Filed under: Recent Releases
1. CPP blasts Arroyo’s illusions and threats, directs the NPA to launch more offensives. CPP Information Bureau. July 24, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today directed the New People’s Army (NPA) to launch more tactical offensives to further weaken the Arroyo regime and demonstrate the Filipino people’s disgust over Gloria Arroyo’s policy of state terrorism, rampant corruption, grand deceptions and utter puppetry to US imperialism. This was the CPP’s response to Arroyo’s “state of the nation address” yesterday, describing it as “a package of illusions” and an “outright threat to use state terror against everyone opposed to her rule.”
In her address yesterday at the opening the 14th Congress, Arroyo centered on her plan to undertake a P1.7 trillion infrastructure binge for the next three years supposedly to catapult the Philippines into First World status in 20 years, hinting not so much at her self-touted “legacy” but more clearly at the continuity of her rule beyond 2010.
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal scoffed at Arroyo’s “extension of the baseless fantasy she merely carried forward from last year’s SONA.”
Rosal said Arroyo’s plan to carry out a so-called massive infrastucture offensive “is not a framework for economic progress but a scheme for massive corruption.” “Gloria Arroyo and her allies are drooling over these infrastructure projects. They anticipate to fill their pockets with cuts from public and foreign-borrowed funds that will be used to bankroll these projects,” said Rosal.
Rosal said that many of Arroyo’s grandiose projects did not get even get off the ground principally because there were no funds. “Even her finance and economic managers admit the government does not have sufficient funding.”
“Arroyo outlined a national network of roads that will only bridge one backward economic region to another. These roads will carry nothing but poverty, massive unemployment and hunger,” said Rosal.
“What we need to solve first are the basic problems that keep the Philippine economy backward and retrogressive–foreign economic domination and plunder of our resources, the utter lack of national industrialization and genuine land reform, feudal and semifeudal economic conditions andrampant corruption from the top-down,” Rosal pointed out.
“Arroyo’s economic plan will only perpetuate the Philippine backward and non-industrial economic state and can only generate greater resistance against her rotten rule,” said Rosal. “It is inevitable that the Arroyo regime will resort to worse forms of terrorism in order to suppress the Filipino and prolong her stay in power.”
Rosal said that Arroyo’s concluding sentences in this year’s SONA: “Let no on stand in the way of the national interests. From where I sit, a president is only as strong as she wants to be” is no longer a hint but an outright threat to use the full force of the state terror against those opposing her rule and even just exposing her lies and fantasies.”
“Arroyo is displaying all-out fascist arrogance in asserting the full force of the state’s coercive instrumentalities. With the Human Security Act in her hands, she mistakenly believes that she can silence the Filipino people’s intensifying clamor for her ouster,” said Rosal.
“In reality, Arroyo’s hold on power is weak. She relies on the military that is rotten, factionalized, widely despised by the people, and brewing with disillusion and ferment. The progressive and democratic forces, the opposition and even the bulk of the ruling party already want her out by 2010. She is increasingly isolated internationally. She is isolated from the Filipino people who are determined to kick her out of Malacañang even sooner,” said Rosal.
He added that the broad massses of workers, peasants, urban poor, students, teachers, employees, lawyers and church people are resolute in their struggle to make her face her regime’s numerous crimes against the people.
“In response to the Arroyo regime’s deceptions, threats and actual fascist attacts, CPP leadership has directed the New People’s Army (NPA) to intensify its armed struggle and launch more and more tactical offensives against the Arroyo regime to weaken it and contribute to its speedy ouster.
“Punish the worst criminals, human rights violators, terrorists and corrupt officials. Make the Arroyo regime bleed from a thousand wounds,” said Rosal. “Only by intensifying the people’s war can the Filipino people defeat the Arroyo regime’s scheme to rob and suppress the people and perpetuate itself in power.”
2. CPP restates openness to resumption of peace talks, puts Esperon’s statements in place. CPP Information Bureau . July 17, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today reiterated its continuing openness to resuming stalled formal peace talks with the Arroyo regime “or any government, for that matter, as long as it is genuinely interested in pursuing peace negotatiations.” The CPP likewise said that it is also open to a ceasefire but only after important prejudicial questions have been resolved and key agreements have been resolved in principle.
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal said that the NDFP has made a standing offer since 2004 for a 10-Point Concise Agreement for a Just and Lasting Peace that includes a truce between the New People’s Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but this has not been responded to by the Arroyo regime.
Rosal rebuffed AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermongenes Esperon’s demand for a three-year ceasefire as an “unwarranted precondition” as it was necessary first to settle outsanding issues and resolve first the NDFP’s offer for a concise agreement.
Rosal said that foremost among the prejudicial questions is the failure of the Arroyo regime to abide by its obligations under previous agreements, including working for the removal of the CPP, New People’s Army and Chief NDFP Political Consultant Jose Ma. Sison from the US’ “terrorist listing”. The Arroyo regime had campaigned for their inclusion in the “terrorist listings” maintained by the US and European Union.
The CPP spokesman added that another key prejudicial question involved the ongoing extrajudicial killings and abductions by government security and military forces. He said victims include NDFP consultants and staff, in violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees.
Rosal took particular exception to General Esperon’s assertion that the killings and disappearances were the result of an internal purge among the revolutionary forces and that these would stop only with the resumption of formal peace talks and the implementation of a ceasefire. “Coming as it does from the real masterminds and perpetrators’ camp, Esperon’s statement constitutes a veiled threat that unless the revolutionary forces agree to hold peace talks on the Arroyo regime’s terms, the AFP’s campaign of killings and abductions will continue.”
“We want to make it clear to General Esperon and to Malacañang that the talks can proceed only in an atmosphere where prejudicial questions shall have been resolved satisfactorily, including the failure of the regime to comply with past agreements and the rampage of extrajudicial killings, adbuctions and other terrorist acts that continue to be committed by the regime and its security and military forces.”
3. SC-initiated summit on killings and abductions, a good initiative, but not enough—CPP. CPP Information Bureau. July 17, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today gave a guarded appreciation of the Supreme Court’s convening of the National Summit on Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances. Even as it welcomed the summit as a positive initiative, it said that extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances will continue “as long as the mastermind remains in power and enforces a deliberate state terrorist policy that sets the stage for gross violations of human rights.”
Aside from members of the high tribunal and representatives of the different branches of the government, including Cabinet members, legislators, the military, the police and the Commission on Human Rights, among the participants of the summit are aggrieved parties including human rights advocates, progressive organizations and relatives of victims; the diplomatic corps and representatives of leading international organizations.
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal said the summit “highlights the depth of concern among broad sectors of Philippine society and leading international organizations over the killings and abductions and puts into urgent national focus the need to stop them and render justice to the victims.”
Chief Justice Reynato Puno said the two-day summit which started yesterday should result in new judicial rules that would require the military and police to take more action on extrajudicial killings or enforced disappearances. The summit seeks the adoption of “new rules” and “extraordinary judicial measures” as a contribution to the efforts to the investigation and resolution of these crimes, including revising the rules of court and rules of evidence to make it a less cumbersome task to bringing perpetrators to justice. It plans to review the principle of command responsibility and find other legal remedies when the writ of habeas corpus proves ineffective in forcing military and police authorities to produce missing persons.
The CPP spokesperson said, however, that “Under present circumstances, these are not enough in resolving the Malacanang-directed and military-perpetrated killings and abductions.” Rosal emphasized that ultimately it is the Arroyo regime’s policy of state terrorism against progressive and militant activists and critics that should be put to an end.
In the meantime, Rosal said that revolutionary movement’s own organs of government and people’s courts are conducting their own ongoing investigations and are presently intensifying efforts to investigate and resolve particular cases of extrajudicial killing, abductions and other fascist crimes of the regime and its security and armed forces, identify the culprits and mete out revolutionary justice against the masterminds and perpetrators.
Rosal disclosed that, just in the recent past, local people’ courts have ordered the New People’s Army (NPA) to punish a number of those responsible for the killings and abducions, including military officials assigned to Army intelligence units. Aside from punishing the actual perpetrators of the killings, who are usually masked motorcyle-riding death squad members of the military, the NPA has been able to dispense justice against some military officials directing these death squads.
Rosal cited the case of Capt. Patrick Baesa, an intelligence officer under the notorious 901st Infantry Battalion, who was meted out revolutionary punishment last November 2006. Baesa, who was based in Irosin, Albay, was responsible for organizing the death squads which carried out the killings of Max Frivaldo, Ding Uy, Rei Mon Guran and Barangay Chairman Neal Futalan.
“But ultimately it is the Arroyo regime and its top security and military officials who should be punished for these heinous crimes,” declared Rosal. He reiterated the CPP’s call on NPA units to intensify tactical offensives nationwide to make the murderous and criminal regime and its armed forces pay for their fascist crimes and to contribute to the overall effort to bring down the hated, brutal regime.
4. MILF counter-attack is fully justified—CPP. CPP Information Bureau. July 12, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the counter-attack launched by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) against the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) last Tuesday in Basilan “was fully justified in the face of the treacherous attacks by the AFP.”
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal commended the armed fighters of the MILF for “their active defense and militant posture against AFP incursions into their territory in violation of the standing ceasefire agreement between the MILF and the Philippine government.”
At least 14 soldiers of the AFP were killed in clashes that erupted Tuesday in Tipo Tipo town in southern Basilan. According to Mohagher Iqbal, MILF negotiator, AFP troops attacked an MILF stronghold in the area, forcing their fighters to counter-attack. Iqbal reported that four MILF members were also killed in the firefight.
Rosal noted that this is but the latest of the AFP’s treacherous attacks against the MILF showing the Arroyo regime’s lack of interest in further pursuing peace negotiations. “The Arroyo regime and the AFP are using any and all possible pretexts to carry out attacks against MILF fighters and trespass into MILF territory.”
“The CPP and New People’s Army (NPA) commend the fighters of the MILF for firmly holding on to their weapons and using these to defend their rights and territory,” said Rosal.
He added: “With or without peace talks, the effectivity of the MILF’s defense and pursuit of the interests of the Moro people ultimately depend on how firmly they stand with respect to their revolutionary armed struggle for self-determination and social liberation.”
5. CPP commends dismissal of rebellion raps vs Batasan 6. CPP Information Bureau. July 11, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines today lauded yesterday’s announcement by the Supreme Court dismissing with finality the rebellion case filed by the Arroyo regime against six progressive party-list representatives popularly known as the Batasan 6. The case was dismissed for lack of evidence.
CPP spokesperson “Ka Roger” Rosal said “We congratulate Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela for winning another legal round against the Arroyo regime and its fascist crew. We congratulate Ka Bel for finally attaining freedom after 16-months of illegal incarceration”
The July 2 resolution of the SC made public yesterday denied with finality the motion for reconsideration filed by the Solicitor General to appeal the SC’s June 1 decision. To the dismay of Malacañang, the high tribunal reversed the questionable findings of a regional trial court in Makati and dismissed the charges of rebellion filed against the Batasan 6, after noting that there was insufficient evidence to indict the lawmakers.
Charges of conspiracy to commit rebellion were filed last year against the six lawmakers by the Arroyo government over what it claims to be a failed coup d’etat last February 2006. Anakpawis representative Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran was immediately nabbed and detained. He has since been confined under heavy guard at the Philippine Heart Center.
“The victory of the Batasan 6 is shared by progressive activists, democratic organizations, human rights advocates and various other sectors of the Filipino people as well as key international bodies critical of the Arroyo government’s campaign of political repression,” said Rosal.
The SC resolution dismissing the case against the Batasan 6 is but the latest in a string of decisions that have been critical of the measures carried out by the Arroyo regime that violate basic civil and political rights and trample on constitutional and legal processes, said Rosal.
He noted the “critical decisions” made by the SC on Executive Order 464 and the calibrated preemptive response (CPR) policy. Since 2005, Malacañang has used EO 464 to prevent its officials from testifying before congressional hearings and invoked the CPR policy to prohibit and break up anti-Arroyo protest demonstrations. Rosal also noted the Supreme Court’s timely intervention on the trumped-up murder charges filed against Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo that stopped the Department of Justice from throwing him in a Leyte jail, and later granted him temporary freedom.
“With the impending implementation of the so-called Human Security Act, Bayan Muna and other progressive parties, organizations and critics of the Arroyo regime are bound to engage in more battles,” Rosal noted. “Bayan Muna and other progressive parties and democratic organizations are likely to be charged as ‘terrorists’ in much the same way that these are being singled out and persecuted right now as so-called ‘communist fronts’.”
“The Arroyo regime has been adamant in carrying out its campaign of suppression in the face of its growing isolation amid mounting local and international criticism over the spate of extrajudicial killings of activists, workers, peasants, the criticial media, lawyers, women, students and church people,” said Rosal.
He called on all democratic forces and the entire Filipino people to brace themselves for another, more intense battle against the HSA. In particular, he called on democratic mass organizations, progressive parties, organizations advocating civil liberties and human rights, the political opposition and all other concerned organizations, groups and individuals to utilize all fora to expose the HSA’s fascist content. “All possible forms of protest must be waged here and abroad to junk the HSA and put an end to the Arroyo regime’s fascist suppression.”
6. CPP rejects false peace talks resumption offer. CPP Information Bureau. July 2, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today rejected the Arroyo regime’s offer to resume peace talks, saying the proposal was “insincere and laden with insidious preconditions.” The CPP reiterated its desire for genuine peace talks that would seriously address the roots of the present armed conflict and work out palpable solutions to the basic problems that have long been suffered by the Filipino people.
Peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) have been stalled since 2004. According to the CPP and NDFP, the GRP has shown insincerity and bad faith for refusing to fulfill its obligations including those in the landmark 1992 Joint Declaration in The Hague, the 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) as well as the March and April 2004 Oslo Accords.
A major agreement in the Oslo Accord requires the GRP to undo its previous campaign to have the US and the European Union include the CPP, the NPA and NDFP chief political consultant Jose Ma. Sison in their respective lists of “foreign terrorist organizations” (FTO) and work for their removal from the list.
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal said the Arroyo regime’s continuing refusal to honor its own commitments renders the resumption of peace talks with it practically impossible. “Resuming peace talks has become more difficult as the the regime persists on waging a dirty war against the revolutionary forces and carries out fascist attacks against legal democratic forces, including the spate of extrajudicial killings and abductions.”
Rosal also rejected as “unacceptable” the Arroyo regime’s position that the NPA first declare a ceasefire as precondition for the resumption of peace negotiations. “Demanding that the NPA declare a ceasefire violates standing agreements which prohibit either party from demanding preconditions for peace talks.”
“Such a demand only seeks only to tie the hands of the revolutionary forces and give free rein to the Arroyo regime’s ongoing extrajudicial killings and abduction of activists, campaign of suppression and reign of terror.”
“Declaring a ceasefire before the roots of the armed conflict are addressed is tantamount to asking the revolutionary forces to surrender the right and initiative to defend themselves and the people and to wage an armed struggle, while the puppet, reactionary regime carries out its fascist onslaught and all-out campaign of terror. “It would be an act of betrayal to the revolution and the Filipino people,” added Rosal.
“If there is anything hindering the Arroyo regime’s campaign of terror, it is the revolutionary armed struggle being waged by the NPA, coupled with protests all over the nation and the insistent demands of international bodies for an end to the extrajudicial killings, abductions and other fascist crimes being perpetrated by the regime’s security, military, police forces and their covert terrorist death squads.”
Rosal also said that resuming peace talks have been made all the more difficult by the Arroyo regime’s enactment of the “Human Security Act” that legalizes out-and-out fascist suppression, and the plan to use this law to proscribe as “terrorist” the CPP and the NPA, and later the legal progressive parties and democratic organizations. ”
Rosal also scored Gloria Arroyo for sending National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales to Norway last week to ostensively seek the resumption of peace talks with the NDFP. “Sending this chief US CIA agent in the Philippines is a most insulting act inimical to the peace process. Dispatching her most rabid clerico-fascist attack dog as ambassador for peace talks reveals her utter insincerity with regard any true resumption of peace negotiations.”
7. Brief surfacing of Sherlyn Cadapan, a “brutal, inhuman fascist act”—CPP. CPP Information Bureau. June 30, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today described the brief surfacing of abducted student activist Sherlyn Cadapan last April as a “brutal, Big Brother-type fascist act” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal said that the way the UP student activist was briefly surfaced and shown to her in-laws under heavy armed escort and with her lips virtually sealed, only to bring her back shortly to their secret custody, was “a cruel, brutal, heinous and inhuman act done in a fascist manner that could only have been conceived by the fiendish and sadistic minds of psywar and dirty-war operatives of the AFP.”
Cadapan, fellow student activist Karen Empeno and farmer Manuel Merino, who were doing field research among peasants in Hagonoy, Bulacan, have been missing since they were abducted more than a year ago. Witnesses disclosed that in June 26, 2006 the three were taken at gunpoint from the house they were staying in Hagonoy and hauled off in a vehicle to the headquarters of the 56th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Iba, Hagonoy. A witness, Mildred Benitez, testified that she and some others saw the vehicle used by the abductors parked in the said headquarters.
Cadapan and her abducted companions are believed to be held in the AFP’s secret detention cells. A former military prisoner in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija testified in a habeas corpus case filed at the Court of Appeals that he saw two women resembling Cadapan and Empeno being held and tortured in secret detention cells in the same military camp.
Cadapan’s family said that, last April 11, Sherlyn visited her mother-in-law’s house in Calumpit, Bulacan. Sherlyn was accompanied by six armed escorts, who were not wearing uniforms but were obvious to the family to be members of the military. Cadapan and her armed escorts stayed very briefly. Cadapan could hardly talk as her escorts prevented her from freely speaking with her relatives. Cadapan’s relatives saw that she was not her former cheerful and talkative self.
Rosal said the way Cadapan’s abductors and jailers conducted the brief encounter was aimed to instill a chill of fascist terror among her family and loved ones.
According to the Cadapan family, uniformed military personnel visited the same house the following day and taunted the residents, saying that they received information that Sherlyn passed by the house. “Obviously, the objective of the AFP was to make it appear that Sherlyn is not in their hands but with the New People’s Army.”
“Sherlyn is a victim of the AFP’s ongoing campaign of terror targetting activists and other forces exposing and opposing the rottenness, corruption, brutality and puppetry of the Arroyo regime,” said Rosal.
Sherlyn’s friends and relatives fear that she and other secret prisoners are being subjected to terrible physical, psychological and emotional torture. Sherlyn’s family and human rights advocates have expressed grave concern that the military is holding Sherlyn’s new-born child to compel her to do whatever she is asked to do. Cadapan was two months pregnant when abducted by the military and was expected to give birth last January.
“The CPP joins the family and friends of Sherlyn, human rights advocates and the entire Filipino people in demanding the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) immediately surface and release her, Karen Empeno and Manuel Merino,” Rosal said.
“At the same time, we demand that the AFP acknowledge the abduction and reveal the status of prisoners Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid, his wife and several companions, Rogelio Calubad and son Gabriel, Leopoldo Ancheta, Philip Limjoco and several scores of others who have been abducted by military operatives since the first quarter of 2006,” said Rosal.
Even if under tight guarding by her jailers, the fleeting surfacing of Sherlyn at least gives her family and friends some glimmer of hope of recovering her, and others abducted by the military’s secret operatives.
8. Extortion attempts and threats on Calayans, work of criminal imposters – CPP/NPA. CPP Information Bureau. June 29, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines said today that the reported extortion attempts and violent threats on popular cosmetic surgeons Dr. Manny and Pie Calayan are the work of criminal imposters using the name of the New People’s Army (NPA).
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal was reacting to newspaper reports about a supposed “Ka Terry” who has been calling up the Calayans recently at their Makati clinic, demanding P1 million a month and threatening them if they do not pay.
“There is no reason for the NPA to demand such from the Calayans. Certainly, there is no reason to threaten the surgeon couple,” Rosal said. “Anyone familiar with the politics and work of the NPA would dismiss this ‘Ka Terry’ as a fake.”
“There is nothing at all in what the imposter did to the Calayans that resembles in any way the revolutionary and pro-people politics, social ethics and methods of the NPA.”
Rosal took the occasion to warn the people, especially Filipino professionals and small and medium businessmen, to be wary of such imposters. He urged them to “inform revolutionary authorities of such imposters in order that the CPP-NPA can take preventive action against them.
Rosal also said that the CPP-NPA has information that criminal gangs and syndicates run or protected by top military and police officers are the ones who have been dispatching their extortion agents posing as NPA members.
“One such syndicate is the “Salabsab” gang in Laguna that is a hodge-podge of military personnel, policemen, notorious criminals and ex-convicts. They pose as NPA members and prey on small people.”
9. CPP says military interventionism vs NPA is US’ long-term agenda. CPP Information Bureau. June 28, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines today denounced US Pacific Command (USPAC) chief Adm. Timothy Keating for saying that his forces were ready to assist the Arroyo regime militarily in its fight against the New People’s Army (NPA), even as it averred that this has been the US’ agenda all along.
Keating made the statement yesterday before a joint press conference prior to the RP-US Mutual Defense Board (MDB) and Security Engagement Board (SEB) meeting in Camp Aguinaldo. In addition to helping fight the Abu Sayyaf, said Keating, the US government was “committed to providing the Philippines all forms of assistance” in the fight against “any organization designated as terrorist organizations by the government of the Philippines and the US.” When pressed by media, he confirmed that his statement meant that the NPA would also be a military target of US troops.
Keating reiterated that US military participation and support for the Philippines’ internal security operations includes the whole range of joint military interoperability exercises, civil military operations, intelligence operations and sharing of intelligence information, and the provision of US aircraft and other combat equipment.
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal said that while Keating’s declaration confirms all along the reality of US military interventionism in the Philippines, it failed to mention that US military forces have already been increasingly engaged directly in combat operations as well as unconventional or covert ‘special operations’ in the country. Rosal cited among others the US’ use of sophisticated surveillance equipment, long-range sniping operations and projectile equipment in the killing of Abu Sayyaf bandit gang leaders Abu Sabaya, Khadaffi Janjalani and Abu Solaiman. The AFP later boasted of the US military’s direct participation in these operations.
Rosal said that US forces have been using pretexts such as joint military exercises, terrain and “social mapping,” and so-called humanitarian and disaster-relief operations to increasingly trespass and familiarize themselves in areas where the NPA is strong. Rosal said that the US military carried out intelligence gathering operatings in Bicol and Quezon in late 2004 and Leyte in 2006 using so-called humanitarian missions as cover.
“The US military has long been a key player in the AFP’s war against the NPA. It has provided training, technical assistance, weaponry and intelligence information in the counter-revolutionary war to suppress the armed and unarmed patriotic forces. This is only confirmed by Admiral Keating’s now open declaration that US military intervention in the Philippines includes directly targetting the NPA,” said Rosal.
“For a long time, the anti-Abu Sayyaf operations are just a pretext and stepping stone,” said Rosal.
He called on all patriotic forces and the entire Filipino people to strongly denounce and fight the US and its puppet regime’s long-term plan to expand and intensify US military intervention and eventurally transform it into outright military aggression in the country.
Once direct US military aggression against the NPA and its revolutionary areas ensues, said Rosal, the present civil war will certainly be transformed into a national war that will be directed principally against the US aggressors as well as the puppet regime and armed forces.
“In the face of US military aggression, the Filipino people will make sure that the Philippines will be a deeper and more difficult quagmire than Iraq and Vietnam ever was for the US,” added Rosal.
10. CPP says probe on extrajudicial killings should include top AFP, Malacañang officials. CPP Information Bureau. June 25, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines today said that an investigation on extrajudicial killings should cover not only the top command level of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) but also the highest administrative levels of the Arroyo regime.
The CPP issued the statement as another general has confirmed that fellow officers among the top brass “openly approved” and allowed the “implementation with impunity” of the extrajudicical killings and abductions of Leftist activists.
The general has recently come forward to disclose that the order to launch a campaign to kill and abduct activists was openly discussed at a top-level military conference of the AFP in 2005. The general spoke before journalists on condition of anonymity.
A week ago, two other generals revealed in a confidential meeting with media that they have documents and evidence to prove that an order from the AFP command to “neutralize” Leftist activists is behind the spate of extrajudicial killings and abductions of activists especially after 2004. They said they would provide these documents and evidence as “ammunition” for newly elected Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and the Senate’s forthcoming investigation into these killings.
The third general further disclosed in confidence to his interviewers that a top general who commands 3,000 men and “who handled the topic on the extrajudicial killings” openly discussed and pushed “the idea of killing suspected communist insurgents and sympathizers” even in places outside of their jurisdiction.
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal said that the CPP also has in its hands such a document ordering the killings and abduction of Leftists activists. He added that it was Gloria Arroyo’s Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security (COCIS) that produced the order and oversaw its implementation. Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita heads the committee and its other members include National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez.
Rosal identified the document as “Summer Offensive” and said that Malacañang came out with it in 2004. He said it was immediately implemented by top generals of the AFP that year, but was only openly discussed at a top-level conference of generals in 2005.
The CPP spokesperson said that the “Summer Offensive” document had a complementary document made by the COCIS, entitled “Legal Offensive” which outlined various actions against progressive party-list organizations, activists and sympathizers to be undertaken by the Inter-agency Legal Action Group, the Justice Department, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippine National Police and legal and security agencies under the executive branch. Rosal added that the two documents outlined a twin approach—that of outright violent attacks and various “legal moves”—against activists of the legal democratic movement and suspected sympathizers of the revolutionary movement.
Rosal said that “While all this is already an open secret within the AFP and Malacañang’s inner circle, the generals critical of these fascist orders and attacks should reveal them to the public and push for the thorough investigation and punishment of all those responsible, especially those at the top of the Arroyo regime and the AFP.
11. CPP condemns abduction of six Sagada high school students. CPP Information Bureau. June 22, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today condemned the abduction by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) last June 15 of six high school students of the Mt. Province General Comprehensive High School (MPGCHS) in Bangaan Annex, Bangaan, Sagada and demanded the immediate release. According to witnesses, the students were taken by troops of the 54th Infantry Battalion who happened to cross paths with the students walking along the narrow Bangaan-Buasao-Kili foot trail that links their barangay to the school. The AFP has yet to disclose where they brought the students and what they did to them.
The students include three boys and three girls, all from Barangay Kili, Tubo, Abra. The boys were identified as Egan, Banglay and Magensay. Barriofolk in Kili and residents of northern Sagada where their school is located are working hard together to locate the students and are demanding that the AFP release the students.
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal echoed the call of the people of Tubo and Sagada for the military spare from harm and immediately release the six students.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Armed Forces of the Philippines for carrying out the abduction of the six Sagada high school students. We demand that the AFP respect their rights of the Sagada Six as children and innocent civilians, immediately release them and make amends for the violation of their rights.”
Rosal urged human rights organizations and advocates of children’s rights, including the UNESCO and other agencies to look into the abduction and help in locating, recovering and protecting the six high school students.
The CPP spokesperson said the students are the latest victims of the AFP’s so-called “counter-insurgency” operations in the area. “Operating troops of the 54th IB are frenziedly carrying out military operations in the area. Everyone in the area is suspected of being a fighter or staunch supporter of the armed revolutionary movement. These fidgety fascist soldiers train their guns at anyone and arrest everyone they meet along the forest trails.”
Rosal described the abduction as another of the AFP’s wanton disregard of civil and democratic rights of the people in general and of children’s rights in particular.
He said the abduction of the six high school students highlights the military’s current “reign of terror” along the wide border areas of Mt. Province, Abra, Kalinga and Ilocos Sur. “Heavy and fierce government military operations in the area that has been ongoing for a long time now terrorize the people, cause widespread socio-economic dislocations and wreck the people’s livelihood.”
Citing several reports from the area, Rosal also said that farmers are being prevented from going to their fields to tend to their rice and vegetable crops. They are also being prevented from pasturing their carabaos and cows. Pocket-miners in traditional small-scale mining areas in Sagada, Besao and Bontoc have been forced to abandon their usok or collectively-owned mining tunnels. Kaingeros (upland swidden farmers), wood foragers, honey gatherers and hunters are accosted, threatened not to enter their own communal forests and, once found in the forests, are invariably accused of being members of the NPA and subjected to brutalities.
A local farmers’ cooperative had to abandon the construction of their community irrigation system because of the intensified military operations in the area.
12. CPP condemns Malacañang, AFP for “executive silence order” in killings probe. CPP Information Bureau. June 21, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines today condemned Malacañang and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) leadership for their insistence on invoking Gloria Arroyo’s “executive silence order” in the face of forthcoming investigations on the extrajudicial killings of activists. Newly-elected Sen. Antonio Trillanes has announced that such investigations will come first in his agenda.
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said in response to reports that he may be summoned by the senator-elect, that he will invoke Executive Order 464. Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita also maintained that they will continue to invoke the executive order and insisted on “executive priviledge” in Congressional probes that require the presence of Malacañang and AFP officials.
EO 464 has become a convenient excuse used by executive officials to refuse facing congressional inquiries. In April last year, however, the Supreme Court, declared as unconstitutional “imputed claims of executive privilege” contained in Section 2(b) and Section 3. Ermita countered that Malacañang has already issued Administrative Order (AO) 106 containing “guidelines that abide by the requirements set by the Supreme Court when it ruled against the constitutionality of parts of EO 464.”
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal assailed Arroyo’s executive, security and military officials “for their habit of throwing a monkey wrench at efforts to investigate criminal wrongdoings attributed to them.”
“AO 106 is just the same EO 464 dog, now with a new collar. Both are just forms of Arroyo’s ‘executive silence order’,” Rosal added.
“In putting one stumbling block after on efforts to investigate the extrajudicial killings and their other wrongdoings, Malacañang and its armed forces, police and other executive agencies only become all the more guilty in the eyes of the people,” said Rosal.
The campaign of political killings carried out by government’s intelligence, military and police forces has already victimized close to 900 individuals, mostly activists in the progressive anti-Arroyo movement.
Rosal urged Sen. Trillanes and other pro-human rights senators and congressmen to pursue congressional investigations on these killings and encouraged them to work closely with the victims and human rights advocates who have long been pursuing justice in these cases. At the same time, Rosal advised Trillanes and the others to actively seek information from military officials and enlisted men who have knowledge of the killings, including those who have in one way or another participated in them.
“Aside from two generals who have recently spoken up, we trust that there will soon be more military officers and personnel who will come out and provide documents and concrete information about these killings by military ‘death squads’ and the responsibility of top Malacañang and AFP officials,” Rosal added.
13. US, Arroyo govt’s exploit Mindanao kidnap case to allow US troops operations. CPP Information Bureau. June 13, 2007. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the US and Arroyo governments are taking advantage of the abduction of Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi to allow the US military free range in its intelligence operations in Mindanao, including flying spy planes around the island purportedly to assist in the rescue operations.
Bossi was abducted by armed men last Sunday in Payao town, Zamboanga Sibugay.
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal said that in conducting intelligence and other types of military operations in Philippine territory, US military troops outrightly violate the Filipino people’s sovereignty.
Rosal scoffed at the Arroyo regime’s expressed gratitude for US participation in the search and Malacañang’s assurance to the public that such would only be limited to information gathering and technical assistance.
“In reality,” said Rosal, “US intelligence operations in the country cannot be belittled, as these are used by the US military to control and direct troop deployment and ground operations.”
“They also want to show in this way that US military assistance, including intelligence operations, has become indispensable even at the expense of making the local military and police looking stupid and incapable,” Rosal added.
“In grabbing at every opportunity to conduct spying operations, the US military is able to further expand its military operations and prepare for greater military intervention in the Philippines,” said Rosal. “The expansion of US intelligence operations and the buildup of its intelligence data base in the Philippine is an important linchpin for the permanence of US troops in the Philippines.”
“Furthermore, intelligence operations of the US military are carried out beyond the supervision of local Philippine authorities and are taken advantage of to monitor other forces aside from stated targets. In fact, the hidden principal agenda of US intelligence operations in the Philippines has always been the monitoring of revolutionary and anti-US imperialist forces, such as the New People’s Army and the Moro revolutionary forces,” added Rosal.
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