National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Southern Mindanao Region
PRESS STATEMENT | July 4, 2018
The US-Duterte regime, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the forefront, has shamelessly woven tall tales of conquest with its parade of forced fake surrenders of civilians, illegal arrests and killings of Lumad, peasants and activists in Southern Mindanao.
The National Democratic Front condemns these abuses, made more atrocious by the day with the continued implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao, an edict that has traumatized tens of thousands of ordinary civilians.
Spokespersons of the 10th ID of the Philippine Army invariably claim of having “cleared” rural barangays of the influence of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, especially in Davao City. Almost always immediately, however, engagements between their fascist forces and NPA units undermine these fictitious claims.
On June 27, at around 3:30 in the afternoon, a firefight ensued between Red fighters and soldiers belonging to the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Battalion in Brgy. Carmen, Baguio District in Davao City.
Immediately after the incident, Jerry Liao, Ruel Linaw, Koko Bayok and Tata Atig, all farmers from Brgy. Tawan-tawan, Baguio District, were arrested by 3rd IB troops and held them incommunicado for 5 days. The four were only released on July 2. A day after the engagement, six civilians in nearby Brgy. Magsaysay, Marilog District were forced by the 3rd IB to “surrender” as NPA fighters. The AFP even falsely alleged in the media that during the firefight, Red fighters held 30 farm workers against their will. In fact, the NPA ensured that the farm workers were steered to safety as the Red fighters withdrew from the engagement.
Just a few days after the incident, Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Darren Comia of the 16th IB declared that they are recommending 83 barangays in Davao City as “cleared” of “CPP and NPA influence.”
What Lt. Comia means of being “cleared” is that their troops are able to conduct psywar operations, coerce a handful of residents to surrender as either NPA fighters or sympathizers, intimidate local mass leaders and barangay officials, pit civilians against each other, and force their terroristic presence in Lumad and peasant communities.
In his mind, Lt. Comia even gauges the extent of this “clearance” if they are able to conscript civilians to become CAFGU or paramilitary members and establish a military detachment with in the communities.
What the fascist thugs of the 10th ID actually imagine for Davao City is a virtual military garrison peppered with detachments to keep at bay the growing resistance against the US-Duterte’s anti-people programs and policies.
Duterte has wasted his remaining saving grace in spurning the peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP. He has allowed US imperialist stooges like National Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana to shoot down the peace talks, instead of heeding the clamor of the masses to resolve the roots of civil unrest.
Alas, Duterte has paved the path of his political demise by, inadvertently, agitating the Filipino people to oust him from power.
RUBI DEL MUNDO