Ka Magno Udyaw
Leonardo Pacsi Command, NPA-Mountain Province
September 29, 2010
The Leonardo Pacsi Command (LPC), New People’s Army-Mountain Province denounces the AFP’s misleading and recycled psywar tactic of staging false surrenders to create the impression that droves of NPA Red fighters are abandoning the revolutionary armed struggle. This gimmick was recently revived amidst the intensifying militarization of the province. Alongside fraudulent calls for localized peace talks and the malicious unsubstantiated charges of the NPA’s recruitment of minors, the so-called surrenderees being presented are pawns in the propaganda effort of the 5th ID to conceal defeats in the battlefield and mess up the quest for truth.
The latest victim of the AFP’s psywar gimmick is Mila Batingwed whom the 5th ID presented as a recent surrenderee. Mila Batingwed was an NPA guerrilla who opted to return to civilian life in 2006 to take care of her two children after her husband met an accident in a small scale mine in Benguet. She did not surrender an M16 rifle, this is a preposterous lie. As in previous cases, the alleged rifle may have been provided by the military from dilapidated or non-functional stock as an excuse to claim the P50,000 reward from the Social Integration Program (SIP). The SIP has been a favorite milking cow of corrupt AFP officers and their government counterparts.
The false surrender campaign has been used in the past in the Cordillera where large groups of innocent civilians were forcibly or deceitfully gathered and photographed to be presented as “surrenderees.” These provided the military a continuing tale of surrenderees on a weekly basis for media mileage, even if many of these alleged surrenderees are actually civilians.
All the psywar gimmicks of the AFP want to show that the ongoing massive militarization of the Cordillera is a big success to entice large scale mining companies and other foreign and domestic extractive companies that they can easily enter the Mountain Province and other parts of the Cordillera region. Aside from the earlier reported entry of in the Cordillera Exploration Inc (CEXI)/ Anglo-American PLC Group to explore in the tri-boundary of three municipalities in western Mountain Province, the Horizons Resources Corporations and other allied companies intend to explore in thousands of hectares in the provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Abra, Kalinga and Apayao.
There is no denying that the AFP is here to serve as armed escort to protect big foreign mining companies and their local partners. B/Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr, military spokesperson, announced earlier that Lt. Gen. Ricardo David Jr., AFP Chief of Staff has ordered several commanders to “look into the possibility of having such an arrangement with the many international companies.” Simply put, there will be money for corrupt AFP officers if they help in exploiting the ancestral lands and resources to the detriment of the Cordillera people.
The indigenous people of the Cordillera can easily see through the many psywar gimmicks of the AFP. Some of the AFP’s deceptive tactics may fool the people some of the time, but they can never fool all of the people all of the time.