The revolutionary movement in Southern Tagalog will frustrate the US-Aquino regime’s intensified war of suppression

Patnubay de Guia
NDF-Southern Tagalog Region

January 14, 2013

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Southern Tagalog Region (NDFP-ST) denounces the unceasing military operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Southern Tagalog despite ceasefire and suspension of military and police operations (SOMO/SOPO).

After the AFP declared its yuletide truce from December 16 to January 2, battalion-size operations continue in the town of Rizal in Laguna. Moreover, military operations carried out by the joint forces of the 1st Special Forces Battalion (SFB) and 202nd Infantry Brigade persist in San Pablo City, particularly in the barangays of San Antonio, Santisimo, San Miguel, San Bartolome and Santa Monica. Regular combat operations have also commenced in the nearby towns such as Victoria and Pagsanjan.

In the Quezon province, military elements carried out Special Warfare Group (SWAG) operations in the town of Real, pretending to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in an attempt to deceive the people. Peace and development teams under the 201st Infantry Brigade conducted combat operations in several barangays along the towns of Guinayangan, Calauag and Tagkawayan.

The military also actively pursued combat operations in the Quezon-Bicol border. Forces of the 49th Infantry Battalion under the 9th Infantry Brigade conducted complementary military offensives in Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte in the Bicol region parallel to the combat operations of the 201st Infantry Brigade in the towns of Tagkawayan, Calauag and Guinayangan in the Quezon province. Elements of the 201st Infantry Brigade in Quezon also covered the town of Sta. Elena in Camarines Norte. They set up a military camp in Barangay Maulawin and stationed peace and development teams in Barangay Guitol, both in Sta. Elena, and relentlessly conducted operations in the adjacent barangays along the towns of Sta. Elena, Guinayangan, Calauag and Tagkawayan. Furthermore, elements of the 76th Infantry Battalion stationed in Barangay Bagong Silang in Tagkawayan stretched over the boundary of Labo and Tagkawayan and launched combat operations in Casispalan, Busignon and Kabatuhan until the end of December 2012. On the other side, the barangays of Sta. Elena approaching the Labo-Capalongga border were covered by the 49th Infantry Battalion. They focused their attacks in Barangay Bulala where they stationed a platoon, then extended to three more barangays in Sta. Elena, adjacent to Capalongga and the seaside of Basyad, and stationed a company-size formation in the area from November to December 2012.

In preparation for escalating Oplan Bayanihan in the whole country, movements of state security forces were also carried out during the truce. Just recently, the brigade headquarters of the 202nd Infantry Brigade has been transferred from the town of Rizal to Cavinti in Laguna. The Battalion Headquarters of the 1st Infantry Battalion was also transferred from Kalayaan to the town of Pangil, also in Laguna province. A platoon of the Philippine Marines was deployed in Infanta, Quezon. The 201st Infantry Brigade shifted its focus to the Quezon-Bicol border. Companies of the 76th IBPA and 22nd DRC were redeployed from Catanauan to Tagkawayan in Quezon. Special Action Forces (SAF) and Maneuver Platoons of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were also geared to assist the AFP in its combat operations in the province of Rizal.

These incidents refute the statements of the AFP that they were complying with the ceasefire even after the Aquino regime belatedly extended its SOMO/SOPO until January 15. Because in reality, it was like no truce was declared. After all, peace and development teams were not pulled out in the communities. And these have resulted to numerous human rights violations such as illegal arrests, detention and torture. These only affirmed the lack of sincerity and genuine interest by the AFP, PNP and the Aquino administration to honor the synchronized ceasefire agreement between Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the NDFP.

From the start, the US-Aquino regime was never committed in looking for common political solutions acceptable for both the NDFP and GPH to address the roots of the civil war in the country. The regime only exploits the peace negotiations and ceasefire to cause damage to the revolutionary movement and force the revolutionary people to capitulate. And now, with the failure of Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan, state security forces are in frenzy exhausting everything in its capacity to keep up with its target of significantly reducing, if not totally annihilating, the revolutionary movement in the region to no avail. The deliberate violation of ceasefire by the AFP and the PNP that fortify the redeployment and reshuffling of forces in the region is geared for intensified offensives in the succeeding months. Since they are already carrying out combat operations during the ceasefire, it is certain that they will escalate their offensives after the SOMO and SOPO are lifted.

Aquino’s ceasefire declaration, the AFP’s SOMO and the PNP’s SOPO are just parts of their grandiose show in covering up the continuous suppression perpetrated by state security forces in the pretext of peace and development operations. The pretenses of Oplan Bayanihan have already been unmasked to the vast masses. The bloody and violent track of Aquino’s “righteous path” has been unleashed. With these, the Aquino regime has gone desperate. They are outraged with the resoluteness exhibited by the Filipino people to resist the regime’s fascist rule in the country.

The persistent struggle of the Filipino people defied the regime’s Oplan Bayanihan. Surely, the AFP will become more aggressive in suppressing the political struggles of the people, especially the armed struggle being waged in the countryside. They will meet the abhorrence of the Filipino people with further atrocities. For certain, the military situation in the region will change. The revolutionary movement across the country must heighten its fight against the counterrevolutionary war of suppression by the fascist reactionary government.

In the face of these events, NDFP-ST calls on the NPA, allied organizations, organs of political power and the entire revolutionary people of Southern Tagalog to heighten and bolster their resolve to frustrate the counterrevolutionary onslaughts of the US-Aquino regime, raise their ability to fight in all fronts and gear up for more intense armed and political struggles to effectively deliver the share of the revolutionary movement in Southern Tagalog in achieving the dramatic leap of the people’s war in the whole country to a new height.