AFP’s EastMinComm setting stage to extend martial law, legalize hit squads with sham ‘engagements’ with NPA

Rigoberto F. Sanchez | Spokesperson | Southern Mindanao Regional Operational Command (Merardo Arce Command) | New People's Army
December 04, 2018
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The lies the spinmeisters of the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command and Region 11’s Philippine National Police are getting more ridiculous in their desperate bid to ensure that martial law and the atmosphere of hysteria persist in Davao City and elsewhere in Southern Mindanao. In addition, these fabricated stories are being capitalized by no less than GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to institutionalize an “anti-SPARU unit” that will legitimize more and more summary killings against activists, suspected sympathizers of the revolutionary movement and critics of the US-Duterte regime’s anti-people programs and policies. As resistance to fascism and tyranny continues to grow, the Duterte regime is hell-bent in weaving fantastical tales meant to sow fear and exonerate the excesses of martial rule.

The latest of these tall tales includes the orchestrated encounter in the closed down Victorio Beach Resort in Purok 10, Talomo Cemento in Davao City. The AFP and the Davao City Police Office claim that a “shootout” ensued following the local police and AFP troopers’ operation to arrest NPA members supposedly in hiding in the resort. Prior to this, last September 21, another operation supposedly happened in Brgy. Langub in Maa, Davao City where the local police raided a house and arrested members of the NPA.

Duterte decries that these so-called “engagements” prompted him to consider forming death squads to “counter” the NPA’s SPARU units. In truth, he wants to curry more favor from the AFP and PNP to allow him to stay in power by making sure that the latter’s profiteering ventures overflow with augmented budget for intelligence and operation funds. In Davao City alone, the proposed local budget for 2019 is being prepped to increase by P1B, which will include additional reserve to be corrupted by the AFP and the PNP. Not content with the killing spree of civilians perpetrated by uniformed state agents under Oplan Tokhang, martial law and Oplan Kapayapaan, the fascist tyrant intends to fatten up his fascist thugs and further spread the culture of impunity in the regime’s armed forces.

Elsewhere in the region, the proclivity to spew out lies has become an AFP strategy. Most recently, similar fictitious “engagements” in North Cotabato were claimed by the AFP in Brgy. Lanao Kuran, Arakan on October 19 while a day care center was burned down by soldiers and paramilitaries masquerading as NPA members in Brgy. Mahongcog, Magpet on November 15.

Not one of these stories has any modicum of truth in them. In Davao City, these fabrications are a deceitful means to crackdown on legal protests being peacefully carried out by progressive groups resisting imperialist plunder, contractualization, fascism and the US-Duterte regime’s anti-people policies. Davao City’s local government has long been planning to outlaw peaceful protests and demonstrations. Elsewhere, these misinformations serve the sole purpose of the AFP’s all too evident intent to extend the implementation of martial law in Mindanao and provide Duterte a convenient leeway for his anti-people schemes such as the Build, Build, Build program to encroach on and displace Lumad and peasant communities.

NPA death squads are a figment of the US-Duterte regime’s hare-brained imagination. All NPA units in Southern Mindanao adhere to the strictest rule regarding the dispensation of revolutionary justice against AFP, PNP and paramilitary personnel who have committed the gravest crimes against the people. This is a far cry from the almost daily executions being carried out by the armed forces of the US-Duterte regime who not only enjoy the kid-glove protection of Duterte himself, but the added benefit of receiving accolades and financial reward in the process. It is to the AFP and the PNP’s utmost advantage that an air of paranoia be maintained in order to perpetuate the regime’s despotic rule.

Scare tactics aside, the AFP’s EastMinComm has in reality become increasingly desperate. The fact that it finds it necessary to resort to concocting fantastic tales and engagements proves not only that it is running out of excuses to justify its fascism but also that it is becoming very much aware that its troops are no match to the NPA whose forces continue to enjoy the love and support of the masses.

AFP’s EastMinComm setting stage to extend martial law, legalize hit squads with sham ‘engagements’ with NPA