The Leonardo Pacsi Command (LPC)- NPA-Mt. Province successfully ambushed on June 5, 2018 at around 10 AM the composite combat troops of the Regional Public Safety Batallion (RPSB) and the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) at Mt. Masini, at Brgy. Aguid, Sagada. The said ambush resulted in 10 WIA including PSupt. Joseph Bangcawayan Cayat and Insptr. Mariano Liban Jr. while PO2 Henry T. Dion from Bauko, MP was killed in action. There are no casualties on the side of the LPC.
It can be recalled that since February this year, the DENR and MGB in cahoots with the PNP-CAR started a rampage on small scale miners that were not registered with the Minahang Bayan. The mining portals in Kias, Baguio City were forcibly closed and bombed by the PNP and AFP troops. The operating troops looted on the extracted ores and even the already processed gold nudgets. Here in the Mt. Province, just last week of April, a similar scenario was to be recreated by the PNP Provincial Director PS Supt. Allen S. Ocden who threatened to bomb the portals of small scale miners in Pidlisan, Sagada; Alab and Mainit both in Bontoc if they refuse to close their mines.
Alongside this anti-SSM campaign is the overzealous enforcement of the total log ban within government declared public land on the basis of PD 705, the Revised Forestry Code. In the previous years, this total log ban have been actively implemented by the DENR in connivance with the RPSB and other police units. This campaign, however, has resulted in numerous human rights violations; extortion and corruption by police officers and DENR officials; and affected the livelihood of the woodcutters for added income and curtailed the people’s right to their local wood resources for their housing needs.
The people of Mountain Province are very much aware of how dirty and biased these so called environmental campaigns are. First and foremost, the DENR in cahoots with the PNP is biased against these small-scale miners and loggers while turning a deaf ear on the people’s demand for the closure of big foreign companies who are plundering our resources and rapidly destroying the environment. They can catch the small fishes but never the big ones.
Secondly, they are clearly violating the inherent right of the Igorot national minorities to their ancestral land. It is the right of the people of Mountain Province to use, develop and protect the land and resources inherited to them by their forefathers. If any concern of misuse or abuse is done, the umili or the ili have their own self-regulating measures to reprimand and apprehend their kailians. If there are violators among communities, it is also because they have connections within the DENR and the PNP. The Igorot people have protected and nourished their ancestral land, and they must be left freely to do so. Before the enactment of PD 705 in 1975 during the darkest years of Martial Law, Igorot communities have already developed a viable self-regulation compatible with their right to ancestral lands and resources.
Instead of fostering unity in the communities, the PNP resorts to brute force and militarization, and divide and rule tactics to implement repressive and anti-people laws. It recruits from the locale to join the ranks of PNP and their intelligence network to spy, intimidate and violate the rights and interest of their own people.
The June 5 ambush of the LPC is a message to all police personnel in combat and intelligence units and operations. Likewise to all AFP combat units entering our areas. It is also a warning to civilian intelligence assets to stop spying on the movements of the revolutionary forces and their neighbors they arbitrarily tagged as symphatizers. There is no honor in fighting against your own people and in curtailing their rights while serving as security force of the big foreign capitalists and local compradors. There is no dignity in feeding your families of salaries/allowances derived from harassing, intimidating, spying, vilifying and killing your own kin. To families of PNP personnel, do not be fooled by the “isu ka pay” mentality of taking advantage of any job or monies like Duterte’s job offer and increased salaries in the PNP and AFP in exchange of becoming pawns in the all-out war of the US-Duterte Regime.
Mabtad tako am-in. Fetad.
Ka Magno Udyaw, Spokesperson
NPA-Mountain Province (Leonardo Pacsi Command)
5 June 2018