The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) slammed AFP Chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay’s claim that “so many rebels are surrendering.” Marco Valbuena belied this statement, saying the AFP chief was “apparently high on some hallucinogenic substance.” Most of these “surrenderees” are peasants — civilians whose rights are protected under international law in areas of conflict. Gapay and the AFP are flaunting these laws in the bid to make themselves look stronger.
Valbuena said that the AFP’s propaganda “is built on top of a mountain of lies, human rights abuses and corruption which they have built over the past 3-4years.”
In a joint press briefing by the PNP and AFP in September 24, Gapay boasted that the number of CPP-NPA membership is declining. The AFP chief even claimed that for this year alone almost 1,000 NPA members have surrendered.
“The AFP has been spinning web of press releases and social media postings promoting false information including the thousands whom the AFP has paraded as “NPA surrenderees”,” Valbuena retorted. He pointed out how the AFP photoshops and stage-manages ‘surrender’ event.
In rural villages, tens of thousands of people have been subjected to relentless human rights violations. Soldiers are hamletting peasant communities where they deprive the people of their political and economic rights, restrict people’s movements and put them in endless abuse and oppression. With no access to legal representation, the masses are subjected to unlawful arrets, detention, torture, coercion and other human rights violations. Peasants and activists killings persist.
The CPP also lambasted AFP’s so-called “economic livelihood programs” which do not solve the fundamental land problem of the masses. The showcase housing projects of the AFP only serve as milking cow to the military officers who skim millions of pesos from the “community integration program”.
“To a growing number of people, taking up arms and waging resistance has become the only option in the face of Duterte’s dirty war,” Valbuena added.
Furthermore, the CPP information officer also explained “that the masses are turning to the NPA so they can defend themselves, their families and their land and to take back the freedoms taken away by the state terrorist. The NPA, thus, continues to grow in strength in terms of new recruits as well as deeper support among the masses.”
“One after another, AFP generals will retire frustrated from their declared aims of defeating the NPA. They all end up in ignominy,” Valbuena concluded.