By RIGOBERTO F. SANCHEZ
NPA-Southern Mindanao Regional Command
Military spokespersons, specifically that of the 25th Infantry Battalion, downplayed the April 14 armory raid by the New People’s Army in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, as mere retaliatory attacks. The forced display of nonchalance, however, only shows how the 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines tries to conceal its complicity with Monkayo Mayor Joselito Brillantes Jr. and the ferocity of its counter-revolutionary Oplan Bayanihan.
The NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command congratulates officers and fighters under the Comval-North Davao South Agusan Subregional Command for staging the 2-and-½-hour armory raid of the so-called JB Palace or JB Malacanang in Olaycon, Monkayo. The Red fighters also fought it out against the military blocking force in Barangay Banlag, Monkayo, and dispatched sniper teams during the April 14 to April 15 dawn tactical offensive.
The tactical offensive was not a mere retaliation, as AFP spindoctors would like to call it, but an execution of revolutionary justice. Revolutionary justice prevailed despite how well-entrenched and fortified the JB Palace is in Monkayo, where it is flanked and supported by surrounding 25th Infantry Battalion detachments and Brillantes’ private army and goons inside and outside his compound. The heavy defense proved to be worthless in the face of the justness of the NPA’s disarming and confiscation operation against the notorious mayor warlord. The raid produced 74 confiscated firearms as well as the seizure of 1 binocular scope, 36 pieces of rifle grenades, 52 pieces of 40mm ammunition, 800 rounds K3, 500 rounds AK, 5000 rounds of M60, 400 rounds of Ultimax drum, more than 14,000 rounds of assorted ammunition, five VHF radio sets, and a rifle vest.
That a municipal mayor owns the sheer volume of firearms and ammunition is obviously unjustified and is supposedly banned even by the reactionary civilian government. But the 10th Infantry Battalion-East Mindanao Command of the AFP tolerates the arms cache as it supports and colludes with warlord Brillantes and his mining interest in pursuit of the counterrevolutionary Oplan Bayanihan.
The spate of extra-judicial killings in the area has been the handiwork of Brillantes’ goons and private army who are armed to the teeth and are lording over ordinary farmers, residents who eke out a living by cutting logs, and mining workers. Because the reactionary civilian government and the AFP continue to turn a blind eye over the private army build-up of Brillantes, the revolutionary people’s government has made it its mandate and duty to disarm the municipal mayor and execute justice on behalf of the families of the victims of his atrocities.
Immediately after the armory raid, the 10th Infantry Division ordered its Army units to launch operations to recover the NPA’s confiscated firearms on behalf of the warlord mayor. This only proves how military operations, mining and economic interests, and warlordism are essential elements of the AFP’s Oplan Bayanihan. It is clear as day how the AFP only exists to serve its real masters — members of the local ruling classes like Brillantes who hides warlordism under the protective mantle of civilian bureaucracy to further his environmentally destructive mining operations. It is apparent that Oplan Bayanihan has failed miserably, despite its huge resources and support of US imperialism, now that Aquino’s term is fast approaching its end.
The confiscated weapons are intended to equip newly formed additional full fighting NPA platoons to serve the basic masses truly and genuinely. The Red fighters shall run after warlords like Brillantes, serve revolutionary justice, and introduce real development in the countryside.
Many among the ranks of the foot soldiers and ordinary elements of the AFP know that they are serving a corrupt and rotten military but are forced to continue in the service out of economic necessity and survival, and fear of reprisal should they speak against their superiors. The NPA urges them and other forces to support the people’s war. The NPA exhorts the Filipino people to be inspired by the masses in Monkayo who have united and made the NPA’s successful tactical offensive a deserving revolutionary punishment against warlordism, environmental destruction, and exploitation.