Read in: Hiligaynon
We expect Mayor Mark Andrew J. Golez to deny any hand in quarry operations in his city however obvious, common knowledge or matter-of-fact his involvement is to ordinary Silaynons. The AFP’s reaction to the issue is just as predictable.
AFP 303rd Brigade Commander Col. Michael Samson dismisses the New People’s Army (NPA) action against the Golez quarry in Silay City as a “desperate move,” and prates that the people have already “rejected” the revolutionary movement.
Samson and Golez intentionally obscures the more important environmental issues to push the broken record spin that the NPA merely engages in “lawless violence” and “extortion.”
But the facts and even the media statements of Lt. Col. Robert Petate, OIC of the Silay PNP, refute Samson’s claim. There have been no previous complaints of so-called “extortion” as reported by quarry operators in the area, Petate says.
The Roselyn Jean Pelle Command (RJPC-NPA) is keen only in sanctioning Mayor Golez and warning all other abusive quarry operations which caused the recent flash floods in North Negros. The RJPC is NOT interested in exacting revolutionary taxes from business ventures that cause widespread destruction and harm the broad masses of the people.
The NPA is a revolutionary army fighting for national liberation and democracy. It is keen on protecting the environment for socialist construction, for the benefit of the toiling masses, the children and generations to come.
The ones truly desperate, and vainly trying to cover up the issue of destructive quarrying along the Malogo river are none other than Golez and Samson themselves.
Why wouldn’t authorities of the reactionary government dig deeper in investigating the issue?
Are they having a hard time figuring out who really controls the quarry site and equipment, or simply trying hard to hide the truth from the public?
Whatever happened to the moratorium on quarrying that local authorities talked about after the flooding?
The public must know that quarry operations in Malogo have in fact expanded. Why smear the NPA yet again with that worn-out “extortion” accusation? Is it because they are not just directly involved in the quarry operations, but also mired in bureaucratic corruption and actual extortion rackets?
Concerned citizens of Silay City must ask Golez, Petate and Samson on the going rate or amount of protection money required from operators by the LGU, DENR, PNP, and AFP for them to allow illegal quarry operations along the Malogo river. Golez must have greased the AFP with more than the amount of the three backhoes combined, while other smaller operators are obliged in turn to pay grease money to Golez as chief of the LGU.
Let us ask them why they pointed to Barangay Consing and made the E.B. Magalona PNP take the heat regarding the NPA sanction at the Golez quarry site in Hacienda Vista Alegre, Barangay E. Lopez, Silay City. Perhaps the backhoes have hauled the earth and rocks much too overwhelmingly that the site already moved offshore to Hacienda Buenos Aires in Barangay Consing, E.B. Magalona?
Is it because they think that the NPA was able to sneak through the E.B. Magalona police cordon while the 79th IB and AFP CMO personnel conducted civilian-military psywar operations in nearby Barangay Consing on April 11, a day before the NPA attack?
Then they should make the CAFGU take the heat, too. Elements of the paramilitary CAA stationed in nearby Barangay Kapitan Ramon (part of Silay City) also went on perimeter patrol to protect the quarry site itself only hours before the attack, but the NPA was still able to carry out the sanction and simultaneously set up checkpoints along the Silay-Patag road.
Golez justifies the quarry operations and claims that the NPA is “anti-development.” Well Golez must visit Barangay Consing himself and see how quarrying has contributed to its “progress.” With dozens of quarry operations reported to be located in this barangay, Consing makes do with rough and rocky, Spanish-era hacienda roads. This barangay amazingly has zero “farm-to-market roads” to boast of, not even a single concrete road to connect it to E.B. Magalona town or to the nearest provincial highway going to Victorias City. So much for “Build, Build, Build” when Barangay Consing only gets “Plunder, Plunder, Plundered.”
The NPA has no argument against construction of roads or public utilities that benefit the people. Except that before we could talk about “development” and building “farm-to-market roads,” we must first wrest control of the farms and vast landholdings from despotic hacienderos and new-type arrendadors and provide the majority of farmworkers and peasants with a stable source of livelihood. The main content of the people’s democratic revolution, land reform and agrarian revolution, is the basis of true progress.
It is much too humiliating for Samson to claim that the people have already rejected the NPA while the people laud this sanction against destructive quarrying.
The RJPC-NPA remains steadfast as humble servants of the people. We challenge officials of the reactionary government to make true their claims to protect the people and the environment, as we welcome all positive efforts by concerned citizens, groups and institutions to stop destructive quarrying in North Negros.