By ARIS FRANCISCO
Spokesperson, Compostela Valley-North Davao-South Agusan Subregional Command
NPA Southern Mindanao
The New People’s Army raided the 26th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army detachment in Barangay (village) Mansanitas, Loreto, captured at the village center five CAFGU paramilitary forces, four of whom were armed village officials, and confiscated two shotgun rifles and one. 357 pistol on 24 October at 11:00 am.
Red fighters also thwarted a platoon of reinforcement forces of the 26th Infantry Battalion in a gunfight that yielded at least five fatalities on the military side. The Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines responded by sending two military helicopters that dropped 14 bombs in the community; the helicopters later secured their fatalities.
Thursday’s tactical offensive was the NPA’s campaign against a fascist Army unit and its paramilitary machinery responsible for butchering two peasant leaders — Gabriel Alindao and Benjie Planos of the peasant group Kahugpungan Alang sa Kalambuan sa Kauswagan or KASAKA — detaining and torturing two civilian Lumad minors, and conducting massive harassment and counter-revolutionary drive against the peasant masses in Loreto, Agusan del Sur.
Captured and considered prisoners of war (POWs) were barangay captain Lito Andalique, barangay kagawad (councilor) Marvin Bantuasan, Crisanto Piodos, and Balaba Andalique, and CAFGU tribal member Pepe Subla. The five are currently accorded rights as POWs, their health and safety at the auspices of the NPA’s custodial force.
Nothing can be so farther from the truth as to the far-fetched claim by Eastmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Rainier Cruz that the arrest of the barangay officials was the NPA’s act of involving itself in the forthcoming reactionary exercise of barangay elections.
The five POWs are not ordinary civilians and reelectionist village officials but are counter-revolutionary paramilitary forces, and are thus legitimate targets of the NPA. The POWs are psychological warfare agents, who banned the masses from going to their farms and forcing them to remain at the village centers, in a blatant attempt to control their movement. These POWs have campaigned hard against the NPAs, harassed peasant leaders, and strongly endorsed the entry of palm oil and mining projects — projects that will eventually dislocate the masses and deprive Lumads of their ancestral domain.
In the midst of the US-Aquino regime’s intensified counter-revolutionary campaign, backed up by a fascist mayor in the person of Dario Otaza, the revolutionary forces are persevering in their anti-feudal and anti-fascist struggle, expanding numerous village councils while putting up welfare projects to sustain the basic needs of the masses. It is only warranted for the NPA to protect the successes of the People’s Democratic Government by punishing the enemy and enforcing revolutionary justice.
(sgd.) ARIS FRANCISCO
Comval-North Davao-South Agusan Subregional Command
NPA Southern Mindanao