Col. Napuli extensively cut down trees, denudes the mountains!

Ka Maria Malaya
NDF-North-Eastern Mindanao
March 22, 2012

The troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion, Phil. Army under their commanding officer (CO) Col. Ferdinand Napuli, without hesitation, cut the trees in the forested area above the Cabadbaran River. Recall that he declared to cut all the trees in the mountains where NPA guerrilla units in Front21 temporarily encamp. According to reports from Front21, the army occupying the NPA's abandoned camp, has been cutting trees since the 15th of March. Day and night they cut down trees using chainsaws brought by helicopter. Is the CO planning to sell the timber believing they now control the area? Are they going to cut all the trees in all the areas occupied temporarily by the guerrilla NPA? Will they be stripping the forests like what the soldiers of the imperialist US did during its invasion of Vietnam?

NDFP-NEMR challenges the DENR-Caraga and all environmentalists to investigate the destruction wrought by the army to the forest. Prove that civilians stand supreme over the army. Similar to the sustained operation of OBL I and II in Front14-Surigao del Sur in 2007, the army rapidly depleted the Forest Reserve (FORE) of the government of the Philippines because the NPA inhabit the area. But they enriched themselves by selling the big lawaan trees. They used the NPA as motivation to conceal their greedy interest which is to make money from the forests. The army even told the small loggers they were all free to log because the NPA who prevented them from cutting the lawaan trees have been driven away.

The NPA protect the forests to preserve the big trees. But the AFP with its foolish logic denudes the forests to deprive the NPA of its cover. Where then is their declaration that they are for the good? Is the indiscriminate cutting of trees part of what they call good when these are not revolutionary guerrillas who are their enemies? If they do not hesitate to cut all the trees because it camouflages the guerrillas, they would also do this to the farmers and lumad people who they strafe/bomb by attack helicopters, as they are accused of being NPA supporters by mere reason that they dwell in the mountains. Without hesitation they indiscriminately fire upon the farms of the civilians even if the sweet potatoes and other plants are not guerrillas.

They no longer distinguish between whom to annihilate, trees/forests, farms, the lumad people and farmers especially those in the mountains. According to a report, it is now impossible to harvest the sweet potato farms as it has been riddled with bullets from the helicopters.

These conditions pushed the lumad people and the farmers to leave the mountains/farms to protest and expose their life and death situation. What they did is comparable to wrenching themselves from the ancestral land/mountains which is their life. What we heard in the radio stations are correct, it's a sad situation when they die without anybody knowing about it. They deemed it better to leave the mountains and face whatever will happen to them because at the very least people will know what happened.

On the other hand the guerrilla units of the NPA continue to successfully confront the sustained military operations in Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and the entire Caraga region under US-Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan. In the recent five days alone, since March 17 to March 21, 2012 the military incurred 24 casualties.

March 17, 2012 at around 2 o'clock in the afternoon in Sitio Kibadbad, Suakay, Tubay, Agusan del Norte, a group of NPA from Front 21 encountered a group from the 14th SRC of the AFP. One (1) soldier was killed and another wounded among the surprised Scout Rangers. They could not believe that there were NPA guerrillas in that area.

The Red Fighters incurred no casualty and were able to successfully withdraw. They succeeded in their snipe-harassment mission against the army troops that attacked and harassed the people in the mountains.

March 18, 2012 at around 2 o'clock in the afternoon, in the mountain area of Sitio Lusong, Puting Bato, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte, a NPA group from Front 21 harassed/snipe members of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion, PA, who were cutting the trees. According to the snipe/harass team there were wounded among the military. They were targeting ten (10) army men who were singing and dancing while another was lying and was seen dropping to the ground unable to run. They even heard a shout calling for "rescue" among the targeted army men. Five minutes passed before the surprised soldiers were able to fire back. At the very least they incurred about five (5) casualties with that NPA attack. The NPA quietly withdrew, undetected by the army who were encamped and were cutting the trees within the abandoned temporary camp of the NPA in Front 21.

March 19, 2012 at around 9 in the morning in Barangay Lubo, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, a smoke bomb (possibly teargas or smoke grenade) was thrown at two civilian lumad-Mamanwa men who were buying salt in the center of their barangay. Startled, they ran away from the army inspite of dizziness because of the smoke thrown at them.

On that same day at around 2:30 in the afternoon in the mountain area of Barangay Lubo, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, AFP Scout Ranger troops entered the ambush position of a guerrilla unit of Front 30. Five (5) elements of the army were shot by Red Fighters positioned about 10 meters away. The soldiers failed to fire back. It was believed that they were either killed or wounded.

According to the report of the NPA in Front 30, the Scout Ranger casualties were brought to the mountain area of Bisligon within the boundary of the two Surigao provinces. It is where the Operational Command of the Scout Ranger and Special Forces troops implementing combat operations is located. They cut all the trees in the highest peak of the said mountain area. This mountain is one of the highest peaks rising above the mountains within the tri-boundary area. The NPA guerrillas in the area observed that almost every day a helicopter circles around or lands in the high peak in Bisligon. Bisligon is near Barangay Lubo, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur.

March 20, 2012 at around 12 noon, in the mountain area of Barangay Lubo, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, a unit from Front 30 waited for two groups with around 40 troops of the army's Scout Rangers. The NPA detonated one CDX (command detonated explosives). Red Fighters estimated that army men were killed or wounded because they saw the army on top of the CDX upon detonation.

But a member of the People's Militia left behind a carbine when he was hit by a splinter of the army's grenade launcher. The Red Fighters successfully retreated after said fire fight and the wounded comrade is now safe.

March 21, 2012 at around 10 in the evening in Kantugas, Mainit, Surigao del Norte, the NPA from Front 16 ambushed the 30th IB PA troops riding a military truck with the use of a CDX (command detonated explosives). Five (5) soldiers were wounded and brought to a hospital in Surigao City. According to a reliable source, two seriously wounded army men were brought to Cagayan de Oro City. In total, there were seven (7) wounded among the military in said ambush.

Military officials have been declaring that the NPA has violated the laws of war with its use of landmines. THE NPA DO NOT USE LANDMINES. THE NPA USE CDX OR COMMAND DETONATED EXPLOSIVES. MEANING, A PERSON WILL DETONATE THE CDX UPON ESTABLISHING ITS TARGET. In the international laws of war, landmines are not allowed to be used. Landmines are explosives buried in the ground which explodes if stepped upon or moved by man or animal.

Yet another stated ambition of army officials is the surrender of a number of NPA in NEMR similar to what allegedly happened in the province of Bukidnon in Region X. The announced "surrenderees" in Bukidnon is a big lie. The truth is that this Kumander Lolong has been declared a surrenderee twice already and is a lumad and member of the CAA armed by the army itself. There are 70 they proudly declare as NPA members.

A reminder to the AFP officials: since the re-establishment of the CPP and NPA, presidents of the Philippines have changed hands but not one has annihilated the revolutionaries. No true revolutionary has ever surrendered, only fake "surrenderees".

The proclamation that the NPA will be annihilated and that the military operations will continue under the US-Aquino regime's Oplan Bayanihan up until numerous NPAs surrender, is but a dream that will remain as such.