DAVAO CITY, Philippines – It is only through the conduct of a prudent and careful study on the contents and major subjects of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms that the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will fully understand its purposefulness and benefits to the Filipino people.
In a statement on Monday, July 23, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Southern Mindanao said AFP forces, including its top officers, are caught having no profound footing in terms of deep understanding to the agreement.
The group particularly cited the case of Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army who raised some idiotic attacks and ridiculous lies against CASER, by stating that the agreement only favors the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.
“We challenge Capt. Lamosao and the 10th ID to carefully study the document to discover that it is in truth the welfare of the toiling masses, especially the workers, peasants and Lumad, that is being guaranteed in the CASER,” said Rubi del Mundo, the spokesperson of NDFP-SMR.
Del Mundo said Capt. Lamosao’s unsolicited arguments against CASER seems to have been premised on the accomplishments of the US and President Rodrigo Duterte in alleviating the hardships of the basic masses and addressing the root causes of the armed conflict.
She added that the army officer was actually referring to the “anti-poor accomplishment of the US-Duterte regime” called the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) Law and “the crackdown on unemployed Filipinos, endemic contractualization against workers, subservience to imperialist powers in railroading charter change, the much-despised martial law in Mindanao and Oplan Kapayapaan in the entire country that have victimized civilians in the millions, and many other economic, political and social crimes.”
Del Mundo pointed out further that Capt. Lamosao’s insistence that it is the reactionary local government officials who are abreast of the issues in their respective areas is not so much a vote of confidence than a baiting ploy to sniff out local politicians who are supportive or sympathetic to the revolutionary cause.
She said the AFP is relentlessly conducting military operations in Southern Mindanao in a fascist way through insidious civil-military operations in the form of “peace and development teams” or “community organizing for peace and development” in communities in the countryside.
“These euphemistic PDTs or COPDs are but psy-war operations that terrorize the masses in order to turn them against each other, force them to become guides in AFP combat operations, turn communities into virtual military garrisons, orchestrate fake surrenders of civilians and vilify the revolutionary movement,” she added.
Del Mundo also took note of the increasing deployment of military forces in Southern Mindanao that already reached to 17 battalions of regular forces and paramilitaries.
She said, “these state forces are waging all-out psy-war and killing offensive in Lumad and peasant communities particularly in areas earmarked for Duterte’s foreign agri-corporation and mining expansion projects in Paquibato and Calinan districts in Davao City and in Talaingod, Monkayo, Compostela and New Corella in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.”
Despite the enormous military deployments, Del Mundo said, the masses and the NPA units in Southern Mindanao are proving to be more resilient and up to the challenge of taking the initiative in guerilla warfare.
She added: “It is well within the US counter-insurgency playbook that the US-Duterte regime employs to undermine the merits and advances in the negotiations. Despite being an outright lie, the smear campaign against CASER and the entire peace process serves their interest of making the ill-advised localized peace talks appear more palatable to the public without having to actually present a feasible alternative to resolve the civil war. Because in the end, all the US-Duterte regime and the AFP actually have up their sleeve are blood on their hands.” (davaotoday.com)