On Lorenzana “massive surrender” claims

Lorenzana insists there are now 4,356 “NPA surrenderees”. If the “trend of
massive surrenders,” as claimed by him, continues, there will be close to
10,000 “NPA surrenderees” by mid-year. So “Congratulations!” are in order for
Lorenzana and Duterte, because by June, they would have defeated the NPA at
least two times over (based on the AFP’s estimate of 3,700 members of the NPA
at the start of 2018). Maybe he will permit us to ask: will the AFP still need
to recruit a massive 15,000 new soldiers.

There are, of course, some members of the NPA who have surrendered. That is not
being denied. It is the natural course of war. Yes there is Noel Legazpi, who
once served as spokesperson of the NDFP in Far South Mindanao, but now speaks
for Duterte.

The truth that Lorenzana is slurring over is that 99% of those he claim to be
“NPA surrenderees” are, in fact, civilian barrio residents. His breakdown goes:

626 – NPA regulars or “Sangay sa Partido Lokal”

3,730 – Militia ng Bayan, Underground Mass Organizations members and mass supporters

Except for “NPA regulars”, the exact number of which Lorenzana does not
specify, all the other categories largely pertain to unarmed civilians in
barrios, but which Lorenzana conveniently pertain to as “members of the NPA.”

These thousands of barriofolk have not been charged in court nor has evidence
been put forward against them. It is all based on AFP “intelligence,” where
they suspect the barrio people to be supportive of the NPA. In most cases, they
were just rounded up by soldiers, made to sign blank “attendance sheets” and
then paraded.

We expect Lorenzana to come up with bigger and bigger numbers, especially after
saying NPA mass support is “huge.” He can deceive the people all he wants. But
he cannot do so at the expense of people’s rights. He and Duterte and the
military and defense echelon will be made to account for these abuses.

On Lorenzana "massive surrender" claims