Systematic red-tagging and force-surrender campaign; money-making scheme, implementation of Anti-Terror Law

Translation/s: Bisaya

The military and US-Duterte regime are desperate in their systematic red-tagging of progressive organizations and individuals expressing their rights, including popular artists and force-surrender campaign to condition the minds of the public as part of implementation of Anti-Terror Law which was railroaded by congress in the midst of COVID19 pandemic.

They are trying to deceive the people that these legal organizations, which are consistently critical of the irrefutable failures of Duterte specifically in its non-scientific and thus, ineffective measures in dealing with COVID 19, preparations for natural disasters like earthquake and typhoons which recently hit the country and extending immediate assistance to the victims, as legal fronts of NPA which is in turn is also being tagged as terrorist organization.

Added to this is another modus-operandi of parading civilians as NPA surrenderees who availed of National Task-Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict’s (NTF-ELCAC) amnesty program and will receive “assistance” from the government through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program Local (E-CLIP). This however, is another racket. For instance, in South Cotabato, agents of Office of the President Assistance on the Peace Process (OPAPP), in connivance with the provincial local government, almost went house-to-house looking for potential “surrenderees”. They will give P25,000 for each “surrenderee” while the remaining P125,000 of the original P150,000 promised allocation goes to the pocket of OPAPP agents and the office of governor as head of the NTF-ELCAC in the province. Added to the said fraudulent scheme, even sitio leaders are presented as “surrenderees” to claim the budget, recycled “surrenderees” to get the cash assistance over and over again, senior citizens and other fake surrenderees in order to rake in more budget for corruption from public’s money.

In Sultan Kudarat, particularly in Sitio Kiwag, Brgy.Salangsang, in Lebak 71 individuals were forced to surrender as “NPA’s” hamletted in one area after being promised of a housing project. However, they were only given rainsack instead as temporary roofs for their makeshift houses and forced to work in a nursery for a logging business of the Consunjis. This is a money-making scheme of 6th IB PA and Renz Apang, the Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representive (IPMR) in Lebak to pocket the budget from NTF-ELCAC. There are also cases where “surrenderees” are given only grocery goods.

In Sarangani, 73rd IB PA presents wanted criminals whom they convince to surrender as NPA’s and beneficiaries of ECLIP but receive nothing because 73rd IB will then pocket the budget since they only promised these criminals to “clear” their cases.

While in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur, OPAPP agents and 39th IB PA, offer P20 million to local government officials including barangay officials as budget for projects and rehabilitation for victims of earthquake. This will only be released however if they are able to meet a certain quota of NPA “surrenderees” in their barangays. Because of this, even barangay tanods, barangay officials and even children are presented as NPA “surrenderees”.

This only proves the corruption in AFP which gets bigger allocation from the national budget. Its anti-insurgency campaign is a big milking cow for high military officials, OPAPP, NTF-ELCAC and their gangmates in the government. In that case, NTF-ELCAC was established as another machinery for corruption.

On the other hand, it is very evident that Duterte is only using COVID19 to hide its terrorist attacks on people. It’s not a remote possibility that in the coming days, a proscription or a court petition declaring these legal and progressive organizations and the CPP-NPA-NDF as terrorist organizations and whip them right away with Anti-Terror Law.

This however inflames further the burning outrage and resistance of the people who have been agonizing in economic and political crisis even before COVID 19 and further worsened by the said pandemic. The NPA will answer this with more tactical offensives, while mass movements in the urban center will definitely intensify and broaden to oust Duterte from office in his last year of his term.

Systematic red-tagging and force-surrender campaign; money-making scheme, implementation of Anti-Terror Law