The Efren Martires Command of the New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas condemns the Armed Forces of the Philippines for conducting wholesale artillery shelling in the hinterlands of San Jose de Buan, Western Samar. The operations proved futile as no NPA unit was in the area and were done by the military to instill fear among nearby residents.
Ground reports from the Arnulfo Ortiz Command of the NPA in the province say that troops under the 8th Infantry Division used a 105mm howitzer to fire at least 64 bombs towards hills near Sitio Salvacion, Barangay San Nicolas, San Jose de Buan town last July 14.
The NPA-Eastern Visayas condemns the military’s wholesale bombing of the area. It was a clear danger to local residents who, burdened by the economic crises brought about by the government’s useless and militarist lockdown, go to the forested area to hunt and farm for food, and to earn an extra living by making rattan.
The artillery shelling operations are part of the massive counterinsurgency operations by the 8th ID in San Jose de Buan, Matuguinao, San Jorge, Motiong, and Paranas, and in nearby Eastern Samar town Can-avid since the last week of May. In these towns, the 8th ID has dumped hundreds of its troops from Division Reconnaissance Company, the 14th IB, 19th IB, 78th IB, 87th IB, and the 52nd Cadre Battalion.
Such wholesale bombings are characteristic of the all-out war of the US-Duterte regime against the people, where the AFP includes both combatants and noncombatants among its legitimate targets. Days before the shelling, soldiers on the ground warned local residents that they will be firing cannons in the area. The 8th ID fully knew there were no Red fighters nearby but conducted the bombing anyway to flex its military muscles, instill a climate of fear in the countryside, and to further justify wasting away and pocketing millions of public funds for combat operations that are in vain.
The Efren Martires Command enjoins the Filipino people to express their indignation against the US-Duterte regime’s all-out war by uniting to call for his ouster. All NPA units in Eastern Visayas are called upon to keep the enemy blind and deaf to its maneuvers, to launch widespread tactical offensives and defeat the fascist AFP-PNP troops, and to defend the people against their transgressors.#