By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairman, NDFP Human Rights Committee
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Civil Relations Office (AFPCRS) have been coming out in tandem lately with press releases on the alleged successes of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in its so-called counterinsurgency program notoriously known internationally as Oplan Bantay Laya.
The OPAPP through Annabelle Abaya keeps harping on its pseudo-peace talks on the community level as part of its so-called Social Integration Program (SIP), while the AFPCRS of Norberto Gonzales keeps prattling about a so-called rift in the revolutionary movement. This tandem seeks to cover up the Arroyo regime’s continuing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in its dirty war against the revolutionary movement and the Filipino people.
The SIP is a poor rehash of the “amnesty and rehabilitation” programs of previous regimes. In one of its press releases, the OPAPP even had to admit that of the 2,506 SIP “beneficiaries” since its inception in June 2008, 1,466 were from the previous regimes that were not given monies! But the same thing is happening now – the SIP is lining up the pockets of the military field officers of the Arroyo regime to buy off their loyalty with monies for fake surrenderees.
On the other hand, the disinformation campaign of the AFPCRS about an alleged rift in the revolutionary movement signals, as in 2005, the escalation in extrajudicial killings and violations of human rights as the ordeal of the 43 medical professionals and workers arrested in Morong, Rizal, demonstrates.
The Arroyo regime, through Gonzales and Abaya, is obsessed with the use of brute force and cheap psywar tactics under Oplan Bantay Laya and the US global war of terror in its armed conflict with the forces of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). It is not interested in peace negotiations that would address the roots of the armed conflict and bring about social, economic and political reforms in the country. It makes the intensification of the national democratic revolution through protracted people’s war justified and necessary.