By ALDWIN G. QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The Chadli Molintas Command (CMC) of the New Peoples Army (NPA) of the Ilocos-Cordillera Region described the anti-insurgency campaign of the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’sadministration as dirty and unwinnable war.
In an e-mailed statement sent to Nordis, CMC spokesperson Martin Montana stated that the Oplan Bantay Laya 2 (OBL 2) of the Arroyo administration is a wicked design to quell the widespread dissent against her unpopular political and economic programs and help her to stay longer in power.
Montana said that the OBL 2 involves dirty political tactics, heavy militarization of urban and countryside areas, harassments, abductions, torture and killings of political activists and relatives of NPA fighters and many other reprehensible acts.
He added that the Ilocos-Cordillera regions are now the priority of OBL 2. “Recently, 503rd Brigade field officers presented their superiors an operations plan to dismantle by year-end, the base of the “Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Party Committee” (ICRPC) allegedly located at the boundaries of Abra, Mountain Province and Ilocos Sur.
Curiously, this alleged base defined by the military is also a resource-rich area that is the target of numerous foreign and local big mining companies. Also, of great interest is the recent announcement by a high government official that the Balikatan joint US-RP military exercises for 2010 would be staged in the Ilocos. During Balikatan 2009, US troops provided weapons and training and were engaged in counter-insurgency operations with AFP units,” Montana said.
Montana said that the Arroyo administration through OBL 2 is waging a dirty war against the people of the regions. There are 38 civilians and political activists in the Cordillera who are known victims of extrajudicial killings. Montana said these killings are perpetrated by military hitmen.
He said hundreds have been tortured, wounded, forcibly disappeared or harrassed. He said troopers from the 503rd Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are setting up bases in villages in the area where there are big mining applications and especially in villages where there is strong opposition against the entry of big mining companies.
Montana added that they are encamped in schools and public buildings exposing local civilian populations to danger.
He lambasted a tactic employed by the military of pitting relatives against each other by using officers from the locality to act as spokespersons and play on ethnicity to win support from kinsmen and villagemates. He said that human rights violations are on the rise, disregarding even the local civilian authority and the local government units.
Montana further stated that through OBL 2, the Arroyo administration is engaged in an unwinnable war. He cited AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Victor Ibrados admission that NPA guerillas caneasily shift their bases to foil military operations.
“The AFP is well aware that their war against the revolutionary movement and the people is unwinnable, especially with the deadline imposed upon them by their fake commander in chief. The general staff of the AFP recently announced that they are changing the parameters of their counter-insurgency campaign.
In effect, they are reducing the standards by which they gauge their imaginary victory. Just as their fake commander in chief has manipulated statistics to hide the real extent of poverty and unemployment, so will they manipulate data to show they are winning the war. Just as their fake commander in chief artificially enhances her person, so will they roll out “praise releases” of collapsed NPA fronts, massive NPA defections and surrenders to support their empty posturing,” stated Montana.
Montana said that the sudden interest of the Arroyo administration to revive peace talks with the revolutionary movement is to seek only a little more breathing space and image building as it sets in place the control infrastructure to extend her stay in presidency.
Montana ended his statement saying that Arroyo administration has brought back corruption and brutality just like during the reign of ousted President Ferdinand Marcos. He said Arroyo and her allies are the ones who must be reduced and prevented from remaining in power beyond 2010. # nordis.net