The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recently announced the re-focusing of the E-CLIP (Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program) on some barrios in the four provinces of Caraga in the coming months. This will yet be a new source of corruption of millions of pesos of public funds. Moreover, it is also a capital for the promotion of AFP officials and their impossible dream of demonizing the New People’s Army (NPA) and revolutionary movement through the parading of fake-forced-to-surrenders.
Based on reports from various barangays and communities in the region, those impelled to surrender were promised Php65,000 each. But some of them only received Php5,000, while majority were left empty-handed. In other cases, the Php5,000 was paid in the form of “downpayment” for a motorcycle, and the “surrenderee” is then obliged to pay in installment the total amount of Php65,000 for said motorcycle. Ironically, instead of receiving the Php65,000 promised them, they are now the ones compelled to produce the amount to pay the motorcycle company. AFP officials, on the other hand, have succeeded in cunningly doubling their profit, from kickbacks from the E-CLIP budget and from commissions by acting as sales agents for motorcycle companies.
There were also some cases wherein fake-forced-to-surrenders were compelled to enlist and undergo CAFGU training and were promised bigger amounts of cash after they have been presented to the media in the cities or in Malacañang. Only a handful were able to receive a small amount of cash. Most of them only got some kilos of rice, noodles and sardines. In short, none of them were able to receive the actual amount promised.
This modus by the military is hardly new, and has long been exposed as a scheme for deception and corruption by AFP officials through the E-CLIP.
If so, from the 96 fake-forced-to-surrenders paraded by the AFP’s 401st and 402nd Infantry Brigade in Surigao del Sur on November 10, 2018 alone, no less than Php5.8 million has been pocketed by corrupt AFP officials. While from the supposed 8,000 fake-forced-to-surrenders nationwide being boasted by the AFP, a whopping Php480 million has been enjoyed as spoils by officials of the AFP, PNP, OPAPP and other officials of the corrupt US-Duterte regime. This amount of half a billion pesos was extracted from imposed exorbitant taxes on the people.
Truth be told, the E-CLIP further aggravates the conditions of the impoverished masses while serving as a lucrative milking cow for corrupt officials of the AFP, PNP and the Duterte government!
These amounts are compounded by commissions received by AFP/PNP officials from big foreign businesses and the local compador bourgeoisie who are permitted to enter and operate in areas forcibly declared as “persona non grata” by the DILG and AFP/PNP or marked as “clear for peace and development” after having been directly militarized by AFP forces under the guise of its “Community Support Program (CSP).”
The NPA in Northeastern Mindanao has long denied all fake news pertaining fake-forced-to- surrenders. Only a handful have truthfully surrendered. Those repeatedly being reported as fake surrenderees are either known military assets in barangays, former NPA members who have long left and are now living as civilians, or innocent civilians, most of them made to forcibly surrender due to deception or fear of being charged or killed by the military.
The people are not blind to the real motives and interests of the US-Duterte regime and the AFP in showcasing so-called “successful” E-CLIP distributions. These are meant to deodorize their counter-revolutionary campaign in the national consciousness and serve as defense against strong international censure against continued martial law imposition in Mindanao, de facto nationwide martial law and the worsening fascist rule of the state.
From the start, the US-Duterte regime and the AFP have failed in their aim to “end” the NPA and the revolutionary movement in spite of ceaseless fascist attacks by the military. Testament to this fact is the repeated postponement of their self-imposed deadlines of “wiping out” the NPA. First, by the end of 2018; then mid-2019; and now postponed anew to 2022, by the end of Duterte’s term.
The lists of fake-forced-to-surrenders serve as basis for military officials to reach their quota for suppression, illegal arrests and extrajudicial killings under the counter-revolutionary Oplan Kapayapaan, now Oplan Kapanatagan, of the US-Duterte regime. In line with this, we expect the intensification of military operations in different parts of the region, the flooding of more fake news on fake-forced-to-surrenders and the establishment of additional AFP or CAA detachments in barrios and communities.
The AFP implements sustained CSP operations to sow disinformation and threaten the people to suppress their resistance and make them passive. It is mandated by the US-Duterte regime’s Development Support and Security Plan, patterned after the US’ Oplan Pacific Eagle. It is no different in essence from previous oplans of previous regimes that use a “whole of nation approach”, in which the AFP mobilizes government institutions such as the DILG, DSWD, NCIP and others to terrorize communities and barangays. This is line with the US scheme to give a “humanitarian” face to the militaristic and brutal “war on terror” and “all- out war” of the AFP and the butcher US-Duterte regime against the people.
The continuous expansion of military forces and sustained military operations use up huge amounts of the nation’s funds while a measly sum is allotted to the already meager allocation for social services for the poor masses and the development of the country’s economy. It is
therefore only just and imperative that these are strongly fought and opposed by the broad masses, the revolutionary movement and the NPA.
Then until now, various tactics and schemes by the AFP to divide and defeat the NPA and the revolutionary forces have failed. The NPA has proven time and again that it is a genuine revolutionary army committed to fight for the national and democratic interests of the country and the people. ###