24 November 2009

NPA ambush on 52nd IB elements: 2 CAFGUs killed, 4 firearms confiscated

People's War Bulletin

Ka Karlos Manuel, Spokesperson
Efren Martires Command
New People's Army-Eastern Visayas

The New People's Army in Eastern Visayas said today that the NPA successfully ambushed 52nd IB elements on military operations last Nov. 16 in Brgy. Dawo, Oquendo District, Calbayog City, Western Samar. Red fighters under the Nida Cantong Command carried out the ambush at 5 a.m., killing two elements of the 52nd IB and seriously wounding another. The NPA confiscated one M16 rifle, one M14 rifle, one M1 Garand rifle, and an M1 carbine. Contrary to the black propaganda by 8th Infantry Division spokesperson Lt. Col. Armando Rico, the NPA did not suffer a single casualty.

Media reports name the enemy casualties as Renato Bagarenio and Restituto Aniban who were killed in action, while Sgt. Jaime Bayquin was wounded in action. The 52nd IB is responsible for training and handling the abusive and much-hated CAFGU in the region. The NPA's continuing tactical offensives show that Oplan Bantay Laya is on a losing course, and serve to punish the 8th ID for its many human rights violations such as the murder of Fr. Cecilio Lucero and other political killings and terrorist acts.

The Nida Cantong Command is based in Northern Samar but parts of the border with Western Samar are within its area of responsibility.#

18 November 2009

Military misuses government projects for war purposes and electioneering

Fr. Santiago Salas, Spokesperson
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Eastern Visayas

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today scoffed at the 8th Infantry Division for pretending to fulfill government projects, but in reality using these for war purposes and in electioneering in behalf of the Arroyo government. “The 8th ID and other Arroyo government officials shamelessly promoted former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro at the inauguration of the Lapinig-Jipapad road connecting Northern and Eastern Samar last Nov. 14,” said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson. “The road, a mere five kilometers funded by MalacaƱang but suspiciously took the 53rd Engineering Brigade four years to complete, fittingly resembles Teodoro: insignificant, too late, and with a whiff of corruption to boot. Despite the lip service that the road will help the people, 8th ID chief Maj. Gen. Arthur Tabaquero stated blatantly that the road will be used to facilitate military operations.”

Fr. Salas also noted that Tabaquero and other civilian and military officials later had another high-profile media event in the conclusion of construction projects by the Philippine Army's Kalayaan sa Barangay Program in Paranas, Western Samar. “Projects as simple as school buildings and street lights should be basic government services. For the military to claim these as “accomplishments” shows they have a hidden agenda. The military's Kalayaan sa Barangay Program strives to cosmeticize the government's otherwise ruinous Oplan Bantay Laya campaign as for peace and deveopment. Such is small consolation to the people who today suffer under the government's brutal war and the economic crisis. The people are not easily fooled especially when there is nothing in the pot and there are soldiers in the fields making farming impossible.”

The NDF-EV spokesperson said that for all the image makeovers by the military and the Arroyo regime, the gloves are still off. “The appointment of the national security adviser, Norberto Gonzales, as acting defense secretary means there will be more bloodshed to come under Oplan Bantay Laya. Gonzales and his cofrere, Fr. Romeo Intengan, have been exposed as rabid anti-communists and fascists in the National Security Council, who indocrinate the military to commit gross and widespread human rights violations under Oplan Bantay Laya. As Oplan Bantay Laya will conclude in a matter of months, Gonzales and the military will surely become more brutal and desperate to claim a victory that is not theirs. Moreover, the Arroyo regime will also be more desperate to cling to power through its stooge, Teodoro, and other unscrupulous and fascist means. The people must remain vigilant and continue the armed and unarmed struggles to end the regime and make it pay for its various crimes.”#

06 November 2009

NDF-EV urges people to act on utilities crisis and not rely on squabbling politicians

November 06, 2009

Fr. Santiago Salas, Spokesperson
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Eastern Visayas

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today expressed solidarity with the people over the crises in electricity and water in Tacloban and the rest of Leyte and the region. “The people of Tacloban are struggling to get such basic needs as electricity and water,” said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson. “But the Petilla and Romualdez political dynasties not only ignore this, they add further to the mess by squabbling over water administration as one of the political spoils at stake in the 2010 election. Meanwhile, the people are fuming at the lack of water and furthermore anticipate a power rate hike on top of that problem. Poor water and electricity services are not unique to Tacloban but widespread in the region because of government neglect.”

Fr. Salas noted that bad governance worsen the water crisis in Tacloban. “Leyte Gov. Jericho Petilla and Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez are known allies of the Arroyo regime; they thus fight bitterly over who would be favored by the national government in the election. They serve the unpopular regime and themselves, not the people. They engage in politicking and watching out for their political turfs rather than buckling down to solve the issue. It is possible to fix and upgrade Tacloban's water service, but the politicians are the ones who are making it impossible at present.”

The NDF-EV spokesperson urged the people to unite and act for their own welfare in the midst of the water crisis. “The matter of clean and potable water supply for Tacloban is a public need, and should not be tied to the political fortunes of bickering politicians. The people can push their own initiative forward to demand an immediate solution as well as the accountability of both the Petilla and Romualdez camps. Furthermore, the election campaign period will be high time for the people to mobilize and demand concrete solutions to their problems such as the water crisis, an impending power rate hike, continuing oil price hikes and other important socio-economic issues.”

Fr. Salas added that mass struggles during the favorable political climate can go on to tackle more comprehensive issues as well as long-term solutions. “Utilities such as water and electricity that the public needs not only suffer from poor infrastructure and corrupt management. There is also the trend under the Arroyo regime to privatize state-run utilities, even though these are vital to the public's interests, because of its commitment to international financial institutions like the IMF-World Bank. These include the assets of the National Power Corporation and the Local Water Utilities Administration that are in the process of being sold out to big businesses and foreign monopoly capitalists. Thus the water and electric cooperatives in the region are at the mercy of such a trend.

“It is therefore important for the people not only to confront the immediate issue of the water crisis, but in the long run to struggle against the corrupt and pro-imperialist Arroyo regime, and to strive for fundamental changes. The future is bright for revolutionary changes in the economy and in politics, towards achieving a sovereign and self-reliant economy, and a people's democratic government that advances basic interests and needs such as public utilities.”#