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THE RAGING US-AQUINO III REGIME’S OPLAN BAYANIHAN TERROR CAMPAIGN IN MINDANAO REMINDS US OF THE DARK DAYS OF MARTIAL LAW

Press Statement
18 September 2015

On the commemoration of the 43rd year since the declaration of Martial Law on Sept. 21,

1972, the NDFP-Mindanao and all revolutionary forces and masses honor and remember all

those who have fought against and died during the Marcos fascist dictatorship, and salute

those who have survived through its harrowing years yet continue to fight until today.

 

We remember the thousands of victims of state terror in all its unspeakable forms –

massacres, enforced disappearances, rape, torture, illegal arrests, maiming, arson, forcible

evacuations, closing down of schools and other forms of curtailment of democratic rights –

perpetrated by mercenary AFP, Phil. Constabulary and paramilitary units. We remember the

indomitable struggle of the Filipino people against Martial Law, which took the form of the

broad anti-fascist movement on one hand and the armed revolution on the other.

 

After the EDSA uprising of 1986, however, the succeeding regimes, even including that of

Cory’s, did not live up to the aspiration of the Filipino people but instead continued and even

intensified Marcos’s bloody legacy of state terrorism. Today, under Benigno Aquino III’s

Oplan Bayanihan, an intensified terror campaign rages in Mindanao. The following are but

a few proof of this in the island.

 

On Sept. 1 in Sitio Han-ayan, Brgy. Diatagon, Surigao del Sur, ALCADEV Exec. Dir. Emerito

Samarca, MAPASU Chairman Dionel Campos and Lumad leader Juvello Sinzo were brutally

murdered by the combined elements of the 35th IB, 75th IB, SFB and the AFP-backed

“Magahat/Bagani” bandit group. Samarca, who devoted his life in the service of the Lumads,

was hog-tied and his throat slit. The same armed groups also burned the community

cooperative and several houses, and caused the evacuation of more than 3,200 from five

municipalities of Surigao del Sur and Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

 

 

On Aug. 18 in Sitio Mando, Brgy. Mendis, Pangantucan, Bukidnon, members of a Manobo-
Talaandig family consisting of a 70 year-old blind man, two children and two young adults

were massacred by AFP forces. The surviving 13-year old child pleaded mercy for their lives

in vain.

 

Hundreds of Ata-Manobo evacuees are still in Davao City because of the marauding of AFP

together with bandits, sowing terror in the hinterlands of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and

North Cotabato. The return of the evacuees is only possible if and when these mercenary

forces altogether stop their combat operations. Their schools and homes are used as camps

by AFP soldiers. This is also the case for Lumads in Loreto, La Paz, San Luis and Talacogon,

Agusan del Sur and a school in Dlumay, Malapatan, Sarangani, which are all terrorized

frequently by AFP and bandit forces.

 

Since the Mamasapano incident last January, the AFP incessantly terrorized Moro

communities in provinces in Central Mindanao and hundreds of thousands have already

been displaced with no hope of adequate support and rehabilitation.

 

Since Aquino III took over Malacañang in mid-2010 until the 3rd quarter of 2015, victims of

state-sponsored extra-judicial killings now add up to more than 282 in the entire country,

57 of whom are Lumad people in Mindanao. Murdering Lumad leaders and their advocates

like Mr. Emok Samarca and Fr. Pops Tentorio is intended to terrorize national minority

communities and their support groups, thereby subduing any form of resistance against

foreign and local big business that aim to exploit their mineral-rich ancestral lands, deplete

the country’s natural resources, destroy the environment and displace the Lumad and Moro

from their lands.

 

The reactionary government held so-called “Peace Caravans” in Loreto, Agusan del Sur;

Ngan, Compostela Valley; Talaingod, Davao del Norte; and Lianga, Surigao del Sur to

camouflage the terror campaign and deceptively create the impression that they have won

against the revolutionary movement in these areas. The most intense combat and psywar

operations are also in these areas.

 

Under the Aquino III regime alone, there have been over 1000 persons who fell victim to

illegal arrests, 26 to enforced disappearances, 110 to torture, and millions to terrorizing

whole communities during combat and COPD operations and forcible evacuations.

 

This military terror campaign, implemented through Oplan Bayanihan, is patterned after the

US Counter Insurgency Guide and follows after Martial Law’s template of brazen human

rights violations. When asked about the Lumad killings in Mindanao, Aquino III replied that

“there is no campaign to kill anyone”. However, OPB, with its staggering record of human

rights abuses in the past five years, is in truth Aquino III’s brutal strategy and campaign to

suppress those who oppose the interests of the ruling classes and its US imperialist boss.

The US-Aquino III regime, as with Marcos before, wields the AFP, PNP, CAFGU and bandit

groups as the state’s terror machinery, making sure that, apart from protecting the interests

of US monopoly capitalists, the surging people’s democratic revolution, led by the

Communist Party of the Philippines and carried out in the main by the New People’s Army,

is crushed before its term ends. EastMinCom CO Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad said that “to defeat

the revolutionary movement, it has to be defeated here in eastern Mindanao”. No wonder the

AFP deployed more than 60% of its combat-effective forces to Mindanao, majority of which

are deployed in Southern, North Central and Northeastern Mindanao. However, it has

miserably failed in its intent to crush the revolutionary movement in the country according

to OPB’s six-year timetable.

 

 

When Martial Law was declared, it only pushed more and more people to take the

revolutionary path and caused thousands to rise in struggle against the rotten semi-feudal

and semi-colonial system. Similarly, the ruthlessness of Aquino III’s OPB terror campaign

today has attained this effect by creating the condition for broader support for the people’s

militant movement against social injustice and by ever strengthening the resolve of many to

take the path of the armed revolution to smash the reactionary, fascist state.

 

 

Thus, on the occasion of commemorating the 43rd year of the declaration of Martial Law, the

best way to honor the martyrs and all its victims of state fascism is to stand united in the face

of Marcosian policies under the US-Aquino III regime and further strengthen the people’s

militant movement against state fascism and imperialist impositions.#

 

 

(sgd) Ka Oris

Spokesperson

NDFP-MIndanao