By RUBI DEL MUNDO
Spokesperson, NDFP – Southern Mindanao
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Southern Mindanao hits the reactionary Philippine Army's stresses for 2010 calling them mere euphemism for a more vicious campaign against the Filipino people and the revolutionary movement.
The fascist Philippine Army's recently pronounced four ACEs — Army's Concern for the Environment, Army's Concern for Engineering, Army's Combat Excellence and Advocacy for Credible Elections — is only a preliminary propaganda purveyed by its chief, the notorious Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit.
Bangit, the most favored among Ms. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's bootlicking generals, is groomed to replace current AFP chief of staff Gen. Victor Ibrado. Bangit is now posturing himself to strengthen his bid for the AFP's highest position and dispel well-founded views that he will be playing a crucial role in perpetuating Mrs. Arroyo in power. His first attempt is to deodorize his unit's notorious record of human rights violations and electoral fraud.
Despite Bangit's putting-his-best-foot-forward move, the Filipino people smell the stink of the Philippine Army's four ACEs.
Its ballyhooed Advocacy for Credible Elections is nothing but a machination by the reactionary AFP to push its devious game plan of ensuring Mrs. Arroyo's victory in the upcoming GRP elections and continue her hold on power.
Bangit hypocritically lays claim to sainthood by working for a peaceful and credible election, conveniently forgetting that the AFP is the Arroyo regime's single, most dependable electoral machinery for electoral fraud and terrorism. Since the 2004 massive GRP election cheating, the infamous Virgilio Garcillano of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the 'Hello Garci' generals were never prosecuted.
As proven in the 'Hello Garci' scandal, the military played a major role in manipulating the 2004 GRP elections. Military generals colluded with local politicians, political warlords and the Comelec resulting to Arroyo's victory over the undisputed winner in the GRP elections, the late Fernando Poe Jr.
To the contrary, the AFP's high-ranking officials who were responsible for the massive cheating were instead absolved by the AFP fact-finding board headed by former Navy chief Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga. Being instrumental to Mrs. Arroyo's "victory," they were promoted to higher military and government positions. Maj. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, AFP deputy chief of staff for operations and deputy commander for Task Force HOPE (Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections) during the 2004 elections, was promoted to Army chief in August 2005 and was subsequently promoted to AFP chief of staff in 2006. After his retirement, he was appointed to several government positions. He now serves as head of the Presidential Management Staff. Maj. Gen. Gabriel Habacon, 1st Infantry Division commander during the 2004 polls, was promoted as Southern Command (SouthCom) chief, while SouthCom chief Maj. Gen. Roy Kyamko was promoted to lieutenant general before he retired from service.
Meanwhile, Garcillano was never indicted. He even had the gall of running for a congressional seat in Bukidnon province during the 2007 elections. The Arroyo regime has made all efforts to protect him amidst Mrs. Arroyo's notorious 'I am sorry' public apology; and thereby had continued to hide the truth from the Filipino people.
Bangit's pronouncement that the military will not engage in partisan politics is double-talk as the AFP already unleashed its party-list hound dogs Anad and Bantay headed by rabid anti-Communists, Jun Alcover and retired general Jovito Palparan, respectively. Both had been active in demonizing members and leaders of legal democratic organizations and progressive party-lists. The butcher Palparan is guilty for a number of political killings and other violations of human rights. He now ambitiously bids for a Senate seat to counter Makabayan's Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza and is bringing his bloody campaign in Davao City.
Palparan is the latest attack dog for the AFP's 10th Infantry Division, which has been actively campaigning against local candidates and party-lists in Southern Mindanao. It has been maliciously branding the latter as Communist fronts while conducting psywar (psychological warfare) operations against the masses during military operations. The 67th Infantry Battalion based in Baganga, Davao Oriental, for instance, actively campaigns against progressive party-lists and candidates. On the other hand, Gen. Eduardo del Rosario, 1003rd Infantry Brigade commander, is in his usual red-tagging mode as he lumped Bayan Muna's Virador, Casilao and Librado to the revolutionary movement after former Bayan-Southern Mindanao secretary general Alvin Luque declared seeking sanctuary with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The reactionary Army's stress called "Concern for Environment" simply means that the military will serve more the interests of big foreign and local capitalists in plundering the country's rich natural resources. Through the Investment Defense Force, the military serves as protector of big foreign and local logging and mining companies resulting to massive displacement of peasants and lumads; human rights violations; and disturbing environmental damage resulting to natural calamities such as landslides and floods, among others. Instead of "preventing or mitigating the effects of natural calamities" and "addressing climate change," the military has contributed to their worsening.
The Philippine Army's "Concern for Engineering" means it will intensify its "winning the hearts and minds campaign" through hard projects (e.g. road construction) in areas where both US and GRP states have economic interests and where revolutionary movements such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the CPP-New People's Army-NDF are strong. These projects are part of its psywar tactics in 'counter-insurgency' operations and belie the sincerity of the GRP in delivering social services, which should otherwise be carried out by civilian institutions of government.
Lastly, the Philippine Army's "Advocacy in Combat Excellence" only means strengthening the last lap of its failed counter-revolutionary campaign Oplan Bantay Laya. It is expected that more civilians, and families and relatives of known revolutionaries will become victims of this vicious campaign like what befall to Rebelyn Pitao (Ka Parago's daughter) and Conrado CaÃ±ete (Ka Jinggoy's father). It simply means "excellence" in carrying out more extrajudicial killings, abducting and maiming activists, and terrorizing communities in both rural and urban areas.
By recognizing "war fighting as its core competency," the AFP will only make 2010 a bloodier year for civilians and the rest of the Filipinos.