Open letter to the rank and file police and military

This article is available in Pilipino

To the rank and file police and military,

These past few months, you have successively sustained losses against NPA units in Bikol. From those five NPA offensives, five from your ranks were killed and many others were injured. Your bosses’ mouths are already frothing in anger because they failed to conceal your losses in the field. And that’s even considering that everything is supposedly in your favor. Have these officials not claimed that the NPA in Bikol or in the country are kaput? How many did they say were left in the region, just seven, one of them an invalid? The problem is, was it not Duterte who admitted that he failed to obliterate the revolutionaries even after his term? Would this not confuse you as well?

But, you know, we are also saddened every time one of you, who also come from the working class, is killed in battle. You should not be the ones paying the price for a war that only makes the rich even richer and the already potbellied even fatter in wealth. Why are you the ones ordered to launch operations, enter guerilla zones and look for NPA? You are the ones who are forced to engage in battle, injured or killed. Why don’t Major and General conduct RCSP instead? Why don’t Marcos handle SACLEO? After all, they are the only ones who benefit from these.

Duty and honor are two different things. Not because you do your duty according to your officials, you already have honor. Especially since you know all too well that most of the time, your directives are to kill your fellow downtrodden. Even your fellow uniformed personnel are not spared by your institution’s violence. You still remember Patrolman Jaypee, right? Just last month, he died from severe torture he suffered from the hands of your co-workers. How can you blame the poor if they choose to take up arms and join the NPA? What would you do in their stead? If you should be the one to be abused and whose loved ones are to be killed without a chance to fight back?

The NPA and AFP-PNP-CAFGU are two different worlds. Whatever idiocy comes out of your Sir’s mouths, the truth is that you kill civilians – grandparents, parents, children even babies. You use violence to strike fear and make the people cower. But us, we may use weapons, but we wield it not to harm but because we want to end our suffering, the common people. We aspire for a society that will finally benefit us. We are ready to face death in the name of this great goal. And you? Are you sure that you are ready to die just to keep your bosses rich? Just so Marcos and his family can go traipsing around the world with the poor’s money? So the corrupt and the indifferent elite can continue with their fine lives? Are you willing to squander your life just for these?

Think of your families. The time you waste to fight a war that is not yours could have been well-spent with them. We tell you this now because the war will certainly intensify. It is our duty towards the masses we serve to continue launching tactical offensives. Nothing can stop that from happening. If that will be while you are meandering in the mountains and jungles, while you are conducting RCSP, while you are resting in your stations or while you are riding your favorite motorcycle – you will never know.

That is why we convince you to leave your badges, while it is still early. Undoubtedly, your officials who have not even set foot on the field with you cannot protect you when that time comes. It is just you whose lives are wasted and are treated as cannon fodder for nothing. In the end, it is the families you leave behind who lose.

Also, you cannot opt to just kill and kill people so they cannot join the NPA, the volume of those who detest you will just keep on multiplying and so will the numbers of those who join us. Have you not learned your lesson during the martial law? From 60 NPA and 34 rifles in the 70s, we have swelled up to 25,000 NPA after People Power 1? What happened? You targeted and killed civilians. Predictably, they will be compelled to fight instead of dying helplessly.

So before you hear another news of an NPA offensive, or even before you find your own unit in a fight you did not expect while you are on your operations, you’d better leave. It is not too late.

Open letter to the rank and file police and military