23 August 2010
The Efren Martires Command of the New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today dismissed allegations by the Aquino government that the NPA committed rights violations in the August 21 Catarman tactical offensive. “We want to address the accusations by presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles and other Aquino government officials that the NPA used landmines, and summarily executed the government casualties as well as stole their personal belongings,” said Ka Karlos Manuel, EMC spokesperson. “As clearly explained in our earlier statement, the NPA uses command-detonated explosives, which are manually set off against a defined target such as in the Catarman ambush and thus allowed in war. The NPA did not and has never used anti-personnel land mines which automatically explode when triggered by the victim, and is thus banned under international humanitarian law for causing needless casualties. Moreover, the policemen in the Catarman ambush were killed in action and not captured alive and summarily executed as alleged by the Aquino government.
“The NPA also does not stoop to looting such as widely practiced by government troops against impoverished peasants. As a matter of standard operating procedure, the NPA confiscates all materials at the scene of any military action for intelligence and inventory purposes. Whatever personal belongings inadvertently taken are returned whenever possible to the concerned families.”
Manuel also pointed out the Aquino government is falsely shifting the blame to NPA offensives for allegedly “derailing” the peace talks. “It is the Aquino government which has been arrogantly posturing and warmongering regarding the peace talks. It has been trying to force ceasefire and surrender terms on the revolutionary movement since Aquino’s July 26 state of the nation address. The Aquino government also exposes its insincerity to the peace talks in pursuing Oplan Bantay Laya, which has been widely condemned for political killings and other attacks on innocent civilians. The chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Gen. Ricardo David, has declared that Oplan Bantay
Laya will be extended until January 2011, when a new operational plan will still pursue the avowed aim of crushing the revolutionary movement.
“Thus the Aquino government has the gall to pretend to be aggrieved when it is now getting its comeuppance from NPA tactical offensives. But the NPA will step up its offensives to defend the people from Oplan Bantay Laya and other Aquino government “oplans” inspired by the US Counter-insurgency Guide. The NPA will become even stronger and accumulate more weapons in advancing the people’s war against the Aquino government’s Oplan Bantay Laya and other operational plans of fascist state terrorism.”
NDF-EV Media Officer