Series of setbacks exposes the futility of AFP and PRO-Cor PNP military campaigns in Mountain Province

Ka Magno Udyaw
Leonardo Pacsi Command (LPC)
April 20,2014

Recent debacles suffered by operating troops from the much ballyhoed Joint Military operations of the 54th IB Philippine Army and PNP in the Municipalities of Sagada, Bontoc and Besao in Mt Province exemplify the political and military inutility of the said mercenary military organizations.

NPA Red fighters under the LPC command exemplified superior guerrilla tactics and terrain familiarity in combat which resulted in five casualties on the enemy side. Casualties last March 29th include PO1 Jefferson Sari, PO1 Marcelo Kilasen, PO1 Romeo Fakat Jr, PO1 Benido Magan, and PO1 Emmanuel Dagsan on April 2. All of them are troops under the Regional Public Safety Battalion and the MP Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC)- a newly organized counter insurgency unit of the PNP.

Earlier casualties include nine members of the 2nd Maneuver Company RPSB during their training in Tadian last year and two wounded in the subsequent battle in the boundary of Sagada and Bontoc in August  2013.

LPC wishes to issue statements and clarifications as an offshoot of the said military battles:

1.All the attacks except for the Tadian ambush happened in the mountainous or forested areas where no civilian settlements are present. Even in the Tadian ambush,the NPA carefully planned the area and course of attack in order to abide by the rules of war and guided by the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHR-IHL) signed by the NDFP and the Government.These victories by the NPA and the revolutionary movement in the province are reflective of the advance in the gaining of grounds for red political power and eventual victory of the People’s Democratic Revolution.

2.The NPA in Mt.Province and all other units of the NPA is advancing the People’s Democratic Revolution through Protracted People’s War and that at present our main form is mobile guerrilla warfare. We do not maintain any permanent camps in any part of the province or elsewhere. The AFP and the PNP are lying to their teeth by duping the media and the people that they are able to overrun countless camps of the NPA.

3.Time  and again,units,members and cadres of the CPP,NPA,NDFP and CPDF in the province has exhaustively discouraged the people in joining the AFP,PNP,CAFGU and other paramiltary units and in participating in counter- insurgency combat and intelligence operations.These warnings remained unheeded specially by those who suffered from these last attacks by the NPA. May we reiterate  our call specially on our kakailyans,elders and local officials to join in our effort. On a particular note,we wish to explain that the RPSB/PPSC is a counter- insurgency combat unit of the PNP different from the functions of the Municipal police force.They serve as cannon fodders of the Philippine Army to operate in areas they miserably failed to reach.The war dogs at the AFP headquarters and the Police Regional Office-Cordillera has brought to life the nightmare of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) during Martial Law through the RPSB. The people will never forget the atrocities of the PC during the Marcos dictatorship where they worked bloodily hand in hand with the AFP in pillaging numerous villages of the Cordilleras and the entire nation.  We also call upon the members of the Municipal police of all the Municipalities to avoid joining these failed Joint Operations with the Philippine Army and the RPSB.

4.All armed units of the AFP and the PNP, which means their personnel, military vehicles, camps, detachments, intelligence houses,logistics and supplies are all legitimate military targets of the NPA. May we again reiterate our call on the people to avoid entering or staying in military camps,detachments and places of encampments of the AFP and PNP. In addition we also call on the people to avoid riding marked military vehicles such as the trucks used by the Philippine Army.We also discourage vehicle owners in transporting military troops even in major highways of the Province.

5. The continued militarization of the whole province is part and parcel of the dreaded and failed military experiment of Oplan Bayanihan. The dubious joint operations of the AFP and PRO-Cor PNP has trampled upon communities and workplaces and has accumulated numerous human rights violations. Most notable of these are the bombings in the ancestral domain and forced encampment inside the villages of Northern Sagada; detaining and wounding of civilians in the Municipality of Besao, Sagada and Sadanga; positioning of cannons and military armaments in travel routes of the populace. All of these are documented at the municipal LGUs and Human rights organizations. On the other hand,these terror acts are also coupled by the scheming sheepish face of the AFP and the PNP. They forced all the Mayors of Western Municipalities to forge a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the 50th IBPA thereby legalizing their continued military presence and undermine civilian authorities,ordinances and community unities in the said municipalities. In the village level, they terrorize Barangay officials into permitting them to use public  gymnasium and schools for their unwanted and illegal encampment.

6. At the outset, this series of military presence in the province serves to intimidate the people and force communities into giving way to numerous big destructive companies in mining and power generation, which only serve  to fatten the big pockets of foreign companies and their lapdogs of local ruling classes spearheaded by the PNoy clique in Malacanang. Glaring  manifestations are the strategic locations of military camps in Abew, Sadanga and in Barangay Namatec, Sabangan, a stone’s throw away from the giant and environmentally hazardous Hedcore hydro project. It is of worthy to note that at present there are ongoing processes of FPIC consultations of hydro and geothermal companies in all of the municipalities of MP. Most of these were met with resistance by the people.

We call on the people to strengthen our opposition against the combined terror of the AFP,PNP and their cohorts. In memory of our Kakailyans who in the past have defended the communities against the same aggression, the people of MontaƱosa must rekindle the spark that brought fear to those who tried but failed to plunder our resources and revolutionary traditions. It is only through combined efforts of the communities and the revolutionary movement that these anti-people and anti-environment  schemes be defeated and stopped on its tracks. 

Stop the continuing military operations in MP!
Dismantle the RPSB,PPSC and CAFGU!
Fight for our Ancestral Domain and our Right to Self Determination
Fetad Engganas Balligi!