There are at least three patent lies in the 303rd Brigade commander’s recent statements on the April 19 armed engagement between a unit of the 94th Infantry Battallion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) and a New People’s Army (NPA) platoon in Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City.
FIRST, the said unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was not in any way providing “outer security patrol” service to DSWD personnel conducting distribution of special amelioration program (SAP) aid in the area.
The AFP soldiers in fact had already been on full and sustained combat operation in the interior barangays of Himamaylan City for more than a week prior to the incident, including even the days that the government’s ceasefire declaration was still supposedly in effect.
SECOND, the NPA does not take financial or food aid away from the people. The people themselves, especially the poor peasants and farm workers of the countryside, could attest how absolutely false this accusation is.
For one thing, they know of “3-8,” the set of rules and principles that guides the actions of the NPA; one that disallows, for example, the taking of even the least valuable of the masses’ possessions.
They know that the NPA, even as it plays the key role of smashing the armed forces of the reactionary state, performs other tasks in the field of production, education, culture, and health, further endearing them thus to the most exploited and oppressed.
They know of the current efforts of the NPA to work with the organs of Red political power, revolutionary mass organizations, traditional groups and institutions, and, to a certain extent, even allies in local governments and national agencies, in carrying out a comprehensive and extensive people’s campaign amid the COVID-19 crisis.
They know, for example, of the people’s clinics doing the rounds in many parts of the guerrilla zones with NPA medical officers and staffs at the helm.
The most successful of these so far has been the one held in Central Negros itself last March 29 (coinciding with the NPA’s 51st anniversary) where around two thousand barrio folk where checked up and treated in just a single afternoon; a feat that many credible health professionals in the cities have praised as unprecedented.
The people have known of the emergency food production campaign of the revolutionary peasant associations and the NPA long before any of the officials of the Department of Agriculture admitted that a COVID-19-imposed nationwide food shortage is imminent.
They know of the valuable advise that the NPA has been giving hard-up households on how to effectively and in an organized way assert their rights in availing from the economic aid programs of government agencies, however long-delayed, corruption-laden, and inadequate these may be.
Knowing all these, the people could easily belie Pasaporte’s talk of SAP-snatching Red fighters, whether in Himamaylan or any other Negros town and city, in Samar, Masbate, Mindanao, or anywhere else in the country.
The people, furthermore, know that the revolutionary movement realizes the very urgent need to concentrate all present efforts to helping the people collectively stand and overcome the COVID-19 crisis, and that the CPP-NPA-NDFP (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines) has seriously heeded the global call of the United Nations to temporarily halt armed conflicts and declared a unilateral ceasefire that took effect from March 26 to April 15 and which has already been extended to last until April 30.
This leads us to the THIRD Pasaporte lie. The NPA-Negros, in its armed engagement with the AFP on April 19 in Himamaylan City, did not violate any of the ceasefire provisions being currently enforced by the CPP-NPA-NDFP.
What happened in Brgy. Carabalan was not a tactical offensive carried out by a unit of the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command against the elements of the 94th IB PA. It was a necessary performance of active defense after the NPA Red fighters and commanders exhausted all attempts to desist from giving battle to the PA unit that had been aggressively pursuing them for more than a week.
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte is a serial liar. All these outrageous lies expose not only Pasaporte’s pathological aversion to the truth. These underscore as well the Duterte regime’s continuing Marcosian machinations to use the current COVID-19 situation to further discredit and attack the revolutionary movement and shore up the prospects of imposing a fascist dictatorship, all of which at the obvious expense of the already and much beleaguered people.###
Ka Juanito Magbanua
Apolinario Gatmaitan Command Spokesperson
New People’s Army – Negros Island