The NPA-Kalinga Revolutionary Critique to the MBCC’s “Matagoan Peace and Order Strategic Plan 2014-2016”

Ka Tipon Gil-ayab
Lejo Cawilan Command, NPA - Kalinga
October 18, 2013

During its “Matagoan Congress II”, held at Man-uugudan Hall, Pastoral Center, Bulanao, Tabuk City last October 16, 2013, the Matagoan Bodong Consultative Council (MBCC) has finally exposed its true color as a reformist and reactionary instrument of the anti-people US-Aquino Regime 2 (US-AR 2) and its fascist armed forces, the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA.  In its “Matagoan Peace and Order Strategic Plan 2014-2016”, the MBCC has made clear to the masses in Tabuk and throughout the whole province that it has been serving and continues to act as the tool of the Oplan Bayanihan, the counter-insurgency program of the US-AR 2 which is based on the US COIN (counter-insurgency) Guide 2009.  This US COIN Guide 2009 is an international program of the imperialist government of the United States of America in her wars of intervention and aggression against countries, such as the Philippines, Afghanistan, India, Kurdistan, Colombia, Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and the like, that are strongly opposed to the economic, political and socio-cultural control and global domination by US imperialism.


One of the objectives of the MBCC in its “Strategic Plan 2014-2016” is to uphold human rights and “reduce human rights violations”.  But the MBCC has never denounced the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA forces that have committed various human rights violations (HRVs) here in Kalinga in the past and up to the present. Since 2001 OPlan Bantay Laya of the past US-Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Regime to the present Oplan Bayanihan of the US-AR 2, which are, of course, the same banana, the fascist AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA troops have killed a total of 34 unarmed and innocent civilians here in Kalinga alone; and justice has been denied to all of them, as follows:

1. Three (3) from the municipality of Balbalan, namely, Bayan Muna Leader Peter Dangiwan, Jeff “Openg” Daoayan and Robert “Ambalnog” Sabado;

2. Five (5) from Pinukpuk, specifically, Victor Balais, Noli Siwal, Richard Agustin and two others from Pakawit;

3. Twelve (12) from Tabuk, explicitly, Women Leader Mercy Gonzalo, her husband Salvador Gonzalo and their son-in-law Charlie Kadater, Alex Noval, Jimmy Dalire and his 3-year old  daughter, Calanan Barangay Captain Gabriel Lumbican and his father,  Elmer  Gallema,  Bayan Muna Leader Rafael “Markus” Bangit, Bayan Muna Coordinator Mrs. Alice O. Claver, and another civilian from Nambaran;

4. Twelve (12) people who were massacred in Rizal, namely, Lakay Ulliba, Pedro Ulliba, Felimon Ulliba, Delfin Madayag, Johnny Gaspar Cayabo, Bangi Bakkay, Agyao Sabawil, Abok Tayaan, Say-at Addawi, Alib Baklas, Juan Attang, and Conrado Ordonia; and

5. Two (2) from the municipality of Lubuagan, i.e., Rey Lugao and Barangay Kagawad Rocky “Ongki” Abol, particularly from the barangays of Mabongtot and Upper Uma, respectively.

To sum it all, there have been 19 incidents of human rights violations, committed by the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA of the reactionary state here in Kalinga since 2001.  These 19 incidents include 11 cases of murder, 5 attempted murder cases, 2 massacres and 1 attempted massacre.  As a result of these, there have been 51 civilian victims, 34 of whom were killed as listed above, 11 wounded and 6 highly traumatized.  And the MBCC has forever been silent about all these as it uses the “bodong”, “peace and order”, “human rights” to deodorize the fascist AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA and to legitimize the triad operations [combat operations, intelligence operations and civil-military operations (CMO) or PDT (peace-and-development team) operations] being done throughout the province under the OPlan Bayanihan program of the present intransigent US-AR 2.

Under the “Part 2: Strategic Peace Framework” of the MBCC’s “Matagoan Peace and Order Strategic Plan 2014-2016”, there are nine (9) “Strategic Broad Programs”, mentioned therein.  Four (4) of these ostensible “Strategic Broad Programs” are as follows:

1. “Bodong Enhancement Program”;

2. “Anti-Insurgency Program”;

3. “Conflict/Dispute Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration Program”; and

4. “Peace Education Program”.

Even without going into the specifics of the so-called “Strategic Broad Programs”, one could already discern that all these are framed within the context of the “Peace and Development Team” (PDT) operations under OPlan Bayanihan of the fascist AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA, all under the command of the US-AR 2.  The MBCC exploits and manipulates the “bodong” and the “mediation, conciliation and arbitration” which are tribal processes among binodngans in order to hide its full support to OPlan Bayanihan and its conceited “service” to the Kalinga tribes in the various tribal kulligong and barangays of the provincial capital.

The bigoted and opportunist leaders in the MBCC don’t seem to know and pretend to be ignorant about the Codified Pagta (Law of the Bodong), published by Nats Dalanao in his website at http://kalingatambayan.com.  This is the result of the work of the Codification Committee, composed of Kalinga Lawyers and Professional Leaders such as Judge Victor A. Dalanao, Judge Josephine B. Gayagay et. al, who presented their effort during the Fourth Kalinga Bodong Congress in September 1998.  The annotation of this Codified Pagta started after the 1998 Fourth Kalinga Bodong Congress (KBC) and was finished in December 31, 1999. According to Nats Dalanao, “new provisions were inserted on the Pagta… based on actual decisions of elders in various conflict resolutions, and also on new developments to keep the Pagta attuned and responsive to new situations”.

In reality, the MBCC does not uphold the aforementioned Codified Pagta as it uses the “bodong” to enhance the OPlan Bayanihan of the people’s enemy.  It does not recognize the bugis/piglis, the territory of the bodong, defined in Article I of the Codified Pagta as the “ancestral lands, private properties, forests, pasturelands, agricultural lands, residential lands, hunting grounds, burial grounds, bodies of water, mineral deposits including the airspace and the subterranean resources” of each tribe.  This is so because the MBCC and its opportunist leaders are in cahoots with the 501st Infantry Brigade, the 17th IB and the 77th Cadre Battalion which are serving as the “Investment Defense Force” for the safe entry of foreign capitalist large-scale mines, hydropower dams and geothermal energy projects that virtually land grab the ancestral lands, deny and destroy the national minorities’ livelihood and resources.  This is also the very reason why the MBCC does not at all oppose the entrance and operations of the twenty (20) foreign mining companies in the province, such as the Asia Pacific Basin Mining Corp., Philippine Mining Development Corp., Facets Minerals Inc., Vegas Exploration & Mining Corp., Phil. Mining Development Co., Malibato Mining Co. Inc., Wolfland Resources Inc., Makilala Mining Corp., Bum Kwang, Carrascal, Indo Phil, Matex, Drill Corp, Chevron Geothermal Philippines, Aragon Energy and Power Corp., Guidance Management Corp., Mount Franz Mining Corp. (owned by Lepanto), Patrick Resources Corp (Lepanto), Newcrest Exploration Phil. Inc., and the Cordillera Exploration Inc.  About twenty-nine (29) Kalinga tribes will be affected directly by these foreign capitalist enterprises. These destructive foreign capitalist firms will surely result to more negative  environmental  impacts to both the up-stream and down-stream barangays of the whole province.  Presently, nine (9) of the above-listed foreign capitalist companies are now in Pasil, and their operations will certainly damage the agricultural production in Tabuk.  In short and sad to say, the adamant and unreceptive MBCC and its opportunist leaders are directly helping the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA and foreign capitalists in heightening national oppression and exploitation against the national minorities here in Kalinga.

Because of its anti-insugency program, the Cultural Community Negotiators (CCN or mansakosak/arbiters) of the KBC in the past, some opportunist Kalinga politicians as well as the present opportunist leaders of the MBCC have been and are continually manipulating the bodong system against the forces of the NPA and against families and tribes from where the NPA forces originate in Kalinga.  Among the notorious bodong manipulators are Manuel Bacacao, Johnny “Abe” Dickpus, Roy Dickpus, Palangya Dongga-as, Fernando Kamakam, Aldrin Bagni, John B. Dongui-is, Bartolome Banglagan, Segundo Palangdao and some others.  They have forcibly and unjustly claimed more than P300,000.00 from the Daoangan tribe for the death of a regular Philippine Army, named Asteras from the Lubuagan tribe, who was suspected as having been killed by an NPA Red fighter from the Daoangan tribe in 1998.  For the death of Cpl. Wilfredo Bacacao, one of the two AFP killed in the ambush of the NPA at Patiking, Barangay Bagumbayan, Tabuk last May 9, 2013 wherein 5 others were wounded on the side of the fascist AFP forces and 1 M16 rifle and other logistics were seized by the NPA unit, again said dishonorable bodong manipulators were out to seek indemnities from families and six tribes from where the NPAs, suspected of having been involved in the said ambush, originate.  These tribes and families were forced to swear (sapata) and sign to clear their names and their tribes of such involvement.

We, in the LCC which is the provincial command of the NPA in Kalinga, strongly condemn such unjust acts of the notorious bodong manipulators.  It is not right to blame the tribes and families from where the NPA forces come and neither is it just to demand any indemnification from them for any casualties in the battles between the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA.  Such unjust decisions of the KBC and the MBCC – in the past of letting families and tribes, from where forces of the NPA come, recompense any  payment – should immediately be put to an end.  It is enshrined in the international policies and rules of war that it is not right to target the civilian populace and it is the responsibility of any army, either revolutionary or reactionary, to safeguard all civilians and protect their human rights.  Such international rules of war have been and are violated by the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA because of its inherent nature of being fascist and anti-people.

Likewise, we condemn the smear propaganda of 501st Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Roger D. Salvador who spread out to the broadcast and print media the outright lie that an NPA unit kidnapped and recruited a child whom the NPA allegedly forced to join in launching the victorious tactical offensive at Patiking, Bagumbayan, last May 9.  We violently deny such an unfounded accusation and tall tale.  We are strongly united with the whole CPP-NPA-NDF in the whole country to implement the revolutionary policy of recruiting only 18 years old and above aspirants to the NPA.

We also denounce staunchly the MBCC meeting – held at the Quirino Hall inside the City Hall of Tabuk last May 21, 2013 – wherein the mother of a youngster, Mrs. Lilia Mamawag Omang, was couched by military and police agents to proclaim that her “16 year-old son was abducted by the NPA at 12 midnight last May 11, 2013”.  That meeting of the MBCC was actively participated by five (5) Philippine Army officers, namely, 501st IBde Commander Col. Roger D. Salvador, 17th IB Commander Lt. Col. Alvin Flores, Capt. Joel a. Dungle, Lt. Col. Antonio C. Astilla  and 1Lt. Sandrader O. Macaiba.  We, nonetheless, deny any participation of the teenager son of Mrs. Omang in the May 9, 2013 NPA ambush at Patiking, Bagumbayan, Tabuk.  He was not abducted and neither was he recruited by the NPA. We, however, state that in the morning of May 10, 2013 after the said ambush, the youngster found the physical base of the NPA nearby.  But because news spread around that he was accused by the AFP-PNP as an NPA Red fighter, he feared to go home and was insistent to join the NPA.  Nevertheless, he was convinced by the Abraham Bannawagan Front (ABF) to go home in the afternoon of May 14, 2013. That night  inside their house at Sitio Banagan, Brgy. Bagumbayan, the youngster clarified in front of his parents and his siblings that he was not with the NPA in the May 9, 2013 ambush at Patiking and that he was not kidnapped by the NPA.  He admonished his family not to pay any indemnity for the death of Cpl. Wilfredo Bacacao.  After their talks, he slept with his family for the rest of the night.  But at around 3:30 AM of May 15, 2013, the teenager sneaked out from their house without being noticed. At 5:30 AM of May 15, 2013, the smiling teenager arrived  at  the physical base of the NPA unit of the ABF. For detailed explanations on what really happened, we encourage  the public  to read  the LCC statement, issued on May 28, 2013, entitled, “Rejoinder to the AFP-PNP smear propaganda on the NPA ‘kidnapping’ and ‘recruitment of a child warrior’”.  On the other hand, we admit that since May 25 this year this teenager son of Mrs. Lilia M. Omang is inside the guerilla zone of the ABF for his protection, security and safety.  It has been made clear, however, to the teenager not to be admitted yet to any fighting unit of the NPA because of his being under age; and it has been explained further to him that he can only be considered a fulltime NPA Red fighter when he would turn 18 years old this coming November 27, 2013.

We admonish the MBCC to realize  that  its  acts are unjust and, if continued, would lead to a higher stage of disorder and disunity among the tribes, and that such acts are essential parts of the whole counter-insurgency program of OPlan Bayanihan which utilizes both fascism and deception to stop the masses to fight for their rights, interests and aspirations.  This is, of course, a concrete manifestation of the national oppression and the violation of the indigenous socio-political systems of the national minorities, like the bodong and the pagta.

It is a fact that the global crisis of capitalism worsens and heightens daily the economic and political crisis in the Philippines as a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country under the dictate of US imperialism. This would result to the intensification of oppression and exploitation which drives more of the Filipino masses everyday to take up arms and join the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) through the people’s war.  This means that more and more tactical offensives will be launched by the NPA nation-wide;  and more and more casualties would be expected on the side of the reactionary forces of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA as the people’s war intensifies.

The KBC as well as the MBCC must  admit  the fact that  the  people’s war will go on and the NPA will not be defeated because this is a just war for the national-democratic interests of the whole Filipino people.  And the KBC and the MBCC should acknowledge that the war between the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA is not a tribal war but a class war between the revolutionary Filipino masses and the oppressive and exploitative classes of big landlords, comprador bourgeoisie and bureaucrat capitalists and their US imperialist masters.  It must, therefore, be recognized and upheld that the war between the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA should not be covered by the bodong and the pagta among the Kalinga and Cordillera tribes.  Historically, this new provision was decided by the militant Kalinga-Bontoc-Peace Pact Holders Association (KBPPHA) and the Cordillera Bodong Association (CBA, not the Cordillera Bodong Administration or CBAd of the anti-national minority CPLA) to include this as an essential part of the pagta that united the tribes of Kalinga, Mountain Province and Abra in their vigorous anti-Chico dam and anti-CRC (Cellophil Resources Corp) struggles in the 1980s.  The actual practice of this new Pagta provision finally brought to full stop the two destructive foreign capitalist projects during the US-Marcos Dictatorship. Based on this significant historical experience of the KBPPHA and the CBA and in order to “keep the Pagta attuned and responsive to new situations” to fully serve the tribal, inter-tribal and people’s interests and aspirations of both binodngans and non-binodngans residing in the province, three (3) new provisions should, therefore, be inserted into the KBC Codified Pagta.  FIRST, the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA or individual members of these two armed organizations should be excluded from the bodong and the pagta of the tribes from where members of these two conflicting armed organizations come.  SECOND, any act of any member of the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA should not be blamed on the family and tribe where that member originates, and any casualty from any of the two contending armed forces must not be indemnified by the families and the tribes from where the attacking armed troops  originate.  THIRD, the basis of these new provisions should be the principle of neutrality, which should always be upheld by the bodong and the pagta in the practice of the bodong system.  This means that the KBC and the MBCC should be impartial to the two contending armed forces, and their concerns should be focused on the situation and needs of the tribes and on the resolution of the problems (e.g. and specially, tribal/clan wars) afflicting the tribes/clans.

Why is it that the NPA or its individual members should not be covered by the bodong and the pagta of the tribes from where members of the NPA come?  Because the individual who comes from any of the tribe did not join the NPA to represent his/her tribe; neither did he/she register his/her tribe when she/he joined the NPA.  When a politically qualified person is accepted as a full member of the NPA, she/he has to follow the organizational laws, rules and policies of the NPA as a national-democratic revolutionary armed organization of the entire Filipino people under the absolute leadership of the CPP.  These rules and policies of the NPA have to be followed strictly so that the NPA would fully  serve the entire Filipino masses and fight for their democratic interests and aspirations.  These NPA policies and rules include concrete and scientific investigation of cases as well as appropriate disciplinary actions to any NPA member who violates such revolutionary policies and rules.

In other words, the revolutionary policies and rules of the NPA are not situated on the bodong and the pagta of the tribes.  But while NPA or its individual members are excluded from the bodong and the pagta of the tribes from where members of the NPA originate,  the NPA has been and is assisting vigorously in the amicable settlement of tribal and clan wars, fully respects the bodong and the pagta of every tribe and actively helps in developing bilateral and multi-lateral bodong and pagta for the common good of all tribes  and  for safeguarding and perpetuating the basic rights of all tribes and national minorities.  It is important  that the NPA and its members should be excluded from the bodong and the pagta so that the NPA in the Cordillera has all the freedom to fight for the economic, political and cultural interests of the tribes and all national minorities  to be free from national oppression and exploitation, and continue their struggle for self-determination.

On the other hand, why is it that  the  AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA  and their individual members should not be covered by and should also be excluded from the bodong and the pagta of the tribes from where members of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA come?  Also because any individual from any of the tribe who works inside the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA has no right to represent his/her tribe in this rotten, fascist and anti-Filipino armed organization of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA.

But more so, why?  Because the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA is the fascist armed instrument of US imperialism and the ruling classes of the big landlords and the big comprador bourgeoisie  who themselves are the bureaucrat capitalists who control the entire reactionary government and all state institutions.  Once persons from the tribes enter the reactionary AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA, they automatically serve the economic, political and cultural interes of the oppressive and exploitative classes and their US imperialist masters.

We,  in the LCC,  also  think  that  the  aforementioned  2nd  provision to be inserted into the KBC Codified Pagta is just and a reasonable one.  This simply means that any act of any member of the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA should not be blamed on the family and tribe from where that member originates, and any casualty from any of the two contending armed forces in the armed class struggle must not be indemnified by the families and the tribes where attacking armed troops come from.

On the side of the NPA, we want all to know that whenever a member of the NPA violates any of the rights of the masses and the tribes, the NPA itself immediately investigates, decides and resolves the case, and executes appropriate disciplinary actions on the NPA offender, depending on the nature and gravity of the case and on the aggravating and mitigating circumstances behind the violation.  As soon as the NPA knows that one of its members has violated the right of one of the masses, the NPA immediately goes to the family and tribe of the victim in order to resolve the case. This is one of the many ways to prove that the NPA is the true army of the people that fights for the rights of the exploited and oppressed classes, most especially the workers and peasants.  For grave cases, though, an essential part of any significant resolution is the indemnification which the NPA gives to the family of the victim.

For the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA, whatever violation of the people’s human rights (such as killing, bombing, strafing, PDT operations in and amidst the houses and inside any barrio, other armed and un-armed activities  that disrupt and disturb the life of the people) should be blamed immediately on the fascist AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA and on the reactionary US-AR 2.  But the families, clans and tribes, from where offenders of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA emanate, should not be blamed; and neither should they pay any indemnification.  Appropriate punishment for such violations and satisfactory indemnification for the victims  should  be imposed  only  to  the  offenders  and the commanders of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA as part of “command responsibility”.

Two (2) concluding statements for the MBCC  (please get references from www.philippinerevolution.net)

1. If the MBCC and its leaders are true and sincere in upholding human rights and in “reducing human rights violations” in Tabuk and the whole province,  then we ask them to respect, stand for and help implement the basic human rights and the interests of the Filipino masses, including all national minorities, as embodied in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) have signed in 1998.  One concrete form to show its sincerity is for the MBCC to demand justice for the 34 unarmed and innocent civilians, who were killed by the AFP-PNP, as listed above.

2. The “Peace Education Program” of the MBCC becomes relevant only when it addresses the interests and issues of the toiling masses of workers and peasants who compose the majority of the Kalinga population.  As national oppression and exploitation worsens and continues each day, peace continues to be dim among the majority of our people.  One concrete form for the MBCC to make its “Peace Education Program” relevant is to study the Peace Talk between the NDFP and the GRP, specially the “August 27, 2005 NDFP 10-Point Proposal for a Concise Agreement to End Civil War and Achieve Just Peace Immediately”.  The GRP under the leadership of the reactionary US-AR 2 has rejected this proposal, has not put into implementation the CARHRIHL, and has ended the Peace Talk because it requires the revolutionary forces of the NDFP to surrender to the GRP and its reactionary Constitution in exchange for empty promises or to engage in a ceasefire agreement in order to obscure and freeze the people’s demands for major reforms.  The MBCC could encourage other sectors at the provincial capital to study the CARHRIHL and the NDFP 10-Point Proposal, and they could unite together to tell other sectoral and multi-sectoral organizations in the Cordillera and in Region I to write the Aquino government to go back to the Peace Negotiation table with the NDFP.

JUST CALLS FOR ALL:

  • 1. Stop and end tribal war and clan wars!
  • 2. Fight national oppression! Struggle for self-determination!
  • 3. Tribes in Kalinga and throughout the Cordillera, unite!  Develop and heighten the bodong to a progressive level to resolve amicably the common problems of the tribes!
  • 4. Exclude the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA from the bodong and the pagta of the tribes!
  • 5. Punish the members and commanders of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA who have violated the people’s human rights as well as the rights of the tribes and national minorities to their ancestral land and resources!
  • 6. Drive away the foreign capitalist companies and the corporations of the ruling classes.  Safeguard, manage and utilize the ancestral lands and their rich natural resources for the common good!