Surigao Sur villages suffer AFP hamlet tactics
Residents of hinterland villages in Surigao del Sur province, mostly Lumad minorities, are suffering from hamletting tactics being applied by the AFP to place their communities under complete control of the military.
Food supplies are severely being limited because of restrictions imposed by the AFP and PNP resulting in grave difficulties. The AFP also impose curfews and arbitrary rules to restrict residents’ movements. Local residents are being subjected to endless intimidation. They are accused of being NPA sympathizers, are arrested or forced to “surrender” and cooperate with the military.
Sandara Sidlakan, spokesperson of the New People’s Army in Surigao de Sur, scored the AFP and PNP forces for imposing economic restrictions amid the pandemic and government gross neglect of Lumads and peasants in the hinterlands of the province. She said the AFP is making people’s lives more miserable and difficult.
She slammed the reactionary government’s meager aid which are mostly canned goods and noodles. “These do not help in bolstering health capacity to prevent Covid-19.”
NPA counter-campaign. Even in the face of the AFP’s nonstop combat operations in the area, the New People’s Army in Surigao del Sur continues to conduct health and food production programs to help the masses fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
It continues to conduct sanitation programs and mass clinics. Herbal medicine and food crops are cultivated and revitalized. When and where possible, upland farming campaigns are launched. These measures mitigate hunger in the face of the Duterte regime’s meager aid and travel restrictions imposed in the name of the pandemic.
Information and education campaigns regarding Covid-19 are conducted, prevention of transmission of the virus is discussed as well as how to manage those who exhibit symptoms of Covid-19.