The National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Negros Island today condemns the intensification of militarization under Oplan Bayanihan as demanded by Governor Alfredo Maranon to secure his pro-big landlord-capitalist programs in the province.
“Instead of implementing land reform that will strategically address the problems of poverty by creating jobs, income and food security for the majority of the Negrosanons, Gov Maranon, an aging but incorrigible warlord, continues to beat the drums of war,” the NDFP-Negros statement said.
The statement said that the 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army (PA), has miserably failed in the implementation of (counter-insurgency program) Oplan Bayanihan despite enormous funding, increased personnel and equipment, and media blitz. Even after the devastating earthquake in Negros Oriental, military operations continue to comb suspected New People’s Army areas in the guise of rescue operations in Guihulngan, Tayasan and La libertad.
Many quake victims who lined up to get relief goods were subjected to surveillance and questioning of their connections to the NPA.
Maranon’s “best president” Benigno Aquino III has promised his big haciendero friends in Negros that the national government will give the necessary military support and socio-economic priorities like the dole-out CCT programs to be implemented alongside Oplan Bayanihan. Newly installed 3rd Infantry Division commanding officer Gen. Jose Mabanta has boasted like his predecessors of cutting NPA strength by half in 2013, a promise that will always end in failure and more human rights violations against the people.
The NDFP also criticized Maranon’s continued support for destructive mining activities, including off-shore dredging-mining of the rich black sand from Pontevedra to Sagay City. This has already affected several barangays and the environment.
The revolutionary alliance also advise Maranon to tell his best President Aquino to be serious with the peace talks with the NDFP at the national level and for the release of all political prisoners. Maranon should stop asking for local peace talks since this has already been rejected by the NDFP-Negros as nothing more but a divisive move and a cheap political gimmick.