Sham surrender campaign of the AFP-PNP

The following incident is a classic example of how the ongoing farcical surrender campaign of the AFP-PNP operates. Ten civilians from barangays Naguillan and Saccaang of Sallapadan, Abra were summoned last October 24 by Abra PNP Acting Provincial Director Police Col. Alfredo K. Dangani to their provincial headquarters in Bangued, Abra for unknown reasons. The ten were then accompanied by the Sallapadan municipal police. While at the PNP headquarters, they were surprised to learn that they are being accused as “NPA supporters”, thus they should surrender and pledge allegiance to the government. The civilians angrily retorted that they are not NPAs and therefore there is no justifiable reason for them to surrender. They thus vehemently refused to sign the documents the PNP asked them to sign. But the PNP insisted that they surrender while giving them masks and caps, purportedly to hide their true identities, before their photographs are taken. But again, the civilians madly refused. Pressured and coerced, they eventually allowed their photographs to be taken as a group on condition that they won’t use any mask or cap to prove that they are innocent civilians who have nothing to hide. Immediately afterwards, they were turned over to the military and subjected to intensive interrogation dubbed “interview” by intelligence personnel of the 24th IB.

The day after, a breaking news of ten militia surrenderers in Abra headlined in a number of major radio networks’ morning broadcast. In an apparent haste to score points and collect the surrender bounty, the AFP-PNP officials and propagandists failed to take into account that one of their flaunted prized exhibit is a senior citizen aged 77 years old!

Also on October 24, four women in their 50’s and 60’s from Barangay Buaya, Balbalan, Kalinga were presented as NPA surrenderers by the Kalinga PNP and 50th IB at Camp Captain Juan Duyan, Bulanao, Tabuk City, Kalinga. Several residents of

Barangay Buaya and other concerned citizens from Balbalan and elsewhere immediately refuted on social media that the said women are NPAs.

The US-Duterte Regime boasts of having more than 4,000 CPP-NPA surrenderers to date as proof of the “success” of their Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) under the “Whole of Nation Approach” strategy of their current counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapanatagan. Not even one percent of the said surrenderers are real members of the NPA, and yet, many of them were former surrenderers who were only recycled by the AFP-PNP to be presented as “new surrenderers”. The truth is, most of the so-called surrenderers are civilians, mostly peasants and national minorities, coerced by the AFP-PNP to surrender as activists, members of people’s organizations, thus “NPA supporters” then presented to media as NPAs who “voluntarily” surrendered. In many outrageous cases, entire barangays are even reported as surrenderers after being called by the AFP-PNP for a meeting using their signature in the attendance sheet as proof. In said meetings, they are asked to pledge allegiance to the government in a ceremony while raising their right hand, oftentimes complete with media coverage, and later broadcast in media as NPA surrenders. Nothing can be more preposterous!

AFP-PNP officials furiously compete to come up with the highest number of “surrenderers” for three main reasons: (1) to gain leverage for their promotion; (2) as a racket to get the biggest share from the billions of E-CLIP funds allotted for the surrender campaign; and (3) to project that the CPP-NPA is drastically weakening amidst the fascist all out war waged by the US-Duterte regime. But as in the case of the recent much publicized “surrender of ten NPAs” from Sallapadan, Abra and Balbalan, Kalinga, the AFP-PNP are only fooling themselves in portraying that their surrender campaign is a big success and that the CPP-NPA is losing its ground.

For every surrenderer, P65,000 is supposed to be given while additional P50,000 is given for every rifle surrendered. Only a few individuals were given the actual amount with full media coverage to be used as showcase. Most of the thousands of so-called “surrenderers” were given only P5,000 each as “initial payment” and promised to get the rest on installment basis. But the next installments never came at all, and worst, many were not even given a single centavo. Undoubtedly, this surrender campaign is now one of the biggest scams further enriching corrupt AFP-PNP officials from taxpayers’ money.

The US-Duterte regime spends hundreds of billions on purchasing armaments, increased salaries of soldiers and policemen, increased budgets for intensified combat operations and intelligence operations, surrender campaigns and other counter-insurgency programs. On the other hand, it is utterly unresponsive to the miserable economic and social conditions of the majority of our people who continue to struggle everyday for survival under ever worsening economic conditions brought about by Duterte’s neoliberal economic policies such as the TRAIN Laws and the Rice Tariffication Law.

Oplan Kapanatagan’s sham surrender campaign, alongside coerced declarations of the CPP-NPA-NDF as “persona non grata” by Local Government Units, only prove one thing. That the US-Duterte regime and the AFP-PNP know very well that they can never defeat nor quell the people’s armed revolutionary movement. They are foolish enough to think that by dangling a few thousands, they can entice revolutionaries and stymie the further advance of the people’s armed revolution.

For as long as the root causes of the ongoing civil war in the country remain unaddressed, the Filipino people’s struggle for national freedom and democracy will keep the revolutionary flame burning. The persistent landlessness of majority of peasants, widespread landgrabbing and plunder of ancestral lands of national minorities by landlords and big capitalists, low wages and severe lack of decent and secure employment for workers, lack of a decent housing program and social services for the urban poor, severely low wages of teachers, health workers and other government employees amidst skyrocketing prices of commodities and services, and numerous other problems resulting to widespread poverty and social injustice increasingly fuel the determination of the oppressed and exploited Filipinos to persevere in the life and death struggle for genuine social change. Add to this the total sellout of our national patrimony to aggressive imperialist countries by Duterte. Thus, the regime and the AFP-PNP have to resort to dirty tactics to deceive the people into believing that they are “winning the war”. But the more they use filthy tactics while unleashing widespread fascist attacks against the people, the more they earn the people’s wrath, driving them to intensify their struggles and join the armed revolutionary movement. ###

Sham surrender campaign of the AFP-PNP