DAVAO CITY – The New People’s Army has asked the “nationalist and pro-people” officers” of the armed forces and national police to take a stand “on the side of the broad people” in the raging debate on the death of a unit of police elite forces.

“You have a significant role in the removal of an inept president from power as exemplified by your withdrawal of support from Marcos and Estrada. Arroyo, on the other hand, was almost ousted when soldiers and policemen mutinied against massive corruption, violence and fraudulence,” said Ka Omar Ibarra, spokeperson for the NPA Western Agusan Norte – Agusan Sur Subregional Command.

“The near-annihilation of the 84th PNP-SAF troops in Maguindanao shows the division and dissension of your ranks in the AFP and PNP. This is how it happened: under US orders for the capture of an alleged terrorist under the framework of its “war on terror”, your commander-in-chief, Benigno Aquino III, violated your chain of command and all due processes, through a faction of generals led by General Purisima,” Ibarra said.

He said the soldiers should “take the side of the broad people, especially the poor against the trampling of our integrity and dignity as Filipino people by US imperialism”.
Ibarra issued the challenge in a letter emailed to media outlets dated February 26, saying that “the recent turn of events challenges the police and military to make a stand”.

Ibarra said that despite the ceasefire and peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), President Aquino “ran over all agreements to implement the US orders.”

“Now, he and his officials exhaust all efforts to wash their hands of culpability after wasting the lives of 44 SAF personnel,” Ibarra said.

Ibarra said the incident indicates the ineptness of Aquino as the commander-in-chief in mobilizing the security forces.

“He only complies with the dictates of his imperialist master and his local instigators. Now it has resulted in endless bickering and finger-pointing among military and civilian officials, and has undermined the morale of the whole organization of AFP and PNP,” he said.

The Senate on Tuesday ended the hearings on Mamasapano incident.

Senate public order committee chairperson Grace Poe said the operation “was poorly planned from the start.”

“To make matters worse, there was an undeniable breakdown of both leadership, and command, and control in the Philippine National Police,” Poe said.

Used as pawns

Ibarra said they are aware that most of the police and military officers “come from the poor classes and that you are only forced to become soldiers and policemen because of the lack of better employment opportunities so you can feed your families.”

“It must be made clear, however, that your service only benefits a few foreign and local exploiters, while you suppress the just struggle of the poor,” Ibarra said saying the military and the police are being used as pawns in the war.

Ibarra cited the modernization programs of the AFP and PNP and questioned the officers if they have benefited from the billions of pesos of funds allocated for these.

“Are you aware of the modus operandi concerning the Balik-Baril program where higher military officials pocket most of the funds allocated for fake NPA surrenderees and recycled firearms?” Ibarra asked.

Historical role

Police and military officers figured during the first EDSA People Power uprising after members of the defense force withdrew their support for then president Ferdinand Marcos on February 22, 1986.

The NPA said that they appeal to the police and military’s “nationalist and humanitarian stand.”

He also appealed to them “to avoid abusing the human rights of the masses, respect the people’s call for the withdrawal of COPD troops and their struggle against CADC and big mining and other foreign corporations.” he said.
Davao City Police Office spokesperson, Milgrace Driz told in an interview with Davao Today that they respect the NPA’s statement and their ideology.

But Driz said that they will abide by the rule of law.

Driz also told Davao Today that DCPO is not joining any calls for a coup d’ etat.

“We will abide by the rule of law and the Constitution, so whoever is in our leadership, we will follow him,” Driz said. (davaotoday.com)

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