The New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today laughed off the Armed Forces of the Philippines for maintaining the NPA seized relief goods related to the anti-COVID-19 campaign in Balangiga, Eastern Samar. “It is farcical when the AFP now says the Balangiga town council supports the military’s accusation after initially rejecting it,” said Ka Karlos Manuel, spokesperson of the Efren Martires Command. “But as can be gleaned from media reports, the Balangiga town council never made an independent investigation but only acceded to the military’s version after a meeting of the municipal peace and order council (MPOC) dominated by the military.
“To those who are not aware of it, the MPOC has long served as the rubberstamp of military operations, even more so today after the Duterte regime imposed Memo 32 and EO 70 in November 2018 to subordinate the local government to the counterinsurgency campaign through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.”
The spokersperson of the NPA regional command said the military’s charade in Balangiga underscores the Duterte government’s insincerity in its ceasefire, as well as the fiasco of its anti-COVID-19 campaign. “While the NPA is conducting its own anti-COVID-19 campaign and responding to the UN’s call for global ceasefire, the AFP would rather continue its military operations and provocations against the NPA. It goes to show the AFP has no concern for the plight of the people in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Efren Martires Command urged the local government units and other civilian branches as well as civil society to resist the Duterte regime’s militarist solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Soldiers and policemen regimented for counterinsurgency and implementing a militarist lockdown is not the answer to COVID-19 but harbingers of a creeping Duterte dictatorships. The people need more doctors and nurses, mass testing, food security and socio-economic aid. Because the Duterte regime is incompetent, fascist, corrupt and pro-imperialist, its anti-pandemic campaign is turning into chaos and repression of the irate people as the contagion rages on. Thus, the local government units in the end will be bringing grief to the people, and not the NPA , if they simply acquiesce to the strong-arming of the armed minions of the Duterte regime. They must take a stand against militarization and register the democratic demands of their constituents to effectively fight the COVID-19 pandemic and other burning issues against the isolated and vicious Duterte regime.”#