A Statement on the Current Military Operations in FarSouth Mindanao:
Perpetuating a Legacy of State Terror; Further Entrenching Feudal and Foreign Domination
NDF-Far South Mindanao
August 18, 2010
Gloria Arroyo may no longer be in MalacaÃ±ang but the same policy of relentless state terror continue to hound the Filipino masses and especially those who dare to resist and defy the most abusive and exploitative foreign multinational companies operating in the Philippine countryside.
In FarSouth Mindanao where lies one of the biggest mining firms side by side with the vast Dole-Stanfilco plantations, a full brigade under the 10th Infantry Division â€“ AFP is currently on operation. Specific targets are the gold-rich areas of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Davao del Sur and Sarangani Province particularly the towns of Kiblawan, Tampakan and Colombio which are the current mining sites of the multinational Xstrata-SMI. This military operation has been extremely harsh and merciless on the people especially on the poor peasant masses and the lumads living in the area.
Under the bloody banner of Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) 2, troops of the 27th IB, the 39th IB and the 72nd Cadre Battalion have been plundering the countryside, intimidating and harassing the residents, imposing food blockades, and terrorizing civilians who are forced to leave their ancestral lands to escape the wrath of the military operation. This is very fine for the MNCs who want full control of the area.
Having miserably failed to stem the tide of opposition to the mines, the 39th IB has taken it out on the people by committing a long list of abuses and atrocities. Barrios in the peripheries of the mining areas such as those in Matanao town have been subjected to indiscriminate aerial bombardment, food blockade and harassment. In Sitio Datalfitak, Brgy Colonsabak, Matanao, Davao del Sur, many peasant homes were ransacked and dismantled because the residents were accused of being NPA supporters. A peasant leader was mauled and hit with a rifle butt.
The 27th IB, on the other hand has continued its rampage in the mining towns of Tampakan and Columbio, sowing intrigues and creating a climate of fear and mistrust among those who have consistently opposed large scale mining. In the Bâ€™laan community of Bong Mal, Sultan Kudarat, two camps of Task Force KITACO have been set up to ensure the continued operations of the gold mine. Recruitment of civilians into the paramilitary units such as the SCAA has also been intensified. If outright fascism is a mark of achievement for the reactionary AFP, full honor goes to the 1002nd Brigade of Col. Rainier Cruz. He may be awarded by his imperialist masters but his atrocities will never be forgotten by the people.
Simultaneous with the brigade operation, the 57th IB under the 6th ID â€“ AFP has also conducted a military campaign in the plantation areas of Dole-Stanfilco in the towns of Makilala, Tulunan and Mlang, all in North Cotabato including the peace zone areas which former Pres. Corazon Aquino had previously imposed as part of the AFPâ€™s base denial operations and total war policy. In a blatant display of arrogance and in total disregard for the basic rights of civilians, peace zone residents are systematically interrogated, intimidated and harassed by the AFP. As in the mining sites, the people have suffered the full brunt of the mercenary armed forces' state terrorism all for the sake of the uninterrupted operations of foreign multinational companies such as Dolefil.
Aquino III is so beholden to his imperialist master he has in fact ordered the extension of the most hated OBL 2, demanded the surrender of the revolutionary movement as a precondition for peace talks and, as in Hacienda Lusita, has had no qualms about perpetuating and strengthening the rule of the feudal oligarchy in Philippine society. Like his predecessors, Aquino III has allowed the multinational Dolefil to landgrab thousands of hectares of peasant lands. He has put on sale Philippine patrimony by giving full authority to the giant foreign mining companies to lord it over the gold and copper resources in Mindanao.
The Aquino III administration is grossly mistaken into thinking that brute military force and subservience to the imperialists will silence the people into submission. On the contrary, it shall fan the flames of the Filipino masses continuing resistance and revolution.