By RIGOBERTO F. SANCHEZ
Spokesperson, Merardo Arce Command
NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
Power has gone to the head of GPH local mayor Sara Duterte of Davao City who recently issued a stupid call for Ka Parago and Ka Oda of the New People’s Army (NPA) to lay down their arms and surrender to the reactionary government. Ridiculously still heady with her international “punching” stature, Sara Duterte has spewed a blatant disinformation and psychological warfare campaign to defend the 69th Infantry Battalion-10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in connection with an NPA ambush, on 29 November, in Paradise Embac, Paquibato District, Davao City.
Injudicious and revealing her reactionary character, Sara Duterte apparently wants what the military and the past regimes from the time of Marcos up to now have failed to do, for Ka Parago to abandon armed struggle and the revolutionary movement.
The ambush by the 1st Pulang Bagani Company-NPA killed three soldiers of the 69th IB-AFP who were masquerading as peace and development teams in Sitio Guinobatan, Barangay Paradise Embac. Red fighters also confiscated an M203 rifle.
Sara Duterte has made a sweeping call not even made by her father, longtime Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who has not dared to disparage Ka Parago and the NPA in such a way in the former mayor’s more than two decades at the helm of the reactionary Davao City politics. While her father has, in some ways, cooperated and recognized the cause of the revolutionary struggle, Sara Duterte has been consistently and obstinately, profuse in praises for the AFP, while rabid and full of counterrevolutionary fervor towards the NPA and the revolutionary movement.
Her pronouncements against the NPA and the revolutionary movement have been consistent throughout this year: malicious and a thorough disservice to the people of Davao City. While the Merardo Arce Command-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command-NPA has so far discounted her previous statements as merely reckless and naive, the NPA can now actually conclude that the mind and stance of Sara Duterte has bordered on being counterrevolutionary or reactionary.
She first accused the NPA of targeting her during a successful military action against a supply and reconnaissance team in Paquibato last January. She called the arrest of GPH Lingig Mayor Henry Dano and four BJMP personnel as kidnapping and plain banditry, and scoffed at calls by civil libertarians for the release of political detainees saying that the latter face legitimate criminal charges.
She defended, with gusto, the stay of the 69th IB-AFP detachment near a school in Paradise Embac despite it being an IHL (international humanitarian law) violation and despite the popular clamor by the masses and even by human rights advocates from the Davao City local government unit. In defending the 69th IB-AFP, she called a 17 September NPA attack in Paradise Embac as counter-productive. The series of NPA attacks against the 69th IB-AFP are legitimate military actions against a grossly abusive AFP unit.
All in all, Sara Duterte wants to sweep under the rug the atrocious SOT operations and fascist character of the Oplan Bayanihan operations of the 69th IB-AFP in Paquibato and other parts in Davao City and Davao del Norte. The 69th IB-AFP’s offensive combat and psywar SOT operations have victimized thousands of peasant masses of Paquibato and in Panabo, with cases ranging from intimidation, grave threats, usurpation of civilian auspices like schools, civilian houses, barangay halls; attempted rape, molestation of women and harassment of youth and children, forced surrenders, military checkpoints manned by drunk and abusive soldiers, forced recruitment of Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGUs), instigation of a pangayaw as proxy war between lumad and non-lumad settlers, and drinking sessions by soldiers that led to various forms of harassment of local residents, to name a few.
Not content with this gross injustice, Sara Duterte has taken the stance of the fascist AFP, hook, line and sinker in demonizing the NPA and the revolutionary movement, ignorant as she is in the realities of the ongoing civil war in the country. Sara Duterte has revealed her grossly poor knowledge of the fact that the CPP-NPA-NDFP leads a political movement engaged and co-belligerent in armed conflict with the GPH.
By arrogantly challenging the surrender of NPA leaders like Ka Parago and Ka Oda, Sara Duterte has shown that she is utterly unacquainted with the fact that the NPA is a revolutionary army engaged in defending the masses from the fascist and atrocious AFP. In offering surrender talks, would her infantile mind concoct a solution to the centuries-old problem of landlessness and exploitation, problems that have bred the armed struggle in the country?
By acting as a conscious spokesperson and defender of the fascist AFP, Sara Duterte has de facto condoned the culture of impunity in the AFP, Philippine National Police, and their paramilitary groups (CAFGUs and Civilian Volunteer Organizations) and intelligence units. These troops which Sara Duterte so wants to protect and prop up as harbingers of peace and order and progress, are implementing the Oplan Bayanihan, which rehashed the previous regime’s Oplan Bantay Laya in attacking communities and deploying thousands of troops deemed to be under the sway or supportive of the revolutionary movement.
Before shooting off her mouth, Sara Duterte should listen to the people, investigate the onslaught of abuses by the AFP in Davao City, and study even the basic rudiments of our country’s history and the civil war. As things point to right now, she has already rendered herself as a noisy but shallow reactionary, a friend to the people’s enemy, and, who knows, an enemy in the making.
NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command