The Efren Martires Command (New People’s Army-Eastern Visayas) belies the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division attained victory in its intensified campaign since August 1. “According to the latest reports from our units, the NPA acknowledges only two Red fighters killed in action; these were martyred in Sulat, Eastern Samar,” said Ka Karlos Manuel, EMC spokesperson. “The other two casualties in Calbayog City claimed by the military actually belonged to the private armed group of a politician the 8th ID. Meanwhile, the military exaggerates in saying it seized 14 assorted firearms from the NPA recently. The military did confiscate some backpacks and other equipment in Basey, Wester Samar.”
Manuel added, “It is Duterte’s troops who suffered at least 16 dead from August to September. Four elements of the 20th IB were killed in action last August 11 in Nagoocan, Catubig, Northern Samar while an unconfirmed number were wounded. At least 10 more soldiers were killed in action in Basey, Western Samar. Five of these from the 46th IB were killed in action in an NPA offensive last August 30. On September 2, five more elements of the 63rd IB were killed in action while attempting to raid an NPA camp, and the Red fighters were also able to withdraw without any casualties. Meanwhile, two intelligence assets of the military were meted the death penalty carried out by the NPA.”
The EMC spokesperson also condemned the 8th ID for targeting civilians. “The NPA’s superior knowledge of terrain as well as mass support ensures it never suffers from the 8th ID offensives, which either end up punching the air or else are easily countered by the NPA. Sadly, when AFP troops suffer losses, they retaliate against the civilians. It is not the NPA but the civilians who really bear the brunt of the fascist offensives of the 8th ID.
“The 8th ID has killed two barangay captains who are blamed for the military’s battlefield losses: Wilmar Calutan of Brgy. Beri, Calbiga, Western Samar and Apolinario “Pening” Lebico of San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar. Meanwhile, residents of two sub-villages in Barangay Cogon in Basey were forced to evacuate after the military’s indiscriminate firing after suffering losses to the NPA.”
Ka Karlos Manuel concluded, “Major Bard Caesar Mazo of the 8th ID’s public affairs office is thus lying that the division’s more than 7,000 combat troops are meant to protect communities in the region. In fact, the civilian communities are suffering militarization because of the intensifying ‘counterinsurgency’ program. According to human rights groups, at least 545 barangays in the region suffer from militarization, affecting at least 300,000 people. This is on top of the lack of fundamental changes, with mass landlessness and mass unemployment, declining prices of agricultural products, rising costs of basic commodities, and other burning issues. Meanwhile, military and police forces are pampered and urged to act with impunity. If Maj. Mazo says the 8th ID will not stop hunting the NPA, we in the NPA vow to further intensify guerilla warfare in solidarity with the people, who are being pushed by the fascist US-Duterte regime into waging armed and unarmed resistance until the hated regime can be ousted.” #