Press statement | August 4, 2018 |
NPA North Eastern Mindanao Region
Members of the Citizen Auxiliary Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) hit by military actions launched by the New People’s Army-North Eastern Mindanao Region (NPA-NEMR) in the month of July 2018, were legitimate military targets. This refutes the lies peddled by the spokespersons of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and aristocrat-Lumad that they were Lumad civilians and did not commit any crime in their communities.
These CAFGU members were active and rabid anti-people and counter-revolutionaries. They used their being armed members of the CAFGU to harass the people, spy on them and force civilians suspected of being NPA sympathizers to surrender. They actively joined and acted as guides in military operations of the AFP against the NPA and the people. They were facing criminal charges which the military condoned because they were still of use.
These military actions serve as warning to the CAGFU members who actively allowed themselves to be used by the fascist AFP to persecute the people and go after the revolutionary movement.
The following were the military actions:
- July 12, 2018, a group from NPA-Front 30 punished Elpedio ”Bobong” Salahay Elizalde Jr. in Sitio Lianggabon, Brgy. Kalatngan, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. Bobong was an active CAFGU member who did not report for duty at the detachment but was deployed by the AFP to spy on the revolutionary movement and forced residents of the community into surrendering. He faced an extortion case while using the name of the NPA;
- July 17, 2018, a group from NPA-Front 21 punished alias Lolong in Brgy. Bitaugan, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. He was a rabid active CAFGU member who did not report for duty at the detachment but was deployed to spy on the revolutionary movement;
- July 23, 2018, NPA-Front 30 attempted to dis-arm five (5) CAFGU members in Brgy. Hinapuyan, Carmen, Surigao del Sur but four were able to escape and only Eusebio “Asot” Meniano, an active CAFGU member, was apprehended. After an investigation on the cases filed against him, Asot was released in the afternoon to the officials of Brgy. Hinapuyan;
- July 26, 2018 at around 2:40 in the afternoon, NPA-Front 30 punished Ernesto “Nestor” Trinidad, a lumad-Mamanwa, in Purok 8, Brgy. Dungguan, Sibahay, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur. He was charged with the crime of murder and robbery in Km. 90 in Claver, Surigao del Norte. He was an active CAFGU member, actively spied on the movements of the NPA and acted as guide during military operations of the AFP. He forced civilians suspected of being NPA sympathizers into surrendering;
- July 2018, a group from NPA-Front 19 sniped Reymond Besengga while he was on duty at their detachment in Brgy. Lindoy, Tago, Surigao del Sur;
Other CAFGU members were killed during combat operations with the AFP against the NPA in the region.
The AFP and aristocrat Lumad leaders are using these incidents to spread lies relating to the killings of the Lumad which they maliciously attribute to the NPA. They are doing this to conceal their brutal abuses against the Lumad people and farmers who are struggling for their rights and are defending ancestral and farm lands against destructive mining and plantations. They are trying to pacify the condemnation of the people protesting against widespread militarization and establishment of detachments. The AFP is desperately hiding their rottenness, lack of credibility and utter isolation from the people.
The AFP is trying hard to drown the public with their lies and arrogant declarations to create an image that is clean and rationalize the establishment of detachments in areas where capitalist businesses will be set up. They trick aristocrat Lumad leaders with land shares if they can convince their fellow Lumad to become CAFGU/CAA/SCAA or paramilitary who will guard the mines and plantations. These aristocrat Lumad will greedily appropriate for themselves the royalty share from mines and plantations which will only benefit them while their Lumad tribe suffer in destitution.
We know that there are many Lumad and farmers who unwillingly became CAFGUs and were forced because they were threatened and tricked by the AFP. Only bad elements, criminals and those with crimes against the people and the revolutionary movement are the ones volunteering to be trained (as CAFGU).
But even if they are CAFGUs they are not spared from grave poverty as they are directly affected by the rotten social system and from anti-people laws implemented by the reactionary government such as the TRAIN law. They will suffer from greater poverty, oppressed and exploited by their cadreman and AFP officials. Furthermore, they are used principally as bait during military operations.
The crisis of Philippine society will worsen while the country remains controlled and exploited by the imperialist US, China, Japan and others; big bourgeoisie compradors and big landlords. This crisis will not end as long as the officials of the Philippine government, the AFP and PNP, continue to conspire with the exploitative classes and use their positions to enrich themselves to the detriment of the people.
Only the people’s democratic revolution will end the exploitative ruling system through the people’s war to liberate the Filipino people, including the families of the CAFGU, AFP and PNP from such crisis.
Ka Ariel Montero
Regional Operational Command