The 501st Brigade’s convoluted concept of development is simply disgusting!

Ka Tipon Gil-ayab
Lejo Cawilan Command, NPA-Kalinga
July 29, 2012

In a recent interview by the DZRK-Radio ng Bayan Tabuk, the 501st Infantry Brigade, through its newly-installed commanding officers Col. Agcaoili and Col. Donald Hongitan, are trying to feed poisonous lies against the CPP-NPA-NDF and the people’s militant struggle in a futile and desperate attempt to cover the fact that the AFP and the reactionary government is on a losing course in the presently ongoing people’s war.

Contrary to their statement that they are into 80% community development programs in the context of Oplan Bayanihan, the masses here in Kalinga are still at the receiving end of their brutalities as their mercenary nature still continues to rear its ugly head. We, in the Lejo Cawilan Command can only shake our heads in disbelief in the childish way Col. Hongitan berated the masses of Brgy. Dupag, Lubuagan for their rightful resistance and denounciation against the human rights violations committed by the fascist troops of the 21st IB. Col. Hongitan should be reminded of the glorious history of the people of Kalinga including Brgy. Dupag for their hard resistance against the presence of and stationing of army troops in their barangays because of the masses long years of sickening experience of the brutalities and other unspeakable forms of cruelty under the AFP’s bloody hands, especially during the darkest days of the Marcos dictatorship’s Chico Dam projects. Likewise during the brutal onslaught of Oplan Bantay Laya of then president GMA and under the present ongoing Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Noynoy Aquino Regime of which Col. Hongitan has actually blood-stained his hands of. Take for instance the recent numerous human rights violations that their troops had committed in less than a month from June 1-21 this current year in Brgy. Dao-angan, Balbalan who are there in the pretext of Peace and Development Team Operation, among them as follows:

  1. Forcing the residents of Sitio Bin-ac to accommodate the soldiers at their houses
  2. June 12 – the indiscriminate firing by drunken soldiers of the 21st IB who were staying at the house of Segundo Palangdao at that time. As a result, Mr. Palangdao’s wife fainted due to the terrorizing effect of what the soldiers have done. June 14 – the mock battle conducted by the operating troops at Sitio Supak resulting in the destruction of properties including the house of a certain Dominga, and traumatized the whole community.  The army troopers vainly passed this incident as a real encounter with the NPA. The truth is, it is the construction workers who are working in the presently ongoing road construction nearby that were fired upon (which, by the way, Col. Agcaoili and Col. Hongitan have no knowledge at the time of interview, which shows the lack of control that they have over their troops). These troops likewise ransacked the small shacks of small-scale miners nearby who abandoned them to escape the indiscriminate fire and concocted the malicious  story that the several assorted items “cleaned” are from the NPA’s that they have “encountered”.

Col. Hongitan had even cited Brgy. Tawang, Balbalan as so-called proof that the government gives development to the people when “pacified”. He even boasted of his personal achievements during his stay at Brgy. Tawang, when the AFP implemented its series of bloody military operational plans – “Oplan Nakilala to “Oplan Redlips” in the early 1990’s that targeted that part of Kalinga. Least Col. Hongitan forgets, he was known throughout Kalinga as one of the most fascist officers of the notoriously brutal 48th IB during the years of the OPlan Lambat Bitag (OLB).  In reality, in barangays where their PA-CAFGU detachments are posted (like Brgy. Tawang), there has been no substantial development during all the years of their presence, only the spread and exacerbation of anti-social acts and human rights violations, among them are:

  1. Corruption of minors through viewings of  sexually explicit movies inside the military detachments
  2. Violence against women and corruption of womanhood through the conduct of adulterous affairs with single and married women in the barrios, destroying the very fabric of family relationships. Some impregnated women were left abandoned later.
  3. Being the promoter of various decadent forms of social acts and vices, which in effect eroded indigenous cultures and values
  4. Stealing of livestock and animals, cattle rustling
  5. Illegal logging, extortions from businessmen
  6. Indiscriminate firing of their rifles, especially during their drinking sprees which sow fear and terror among the masses

What “development” do Col. Agcaoili and Col. Hongitan mean? The truth that these officers want to hide is the fact that they and their reactionary fascist troops are not really there in the barangays of Kalinga to promote their so-called brand of “Peace and Development”, but to serve as “Investment Defense Force” for the safe entry of large-scale mines, hydropower dams and geothermal energy projects that virtually land grab our ancestral lands, deny and destroy the people’s livelihood and resources. Time and again, whenever and wherever these imperialist “development” projects are, the AFP (including the 21st IB, the 77th IB, the 501st IBde, and the 5th ID) are there to protect them.  For whom these so-called “development” projects Col. Agcaoili and Col. Hongitan are talking about?

Such is the present case of Brgy. Tawang, Balbalan. Col. Hongitan keeps boasting of his false achievements in Brgy. Tawang to justify the continuing presence of the military as armed escorts of the Cordillera Exploration Corporation, Incorporated (CEXCI) currently starting their drilling operations in the formerly SSM (small scale mining) area of Laocon, situated in Brgy. Tawang. Their convoluted concept of “development” truly means further profits for these capitalist companies and the reactionary US-Aquino regime. But for the people, development aggression is no development at all. And the people’s opposition is what the AFP is out to silence through their recycled tactics of terrorism and outright deception by means of their triad approaches, consisting of combat, intelligence and civil-military operations.

As for Col. Agcaoili, the people of Kalinga are truly hospitable, but they also have a long history of armed resistance when their interests, security and their collective honor are at stake. This has been the case during the time of the Chico Dam Struggle even before the New People’s Army entered Kalinga in 1976. And together with other revolutionary Filipinos, the national minorities of Kalinga and throughout the Cordillera region are continuously building up their strength to advance the people’s resistance against development aggression, national oppression through armed revolution until final victory for genuine national liberation and democracy shall have finally been achieved throughout the Philippines against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.