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Condemn widespread AFP offensives and deployment of troops amid ceasefire

Communist Party of the Philippines

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the Aquino regime for carrying out widespread offensives and deployment of its armed troops against the revolutionary base areas and the New People’s Army amid the synchronized temporary ceasefire between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH).

Based on reports from field commands of the New People’s Army, there is now an emerging pattern of forward deployment of troops by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and police special forces in apparent preparation for an all-out offensive after the expiration of the ceasefire agreement by 15 January.

The CPP denounces the duplicitous statements of Malacañang and the AFP that claim commitment to the synchronized temporary ceasefire agreement even as offensive operations under the guise of so-called “peace and order” operations are being carried out. (Refer to the updated report below.) The AFP is obviously taking advantage of the ceasefire to carry out widespread and large-scale operations with impunity, knowing full well that units of the NPA are restraining themselves from carrying out counterstrikes in compliance with the temporary ceasefire agreement.

The continued combat operations, forward deployment of troops, militarization and stepped-up intelligence operations in rural communities all form part of the heightened counterrevolutionary offensives of the Aquino regime this year. This is all part of its Oplan Bayanihan war campaign to decimate the New People’s Army by the middle of this year, and transfer so-called counter-insurgency operations from the AFP to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

In stark contrast to the all-out disregard of the AFP of the synchronized temporary ceasefire, units of the New People’s Army and people’s militias are strictly complying with the Central Committee’s order to cease and desist from carrying out offensive operations. The allegations of NPA violations of the CPP’s ceasefire declaration are all baseless and concoctions of the AFP’s US-directed spinmeisters. (See related statement.)

Updated report of AFP offensive operations in disregard of synchronized ceasefire agreement:

  1. Since December, elements of the 57th and 40th Infantry Battalions have been scouring the villages of Old Bulatukan, New Israel and Biangan, all in Makilala, North Cotabato and have put up two batteries of 105mm howitzer canons against NPA Guerrilla Fronts 51 and 72.

  2. The 10th Infantry Division deployed three sections of soldiers in every barangay (village) between Mapula to Barko-barko, Lumiad to Riverside and in Pandaitan, all in Paquibato district, Davao City.

  3. The 10th ID set up checkpoints along roads leading to Paquibato district to deter visitors from attending the mass assembly scheduled to mark the CPP anniversary last 26 December.

  4. Elements of the 69th Infantry Battalion and 84th Infantry Battalion continue to intimidate residents of Purok Isled, Barangay Damilag in Calinan, Davao City in order to force them to report the whereabouts of the local NPA units.

  5. Elements of the 74th Infantry Battalion arrested last 21 December five local peasants in Mulanay, Quezon and accused them of being members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

  6. Elements of the 302nd Brigade and local police forces arrested last 25 December in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, Oligario Sebas, whom the military claims to be Filemon Mendrez, allegedly a ranking revolutionary leader.

  7. Elements of the Cagayan Valley Regional PNP arrested last 28 December in Bagumbayan, Tuguegarao City, Rene Esmondo Abiva whom the military also alleges to be a revolutionary leader.

  8. On 1January, three platoons of the 84th Infantry Battalion entered Barangay Tambobong, Baguio District, Davao City and began carrying out military operations in the area. Further augmented by other troops on 3 January, the 84th Infantry Battalion has forced the evacuation of some 125 families, restricted work in plantations and controlled the movement of rice and other food supplies in the area.

  9. Hours before 16 December, at the start of the Aquino regime’s ceasefire declaration, a platoon of the 31st Infantry Battalion clandestinely entered Barangay Hamorawon, Bulan, Sorsogon. For several days, it scoured the mountainous areas up to the border of the towns of Bulan and Irosin, before eventually returning to their camp.

  10. Elements of the PNP Regional Public Safety Battalion (formerly Regional Mobile Group or RMG) conducted combat operations in Barangay Macahoy, San Pascual, Masbate on 24 and 25 December. On 28 and 29 December, these troops raided the home of a peasant family in Barangay Mabini suspected of being active in the revolutionary movement.

  11. On 23 December, elements of the PNP in Milagros, Masabate City and troops of the 9th Infantry Battalion abducted  Olalio Gonzaga, 22, of Barangay Bolo, Masbate City and Noel Espinosa, 37, a village watchman in Barangay Miabas, Palanas, Masbate.

  12. On 2 January, elements of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, entered Barangay Sta. Cruz, Donsol, Sorsogon, and launched combat operations against the New People’s Army and revolutionary mass organizations in the area.

  13. Intelligence and psywar operations continue to be conducted by the so-called “peace and development teams” of the AFP in roughly 40 barangays in the Bicol region.

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