Aquino regime's violations of unilateral ceasefire

Ang Bayan
January 7, 2012

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The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemned the Aquino government's violations of its own 18-day ceasefire covering December 16, 2011 to January 2, 2012. The CPP said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continued to launch military operations under Oplan Bayanihan during this period.

The Aquino regime's empty ceasefire declaration served only to cover up its military forces' relentless terroristic activities, added the CPP. On the other hand, the Red fighters of the New People's Army strictly abided by the six-day unilateral ceasefire declared by the CPP on December 24-26 and December 31-January 2, 2012.

Initial reports from the NPA cited military operations in the provinces of Abra, Surigao del Sur, Isabela and Rizal. These troop movements showed the Aquino and AFP's hypocrisy as soldiers positioned themselves in population centers in violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Geneva Conventions.

*In Abra.* Two six-by-six trucks fully loaded with 50th IB troopers occupied Sitio Sagsagod, Barangay Saccaang, Sallapadan town on December 21. Meanwhile, a Philippine Army platoon positioned itself in Barangays Palaquio and Tabiog in Bucay town. A number of soldiers stayed in populated centers and even at the Tabiog Elementary School while other troops scoured the upland areas. The soldiers told the locals that they intended to stay in their village until the end of 2011.

In the same period, two six-by-six truckloads and a van full of soldiers stationed themselves at the Gangal barangay hall, just a few meters away from the Gangal Elementary School. An AFP platoon also created a disturbance in Barangay Naguillan, Sallapadan when the armed troops suddenly descended on the village after their operations. Another set of soldiers from the 50th IB also camped inside the barangay hall and plaza of Bila-bila village in Sallapadan.

*In Surigao del Sur.* Residents of Tandag City complained on December 16 about the continued presence of a COPD team under the 36th IB at the Barangay Mabuhay village hall. These troops have been responsible for many cases of human rights violations since they began staying in the area in September. Despite the Aquino government's unilateral ceasefire declaration, the military troops did not leave the area.

*In Isabela.* Troops from the 5th Infantry Division launched search-and-pursuit operations in San Mariano town on December 16. A section of the 17th IB was transferred to San Mariano from its previous assignment in neighboring Cagayan province.

*In Rizal.* Troops from the Philippine Army 16th, 59th and 76th IB continued their operations in Jala-jala, Pililia, Tanay, Baras, Montalban, San Mateo and Rodriguez towns and in Antipolo City. These operations, which were closely coordinated with the PNP Special Action Force Maneuver Battalion began on December 16 and ended on January 3 and used alleged civilian operations under the COPD as cover. Not a single AFP unit was ordered back to return to barracks during the Aquino government's so-called ceasefire period.

On Christmas day, a PNP-SAF platoon led by C/Insp. Mark Green Lagura arrested three civilians in Sitio Payagwan, Kaysakat, San Jose, Antipolo City. The three victims were identified as Emmanuel Quioyo, 20, single, of Mayamot, Antipolo and two 16-year old girls who were also residents of the same area. They were arrested on suspicion of being members of the Narciso Antazo Aramil Command (NPA-Rizal).

Quioyo was tortured, interrogated without benefit of counsel and coerced into admitting that he was an NPA member. He was also forced to guide operatives of the PNP-SAF and 16th IB in looking for an alleged NPA camp. He was released after two days on the condition that he becomes a “deep penetration agent” for the enemy.

Meanwhile, the two girls were freed after a five-hour interrogation also conducted without the presence of a lawyer.