NPA warns of more operations in Agusan vs. abusers of revolutionary policies on environment, ancestral domain

Aris Francisco
Comval North Davao South Agusan Sub Regional Command, NPA-Southern Mindanao
August 23, 2013

More punitive actions shall be meted out by the New People's Army to the reactionary armed forces and capitalist invaders in Loreto and other towns in Agusan del Sur to defend the masses from encroachment, human rights atrocities and dislocation.

It is only proper and rightful on the part of the Lumad Manobos and peasant masses to stand up and defend themselves against the onslaught of landgrabbing and plunder of their ancestral lands. That they shield their families from the abuses of the Philippine Army and evacuate to safer sanctuaries like Davao City reflect their independent tenacity and militant struggle to defend what is rightly theirs. As they expose the gross neglect and reactionary stance of civilian authorities like Gov. Eddiebong Plaza and Mayor Dario Otaza, they are rightfully holding the latter accountable for the torture, intimidation, and reign of terror perpetrated by the enemy.

While the peasant masses and national minorities struggle to defend their ancestral domain, Red fighters are determined to raise its capability to launch more and bigger tactical offensives against the enemies of the people.

Operatives belonging to the Comval North Davao South Agusan Sub regional Command-NPA have launched series of ambuscades against elements of the 26th Infantry Battalion and the 76th IB under the 4th Infantry Division-AFP since July to punish them for serving as goons to Loreto Mayor Otaza and his capitalist masters. The punitive actions, in the form of command detonated explosions and sniping operations have yielded to date 27 casualties in the Philippine Army and bagani paramilitary forces.

On July 27, the NPA harassed a team of soldiers in Binucayan, Sitio Onion twice during dawn time and in the afternoon; 2 soldiers belonging to the 76th IB and one paramilitary bagani were killed. On August 1, the NPA ambushed using a capto explosive in Barangay Pangkat hitting a military truck km40, killing four and wounding eight elements of the 26th IB. Since July 28 to August 7 in Brgy. Sabud Mansanitas, the soldiers were sniped by the NPA seven times wherein four 26th IB soldiers were killed and two were wounded. On August 8 at 6am, the NPA ambushed the 26th IB soldiers in Barangay Kauswagan, killing five and wounding one.

The NPA abides with the strict command and regulations of the People's Democratic Government to thwart any AFP unit from entering guerrilla zones and prevent these troops from spewing tyranny and committing the worse forms of atrocities to the people. Red fighters follows orders to seize all opportunities in order to mete out blows against the fascist troops and punish them for bringing in companies that violate the policies and laws of the revolutionary government. The NPA undertakes punitive operations against notorious enemy elements, despotic businessmen and landlords, and known civilian assets--some of whom are under cover of business or government entities.

The entry of palm oil and large-scale mining companies in Loreto violates the policies set forth by the revolutionary government on environmental protection, against plunder of the country's remaining natural resources and defense of ancestral territories. It directly contravenes the land reform program of the People's Democratic Government.

As peasants and Lumads wallow in abject poverty in Loreto and other towns in Agusan del Sur, capitalists are salivating over its untapped resources for palm oil and mining wealth. The world's leading palm oil magnate New British Palm Oil Limited is eyeing 36,000 hectares covering 11 villages in Loreto. Last year, individual agents for bugang and biofuel investors have approached Lumads and attempt to obtain their ancestral lands. The sharks offered to rent out ancestral lands for a fee of P35,000 for every hectare, covering a period of 25 years. Simple math would show that the lowly peasant or Lumad owner would only earn P1,400 a year or a measly P117 a month or P4 a day.

The masses are not fooled and can see through these wildly exploitative schemes. They, who have suffered from Typhoon Pablo and the continuing neglect of the US-Aquino regime, realize that these quick-money maneuvers are hugely disadvantageous. They realize that no genuine development can be had by the biofuel, palm oil plantations, nor in natural gas mining—projects that are heavily endorsed by the local reactionary government.

Indeed, true development is only within reach for the thousands of peasants in Loreto and in the countryside under the agrarian revolution program of the People's Democratic Government. The NPA intensifies the armed struggle as the people advance the agrarian revolution. It is in direct contrast to the military's so-called peace and development programs and the local government's red carpet treatment for capitalist investors.

Thus, it is only through the people's democratic revolution, not the military's peace and development nor the pseudo development programs of the local government that can truly change the lives of peasants and Lumads in Loreto and elsewhere in the countryside.

The main content of the revolution is the fulfillment of the peasants' demand for land and eradication of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation. Drastically reducing land rent, eliminating usury, free distribution of land and promoting productive cooperation-—these are activities that the 26th IB and 76th IB, paramilitary and the local reactionary government cannot surely do. Letting peasant associations function as cooperatives and mutual aid groups and permitting peasants to freely develop their own farms while cultivating communal farms are alien concepts in the so-called peace and development program of Oplan Bayanihan.

Thus, any pledge on the part of the military and the local reactionary bureaucracy in Agusan to give the peasants peace would merely be deceptive. The military and Mayor Otaza are intent in dismantling people's organizations and structures that protect and serve the interest of the masses. Mayor Otaza himself has vowed to destroy the farms of the masses and wipe out the NPA during his term. In the face of an extremely militarist and arrogant bureaucracy, and by further exploiting and oppressing the masses, the reactionary state merely foment people's resistance and revolutionary tide.