The Aquino regime once again manifested its mendacious and deceitful character when it reversed the facts surrounding the death of a lieutenant and two of his men in an ambush in Mabini, Compostela Valley on December 29. The regime is now using the incident as a pretext to malign the revolutionary forces and look for an excuse to scuttle the resumption of formal peace talks which may be held this January.
In a statement, Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process claimed that the ambush was a ceasefire violation by the New People’s Army (NPA). Contrary to claims made by Deles and AFP propagandists that the ambushed soldiers were unarmed and on their way home to their families, the 80-man combat unit of the 71st IB then led by 1st Lieutenant Bautista was conducting clearing operations in the villages of Palali, Panamin and Mascareg to pave the way for the massive and destructive operations of the Australian-owned One Asia Resources. The 71st IB’s overall military operations likewise cover the villages of Darot, Linaw, Manasa, Anitapan and Candinuyan.
In reality, 1st Lieutenant Bautista and his men had come from their detachment in Barangay Anitapan to launch military operations right smack in the middle of the AFP’s much-vaunted month-long ceasefire.
One Asia Resources and other big mining companies in the area fund the combat, intelligence and psywar operations of the 71st IB to suppress the people’s opposition to military abuses and the destruction of their livelihoods due to large-scale mining.
Included in the 71st IB’s psywar operations is a vilification campaign against community leaders who have been leading struggles against foreign mines and military attacks, and programs to develop production and raise the prices of their agricultural produce.
Aware of how much the 71st IB’s connivance with One Asia Resources is detrimental to the people’s interests in the area, a people’s militia unit initiated an ambush against 1st Lieutenant Bautista’s unit. Bautista and two other soldiers were killed in the ambuscade launched in Sitio Barigyan, Barangay Candinuyan, Mabini at around 10 a.m. of December 29. As the commanding officer, Bautista was himself armed with a handgun and a grenade, while his men were armed to the teeth.
Said the NPA Comval-Davao Gulf Subregional Command, the December 29 ambush was not a violation of any ceasefire but was a means of meting justice on the 71st IB for its military abuses.
The 71st IB is responsible for the merciless killing of 8-year old Roque Antivo and the wounding of Jefrey Hernan and Earl Antivo, both 13 years old, in April 2013 and the killing of 7-year old Sunshine Jabines in September 2011. It was a legitimate politico-military action by the masses who have long been suffering from fascism and economic dislocation brought about by large-scale foreign mining.
[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the
and is issued by the CPP Central
Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis
of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is
published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.] Philippines