Ka Juanito Magbanua
Apolinario Gatmaitan Command-New People’s Army
Regional Operational Command-Negros Island
May 25, 2021
The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command-New People’s Army (AGC) in Negros Island called on all democratic forces to militantly expose and oppose the fraudulent projects under the so-called Barangay Development Program (BDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
In a statement, the AGC said that “the BDP is basically the pork barrel of the NTF-ELCAC or of the Duterte regime’s military junta and as such does not address the fundamental demands of the Filipino people especially the clamor of the peasant masses for genuine land reform.”
According to AGC spokesperson Ka Juanito Magbanua, “The BDP projects, most of which are unprogrammed or were not subjected to feasibility studies, will only fatten the pockets of corrupt AFP bureaucrats even as these are also being used to deceive the rural poor and justify the continued militarization of the countryside.”
The NTF-ELCAC earlier announced that it is allotting P20 billion to fund various BDP projects spread over 215 “insurgency-cleared barangays.” According to the Negros Occidental provincial government, P500 million-worth of “infrastructure projects” for 25 barangays in seven local government units has already been downloaded and ready for disposal. “This shows how the military and local governments that are either complicit or captive of Duterte’s desperate whole-of-nation approach to “counterinsurgency” are prioritizing deceptive and brutal fascist measures instead of finding necessary solutions to the current Covid 19 pandemic,” Magbanua said.
Fourteen of the so-called 25 “insurgency-cleared barangays” of Negros Occidental are located in Escalante City, five in San Carlos City, two in Victorias City, and one each in EB Magalona, Himamaylan City, Manapla, and Cadiz City.
“With the 2022 elections just a year away, the billions of pesos of funds of the NTF-ELCAC will also serve as the AFP’s election funds in support of pro-military or pro-Duterte candidates.” Magbanua said.
The BDP moreover, according to the AGC, only aims to conceal the deep-seated socio economic problems of the peasants and the people with band-aid solutions. “The NTF-ELCAC will surely fail in its declared aims of putting an end to the revolutionary armed struggle by way of these inconsequential and pork-laden projects that merely cover up the roots of peasant unrest in the countryside; as long as the peasants, workers and other sectors that form the majority of the masses remain poor, oppressed and exploited, more and more best sons and daughters of the people are further compelled to tread the just revolutionary path of armed resistance,” Magbanua said.
The NPA in Negros, according to the AGC, is ever more determined to launch tactical offensives in order to frustrate the Duterte’s vicious counterrevolutionary war and to carry forward the revolutionary people’s war until victory.