By JORGE MADLOS (Ka Oris)
Spokesperson, NDFP Mindanao
In the aftermath of the botched US-directed attack on Mamasapano, the Aquino III regime has launched a full-blown military offensive, covering 11 municipalities of Maguindanao and North Cotabato, against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement–Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters (BIFM-BIFF). In Sulu, since last November 2014 until recently, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, with the aid of the US, has launched no less brutal anti-Moro attacks in the guise of stamping out terrorism in the region, victimizing not the “terrorists” but the civilian Moro populace. These all-out attacks are at the behest of the US “war on terror”.
While on the other hand, as part of its bloody Oplan Bayanihan (OPB) campaign, the regime is also intensifying its US-guided counter insurgency brutal offensives in Mindanao to wipe out the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and National Democratic Front of the Philippines, which Aquino III could only dream of attaining before his term ends.
To achieve these offensives, the AFP has deployed to Mindanao over 60% (or around 70 battalions) of its total forces, which include Infantry, Marines, Scout Rangers, Special Forces, Light Reaction Forces, and its Mechanized Battalions. It has beefed up its air force and artillery units in the island, and has obtained direct US operational assistance especially in communication equipment and surveillance drones.
The US-Aquino III regime’s current military campaign against the BIFM-BIFF is an attempt to cover and divert BSA III’s treasonous culpability in the death of the 44 Special Action Forces troops in the Mamasapano incident. Aquino III has not only demoralized the AFP and Philippine National Police organizations when he intentionally by-passed the chain of command just to please his US boss, but he leaves them virtually dejected by dodging blame. The families of the 44 SAF fatalities and the public in general must not be misled by the self-serving PNP investigation report.
It has mobilized troops from the 6th Infantry Division, the Luzon-based 7th Division, the Marines, Scout Rangers, and Special Forces, supported by armored and artillery units and the Philippine Air Force, including direct US military assistance. The military has also capitalized on “rido”, or clan feuds, between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and BIFF groups to justify its all-out war effort, only partly succeeding however in pitting the two armed Moro groups against each other.
Benigno Aquino III conspired with US Armed Forces to execute Oplan “Exodus” inside an MILF and a BIFM area without any prior coordination with the MILF. This is a treacherous breach in the peace agreement it has entered into with the MILF. The collateral damage of Aquino III’s treachery includes the apparent scuttling of its peace effort with the MILF, which has already led to the further escalation of the armed Bangsamoro resistance movement.
For the past weeks, the AFP has launched massive artillery and aerial bombardments in several Moro communities in Maguindanao and North Cotabato, aided by US surveillance drones. As a result, more than 35,000 families or 175,000 individual Moro men, women, children and elderly have abandoned their homes and livelihood, and are now in cramped evacuation centers, only to suffer hunger and disease. Over 2,000 individuals, especially children, have gotten sick due to extremely insalubrious conditions. These atrocities are also happening in Sulu.
Worse, just like in the Yolanda-hit areas in the Visayas and in Zamboanga City after the MNLF siege, the reactionary government couldn’t care less in accommodating the swelling number of evacuees, nor on how to facilitate the safe return to their homes, rebuild their economy and provide psycho-social rehabilitation. This condition is a déjà vu of the ruthless anti-Moro campaigns in the Marcos and the Estrada regimes
The MILF, for its part however, has stood helpless to abate the suffering of their Moro brethren. They can hardly raise their protest against the treachery of the US-led Oplan “Exodus”, nor defend the Bangsamoro people against the public insult heaped by some rabid anti-Moro legislators, lest their BBL project is fully scuttled in both the lower and upper houses (Manila government’s Congress).
Not fully reported in the media, this anti-Moro terror campaign of the US-Aquino III regime has been met with stiff resistance from the Moro masses and Moro armed resistance groups in Mindanao, causing heavy casualties to government mercenary troops. On the other hand, its OPB military campaign against the CPP-NPA-NDFP has been gaining more notoriety in its brutality and human rights violations, yet is far from achieving its avowed aim of dismantling into inconsequentiality the revolutionary movement. Hardly getting through to news agencies, OPB’s recent combat operations have instead been pummeled by the active defense of NPA units who enjoy wide support from the masses, exacting heavy losses on the enemies in all five (5) NPA regions in Mindanao.
Right before the eyes of the Manila government and the MILF, their joint project for peace in Mindanao has, in reality, become a source of unpeace, thanks to the duplicity and puppetry of Aquino III to the dictates of his US imperialist master. Its all-out war now rages with the aim to wipe out resurging Moro armed resistance forces for the all-out sale of Moro lands to foreign monopoly capitalists, who have long since coveted mineral-rich Liguasan Marsh and the vast fertile lands of North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Basilan and Sulu for super profit. However, instead of crushing the Bangsamoro armed resistance as a whole, the US-Aquino regime, after presuming it has succeeded in pacifying the MILF, has only emboldened the BIFF and other Moro armed groups to rekindle and escalate the Bangsamoro armed struggle.
Under the context of this all-out attack, the NDFP-Mindanao calls upon the entire Filipino people, Moro and non-Moro alike, to unite and strongly condemn and oppose this latest all-out war against the BIFM-BIFF and other Moro armed groups, and the intensified brutality of its dreaded Oplan Bayanihan in the rest of Mindanao. The people must see Benigno Aquino III for the US puppet and fascist that he is, and, therefore, must further amplify the call for his immediate ouster.