Armed Forces of the Philippines interferes with Typhoon recovery efforts

By staff |
November 26, 2013
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Nov. 26 statement from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Denounce Aquino regime’s relentless offensives amid disaster, ceasefire declaration

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the Aquino regime and its armed forces for waging relentless armed offensives and brutal campaigns of suppression in Eastern Visayas, Panay, and Negros, in outright contempt of the broad masses, and in complete disregard for their demand for a temporary cessation of armed hostilities in order to give full attention to relief and rehabilitation work.

“The Aquino regime and its armed forces are treacherously taking advantage of the ceasefire declaration of the CPP in order to wage relentless offensive operations against the New People’s Army and the peasant masses in the revolutionary areas,” said the CPP.

Two days ago, the Central Committee of the CPP announced a one-month extension of the ceasefire declaration issued to the New People’s Army (NPA) commands in Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Panay and Negros islands. The extended ceasefire period aims to allow all revolutionary forces to concentrate on the urgent task of rehabilitation, and asserting the people’s economic rights amidst the disaster.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ massive offensive operations are impeding the people and their revolutionary forces from carrying out disaster relief and rehabilitation work, and make the task of resuming economic production more difficult,” said the CPP.

The CPP issued this statement even as the AFP claimed that a firefight ensued after a unit of the NPA supposedly fired shots at soldiers of the 11th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Pitogo, La Libertad town, Negros Oriental last Sunday. The CPP said that in accordance with the ceasefire declaration issued by its leadership, NPA units will fire only as an act of active defense against the offensive units of the AFP.

“Even as the people seek urgent relief from the economic devastation brought about by the supertyphoon, the braggart mouthpieces of the 3rd Infantry Division have publicly declared over the past few days that their forces are not letting up in their military offensives, and are focused on waging war against the NPA. The AFP offensives resulted in an armed encounter in Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental last weekend with a unit of the NPA engaged in rehabilitation efforts,” pointed out the CPP.

“Despite the ceasefire declaration, armed encounters are bound to erupt if the AFP continues to insist on waging offensive operations against the people and their people’s army and militia units, compelling the people’s armed revolutionary forces to defend themselves,” added the CPP.

“The supposed participation of AFP soldiers in disaster relief is being carried out only in urban centers and highways where they are covered by the media. In reality, despite the urgent need to mobilize all possible resources, the bigger part of the AFP’s resources is still currently being geared towards so-called counter-insurgency operations under the brutal Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression against the people,” said the CPP.

“The high-profile disaster relief operations being conducted by the central headquarters of the AFP serve only to camouflage the continuing brutal war being waged by more than 11,000 ground troops of the AFP’s 8th and 3rd Infantry Division in the interior and coastal areas of the islands of Samar, Leyte, Panay and Negros,” pointed out the CPP.

“The people demand urgent economic relief in the face of the grave difficulties resulting from the devastation wrought by the recent supertyphoon,” said the CPP. “By waging relentless offensives and suppression campaigns, the AFP is displaying gross disregard for the people’s welfare.”

“The AFP’s imposition of martial law policies in the countryside and mountainous areas impedes the people’s economic and commercial activities, making efforts at rehabilitation more difficult,” said the CPP. “Thus, the people demand that AFP soldiers withdraw their forces from the interior areas and commit them to their barracks so that the people’s rehabilitation efforts can proceed unencumbered.”

“The AFP knows full well that many of the areas hit by the supertyphoon are within the scope of operations of the New People’s Army, and are under the jurisdiction of the duly-constituted

revolutionary organs of governance,” said the CPP. “Many of these areas have been the least of the Aquino government’s priorities in the past and remain so, as these have yet to be reached by the regime’s slow and highly inefficient disaster relief operations.”