By RUBI DEL MUNDO
Spokesperson, NDFP Southern Mindanao Chapter
All New People’s Army units in Southern Mindanao region will strictly comply with the directive of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to cease and desist from carrying out offensive operations against elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and the paramilitary forces of the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) starting this midnight 24 December up to 11:59pm of 26 December, and again during the midnight of 31 December up to 2 January 2014.
This is to give way for the celebration by the region’s revolutionary forces, underground mass organizations, and urban-based forces of the CPP’s 45th year anniversary inside the guerrilla zones and guerrilla bases in the countryside on 26 December.
While the entire Southern Mindanao NPA regional territory pledges to abide with the CPP’s ceasefire, GPH security forces have not complied with its own ceasefire declaration. The GPH’s ceasefire is falsely packaged as more considerate due to its longer timeframe while unfairly scoffing at NPA’s declaration as inadequate and perfunctory. Reports from the field, however, reveal the GPH’s truce as illusory, treacherous and dangerous:
Prior to the GPH’s 21 December ceasefire, elements of the 67th Infantry Batallion of the AFP already stationed its APC (armored personnel carrier) and two cannons in Spur 2, Barangay (village) Ngan, Compostela town on 19 December and, since then, maintained in active mode its “peace and development teams” in Compostela, Trento, Cateel and Boston towns. Checkpoints are also being put up by the 71st Infantry Battalion in the barangays of Masara and Elizalde in Maco town, and Andili and Limbo in Mawab town.
Last night at 7:00pm, 22 December, elements of the 84th Infantry Battalion arrived in Marahan, Marilog district, Davao City, and moved to Barangay Ladayon in Arakan town, North Cotabato, enroute to Mt. Sinaka.
These instances of forward deployment of the 10th Infantry Division-AFP units are duplicitous and offensive maneuvers in guerrilla territories. Reports of additional enemy deployment and enemy offensive actions from the field cannot be referred to as merely routine movements or cannot be dismissed as part of the GPH’s blanket declaration of “maintaining their defensive readiness in the protection of our people.”
These actions are provocative and raise the risk of armed engagements with the NPA. All NPA fighting units and the people’s militia are thus enjoined to be ever vigilant against hostile actions of enemy armed forces — from encroachment, surveillance to blatant operations — and should remain on active defensive mode, until they are forced to engage with the enemy in self-defense if the latter continues its offensive operations.
Thus, it is misleading for the GPH and the AFP to brand the NPA’s short ceasefire as merely token. In fact, the US-Aquino regime has no business claiming as peace harbingers by demanding for a longer ceasefire from the NPA when its own security forces continue its bloody rampage in the countryside and the cities against suspected revolutionaries, ordinary media men, and progressive leaders.
This is the same regime that uses indiscriminate aerial bombardment by enemy helicopters to neutralize civilian communities like what happened in Maco, Maragusan town, in Compostela Valley, and in Arakan, North Cotabato in the last couple of weeks. It has no business demanding for a truce from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines when it is unable to comply with previously signed agreements with the NDFP. More importantly, the GPH cannot insist on a longer ceasefire when it can hardly lift a finger for the resumption of peace negotiations with the NDFP.
Indeed, the GPH ceasefire declaration is as an exercise in futility, empty to the core. It is not only unreliable, its premise that it is in keeping with the Aquino regime’s “rebuilding” and “healing” efforts in Yolanda-ravaged Visayas region is, likewise, a badly written script. As proven in our own experience with Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha), the GPH will pursue its corruption-laden disaster and rehabilitation work with the fascist AFP at its helm, and will only utilize the current long ceasefire as an occasion to abuse the masses, pursue counter-revolutionary operations and stifle the movement of the populace.