By CPP Information Bureau
Citing initial reports from the New People’s Army (NPA), the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today slammed the Aquino regime for violating its own ceasefire declaration as its armed forces continue to wage its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression against the people.
The CPP cited reports from Abra, Surigao del Sur, Isabela and Rizal provinces.
In Abra, two truckloads of soldiers belonging to the 50th Infantry Battalion occupied Sitio (sub-village) Sagsagod of Barangay (village) Saccaang, Sallapadan on 21 December, while another platoon occupied Barangays Palaquio and Tabiog in the municipality of Bucay. In violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL), some of the operating troops stationed themselves inside the population centers and even at the Tabiog Elementary School while other troops scoured the mountains. The soldiers told the residents that they intend to stay up to the end of the year.
Around the same time, a van and two 6×6 trucks occupied the Barangay Hall of Barangay Gangal, a few meters away from Gangal Elementary School. Another platoon of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) disrupted a wedding in Barangay Naguillan, Sallapadan, by unceremoniously entering the barrio after their combat operations. At present, 50th IB troops are also encamped inside the barangay hall and at the Barangay Bila-bila plaza in Sallapadan.
In Surigao del Sur, residents of Tandag City complained last 16 December about the continuing presence of armed troops of the 36th Infantry Battalion Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) team in the barangay hall of Barrio Mabuhay, which has been used by the AFP soldiers as their detachment. These troops are responsible for the increasing number of cases of military abuses since their deployment to the area in September. The residents were hoping that the COPD would be withdrawn with Aquino’s ceasefire declaration.
In Isabela, armed troops of the 5th Infantry Division launched a search-and-pursuit operation in San Mariano on 16 December, on the very day that the AFP issued its ceasefire declaration. A section of the 17th Infantry Battalion was also transferred to San Mariano from its former base in the adjacent province of Cagayan.
In Rizal, armed troops of the 16th, 59th and 76th Infantry Battalions continue to launch offensive military operations in the towns of Jala-jala, Pililia, Tanay, Baras, Rodriguez, and Antipolo City under the guise of conducting peace and development operations. Not a single unit of the AFP has been ordered to go back to their barracks.
The CPP said the continuing military operations of the AFP under Oplan Bayanihan expose the duplicity of the Aquino regime and the AFP. They show that the 18-day ceasefire order is an empty declaration that serves only to cover up the continuing terrorist activities of the military, police and paramilitary forces.