AFP Statement on solons ‘crossing party lines’ to stop the alleged ‘crackdown and attacks on progressive groups’
The fact that fellow Filipinos can weigh in on relevant issues like the Filipino people’s fight against Communist Terrorist Groups (CTG) and their recruitment of minors proves that democracy is vibrant and alive in our country.
Though the AFP takes exception to charges of “crackdown” or “attacks on progressive groups” and of “planting of evidence” by some individuals, their freedom to express their views is a constitutionally vested right that the AFP respects, upholds, and defends.
But we as protector of the people and securer of the state has to pursue that duty likewise mandated to us by the constitution.
We cannot sit idly by in the comforts of air-conditioned halls while minors are in the verge of perdition in the clutches of the NPA who are exploiting the former’s idealism and harping on social issues that government is addressing squarely.
We cannot, in conscience, claim to have lived by our solemn oaths sitting on swivel chairs while groups hiding in the cloak of “progressive groups” are clandestinely planning and arming to slay democracy and supplant it with communist terrorist rule.
We cannot fail the Filipino people who depend on us to end CPP-NPA abuses and atrocities. The citizenry provides us information that we vetted and used —in this case to apply for a Search Warrant (SW).
The ensuing conduct of law enforcement operation led to the arrests of communists terrorists; seizure of firearms, ammunition, and explosives; and rescue of minors being trained for deployment to the boondocks as NPA fighters and cadres.
The presence of 32 firearms, 130 rounds of ammunition, and five pieces of explosives were too glaring to ignore and too many to claim to be “planted”.
And if the case of kidnapping of minors be filed against the arrested individuals, we will not be surprised if they will again claim that the 13 children who were found in the houses subject of the SW were “planted” by the law enforcers.
Amidst this glaring CTG propaganda, we invite well-meaning individuals and groups to sit down with us. We intend to discuss what we have been saying all along about CTG infiltration; of left-leaning organizations that are wittingly or unwittingly being used as conduits in the transfer of funds from foreign funding agencies to the CTG; the recruitment of minors to be NPA Cadres and fighters; the exploitation of issues involving women and children or the alleged abuses of human rights and of Indigenous people’s.
We reach out because at the end of the day, we Filipinos have one and the same republic to secure and one people to protect and defend for the sake of children and their future.
[The Civil Relations Service (CRS) is the unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that engages the public through its public information and community relations programs “to create a favorable atmosphere between the community and the AFP. The CRS is the equivalent of the Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs units of the US Army.]