By CPP Information Bureau
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today condemned the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for carrying out relentless attacks against units of the New People’s Army (NPA) carrying out rehabilitation work in the areas devastated by the recent supertyphoon Yolanda, as an armed encounter was reported to have erupted in Barangay (village) Sto. Niño, Motiong, Samar on Tuesday 17 December between a local NPA unit and troops of the 87th Infantry Battalion of the AFP.
At the same time, the CPP castigated the AFP for rejecting the 6-day ceasefire declaration issued the other day by the CPP, and for making the ludicrous demand for the NPA to declare an indefinite ceasefire even as the Aquino regime adamantly refuses to resume formal peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“The CPP strongly condemns the AFP for relentlessly carrying out offensive operations in Samar, Leyte, Negros and other areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda, despite the fact that the CPP had earlier declared a unilateral ceasefire in order to mobilize the entire forces of the NPA and the masses for rehabilitation work,” said the CPP.
The report issued by the 8th Infantry Division clearly indicate that the AFP units were conducting offensive operations against the NPA. According to the report, the troops of the 87th Infantry Battalion, which were operating in the next town of San Jorge, mobilized its forces to Motiong to pursue the local NPA unit.
“Since 8 November, all NPA units in Motiong, and in the rest of Samar and all areas ravaged by the recent supertyphoon Yolanda, have been busy carrying out rehabilitation work by assisting the masses in their effort to resume agricultural production and revitalize the environment through various forms of cooperation and collective work,” pointed out the CPP.
“Clearly, the AFP does not want the NPA and the people to succeed in rehabilitation work,” said the CPP. “Firstly, Aquino and the AFP refused to reciprocate the ceasefire declaration issued by the CPP leadership to cover the NPA commands in the Visayas islands ravaged by supertyphoon Yolanda. Secondly, it has ordered all units of the 8th and 3rd Infantry Divisions to carry out offensives against the NPA and suppression activities against the people.”
“The continuing offensives of the AFP in the Yolanda-devastated areas is a repeat of the heightened suppression campaign which it has been carrying out in the areas devastated by the 4 December 2012 supertyphoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) in Compostela Valley,” pointed out the CPP. “In most of the areas devastated by Pablo, people are suffering not only from the complete absence of assistance from the Aquino regime, but from heightened human rights abuses by the fascist troops of the AFP.”
“If the Aquino regime and its armed forces really want a long-term or indefinite ceasefire, then it should push for the resumption of formal peace negotiations with the NDFP on the basis of the foundations built through more than 25 years of negotiations,” said the CPP. “Aquino should respect all previous agreements, seriously discuss the roots of the armed conflict, and stop using peace negotiations solely to dupe the revolutionary movement into silencing their weapons and allowing their hands to be tied behind their backs.”
“The CPP declared two three-day ceasefires with the clear aim of expressing solidarity with the people’s traditional holiday observance and in order to allow the NPA to concentrate on providing security to the thousands of people expected to join the mass celebrations of the CPP’s 45th anniversary on 26 December in the guerrilla zones,” added the CPP.
“Indeed, the Filipino people want long-lasting peace,” said the CPP. “But they also know that this is impossible under a system that exploits and oppresses the workers, peasants and the downtrodden, and that such can only be achieved by waging mass struggles and armed resistance.”