By SIMON NAOGSAN (Ka Filiw)
Spokesperson, Cordillera People’s Democratic Front
The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front commends both the Agustin Begnalen Command (ABC) of the New People’s Army-Abra Province for successfully repulsing a military attack, and the Lejo Cawilan Command (LCC) of the NPA-Kalinga Province for conducting a tactical offensive on a heavily fortified detachment simultaneously last 3 February.
On the other hand, the CPDF castigates the spin masters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including Col. Eliseo Posadas of the 503rd Brigade, for fabricating blatant lies to cover their losses and failures.
Col. Posadas claimed in their first press release that the NPA sustained three killed and another one wounded but quickly contradicted himself later by reducing his claim to only one alleged casualty.
On the contrary, based on the official statement released by the Saulo Lumadao Front-NPA South-Central Abra, two of the attacking troops were either wounded or killed during the encounter at 11 till 1 a.m. last 3 February at Sitio (sub-village) Nagas-asan, Barangay (village) Ud-udiao in Sallapadan, Abra. The alleged names of three casualties namely Ricardo Reyes or “Tubong”, “Ronnie” and “Spike” were merely inventions of Col. Posadas based mainly on the names of past surrenderees or renegades decades ago.
It will be recalled that the name Ricardo Reyes was the same name claimed by same Col. Posadas as one of the casualties in the earlier Tineg encounter. Likewise, neither aliases Ronnie and Spike appeared in the roster of active NPA guerrillas but are aliases of former NPA members who previously lie lowed and are now living civilian lives. One would expect the military mindset to have a more fertile imagination in conjuring names.
On the same day last 3 February 2012, a team under the LCC successfully harassed the 77th Infantry Battalion-Citizens’ Auxilliary detachment at the Cagaluan Gate, Pasil, Kalinga. In a statement released by LCC, two AFP regulars and 11 CAFGU (paramilitary Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit) members were wounded. The AFP keeps this incident under wraps from the media.
Col. Eliseo Posadas and his ilk in the 5th Infantry Division have figured prominently in blatant lies before, including the claim that four innocent civilians from Cervantes, Ilocos Sur and Mankayan, Benguet, arrested in September and October last year, were members of the NPA.
The four — Edward Galao, Hilario Bantew, Luinesa Bonella and Joy Atiw — were illegally arrested and detained on trumped-up charges and continue to languish in detention cells despite affidavits and manifestations by local government authorities and other personalities attesting to their civilian status.
The 52nd Division Reconnaisance Company’s heightened operations in Sallapadan and other neighboring areas are ostensibly to clear these areas from insurgency in pious compliance with the strategic investment defense task of the AFP, to pave the way for the easy entry of large-scale mining companies and other economic aggressions by imperialist forces and their local stooges in the area.
These towns are covered by mining applications of Mina Fortuna Integrated Mineral Resources covering 8,100 hectares and Discovery Mines covering 12,000 hectares respectively. The province of Abra and the other provinces of the Cordillera, and the neighboring regions of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley, are covered by various overlapping applications and operations of large-scale mining and energy power plants.
The successful defense and repulsion by the NPA Red fighters in Sallapadan, Abra. as well as the attritive operations conducted in the PA-CCA detachment in Pasil, Kalinga is attributable to the overwhelming support of the masses to the NPA in defending their ancestral lands and cherishing their army, as well as the Red fighters’ mastery of terrain, steadfast discipline and deep resolve. It is proof of the revolutionary movement’s continuing march to greater victories.
In contrast, no amount of face-saving falsehoods can reduce the ire and contempt of the people against the reactionary AFP. Col. Eliseo Posadas and his spokesperson, Capt. Ed Sia-ed, can continue to invent names of NPA casualties and supposed “overrun camps” but the dwindling willingness of his troops to fight cannot be concealed from the public for long. It is indeed revulsive to fight for a rotten system!