AFP’s twisted hostage drama script in Comval is pure lie

Daniel Ibarra
Comval Davao Gulf Sub Regional Command-NPA

May 7, 2014

The New People’s Army has taken no hostages as maliciously reported by the AFP last weekend in Compostela Valley. AFP spokesperson Major General Domingo Tutaan was lying to his teeth when he said that the NPA was “hiding behind the skirts of civilians” and using them as “human shields.” Tutaan’s verbiage is clearly meant to conceal the AFP’s mounting defeats in the battlefield, their contempt and abuses against the struggling masses, and the abject futility of the Aquino regime’s counter-revolutionary policy, Oplan Bayanihan.

Escalating number of AFP casualties as a result of NPA’s tactical offensives against the Apex mining and its private army—the 9th Infantry Battalion and the 71st IB--in Maco, Maragusan and Mabini boundaries easily refutes Tutaan’s outrageous claims.  The NPA has earlier imposed punitive sanction against the Apex Mining in April 10, on the grounds of the company’s recidivist track record of violating environment safety regulations and people’s welfare policy of the People’s Democratic Government.

In retaliation to the NPA sanction that destroyed 18 mining equipment units and vehicles at five Apex mining tunnels in Masara, Maco town, the AFP mounted massive combat and psychological warfare operations, in blanket defense of Apex and its owners Enrique Razon and Walter Brown, and in wanton disregard for the plight of the peasants, Lumads, small-scale miners and company workers.

The 1001st Brigade units-Apex tandem imposed a deadline for the small-scale miners to clear out from the streams and other parts of the mining concession area. The order aimed to facilitate the continuation of environmentally-destructive open pit mining in Masara and Brgy. Mainit--site of two deadly landslides. The AFP-Apex tandem also deployed goons via Mongoose Security Agency to harass Apex workers. They also circulated a list of supposed active leaders targeted for arrest and incarceration.

As these human rights violations continue, the NPA launched post-mining sanction attritive actions. On April 12, the NPA ambushed the 9th IB, killing four and wounding three in the Apex tenement area located in the boundaries of Maragusan and Maco towns. The next day, the NPA ambush hit the Army Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC) killing eight of them while injuring two others.

Failing to deter NPA’s tactical offensives, the AFP resorted to terror tactics and mounted the scripted tale of NPA hostaging last May 3-5. In truth, the  66th IB Commanding Officer called up tunnel owners to order small-scale miners and their families to vacate Tabun, Barangay Mahayahay, Maragusan town, Abaka and sitio Dasuran, Brgy. Golden Valley, Mabini--all mining communities in Compostela Valley. The same Army officer also warned them of shelling bombardment operations.

The AFP’s forced evacuation and threat of bombing greatly terrified the masses, giving them no choice but to leave their homes and sources of livelihood. The AFP offensives also failed to defeat the Red Fighters, who were clearly not encamped in the mining community, but were somewhere else, far away from the civilian populace and gearing up for the next tactical offensive.

To counter the AFP’s offensive operations against the masses, the NPA employed guerilla warfare tactics and ambushed on May 5 troops from the 71st IB in Sitio Panganasun,  Brgy. Napnapan, Pantukan; 11 fascist soldiers were killed.

Indeed, in this current ongoing battle in the mining areas in the sub-region, we ask Maj. Tutaan, who is really using the human shield? The answer is obvious:  the NPA perseveres in guerilla warfare and protects the masses, never using them as protective armor; the AFP perfects its mercenary rule and uses the masses for its fascist ends. It is the AFP which uses civilians as human shields under the pretext of peace and development activities in schools, chapels, village centers and other civilian structures.