Sunday, December 11, 2016

What Is Gracia Burnham Doing Now? The 'Captive’ Subject's Life Is Worth Learning From

From Bustle (Dec 10): What Is Gracia Burnham Doing Now? The 'Captive’ Subject's Life Is Worth Learning From

On Friday, Dec. 9, Netflix unveiled its latest true crime undertaking: Captive, a harrowing examination of real-life hostage situations that’s been touted as the next Making A Murderer. One narrative it traces is the Dos Palmas kidnappings of 2001, during which American missionaries Gracia and Martin Burnham — among others — were taken captive by one of the Philippines’ most violent terror groups, Abu Sayyaf. After over a year spent in a jungle rife with enemy crossfire, Gracia was rescued on June 7, 2002. But nearly a decade and a half later, you may be wondering what Gracia Burnham is doing now.

Millions had followed her story by the time she was set free, and Gracia returned to her home of Kansas amidst a national spotlight. In the ensuing years, she authored two books: 2003’s In The Presence of My Enemies and 2005’s To Fly Again. The first, a New York Times best-seller, is a gripping personal account of her 12 months trapped on Basilan Island under the militant control of her captors. The second is a hopeful follow-up, reflecting on the insight gained from that horrendous living nightmare. According to her website, she also launched a foundation that supports several charitable organizations, and has since built a career as a motivational speaker for churches, conferences, and schools.
Source: Tricia O''Connor/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It’s important to acknowledge how remarkably she’s recovered from such a grueling tragedy. As the docuseries shows, Martin was her anchor during their year under Abu Sayaba’s merciless regime. When she was hopeless, he’d tell her to push on. “Just one more hour,” he’d say, even though there were many. During a rare interview with a local journalist before their release, he was shown steadfast, poised, and staunchly optimistic, determined to return home to his family. By the time they were saved, only Gracia, Martin, and one other hostage remained — most were let go, the rest were killed. But, Martin didn’t survive the rescue operation. He was shot three times in the chest, and died as Gracia lay nearby. She was wounded, but survived.
Source: STR/AFP/Getty Images

One can only imagine how agonizing it would be to watch your husband lose his life, let alone on the cusp of freedom, just after surviving a brutal, drawn-out hardship. But in Captive, Gracia says she isn’t haunted by the experience, nor does she want to forget it. In fact, she laments not remembering every detail; those memories are all she has left of Martin.

The show grants few glimpses into her current life, but one thing is clear: Gracia is one strong woman. She spent 17 years serving in Filipino missionaries, where she home-schooled local children and supported the aviation program, among many other things. Then, after one of the most trying, torturous ordeals conceivable, she refused to be victimized by her past. Instead, she dedicated her life to sharing her story and the many lessons she took from it, and that’s a journey worth learning from.

Political prisoners end hunger strike on Int’l Human Rights Day

From GMA News (Dec 10): Political prisoners end hunger strike on Int’l Human Rights Day

Political prisoners at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City ended their 8-day hunger strike on Saturday in observance of the International Human Rights Day.

A total of 76 political prisoners began their hunger strike on December 3, to press the Duterte administration to release all the the more than 400 political prisoners in the country.

“Ang pakikibaka para makamit ang hustisyang ipinagkait sa aming mga bilanggong pulitikal ay bahagi ng kabuuang laban para sa karapatang pantao,” the political prisoners were quoted as saying in a news release.

At least 122 political prisoners also joined the hunger strike by fasting.

Also, they criticized the recent appointment of Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Citing his allged record of human rights violations, the political prisoners said Año’s promotion “is a preview to a worsening human rights situation in the country.”

“Año’s appointment and the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani pose a hindrance to the Filipino people’s pursuit for justice.”

To achieve lasting peace, they said, the administration must address the root causes of armed conflict.

“As long as counter-insurgency programs remain operative, as long as landlessness, lack of decent jobs and wages persist, as long as imperialists remain free to plunder our land and resources, there will always be political prisoners; for it is in such desperate times that resistance becomes duty.

More than 400 political prisoners are still languishing in various detention facilities  across the country.

Earlier, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, now in peace talks with the government, insisted that the release all political prisoners is part of both parties' commitment to the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL).

However, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday maintained that he could no longer grant this demand after giving "too much, too soon" to the communist rebels in the ongoing peace talks.

"I have conceded to the communists too much too soon. As yet, I have ... to see a substantive progress in the talks. They are asking for 130 detainees to be released... Sorry, I cannot do that," Duterte said.

"I cannot do it because uubusin nila ang baraha ko. Ang alas ko nga eh. Iyang alas ko ang nasa kulungan... I am playing a poker game here. Maubos ang baraha ko. I-release ko lahat iyan. Ano pa ang pag-usapan natin?" he added.

Duterte said he wanted a signed joint ceasefire agreement between the government and the NDFP before granting the request to free members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People's Army.

MILF: “No more thirst” after the MTF’s water system project comes in a community in Sarangani

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Dec 11): “No more thirst” after the MTF’s water system project comes in a community in Sarangani

“No more thirst,” said Kaipa Macatimbol, president of People’s Organiation in Barangay Taluya, Glan, Sarangani province, when a water system project was formally turned-over that signified the end to their decades-long problem of scarcity of potable water supply.

Kaipa, together with the members of their organization and the constituents of Taluya, thanked the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) and donors for providing the project which is under the Bangsamoro Solidarity of the Mindanao Trust Fund Reconstruction and Development Program during the turn-over ceremony last November 21 held at the community center of the barangay.

“The coming of BDA and this water system project is beyond compare. This is the first time that we see such clean water”, Macatimbol further stated.

She related how the absence of accessible supply of potable water gave them burden in fetching from sources quite far which also costs P15 per container.

“Now that the water supply is just few steps from our houses, it’s a big relief,” she pointed out.
Present during the turn-over was Taluya village chief Jurry Basalo who expressed gratitude for the project and urged the PO members to take care of the water system which answered one of their basic needs.

MILF Political Committee Municipal Chairman Pancho Datukaka who nominated Taluya for the project was also impressed for the completion of the project and cited how the community members have been yearning for a water system project to come to Taluya.

In his message, BDA Regional Manager for Southern Mindanao Region Alimudin A. Hadjinor related that the project is the product of the peace process between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

He also urged cooperation among the PO and community members for the sustainability of the project. “We in BDA are tring our best to bring development to conflict affected communities,” he said.

Hadjinor said BDA strives to empower Bangsamoro communities in the areas of economic and human development despite the uncertainty of the peace process.

MTF is supported by various donors such as such as the European Union, the government of Sweden, Australia, Canada, United States, New Zealand and the World Bank which also serves as trust fund secretariat. (Info Source: BDA SouthMin)

MILF: Editorial -- Fixing US-PH ‘bad relations’

Editorial posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Dec 11): Editorial -- Fixing US-PH ‘bad relations’

Everybody minds if the prevailing “bad relations” between the Philippines and the United States is going to be fixed. A good foreign policy should always anchor on friendship to all nations; and more importantly that relations should bring forth long term mutual benefit and mutual respect.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte would probably be one of the first persons to be happy if this fissure is patched up satisfactorily. In fact, he admitted during his speech in the State Conference on United Nations Convention against Corruption last December 7 that he would feel like a “saint” if such happens.

The strained relations between the two countries started after President Barack Obama criticized Duterte on his bloody war against illegal drugs. But the truth is that PH-US relations have always been one-sided and bad, especially during the colonial period from 1898 to 1946. This is natural and expected, because there had never been a case of a colonizer ever treating its colony with fairness or kindness. No matter who is the colonizer, the approach and objectives are invariably similar.

Strangely or given, even after the physical exit of the colonizer, they would resort to every trick to get the most out its former colony. The case of the US in the Philippines is not an exception. After the grant of Philippine independence in 1946, American citizens and Filipinos have equal rights in regard to using the natural resources of the Philippines. This was ensured by the Parity Amendment to the 1935 Constitution.

But this harsh past is like water under the bridge. Looking to the future, rather than reminiscing the past, is more important. But in no way, the past would be allowed to slip into oblivion. We must see to it that the past especially the excesses of rulers, colonizers, and despots should always be in the collective memory of the people. This is the reason why the GPH-MILF Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), specifically in the Annex of Normalization, provided that the parties undertake transitional justice and reconciliation in order to heal the past. This process consists of judicial and non-judicial measures implemented in order to redress legacies of human rights abuses. Such measures "include criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations programs, and various kinds of institutional reforms.”

However, in terms of urgency, resolving this strained relations is more to the interests of the US. The Philippines stands to gain more, especially on the tactical level, although in one aspect it is also dangerous. A weak party should not dare a giant.

Wrongly or rightly, the “flip-flopping” of President Duterte is actually a matter of posturing. The truth is that he has more aces to play than the Americans, whose weaknesses include its hesitancy or virtual unwillingness to go to war over the conflict in South China. The US and China are heavily in trade with each other. This is further reinforced by the effect of pronouncement US President-elect Donald Trump that his administration would adopt an inward-looking policy.

On the other hand, the emergence of China, as a world power, economically and militarily, and its proximity to Southeast Asia are factors that can force radical shifting of alliances in the region. An ant cannot fight an elephant; and more seriously, a nearby elephant is more feared than elephant faraway. In terms of population, even if all of Southeast Asian countries’ populations, including Japan’s and South Korea’s, put together, they cannot equal to that of China alone. This immensely impacts on the psyche of peoples in this region and the policies of their governments.

Finally, all factors considered, mending this strained relations is still the best option. The Philippines needs the US in the same way we need other countries. On the emotional or moral side, we should never forget what the US has helped us during several trying times. It is not fair to see or consider only the negative side of things.

CPP/NDF-SMR: Ending the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan is necessary to uphold human rights, promote just peace

National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao Region propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Dec 11): Ending the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan is necessary to uphold human rights, promote just peace

Rubi Del Mundo
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Southern Mindanao condemns the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and their paramilitaries for their continued implementation of US-designed Oplan Bayanihan, instilling fear, intimidation and terror in Lumad and peasant communities in the region.

The so-called peace and development outreach program (PDOP), which the AFP and the warmongers of the Duterte government downplay as non-combative, persists in harassing and intimidating civilians in 25 towns and cities in the region. Without threat of facing NPA’s punitive and tactical offensives, fascist AFP troops have become more emboldened to go after civilian leaders of peasant organizations and activists. Cases of assault and other forms of physical violence against the masses perpetrated by PDOP teams and operating units of the AFP were reported in Kibawe, Bukidnon; Compostela, Mawab and Pantukan, Compostela Valley, and; in Loreto, Agusan del Sur; extra-judicial killings by AFP troops and their paramilitaries in Arakan and Magpet in North Cotabato; and harassment of Lumad in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, Kitao-tao, Bukidnon and Loreto, Agusan del Sur.

Nationwide, the AFP’s Oplan Bayanihan operations killed 36 and displaced 35,000 civilians; 36 were also victims of frustrated murder under the Duterte administration.

The NPA will not stand idly by while the rights and welfare of the Filipino masses are being trampled upon.

Twice early last month in Cateel, Davao Oriental where the detestable 67th Infantry Battalion-AFP operates, Red fighters flagged down three fully-armed enemy troops on board a motorcycle who were conducting combat intel activities in the interior areas of the town. Aware that they were caught violating the ceasefire order of their principal, the enemy troops promptly surrendered. The Red fighters reminded them that they should adhere to their orders and sent them safely and freely on their way.

The NPA units around the region has consistently shown discipline in adhering to the unilateral interim ceasefire declaration. The NPA has shown their serious commitment to the peace process and respect for human rights and people’s rights. At present when the two belligerent armies of the two existing governments in the Philippines are being weighed on the mettle of their commitment to a just and lasting peace, the Filipino people look to the New People’s Army as their true people’s army.

While the reactionary armed forces carry on victimizing the people, the NPA in Southern Mindanao is using this most opportune time to explain to the masses the importance of their support to the peace negotiations. NPA units with the help of mass organization and organs of political power conduct peace forums in communities within NDF territories and enjoin the masses to put forward their agenda for socio-economic relief. They likewise elucidate the 12-point program of the NDFP as the viable outline in achieving just and lasting peace. This, while at the same time, consciously maneuvering their units to ensure they do not figure in armed skirmish with marauding troops of the AFP.

NDF-SMR joins the resounding demand of the Filipino people for Pres. Duterte to immediately terminate Oplan Bayanihan that deputizes the AFP, PNP and paramilitaries to perpetrate systematic violation on human rights. In the same vein, the unconditional release of all political prisoners must speedily be undertaken to ensure that the third round of the negotiations in January 2017 will continue on positive ground.

CPP/NDF-IR: Hold the Duterte administration accountable for the worsening rights violation

National Democratic Front-Ilocos Region propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Dec 10): Hold the Duterte administration accountable for the worsening rights violation

Ka Rosa Guidon, Spokesperson, NDFP-Ilocos Region
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines Ilocos is one with the people in commemorating the 66th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). While the NDFP maintains that the UDHR only provides minimum standards and a tool of the ruling class to provide the illusion of freedom and democracy, the people, with the revolutionary movement’s guidance, the people can wield this to their advantage.

The promotion, recognition and protection of human rights is first and foremost, the responsibility of the state, thus, demands to resolve all attacks against these rights should be directed to the government. The people, must at all times espouse this fundamental principle to combat all attempts of the reactionaries to water-down human rights issue. On the other hand, revolutionary forces, must firmly grasp that human rights, are not devoid of class. Moreover, NDFP forces should ensure that struggles for human rights are not limited with civil and political but includes social, economic and cultural rights.

Today, we hold Duterte accountable for falling short of his commitments, and his actions that have aggravated the dismal state of human rights in the country. Despite its promised change, human rights violations continue to worsen under the Duterte regime, and points of contention with the revolutionary movement on this matter continue to arise.

He has let the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan (OpBay) takes its course, targeting activists and civilian communities. By assuring government backing for PNP personnel accused of extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs, and appointing Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año, who’s military career is tainted with blood, as Chief of Armed Forces of the Philippines, Duterte has further embolden the armed forces to trample human rights and the rule of law.

In Ilocos, human rights groups recorded 185 cases of rights violations with 33,298 victims in the course of OpBay’s implementation. This is made worst by the execution of Oplan Tokhang that has taken almost 100 lives across the region. Two Tokhang killing incidents in Santiago, Ilocos Sur and one in the City of San Fernando, La Union are not in anyway, related to drugs but political.

In spite of his unilateral ceasefire declaration, Duterte refuse to reign the AFP from conducting forward deployment and operations in New People’s Army guerilla zones. Troops from 81st Infantry Battalion occupied 8 barangays in Sta. Lucia, 6 in Salcedo, 5 in Quirino and 1 in Cervantes all in Ilocos Sur. Besides said encampments, the unit continue to violate International Humanitarian Law by maintaining its battalion headquarter within the residential area in Barangay Bugbuga, Sta. Cruz in the same province. They recruit Civilian Armed Auxiliary in Quirino, Suyo and Sta. Cruz despite the United Nations Human Rights Council recommendation to disband paramilitary formation in the country.

On the other hand, NDFP Ilocos take pride of the discipline displayed by the people’s army, the units operating in Ilocos in particular, for abiding by the CPP’s unilateral ceasefire declaration. The people’s army has again shown its stark difference with the mercenary AFP forces. Through this, the CPP proved its ability to take command of the different NPA commands to avoid armed skirmishes despite continuous provocations from the AFP.

Duterte mocked martial law victims and the spirit of the 1986 people’s uprising by allowing Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.’s burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani. He absolved the Marcoses of their crimes against the people, and aided the revision of history by claiming that no court proved them guilty of legal and moral transgression. His action further pained more than 300 martial victims in Ilocos, who are already suffering from the absence of justice, snail-paced compensation, and curses for speaking of the horrors of martial law right inside the late dictator’s backyard.

He has shown his trapo character by taking part in rehabilitating the Marcoses and favoring a Singson to take the helm of the Governor’s League. These are clear payment for their support last election, an encouragement of patronage politics. His backing for the Singsons and Marcoses reflects his favor for political dynasties and warlords. Duterte’s provision for bureaucrat capitalist is undeniable. The railroading of a new tax scheme for tobacco products suggests that his administration is more concerned in thickening politicians’ pocket than curbing corruption in the tobacco excise tax fund. Worst, officials in league with tobacco companies in exploiting tobacco farmers still occupy their positions in the National Tobacco Administration.

The administration’s economic platform still adheres to neoliberalism, promulgated by the US and other imperialist countries. This parasitic economic system abridged the livelihood and survival of Ilocos farmers by decimating the region’s top agriculture products – garlic, shallots and tobacco, further burying them into debt. Neoliberal programs such as ecotourism has privatized common fishing grounds like the Lingayen Gulf, and forest areas in Ilocos Norte.

But on top of these issues is the regime’s double talk on the peace negotiation with the NDFP. He’s recent action to use political prisoners as trump cards to bend the NDFP into signing a bilateral ceasefire is a gross violation of the letter and spirit of The Hague Declaration, and the Comprehensive Agreement on respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. The plot of the reactionary faction in his administration to force the revolutionary movement to capitulate or at least scuttle the peacetalks is slowly unravelling.

While the NDFP and democratic forces continue to support his progressive policies and initiatives, they are also mindful that the contradictions between the revolutionary forces and the Duterte regime continue to sharpen.

Mass actions should serve as arena to raise the people’s political consciousness, understanding the importance of the peace negotiations, and embracing the national democratic revolution. Only by strengthening the mass movement and the people’s army can we sway Duterte towards his progressive tendencies. This will reveal who are the true champion of the people, who are the allies and rabid enemies of the people’s movement in current administration, and eventually, the narrowest target of the revolution.

For the people’s liberation and genuine democracy, NDFP Ilocos remains steadfast in leading Ilocandia in asserting people’s rights and demanding social justice, and advancing the national democratic revolution.

Long live the National Democratic Front of the Philippines!
Long live the Filipino people!

CPP/NDF-EV: NDF-EV urges fight for human rights against worsened impunity under the Duterte regime

National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Dec 10): NDF-EV urges fight for human rights against worsened impunity under the Duterte regime

Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas
NDFP-Eastern Visayas
On International Human Rights Day, the National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas condemns the Duterte regime’s brutal attacks on human rights and the longstanding impunity of the state that GRP President Rodrigo Duterte now arrogates as his personal due. “An anti-drugs bloodbath of extrajudicial killings, political prisoners being held hostage as Duterte’s bargaining chips with the NDFP, government forces provoking the New People’s Army despite a mutual ceasefire,” said NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas. “The human rights situation under the Duterte regime is terrible because it is waging war against the people, be it called “anti-drugs” or “counter-insurgency,” instead of solving their problems. Duterte himself showed the continuing past in this impunity for human rights violations through approving the hero’s burial of the dictator Marcos.”
Fr. Salas expressed solidarity with the people who are struggling for human rights against worsened impunity under the Duterte regime. “We condemn the extrajudicial killings in Eastern Visayas and the whole country in the name of fighting drugs but that massacre the poor and are contemptuous of due process and solving poverty that is the real problem. We support the struggle to free all political prisoners, of which around 45 are from Eastern Visayas and continue to languish in jail on fabricated charges. We condemn the militarization of civilian communities in the countryside in violation of the CARHRIHL and the reciprocal ceasefire between the NDFP and the GRP. We condemn the militarization of Yolanda-struck urban poor communities in Tacloban City for the entry of big businesses, with forced relocation led by soldiers to relocation sites that are far away from the people’s livelihood, schools and other community needs.”
The NDF-EV spokesperson there was no better way for the people to defend their rights than to be roused, organized and mobilized to confront the Duterte government. “While the NDFP is in peace talks with the GRP led by Duterte, the people should all the more intensify their human rights struggle and air their aspirations for a just and lasting peace. The people must rise up against the trampling of basic civil and political rights against arbitrary arrests and detention as well as extrajudicial killings. They must support the struggle of the political prisoners who are the living symbols of the violations of civil and political rights under the GRP. They must demand the expulsion of the military from the civilian communities in the countryside and the cities, and the ending of the fascist Oplan Bayanihan. They must amass in their hundreds of thousands and millions to register to Duterte that their voices must be heard and heeded. If not, they are all the more justified in exercising their sovereign right to armed struggle in a just war for national and social liberation.”

CPP/NPA: Enough with terror and deceptions, End Oplan Bayanihan!

NPA propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Dec 10): Enough with terror and deceptions, End Oplan Bayanihan!

Julian Paisano
Political Department
Coronacion Chiva “Waling-Waling” Command

The unilateral ceasefire separately declared by both the GRP and the CPP-NPA last August is almost on its fourth month.

All NPA units in Panay have strictly followed and stood by the Party’s unilateral declaration. Meanwhile, the AFP, specifically the 3rdID/PA in the region has grossly violated GRP’s indefinite unilateral ceasefire declaration.

Army units of the AFP have not ceased in conducting combat patrols, civil-military operations and widespread intelligence and surveillance work as they intensified the sophisticated implementation of Oplan Bayanihan upon orders from the 3rd ID/PA. The widespread intelligence operations were not only conducted on NPA areas but also in the cities together with PNP units, in the guise of anti-drug campaign, issues of “state of lawlessness” and other deceptive reasons.

Reports in the region showed that 49 barangays from 12 municipalities and a city in Panay Island were affected with military operations under Oplan Bayanihan. These include frequent combat operations by the 61stIB/PA in the interior barrios of Tapaz, Calinog, and Lambunao municipalities, all in Central Panay.

The AFP has maintained their military detachments, patrol bases, and PDT units in various villages. They continue to conduct Oplan Bayanihan operation through deceptive “medical missions” and “gift giving” to cover-up their intelligence and psy-ops. Not a single unit of the 82ndIB, 61stIB, 12thIB, the CAFGUs and CAAs has gone back to their main headquarters and barracks in the entire ceasefire period.

But instead, the 82ndIB Company headquarters had advanced even more closely into the interior areas of Igbaras, Iloilo. The PNP detachment in Bungsuan, Dumarao, Capiz was reinforced with 30 Philippine Army troops. Roxas City, Capiz was not even spared when five of its barangays — Culasi, Baybay, Dumulog, Lawaan and Dinginan – were deployed with 30 PA troops as PDT units.

The AFP’s armed operating troops find comfort with civilian shield as they occupy barangay halls, school buildings, mini-market, and other civilian structures and peasants’ houses. These activities are violations of GRPs ceasefire declaration, clear infringements of the provisions stipulated in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws (CARHRIHL) and acts that sabotage the ongoing peacetalks.

These traitorous acts of the AFP on its own ceasefire declaration issued by their commander-in-chief are grossly unfavorable conditions for reaching common understanding and unities both by the GRP and the NDFP in seeking solutions on the root causes of the armed conflict. These also show that the AFP is not sincere in rooting out the real problems of the people.

The Panayanon people did not cease in their strong protests against the continued implementation of Oplan Bayanihan in the countryside and the PDT deployment in the aforementioned barangays of Roxas City, Capiz. Their resistance has been displayed in a series of protest actions in November and this December that rallied thousands of people coming from different sectors.

Their sentiments against AFP violations of GRP’s ceasefire are also exhibited in the slogans written on street streamers, placards and the confetti littering on the main streets in the various municipalities of Panay’s provinces.

People’s sentiments are for peace that they should not be taunted and terrorized by the psy-ops and combat operations by armed units of the AFP and PNP. After all, it’s supposed to be a ceasefire period. People want to have a meaningful ceasefire, most especially that it is Yuletide.

People also want that peacetalks will succeed in taking up significant reforms – like genuine land reform, national industrialization, jobs, salary increase and benefits and other socio-economic reforms for the interests of the Filipino people.

It is the current sentiment and people’s demand to pull the AFP and PNP armed troops out of the civilian communities in the rural and urban areas. For as long as Oplan Bayanihan is being implemented, the more people’s rights are grossly violated, the same people’s rights that had been long trampled upon by exploitation and oppression.

The Red commanders and fighters of the NPA under Coronacion Chiva “Waling-Waling” Command, including our mass base fully support the national leadership stand on the possibility of extending the ceasefire period under conditions of the release of all political prisoners and put an end to the Oplan Bayanihan by the Duterte’s administration.

Enough with terrorism and deceptions on the people. End Oplan Bayanihan!