ANGELES CITY – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP) has accused the Aquino government of violating its own ceasefire declaration for the Christmas holidays in at least four provinces.
In a statement, the CPP cited reports from its armed group New People’s Army (NPA) has continued “to wage its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression against the people.”
The CPP cited reports from Abra, Surigao del Sur, Isabela and Rizal provinces.
One report from Abra said two truckloads of soldiers belonging to the 50th Infantry Battalion (IB) occupied Sitio Sagsagod of Barangay Saccaang, Sallapadan on December 21 while another platoon occupied barangays Palaquio and Tabiog in the municipality of Bucay.
“In violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL), some of the operating troops stationed themselves inside the population centers and even at the Tabiog Elementary School while other troops scoured the mountains.
The soldiers told the residents that they intend to stay up to the end of the year,” the CPP said.
It also reported that on the same day, a van and two six by six trucks occupied the Barangay Hall of Barangay Gangal, a few meters away from Gangal Elementary School.
“Another AFP platoon disrupted a wedding in Barangay Naguillan, Sallapadan by unceremoniously entering the barrio after their combat operations,” the CPP added.
The CPP said that the 50th IB troops have remained encamped in the barangay hall and at the Barangay Bila-bila plaza in Sallapadan in Abra.
In Surigao del Sur, the NPA reported to the CPP that residents of Tandag City complained last December 16 about the continuing presence of armed troops of the 36th IB Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) team in the barangay hall of Barrio Mabuhay, which has been used by the AFP soldiers as their detachment.
“These troops are responsible for the increasing number of cases of military abuses since their deployment to the area in September. The residents were hoping that the COPD would be withdrawn with Aquino’s ceasefire declaration,” the CPP said.
The CPP also cited reports that in Isabela province, armed troops of the 5th Infantry Division launched a search-and -pursuit operation against the NPA in San Mariano also last December 16, on the very day that the AFP issued its ceasefire declaration.
“A section of the 17th IB was also transferred to San Mariano from its former base in the adjacent province of Cagayan,” the report said.
The CPP also reported that in Rizal province, armed troops of the 16th, 59th and 76th IB have continued with “offensive military operations in the towns of Jala-jala, Pililia, Tanay, Baras, Rodriguez and Antipolo City under the guise of conducting peace and development operations.”
“Not a single unit of the AFP has been ordered to go back to their barracks,” the CPP noted.
It said “the continuing military operations of the AFP under Oplan Bayanihan expose the duplicity of the Aquino regime and the AFP.
They show that the 18- day ceasefire order is an empty declaration that serves only to cover up the continuing terrorist activities of the military, police and paramilitary forces.”