Fr. Tentorio’s killing reveals EJK as continuing policy under US-Aquino regime

Rubi del Mundo
NDF-Southern Mindanao
October 19, 2011

The National Democratic Front Southern Mindanao held the elements of the 6th ID-Eastern Mindanao Command-AFP as responsible for the extra-judicial killing of Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio. As the military unit engaged in active counterrevolutionary program of the US-Aquino regime operating in North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Maguindanao and Saranggani, the 6th ID-EastMinCom masterminded, orchestrated and executed the October 17 daylight murder of Fr. Tentorio in Arakan, North Cotabato. The 6th ID-EastMinCom has the mandate from the Aquino administration to implement the GPH’s Oplan Bayanihan, a carry-over of the Arroyo regime’s Oplan Bantay Laya that similarly targets civilians like Fr. Tentorio.

Listening to the automatic repertoire of lies spewed out by EastMinCom spokesperson Col. Leopoldo Galon, Jr. who readily condemned the murder and see it as a consequence of Fr. Tentorio’s advocacy which affected many entities and individuals, there is no doubt that the AFP is fast shedding its belabored human rights and peace façade to get outright results: silenced critics, terrified populace, and a new stage-managed friendly image of the armed forces. Staggering from recent successful NPA military actions under its turf--from the high-impact punitive sanction against mining firms in Surigao, to various tactical offensives in the field since last year, and to the custody and eventual release of detainees and prisoners of war—the EastMinCom-AFP shifts to manuevers that it knows best: hitting innocent civilians and non-combatants. Fr. Tentorio is only the latest victim to the AFP’s campaign of annihilation of vocal Lumad advocates and staunch critics in Mindanao, intensifying as the year comes to a close. And he would not be the last.

Thus, the marching orders of Noynoy Aquino to get Fr. Tentorio’s killers appear hollow, meaningless in the face of the AFP’s deceitful countenance and the Oplan Bayanihan. It is certain that the Aquino regime not only tolerates, but still adopts the policy of physical elimination of civilians by military elements. This is the same government that allows the continued tyranny of warlords, private armies and paramilitary groups at the payroll of companies and despotic landlords, and the massive militarization in North Cotabato. This is the same regime that is adamant in full-scale capitalist incursions in the countryside, through large-scale mining and foreign-funded agri-business, despite the resistance of Lumads and civilian groups.

Fr. Tentorio’s murder heralded the re-emergence of open fascism as the state’s preferred response in the face of the rising discontent of the masses and intensifying people’s war. Fr. Tentorio’s brutal killing reveals Noynoy Aquino, himself as an able replacement of the fascist and hated Gloria Arroyo, as the country’s chief implementor of the US doctrine Counter-insurgency guide.

Here in Southern Mindanao, and elsewhere nationwide, the AFP cannot wait to show its continuing contempt for human rights. Holding the badge of Oplan Bayanihan, the AFP holds hostage hundreds of thousands of civilians in the countryside who suffer from intense military operations smoke-screened as 'peace and development’ projects. It attempts, but fails miserably, to rectify the past crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Arroyo regime. The Aquino regime has neglected to punish the AFP officers, intelligence agents, elements and units responsible for the extrajudicial killing of more than a thousand activists in the last decade.

The NDF Southern Mindanao commiserates with the family, colleagues and friends of Fr. Tentorio and sees his passing as another occasion to show our collective disgust and legitimate action against an oppressive and elite state. It is apparent that justice for Tenorio cannot be had under the present regime. In time, those responsible for Tentorio’s demise shall face the full wrath of the people’s army so that revolutionary justice shall be served.