AFP: a master in double talk

Rubi del Mundo
National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao
October 11, 2011

Reeling from frustration over the inutility of its rescue operations, the Eastern Mindanao Command of the AFP has fast-tracked the craft it has mastered: double talk.

In the heels of the National Democratic Front and the Southern Mindanao Party Regional Committee-CPP announcements of the order of release of the four Prisoners of War from the PNP/BJMP, the two 75th IB-4th ID intelligence officers and Mayor Henry Dano, EastMinCom spokesperson Col. Leopoldo Galon, Jr. reacted in ways meant to undermine the public's positive response to the exercise of revolutionary political authority by the people's democratic goverment. And in the process, he issues self-contradictory and in fact, silly pronouncements that reek with conceit.

First, he explains that the EastMin Com is ready to heed the calls of the GPH local crisis management committees if its respective heads, Mayor Rodito Rapisura of Kitaotao, Bukidnon and Gov. Johnny Pimentel of Surigao del Sur, would relay a request for a Suspension of Military Operations. In saying this, he deliberately ignores the fact that these GPH local officials, including Bukidnon Vice Governor Jose Zubiri, have already issued earlier calls for a SOMO.

But when these very same GPH local officials made another round of appeals for a SOMO/SOPO as an affirmative response to the NDF and SMRPC-CPP political decision to release the NPA detainees, Col. Galon suddenly sang a different and discordant tune.
In a clear case of double speak, he quickly forgets and contradicts his previous statement by stating that they can't implement a SOMO unless their higher headquarters tell them.

He further finds an excuse that a SOMO can't be had in towns outside of Surigao del Sur because the LGUs demanded uninterrupted military operations.

Second, he offers an infantile and silly suggestion: that in lieu of formal process which ensure the safe and orderly release of the six POWs and Mayor Dano, for the custodial units to just leave the NPA detainees in any barangay road and let them find their way towards the nearest town center.

At the very least, we can only say that we respect his right to publicly display his ignorance, infantility and stupidity.

And third, he states that military offensive operations will continue unless a SOMO is ordered. But when it became clear that the NPA custodial units are able to undertake safe and orderly release procedures through the intercession of reasonable GPH local officials, religious groups and peace advocates sans any clear and official SOMO/SOPO declaration, the EastMinCom claims otherwise. In the end, the AFP was left out in the sidelines, exposed as a den of liars consumed in their fascist arrogance. In fact two days before the release, the 4th ID and 10th ID deployed more troops in Kitaotao, Bukidnon, Compostela in Compostela Valley province and in Cateel, Davao Oriental. And even as Malacanang spokesperson Edwin Lacierda confided that they were still conferring with AFP ground commanders, the release was already undertaken.

Still discontented with his illogic, Col. Galon hurriedly composes an implausible postscript: that the releases were a cover-up to the bad press earned from the punitive actions against the environmentally destructive large-scale mining operations in Surigao.
He stretches his wild mind further: thanking the NPA for giving the AFP free time away from combat and pursuit operations because he imagines that the NPA was forced to concentrate in guarding the NPA detainees!

While at it, Col.Galon bares his bothered brain, now unable to recall that the NDF and CPP release decisions (Sept. 29 and Sept. 30 respectively) came before the Surigao mining sanctions (Oct.3), and he easily forgets too that it was the EastMinCom who just recently received a scathing rebuke from their own commander-in-chief for incompetence in the aftermath of the NPA actions. Indeed, since confusion springs from agony, it would be unfair to expect clear thinking from Col. Galon's distressed mind.

Public disinformation and duplicity are matters of policy for the AFP. The tale about the supposed "abduction" by the NPA of tribal leaders Datu Lorenzo Pendio and Marcelino Gumatao of Paquibato district, Davao City reveals tons about AFP program.

When Datu Gumatao told the truth, that he stayed with his relatives in Brgy. Malabog, Paquibato and was not taken by the NPA, the AFP mouthpiece, Col. Galon, 10th ID spokesperson Lt. Col. Leopoldo Paniza and 10th ID Civil Military Battallion Commander Major Jake Obligado are all suddenly silent. Datu Gumatao himself exposed the AFP story as a mere fabrication to justify a 10th ID-AFP instigated "pangayaw" or tribal vengeance to lay the grounds for the intrusion of mining companies in Paquibato and divert attention from protests against AFP militarization of civilian communities.

For certain, they are still devising ways to conjure another fraud to add to its pile of fiction in a vain try to save face. But the truth can't be hidden from the masses.

Indeed, the truth-just cause-will set the people free. And the deceitful and the unjust will be placed in the dustbin.#

(Sgd.) Rubi Del Mundo
NDF-Southern Mindanao