AFP’s bloody trail can only strengthen the NPA in the Visayas

Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Visayas Command Chief Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo is hallucinating in his declaration of a ‘weakening NPA’ in the Visayas islands and calling this a ‘remarkable combat accomplishment’ of his troops. Arevalo’s statements are, in reality, based upon the murderous rampage of the state’s armed forces targetting mostly innocent farmers and defenseless hors de combat. Flagrant attacks against civilian communities and widespread deception all over the Visayas islands have indubitably worsened under Arevalo’s watch and within the first year of the illegitimate Marcos II regime.

Particularly in Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas, the AFP’s monstrosity spans from red-tagging, threats and harassment, fake encounters, abductions and enforced disappearances, cold-blooded killings, forced surrenders, illegal arrest and detention, deception, aerial bombings and artillery shellings of communities and other human rights violations. In Negros alone, around 300 cases of human rights abuses affecting over 24,000 individuals were perpetrated by the 302nd and 303rd Brigade under the US-Marcos II regime. Twenty-seven of the said cases directly involved more than 50 children.

This puppet regime’s anti-insurgency campaign have become the excuse of the AFP for its relentless focused military operations causing the most heinous sort of crimes against humanity. Instead of being celebrated, the fascist Visayas Command and its entire force should be made accountable for all atrocities they have committed.

Arevalo—the VisCom chief on hallucinogens—is the mastermind of all ceaseless state-sponsored crimes and state terrorism that has victimized the people of the Visayas. He is also the main spinner of lies and deceit. His lackey, 3rd Infantry Divisions (ID) MGen. Marion Sison, is no better.

Obviously running out of tales to feed the public, Sison called human rights groups and advocates conducting an investigative mission on the gruesome massacre of the Fausto family in Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental last June 14 as “reinforcements” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA) to Negros Island.

Instead of resorting to red-tagging which is a feeble but deadly attempt to save face on Sison’s part, the 3rd ID should just directly respond to the findings of the investigative mission and make Lt. Col. Almonte of the 94th IB and other involved troops answer for the brutal massacre. He himself must take command responsibility as 3rd ID commander.

The series of genuine armed encounters between the NPA and the AFP have intensified chiefly due to yet another pipe dream of defeating the revolutionary movement in Negros swiftly, in accordance with the demand of imperialist US to shift to ‘external defense’ for its impending inter-imperialist war with China. But this is all nonsense as the real objective is to swarm the countryside of Negros Island in preparation for the entry of foreign businesses and big compradors and landlords who aim to plunder our natural resources and exploit cheap labor. In fact another company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 7 of the Philippine National Police has been sent to Negros Oriental on the pretext of securing the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections this October.

Waging a people’s war is a complex and hard process. The revolutionary movement led by the CPP is highly conscious of this. In contrast, Arevalo’s and Sison’s hubris is a manifestation of the AFP’s ignorance of such laws of social science. They are quick to call crimes violating international humanitarian law and protocols of war as merely “dismantling guerrilla fronts”; painting themselves as victors of armed encounters while concealing their casualties and misencounters apart from the overwhelming majority of murders disguised as fake encounters.

In truth, the AFP and the entire state forces of the US-Marcos II regime are only prodding the people to fight back, on the streets and up to the countryside. What is left for the people on the Visayas islands is to strengthen themselves and their Red Army in order to advance the revolution further.###

AFP’s bloody trail can only strengthen the NPA in the Visayas