By OMAR IBARRA
Spokesperson, NPA Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Subregional Command
The recent turn of events challenges you to make a stand.
The near-annihilation of the 84th SAF-PNP troops in Maguindanao shows the division and dissension of your ranks in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and and Philippine National Police. This is how it happened: under US orders for the capture of an alleged terrorist under the framework of its “war on terror”, your commander-in-chief, Benigno Aquino III, violated your chain of command and all due processes, through a faction of generals led by General Purisima.
Despite the ongoing ceasefire and peace negotiations between the government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Aquino ran over all agreements to implement the US orders. Now, he and his officials exhaust all efforts to wash their hands of culpability after wasting the lives of 44 SAF personnel.
This incident clearly indicates the ineptness of your commander-in-chief in mobilizing your forces. He only complies with the dictates of his imperialist master and his local instigators. Now it has resulted in endless bickering and finger-pointing among military and civilian officials, and has undermined the morale of the whole organization of AFP and PNP.
Even in areas of the New People’s Army, particularly here in Front 88, Aquino uses you under the design and in furtherance of the interests of US imperialism and local ruling classes.
You are aware that the AFP and PNP brings, not genuine peace and development, but terrorism to our area in order to pave the way for the entry of the foreign company, Metro Luxury Mining.
Aside from combat operations, your psy-war and intelligence activities under COPD have intimidated the lumad and peasant masses here. They are further terrorized by the activities of your counterrevolutionary paramilitary groups such as Bagani Force in La Paz, Loreto and San Luis, and Wild Dogs or BULIF in Esperanza and Las Nieves. These have resulted in the forced evacuation of families in their hundreds in a score of communities in San Luis, for several weeks now. Can you then say that you are waging a war against terrorism when your government itself sows terror against the people in furtherance of foreign economic interests?
We are aware that most of you, like us, come from the poor classes, and that you are only forced to become soldiers and policemen because of the lack of better employment opportunities so you can feed your families. It must be made clear, however, that your service only benefits a few foreign and local exploiters, while you suppress the just struggle of the poor.
While you are being used as pawns in this war, you are also used by your senior officials in enriching themselves. Taking for instance the so-called modernization programs of AFP and PNP. Have you benefited from the billions of pesos of funds allocated for these? Are you aware of the modus operandi concerning the Balik-Baril program where higher military officials pocket most of the funds allocated for fake NPA surrenderees and recycled firearms?
Despite the massive defeat in Maguindanao, should you trust your lives to Aquino as commander-in-chief after he denied culpability in such failure and failed to express sympathy to the families and loved ones of those killed?
Aquino has a lot to answer for, not only to you soldiers and policemen but to the whole Filipino people who are victimized by US imperialism’s economic and political aggression. His puppetry to foreign interests and dictates, as well as his state terrorism against his own people, gives a push to intensifying calls for his ouster from Malacañang.
While the movement for the ouster of Aquino rages, we appeal to your nationalist and humanitarian stand. You have a significant role in the removal of an inept president from power as exemplified by your withdrawal of support from Marcos and Estrada. Arroyo, on the other hand, was almost ousted when soldiers and policemen mutinied against massive corruption, violence and fraudulence.
Thus we encourage you to take the side of the broad people, especially the poor, against the trampling of our integrity and dignity as Filipino people by US imperialism. While you are serving the reactionary government, we implore you to avoid abusing the human rights of the masses, respect the people’s call for the withdrawal of COPD troops and their struggle against CADC and big mining and other foreign corporations.
Most importantly, you should make a stand and make common cause with the people’s call for the ouster of your commander-in-chief, Benigno Aquino III.