Oplan Bantay Laya Is Already a Proven Failure Joma Sison

Jun. 21, 2006

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

The Arroyo regime is making it appear that it is unleashing all-out war against the revolutionary forces and the people only in recent days. But in fact, Oplan Bantay Laya, aimed at the destruction of the revolutionary movement, has been launched since early 2002. It is under the direction of Gloria M. Arroyo and her Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security.

Oplan Bantay Laya has two aspects: 1. military campaigns of suppression in the barangays in a number of guerrilla fronts of the New Peoples Army (NPA) which have resulted in the murder and dislocation of hundreds of thousands of peasants and national minorities and 2. death squad operations which have resulted in the extrajudicial killings of more than 680 unarmed legal activists, including leaders of political parties and mass organizations, human rights workers, pastors and priests, lawyers and journalists.

The main objective of Oplan Bantay is to destroy the NPA in 600 barangays in six regions at every given time. But the maneuver units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (regional mobile units) have only been able to concentrate on less than 300 barangays nationwide at every given time, leaving open tens of thousands of barangays for the New Peoples Army (NPA) to operate in.

Since the beginning of Oplan Bantay Laya, the NPA has launched tactical counter-offensives against AFP units in the barangays encircled or occupied by them. Since 2004, it has successfully neutralized the attempt of Bantay Laya to destroy any guerrilla front. Since the middle of September 2005, the NPA has carried out tactical offensives on a nationwide scale, taking full initiative, inflicting lethal blows on so many military, police and paramilitary units and rendering Bantay Laya a total failure.

My source of information is the special issue of Ang Bayan dated March 29, 2006 in . I call the attention of the public to the facts in the section titled Accumulated Victories and Basis for Advance in the statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to mark the celebration of the 37th anniversary of the NPA.

Oplan Bantay Laya is already a proven failure. More arms and more money for the AFP and PNP will only mean more human rights violations, more corruption and bigger failure. As it inflicts atrocities on the people, the Arroyo regime unwittingly recruits fighters for the NPA.

By deploying the AFP and the PNP units very thinly and making them vulnerable to NPA offensives, the regime unwittingly becomes the chief transport and supply officer of the NPA. More arms from the Pentagon can only mean more arms for the NPA to seize through ambushes, raids and arrest operations.

Gloria M. Arroyo and her bloodthirsty gangmates are bluffing when they boast that they have all the money and arms with which to destroy the revolutionary movement. The reactionary government is bankrupt and is sinking in local and foreign indebtedness. The people are undergoing terrible suffering from all the unjust impositions of the Arroyo regime and its foreign and local exploitative masters.

The reign of greed and terror outrages the people and incites them to revolt. The people despise every act of the regime to put them down through violence and deception. They smell the stinking corruption of the regime everytime it speaks of more money for economic development. They see the regime as engaged in chicanery and wasting public funds when it talks of localized peace talks and seeks to fragment the united and growing revolutionary movement of the Filipino people.

In contrast to the Arroyo regime, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) continues to call for the resumption of formal talks in the peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and for the removal of obstacles in accordance with previous agreements already made between the two sides.

The Arroyo regime has deliberately blocked and concealed from the people the NDFP offers for accelerated peace negotiations and for a concise agreement for an immediate just and lasting peace. These offers have long been made to the GRP through the Norwegian government. The Arroyo regime is obsessed with using the US-instigated anti-communist and anti-terrorist hysteria to pursue its scheme of perpetuating itself in power. (Press Statement, 20 June 2006)

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