NDFP condemns Philippine Army’s barbaric attacks against Lumad civilians

[The Lumads are an indigenous people in Mindanao among whom the CPP, NPA, NDFP and mass organizations have been working for decades.  They have been putting up fierce resistance against big mining firms in recent years.  The National Democratic Front of the Philippines describes these latest Philippine Army attacks on anti-mine activists as “a manifestation of the real implementation of Noynoy Aquino’s counter-insurgency program ‘Oplan Bayanihan.’— Frontlines ed.]

PRESS STATEMENT
Ka EFREN, Far South Mindanao Region, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
05 October 2012

The contentions of Philippine Army 27th Infantry Battalion commanding officer Lt. Col. Alexis Noel Bravo that his troops conducted a raid, killing two armed members of the New People’s Army in Barangay (village) Telafas, Colombio on 29 September is a sheer highfalutin and shameless fibbing of the fascists to conceal their ruthless and barbaric act towards innocent civilians.

Their victims were ordinary peasants and innocent civilian residents, not NPA members, and no legitimate military encounter happened. Past 3 o’clock at dawn, the patrolling Philippine Army indiscriminately strafed the farm shack where the victims were sleeping.

Dead on the spot were Andy Datuwata, a 24 year old farmer, and Ronald Malley, a 16 year old student in Brgy. Telafas National High School. The fascists also apprehended Tata Malley, 22 years old, mauled him before turning him over to the police station in Colombio town. The victims are Tiruray residents in the area.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Far South Mindanao Region strongly condemns this inhuman attack done by the 27th Infantry Battalion against the civilians. We also express our sympathy to the families, the Tiruray folk, and friends of the victims at this time of their grief, pain and injustice.

The 27th IB inisists that the rifles they recovered in the crime scene are substantial “proof” or “evidences” to establish that the victims are NPA guerillas. But it has long been known in Colombio that possessing and retaining firearms is common among the locals for their defense. Keeping arms is a traditional practice of the Lumads, and having at least one has become necessary for their survival and for their livelihood.

This ferocious crime committed by the 27th IB is a blatant and grave breach of the CARHRIHL and the laws espousing the protection of human rights. Furthermore, it unambiguously hounds the rights and the life and being of the Lumad minority and young victims. Such barbaric act is the character and a usual practice of the 27th IB in carrying out their duties as mercenary defenders of foreign agribusinesses and mining companies. This is a manifestation of the real implementation of Noynoy Aquino’s counter-insurgency program “Oplan Bayanihan” which apparently promotes and protects “peace and development”.

The Malley and Datuwata families and the Tiruray folk are the occupants of Sinalkuhan, Brgy. Telafas, and tillers of the lands persistently being targeted for agricultural plantations and mining operations. The area is within the FTAA (Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement) acquired formerly by the Western Mining Corporation and now owned by the Xstrata-SMI. This company is currently bankrolling the operations being conducted by the 27th IB and the Philippine National Police in the area. These families and their Tiruray folk strongly oppose the agri-plantations and large-scale mining.

The 27th IB elements’ wicked and spiteful killing of Ronald Malley and Anthony Datuwata adds up to the lengthy list of violations and bloody crimes perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the people. Never would the innocent civilians put behind the fierceful attacks meted out by the AFP against them, such as the brutal killings of Rogelio Lagaru in Brgy. Datal Blao, Colombio in 2006; Boy Sarino in Sityo Tinansang, Brgy. Palavilla, Lutayan in 2008; Tuliano Dalumatan in Sityo Takol, Brgy. Sinapulan, Colombio in 2009; Boy Billanes in Koronadal City in 2008; the Bolani family massacre in Sityo Latil, Brgy. Abnate, Kiablawan in 2004; and many others.

The executors of these crimes, the 27th IB led by Lt. Col. Bravo, the AFP, and the US-Aquino regime, who is the real tyrant behind these ploys, are accountable and must be punished for the recurring offenses, injuries, and injustices they wreak onto the innocent civilians.

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[An earlier news report (July, 2012) gives further background on the struggle of the Lumad and the role of the NPA. — Frontlines ed.]

Moros, Lumad urged to take up arms against mining companies

By: Jefry M. Tupas, Interaksyon.com
July 9, 2012

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Mindanao called on Lumad and Moro people to take up arms against mining companies, saying these are “exceedingly damaging to Mindanao, to its people and to the environment.”

The group, a coalition of left-wing organizations, also called on all units of the New People’s Army (NPA), its armed component, to be “more daring in their defense of the people’s interest against the greed and capacity of the local ruling classes and their imperialist master.”

The NDFP-Mindanao also hailed the series of attacks against mining companies in many parts of the island, its spokesperson Jorge Madlos, or Ka Oris, said in a statement sent to the media on Sunday.

On July 6, NPA rebels stormed VPO Mines, Inc., in the town of Rosario, Agusan del Sur.  In the attack, the NPA confiscated 30 firearms which included seven M16 rifles, two carbines, nine shotguns, six .45 pistols, one M203, two M14 rifles and an AK-47 rifle.  Continue reading