The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced the hypocrisy of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Army in challenging the New People’s Army (NPA) to declare a ceasefire in all geo-hazard areas and charged the AFP of complicity with the big mining companies, loggers and big plantations that have long been ravaging the environment and putting the lives of people at risk.
The CPP charged Brig. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, commander of the 7th ID who aired the demand, of being “locked in a tight embrace with the mining companies in Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga, Ilocos Sur and Southern Mindanao.” Units of the 7th ID are deployed in provinces of the Northern Luzon area as well as in Davao. “He cries crocodile tears as he feigns sympathy for the people even as his men have been at the beck and call of mining firms in suppressing antimining struggles.”
“It will be foolish for the NPA to declare a ceasefire in the areas considered as geo-hazard as this will give the AFP free rein to carry out its campaigns of suppression against the peasants and national minority communities defending their land and livelihood,” said the CPP.
The CPP pointed out that the Aquino regime has carried on the Arroyo regime’s policy of allowing big foreign mining companies and plantations to make use of the AFP and state paramilitary groups as their private security guards under the so-called “Investment Defense Force.” Under the IDF program, foreign mining companies are allowed to fund the acquisition of high-powered rifles and other weapons in order to arm a security force that will be trained and put under the command of the AFP.
“What the IDF has done is to legitimize the setting up of private armies by mining companies and plantations in order to suppress the people’s resistance against the destructive and land-grabbing operations of these companies,” pointed out the CPP.
“Many of the victims of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the Aquino regime over the past two and a half years are antimining advocates and peasant and national minority activists defending the people’s economic, political and cultural rights against the mining and plantation companies.”
The CPP cited the killing last October 18 of the Capeon family in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur by elements of the 27th IBPA. The Capeon family, together with the entire B’laan tribe to which they belong are strongly opposed to the SMI-Xstrata company which has been trespassing on, and seizing their, ancestral lands.