Fr. SANTIAGO SALAS (Ka Sanny)
Spokesperson, NDFP-Eastern Visayas
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Eastern Visayas today belittled the 8th Infantry Division’s (Philippine Army) claims of working for “disaster mitigation” and “development projects” as psywar gimmmicks. “How can the 8th ID’s new chief, Gen. Gerardo Layug, claim to be working for disaster mitigation when the military is paving the way in the region for large-scale mining, a major cause of natural disasters like floods and landslides?” said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDFP-EV spokesperson.
“The 8th ID’s military operations under Oplan Bayanihan are meant to put down the people’s resistance to large-scale mining, a centerpiece program of the Aquino regime. Moreover, the 8th ID is busy with road construction projects to facilitate the movement of troops as well as the entry of mining firms under military protection in wide swathes of Samar and Leyte.”
Fr. Salas also warned the people to fight against the escalation of human abuses under Gen. Layug, a notorious fascist in the mold of his predecessor in the 8th ID, Gen. Jovito Palparan.
“Gen. Gerardo Layug is tagged as one of those responsible for the killing in July 2010 in Aklan of Fernando Baldomero, the first activist to die under the Aquino regime. This fascist general who was then brigade commander of the 301st Infantry Brigade publicly attacked Baldomero in a military radio program for months as a ‘frontman of communist terrorists’, and thus encouraged his assassination. But Baldomero was then a town councilor of Lezo, Aklan, and engaged in peaceful struggle as the provincial coordinator of Makabayan.
The people should thus guard against the mean and brutal Gen. Layug in light of the simmering resistance against large-scale mining and growing social unrest under the anti-people and pro-imperialist Aquino regime.”
The NDFP-EV spokesperson also belied the claims of Col. John Bonafos, 802nd Infantry Brigade commander, that the New People’s Army will not be able to retake the so-called “insurgency-free” provinces, particularly in Leyte island, and that the military is fostering development projects.
“Col. Bonafos should know that he is too late; the New People’s Army is already gaining ground among the people in Leyte and throughout the region who are restive and oppose the Aquino regime’s anti-development agenda of selling out the country’s interests to the imperialists and big business. The people are furious at Aquino for pushing large-scale mining, the privatization of the power industry and state services, the inutility to stop rising fuel prices in the deregulated oil industry, and other burning social issues. The people likewise despise the military for its continuing impunity under Oplan Bayanihan, a fascist pacification campaign for the Aquino regime’s pro-imperialist, anti-people and anti-development agenda.
On the other hand, the people welcome the NPA who are fighting for genuine change and development by overthrowing the reactionary ruling system. The NPA survived five previous regimes including a fascist dictatorship and continues to gain strength. From the strategic defensive, the NPA is now looking forward to advance to the strategic stalememate in the near future.”