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NPA responds to Gen. Farnacio’s claim: It’s not us but the AFP that private armies in Samar are close to

By Efren Martires Command, NPA-EV
April 24, 2017

SAMAR – The Efren Martires Command of the New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today told Maj. Gen. Raul Farnacio, chief of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, not to pass the buck to the NPA over the abject failure or in fact the reluctance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to stamp out private armies in Samar province.

“Private armies have nothing in common with the NPA but a lot with the AFP – some hired goons are even CAFGU paramilitaries,” said the NPA’s regional command. “For example, in Matuguinao there is a group of CAFGU elements under the 43rd IB who are also hired goons of politicians and who have already killed at least ten peasants without having been brought to account yet. We can identify two of these CAFGU elements as Jovic “Laloy” Oblado, the ringleader and henchman of Mayor Antonieto Cabueños of Gandara, and Jonas Boller, who is suspected of killing peasant activist Rex Arandia last September 2016.”

The EMC also dismissed Gen. Farnacio’s claim the NPA is in the pockets of corrupt politicians just like the private armies as a far-fetched fabrication. “Gen. Farnacio should know the NPA has publicly announced it has been ordered by the people’s court to arrest the two most bloodthirsty politicians in Samar province, Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino and San Jorge Mayor Jojo Grey.

Meanwhile, up in Northern Samar, the NPA has also publicly declared it is ready to carry out any decision of the people’s court against the two most corrupt and anti-people politicians, Congressman Raul Daza as well as former Congressman Emil Ong, who leads the ruling dynasty in the province.”

On the other hand, said the NPA regional command, the AFP has been not only failed to crush the private armies despite much posturing, but has lately been criticized for causing mass evacuations of peasants in Calbiga. “The much-ballyhooed AFP crackdown on private armies has proven inutile in the face of their continuing killings even of women and children, particularly in Calbayog and San Jorge. Private armies cannot be dismantled without their warlords first being brought to justice. If that is impossible, it is evident the AFP is likewise defending the local tyrants who are often big landlords and warlords, and who thus remain untouchable despite their hideous crimes. These local tyrants often collaborate with the 8th ID in using paramilitaries, supporting NPA surrender campaigns, harassing the people against supporting the NPA, and committing criminal activities such as spreading illegal drugs.

“Moreover, the 8th ID under Gen. Farnacio has been receiving flak over the mass evacuation of more than 500 families in Calbiga, Samar in protest over militarization. The AFP once again shows itself as no different in committing human rights violations against the people.

“The AFP and private armies are thus opposite sides of the same coin coin as defenders of the reactionary ruling system. They are the reason for the rise and prestige of the NPA as the genuine army of the people against the armed minions of the state. As far as the NPA is concerned, doing away with private armies is part of the revolutionary struggle, because justice is essential for lasting peace.”

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