By ARIS FRANCISCO
Spokesperson, NPA Comval-North Davao-South Agusan Sub-regional Command
Kapalong Mayor Eduardo Timbol is intensifying the suffering and misery of Lumads and peasants by abetting, unleashing and sponsoring the paramilitary bandit group Alamara, whose armed operations have already affected 10 communities in Barangay (village) Gupitan.
As a warlord, Mayor Timbol used the notorious tribal leader Larris Mansaloon and the Alamara as his own private army that is responsible for protecting his various economic and political interests. Mansaloon and the Alamara bandits were the armed component of Mayor Timbol’s electoral machinery and illegal logging business. As the Mayor’s goons, Mansaloon and the Alamara displayed a grave abuse of influence and perpetrated various criminal activities like killing, theft, rape, banditry and gambling.
Lately, Mayor Timbol allowed Mansaloon and Alamara bandits to be used by the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 60th, 48th, 69th, and the 28th Infantry Battalions as running dogs for their operations in Davao del Norte. Under the guise of the “Peace and Development Outreach Program” or PDOP, they are responsible for the economic blockade, red-baiting, harassment and psychological warfare operations, all designed to sow fear among the Lumads and peasants.
To stifle the surging people’s struggle against the military’s abuses, Mayor Timbol has ordered Mansaloon and the Alamara to harass and hinder human rights advocates from conducting a humanitarian mission in Barangay Kapatagan, where more than half of its residents were dislocated after the fascist AFP troops used their houses and villages as camps and shelters.
The AFP has arbitrarily encamped in houses in Taogatok and Upper Tagasan, Ngan, Mangkay, Vega, and Magimon villages, and villages of Muling and Luno, all resulting to the hamletting of the residents and the disruption of their economic activities. Fearing for their lives, the Lumads have evacuated from the area.
Mayor Timbol sponsored the military and Alamara’s abject reign of terror to allow banana plantation, palm oil project and large-scale mining. Despite testimonies from the masses and the glaring evidence of displacement of civilians, Mayor Timbol has obstinately contradicted the people’s clamor for an end to the banditry and injustice by saying there are no victims of human rights abuses in his town.
The New People’s Army cautions Mayor Timbol to cease from doing overt and covert anti-Lumad, anti-people and counter-revolutionary acts. As a civilian elected official, he should disband the Alamara paramilitary group and stop the abuses heaped against peasants and Lumads. In an act of goodwill, the Mayor should uphold human rights and call for the resumption of peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH).
Failure on Mayor Timbol’s part to rectify his ways will only compel the New People’s Army and the People’s Democratic Government to expedite its process of revolutionary justice for the victims of paramilitary banditry and the military’s fascism.