Madmavolut woy ovubaton Peace 911, the face of fascism in Davao City
The local government of Davao City recently hyped its Task Force (TF) Peace 911 as model local version of the NTF-Elcac of the national reactionary government. The local form of civil-military junta directs the anti-people war of the Duterte regime and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the city.
The TF Peace 911 is purportedly founded on eight pillars of “peace” which include lowering levels of corruption, recognition of people’s rights, equitable distribution of resources, and a sound business environment. Clearly, however, these pillars do not aim to resolve the primary demands of the masses, including land and living wages to achieve peace based on justice.
One Lumad farmer in Paquibato said that the Peace 911 is evidently a “madmavulot woy ovubaton,” an oppressive and deceptive scheme.
Militarization in Paquibato
On the pretext of “achieving” peace, the AFP deployed three battalions in 13 barangays of Paquibato, and other adjacent barangays in the Calinan District. There are at least 29 military detachments in the said area. The 27th IB, 89th IB and 3rd IB are mounting full-scale operations in these barangays. These units summon the village folk in “mass assemblies” to deceive and force them to surrender.
Simultaneously, it operates “Dos-dos,” a mercenary death squad employed to conduct surveillance, harass and intimidate residents.
Several village councils were made to sign “persona non grata” declarations against the Party, people’s army and the NDFP. “We were not even given a copy of this document,” said some local officials.
The AFP also constructed the anomalous “Kalinaw Village” in Mahayag, Barangay Bunawan, where those declared as “surrenderees” are detained. The facility is located just a few meters away from the headquarters of the 1003rd IBde. In this project, military generals directly control the ₱2.53-million budget for the construction of the facility, ₱2.6-million funds for “surrenderees” and ₱724,000 for “other expenses.”
The military is also aggressively recruiting residents into CAFGU or paramilitary groups such as the Bagani and Alamara which serve its counterinsurgency campaign.
Bogus Peace Economy
The TF Peace 911 launched the so-called Peace Economy, a program directly administered by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. They claim that under the “Peace Economy” resources will be distributed equitably and delivery of social services will be improved.
In fact, this program is actually no different from the government’s program for the production of commercial trees for export such as falcata, rubber, cacao, gemilina, coffee, mahogany and narra under the National Greening Program. This paved the way for the entry of a oil palm plantation in Barangay Colasas.
It has no comprehensive program for the production of food crops such as rice and corn, lacks support for production services such as irrigation, sustainable agriculture, nor prohibits oppressive usury. The claimed “development” is only limited to artificially increasing the farmgate prices of tomatoes in Barangay Malabog.
Currently, road and cell tower construction projects under the Peace Economy are used to obscure the root causes of poverty of the peasant and Lumad masses in Paquibato. Its “wealth sharing” slogan is bogus, given that land and economic opportunities in the area are still controlled by landlords and multinational corporations.
The Davao City local government brags of the peace foundation of Peace 911 which is essentially based on relentless fascism and the bogus and one-sided projects which do not address the basic problems of Paquibato residents.
In fact, this so-called foundation has been shaken by series of military actions mounted by the New People’s Army against operating troops of the AFP in Barangay Colasas towards the end of 2019 wherein the enemy sustained 15 casualties.
This and facts exposing the Peace 911 as fascist and bogus only prove that the people of Paquibato continue to embrace the people’s war as the only solution to address their hardships.
(This article is based on the October 2021 issue of Pasabilis!, revolutionary mass newspaper in Southern Mindanao.)