8th ID takes advantage of barangay elections for further militarization*
Efren Martires Command
New People's Army-Eastern Visayas
October 18, 2010
The Efren Martires Command, New People's Army-Eastern Visayas, today debunked the 8th Infantry Division's allegation the NPA is supporting some candidates in the barangay elections, dubbing it an excuse for more military operations. "The revolutionary movement does not believe, much less participate, in reactionary elections," said Ka Karlos Manuel, EMC spokesperson. "It is after all already building the people's democratic government in the countryside as an alternative to the reactionary government. In fact, the de facto political authority in many parts of the countryside is the revolutionary movement. This reflects the weakness of the reactionary state as well as its serious neglect of most of the people, who are the peasantry. As it is, those running for village positions in the countryside also recognize and defer to revolutionary authority and seek common ground on how best to assure the people's well-being."
Manuel also said the accusations against the NPA by Lt. Col. Noel Vestuir, 8th ID information officer, showed the military is taking advantage of the coming polls to justify the deployment of more troops, as well as to harass the candidates and voters. "The 8th ID has been carrying on intense military operations in the three provinces of Samar since August, which has raised an outcry over human rights violations. Thus, its identification of 194 region-wide so-called "potential flashpoints", mainly on the island, is self-serving in giving an opportunity for further militarization and political repression. Such militarization contradicts the touting of peaceful and orderly elections, when government troops in fact harass both candidates and voters who oppose militarization, human rights violations, and other social injustices. The military and reactionary politicians both want to use the elections for their anti-people agenda. Most candidates in the barangay polls are pawns of reactionary politicians, while the military also intimidates or use other candidates to support its "counterinsurgency" campaign."
The NPA-EV spokesperson called on the people to persevere and to realize their own strength from revolutionary struggle rather than rely on reactionary elections. "The coming village elections will go the same way as all others under the reactionary ruling system: unable and incapable of bringing about fundamental changes. The people's sufferings from hunger, poverty and repression continue to mount. They will surely persevere in their mass struggles against militarization and for human rights and socio-economic reforms. They will surely continue to support and join the revolutionary armed struggle to overthrow the ruling system and pave the way for genuine change."