Ka Aris Francisco
Alejandro Lanaja Command
Front 3 Operations Command
New Peoples Army-Southern Mindanao
August 11, 2007
Red fighters from the Alejandro Lanaja Command-New People's Army ambushed elements of the 72nd Infantry Battalion-Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and paramilitary Cafgu, on Friday, August 10, in Sitio Kidapang, Brgy. San Isidro, Monkayo, Compostela Province around 7:30 in the morning.
Three Cafgus were killed instantly. One Army regular was seriously wounded while another one surrendered. The NPA suffered no casualty and seized an M16 rifle.
The tactical offensive against the fascist AFP is one of the series that the NPA is staging in the fight against US-Arroyo regime's Oplan Bantay Laya. The ambush also serves as a punitive action for the military's role in protecting the palm oil expansion by Monkayo Mayor Manuel Brillantes.
Brillantes is a despotic bureaucrat aggressively pushing for the palm oil expansion amid the resistance of local residents and leaders. Through his death squads and with the support of the fascist military, Brillantes kills, harasses and intimidates residents who opposed his interests.
Meanwhile, Pfc. Marjun Gatela (Serial Number 837898), 30 years old, married and from Tagum City who surrendered to the NPA, will undergo investigation to ascertain his individual culpability for the crimes against the people. His rights as a Prisoner of War (POW) will be guaranteed in accordance with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, and international rules of war.
If Pfc. Gatela is found not guilty of any crime against the people, the revolutionary movement will immediately release him. However, continuing military operations will complicate his situation. The military and paramilitary troops will have to deal with the Red fighters who will not hesitate to attack them.
The case of the three Cafgu casualties only proves that the US-Arroyo regime and the AFP are merely using the paramilitary groups as pawns and sacrificial lambs.