NOORDWIJK AAN ZEE, The Netherlands — The National Democratic Front of the Philippines believes the statements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ chief, Gen. Eduardo Año do not bode well for the efforts of the two Parties here in negotiating for peace.
NDFP media officer Dan Borjal described Año’s statement as “poisoning the atmosphere of the ongoing talks.”
“While the GRP and NDFP panels are trying to negotiate peace, the militarists in the GRP are only talking about war,” Borjal said.
Ahead of the supposed opening ofthe peace negotiations here on April 2, Año issued a statement urging the public to condemn the alleged extortion and violent activities of the “communist terrorist”
Año said “national growth has been impeded by the acts of masquerading ideologues who have degenerated into plain terrorists and extortionists.”
He said since resumption of hostilities with the NPA, the AFP has recorded more than 60 incidents of arson related to the NPA’s collection of revolutionary taxes.
The AFP has launched 104 operations from February 4 until March 31, following Duterte’s order to terminate the talks with the communists.
We now see the concrete manifestation of the evil in our society that has been a major cause of underdevelopment, the anti-development and anti-people activities of the NPA. We must join hands and collectively work to end all these so we can protect change for the better,” he said.
Borjal slammed Año’s claim that the NPA is anti-development saying that the AFP general is turning the truth “upside down.”
He said the NPA has been engaged in socio-economic programs in areas it controls precisely because of the neglect and indifference of successive governments in addressing the need for basic social services.
“The NPA carries out programs in health, literacy and improving the living standards of the people through production and marketing cooperatives. This is where much of the proceeds from revolutionary taxation are spent, unlike the GRP where tax money is eaten up by corruption,” Borjal said.
Borjal said farmers in the countryside consider the NPA as “the army of the poor, while the AFP is the army of the landlords, land grabbers and other exploiters.”
The Communist Party of the Philippines in an earlier statement said the militarist approach of the Army is aimed at preventing the peace negotiations from moving forward to resolve socio-economic issues, particularly land reform and national industrialization.
“They are bent on keeping the Philippines as an exclusive dominion of US imperialism, preventing it from exercising an independent foreign policy to engage in economic, diplomatic and military relations with other countries,” the CPP said as they refer to AFP top officials Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser, Hermogenes Esperon, and Año as “US stooges.”
“(They) are acting in behalf of US imperialism, in seeking to derail the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations with the long-term aim of keeping the country in a perpetual state of economic backwardness, people’s unrest and civil war,” the CPP said.(davaotoday.com)