Tuesday, January 05, 2010

NPA accuses Manila of violating truce; activist joins rebel forces in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / January 5, 2010) – Communist rebels accused Manila on Tuesday of violating a yuletide truce following a series of clashes in the southern Philippines.

Jorge Madlos, a rebel spokesman, said government troops attacked New People’s Army members in Surigao del Sur and other provinces in Mindanao, sparking clashes that coincided with the 41st anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

“These acts of violation of the Suspension of Military Operations vividly manifest the treachery of the Arroyo government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines not only towards the revolutionary movement but towards the people as well. They have resorted to this type of cowardly action because they desperately want to make the most needed score, if only to claim victory for their failed Oplan Bantay Laya 2, which is now on its final months,” Madlos said, referring to the government’s anti-insurgency campaign.

He said the military violated the truce from December 24 to December 26 and that fighting also broke out the next day and continued sporadically until December 28.

“In spite of the open violations committed by AFP against the implementation of the SOMO, the main celebration of the 41st founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines has been a great success,” Madlos said.

Alvin Luque, a leader of the leftist group called Bayan in Mindanao, also contacted journalists to say that he had sought the protection of the NPA rebels after military forces were sent to arrest him on manufactured charges.

“I must tell the truth: there is no way out of the brutality and impunity under this government except to fight against it. As I have said in 2007, I would not surrender myself to the whims and desires of the reactionary government, which resorts to silencing activists through political assassinations.”

“I would have wanted, finally, to have my day in court, but I feared that, once arrested, I was vulnerable to all sorts of attack, especially from the AFP which considered me an ‘enemy of the state.’ Therefore, I have chosen not to submit myself to the processes of the law under the present reactionary government in the interest primarily of self-preservation, and to be effective still in contributing to the people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy,” Luque said in a statement emailed to journalists.

He said under the Arroyo regime, more than a thousand of its critics and dissenters have been victimized by extra-judicial killings, including journalists, media workers, lawyers and the religious.

“Justice indeed has a bleak prospect under the current regime. I cannot sit idly by, stand watch, and simply bear one gruesome murder after another, and still pretend the situation is fine. Just action must be taken. Therefore, it is incumbent upon me to do everything in my power not just to live but also to go on living fighting for the people whom this regime incessantly exploit and oppress,” he added.

“I have chosen to seek refuge under the revolutionary movement, particularly with the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front. This is the most logical choice on my part because these are the very organizations that can guarantee not only my protection from political killings but also, above all, freedom of the people from the oppressive grip of a reactionary fascist state. I am still breathing and fighting precisely because of this choice,” Luque said.

Army Captain Emmanuel Garcia, a spokesman for the 10th Infantry Division, denied all the accusations of Madlos and Luque, and said NPA forces violated the truce after rebels abducted Michael Diapas, a leader of the anti-crime group called Citizens’ Crime Watch in Davao Oriental’s Mati town during the cease-fire period.

He said the rebels later freed Diapas and warned him against supporting the government’s anti-insurgency campaign. “The rebels violated the yuletide truce, not the government soldiers. Fighting in some areas in Mindanao broke out after the truce when rebels attacked government patrol forces,” Garcia told the independent newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner, in a separate interview.

Garcia also accused Luque of being a member of the NPA who is facing arson and rebellion charges in Davao City since 2002. “Luque is a rebel leader and his admission bolstered military and police reports that he is a member of the New People’s Army,” he said.

The NPA is fighting the past four decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. Peace talks between the rebels and the Arroyo government collapsed in 2004 after the NPA accused Manila of reneging on several agreements; among them was the release of all political prisoners and to put a stop on extrajudicial killings of political activists in the Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)

No comments: