The Efren Martires Command of the New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today dismissed the prediction made by 802nd Infantry Brigade commander Lope Dagoy that Leyte will be “insurgency-free” by 2020, as it called the Army official responsible for the state repression and climate of impunity in the island which persuade the masses to fight for democracy and support the revolutionary movement.
“By overseeing extra-judicial killings, militarizing communities and Red-tagging, Gen. Dagoy unwittingly provides the fertile ground from which the people’s hatred of the Duterte regime grows and from which the revolutionary movement is sure to advance so that such attacks upon the masses will finally end,” said EMC spokesperson Ka Karlos Manuel.
Manuel cited reports reaching the People’s Democratic Government in Leyte where five civilians have been killed by suspected state forces in recent months, including Maureen Japzon, a former activist who was killed even though she was already working as a local election officer. Other civilians killed were a peasant leader in Calubian, Leyte last June, a barangay captain in Kananga, Leyte last October, and recently a teacher in Matag-ob, Leyte.
Militarization persists in the island as Army troops maintain their combat operations in Sogod, Southern Leyte, and their triad operations under the guise of peace and development teams/community support programs (PDT/CSP) in Carigara and Albuera, Leyte. Military troops have not permitted peasants in Sogod town to go to their farms so they can earn a living. In Baybay City, Southern Leyte, posters openly criminalizing alleged CPP-NPA personalities whom they accused of murder, illegal recruitment and rebellion were spread across the city proper.
“The people of Leyte grow more convinced to support the armed struggle and the national-democratic movement calling to end Duterte’s tyranny implemented by his fascist troops. Gen. Dagoy is apparently all talk and too dull to realize he is shooting himself in the foot,” Manuel said.
The NPA spokesperson pointed out that Gen. Dagoy is racing to declare the “insurgency-free” tag on Leyte so he can transfer combat operations to Samar island and decisively end the NPA in the region. “Gen. Dagoy wants to pin a badge to himself that he has ‘defeated’ the NPA in Leyte, and is now rushing to do so in Samar before he retires next year. He fails to comprehend how the deepening economic and political crises exacerbated by officials of the AFP show that the NPA can only grow stronger and cannot be defeated.”
Manuel said, “There are those in the 8th ID who express that the Army will need to implement Executive Order 70 or the ‘whole of nation’ approach past the end of Duterte’s term in 2022 so it can defeat the NPA in Eastern Visayas. Gen. Dagoy along with his fellow officials and his commander-in-chief Duterte keep on extending the deadline to defeat the NPA because it is impossible to do – they know how deeply rooted the NPA is among the masses, while they also aim to squeeze the corruption money out of his fake surrender program and livelihood projects that are far detached from reality.”#