More ceasefire violations in Southern Mindanao*
Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos
February 20, 2011
AFP-PNP-CAFGU-instigated violations against the ceasefire mutually-declared by the NDFP and the GPH continue as of 17 February 2011 in three municipalities in Southern Mindanao, to wit:
1. Units from the 28th Infantry Battalion, PA conducted (perimeter) patrol and operations in certain barangays in Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental;
2. Elements of the 71st Infantry Battalion, PA encamped in and around a barangay in Maco, Compostela Valley Province and conducted civil-military (CMO) and patrol operations with the vicinity; and,
3. The 5th Scout Rangers Company conducted offensive combat operations in several barangays in Maragusan town, Compostela Valley Province.
As both the initial talks and the ceasefire draw to a close, the armed forces of the GPH remain incorrigible in taking advantage of the NPA's defensive position in order to score points that it cannot achieve outside of a ceasefire period. These violations, which include the arrest and detention of NDFP consultants and staff, are the indelible marks of the GPH's hypocritical and disingenuous attitude towards the peace process.
Until and unless the GPH is able to keep its troops at bay inside their respective barracks during a ceasefire, then its pronouncement of being "open" to another round of ceasefire does not inspire confidence.
In this last day of ceasefire, the NDFP in Mindanao calls, as we have repeatedly been calling for since the mutual truce began on Feb. 15, on the Aquino government to show sincerity by ordering, without delay, all AFP-PNP-CAFGU combat, intelligence and civil-military operations in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country.
We call on the Filipino people to further press the Government of the Philippines (GPH), whose principal, Mr. Benigno Aquino III, has stressed himself the need "to engage in peace negotiations to attain a peaceful settlement of the armed conflict," to be serious in facing the talks and the entire peace process.
We also ask the people to present their own agenda as a way of asserting their being principal stake holders of the peace process. This would surely help hasten the peace negotiation.