By DAVAO TODAY
Communists criticized the Armed Forces of the Philippines over its remarks on why the Communist Party of the Philippines declared a short ceasefire, and also slammed the army for violating their own ceasefire.
This came after AFP Chief of Staff Emmanuel Bautista questioned why the CPP declared a “short” six-day ceasefire in observance of the Christmas holidays, and instead challenged the communists to declare a “ceasefire that would last forever”.
The CPP Information Bureau said Bautista’s proposal as “thoughtless” and “moronic”.
“To declare a ceasefire ‘to last forever’ will only bring forth an eternal hell of military abuses, landgrabbing and environmental destruction,” the CPP said.
“Without the NPA, the peasant masses, the fisherfolk and the minority indigenous peoples have nothing to defend their farms and ancestral land with against the relentless encroachments of foreign mining companies and large logging operations and the landgrabbing by big landlords and foreign-owned or financed plantations, which are invariably accompanied by units of the AFP to cow the people into accepting such subjugation,” the CPP said.
They added that Bautista’s remarks showed “inability to understand the deep-seated reasons behind the Filipino people’s armed resistance and view the civil war only from the myopic perspective of a one track-minded fascist.”
AFP spokesperson Major General Domingo Tutaan challenged the CPP to a public debate “to determine who the real moron is.”
The CPP Central Committee declared a ceasefire from December 24 to 26 and from December 31 to January 2, 2014 “in solidarity with the Filipino people’s traditional observance of Christmas and New Year holidays,” they said.
The CPP said the declaration also gives way for their celebration of their 45th founding anniversary.
The order covers all units of the New People’s Army and people’s militia in the country.
President Benigno Aquino III meanwhile declared a 26-day ceasefire from December 20 to Janary 15, 2014, suspending “offensive military operations”. While the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said security forces “will maintain their defensive readiness in the protection of our people.”
But the National Democratic Front Southern Mindanao said there are reports of violations from the military which have been deploying troops in Compostela Valley and North Cotabato.
Rubi del Mundo, the NDF Southern Mindanao spokesperson, said the 67th Infantry Battalion have stationed an armed personnel carrier and two canyons in Barangay Ngan, Compostela town of Comval and maintained “peace and development teams” in Compostela; Trento, Agusan del Sur, Cateel and Boston, Davao Oriental.
They further said military checkpoints were put up by the 71st Infantry Battalion in Masara and Elizalde in Maco, Comval and in Andili and Limbo in Mawab, Comval.
“The GPH’s ceasefire is falsely packaged as more considerate due to its longer timeframe while unfairly scoffing at NPA’s declaration as inadequate and perfunctory. Reports from the field, however, reveal the GPH’s truce as illusory, treacherous and dangerous,” del Mundo said.
Del Mundo ordered NPA units and people’s militia in the region to “remain on active defensive mode” and to be “vigilant against hostile actions of enemy armed forces – from encroachment, surveillance to blatant operations.”
The CPP criticized the government’s Oplan Bayanihan as a “war of suppression” as the AFP committed grave abuses of human rights and international law as it cited the killing of eight-year old Roque Antivo by soldiers of the 71st Infantry Battalion in Barangay Antipan, Mabini, Compostela Valley on April 3.
Meanwhile the CPP Central Committee noted that the NPA Eastern Visayas command’s extended ceasefire until mid-January to help in rehabilitation of areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda.
But it also said “relentless suppression operations of the AFP.. prevented (them) from issuing a further extension of the ceasefire declaration in the Visayas.”
They said they would allow the Eastern Visayas NPA command the “option of cutting short the ceasefire declaration if AFP offensive operations continue to prevent the revolutionary masses from engaging in rehabilitation efforts.” (davaotoday.com)CPP, NDF, NDF GPH peace talks, NPA, peace talks