Prepare for escalation of Aquino’s war of suppression

With the Aquino regime already laying the ground for the scuttling of the peace negotiations, the Filipino people must prepare for the escalation of the reactionary war of suppression. Military abuses, human rights violations and state brutality are bound to worsen as the ruling system sinks from one deep crisis to another.

By Communist Party of the Philippines

Judging by the acts and statements of the Philippine government (GPH) and its representatives over the past few weeks, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Aquino regime is determined to put an end to peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and further escalate its war of suppression under the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan.

The GPH has lost interest in peace talks with the NDFP after failing to use it as a tool for pacification. The NDFP negotiating panel has stood its ground, maintaining that agreements jointly entered into by the GPH and the NDFP should be upheld by both parties, obliging the GPH to abide by past agreements, including The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL).

Working under the baton of his US counterinsurgency advisers, GPH President Benigno Aquino III and his negotiating panel have shown outright antipathy to abiding by the joint agreements, including the Oslo Joint Statements of January and February 2011, where his government agreed to expedite the release of at least seventeen JASIG-protected NDFP consultants currently detained by the GPH, as well as more than 350 political prisoners.

The GPH has consistenly failed to honor its word as it adamantly refuses to be bound by the agreements with the NDFP. It has gone to the extent of declaring the JASIG as “inoperative”, putting the entire peace negotiations with the NDFP on the brink of collapse.

After only a few months, it has become obvious that the GPH is only interested in using the peace negotiations with the NDFP as a bait to hook the revolutionary forces into agreeing to one ceasefire after another, without addressing the socio-economic and political issues that lie at the roots of the armed conflict.

Aquino has shown zero interest in addressing the roots of the civil war. His only interest is to decimate the revolutionary armed forces and put an end to the Filipino people’s resistance through armed suppression. There has been a renewed campaign of extrajudicial killings against activists under the Aquino regime that has already claimed at least fifty victims. The Aquino regime has also repeatedly employed state brutality to suppress demonstrations and mass struggles.

The scourge of [the Aquino government’s anti-insurgency program] Oplan Bayanihan is wreaking havoc in the countryside, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) carrying out intelligence, civil-military and “search and destroy” operations.

The AFP targets entire communities where people are actively engaged in mass struggles, especially against the land grabbing and against the incursion of destructive foreign mining operations. Communities where people actively defend their political, economic, environmental and cultural rights are automatically suspected by the AFP of being “NPA sympathizers” and become subject to Oplan Bayanihan operations.

Under the signboard of “peace and development,” fascist units of the AFP have been escalating militarization in the countryside, leaving a bloody trail of human rights violations. Entire villages are put under military rule. In violation of international humanitarian law, soldiers set up detachments in barrio centers, occupying school buildings and school grounds, taking over barangay halls and other civilian community facilities. The military requires villagers to contribute wood and other building materials and uses forced labor in the construction of its detachments. Young peasants are forced to serve as guides in the military’s “search and destroy” operations.

The AFP imposes a reign of terror over wide swathes of the countryside. Reactionary troops violate the rights of thousands of people when they impose economic and food blockades, require identification documents for travel, restrict people from working in their fields, set limits to the volume of commodities they could buy and impose other fascist methods of population control.

They engage in psychological warfare against the people. Under threat of harm, they force the people to identify local mass leaders and activists. They disguise their military operations with so-called medical missions and by combining with the social welfare department in implementing the Aquino regime’s cash doleout program to draw the people away from waging democratic and mass struggles.

The Aquino regime prioritizes Oplan Bayanihan to the detriment of social services. In his proposed 2012 budget, Aquino allocates an additional 7.2% (P28.7 billion) for the Philippine Army’s counter-guerrilla operations but has slashed the budget for higher education by at least P230 million and the public health budget by at least P400 million. Furthermore, the Aquino regime has allocated at least P40 billion for the AFP’s modernization program in the next five years. In support of the AFP’s “modernization program”, the US government has extended its Excess Defense Articles program to provide the Phlippine military access to US military equipment.

With the Aquino regime already laying the ground for the scuttling of the peace negotiations, the Filipino people must prepare for the escalation of the reactionary war of suppression. Military abuses, human rights violations and state brutality under the Aquino government are bound to worsen as the ruling system sinks from one deep crisis to another.

The Filipino people have no other recourse but to intensify their revolutionary armed struggle and democratic mass resistance. They must strengthen their will and militancy in the face of escalating state terrorism. They must actively expose and vigorously oppose military abuses and violations of human rights. They must shield their schools and their homes from military occupation. Through collective struggle, they must drive away the armed fascists from their communities and combine this with the intensification of their antifeudal and anti-imperialist struggles.

The revolutionary forces will continue to engage the GPH in peace negotiations as long the GPH shows serious intent and willingness to talk within the framework set by The Hague Joint Declaration and respect and abide by all previous agreements.

At the same time, in the face of the escalation of the Aquino regime’s war of suppression, the Communist Party of the Philippines directs the New People’s Army (NPA) to continue intensifying guerrilla warfare in order to defend the people against the fascist onslaughts and brutalities of the AFP. This is also a response to the call of the CPP to fulfill the requirements for advancing to the next higher stage of people’s war.

The NPA must recruit more Red fighters and seize more weapons from the enemy. It must carry out one tactical offensive after another in order to disrupt and defeat the AFP’s counterrevolutionary campaign of suppression.

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