Fr. Santiago "Sanny" Salas
Spokesperson in Eastern Visayas
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
A group with the pornographic name of SABIK (Samahan ng mga Biktima ng Komunista) recently issued a press statement assailing the National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas over a "child rebel" issue. The NDF-EV believes that the 8th Infantry Division is behind this group, since legal and moral predicaments hinder the military from exploiting the child, whom it claims to have recently rescued from the New People's Army. In these interesting times, it is important for the revolutionary movement and the democratic mass movement to answer such fascist and anti-democratic groups as SABIK (for publicity, we presume).
The Arroyo government and the military are cooking up various initiatives, such as ostensibly democratic interest groups like SABIK, to drown out democratic opinion and make all-out war through Oplan Bantay Laya acceptable.
The 8th ID through SABIK has nothing new to say about the "child rebel" except anecdotes striving to squeeze more propaganda out of a non-issue. We tell the 8th ID that if it is serious about the matter, it should raise this to the level of discussion between the NDFP and the Philippine government, through the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. Is that too hard to do because a real investigation will expose the 8th ID as having abducted the child and manipulated him for propaganda purposes? Is the reluctance because of the fact that government troops wantonly violate the CARHRIHL anyway? It seems that psywar is more important than genuine accountability, more important than protecting the interests of the child.
The 8th ID through SABIK moans that the NDF-EV is calling on advocates of human rights and children's rights to investigate and malign the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In fact it is the entire world, from the United Nations investigators and other concerned groups, that are calling on the Arroyo government and the AFP to be accountable and punish the human rights violators behind political killings and other atrocities. The AFP does not need others to destroy its reputation; it is already doing this on its own by being oblivious despite a thousand unsolved political killings and other human rights violations attributed to government troops.
We hope that SABIK will continue to expose itself as a dummy of the 8th Infantry Division. Psywar by any other name or group is still psywar, especially when it is close to pornography.