DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The Communist Party of the Philippines scored the Armed Forces of the Philippines for peddling lies in what they called a “highly dubious” report that communist rebels attacked a relief operation in the earthquake-stricken Barangay Linunggaman in Surigao del Norte.
“There was no NPA attack last February 15 against an AFP-escorted relief operations in Barangay Linunggaman, San Francisco, Surigao del Norte,” the CPP said in a statement Friday.
On Tuesday, Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesman of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, tagged the NPA as the armed group that strafed an aid of convoy vehicles carrying a score of soldiers and volunteers while on its way back to Surigao City. The aid convoy distributed items in Malimono town.
But the CPP said “the spokesmen of the AFP are weaving such false reports to deceive the public and disparage the NPA which had earlier unilaterally declared a ceasefire in the areas which were hardest hit by the February 10 earthquake.”
It pointed out that the AFP wants to “discredit the NPA by making it appear that it is preventing relief operations in the revolutionary areas.”
In fact, the CPP said that “NPA is being mobilized by the people’s local organs of political power to carry out necessary reconstruction of homes, fields or other civil, economic or social infrastructures damaged by the earthquake.”
The CPP said that the community in the quake-ravaged areas are “gravely concerned that the AFP is exploiting relief operations for counterinsurgency aims.”
“The military offers to ‘escort’ relief operations in order to allow its armed units entry into the areas and establish its oppressive presence in the midst of civilian communities to conduct intelligence and psywar operations,” the group added.
It also encourages civilian volunteer organizations to undertake relief operations in the revolutionary areas. Their security and well-being is fully assured.
“They can decline offers of security by the AFP and instead coordinate with local organizations. They can work with international donor organizations, even with GRP agencies to facilitate the entry of financial and other forms of assistance,” the CPP said. (davaotoday.com)