By DANREB BRINGGAS
Spokesperson, NPA Procopio Tauro Front
NPA North Abra Front Operations Command
Red salute to the victorious protest actions of the people of Mataragan village, Malibcong, in Abra province, against the Bravo Company, 41st Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The people expelled the military unit after finding the soldiers guilty of human rights violations, and disregard of laws pertaining to military encampment in civilian areas, particularly those of indigenous peoples’. Complimentary to the peoples’ protests were attacks launched by the New People’s Army, such as the 29 September 2013 sniping operations and the burning of the said detachment on the night of 8 February 2014.
The incessant presence of the detachment of the Bravo Company in Mataragan has long been a problem of the people. According to laws and conventions, military camps should be located more than 500 meters away from civilian areas, to secure the people from possible crossfire. However, the said detachment is just a stone’s throw away from houses. Moreover, the soldiers’ flagrant disregard of the rights of women are rampant, making local women subject of lust and oppression.
Farm animals, poultry, and fruits and vegetables are stolen by the soldiers, and people are forced to serve as guides during military operations. The women, fed up with exploitation and oppression from the soldiers of the Bravo Company spearheaded the protests, that were later supported by the entire community, including the Barangay (village) Council.
The people consolidated the various cases against the Bravo Company, such as violation of laws and conventions pertaining to military camps, against oppression and disrespect of women, public disturbance, and harassment and intimidation against the people. The people’s indigenous court found the Bravo Company guilty and imposed a PhP100,000 (US$2,240) fine against the soldiers. However, the military unit disregarded the people’s decision and instead left a measly PhP6,000, and sneaked out of the detachment on the night of 8 February 2014. Clearly, this incident unmasked the AFP, through the 41st Infantry Battalion, as a fascist military institution, fighting for the ruling classes and against the people.
After sneaking out of their camp, an NPA team burned down the detachment left by the Bravo Company, to the delight and cheers of the people of Mataragan!
This exemplifies the strong bond between the people and the NPA, and the fact that people’s struggles are also fought by their true army, the New People’s Army! This experience has shown that the people’s protests and the NPA’s tactical offensives can, and will defeat the exploitative and oppressive enemies of the people. The unity between the people and the NPA has shown that the revolutiuon can never be defeated.
We call on all the people to actively fight for the dismantling of all detachments and military camps of the fascist AFP, Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit and Philippine National Police. Let us expose and oppose all human rights violations of the AFP, CAFGU and PNP. Let us use and advance all forms of struggles, from filing of cases, collective and militant actions, metalegal actions and armed revolutionary struggle. Join the New People’s Army!
Frustrate and defeat Oplan Bayanihan!
Advance the People’s War!
Achieve the estrategic stalemate until final victory!