Statements: The 501st Brigade’s convoluted concept of development is disgusting
By KA TIPON GIL-AYAB
Lejo Cawilan Command, New People’s Army—Kalinga
July 29, 2012
In a recent interview by the DZRK-Radio ng Bayan Tabuk, the 501st Brigade, through its newly-installed commanding officers Col. Agcaoili and Col. Donald Hongitan, are trying to feed poisonous lies against the CPP-NPA-NDF and the militant people’s struggle in a futile attempt to blind the people from the truth, that the AFP and the reactionary government are on a losing course in the presently ongoing people’s war.
Contrary to their statement that they are into 80% community development programs in the context of Oplan Bayanihan, the masses here in Kalinga are still at the receiving end of their brutalities as their mercenary nature still continues to rear its ugly head. We, in the Lejo Cawilan Command can only shake our heads in disbelief in the childish way Col. Hongitan berated the masses of Brgy. Dupag, Tabuk for their rightful resistance and denunciation against the human rights violations (HRVs) committed by the fascist troops of the 21st IB. Col. Hongitan should be reminded of the glorious history of the people of Kalinga, including Brgy. Dupag, for their staunch resistance against the presence of and stationing of army troops in their barangays because of the masses’ long years of sickening experience of the brutalities and other unspeakable forms of cruelty under the AFP’s bloody hands, especially during the darkest days of the Marcos dictatorship’s Chico Dam projects.
Likewise the brutal onslaught by the AFP has always been continuing during the Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) of then president GMA and under the present ongoing Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Noynoy Aquino Regime, for which Col. Hongitan has actually blood-stained his own hands. Take for instance the recent numerous HRVs that their troops have committed in less than a month from June 1-21 this current year in Brgy. Dao-angan, Balbalan who are there in the pretext of Peace and Development Team Operation, among them as follows:
1) Forcing the residents of Sitio Bin-ac to accommodate the soldiers in their houses;
2) June 12 – indiscriminate firing by drunk soldiers of the 21st IB who were staying at the house of Segundo Palangdao at that time. As a result, Mr. Palangdao’s wife fainted due to the terrorizing effect of what the soldiers had done.
3) June 14 – Indiscriminate firing resulting to the destruction of property of a certain Dominga along Sitio Supak, where a road is currently being constructed, resulting to damage of her house. There was no real encounter with the NPA at this time because in truth, the masses working on the said road were the ones who were fired upon, and saying that it was an encounter with the NPA (which, by the way, Col. Agcaoili and Col. Hongitan had no knowledge of at the time of interview, which also shows the lack of control that they have over their troops). These troops also stole some things of the small-scale miners and concocted the story that these said things were “cleaned” from the NPA’s that they had encountered.
Col. Hongitan had even exampled Brgy. Tawang of the same municipality as his so-called proof that the government is giving development to the people. He even boasted of his achievements during his stay at Brgy. Tawang, but was, in fact, known throughout the province as one of the most fascistic officers of the notoriously brutal 48th IB during the years of the OPlan Lambat Bitag (OLB). In reality, in barangays where their PA-CAFGU detachments are posted (like Brgy. Tawang), there has been no substantial development during the years of their presence, only the spread and exacerbation of anti-social acts and HRVs, among them, which continue even up to this day, are:
1) Corruption of minors through viewings of bold movies inside the military detachments
2) Violence against women through the conduct of adulterous affairs with single and married women in the barrios, destroying family and relationships
3) Being the promoter of various forms of gambling and vices, which in effect eroded indigenous cultures and values
4) Stealing of livestock and animals, cattle rustling
5) Illegal logging, extortions from businessmen
6) Indiscriminate firing of their rifles, especially during their drinking sprees which sow fear and terror among the masses
What “development” do Col. Agcaoili and Col. Hongitan mean? The truth that these officers want to hide is the fact that they and their reactionary fascist troops are not really there in the barangays of Kalinga to promote their so-called brand of “Peace and Development”, but to serve as “Investment Defense Force” for the safe entry of foreign capitalist large-scale mines, hydropower dams and geothermal energy projects that virtually land grab our ancestral lands, deny and destroy the people’s livelihood and resources. Time and again, whenever and wherever in the Philippines these imperialist “development” projects are, the AFP (including the 21st IB, the 77th IB, the 501st IBde, and the 5th ID) are there to protect them. For whom are these so-called “development” projects Col. Agcaoili and Col. Hongitan are talking about?
Such is the case of Brgy. Tawang, Balbalan as of the present. Col. Hongitan boasts of his achievements in Brgy. Tawang to justify the continuing presence of the military as guardians of the Cordillera Exploration Corporation, Incorporated (CEXCI) currently starting their drilling operations in the formerly SSM (small scale mining) area of Laocon, situated in Brgy. Tawang. Their convoluted concept of “development” truly means further profits for these capitalist companies and the reactionary US-Aquino 2 Regime. But for the people, development aggression is no development at all. And the people’s opposition is what the AFP is out to silence through their recycled tactics of terrorism and outright deception by means of their triad approaches, consisting of combat, intelligence and civil-military operations.
The people of Brgy. Tawang and other barangays of Pinukpuk and Balbalan truly cannot forget a Donald Hongitan, who was then a lieutenant during the OLB from 1992 to 1996, for he made his mark as one of the most fascist military officers responsible for the brutal brigade-level combat operations in order to break the backbone of the so-called “PRG” (provisional revolutionary) areas and to enforce CAFGU recruitment and building through threats, harassments and coercion especially targeting known tribal leaders at that time. The scars of terror that he and his co-officers have brought to the masses here in Kalinga shall never be forgotten.
As for Col. Agcaoili, the people of Kalinga are truly hospitable, but they also have a long history of armed resistance when their interests, security and their collective honor are at stake. This has been the case during the time of the Chico Dam Struggle even before the New People’s Army entered Kalinga in 1976. And together with other revolutionary Filipinos, the national minorities here in Kalinga and throughout the Cordillera region are continuously building up their strength to advance the people’s resistance against development aggression, national oppression through armed revolution until final victory for genuine national liberation and democracy shall have finally been achieved throughout the Philippines against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. # nordis.net