Pamana expansion to worsen human rights violations, web of corruption

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV) today said the chorus of Samar officials for the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) program’s expansion of road networks on the island will worsen human rights violations as well as corruption by civilian and military high officials.

“The officials from Samar’s three provinces and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), which is in charge of Pamana, are extremely mean and avaricious for wanting to expand the project even to areas without a so-called insurgency problem,” said Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson. “They even scold the military for declaring several areas in 2015 as ‘insurgency-free’ because they not only knew it wasn’t true, it was also downright stupidity for taking away their cash cow, Pamana. In 2017 the OPAPP allocated “only” P447 million for Pamana in Samar out of P20 billion nationwide, and the greedy officials now want more.

“But without any fundamental changes, or even peace talks toward such, the Samar road projects are utterly superficial and worthless to the people, who demand land reform, national industrialization and other socio-economic reforms. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) under Duterte could have forged the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms with the NDFP and paved the way for meaningful reforms, but it chose all-out war. Pamana is just a futile bandage on the wounds of civil war caused by the GRP’s butchery.”

Fr. Salas said the people are keenly aware that even as a palliative, Pamana can barely cover-up the US-Duterte regime’s butchery in the war on the Moro and Lumad peoples in Mindanao and other areas in the country threatened with martial law. “The Pamana program may fool some of the people some of the time, but in the end, the GRP will wield all-out war despite the human rights costs because it is not interested in resolving the root causes of the civil war and the people are bound to rise up. The Samar officials are therefore mean and avaricious for supporting the military and demanding a bigger Pamana bureaucratic loot to go around, all for the despicable cause of carrying out the Duterte regime’s Oplan Kapayapaan counterinsurgency campaign.”

The NDF-EV spokesperson called on the people to expose and oppose the Pamana program, and strive for the broadest unity to isolate and overthrow the US-Duterte regime. “Not even a deceptive program like Pamana can disguise Duterte’s fascist brutality as seen in Mindanao. The people have been forewarned and must strive to use all forms of struggle including taking up arms. If the GRP is genuinely interested in peace, it would have continued peace negotations with the NDFP rather than resorting to the false showcase of Pamana. As it is, the sooner the people get rid of Duterte, the better.”#

Topics: AFP, Terrorism, PAMANA, Counter-insurgency

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