The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the Aquino regime and its armed forces for launching an armed siege against the forces of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) over the past week in the heavily populated city of Zamboanga.
The siege by the AFP against the MNLF forces has resulted in a huge humanitarian crisis, with the lives of hundreds of thousands of people endangered, entire civilian populations forcibly evacuated, residents’ human rights abused and economic activity put on hold.
The GPH could easily have allowed the MNLF to engage in its original plan to hold a politico-military protest action last Monday in the outlying villages of Zamboanga. For the past several months, the MNLF has launched such protest actions, bearing arms and denouncing the Framework Agreement forged by the reactionary Manila government and the MILF. The Aquino regime has largely tolerated these protest actions launched by MNLF fighters, including those held in city centers such as Davao.
Instead of simply allowing as before the planned protest action in Zamboanga City last Monday, the Aquino regime launched a siege against the MNLF fighters, resulting in an armed standoff, in complete disregard of the welfare and safety of the civilian residents in the area. The Aquino regime has caused the forcible evacuation of civilian residents under threat of armed action. The US military contingent in Zamboanga—the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P)—based inside Camp Navarro, has taken advantage of the military standoff to fly its surveillance drones in violation of Philippine sovereign airspace.
Claims by Aquino’s security officials that it cannot allow the MNLF to raise its banner are flimsy and unacceptable. That the Aquino regime has chosen to launch its siege against the MNLF while it is in a population center underscores its gross contempt of the people. The other day, Aquino went to Zamboanga City only to issue bellicose statements to “inspire” his fascist armed troops. He completely ignored the pleas of the people of Zamboanga City for a stop to the armed siege against the MNLF in order to pave the way for normalization. Aquino chose not to look into the eyes of the 24,000 people holed up in evacuation centers demanding water, food, medicine and proper shelter.
Many are convinced that the Aquino regime has chosen to launch its siege at this time to create a diversion in order to draw attention away from widespread protests against the Malacañang and congressional pork barrel.
The CPP demands that the GPH immediately stand down in order to effect a ceasefire and allow the safe withdrawal of the MNLF’s forces from the residential centers.
The CPP censures the MNLF for engaging in politico-military adventurism with the narrow aim of protecting Misuari’s fiefdom threatened by a new re-arrangement of resources and political power being forged between the Manila reactionary government and the MILF. Misuari and his clique of elite Moro leaders are making use of the cause of the Moro people’s struggle for national liberation to lend credibility to his armed adventures.
At the same time, the CPP recognizes the validity of the Moro people’s struggle for self-determination. The CPP calls on the Moro people to reject both Misuari’s military adventurism and the tendency of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to capitulate to the reactionary Manila government.
Despite repeated declarations of “peace in Mindanao,” the Aquino regime is bound to fail in forging a final peace deal that will resolve the outstanding demand of the Moro people for self-determination. Like its predecessors, the Aquino regime adamantly sticks to the chauvinist notion that the Moro people should submit themselves to the authority of the reactionary government and that any sort of “autonomous” Moro political authority will only be allowed if it first bows to the power of the oppressive Manila government.
The CPP urges the Moro people to persist in their cause by engaging in democratic mass struggles and revolutionary armed resistance. The Moro people have the support of the Filipino people in their cause of advancing their national and social liberation.