By CPP Information Bureau
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today called on all units of the New People’s Army (NPA), people’s militias and revolutionary organizations to remain vigilant and on high alert while on defensive mode in the face of the heightened military operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Mindanao and other parts of the country.
“In compliance with the order of the CPP Central Committee to re-extend the earlier ceasefire order to January 15, all revolutionary forces should cease and desist from carrying out offensive military operations, but at the same time, raise their vigilance, and heighten their political struggle against human rights abuses being committed by the AFP in its stepped-up campaign of suppression.”
The CPP said “there has been practically no ceasefire on the part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) over the past two weeks despite the order of the Aquino government for a suspension of offensive military and police operations from December 16 to January 2.”
Aquino’s order was extended yesterday to January 15, in belated compliance with an agreement forged two weeks ago in a meeting between special representatives of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“The AFP’s ceasefire is practically a fake,” said the CPP. “The GPH peace panel members are lying through their teeth in claiming that there are no violations by the military of the GPH SOMO/SOPO.” (SOMO, Suspension of Offensive Military Operations; SOPO, Suspension of Offensive Police Operations)
“Aquino’s ceasefire order has been reduced to a meaningless piece of paper due to the AFP’s continued offensive military operations against the people and their revolutionary forces in various parts of the country,” said the CPP.
“In spite of its own SOMO/SOPO, the AFP refused to withdraw its armed squads stationed in communities, erected checkpoints to restrict people’s movements and carried out pursuit operations against units of the New People’s Army.”
It cited the following reports:
Since December, elements of the 57th and 40th Infantry Battalion (of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) have been scouring the villages of Old Bulatukan, New Israel and Biangan, all in Makilala, North Cotabato and put up two batteries of 105mm howitzer canons against NPA Guerrilla Fronts 51 and 72.
The 10th Infantry Division (AFP) deployed three sections of soldiers in every barangay between Mapula to Barko-barko, Lumiad to Riverside and in Pandaitan, all in Paquibato district, Davao City.
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 December 26.
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.
Elements of the 74th Infantry Battalion arrested last December 21 five local peasants in Mulanay, Quezon and accused them of being members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
Elements of the 302nd Brigade and local police forces arrested last December 25 in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, Oligario Sebas, whom the military claims to be Filemon Mendrez, allegedly a ranking revolutionary leader.
Elements of the Cagayan Valley Regional Philippine National Police arrested last December 28 in Bagumbayan, Tuguegarao City Rene Esmondo Abiva whom the military also alleges to be a revolutionary leader.