Read in: Bisaya
As the Philippines suffers from the Covid-19 pandemic, the US-Duterte regime focuses its attention on military rampage against the people and the revolutionary movement.
Duterte has truly revealed his culpability of criminal negligence against the people’s basic and rightful demands. Despite local and international criticism on his Covid response, Duterte remains to downplay the crisis and throw away the people’s taxes for his anti-people war. His tyrannic ambition to stay in power is ever more blatant.
Adding insult to the injury, Duterte is not yet satisfied with the exorbitant fund alloted for the operations of the National Task Force (NTF) – ELCAC which already had an astounding amount of P622.3 million this year. For the 2021 budget, Duterte is proposing an excessive P19.1 billion fund for the said task force while inadequate amount is alloted for the pandemic and other urgent needs of the Filipino people.
In North Central Mindanao Region alone, on July 28 to August 30, the Armed Forces of the Philippines spent an estimated amount of P73 million on bombs, aerial reconnaissance and their soldiers’ subsistence fund during their FMO. This expenses does not yet include the costs of their military vehicles and ammunitions used during the operation.
During the said FMO, the AFP used 20 rocket bombs, 20 rounds of .50 cal. machine gun and nine 105mm mortar cannon. Based on the data from the comproller’s office of the US Department of Defense, a rocket warhead and motor costs P99,550; a .50 cal round costs P4,500; and a 105mm mortar costs P30,000.
A big amount of the expenses was also used on the subsistence fund issued to the AFP troops. According to NPA-NCMR, around 1,000 troopers of the AFP operated during this series of FMO. Their subsistence allowance is pegged at P500 per personnel per day.
Other expenses covered by the P73 million were the aerial reconnaissance of their MD520 and AW military helicopters. At least two MD520 and other two AW helicopters hover for eight days which covered at least a total of 18 hours during their military operation.
As a result of their operation, at least 10 soldiers were killed-in-action, including two high-ranking officials, and other two were wounded. Meanwhile, a Red army was wounded by an M203 splinter but has already recovered.
If, according to medical reports, a Covid-19 patient needs at least P65,000 for his/her recovery, then more 1,123 patients could have been cured if it weren’t for the FMO!
As more people will suffer from the pandemic, they will simultaneously be inflicted by Duterte’s war. His only concern is to gratify his own desires for corruption and tyranny.
Hence, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – North Central Mindanao Region calls on all Filipino people to heighten the military struggle against the fascist and tyrannic regime. Those who were left jobless; those with empty plates on their table; families and friends of innocents who were killed; farmers who can’t till their land due to militarization; jeepney and other public utility vehicle drivers who can’t operate due to phaseout scheme; students and teachers whose need for proper education have been disregarded; lumad people whose ancestral land are ceaselessly grabbed; and all patriotic and freedom-aspiring people should never be cowed and intensify the struggle, may it be armed or parliamentary. Units of the New People’s Army will always welcome the oppressed and exploited people who are willing to take arm against this moribund system.