By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee
The Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) today ridiculed the much publicized 'social integration program' of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as a money-making racket for the field commanders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
"The so-called social integration program (SIP) of OPAPP that was instituted during the time of Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. is nothing but a money-making scheme for AFP field commanders to buy their loyalty to the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime and project through press releases the image of making strides in the regime's much vaunted objective of wiping out or rendering irrelevant the New People's Army (NPA) by 2010," said Fidel V. Agcaoili.
"These rebel returnees are actually local AFP agents and assets or civilians forcibly conscripted and coerced by the AFP to take part in elaborate surrender ceremonies and SIP graduation rites presided over sometimes by the fake president herself," he revealed.
Under the program, alleged rebel returnees are given P20,000 immediately after their 'surrender' and an additional P50,000 for 'surrendered' weapons with promises of jobs and livelihood projects.
"The GMA regime allegedly spent P18.8M last year for this bogus program. In truth, the fake surrenderees retain only a little amount of that money while the huge chunk of the bounty goes to the pocket of field commanders and AFP officials," Agcaoili said.
Agcaoili further chided the successive reports of AFP units from various regions and provinces in the country of alleged NPAs who surrendered with their arms and applied for the SIP.
"If we go by their press releases, the AFP should have already succeeded in achieving their objective on paper against the NPA as of last year!" Agcaoili sarcastically exclaimed. "The truth is the NPA has been very much elusive for the massive AFP military operations that have been going on throughout the country. And the NPA has been striking at will against poorly guarded AFP and police detachments and smaller marauding patrols of the AFP," Agcaoili stated.
"The NPA shall still be there, stronger than before, after GMA and her minions shall have left their offices. Hounded by international human rights groups for grave human rights violations and war crimes in their dirty war against the people and the revolutionary movement, they shall suffer the same fate as Pinochet and Fujimori," he concluded.