NDFP-EV slams 8th ID's US-funded “road to war”
By Fr. SANTIAGO "Sanny" SALAS
Calling it a “road to war” funded by the US government, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Eastern Visayas today challenged the 8th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Aquino government to come clean on the military's proposal for the construction and rehabilitation of roads on Samar Island and its connection to the $434 million grant for the same by the US Millenium Challenge Corporation last year.
"The NDFP-EV believes the P4.6-billion road projects recently proposed by 8th ID chief Gen. Mario Chan to the Regional Development Council are part and parcel of the US MCC grant,” said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDFP-EV spokesperson.
“These projects are for military purposes and thus a “road to war.” Gen. Chan himself admits the target areas are priorities for attack by the 8th ID and the projects will facilitate troop deployment and mobility. The claim that basic services will be delivered to the people is a flimsy attempt to disguise the fascist and militarist aggression behind the road projects.”
Fr. Salas said US backing of the military's “counterinsurgency” operations in Samar is a gross violation of national sovereignty, as well as bad faith on the part of the Aquino government in its peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. “In doctrine, the military is already oriented with the US Counterinsurgency Guide which inspired Oplan Bayanihan. But the US hand in the Philippine military's “counterinsurgency” operations is made clearer in Samar by the US MCC grant. These tools of US intervention are meant to sugarcoat the violent suppression of revolutionary and anti-imperialist movements. The US-backed preparations for escalating “counterinsurgency” in Samar will thus surely stir patriotic outrage, while also putting into question the sincerity of the Aquino government for peace negotiations.”
The NDFP-EV spokesperson also dismissed the military's claims that the road projects will bring peace and development.
“What the road projects will bring are more human rights violations and more corruption. The Aquino regime's national security program Oplan Bayanihan continues to target social activists and alleged supporters of the revolutionary movement even though they are civilians. Meanwhile, anti-corruption activists in Samar have been lambasting for years the road projects there as sources of official corruption. It is an ill omen that road projects in Samar are now being pushed by the military, an institution still being rocked by unresolved investigations into the massive corruption of its top brass.”
Fr. Salas said the US-funded road projects by the military will strengthen the anti-imperialist and antifascist solidarity of the people. “The people will certainly be inflamed with patriotic outrage at US intervention in the internal armed conflict in the Philippines. They will resist the fascist, militarist and US-backed escalation of the 8th ID's “counterinsurgency operations.” They will demand the pursuit of peace talks to discuss the socio-economic reforms they are struggling for, such as genuine agrarian reform, national industrialization, and economic emancipation from foreign domination.”