CPP denounces AFP artillery shelling, strafing of communities in Rizal, Occidental Mindoro


The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for conducting early-morning artillery shelling and strafing of nearby communities in barangays Rizal, Aguas, and Pitogo of Rizal town in Occidental Mindoro last November 6. The local New People’s Army (NPA) unit reported that the shelling and strafing started at around 1 a.m. At least 8,000 residents were forced to flee their homes to seek refuge from the terroristic activities.

“The Philippine Army’s 203rd IBde should be denounced and held responsible for these crimes against the peasants and minority peoples of Occidental Mindoro,” CPP Chief Information Officer Marco Valbuena remarked. He identified BGen. Jose Augusto Villareal, brigade commander, as the main culprit to the crime.

The shelling and strafing caused severe trauma and fear among residents of the said villages. Farmers stopped attending to their farms in fear of falling victims to the AFP’s combat operations. “These are all grave violations of international humanitarian law. Civilian communities and their properties must be spared from destruction and attacks in conflict areas,” Valbuena explained.

Valbuena called on all Mindoreños and the Filipino people, together with human rights defenders and democratic organizations to condemn this “all-out war” against the people. “We must all unite and raise our voices in protest to defend the peasant masses and minority people of Mindoro.”

The NPA-Mindoro reported that combat operations of not less than 200 troops of combined 4th and 68th IB units are still ongoing in the said communities. The combat operations in Occidental Mindoro is taking place just around a month after the AFP shelled the mountain parts of Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro which affected several Mangyan communities with around 6,000 residents.

“The US-Marcos II regime is squandering billions upon billions of public funds for its counterinsurgency campaign victimizing farmers and minority peoples,” Valbuena pointed out. “It is highly condemnable that the Marcos regime is pouring money for brutal military campaign while people suffer from the worsening economic crisis and rapidly deteriorating socioeconomic conditions.”

Valbuena denounced the US government for instigating these crimes against the people as it continues to fund the AFP and support its all-out war against the Filipino people. (CPP Information Bureau)

AB: CPP denounces AFP artillery shelling, strafing of communities in Rizal, Occidental Mindoro