By Ka TIPON GIL-AYAB
Spokesperson, Lejo Cawilan Command
New People’s Army – Kalinga
At 5:10 in the morning of 19 October 2001, a unit of the New People’s Army from the Marcial Daggay Command (MDC) ambushed the operating platoon of the 21st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army between Sitio (sub-village) Sassalong and Sitio Kobiil, both in Barangay (village) Poswoy, Balbalan, Kalinga. A certain Corporal Bagasin, the guide of the fascist troops, was instantly killed. Some others of the reactionary forces were wounded either by bullets from the people’s army or by stones and thorns as they fell down the cliff and below the brook. After the firefight, the people’s guerrillas retreated safely and unharmed.
Another NPA unit from the same MDC ambushed another combat platoon of the 21st IB at 9:25 yesterday morning. The successful ambush was staged in a mountain slope in between the two barangays of Daoangan, Balbalan and of Baay, Pinukpuk, both in Kalinga. Two (2) high-powered rifles – M16 and M203 – were seized by the Red fighters from the 21st IB. There were two killed-in-action (KIA) and several others were wounded from the people’s enemy. Again, there was no casualty on the side of the people’s army.
The MDC is the Front Operational Command (FOC) of the NPA in the North-West Kalinga Front. For these two victorious tactical offensives, the Lejo Cawilan Command, the overall operational command of the whole NPA in Kalinga, gives the highest military commendations to the entire MDC!
It is but proper that the fascist formations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are the legitimate targets of the NPA military attacks. These OPlan Bayanihan troops are actually the security forces of large-scale mining (LSM) firms, which are allowed nationwide by the US-Aquino Regime (USAR) under its economic program of Public-Private Partnership, that is directed by the US imperialist policy of liberalization and privatization for the sole interests of foreign capitalists and of the big landlord-comprador businessmen in the Philippines.
Here in Kalinga alone, eight LSM firms – Facets Minerals, Inc.; Cordillera Exploration Co., Inc.; Asia Pacific Basin Mining Corp.; Vegas Exploration & Mining Corp.; Malibato Mining Co., Inc.; Makilala Mining Company; Phil Mining Development Co.; Wolfland Resources, Inc. – have already applied for Exploration Permits (EPs) which cover a total of 110,820 hectares of the ancestral lands in the municipalities of Balbalan, Pasil, Lubuagan, Tinglayan and Tabuk. Two of these – Wolfland Resources, Inc. and Makilala Mining Company (MMC) – have already been approved.
The MMC has already begun its exploration in Pasil since 2007. Also three LSM firms – Patrick Resources Corp. (Lepanto), Mt. Franz Mining Corp. (also Lepanto) and Newcrest Exploration Phil., Inc. – have already applied for Financial or Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAAs) that will cover more than 140,506 hectares of ancestral lands in the municipalities of Balbalan, Pasil, Lubuagan, Tinglayan, Tanudan, Tabuk and Pinukpuk and in other municipalities of Mt. Province, Abra and Apayao.
Also under the Public-Private Partnership of the reactionary USAR and the US imperialist policy of liberalization and privatization, a geothermal power plant is to be constructed by the Chevron Corp., the Guidance Management Corp. and the Aragorn Power and Energy Corp. This project will affect many of the barangays of the towns of Pasil, Tinglayan and Lubuagan. It would involve 17,580 hectares in the ancestral domains of the tribes of Balatoc, Dalupa-Ableg, Dangtalan, Guina-ang and Culayo in Pasil; Uma tribe in Lubuagan; and the tribes of Sumadel, Bangad, Tulgao, Dananao and Tongrayan in Tinglayan.
Under dubious and manipulated processes, the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has claimed that majority of these tribes to be affected have already and fully given their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Of course, the LSM firms that will operate in these areas will be the main beneficiaries of the hydro-power plant.
These projects are the main reasons why the 5th Infantry Division stationed the 501st Brigade, the 21st Infantry Battalion, the 53rd Division Recoinassance Company, two companies of the 77th Infantry Battalion, as well as the paramilitary Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGUs), the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) remnants and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Kalinga. All of these reactionary troops would serve as security forces of LSM and hydro-power plant projects that will plunder wantonly the rich ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples. Thus, it is just to summon all NPA units and Front operational commands here in Kalinga and in other provinces to launch more tactical offensives against these anti-people and fascist security forces of the multinational and landlord-comprador companies.
For the people’s war to advance in order to defeat US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, and establish a national-democratic coalition government, it is just and necessary to expose the OPlan Bayanihan and launch more tactical offensives against the OPlan Bayanihan operating forces. It is very clear to the Filipino people that the USAR’s Oplan Bayanihan, the new campaign plan in the counterrevolutionary war of the AFP, has the overall objective to safeguard the semi-colonial and semi- feudal system, maintain the rule of US imperialism and the local puppets of the big comprador bourgeoisie and landlord class, and smash or defeat the armed revolution and other forces fighting against their anti-national, anti-mass and anti-democratic rule.
While the reactionary US-Aquino Regime makes use of “peace,” “development” and “human rights” as deceitful catch words and as empty slogans of the fascist AFP in its OPlan Bayanihan campaign plan, this has no fundamental or qualitative difference with the Oplan Bantay Laya I and II under the terrorist US-GMA Regime.
OPlan Bayanihan and its deceptive schemes are based on the 2009 US Counter-Insurgency Guide. Its main focus is the implementation of the Triad Operations, ie, the synchronization of combat, intelligence and civil military operations (CMO) in order to crush threats for the security of the puppet state. Meaning, the CMOs as the non-combat aspect of the counterinsurgency operations primarily serve to strengthen the intelligence network of the fascist AFP, and to escalate the combat operations of the people’s enemy.
Thus, the main objective of the non-combat military operations is to deceive the people, demonize the revolutionary movement, widen the mobilization of the civilian agencies and organizations for the unjust and counterrevolutionary war of the reactionary and puppet state, and deodorize the rotten image of the fascist AFP.
We, therefore, call on all tribes to send their best men and women to the NPA. Let us continue to expand and consolidate the guerrilla bases, implement the agrarian revolution, and launch more tactical offensives against the people’s enemy, in order to contribute for the advancement of the people’s war into the strategic stalemate stage nationwide.