Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Jul 11): AFP aerial bombings, rights violations push Lumads to evacuate in Caraga
NDFP Southern Mindanao Region
Press Statement | July 11, 2016
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Southern Mindanao condemns the two-day sustained aerial bombardment and strafing by the fascist 67th Infantry Battalion-AFP on July 8 and 9, 2016 of several Lumad communities in Brgy. Pichon, Caraga, Davao Oriental. The attack wounded several civilians, blew up houses, and destroyed the masses’ farms and livelihood. Hundreds of affected Mandayas, including women and children, have now been displaced and evacuated to Caraga town, with hardly any support from the local reactionary government.
Red fighters from the New People’s Army Compostela Valley – Davao East Coast Sub-Regional Command were conducting since early June series of consultations with the Mandaya tribe in Sito Lanipga and nearby communities in Brgy. Pichon. Troops from the 67IB-AFP promptly conducted intensified combat operations, hamletted several sitios and blockaded the food supply of the Lumads in the area. After the two-day airstrike, they looted the masses’ houses, farms and livestock.
For decades, the AFP has coddled and deputized its paramilitary Mandaya Ancestral Defense Unit (Manadu) to commit rights violations against Lumads in Caraga and Baganga in the Davao Oriental. Presently, the armed paramilitary is headed both by Cupertino Banugan, the National Commission on Indigenous People-appointed tribal chieftain and his brother Ramon.
Armed men of the paramilitary Manadu killed Romeo Mapando in April 2011 following a land dispute against Banugan. They also killed Mali Lagungan and Roque Banagan. In 2013, the same men strafed the house of brothers Roming and Espiditio Justo in Sitio Kaliongan, tied their hands together and threatened to kill them when Banugan suspected the farmers of selling their own abaca hemp without his knowledge.
Since the mid-80s, the Mandaya Lumads in Brgy. Pichon lived in virtual martial law under Banugan and the Manadu. As the NCIP-annointed feudal lord, Banugan exacts taxes on the farmers’€ farm produce, especially their abaca hemp. He also prevails over illegal logging and other illegal activities in the area. He forcibly takes over areas from other farmers that may be tied up to mining and monocrop plantations.
The Manadu, like the Alamara and other paramilitaries proliferating in the region, is being used by the AFP to conduct counter-revolutionary war and sow terror against Lumads and other civilians. The AFP, especially during Oplan Bayanihan, employs psywar tactics to disunite the Lumads, foments anti-revolutionary sentiment and recruits paramilitaries as mercenaries to commit the most heinous war crimes.
The indiscriminate aerial strikes and intense militarization by 67th IB-AFP have resulted to the recent displacement of Mandayas in Caraga. We call on all revolutionary forces and allies and peace-loving organizations to demand justice for the violations perpetrated against displaced Mandayas in Caraga by the 67th IB, the warlord Banugan and the paramilitary Manadu.
While we reiterate our serious commitment to the peace process, the AFP–in its outright contempt to the Duterte government and the NDFP peace overtures–should be held accountable for its fascism against Lumads, peasants and the Filipino people.
Rubi del Mundo
The military command responsible for West Philippine Sea today, July 12 inspected its readiness for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR).
The inspection was conducted at Headquarters WESCOM Grandstand in Camp General Artemio Ricarte.
Different units under the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Command (WESCOM) their equipment and capability in a different scenario wherein a typhoon or other related disaster struck the province, the 6th Civil Relations Group said.
The AFP HADR team thoroughly looks on issues related to current and future security concerns all throughout the province of Palawan in the areas of humanitarian assistance, disaster response and emergency preparedness.