July 18, 2015
No measure of invectives against the New People’s Army, the revolutionary army of the poor, will conceal the fact that one of its guerilla platoons successfully raided a peace and development team of the 58th Infantry Battalion in Brgy. Alagatan, Gingoog City last July 11, 2015, where Pfc. Adonis Jess Lupiba was captured.
First, the video we have recently uploaded in Youtube clearly shows that the prisoner of war under NPA custody is in good health. This runs counter to the allegation of the 58th IB and 4th Infantry Division spokespersons that the captured soldier was wounded and subsequently mistreated by the NPA—an accusation that has caused unnecessary worry on the part of his family and friends.
Second, it was only right for Pfc. Lupiba not to fire his weapon, which would have compromised the safety of many civilians. This is his way, as a professional soldier, of adhering to their rules of engagement which states that “involvement of civilians and their property must be avoided” and “damages must be limited only to the extent necessitated by the mission”. Their officials, however, clearly do not understand these rules of engagement for they ordered their men to occupy barrio centers, barangay halls, gymnasiums and other public facilities in conducting the psywar component of the triad operations of Oplan Bayanihan.
Moreover, the reactionary soldiers violated CARHRIHL (Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law). Part 4, Article 12 of the said document clearly provides for the right of the civilian population “…to be protected against the risks and dangers posed by the presence of military camps in urban centers and other populated areas”. Thus, Pfc. Lupiba’s group’s occupation of the barrio hall in Alagatan puts in danger the lives of the residents whom they have used as a human shield against the NPA.
The Filipino heroes have inspired us in offering their lives for the sake of the interests and welfare of the nation and the oppressed and exploited Filipino people. Unfortunately, the AFP stubbornly clings to its mercenary tradition which really only serves the interests of US imperialism and the local ruling classes to perpetuate their hegemony over our semicolonial and semifeudal nation. Therefore, the AFP’s counterrevolutionary COPD (Community Organizing for Peace and Development) can in no way be called heroic. Its chief and, more likely than not, only, objective is to launch psychological warfare against the peasants to suppress their right to struggle for genuine land reform and development. Ironically, this is the “peace and development” brought by the reactionary COPD troops to the countryside, as was the case in Brgy. Alagatan.
The NPA’s lenient treatment of Pfc. Lupiba and other POWs before him and our readiness to release him in due time consistently proves the revolutionary movement’s sincerity in adhering to the rules of combat and CARHRIHL, and most of all its desire for the resumption of peace negotiations with the government of the Philippines to address and provide solutions to the socio-economic and political causes of the continuing civil war in the country.
Ka Allan Juanito
New People’s Army
North Central Mindanao Regional Command