By CESAR RENERIO
Spokesperson, NDFP North Central Mindanao Chapter
The 4th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been launching massive and simultaneous military operations in the guerrilla fronts of North Central Mindanao Region since the second week of November, using as pretext the operations to rescue Prisoners of War Pfc. Marnel Cinches and Pfc. Jerrel Yorong who have remained in New People’s Army hands since 22 August 2014.
While awaiting the final agreement between the NDFP-NCMR and Gov. Zubiri’s Local Crisis Management Committee regarding the date and place of the two prisoners’ release, eleven gunbattles between operating AFP troops and NPA units under the Eastern Misamis Oriental-North Eastern Bukidnon Subregional Command erupted in Minalwang, Claveria, Misamis Oriental, from 15-19 November.
Already failing to rescue the two soldiers, the AFP suffered even more casualties and caused the dislocation of the local populace, resulting in the evacuation of 67 families comprising 251 individuals from sub-villages within Minalwang.
On 17 November, another NPA unit harassed AFP troops in Alipuaton, Salay, and by 20 November, another harassment operation was launched by the NPA on AFP troops in Bantaawan, Gingoog City. Troops of the 12th and 10th Scout Ranger Company of the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion, the 58th Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry Battalion and Division Reconnaisance Company are currently conducting operations in this subregion.
Simultaneously, harassment operations launched by the NPA Mt. Kitanglad Subregional Command “welcomed” operating troops of the 8th Infantry Battalion, 23rd Infantry Battalion and 1st Special Forces Battalion. Six harassment operations were launched by various NPA units from 12 November to 20 November in villages within Libona, Malaybalay City and Valencia City, Bukidnon province. The fascist troopers fired artillery shells ten times, resulting in the evacuation of Lumad (indigenous populations) living in the forested areas of Libona.
At the Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Subregional Command, three harassment operations were launched against operating troops of the 26th, 36th, 28th and 29th Infantray Battalions on 9 November in Mahayahay, San Luis; on 21 November in Marbon, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur; and on 22 November in Mahagsay, San Luis, Agusan del Sur. Psywar operations continue in the form of “Community Organizing for Peace and Development” in 13 communities and villages in La Paz and San Luis in Agusan del Sur.
The AFP suffered platoon-size casualties while the NPA incurred only one casualty in a total of 22 firefights from 9 November to 22 November.
The US-Aquino regime is hallucinating in its belief that through the brutal and counterrevolutionary Oplan Bayanihan, it could weaken the national-democratic revolution even before its term ends. The futility of relying on military power to suppress the people’s revolutionary struggle has been proven in Philippine history at the time of the US-Marcos dictatorship’s military rule.
Relying on its accumulated strength, on the local organs of political power it has established, and in the widespread participation and support of the oppressed and exploited people, all the revolutionary forces in this region are determined to resist and frustrate Oplan Bayanihan.