AFP’s hypocrisy appalling

Simon Santiago
Regional Political Department, New People’s Army, Southern Mindanao Regional Command
16 August 2012

In the light of the punitive action versus Abantas Ansabo or Kumander Ibon and Datu Cawsing Ogao last month, the New People’s Army’s Regional Political Department urged Red fighters to punish other criminal and notorious tribal leaders and pave the way for an end in the spate of banditry, killings, terror, landgrabbing and economic dislocation of peasant and lumad masses in the hinterland villages of North Cotabato and Davao City.

The AFP continues to dip its atrocious hands in terrorizing the communities and using as its able stooges the opportunist tribal leaders.  Thus, it makes no sense for Maj. Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, commanding officer of the 10th Infantry Division’s Civil-Military Operations Battalion to act as the harbinger of human rights, to assist the families of the two criminals in filing complaints to the Government of the Philippines’ (GPH) Commission on Human Rights.  It’s also ludicrous for him to claim that the issue is appropriate for the GPH-National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace negotiation.

It’s deeply disgusting to see the AFP display its distorted sense of righteousness when it relies heavily on the force multipliers, paramilitary forces and lumad bandits for counterrevolution.  On the one hand, the 10th ID-AFP extended its dubious sympathy to Ogaw and Ansabo’s families, while on the other, it continued its warmongering and arms supply in an attempt to sustain the Blackfighters and other criminal lumad groups.

The Blackfighters surveilled communities, putting to risk the lives of suspected yet innocent civilians.  They spread lies and exaggerated rumors of escalation of armed conflict and high NPA casualty in Unapan, Barangay Suwawan in Marilog and Barangay Kiapat in Magpet, North Cotabato.  One Blackfighter member Erick threatened Richard Pereles, a backhoe operator in Pamagtingon, Salaysay, Marilog Disrict. Another member, Noli Ogaw, mauled two banana farmers, Bernardio Carreon and Pascualito Lagaw.

In the same spectacle of brutality, the 84th Infantry Battalion and 69th IB’s special operations team (SOT) victimized the masses.  Last July 18, they arrested three farmers, Roy Almendez, Jone Almendez and Bobby Cañete in Barangay Dalagdag, Calinan District and forced them to surrender as Red fighters, a recurring experience when the three were first nabbed last August of 2009.  Recently, last August 10, the military also seized Bobong Amoguis, a farmer in Lubas, Paquibato. For eight hours, they gagged and forced him to dig his grave.  Not only were the military SOT shock and terror operations on a brutal rampage, they also curtailed the movement of the peasant masses. While freely aiding logging activities in the area, the military prohibited the masses from engaging in petty coal production of dead wood saplings.  To abet their intelligence activities, they also forced schoolchildren to bring the military’s survey forms.

In the face of these atrocities, it is the AFP and the US-Aquino regime which make a mockery of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.  It cries for justice for criminals and perpetuates the greatest injustice and worse crimes versus the masses.  It misrepresents the people’s revolutionary court as sham, but as the Oplan Bayanihan takes itscourse, the AFP is worse than ever, mercenary to the core and no less vicious.

(Sgd) Ka Simon Santiago
Regional Political Director