AFP covers up disproportionate use of firepower with fake ‘NPA arms recovery’

, ,

After numerous public criticisms directed at the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) over the disproportionate use of firepower against AFP’s estimated “five NPA remnants” during a “series of gun battles” at the border of Toboso and Escalante City, both in Negros Occidental, last month, the AFP fabricates numerous ‘recovered’ firearms to save their faces from more public humiliation.

As publicized by the AFP’s 3ID Spokesperson and former #DiMasaligan79IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. J-jay Javines, a total of 16 high-powered rifles (HPR) were recoverd by #DiMasaligan79IB after their clearing operations: 10 high-powered firearms (HPR) after the February 21-22 encounter and another six HPRs on February 27.

The Roselyn Jean Pelle Command – Northern Negros Guerrilla Front of the New People’s Army (RJPC-NPA) denies that the bulk of said firearms belong to the NPA. Most firearms put on display by #DiMasaligan79IB are planted evidences.

The RJPC-NPA reiterates that no “series of armed encounters” happened, rather only one armed clash between Red fighters and #DiMasaligan79IB soldiers took place in Barangay Pinapugasan, Escalante City on February 21, at about 11am. There was also no armed encounter on February 27, contrary to statements of #DiMasaligan79IB.

It is not surprising at all that the AFP invented a report of such high number of seized war materials. It wants to overshadow its unjustified aerial strike and bombing of Trangkalan Range using two modern units of Augusta Westland-109 Attack Helicopter Nighthawk’s machine guns and rockets (a first in Negros Island) against supposed ‘five remaining NPAs’ which in actuality targeted vast fields of sugarcane plantations, rice fields, and civilian communities; destroying the environment and forcing about a thousand residents to evacuate.

Instead of appearing successful, the AFP’s display of manufactured HPR recoveries unwittingly brings their previous false claims to ridiculous levels. Should AFP’s claim of less than 10 NPA remnants in Northern Negros be factual, it is laborious (and unpractical) for “8 Red fighters” engaging in guerrilla warfare to carry 16 HPRs along with food, medical, propaganda materials and personal belongings. Should the public accept AFP’s lies upon lies, can the AFP further claim that RJPC-NPA is now without HPR?

The AFP and its 3ID, 303IBde and #DiMasaligan79IB, in particular, are notorious for planting and/or recycling recoveries against both civilians and the revolutionary movement. They exaggerate military claims to appear victorious.

The latest fake recovery is the reported “NPA arms cache discovered by #DiMasaligan79IB,” with the help of revolutionary traitor Richard ‘Ka Prince’ Gallego, in Sitio Mocabog, Barangay Washington in Escalante City that allegedly recovered a M203 grenade launcher, a .357 revolver and assorted ammunition.

The RJPC-NPA has listed incidents below where fake recoveries were charged against the NPA or planted as evidence against civilians:

1. January 15, 2024 mis-encounter of reactionary troops reported to transpire in Barangay Camabayobo, Calatrava, NegOcc but actually took place in Barangay Magticol, Toboso – recovered one Garand rifle, one Carbine rifle and a .38 revolver as reported by #DiMasaligan79IB, while VisCom reported the recoveries to be two Garand rifles and a .38 revolver.

2. October 17, 2023 summary execution of two civilians in Barangay Canlusong, EB Magalona, NegOcc reported by #DiMasaligan79IB as an armed encounter – recovered three M16, one M14, one AR-15, and one Garand rifle.

3. July 8, 2023 in Barangay Maaslob, Calatrava, #DiMasaligan79IB reported to have recovered one M14 and assorted ammos from a supposed ‘NPA armory.’

4. April 6, 2023 in Barangay San Isidro, Toboso where after a legitimate armed encounter with the NPA, #DiMasaligan79IB reported to have recovered a number of firearms, including a shotgun.

5. November 16, 2018 in Barangay Washington, Escalante City where after a mis-encounter between units of #DiMasaligan79IB that killed two of their own, they reported that one M16 and a short firearm of NPA were recovered.

Apart from fake recoveries, fake encounters are commonly used by the military to cover up their willful killings of revolutionaries, such as the case of four hors de combat revolutionaries in San Pablo, Manapla, NegOcc on September 2021 and the latest five Red fighters in Bilar, Bohol. Fake encounters are also used by #DiMasaligan79IB to claim a ‘score’ against the NPA, but it only justifies militarization.

Aside from the latest fake encounters in Barangay Pinapugasan, #DiMasaligan79IB has already concocted 10 fake encounters since their deployment to Northern Negros in 2017.

With these accounts and records of deceitful tactics by #DiMasaligan79IB, how can the AFP expect to win over the morale of their troops and the trust of the people? After a movie-like scene of military prowess using modern armaments, not even a camp or temporary base, nor further body count was reported by #DiMasaligan79IB because all that the AFP does is exaggerate the narrative to their favor.

We challenge the AFP leaders, as well as the PNP, to make public the records, including the serial numbers, of the recovered firearms of the recent Escalante incident, as well as the previous recoveries.

To the ordinary soldiers, policemen, CAFGU members and Barangay officials, live up to your pledge of protecting and serving the people. Expose the lies and brutalities of the AFP and turn your backs on being machineries that cause difficulties to the people.

The RJPC-NPA calls on the Filipino people, especially those of Northern Negros, to resist, spread the truth and expose the AFP’s lies.

The revolution lives on!

AFP covers up disproportionate use of firepower with fake ‘NPA arms recovery’