By DANIEL IBARRA
Spokesperson, NPA Comval Davao Gulf Subregional Command
NPA Southern Mindanao Region
A unit of the people’s militia ambushed the troops led by 1st Lt. Ronald Bautista who headed some 80 soldiers belonging to the 71st Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in sitio Barigyan, Barangay Candinuyan, Mabini, Compostela Valley Province, at 10:00 am on 29 December 2014.
The militia attack is part of the guerrilla war of the masses campaign to foil the sinister plan of the 71st Infantry Battalion – 10th Infantry Division to impose a “no man’s land” in Mabini, Compostela Valley, specifically in the villages of Darot, Linaw, Mascareg, Palali, Manasa, Anitapan, Panamin and Candinuyan.
Under the deceptive cover of a month-long ceasefire of the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH/GRP), the ongoing deployment, combat manoeuvre, build-up, and continuing Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP) operations of the 71st IB-10th ID are actually clearing operations to pave the way for the destructive large-scale mining operations of Australian owned One Asia Resources in Mabini.
Contrary to the lies and deceit of 10th Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Eduardo Ano, Bautista and the two other soldiers killed in the 29 December ambush were not preparing for holiday break but were geared towards full combat operations in Palali, Mascareg, Linaw and Darot.
Bautista was not returning home to reunite with his family during the Christmas truce in Bohol, as claimed by the military spin doctors, but like his men, was armed with handgun and grenade when he was ambushed by the people’s militia.
Bautista and his troops manned a military detachment in Barangay Anitapan, Mabini, to conduct combat operations and witch-hunting of peasant leaders in Palali, Panamin and Mascareg, even during the period of GPH truce declaration and Christmas holidays.
The 29 December ambush was clearly not in violation of any truce but a form of revolutionary justice to frustrate the PDOP and human rights abuses of a fascist Army unit which was also responsible for the cold-blooded murder of child peasant Roque Antivo in 2013. It was a legitimate politico-military action by the masses that have long suffered and bore the brunt of fascism and economic dislocation as a result of foreign large-scale mining.
The units of the New People’s Army and people’s militia vow to conduct more attritive and annihilative actions against the fascist troops that have become private armies of foreign and large-scale mining not only to defend the territories of the People’s Democratic Government but also to protect the livelihood of the people and the environment. The people also effectively expose and oppose the systematic psywar and intelligence operations of the deceptive PDOP within civilian communities and infrastructures.
One Asia Resources is one of the big foreign mining corporations that are financially backing the 71st Infantry Battalion’s triad operations of noncombat, intelligence, and combat activities, in order to suppress the people’s resistance to large-scale mining and human rights abuses. One Asia Resources is hell-bent in pushing through with its exploration and exploitation in the area this year.
The fascist mercenaries are conducting vilification campaigns against community leaders that are leading the communities’ fight against foreign mining and military aggressions, and for uplifting their livelihood such as raising farm production and farm gate prices of agricultural products.
Indeed, peace process presidential adviser Teresita Deles is standing on feeble ground when she qualified the 29 December ambush as a breach of the GPH’s unilateral truce. She peddled such a falsehood to discredit the revolutionary movement in an attempt to scuttle the resumption of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations and further muddle the substantive issues that should be resolved in the peace talks.