THE “PERSONA NON grata” declarations against the New People’s Army (NPA) is a product of the intimidation and psywar campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). This was revealed by Ka Rigoberto F. Sanchez of the NPA-Southern Mindanao Region after successive broadcast about the so-called condemnation of the NPA by various local government units and Lumad communities in regions within the area of responsibility of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command.
Sanchez said that the psywar and intimidation campaign is a result of “peace and development outreach programs” launched by the military under the “whole-of-nation approach” of its Oplan Kapayapaan. The military is relentlessly launching “peace-building seminars” in Davao City, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Bukidnon and Caraga. The AFP is using its paramilitaries such as the Alamara and Bagani to intimidate and compel Lumad councils to participate in such seminars. Afterwards, they are forced to participate in rallies and carry placards with anti-insurgency calls.
The military is also using these “seminars” to promote its corruption-ridden Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, notoriously known as its fake surrender campaign. In Compostela Valley on February 20, three farmers illegally arrested by the 71st IB in Sitio Binogsayan, Barangay Napnapan were presented as “NPA surrenderees.” This was despite the definitive statement by local government officials that the arrested, identified as Eddie Avila, Graciano Embalsado and Pulpy Lariwan, are civilian residents of the said barrio.
On top of this, the AFP are also tagging legal organizations, progressive partylists and non-government institutions defending human rights and working for the welfare of peasants and Lumads as fronts of the CPP. Thus, the AFP is endangering members and leaders of the said civilian institutions as targets for arbitrary arrests and killings.