Military generals intoxicated with war profits have no plans of cutting back on their kickbacks this holiday season. This was part of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) information officer Marco Valbuena’s statement regarding the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) declaration that it is not interested in a ceasefire this December.
Concurringly, Rodrigo Duterte announced during his weekly public address last Monday that he rejects a ceasefire with the CPP and the New People’s Army (NPA) this Christmas, going as far as turning down any ceasefire for the rest of his term.
For Valbuena, this comes as no surprise. With military generals being at the helm of the Duterte government through its National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, they have shaped national policies including last Monday’s rejection of a ceasefire.
The CPP information officer pointed to the “endless stream of counterinsurgency war profit” that makes the generals obsessed with prolonging the civil war. Valbuena said that these generals are bureaucrat capitalists who are in connivance with the US military industry.
Previous reports have revealed that a focused military operation lasting nine days and involving 300 soldiers costs at least P10.5 million for troops, ammunition and mortar shells. This amount excludes financing for transportation and other equipment.
Agreeing to a ceasefire would mean officers of the AFP Central Command paring their cuts from the corruption pie. The said area command is currently launching focused military operations in the 3rd District of Negros Oriental under Lt. Gen. Roberto Ancan. Operations started in November and have targetted mainly unarmed peasants and their legal organizations.
On the other hand, the AFP has never abided by its own ceasefire declarations. In March to April, despite a Duterte-declared ceasefire, the AFP deployed its troops in at least 446 villages. In a span of 45 days, a string of human rights violations was recorded, ranging from imposition of curfews to aerial bombardment.