance of the revolutionary movement. It could only succeed in further alienating the AFP, in increasing the ranks of revolutionaries, and in further galvanizing the peoples resolve to bring an end to the hated fascist Arroyo regime.

(Sgd) Ricardo Fermiza
Magtanggol Roque Command
Front 51 Operations Command
NPA-Southern Mindanao

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