By ROEL AGUSTIN II
Spokesperson, NPA Comval-Davao East Coast Subregional Command
The New People’s Army Comval-Davao East Coast Subregional Command launched a series of tactical offensives against the 67th Infantry Battalion (Philippine Army) to give justice to victims of Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) who continue to suffer from offensive military operations, state’s gross negligence, and corruption.
- Two soldiers were wounded from the snipe shots of Red fighters from the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 15 Operations Command in Barangay (village) Binondo, Baganga, Davao Oriental last 23 April at 11:00 am. Two hours later, four soldiers were killed when the NPA discharged a command detonated explosive in Purok 7 Tanggaan, Barangay Manurigao, New Bataan. The troops came from its offensive operations in Barangay Pichon, Caraga town, Davao Oriental.
- On 5 May at 5:00 pm, one was killed when the NPA sniped at the battalion’s Reengineered Special Operations Team in Barangay Pagsabangan, New Bataan.
- On 11 May, the NPA Guerrilla Front 20 Operations Command imposed sanctions against logging lord Cateel Mayor Camilo Nuñez, burning one bulldozer in sitio Yapsay, Taytayan, Cateel, Davao Oriental. The sanction was not only part of the total log ban campaign currently being implemented region-wide, but also to punish Nuñez for neglecting the long-term rehabilitation of Cateel residents who were victims of the 4 December 2012 Typhoon Pablo tragedy.
Up to now, thousands of peasants and residents of Cateel continue to wallow from lack of decent houses, damaged roads, lack of health services and food production subsidy. The lack of support for Typhoon Pablo victims is glaring, despite the millions of pesos poured in to supposedly rehabilitate disaster-hit towns of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley. The measly performance of reactionary welfare agencies is shown even in the minimal accomplishment of its housing program: from a target of 1,300 houses, only 110 houses of substandard materials were built. As Typhoon Pablo survivors continue in their suffering, wanton logging and mining operations are being done in the ravaged towns of Baganga, Cateel and Boston, with complicity from Nuñez, his sister, Gov. Corazon Malanyaon, and Congressman Elmer Dayanghirang.
Military operations by the 67th Infantry Battalion have continued, spawning human rights abuses and leaving a trail of terror in the villages that they scour and occupy. Residents and peasant leaders who complain of the lack of social services are identified and picked up by the military for interrogation. The military checks entry of all relief goods, logistical support, and road rehabilitation equipment coming from private groups and donors on suspicion that these are backed by the NPA. Even farms and fishing implements run by farm cooperatives have been destroyed by the military.
Military checkpoints are placed to implement regular food blockade, while fascist troops also occupy villages, schools and chapels. Military abuses are rampant in order to silence people’s organizations who struggle against severe hunger and poverty in the wake of Pablo and Agaton storms.
To widen its intelligence network, the military abets the organization of 10 individual-groupings of residents using the pretext of securing income through the DSWD’s cash for work scheme, employment, Philhealth cards, and congressional scholarship in exchange for intelligence information.
The 67th Infantry Battalion’s intelligence, psywar agents and soldiers in Peace and Development Outreach Program sponsor gambling in the villages and exploit women. To dissuade the widespread abuse by abusive intel operatives, on 14 April, the NPA’s Guerilla Front 15 Operations Command arrested and later released one of the BIN (Barangay Intelligence Network) informants in Barangay Binondo, Baganga, Davao Oriental.
Even wives of (paramilitary) CAFGU members were not spared from the Army’s sexual exploitation, when an incidence of attempted rape last month triggered an uprising of CAFGU members, resulting in the killing of one Sgt. Aikal of the 67th Infantry Battalion in sitio Nabunga, Boston, Davao Oriental.
The 67th Infantry Battalion has been notorious since day 1 after Typhoon Pablo struck when its goons killed progressive leader Cristina Jose. It continues to this day as a pack of mad dogs, ever berserk in trampling on the rights of disaster victims and protecting politician loggers and miners.
As it attempts to strike terror in the hearts of the masses, the NPA counters them with fierce battles and guerrilla warfare. Red fighters under the New People’s Army Comval-Davao East Coast Subregional Command persevere in launching agrarian revolution to help families of Typhoon Pablo victims march to full recovery and real development.