NPA hits military ops in Northern Luzon

>> Thursday, December 8, 2016

Duterte urged: Stop ceasefire violations 

THE New People’s Army in Northern Luzon accused the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police of violating ceasefire declarations by the government and National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines by launching combat operations against them and committing human rights violations against marginalized folks.     
In Mountain Province, the Leonardo Pacsi Command-NPA denounced the army’s 54th Infantry Battalion and PNP for launching combat and intelligence operations in the guise of implementing anti-drugs campaign of the government in forested areas of Bauko and Bontoc  towns and in Ifugao-Mt Province-Benguet tri-boundary in October.
“The 54th IB troops which operate in Mt. Province and Ifugao have been undertaking psy-war operations through its so-called peace and development teams (PDTs). Up to present, they wantonly occupy public facilities within five communities in the municipalities of Tinoc and Asipulo in Ifugao.”
KaMagnoUdyaw-LPC spokesperson said “Since the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan, PDTs of the 54th IB have intruded into national minority communities in all the municipalities of Mt Province, namely Paracelis, Natonin, Barlig, Besao, Sadanga, Bontoc, Sagada, Bauko, Sabangan and Tadian.  They employ tactics to divide the people and vilify and harass leaders and personalities whom they suspect to be progressive. They recruit civilians to join the CAFGU and barangay intelligence network, indulge in their vices such as gambling, drinking and womanizing, and  commit sacrilege on indigenous places such as the dap-ay (community center) and atowan (sacred place).  
KaUdyao said the AFP and the PNP have violated international law by firing upon two civilian hunters in sitioAmulong, PoblacionParacelis; harassment of civilians including children and tourists in Sagada at gunpoint and the forcible detention of two small-scale miners in Besao during their military operations that caused their injury when they were caught in a firefight and mauling of four High School students of Guinaang, Bontoc by the PDT unit in Barangay Mainit.
Officers also reportedly impregnated women in Sadanga causing near breakdown of existing peace pacts among tribes.
Soldiers also reportedly harassed Simon Naogsan’s frail father Pablo detained his son Grayson. Naogsan is a ranking officer of the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front.
Another NPA command also assailed the 81st Infantry Battalion stationed in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur for launching combat operations against the NPA in Quirino, Ilocos Sur and Tubo, Abra in what they said was“ clear violation of the unilateral ceasefire declaration of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.”
Considering the Communist Party of the Philippines had also declared ceasefire against government forces, the NPA urged President Duterte to stop such operations.  
The NPA’s Antonio Licawen Front Operational Command (ALFOC), which operates in boundaries of Benguet, Abra, Mountain Province and Ilocos Sur, said
The military’s “OplanBayanihan is a continuing scourge to the communities in the quad-boundary of Benguet, Abra, Ilocos Sur and Mountain Province. “
In Quirino, Ilocos Sur, the people reportedly demanded a dialogue with the 81st IB to air their grievances against the military’s presence in their community.
In the said dialogue, community folk related how the AFP unit, led by a certain Lt. Oscar Baguio, stationed themselves in Barangays Namitpit, Legleg and Iteband  occupied houses surrounding the Namitpit Elementary School.
A certain Ruby Jaime a.k.a. James Bagwis – one of the soldiers who was part of the said AFP unit allegedly harassed residents.
In said dialogue Major Amado Gutierrez reportedly justified the military’s presence saying under OplanBayanihan, the AFP deploys its elements as  PDTs.
“But the havoc they wreak in tribal communities is far from bringing peace and development, the NPA said in a statement.
“The PDTs disrupt the socio-political and economic activities of the people. They station themselves in civilian institutions, such as the Dap-ay (tribal center), barangay hall, day care center, health center and elementary school. In essence the AFP is using the people as human shields against possible NPA attacks.
PDT forces, under the guise of helping people -- exploiting the traditional Filipino value of bayanihan -- have managed to stay in the tribal communities far longer than they should, notwithstanding their harassment and intimidation of prominent mass leaders, enforced enlistment of residents in the CAFGU, and such anti-social activities as excessive drinking and extra-marital relations with the women of these communities.

“They have corrupted the indigenous concept of bodong/peden  (peace agreement between tribes), using these to disarm the people’s militancy and redirect their watchful eyes away from the troops’ abuses.  Currently, the Duterte Regime’s war on drugs serves as but another convenient excuse to continue military operations in various communities in the Cordillera region.”


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