By CPP Information Bureau
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today blasted Aquino spokesman Edwin Lacierda for being a hypocrite when he denounced the New People’s Army (NPA) for employing explosives directed against armed soldiers “while he turns a blind eye to the fact that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been dropping bombs indiscriminately near civilian communities.”
The CPP also advised Lacierda to “first study the matter of international humanitarian law and the Ottawa Treaty before condemning the NPA.” According to the CPP, the Ottawa Treaty of 1997 explicitly prohibits only the use of land mines that are designed to explode by the “presence, proximity or contact” of a person.
In contrast to banned anti-personnel land mines, the NPA uses command-detonated explosives (CDX) that are triggered remotely and directed only at a specific target. “The NPA uses CDX as legitimate weapons of war in launching military offensives against the armed agents of the reactionary state. Because these are remotely triggered, the NPA can make sure that CDXs will detonate only in the presence of specific military targets.”
Yesterday, news reports indicated that the NPA successfully employed explosives to attack a patrol base of the 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, in Paquibato District, Davao City. Three AFP personnel were killed in the attack.
“In stark contrast to the direct and definite targets of the NPA, the AFP indiscriminately drops bombs and strafes areas near populated communities, endangering the lives of civilians and damaging crops and the environment,” said the CPP.
According to the CPP, from November 1 to 10, the AFP unleashed at least 30 air to surface rockets, launched at least 29 shells from 105 mm howitzer cannons and fired at least 1,200 rounds from caliber .50 machine guns towards villages in Zapanta Valley in Bangayan, Kitcharao and nearby villages of Jabonga in Agusan del Norte.
“The AFP attacks have terrorized the local residents and have caused serious damage to crops, livestock, forested areas, sources of potable water and ravaged the environment,” said the CPP. “The indiscriminate bombing and strafing by AFP forces forced residents to evacuate their villages. Close to three hundred residents, seventy percent of whom were children, fled to the Kitcharao town center around November 4.”
“These are just examples of the terrorist acts being committed by the AFP under the banner of ‘peace and development’ in its so-called Oplan Bayanihan,” said the CPP. “These are the acts pf terrorism of the AFP which Lacierda conveniently covers up in order keep up the Aquino regime’s pretensions as an advocate of peace and defender of human rights.”