NPA ambushes 6th Division troopers in North Cotabato, confiscates 7 high-powered rifles

Ka Efren
Spokesperson, NDFP Far South Mindanao Chapter

Warm salute to the Red fighters of the Mt. Alip Command-Front 72 of the New People’s Army for the victorious attacks carried out against the units of the fascist 6th Infantry Division, Armed Forces of the Philippines on 21 October!

The Red fighters confiscated four M14 and three M16 rifles in an ambush staged against a squad of 38th Infantry Battalion troopers in Sitio Mangui, Barangay (village) Bituan, Tulunan, North Cotabato. The soldiers on board a military service vehicle were put out of action at once when a command-detonated land mine mounted by the NPA fighters in the ambush site hit them.

The action left eight troopers dead and a lone wounded survivor. The Red fighters also confiscated the soldiers’ backpacks containing various belongings and AFP logistics.

The 38th Infantry Battalion troops routed in the action is undisputedly a legitimate target, being active combatant elements of the said territorial infantry.

Nearly an hour later, a separate team of NPA fighters harassed the reinforcing troops of the 57th Infantry Battalion as they passed through the vicinity of Itochu-Dole’s banana plantation in Barangay Luna Norte, Makilala, North Cotabato. The troops came from the battalion headquarters in Makilala town, onboard a 6×6 military truck. A soldier was killed and four others were wounded in the harassment ambush that also employed a command-detonated bomb.

These related actions are a whopping blow to the AFP who insistently set up paramilitary CAA detachments under the 38th Infantry Battalion, close to civilian communities. As a consequence of the presence of military detachments, the residents are vulnerable to violations and harassments by the military and paramilitary CAFGU elements (Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit, CAFGU). The 38th and 57th Infantry Battalions are mercenaries bribed to protect the interests of plundering big businesses of the local ruling classes, the bureaucrats and multinational companies operating in the area.

The NPA have efficaciously resolved the people’s persistent request to punish the 38th IB for their vicious doings. It has long been known to people that the 38th IB is a key handler of bandits and criminals they recruited as CAFGU elements or intelligence assets.

The NPA has once again proven the cleverness and audacity of guerilla warfare with the triumph of the back-to-back actions at a place and time the fascists least expect the attacks.

The AFP is blandly concealing its military defeat by declaring that the NPA is purportedly undertaking armed operations within the declared peace zones. Unquestionably, the Red cadres and commanders are certain that the safety of the civilians and the legitimacy of conducting battle are essentially mulled over in setting up the offensive. The site in Sitio Mangui where the ambush incident took place is more than a kilometer from the borders of the Bituan peace zone.

Contrary to their charge against the NPA, it is the AFP forces who recurrently conduct combat operations and military activities within the peace zones since these were created more than a score ago. The long list of AFP violations that took place in these locales is an affirmation of their defilement of the provisions in the creation of peace zones.

Consequently since 2010, the AFP have conducted their so-called peace and development operations (PDOP), a fundamental component of the counterrevolution and anti-people Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Noynoy Aquino regime, in the barangays comprising the peace zones. The rapid expansion of palm oil, rubber and banana plantations, and the incoming operation of the British multinational Alphaville Mining Corporation are the reasons behind the 6th Infantry Division’s mandated PDOP in the area.

In her statements, North Cotabato governor Emmylou “Lala” Talino-Mendoza reechoed the AFP’s contentions and denounces that the incident is “only creating turmoil and will drive away the investors”. What the GPH governor was implying is that she is preserving her “serbisyong totoo” (genuine service) but for the interests of the local ruling classes, the bureaucrat capitalists that she represents, and the big foreign plunderers.

Her accusatorial line that military actions such as those carried out by the NPA to punish rightful targets “thwarts the delivery of social services to the people” is a baseless reproach. Lest she forget, genuine services for the people must be unconditional and attainable especially at the time when the people needed it most.

The governor must learn her responsibilities as a civilian authority from the people, and for the people in that manner, and not reduce herself to mere clanging cymbals of the AFP.


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