AFP's ceasefire violations in Davao reveal massive rights abuses

Simon Santiago
Political Director, NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command
January 4, 2013

In a flagrant violation to the temporary ceasefire declared by the National Democratic Front and the GPH, the 84th IB-10th Infantry Division-AFP instigated a full-blown military operation in Brgy. Tambobong, Baguio district, Davao city, forced the evacuation and hamletting of civilians and conducted food blockade. Worse, it also spread the notorious lie that the New People's Army abducted civilians and the militia, and terrorized the masses.

To cover up the combat and intelligence operations in Baguio district, the 10th ID concocted the outrageous lie that the NPA abducted, detained and later released Cafgu paramilitary forces. In truth, while the NPA was celebrating the CPP anniversary, the Red fighters talked with seven Cafgu forces in the area; they even refrained from disarming one of the Cafgus, Romeo Bulod, who had a 9-mm pistol. It was merely a dialog between the NPAs and the Cafgus regarding their economic situation and livelihood, not an abduction, detention or interrogation.

To punish the masses for accommodating the NPAs during the CPP anniversary celebration last December 26, the 84th IB ordered the village barangay captain and tribal leaders to evacuate the residents. It arrived full force January 1 at 3am, comprising of a platoon; on January 3 at 3pm, the forces were augmented with other troops aboard two military trucks and APC.

The 84th IB's military operations resulted in the forced evacuation of some 125 families in sitio Paglaum, Kidali,Luyan, Likuyan, Sumani and Lamod, in Brgy. Tambobong. Banana plantation workers of Sumifru were also forced to stop from going to work. The military also checked the entry and exit of food supplies like rice.

Lt. Col. Edgar Nigos, 84th IB Commanding Officer justified the military's hamletting and food blockade by saying that the move was meant to provide security to the masses. It was a brazen deception similar to 10th ID spokesperson's Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza twisted definition of ceasefire: that it excludes the continued operation of Special Operations Team or what it calls peace and development teams.

Indeed, the US-Aquino regime and the AFP trumpet that they are for peace negotiations when it made a show of belated extension of ceasefire to January 15. In reality, the Oplan Bayanihan fascist troops have not truly ceased from conducting offensive military operations against the masses and revolutionary forces in Davao city and elsewhere in the region.

In the midst of the fascist AFP's callousness and underhanded tactics, the masses are suffering, much in the same way as the masses who were affected with Typhoon Pablo are suffering. Clearly, genuine peace and genuine development are far from the AFP's agenda.

(Sgd.) Simon Santiago
Political Director
NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command