Bukidnon "surrender" smacks of AFP psywar fakery, coercion--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
November 19, 2011

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the "surrender ceremony" conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Eastern Mindanao Command last Monday "smacks of AFP psywar fakery" and called on human rights organizations "to investigate the incident to determine whether the local residents were forcibly rounded-up by the military and made to pose as NPA fighters."

Last Monday, the AFP Eastmincom presented to the media 80 residents of San Fernando, Bukidnon belonging to the Tigwahanon, Matigsalog and Manobo tribes who the military described as former fighters of the New People's Army (NPA) who surrendered to the AFP.

"This is not the first time that the AFP has conducted 'surrender' photo-ops and media PR gimmicks in their desperate hope to downplay the growth of the revolutionary movement and the intensifying revolutionary armed resistance of the people," said the CPP.

"In order to conduct these so-called surrender ceremonies, the AFP forcibly round up local residents and tell them to attend a military-sponsored assembly," added the CPP. "They are made to sign up an attendance sheet only to find out later that they are being accused of being NPA fighters and presented to the media as surrenderees."

"Human rights organizations, church and other civic associations can help the people of San Fernando, Bukidnon by investigating the so-called surrender and determine whether the local residents were harassed, forced or deceived by the AFP to participate in the military-sponsored ceremony."

"The revolutionary forces anticipate the AFP to conduct more and more of these surrender ceremonies and other psywar gimmicks in the face of its increasing losses in the battlefield in various provinces in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country," said the CPP.

"The AFP, however, will only be fooling itself. Such shallow and empty psywar gimmicks no longer strike a chord among the people. The local residents of San Fernando, Bukidnon, are fully aware of the lies and deception of the AFP," added the CPP.