‘Oplan Bayanihan’ patterned from US COIN, says activist solon

Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano today said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ new counter-insurgency program was patterned from the January 2009 United States’ Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Guide.

Mariano issued the statement after Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said that the new counter-insurgency to begin on January 1, 2011, “Oplan Bayanihan” shifts to the “whole of nation approach” which means that “even the ordinary people should be involved. And secondly, it’s a people-centered approach which gives primordial consideration to human security.”

Mariano said that this so-called “shift to whole of nation approach and people-centered approach” was patterned from the US COIN’s “population-centric approach which shifts the focus of COIN from defeating the insurgent organization to maintaining or recovering the support of the population.”

Mariano said that the US COIN states that “in reality, COIN campaigns will rarely be purely enemy-centric or population-centric, but will generally include elements of both, with the relative balance changing over time.”

“This means that Oplan Bayanihan will be a combination of grand psy-war operations and violent armed suppression,” Mariano said adding: “The Aquino administration is set to mobilize all security and civilian agencies for counter-insurgency.”

“There is no assurance that Oplan Bayanihan will get rid of state-sponsored human rights abuses,” he said.

“Oplan Bayanihan is just a modification of previous failed counter-insurgency programs mainly patterned from the US COIN strategy,” says Mariano

“It promises so-called development while maintaining the status quo… the monopoly and control of the few of the country’s resources,” the Anakpawis lawmaker added.

Mariano said that “without addressing the root-causes of the armed conflict, which includes massive landlessness in the countryside and social injustice, Oplan Bayanihan is bound to fail.”  D’Jay Lazaro


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