As the extended bilateral ceasefire agreement between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) from December 20, 2012 to January 15, 2013 comes to its final countdown, the office of the NDFP-North Central Mindanao Region has so far gathered a partial list of documented violations committed by the AFP-PNP-CAFGU within the period of suspension of offensive actions both parties agreed to undertake.
1. The 8th IB PA continued with their COPD activities in Lantapan, Bukidnon.
The COPD activities in barangays Cawayan and Victory, both in Lantapan, Bukidnon, have been underway since November 28, 2012. Since then, armed troops led by a Sgt. Compra and a Sgt. Subrado occupied the barangay hall which located amidst the residences of the barriofolk of Barangay Victory. Meanwhile, 13 uniformed soldiers armed with high-powered rifles quartered themselves in the covered court of Barangay Cawayan then moved later to some remote private vegetable warehouse. The soldiers scoured the two barangays in accordance with the psywar component of Oplan Bayanihan. Among the activities they engage in are gambling, drinking sprees and extorting peasants’ products. These activities continue despite the 26-day ceasefire agreement.
2. On December 23, 8th IB troops aboard two 6×6 trucks entered St. Peter, Malaybalay City carrying two howitzers. A fraction of their troops were sent to patrol the sitios of St. Peter and the neighboring barrio of Busdi.
3. December 26, police officers guarding a checkpoint along the national highway in Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental extorted money from passing motorists.
4. December 26, 8th IB and CAFGU troops put up a checkpoint in Can-ayan, Malaybalay City. They investigated passing motorists and passengers. Another such checkpoint was put up by 8th IB-CAFGU in Barangay Silae, Malaybalay City.
5. December 27, 58th IB and CAFGU troops put up a checkpoint in Palo, Bal-ason, Gingoog City. They lay in ambush position along the road, aiming their guns on civilian passersby and searched their bags and other baggage.
6. December 28, additional batch of 8th IB troops aboard four 6×6 trucks entered St. Peter, Malaybalay City. They also patrolled the sitios of four adjoining barrios.
7. December 31, nine 8th IB soldiers put up a checkpoint on a bridge in Barangay Alanib, Lantapan. Bukidnon. They searched passersby and inspected their cargo.
8. January 2, 2013, 8th IB-CAFGU troops put up a checkpoint in Halapitan, San Fernando, Bukidnon.
9. January 10, 2013, a platoon of 8th IB troops from St. Peter made the rounds to Kulaman and Busdi, all in Malaybalay City.
The partial data gathered on these violations showed the AFP-PNP-CAFGU’s utter disregard of the ceasefire agreement which is a part of the formal negotiations between NDFP and GPH aimed at attaining a just and lasting peace. They have exposed themselves as anti-peace forces in making up scenarios to justify their provocations calculated to fire up the NPA to violate the ceasefire agreement.
On the other hand, all revolutionary forces in the region strictly abided by the NDFP-Mindanao’s early ceasefire declaration on December 5 covering areas affected by super-typhoon Pablo and the national directive on the extended suspension of offensive actions during the Christmas period. Under such circumstances, the masses in the guerilla zones were provided a climate to peacefully celebrate the Christian tradition, join the programs on the 44th anniversary celebration of the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and extend aid to the victims of super-typhoon Pablo.
While we eagerly await for the resumption of the peace talks, it must be clarified that the genuine peace that we aspire can only be attained with the resolution of the basic problems of the Filipino people which are the roots of the state of unpeace in the country at present. This means realizing the dream of breaking free from foreign control and domination of our national life by driving imperialism away from our shores. This means realizing the peasants’ aspirations for land through genuine land reform and defeating feudalism. And this means totally overthrowing the bureaucrat capitalists who use the ruling classes’ armed forces in order to oppress and exploit the people and abuse their positions in the government for self-enrichment.
The US-Aquino regime is not in any way sincere in pursuing genuine peace. For them, peace is when they can continue to cling to power to maintain and defend their class and properties amidst the suffering people’s outcry for social equity. The peace they dream of is at the core of Oplan Bayanihan: to weaken our unified strength, quell our struggle, annihilate or force us revolutionaries to capitulate and rid completely a current threat to their domination.
Thus with the advent of year 2013, we must further strengthen and expand our ranks, firmly rely on our unity and unified efforts to assert our rights and welfare. We must vigorously support the people’s army in advancing the people’s war to the strategic stalemate stage. Let us make a nightmare out of the ruling classes’ daydream of crushing us and turn the tables against them. We must daringly frustrate Oplan Bayanihan.