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Bayan to AFP: Disclose contents of new Oplan

Press Release
January 9, 2017

QUEZON CITY – The AFP and DND should disclose the actual contents of its new campaign plan, Development Support and Security Plan Kapayapaan, that was launched last week at a top level command conference.

If it is a sequel to Oplan Bayanihan, claiming to put primacy on the peace negotiations and so-called non-combat "development" work, but continuing the militarization of communities, then it is not new nor will it succeed.

Will DSSP Kapayapaan cause the pullout of troops from Lumad and other occupied areas? Will this cause the suspension of military operations masquerading as non-combat, development operations in civilian communities? Will this end the "IP-centric" approach adopted by Oplan Bayanihan that has resulted in human rights violations in indigenous communities? Will this make the AFP stop targeting legal activists, whether through trumped-up charges or by extrajudicial killings? Will the AFP disband paramilitary groups especially those most notorious for rights abuses such as massacres?

If the answer to all these questions is NO, then we are in for more of the same. Maybe even worse.

Oplan Bayanihan of Aquino also claimed to recognize the primacy of the peace process but instead unleashed war on the people. It was an utter failure as the peace talks were stalled while the AFP failed to stop the advance of the revolutionary forces. It is this reality that served as the basis for the Duterte government to enter into peace talks with the NDFP. Government cannot defeat the revolutionary forces because the social, economic, political and historical basis for the armed conflict remain. The root causes of armed struggle must be addressed.

The AFP should upload and make available the new DSSP Kapayapaan to allow its scrutiny by all stakeholders and interested parties, including human rights groups, peace advocates, and members of Congress. Kapayapaan's predecessor Oplan Bayanihan was made available to the pubic by the previous regime and can be found at the AFP's website.

The people continue to call for the pull-out of AFP troops operating in civilian communities. These AFP operations undermine even the government's own ceasefire declaration, exposing it as a sham as far as affected communities are concerned. Affected communities have raised many complaints versus the AFP and hope that these will be discussed during the 3rd round of formal peace talks that will begin on January 19, 2017.

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