Local government must push for end of militarization Civilians suffer the brunt of 54th IB combat operations
As usual, civilians pay the price for the 54th Infantry Battalion’s dogged but vain chase of Red guerrillas within the interiors of Ifugao. Reports indicate that more than a hundred families from Barangay Namal, Asipulo have evacuated to escape the militarization of their ancestral lands. This means leaving behind their homes, their farm animals and their livelihoods. Most uncertain is when they would be able to return and what would they come back to.
On the other hand, the 54th IB only chases its own tail. With an overblown number of their units scouring every inch of land, the misencounter among its own troops during Election Day is a blunder waiting to happen. The objective might have been to deliver on the Philippine Army promise to annihilate the New People’s Army but all it has to show for is its own ineffectiveness. Like the last few hundred times it failed to deliver on that ‘objective,’ the PA vis-à-vis the 54th IB should recognize that they are nowhere near their target and that Rodrigo Duterte’s term will come to pass bearing the same fate as his predecessors. #DiMataloTalo prevails and a closed-minded short-sighted PA only causes trauma and harm to the people.
The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front enjoins local government units in Ifugao, especially the social welfare and development workers, to take a clearer and braver stand that promotes the interest of the civilians. Indigenous peoples have long been victims of displacement, especially due to land grabbing in the name of development and progress or outmigration in order to eke out a living. But the national minorities belong to the land; thus, provision of food and supplies for the evacuees is appreciated but will always be inadequate. Instead, since the people are calling for the military troops to leave their territory, the LGU must support these demands. ###
Protect the civilians! End all militarization in Ifugao and the Cordilleras!
Kaigorotan, lumaban! Repel the 54th IB attacks against ancestral territory!
Advance the people’s revolution!