As “peace talks” get no traction, Philippine government war on people’s resistance slated to expand

Revved-up counterinsurgency

AT GROUND LEVEL, by Satur C. Ocampo (The Philippine Star) | January 19, 2013

“I am now in a position to influence the implementation of (Oplan) Bayanihan as chief of staff because I now become its operational commander. Unlike when I was the CGPA (commanding general of the Philippine Army), I had a limited role as the force provider. But now I will have a direct hand in the implementation of Bayanihan.”

Thus declared Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, who became AFP chief last Thursday, regarding the Aquino government’s six-year counterinsurgency program for which he is credited as key author. Basically the program is lifted from the 2009 US Counterinsurgency Plan applied in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One can gather from his statement both a sense of relief and gratification: relief from frustration, as Army commander having had an ancillary or “limited role as the force provider,” and gratification for finally being put fully in-charge of implementing his own plan.

Hence the go-go spirit exuded by Gen. Bautista. He told the press he would “hasten the tempo” of the AFP’s 44-year-old campaign against the Left armed revolutionary movement, with the end-goal to “render irrelevant” the NPA and its armed struggle.

Going by the timeframe of Oplan Bayanihan, officially known as the Internal Peace and Security Plan, Bautista has to work really hard and fast. (His stint as AFP chief ends on July 20, 2014.) The plan calls for the “substantial completion” of the end-goal within the first three years of the program, or in 2011-2013.

This is because within 2014-2016 the AFP aspires to relinquish its lead role in counterinsurgency “to appropriate government agencies” so that it can “initiate its transition to a territorial defense-focused force.” Continue reading

Philippine NDF rebels on Moro-Government peace moves, urge armed resistance

Mobilize Moro people for their struggle for self-determination — NDFP

Thursday, 08 November 2012

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By JORGE MADLOS
Spokesperson, NDFP-Mindanao

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Mindanao urges the Moro Resistance Liberation Organization (MRLO), as one of its allied organizations, to be more resolute in its mandate to educate, organize and mobilize vast numbers among the Moro people to advance their struggle for the right to self-determination under the aegis of the national-democratic armed revolution.

While the signing of the Framework on the Bangsamoro may be considered a watershed in the Moro struggle, it cannot be denied that the pact itself is riddled with lopsided provisions that ultimately favor the design of the ruling classes, its reactionary government and US imperialism to fully and finally subdue the Moro people’s long-drawn armed resistance against national oppression and exploitation.

Underneath all the semantics in the pact, the US-Aquino regime has insidiously placed the avarice of local and imperialist monopoly capitalists to rake in superprofit over and above the general economic and socio-political well-being of the long-suffering Moro people.  After the signing, like moths to a fire, several multinational corporations immediately expressed interest to invest on and exploit the vast natural resources, such as arable lands, natural gas and minerals, in areas under the MILF’s control or influence.  In his foreign trips and kowtowing abroad, Aquino also used the MILF-GPH pact as a ticket to invite more investments in the country. Continue reading

Mindanao: “MILF hails UN, EU, UK, US, other states’ support”

http://www.luwaran.com

October 11, 2012 — The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) today said the support of the international community for the recent breakthrough in the GPH-MILF peace process has been overwhelming as it expressed gratitude to world leaders and foreign envoys who have welcomed the Framework Agreement reached between the Government of the Philippines and the (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim has hailed with great satisfaction and utmost gratitude these expressions of support from the United Nations, The European Union, Malaysia, The United Kingdom, Japan, United States Australia, Switzerland, and Indonesia.

“We are deeply honored and humbled, and assured by their support,” Murad told Luwaran in an interview this morning.

Murad particularly took note of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commendation of President Benigno Aquino III for his vision and courage, as well as the commitment of the MILF leadership, in reaching the landmark agreement. Continue reading

MILF urges gov’t to postpone awarding of oil exploration bids in Moro areas

October 30, 2012 — The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has called the Government of the Philippines (GPH) anew to postpone the awarding of the oil exploration contract in Moro areas in Mindanao particularly those in the Liguasan Marsh in the Cotabato Basin and in Sulu seas.

The call was formally raised by MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim during his press conference in Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao last October 27.

The 64-year old MILF leader said his group has urged the government not to continue with the bidding on some exploration projects in central Mindanao until the wealth-sharing issue is fixed. Continue reading

Philippines: “Support the Moro struggle against the Aquino regime’s deceptiveness”

[Reporting on the recently-announced negotiations and agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine government, this article from Ang Bayan (organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines) traces the CPP’s view of the agreement, its dangers, and the CPP’s relationship with the Moro Independence movement. — Frontlines ed.]
Editorial, Ang Bayan
October 21, 2012
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the national-democratic revolutionary forces are among the most ardent advocates of the Moro people’s struggle for their right to national self-determination.
The Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution supports the struggle of national minorities against chauvinism and oppression and recognizes their aspirations for autonomy and their right to secede from the ruling oppressive state. This support is also unequivocally contained in the 12-Point Program of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
The struggle of the Filipino and Moro peoples are tightly intertwined. Both of them resist the same reactionary state that oppresses and exploits the toiling masses. As an instrument of US imperialism, the Philippine puppet reactionary state tramples on the rights of the Filipino people to national liberation in allowing American and foreign big companies to exploit the Filipino nation’s natural resources. It further allows the US military to interfere, dominate and freely operate in the country and make use of the Philippines as a platform for its power-projection and interventionism in other countries.
In recent decades, this same reactionary state, from the Marcos to the current Aquino regime, has gravely abused the Moro people’s political, economic and cultural rights. Fascist troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) occupy the ancestral land and political territory of the Moro nation in an effort to impose the constitution and political power of the reactionary state upon the Moro people.
The violent suppression of the Moro people has sparked their armed resistance throughout history. They largely succeeded in resisting over three centuries of Spanish colonialism. Their aspiration for self-determination was, however, more effectively suppressed with the supplanting of the Spanish colonialists by the new US colonial power. Using its bigger, more economically and technologically advanced capability, US imperialism, and later, its puppet reactionary state were later able to completely dominate the Moro homeland.
It was only through persistent revolutionary armed struggle since the 1970s that the Moro people were able to defend themselves, gain recognition for their struggle for self-determination and provide it a more national form. The Maguindanao, Maranao, Tausog, Samal, Yakan and other Moro groups united under the banner of armed struggle. Since the start of their national armed revolution, the revolutionary movement has been one with the Moro people in advancing their struggle for their right to national self-determination. Continue reading

Philippines: Military abuse and extra-judicial killings are not “humanitarian”

Army chief hit over human rights remark

Sun Star, Saturday, June 25, 2011

ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Eduardo Oban drew flak from a militant group for saying that the government’s counter-insurgency program is founded on “human rights.”

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said initial results of “Oplan Bayanihan” show that some Filipinos were “displaced from their homes and communities, harassed, arrested and detained, tortured and killed” due to the policy.

The group has documented 17 persons killed through extrajudicial means from January to mid-June this year, bringing the number of people killed under President Benigno Aquino III to 45. Continue reading

Philippines: Hacienda Luisita peasants launch alliance to take back lands of the Aquino family

Philippine troops shot down Hacienda Luisita strikers, November 2004

Luisita Peasants and People’s Alliance

LUISITA FARMERS AND SUPPORTERS LAUNCH ALLIANCE URGING FOR DISTRIBUTION OF COJUANGCO-AQUINO LAND

Various groups joined the farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita as they launched the formation of the widest alliance compelling the Aquino government and the Supreme Court to immediately distribute the 6,400 hectares owned by the Cojuangco – Aquino family.

Luisita Peasants and People’s Alliance (LUPPA) today formally launched the broad network of support it gathered from church groups, artists, academe and different sectoral organizations at De La Salle – College of St. Benilde.

Joining Velarde and Bais as convenors of the said alliance are Fr. Gregorio Obejas, O.S.M., Tarlac City Councilor Emmie Ladera, Sentro para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (SENTRA) Executive Director Atty. Jobert Pahilga, visual artist Rustum Casia, and the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action.

The CBCP-NASSA affirmed their commitment to help Luisita farmworkers in their struggle to be owners of the land they have been tilling for ages. Likewise, the Social Justice arm of the Catholic Church join the farmers in their call to junk the spurious Stock Distribution Option (SDO) scheme. Continue reading