By RUTH DE LEON
NDFP International Information Office
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) yesterday called for the explicit prohibition of actions that are hostile to the people under the deceptive signboard of Civil Military Operations (CMO) under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the ceasefire from 15 to 21 February 2011 on the occasion of the resumption of formal peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).
In an urgent message to the NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Luis Jalandoni, the NDFP principal and revolutionary forces pointed out that in many barangays the CMO operations, under the Community Organizer for Peace and Development (CPOD), had AFP troops harassing the communities, threatening the residents who resisted being recruited into the CAFGU (the paramilitary Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit), listing them as "sympathizers" of the New People's Army (NPA) and putting them on the AFP's Order of Battle. These CMO operations are in effect military operations which are part of the government's anti-people and counter-insurgency scheme.
Jalandoni, in a letter to GRP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Alexander Padilla, stated: "Our Negotiating Panel considers it imperative that AFP and PNP (Philippine National Police) units be brought back to regional and provincial barracks respectively during the ceasefire and if any patrols have to be undertaken, these patrols be limited to the immediate vicinity of the AFP and PNP barracks. By immediate vicinity is meant not more than two kilometers beyond the barracks. AFP and PNP patrols farther away will be considered offensive military or police operations.
"It is very important for the success of the ceasefire during the resumption of formal talks that the AFP and PNP not only suspend offensive operations against the NPA but also issue clear orders to their units not to carry out hostile actions against the people."
Jalandoni also urged the GRP Negotiating Panel to work out with its political leadership and the AFP and the PNP the measures in consonance with the above-stated proposals of the NDFP principal and revolutionary forces on the ground. Such measures should be stated in the Suspension of Offensive Military Operations (SOMO) and in the Suspension of Offensive Police Operations (SOPO).
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