Oplan Bayanihan brutalities make Lenten ceasefire impossible--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
March 27, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today dismissed the possibility of declaring a Lenten ceasefire because of the continuous brutal offensives and campaigns of suppression being carried out by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against civilian communities and the Aquino regime's policy to paralyze peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

"The brutality of the Aquino regime's war in the countryside has stepped up in the past few months, with state forces resorting to aerial bombings, massacres and shootings directed against unarmed people waging struggles against oppression and exploitation," said the CPP.

"Peace talks and human rights are completely out of the list of priorities of the US-Aquino regime as shown by the intensified atrocities being carried out by its armed forces under its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression," said the CPP.

"The attacks against civilian communities have resulted in grave abuses of human rights, including violations of children's rights," added the CPP. "The grossest violations of human rights are being committed against civilian communities waging struggles for land and against the incursions of foreign mining firms."

"With Oplan Bayanihan and attacks against civilian communities, the US-Aquino regime and its armed forces clearly demonstrate how subservient they are to the interests of big landlords and the exploitative and oppressive foreign monopoly firms," said the CPP.

The CPP cited recent cases showing the brutality of Oplan Bayanihan:

From March 8 to 11, the 4th ID of the AFP carried out aerial bombings of the mountain communities of Agusan-Surigao, dislocating lumad communities and putting civilian lives in grave danger. The bombings, which were meant to pave the way for mining companies and terrorize the people, affected Barangays Puting Bato in Cabadbaran City and two lumad communities in Kalatingga and Manhumapay along the Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur tri-boundary.

On March 11, seven-year old Rudelyn Aguirre of the Tumanduk tribe was killed by a grenade launched from the 61st IB detachment located just 200 meters away from her family's house. The explosive hit the front yard of Divina and Roberto Aguirre in Barangay Tacayan, Tapaz, Capiz where Rudelyn and her sister Roda were playing. Roda was severely wounded in the explosion.

Late last February, AFP soldiers, PNP personnel and a hundred armed goons of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation fired at protesting farm workers of Hacienda Luisita. The peasants and farm workers were demonstrating against the construction of a wall to fence off more than 200 hectares of land being claimed by RCBC. The land has been awarded to the farm workers by the Supreme Court in a decision last November 22, 2011.

On February 25, soldiers of the 49th IB massacred the Mancera family when they indiscriminately fired upon their hut in Sitio Mapatong, Barangay Malaya, Labo, Camarines Norte. Three members of the Mancera family--Michael, 10 years old; Richard, 7; and their father Benjamin, died on the spot. A lone NPA Red fighter, Rafael "Ka Gupi" Llantino, who was resting with the family, was also killed.

On February 16, armed elements of the 1st IB, 1st Special Forces Battalion, 59th IB and CAFGU-CAA indiscriminately fired upon a group of hunters in the forested area of Magdalena, Laguna. Two residents of the area immediately died. Earlier, Romeo Guyala, a barangay tanod, and his son Romeo Jr, were subjected to beatings by elements of the 1st IB and the 202nd Brigade in Liliw, Laguna.