By CPP Information Bureau
Other versions: Waray
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines -Eastern Visayas today dismissed Gen. Arthur Tabaquero's vow to end the revolutionary movement by yearend as rubbish and an insult to the people because it confirms that the incoming Aquino administration is no different from the outgoing one. "Gen. Tabaquero slaps the people who have hoped for change through elections, which presumably led to the victory of president-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino," said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDFP-EV spokesperson.
"The chief of the 8th Infantry Division is now not only saying that justice will not be served for the prevalent human rights violations under Arroyo's Oplan Bantay Laya 2, but these will be even furthered by the Aquino administration. While the NDFP is open to peace talks with the new administration, such an indication by Tabaquero only justifies the resolve of the revolutionary forces and people to decisively defeat Oplan Bantay Laya 2 and intensify and raise the level of the revolutionary armed struggle."
Fr. Salas also said that the New People's Army had already declared the failure of Oplan Bantay Laya 2, which was confirmed when the Armed Forces of the Philippines admitted that it cannot meet its June 2010 deadline of defeating the revolutionary movement. "Having failed, the AFP now looks even more desperate in still trying to pry victory from the jaws of defeat. This is wishful thinking. The NPA in Eastern Visayas has been consistently raising tactical offensives since 2007, continues to recruit hundreds of new Red fighters, and expanded and consolidated its areas of operation. Not a single guerrilla front was dismantled by the 8th ID, highlighted by the Mt. Amandewin Command's continuing tactical offensives though the military had declared the NPA was over in Leyte."
The NDFP-EV spokesperson added that the 8th ID's push means more human rights violations as well as wastefulness in the midst of the people's suffering under the economic crisis. "The NPA was never defeated under Oplan Bantay Laya 2 because it uses the correct strategy and tactics. It was the people who really suffered most because of the military's human rights violations. The military has been roundly condemned here and abroad for the extrajudicial killings of social activists, enforced disappearances, torture, and attacks on civilian communities. The reactionary government is thus spending hundreds of billions on military operations to inflict more suffering on the people on top of their hunger, landlessness and unemployment. In addition, the military also carries out a massive psywar campaign to accuse the NPA of human rights violations such as recruiting minors and other atrocities, and to vilify progressive organizations to pave the way for extrajudicial killings of activists.
"Aside from wasteful military operations, the government also threw away money on a false and corrupt peace initiative. The presidential peace adviser, Annabelle Abaya, has in fact recently admitted that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process had lost at least P190 million due to massive corruption. The OPAPP works together with the military and the local government units in the Social Integration Program and other so-called projects for peace and development, but high-ranking civilian and military officials were pocketing the money all along. The SIP is much-ballyhooed by the 8th Infantry Division. Thus, the NDFP-EV challenges the mass media to investigate the details of this and other projects and what exactly is the role of the 8th ID and the local government units in the OPAPP corruption scandal."
Fr. Salas also called on the revolutionary forces and the people to intensify the armed struggle and the democratic mass struggles in the face of the military's saber-rattling. "Let us decisively defeat Oplan Bantay Laya 2 by studying the enemy's plans, learning from our experiences, and keeping the initiative by going on the offensive. Let us confront the incoming Aquino administration by demanding the punishment of the outgoing Arroyo for human rights violations, corruption, and other crimes against the people. Let us remind president-elect Aquino that he is setting out on a tenuous term because he still has to prove his merits despite his victory riding on the popularity of his deceased parents, allegations of fraud in his election remain unresolved, and also because he remains cold to the people's demands for genuine land reform, living wages, defense of national sovereignty and national patrimony, and other burning issues.
"Let us teach Gen. Tabaquero the lesson that he does not have enough battalions while the NPA has the people on its side. When millions of the people remain landless and unemployed, the revolutionary ferment will lead to a steady stream of recruits for the NPA as well as continuing popular support for the revolutionary struggle. If president-elect Aquino will absolve Arroyo and even pursue her course such as continuing Oplan Bantay Laya 2, the accumulated anger of the people will fall on his head and that of his generals like Tabaquero."
NDF-EV Media Liaison Officer
Cellphone Number: 639196199369