As the New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao upholds the CPP declaration of a 27-day long nationwide ceasefire effective last December 20, the Eastern Mindanao Command-AFP is grossly violating its own suspension of military/police offensive operations in the light of the continuing numerous AFP combat and psychological warfare operations in the region. The National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao condemns these patent ceasefire violations that mock the spirit by which the ceasefire declarations were made: to pave the way for the resumption of GPH-NDFP peace negotiations and to give time for the relief and rehabilitation of Typhoon Pablo devastated provinces.
Because of the devastation of the Typhoon Pablo in the region, the NPA heeded the call of the NDF-Mindanao, extended the ceasefire to areas not affected by Pablo, and now extended the date from January 5 (NDF-Mindanao ceasefire) to January 15 (CPP nationwide ceasefire as proposed by the NDFP Negotiating Peace Panel).
Initial reports from the field reveal that units under the 6th ID and 10th ID which were unencumbered with rescue efforts in Pablo-devastated areas, have continued the offensive military operations in poor, peasant villages of North Cotabato, Davao del Sur, and Davao City.
The 6th Infantry Division-Eastmincom-AFP has focused its sight at the NPA, stepped up its operations in the provinces of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur since October after the GPH and the MILF signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro. The AFP unleashed offensive military operations in the territories of Guerilla Front 51 Magtanggol Roque Command and Guerilla Front 72 in Far South Mindanao since the start of the truce. Fascist troops belonging to the 57th Infantry Battallion and 40th IB scoured the villages of old Bulatukan, New Israel and Biangan, all villages of Makilala town, North Cotabato. The military put up 2 batteries of 105 howitzer cannon. As the 6th ID continues with the troop build-up, its fascist elements also put up checkpoints and subjected motorists to body searches.
In Paquibato district, Davao City, the 10th ID-AFP continued with their operations by deploying on December 27, three sections each in Brgy Mapula to Barko-barko village, Brgy. Lumiad to Riverside, and in Brgy. Pandaitan. Two army trucks arrived from the 69th IB command post. On December 28, another section from the 69th IB arrived in Malabog, and covered their operations up to Km 24. Another section of the 69th IB was also seen covering Purok Ktc to Brgy. Malabog.
Between December 25 to December 27, the fascist troops also conducted checkpoints on the roads going to Paquibato, purportedly to deter visitors and the masses from attending CPP anniversary celebrations.
The 69th IB and 84th IB troops were also intimidating residents in Purok Isled, Brgy. Damilag in Calinan; the psychological warfare was meant to force peasants to report the whereabouts of NPA guerillas in the area.
The EastMinCom-AFP only shows its utter contempt to the GPH-NDFP peace talks as it tries to sabotage the ceasefire in its desperate bid to gain an upper hand against the people’s army. Over the last one year, the 10th ID has sustained its Special Operations Team operations under the Oplan Bayanihan, in the guise of the sham peace and development, occupied schools, village halls and houses of peasant villagers, bombed communities, subjected the masses to massive psychological warfare, while doubling, tripling its troops in Southern Mindanao guerilla territories.
At the onset of the NDF-Mindanao’s own unilateral ceasefire, the AFP uttered the preposterous claim that NPA violated the ceasefire with its ambuscades. The AFP claims were all lies meant to cover up its own violations and sweeten its bankrupt, rotten and fascist image.
These ceasefire violations have only shown the EastMinCOm-AFP’s treachery and its innate character to violate war protocols and human rights and subvert the people’s will by sabotaging the peace negotiations. It also exposes itself as peddlers of fake Bayanihan—deceptively expending token assistance to Pablo victims while going berserk and hurting the masses in other peasant villages in the region.
The NPA, on the other hand, is showing keen political sense and standing on high moral ground as it does not only conscientiously uphold the CPP’s ceasefire declaration, it is also temporarily shifting from its military targets and focusing its efforts to serve the people and persevere in restoring the homes, farms and jobs for the poor peasants, Lumads women, children and farm workers.