Brutal military operations in Caraga continue to defend imperialist mining and plantation companies and the local ruling clique

Ka Maria Malaya
July 10, 2012

The Armed Forces of the Philippines launched another round of brutal and huge military campaigns and operations against the people and the revolutionary forces in the Caraga Region from the middle of June until the present.  Deploying troops from over ten battalions of the 4th Infantry Division, this military operation is augmented with CAFGU and PNP troops in the region. This ruthless onslaught has caused people to suffer, resulting in various human rights violations.  But the people, on the one hand, heroically and daringly fought against these latest AFP attacks by launching open mass struggles, while the New People’s Army in the region, on the other, responded with counter-offensive actions through intensive and widespread tactical offensives in the past two weeks.

This AFP’s brutal campaign and military operation under the Oplan Bayanihan (OPB) of the US-Aquino regime aims to clear the way for and defend mining and plantation companies in Caraga owned by the imperialists, big bourgeois-comprador and big landlords.  In general, the goodwill that these companies have offered to the people can never compensate for the destruction of our environment, the displacement of the Lumad and peasant people, and the exploitation of the workers; aggravating these are the grave human rights violations committed by the AFP-CAFGU-PNP operations against the people.

Before and after the successful NPA sanction against three giant mining companies in Claver, Surigao del Norte last year, AFP offensives, complemented with Cafgu and PNP troops, continued almost unabated, concentrating on areas in Surigao del Norte and in the tri-boundaries of Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur where giant mining firms operate, such as Greenstone, owned by Australian Red 5 Limited; Philex owned by Manny Pangilinan, mining firms tied-up with Manny Zamora, like the SUMITOMO Tag-anito HPAL Nickel Plant,  Tag-anito Mining Corporation, Hinatuan Mining Corporation and the Cagdianao Mining Corporation; the Platinum-Gold Mineral Corporation (PGMC), which is in the control of a Chinese capitalist; the mining companies of the Pimentel family in Surigao del Sur; the San Roque Mining Corporation in Tubay, Agusan del Norte and many others.

The enemy mobilized its troops from the 8th IB, 26th IB, 29th IB, 30th IB, 36th IB, 58th IB, 72nd IB, 75th IB, DRC and 5th SRC. The main focus of this current military operation is in the province of Surigao del Norte where it mobilized troops from the 8th IB, 36th IB, 58th IB, 30th IB, 26th IB, 75th IB, 72nd IB troops, which run amok in the municipalities of Sison, Mainit, Malimono, Tubod, Claver, Alegria, Gigaquit and Surigao City.

The 36th IB, 29th IB and 5th Scout Ranger Company (SRC) also launched operations in Tago and Tandag City in Surigao del Sur, the 75th IB in Rosario, Bunawan, Bislig, Hinatuan, Tagbina while the 36th IB and the 5th SRC in Madrid, Lanuza, Cantilan ug Carrascal Surigao del Sur from June 13 to June 21.  

In spite of these, the NPA maintained its daringness and creativity through more intensified and widespread tactical offensives from June 15 until June 30, which killed four enemy troops and wounded 13 others.  Apart from having no casualties, the NPA has even seized one M16 rifle, one shotgun, and one .45 caliber pistol.

* June 15. The NPA sanctioned Staya Mineral Trading Corporation which operates on  the protected area in Mt. Ilong-Ilong in Palidan, Mahaba, Cabadbaran City, dismantling one bulldozer, 2 generator sets, 2 water pumps and a welding machine.  The NPAs confiscated one .45 caliber pistol, one shotgun, 4 VHFs and 2 chainsaws. SMTC workers only receive a measly P200/day, and they have caused the displacement of Lumad communities. No casualty was incurred on the NPA side.

* June 21 @ 2:30PM, the NPA harassed on two successive occasions the units of 58th IB and 30th IB in Magtangali, Mainit, Surigao del Norte , where one enemy trooper was killed and 4 others wounded; no casualty on the NPA side. 

* June 24 @ 10PM, the NPA harassed an army detachment protecting the Greenstone mining firm in Dayano, Maninit, Surigao del Norte where 2 enemies were killed and four others wounded.

* June 27 @ 1PM and 4PM respectively, the NPA harassed simultaneously the SWAG and LRPU and the 29th IB in Puog, Tandag City where 2Lt. Martinez was killed and 2Lt. Gomez of the Bravo Coy of the 29th IB and Cpl. Cabajes of the 29th IB LRPU were wounded. The NPAs confiscated one M16 rifle.

* June 28 @ 1PM, NPA harassed a unit of the 8th IB in San Francisco, Surigao del Norte. (No detailed report from the field as of this writing.)

* June 29 @ 8:30AM. The NPA ambushed the Jabonga PNP patrol along the highway in San Roque, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte. Wounded were COP Ernesto Telano and 2 other policemen.

* June 30. An NPA team harassed the 42nd DRC in Alipao, Alegria, Surigao del Norte. (No details as of this writing)

* June 30. NPA harassment against the unit of the 58th IB conducting COPD in Brazil, San Francisco, Surigao del Norte. No details yet.

* July 6. The NPA in NEMR successfully sanctioned the VPO Mines, Inc. for maintaining an unreasonably large number of armed goons (with 60 high-powered rifles and other weapons) while wantonly operating in Brgy. Bayugan III, Rosario, Agusan del Sur.  The BHB were able to confiscate the following: 12 HPRs (7 M16s, 2 M4s, 1 M203, 1 M14, 1 AK-47), 7 shotguns, 2 ka .45 Cal pistols, 2 9mm-KG, and several ammunition.

In behalf of NDFP-Caraga, we congratulate the units of the New People’s Army and the people in the region for their heroic resistance against the brutal attacks of the enemy.

In retrospect, these brutal operations of the AFP earned the people’s ire and protest, and are the same reason for massive evacuations of the people.  We urge the people to further broaden and strengthen their unity to expose and oppose this military fascism under Oplan Bayanihan that serves the greedy interest of mining and plantations of the imperialists and local ruling classes.

Long live the exploited and oppressed people!