Red fighters belonging to the Comval-Davao East Coast Sub-Regional Operations Command of the New People’s Army successfully overran the detachment of the 67IB and the 72IB in Brgy, Aliwagwag, Cateel in Davao Oriental on April 23 at around 5:00 in the morning. An M14 rifle and several military gears were seized while one enemy was killed and three others were wounded during the firefight.
Two Red fighters, including Patrick Simeon, were martyred during the engagement. Simeon, 20, was a youth activist from Metro Manila who joined the New People’s Army last 2014. The NPA in SMR and the revolutionary movement in the region confer highest honours to the two Red fighters who had bravely given their lives to the cause of the national democratic struggle.
The successful attack was undertaken as punishment against the 67IB and 72IB for their troops’ numerous crimes against peasants and Lumad in their areas of operation in Davao Oriental. The fascist AFP troops also serve as mercenary armed protectors of the anti-people and corrupt money-making eco-tourism racket of Davao Oriental Cong. Corazon Malanyaon in Aliwagwag, Cateel.
The so-called eco-tourism program in Aliwagwag Falls of the reactionary provincial government has displaced hundreds of peasant and Lumad families in Brgy. Aliwagwag and adjacent villages in the towns of Cateel and nearby Compostela. In the name of the deceitful development program, farms and communities were adversely affected to give way to the privatized “tourist destination spots” that benefited only Malanyaon’s profiteering clique.
To ensure the unhindered operation of the “tourism racket” and quell local resistance, Malanyaon and her clique mobilized the 67IB and the 72IB to sow terror among residents in the communities. Since the installation of the detachment, enemy troops had conducted psywar, harassments and threats against those who oppose the eco-tourism racket and suspected sympathizers of the revolutionary movement. During one drinking bout on February 2016, the commanding officer of the detachment shot at close range and killed a local CAFGU recruit. Fellow CAFGUs reported that he was shot because he took his time running an errand for the official. They also railed against the unjust treatment and discrimination by regular soldiers against CAFGUs.
It is the height of utmost hypocrisy therefore that the AFP, whose officials regularly receive protection money from the venture, should decry the attack when its forces have been reduced to nothing but fascist, money-grubbing armed goons.