People's Democratic Government Excercises Its Own Justice System; GPH Makes A Mockery Of Its Own

Rigoberto F. Sanchez
Merardo Arce Command - NPA-Southern Mindanao
September 10, 2012

It is deceptive and illusory for the AFP-US-Aquino regime to demand for the surrender of the New People's Army unit responsible for the September 1 grenade blast in Paquibato. Such an idiotic proposal is to deny the existence ofthe NPA, an armed force governed by a political authority and guided by strict rules of conduct and discipline.

For, indeed the People's Democratic Government exercises its own justice system and dispenses revolutionary justice in determining the consequences of the 1st Pulang Bagani Company- NPA's action. The Merardo Arce Command-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command of the New People's Army (MAC-SMROC-NPA) has made it patently known that it will carry out comprehensive measures and take great pains to rectify errors committed in the Paquibato grenade blast. It is in the process of reaching out and making ammends to the victims of the blast. It is also in the process of reeducating and reviewing the International Humanitarian Law guidelines for its combatants and commanders to avoid any repitition in the future. It draws valuable lessons to reaffirm and validate the correct policies and processes governing its military operations and implementation of the Geneva Conventions and other war protocols.

These courses of action derive from a historical and political circumstance. The legal and judicial system and processes of the People's Democrtaic Government do exist, is developing and is in force in its guerilla territories in the country. As a distinct armed force of the People's Democratic Government, the NPA is not subject or subsumed within the legal and constitutional system and processess of the GPH. As prescribed in the Hague Declaration which laid the framework of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations, the US-Aquino regime and its AFP have no right to presume or demand  from the revolutionary forces and its people to recognize, work under and lay prostrate before the GPH political authority, constitution,legal system and judicial processes.

The rabid rightist clique in the local Davao City reactionary bureaucracy, goaded by the fascist Eastern Mindanao Command-AFP, is demanding for blood while it cloaks the ferocious character of the US-Aquino regime's Oplan Bayanihan and the AFP. It is the policy and character of the AFP and the US-Aquino regime to subject civilians to grave form of atrocities and serious crimes against people. Killing unarmed civilians by the militiry and the fascist state is the norm, not an anomaly. In contrast, the NPA repudiates the very apparatus that kills, tortures and brings grave injustice against the Filipino masses.

The September 1 Paquibato incident was a display of serious but isolated human error, while the AFP's human rights track record is a daily occurence and hallmark of its mercenary character. The NPA and the revolutionary movement is zealous in holding its  forces liable should these violate the rules of war; it makes public an apology and self-criticism. In contrast, nothing of the sort or even approximating the earnestness made by the NPA has ever been made by the Philippine government, much less its armed force toward the victimes of state sponsored killings and other brutalities.

The US-Aquino regime and the AFP's reputation as a criminal coddler, butcher, killer, human rights violator is hideous. It makes a mockery of its own justice system; its judicial system is for the exoneration of perpetrators and the perpetuation of exploitation by the ruling class. Its justice system is not to give justice for the victims or to liberated the dispossesed class.

This is the government that treats with kid gloves Gloria Arroyo who was guilty of various human rights abuses during her term,not to mention electoral fraud and massive corruption. This is the same government that coddles criminals like Ecleo and is ready to absolve the Ampatuans who are notorious for the Maguindanao Massacre. This is the same government that treats as allies the Marcoses who have not sought apology toward the more than 70,000 human rights victims of Martial Law. This is the same government that has denied land to the peasants of Hacienda Luisita and justice for the victims of Hacienda Luisita massacre.

The specific cases reflecting denied justice and continuing state policy of state terrorism speak for itself. Up to now "The Butcher" retired Maj.Gen.Jovito Palparan continues to evade the claws of justice as he enjoys the abject protection of his colleagues and the state. Palparan and his minios, the officers and personnel of the 56th Infantry Battalion namely Lt.Col. Felipe Anotado, Lt. Francis Mirabelle Samson, Lt.Col. Rogelio Boac, Arnel Enriquez and Donald Caigas, have thoroughly evaded the wrath of Connie EmpeƱo and Linda Cadapan, mothers of the two missing UP activists Karen and Sherlyn, who were victims of rape, arbitrary detention and killing.

It was Palparan who led the killing of innocent civilians in Southern Tagalog, Eastern Visayas and CentralLuzon during the US-Arroyo regime's Oplan Bantay Laya I and II, the same counter-revolutionary model spread in other areas in the country that has resulted in the extra-judicial killings of more than thousand civilians. This is the same model now being used in the US-Aquino regime's Oplan Bayanihan. And so the policy of targeting civilians as enemies of the state continous.

Last year on the morning of October 17, paramilitary goons under the auspices of the 57th IB-6th ID-AFP killed 59-year old Italian Missionary, Fr.Fausto 'Pops' Tentorio, a known indigenous people and peasant advocate in Arakan, North Cotabato. Three days later, the 57th IB troops killed Ramon Batoy,a civilian, while his pregnant wife Gina and their two children fled from the military's raiding team.

A drunken soldier, Private 1st Class Baltazar Ramos of the 71st IB fired his K3 light machine gun towards seven year-old Sunshine Jabinez in Napnapan,Pantukan, Compostela Valley, September 3,last year. Ramos hit Sunshine on her right buttock with the bullet exiting through the latter's spine and stomach. She was dead on arrival at the hospital.

Hired goons by the 71st IB also killed Santos 'Ricky' Manrique,50, head of the Federation of Miners' Association in Pantukan, a group of small-scale miners and member of Anakpawis partylist in Pantukan town.

In Sta.Cruz, Davao del Sur, 39th IB soldiers were also resposible for the torture and killing of B'laan tribal chieftain and Vice-Chairperson of Zone-1 Farmers Association, an affiliate of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Rudy Dejos, 50, and his 26-year-old son, Rudyric on February 27 last year.

Prior to Oplan Bayanihan, the AFP continues to ignore complaints made against its own butcher troops who killed Grecil Buya, a nine-year-old, it suspected her of being an NPA combatant in New Bataan; it also exonerated its own intelligence agents who raped and killed young women like Marjorie Reynoso, a youth leader in Maco and Rebelyn Pitao, daughter of Ka Parago.

Peasant villages are under fascist military control as evidenced in the encampment of AFP elements in civilian facilities like village halls, schools and health centers. The AFP has no compunction whatsoever in making civilians as its human shields as it engages the NPA in its counter-revoluitonary war. Human rights advocates report at least 109 schools in Mindanao have adjacent AFP camps. Hardworking teachers of these schools are tagged as NPA teachers and NPA guerillas, and they suffer various forms of harassment from the hands of AFP troops.

Peasant villages are inhabited by "peace and development" civil-military operatios (CMOs) or Special Operations Team (SOT); they are victims to the military's grave threats, coercion and threats.

The 57th IB used four children as guides in scouring for NPA forces in Magpet town, North Cotabato.

Earlier in April, the 28th IB SOT tortured and detained three peasants leaders and interrogated civilians in villages of Lupon town, Davao Oriental. On April 3, the military detained peasant leaders Edgardo Gomboy and Noel dela Cruz at the village public school in Sitio Logdeck, Barangay Maragatas; they also mauled and hit on the face and body another civilian Edmondo Edlay,52. They also seized in March Junifer Nabales,38, his wife and their children and brought them to its headquarters in Barol, Lupon. They were accused of being Red fighters, with documents and firearms falsely attributed in their possession. Houses of other civilians in the area have been roundly searched; peasants were interrogated, coerced to admit,under duress, of their alleged designation and responsibilities in the NPA.

Notwithstanding these grave human rights abuses by the AFP, the NPA takes cognizance of the correct view made by Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for a withrawal of AFP detachments in civilian communities. The Comprehensive Agreement on respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law provides that "Civilian population shall have the right to be protected against the risks and dangers posed by the presence of military camps in urban centers and other populated areas".

Thus, there is poverty in the proposal to maintain the AFP detachments and to demand peace by extinguishing the NPA or ask for its capitulation. Peace cannot be had with the silencing of the guns, and certainly not when the state remains fundamentally rotten, exploitative and oppressive. And when the GPH says Paquibato incident will directly affect the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations, nothing can be farther from the truth. It was the GPH's obstinate refusal to implement previous agreement that has prevented the resumption of the peace talks.

The NPA and the People's Democratic Government are, at all times, interested in peace. It is waging a just war essentially to achieve lasting genuine peace. The peasant masses and revolutionary forces are not fooled and  far from dissuaded or deterred in advancing the people's war to higher level to end injustice and effect genuine emancipation.

(Sgd) Rigoberto F. Sanchez
Merardo Arce Command
Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
New Peoples Army