The Party denounces the order of Defense Secretary Lorenzana to set up checkpoints in the areas around the earthquake areas purportedly to ensure that only “legitimate and authorized” relief workers will be allowed to carry out relief work. From the point of view of humanitarian work, Lorenzana’s order is completely unacceptable. In this time of crisis, every help is needed, not only that which Lorenzana will “allow.”
Lorenzana is imposing his counterinsurgency mindset with relief work. He wants the military to monopolize and control everything. This will make it difficult for many people, organizations and agencies to contribute to efforts to extend help to the earthquake victims. It will further result in massive corruption and pilferage as supplies will pass through the dirty hands of the military. In the end, Lorenzana’s order will make earthquake survivors victims twice over.
Pati sa relief work, gera pa rin ang utak ni Lorenzana. He cannot allow humanitarian considerations take precedence before his fascist aims. It wouldn’t be surprising if Lorenzana will deny emergency supply from reaching people who the military suspect of supporting the revolutionary movement. Kailangan ba, iparada rin muna sila bilang mga nag-“surender”? Using martial law powers, he might even order the arrest of relief workers on the pretext that they are not “authorized.”
The Party calls on all people to defy Lorenzana’s orders and extend all support to the tens of thousands of earthquake victims.
Lorenzana’s order aims to prevent the CPP and NPA from declaring a temporary ceasefire, even if for a few days, to do relief work. This will, however, not prevent the NPA and revolutionary forces from continuing to extend relief work and assisting the victims from rebuilding their homes and farms.
The NPA will continue to work with all interested humanitarian agencies and organizations to secure and facilitate the delivery of emergency supply to interior areas. While carrying out relief and rehabilitation work, the NPA is advised to remain alert against brutal military operations being carried out by units of the AFP. They must be ready to defend themselves and the people against relentless operations of the fascist AFP troops.