Bombings, surrender campaign target Mangyan, Dumagat

Bombings, surrender campaign target Mangyan, Dumagat
Indigenous peoples are victims of the US-Duterte regime and AFP’s terrorism

The revolutionary people of Southern Tagalog (ST) condemns with utmost rage the unabated attacks by the fascist US-Duterte regime and the mercenary AFP-PNP against national minorities in the region and the whole country. The series of killings, bombings, strafing, harassment and intimidation of indigenous peoples (IP’s) in ST are undeniable acts of terrorism, and justify labeling the Duterte and the AFP-PNP as the foremost purveyors of terror in the country.

NDFP-ST unites with the minority groups in demanding justice for all the atrocities committed against them by the US-Duterte regime and its mercenary armed forces. NDFP-ST also refutes the lies propagated by AFP’s Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) particularly the 202nd and 203rd Infantry Brigades of the Philippine Army that aim to deceive the people and denigrate the historical cooperation of the revolutionary movement and the IPs, particularly the Mangyan and Dumagat people.

Further, the revolutionary movement decries the deceptive and divisive nature of the national and regional Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which is implemented alongside the combined combat and psywar operations of the AFP-PNP. This surrender campaign cloaks the illegal mass arrests and harassment of IPs, and shamelessly flaunts the reactionary government’s measly and palliative ‘cash assistance’ to surrenderees. The US-Duterte regime’s mad propaganda spinners exploit IP victims of human rights violations in their malicious statements that fracture communities already torn by militarization.

The harsh situations of the Mangyan and Dumagat in Southern Tagalog are concrete examples of the US-Duterte regime’s all-out terror in crushing IP resistance.

Dumagat communities in the towns of Gen. Nakar and Infanta in Quezon have been under severe pressure since May 2018 due to relentless AFP-PNP operations. In the past few weeks, fake encounters between the AFP and the NPA were staged to justify and facilitate the insertion of more soldiers and police troops into these areas.

This terror drive in North Quezon, helmed by SOLCOM and carried out by the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF ELCAC), includes an information campaign distorting the historical struggle of IPs for their ancestral land and rights. The RTF ELCAC claims IPs “felt assured that the integrity of their domains natural resources is being preserved despite the ongoing development programs.” This statement is pure fiction, as IPs in the area have consistently fought against and remain opposed to destructive development projects like the Laiban Dam and now the Kaliwa Dam project.

In Mindoro, the 203rd Brigade of the Philippine Army under Col. Marceliano Teofilo leads the suppression of the Mangyan people. The reactionary army bombed and strafed the sitios of Anoling, Masay, Mantay and Sangay of Brgy. Monteclaro, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro and the sitios of Buswak and Balya of Brgy. Lisap, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro from April 29 to May 4.

Joint AFP-PNP forces also roamed interior IP communities, ransacking and burning houses and driving IPs away from their homes and kaingin. More than 1,000 Mangyan have been displaced from their residences and livelihood by the bombings and military operations.

Further intimidation through illegal mass arrests followed the bombings in Barangay Monteclaro. On May 5, elements of the 4th IBPA led by a certain Lt. Ado abducted 12 civilians from Sitio Mantay, Barangay Monteclaro and brought them to the military detachment in Barangay Murtha for questioning. The civilians were detained for two days, and were forced to sign surrender papers that identified them as NPA fighters. This is the latest case of forced mass surrender, following the 4th IBPA’s illegal arrest of 89 Mangyan from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro last December 2018.

The intense military operations in Mindoro and Quezon are complemented by a barrage of anti-NPA propaganda spewing unbelievable claims of human rights violations by Red fighters. Yet, the US-Duterte regime could not conceal the blood debt it owes the people. A total of 50 IP victims of extrajudicial killings has been recorded nationwide since June 2016. Three of these EJK victims are Mangyan: Pangon Danyo of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, and Erning Aykid and Aylan Lantoy from Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro.

The AFP-PNP are wasting their time trying to destroy the decades-long relationship of the IPs to the NPA and the whole revolutionary movement. The regime’s lies will never stand against the victories that the NPA and IPs have achieved together, especially the protection of ancestral domains and the environment that sustain the national minorities’ livelihood. The best proof of the national minorities’ unwavering support for the revolution are the hundreds of IPs that have decided to carry on the armed struggle as Red fighters.

The continuing revolutionary struggle of the IPs and their unwavering support for the armed revolution is the reason why the AFP-PNP terrorize IP communities. All their efforts, however, will be in vain, as the continuing militarization and human rights violations only fuel the wrath of the IPs against the regime and persuade them to join the revolution.

NDFP-ST vows to fight side-by-side with the IPs, and to mobilize all the democratic forces in order to thwart the regime’s ruthless attacks against minorities. The revolutionary movement, in its pursuit of social justice and genuine peace, will punish the terrorist Duterte regime and the AFP-PNP for their crimes against the IPs and the Filipino people. ###