AFP’s ceasefire violations in Davao reveal massive rights abuses

NPA-mindanao

THE New People’s Army (NPA)-Southern Mindanao Regional Command said the 84th IB of of the Philippine Army allegedly violated the temporary ceasefire declared by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF).

Simon Santiago, political director of the NPA Southern Mindanao Command said soldiers belonging to 84th Infatntry Battalion instigated a full-blown military operation in Brgy. Tambobong, Baguio district, Davao city, forcing the evacuation and hamletting of civilians and conducted food blockade.

“Worse, it also spread the notorious lie that the NPA abducted civilians and the militia, and terrorized the masses,” Santiago said in an emailed statement issued Friday.

“To cover up the combat and intelligence operations in Baguio district, the 10th ID concocted the outrageous lie that the NPA abducted, detained and later released Cafgu paramilitary forces. In truth, while the NPA was celebrating the CPP anniversary, the Red fighters talked with seven Cafgu forces in the area; they even refrained from disarming one of the Cafgus, Romeo Bulod, who had a 9-mm pistol. It was merely a dialog between the NPAs and the Cafgus regarding their economic situation and livelihood, not an abduction, detention or interrogation,” the communist rebels added.

Santiago also said the soldiers allegedly ordered the village barangay captain and tribal leaders to evacuate the residents, in an attempt to punish the civilians for accommodating the NPAs during the CPP anniversary celebration last December 26.

“It arrived full force January 1 at 3am, comprising of a platoon; on January 3 at 3pm, the forces were augmented with other troops aboard two military trucks and APC,” Santiago said,

The NPA said the 84th IB’s military operations allegedly resulted in the forced evacuation of some 125 families in sitio Paglaum, Kidali,Luyan, Likuyan, Sumani and Lamod, in Brgy. Tambobong. Banana plantation workers of Sumifru were also forced to stop from going to work. The military also checked the entry and exit of food supplies like rice.

Sanrtiago also quoted Lt. Col. Edgar Nigos, 84th IB Commanding Officer justifying the the military’s hamletting and food blockade by saying that the move was meant to provide security to the masses.

“It was a brazen deception similar to 10th ID spokesperson’s Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza twisted definition of ceasefire: that it excludes the continued operation of Special Operations Team or what it calls peace and development teams,” Santiago opined.

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