By JORGE “Ka Oris” MADLOS
In behalf of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Mindanao, I wish to express my strongest condemnation with regard to the recent updated DND-DILG Joint Order No. 14-2012, which raises the amount of monetary reward for the capture of 235 alleged wanted communists to PHP466.88 million. This is the second time this year that Malacanang announced bounty money for information that would lead to the capture of revolutionaries; the first was in August.
This is a sign of desperation on the part of the Aquino government, resorting to large bounty money, digging from the much-needed yet deflated taxpayers’ fund to stop the advance of the people’s legitimate struggle to achieve genuine national liberation and democracy.
It is now totally exposing its inherent reactionary and fascist nature. In its first two years in office, it has tried to make double talk by harping of peace on one hand and launching the brutal Oplan Bayanihan on the other. It has now clearly abandoned any pretense of peace overtures to the NDFP, launching all out military campaigns nationwide with much brutality, tagging revolutionary personalities as common criminals, and directing its fascist troops to attack us violently, including our innocent family members.
Last August my son, Vincent Isagani R. Madlos, was forced to abandon his work as a call center agent in Cebu City; he failed to attend my mother’s burial because of an arrest warrant that is based on a trumped-up non-bailable case filed against him by the CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police) in Surigao City. Last 15 November, Grayson, the son of NDFP-Cordillera spokesperson Simon Naogsan was arrested in Baguio City based on 11 non-bailable trumped-up cases leveled against him. He was forcibly made to disappear for three days, and was eventually traced to the Ifugao provincial jail only after intelligence operatives gave his wife and family the runaround.
If one could recall, the daughter of Ka Parago (Leoncio Pitao), Rebelyn Pitao, was abducted as she headed home from the school where she taught in Davao City; she was then brutally raped and murdered. Ka Parago is the CO (commanding officer) of the First Company of the New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao, and is one of the Communist leaders who, as Malacañang ordered, has a huge bounty on his head.
The US-Aquino regime seems emboldened to leave the path of peace because of its delusion that the unpopular and much-hated Oplan Bayanihan counter-revolutionary suppression campaign is succeeding against the Filipino people’s struggle against the oppression and exploitation of local ruling class and its imperialist masters. In truth, it only succeeds in isolating itself from the broad masses of workers, peasants, middle income classes, and other sectors of Philippine society. In fact, the revolutionary movement in the whole country is continually gaining ground.
And, of course, it succeeds in unmasking its real fascist character through extrajudicial killings that victimize leaders and activist workers, peasants, and personalities, including media and church people. It succeeds in painting the exact opposite of “daang matuwid” by the growing people’s perception of corruption committed by Noynoy Aquino’s “kabarilan, kapamilya, kaklase” (shooting range buddy, relative, and classmate). It succeeds in evermore pushing the economy down while, despite bragging bright economic data, raising poverty incidence.
In Mindanao, resorting to bounty head hunting is closely related with the clear failure of the Oplan Bayanihan massive and relentless military suppression campaigns against the revolutionary movement. Reality shows that in spite of the intense military campaigns of Oplan Bayanihan against the revolutionary movement, the New People’s Army has increased by more than 10% in the last three quarters this year, launching more than 400 tactical offensives; its mass base has increased by 10%, which covers more barrios and towns in the whole island.
This bounty, or money reward, is also borne out of the regime’s illusion that it has succeeded in terminating the Moro people’s struggle for their genuine right to self-determination. And, is therefore of the belief that by simply offering bribe money for the capture of Communist Party cadres will hasten the defeat of the revolutionary movement in Mindanao. This will surely backfire.
For as long as the flaws of the Framework Agreement stay uncorrected, and because no one can conceal the fact they are detrimental to the aspiration of the Moro people, a new Moro resistance movement will arise and galvanize the Bangsamoro to be more resolute in the struggle for their genuine right to self-determination. We have already seen this happen when the Tripoli agreement and the final peace agreement of 1996 failed to bring about a real autonomy for the Bangsamoro.
And one must take note that the revolutionary movement in Mindanao led by the Communist Party has advanced during these last few years even when the US-Aquino regime successfully clinched a prolonged ceasefire with the MILF armed struggle. If and when a renewed armed Moro resistance escalates, fueled by discontent on the possible negative outcome of the framework, we will see Mindanao teeming with the people’s broad united front against the imperialist and local ruling clique in the years ahead.
Once again, the price tag placed on the head of many peace consultants and the attacks against their innocent family members are a great challenge for the negotiating panel of the GPH (government of the Republic of the Philippines). If they wish to make us believe the Aquino government’s seriousness in the path of peace, they must prevail over this unprofessional way of dealing with their counterparts in the negotiations. Even then, we wish to assure the GPH panel that the revolutionary movement will never lower itself by imitating the US-Aquino regime’s dirty tactics and high-handedness, foul tricks which it has probably learned from its imperialist masters.
Long live the people’s struggle for a just and genuine peace!
(Sgd) Ka Oris