NDF-Eastern Visayas propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 4): NDF-EV responds to NwSSU President Avelina Bergado: Support the peace talks, not privatization, ecotourism, and militarization
Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas, Spokesperson
NDFP Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)
4 June 2018
The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV) today criticized Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU) President Avelina Bergado for recently blaming the revolutionary movement as anti-development and for advocating privatization, ecotourism and militarization of the 900 hectares of farm and forest land in the satellite campus in San Jorge, Samar. The main campus of the state university is in Calbayog City in the same province.
“Turning the university’s land in San Jorge into an ecotourism site in the name of public-private partnership undermines the state university as well as genuine development,” said NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas. “It hews to the US-Duterte regime’s neoliberal policy of privatizing government institutions, cutbacks in social services such as education, and pampering the military and police to oppress the people. Ecotourism is also a mere palliative instead of fundamental changes like land reform and national industrialization, while paying lip service to the environment that will be besieged by private construction and pleasure seekers and the resultant garbage.
“On the other hand, the revolutionary movement supports genuine development through asserting national sovereignty, carrying out agrarian reform and national industrialization, free education at all levels, and other basic calls in the 12-point program of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).”
The NDF-EV spokesperson also said it was unbecoming for the university president to further call for “counterinsurgency” operations by the military to clear the way for privatizing the satellite campus’s farm and forest land. “We are aghast that Bergado would be a party to the military’s encroachment on the academic institution and any community in the area, that are both accorded protection under international humanitarian law because of their civilian status. Such an action cedes civilian supremacy over the military and submits to the militarist solution, paving the way for potential violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. We advise Bergado to refrain from contributing to the Duterte regime’s dismal human rights record, with hundreds of thousands of civilian victims in the “counterinsurgency” and anti-Moro wars, not to mention the more than 20,000 victims in the anti-drug war.”
Fr. Salas challenged NwSSU President Bergado and others in the academe to support instead the resumption of peace talks between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. “Resuming the peace talks is a serious effort to address the roots of the civil war, especially since what is currently at stake is forging the Comprehensive Agreement on Socioeconomic Reforms. We urge the academe to be critical, to study the basic problems of Philippine society and to support the struggle for a just and lasting peace. The NDF-EV also urges the students of NwSSU and other schools to do social investigations in the countryside to see for themselves the plight of the people, and to support the democratic mass struggles for land, jobs, free education and other basic rights.”