The Efren Martires Command of the New People’s Army-Eastern Visayas today denied the NPA’s involvement in the firefight that killed Army 2Lt. Geroe Jade Nicor and Cpl. Joelito Canico of the 43rd IB and two others last Aug. 23 in Barangay Olera, Calbayog City, Samar.
“There were no NPA units on that date in the area,” said EMC spokesperson Ka Karlos Manuel. “The 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army is lying to the public and to the families of the slain soldiers to take advantage of the incident. According to reliable sources, the armed elements the 43rd IB encountered belonged to the private armed group of Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino. The people in the encounter area of course know the truth and the news has spread widely in the city as well.”
The NPA spokesperson expressed condolences to the families of Lt. Nicor and Cpl. Canico. “We in the NPA sympathize with the families of the slain soldiers. The low-ranking officials and ordinary elements in the military are from the common people and can unite with them. We are outraged at the high-ranking officers like Maj. Gen. Pio Diñoso III and 43rd IB commanding officer Lt. Col. Raymundo Picut, who lie and manipulate the families of their own casualties to promote the fascist and anti-people agenda of the Duterte regime.”
Ka Karlos Manuel lambasted the 8th ID for even holding a ceremony to honor the two soldiers for allegedly dying in battle against the NPA. “The low-ranking officers and ordinary elements in the 8th ID should learn from this deception of their high-ranking officials. Instead of seeking justice for their men, Gen. Diñoso and other high-ranking officers chose to cover-up the accountability of Mayor Aquino’s goons and blame the NPA. As a matter of fact, while paying lip service to dismantling the private armed groups in Samar, the AFP tolerates these despite their long-running crimes of mass killings in Calbayog and elsewhere. This is because some politicians and their private armed groups collaborate in the military’s ‘counterinsurgency’ campaign, such as in Matuguinao, Samar and Maslog, Eastern Samar.”
The NPA spokesperson concluded, “By foisting this deception on their soldiers and on the people, the 8th ID is trying to glorify the illegal, immoral and unjust ‘counterinsurgency’ campaign of the Duterte regime. Oplan Kapayapaan is weaponizing the civilian government and forcibly ‘mobilizing’ the people in the so-called ‘whole-of-nation approach.’ Along with the bogus anti-drug war, it is launching brutal mass killings of the poor in the name of ‘counterinsurgency.’ It is also suppressing all political opposition so Duterte’s family and cronies can continue their plunder in collaboration with the imperialists.
“Thus, we urge the low-ranking officials and elements in the military: listen to the cries of the suffering people. Be critical and disobey the unlawful and anti-people orders of your generals and commander-in-chief Duterte. Study the roots of the armed conflict and the people’s demands for fundamental changes. Respect the rallies and other democratic mass actions of the people. To avoid being forced to attack the people, withdraw your support of Duterte, especially when the people are mobilizing in the millions and demanding his ouster. Leave the reactionary service, or fight on the side of the people by joining the NPA.”#
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Efren Martires Command
New People’s Army-Eastern Visayas
September 18, 2019