By KARLOS MANUEL
Efren Martires Command
NPA Eastern Visayan Region
The Efren Martires Command of the New People’s Army-Eastern Visayas said today that the Armed Forces of the Philippines continued military operations in Western Samar despite the Aquino government’s unilateral ceasefire declaration. “Aquino’s ceasefire declaration was shown as a sham in Western Samar,” said EMC spokesperson Ka Karlos Manuel.
“As reported by the NPA’s Arnulfo Ortiz Command, 8th Infantry Division troops (of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) launched several military operations within the Aquino government ceasefire period from 16 December 2011 to 02 January 2012. These repeated violations show the untrustworthiness of the Aquino government and its military, whose ceasefires turn out to be nothing but gimmicks to camouflage offensive operations.”
Manuel noted the following ceasefire violations of Aquino’s troops:
16-17 Dec. – Two columns of troops under Lt. Cabugon of the 14th Infantry Battalion went on military operations in San Jorge, Western Samar. One column went to Barangay (village) Matalud while another to Barangay Lincoro. They mingled with civilians and slept in the houses of civilians. They returned to their camp in Brgy. Erenas on the afternoon of 17 Dec.
23-24 Dec. – A platoon of 24 soldiers from the Bravo Company of the 14th IB went on operations in Brgy. Buenavista and Brgy. Lincoro, San Jorge. They again mingled with civilians and slept in the barangay hall and the houses of civilians. The following day, 24 Dec, the soldiers continued on to Brgy. Matalud and Brgy. Gayondato. In Brgy. Gayondato they even sponsored a cockfight out of boredom, and led in the betting.
30 Dec. – 01 Jan. – Forty elements of the 14th IB went on combat operations in Brgy. Lincoro towards Brgy Cabugao in San Jorge. They were monitored the next day to be in Brgy. Matalud.
The EMC spokesperson noted that the 8th ID troops not only were oblivious to the Aquino government’s ceasefire, but also violated international humanitarian law.
“On top of treacherously going on offensives while claiming to be having a ceasefire, the soldiers mingled with civilians in their communities. They also slept in the houses of civilians and in the village hall. These incidents show the continuing climate of impunity under Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan and the difficulty of holding the military to account for violating the laws of war. The people and the revolutionary movement should never let their guard down but be vigilant against these snakes in the grass.”