Philippines New People’s Army Anti-Biofuels Campaign
Posted by n3wday on November 3, 2008
This article was published on Philippine Revolution.
Red Army’s anti-biofuels campaign continues
Pulang Mt. Talinis Front Command
New People’s Army-Southeastern Negros
October 28, 2008
The NPA will implement more preventive measure against private agri-business corporations like the Tamlang Valley Agricultural Development Corporation (TVADC) for worsening the food supply problem and causing numerous military abuses in southeast Negros.
Thus said Ka Dom Pantaleon, spokesperson of the NPA Pulang Mt. Talinis Front Command, as he announced yet another punitive action against the TVADC biofuels company mainly based in barangay Casalaan, Siaton, Oriental Negros.
In a press release, Pantaleon said the countryside-based people’s democratic government ordered an NPA team last October 3 to confiscate and burn two TVADC-owned tractors in sityo Tamlang, barangay Talalak, in Sta. Catalina town. No one was harmed in the incident, he added.
It was the second such operation in as many months by the Red army to protect upland peasants from the intrusive and harmful biofuels company co-owned by the family of ex-Congressman Herminio Teves and their Korean business partners. Last September 9, a separate NPA team seized and burned three tractors owned by the same company in sityo Cuadra, barangay Mantikil, in Sta. Catalina town.
Pantaleon revealed that the NPA will continue implementing similar orders for punitive actions from the countryside-based people’s democratic government that are meant to block the widespread growing of jathropa and cassava in and around the vast Sta. Catalina-Siaton-Valencia-Pamplona border barangays of Oriental Negros known as Tamlang Valley.
More importantly, it will impose armed punitive actions against the 302nd Brigade for providing protection and even colluding with TVADC in forcing ordinary farmers to plant jatrhopa and cassava, instead of their traditional food crops like upland rice and corn, he added.
The NPA spokesperson said the mercenary AFP has become the biofuels campaign’s most visible “errand boys” for the agri-business company and the Teves family in southeast Negros.
This has resulted to numerous human rights abuses, including the enforced disappearances of ordinary farmers Flaviano Arante and Reynold Yanoc – both residents of barangay Talalak, Sta. Catalina town –who have been missing and feared salvaged since early this year, he added.
Pantaleon said the NPA was not affected by the 302nd Brigade’s use of psychological bombing operations it launched last September 8 using artillery fire, a Tora-Tora airplane and two helicopter gunships to bomb supposed NPA camps in the interior mountain barangays of Sta. Catalina town.
That 8-hour artillery and aerial bombing operation was useless as the NPA strictly adheres to guerrilla tactics which enables it to elude AFP troops when they are attacking, harass them when they are resting, and ambush them whenever they are tired, he emphasized.
Pantaleon said that since May, the Red army has engaged the 302nd Brigade in ten gunbattles that resulted to more fatalities on the AFP side but which it vainly tries to hide using its more superior access to mass media.
He clarified that the NPA’s only casualties in the ten armed encounters during the last six months had been the three Red fighters – NPA Federico “Ka Val” Villalongha, Rachelle Mae “Ka Hannah” Palang and Jerry “Ka Regan” Cabungcag – who were martyred last September 18 when their unit was raided by elements of the 79th IB at the Zamboaguita-Dauin border barangays in Oriental Negros.
Since last month, the NPA Pulang Mt. Talinis Front Command has launched two more armed tactical offensives against the 79th IB, Pantaleon revealed.
Last September 25, an NPA unit harassed patrolling soldiers at around 8:20 in the morning in sityo Bagacay, barangay Milagrosa, in Sta. Catalina town. In the 6-minute gunfight, 2Lt. Romualdo Rubi and Cafgu Maximo Acabal were wounded, while the entire Red army unit successfully withdrew unhurt.
Last October 5, another NPA unit ambushed an attacking Army unit at around 4 in the morning in sitio Abante, barangay Buenavista, also in Sta. Catalina town. Pfc. Stephen Ray Dohinog, Pfc John Cerbo, and their guide Barangay Defense System (BDS) chairman Nelson Locanilao were killed in battle, while Cpl. Arnold Montinola and two others were wounded. Two Red fighters were slightly wounded in the hour-long firefight.
It is clear that the AFP’s more superior tri-media access does not matter much to thousands of Negros Oriental upland peasant families as the NPA Pulang Mt. Talinis Front Command continues to receive wide support and fresh recruits from them, Pantaleon added.
By sticking to the NPA’s three integral role of launching armed tactical offensives, implementing the minimum agrarian reform program and building the revolutionary mass strength, the NPA Pulang Mt. Talinis Front Command also complements and provides ample time and opportunity for the other guerrilla fronts throughout Negros island to launch extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare based on an ever-widening and ever-deepening revolutionary mass base.