1st PBC-NPA punishes 69th IB-AFP, 4 enemy forces killed, 3 firearms confiscated

Leoncio "Ka Parago" Pitao
1st Pulang Bagani Company, Merardo Arce Command, NPA-Southern Mindanao
6 November 2012

Four fascist Army combatants belonging to the 69th Infantry Battalion fought it out against members of the 1st Pulang Bagani Company-New People's Army at an NPA checkpoint in Purok 5, Barko-barko, Barangay Mapula, Paquibato on Sunday, November 4, 2012. The four armed AFP regulars were killed, one of them died several meters away from the scene, while an NPA member was wounded in the ensuing troops engagement which the AFP ridiculously painted as a brutal murder of its "unarmed, off-duty soldiers."

The 1st PBC-NPA confiscated three .45 caliber pistols: a 7.45 limited (Serial Number 974502), Colt 45 (SN: 184419) and Norimco .45 (SN: 4234). This as the 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command spun the blatant lie that Sunday's battle contravened international humanitarian laws. CMO Battalion chief Maj. Jake Obligado, 10th ID spokesperson Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza and Manila-based Phil. Army spokesperson Major Harold Cabunoc were mouthing off violations like torture, extrajudicial killing and hostage-taking like they were reciting a well-rehearsed script. Last Sunday's battle can hardly be described as massacre or an abduction, for it was a fitting retribution against a notorious Army unit feared and hated by the peasant masses in Paquibato.

The fatalities were armed combatants of the 69th IB Special Operations Team, not defenseless functionaries or civilians falsely depicted by the AFP. They belong to the Army unit responsible for the summary execution of Mires Esdang, a hemp farmer in Barangay Malabog, Paquibato last October 18, and other grave abuses ranging from psychological warfare against peasants, intimidation of families of NPA combatants and forcing them to surrender, coercing civilians to use as guides, and other forms of harassment in the course of its intelligence, triad, strike operations and civil-military operations in Paquibato district.

The four fatalities were not innocent peace advocates or service providers, but were psywar agents and active elements of the AFP implementing the US-Aquino regime's Oplan Bayanihan. They were armed regulars operating in hinterland villages and were, therefore, legitimate military targets of the NPA. They acted under the baton of the 10th ID-EastMinCom-AFP that rules Paquibato district in virtual garrison, occupying civilian places like village halls, gymnasiums and houses, under the innocuous cover of the erroneously named Peace and Development Program (PDOP) of Oplan Bayanihan.

CMO's Maj. Obligado spewed a lot of air when he said that Sunday's battle bolstered the notion that the PDOP is hurting NPA mass support and that the soldiers were not out to wage war but to implement peace. The harsh conditions of the peasants in Paquibato belie the very wild idea that the AFP is improving their lives and solving the fundamental ills that have bred armed struggle and the NPA. Coddling landgrabbers, exploitative big traders, engaging in usurious transactions, corrupting reactionary government funds for villages, while controlling the movement of and surveilling the masses – these keep the 69th IB, 84th IB and 60th IB busy in Paquibato district.

The 10th ID-AFP are criminals masquerading as peace advocates, mercenaries pretending to be harbingers of human rights. Under the 1st Phase of Oplan Bayanihan, the 10th ID focuses, among other areas, Paquibato, spends on fiction-oriented publicity blitz and PR work to facelift its grave human rights track record. Its CMO battalion is deployed in Paquibato to execute sustained pressure, to build detachments in the villages and patrol bases, and to conduct and swap Special Operations Team forces after every three to four months of sustained combat operations. It tries to limit the NPA's area of maneuver under its concept of so-called gradual constriction. And yet, as the AFP continues to contradict its human rights-coated words and bares its fascist fangs more and more, it dismally fails to diminish NPA strength, much less endear itself to the masses.

In the face of the AFP atrocities, its poor and also exploited regular men and women on the field should instead leave their criminal and corrupt masters. The NPA exhorts them to join the people's struggle against imperialism, feudalism and state tyranny. As fascism and exploitation continues, the people and the revolutionary forces aspire to raise the level of armed resistance, wage agrarian revolution and strengthen themselves to advance the people's war and defeat the enemy.

(SGD.) Ka Parago
1st Pulang Bagani Company
Merardo Arce Command
Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
New People's Army