BRP Bonifacio’s insidious presence in Bikol hints at danger for the Bikolano masses
Just recently, the Philippine Navy’s Patrol Ship BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17) was seen on the waters of Albay Gulf. The said warship has the capacity for various modern and powerful weapons of mass destruction. The public must justly question the reason behind its presence on regional waters most especially since it is the lives and livelihood of the Bikolano masses that will be in danger once these arms are used for any military operation or activity.
Experiences of places such as Samar, Panay ang Mindanao prove that enemy concentration and deployment of their troops, vehicles and war materiel mean nothing but endangerment of the masses. These most often signify an intensification of rabid attacks without recognition of civilians and their communities’ safety.
Even the region’s history proves that AFP-PNP presence, their military exercises and modern weapons, always come at the cost of human rights. Innumerable cases of strafing and shelling of communities, forced evacuation, hamletting, extrajudicial killings and massacres have been experienced by the Bikolano masses every time the mercenary army conducts an activity.
NDF-Bikol calls on all the Bikolano masses to be vigilant of any new scheme that the AFP-PNP plans along with the positioning of said warship. They must be on high alert and be ready to report and publicize any human rights violation or endangerment of the civilian populace’s lives and livelihood.
All progressives, human rights defenders, nationalists and peace champions within and outside the region must unite in supporting and ensuring the welfare of the Bikolano masses especially those in far-flung barrios. Before that warship can begin wreaking havoc and waste lives, the public must preemptively condemn and demand it to leave. This must be demanded along with the clamor to end militarization and nonstop military operations in peasant communities throughout the region.