ILOILO City – Militants here described the presentation of the Philippine Army as nothing but “icing on the cake” on the deployment of civil military operations (CMO) battalion in Iloilo City.
During the council session of the Iloilo City Council early morning today, Lieutenant Colonel Enriqueto Deocadez, Jr., commanding officer of the 82nd Infantry Battalion under the 3rd ID Philippine Army, presented their objectives why are they being deployed in the city.
In his presentation, Deocadez’s defined the following as their tasks: community immersion/visitation, area assessment, community assistance, social activities beneficial to the populace, education and awareness, empowerment of the populace, assistance to law enforcement activities, and activities related to HA and disaster preparedness.
But militants easily lambasted the army’s presentation.
“Deocadez’s presentation is nothing but “icing on the cake”. It tries to present wonderfully and creatively their presence by using words palatable to the councilors and the media. But the cake itself, is not being questioned. And sadly, we have already experienced how terrible the cake tastes like,” Bayan Panay chairperson Hope Hervilla said.
UNDER THE GUISE OF OPLAN BAYANIHAN
Hervilla is referring to the Operation Plan (Oplan) Bayanihan, which is the cake that has long been opposed by militants due to its failure to address the root-causes of armed conflicts and instead targeted hundreds of activists and their organizations as victims of various human rights violations.
According to Hervilla, the CMO is under Oplan Bayanihan, which is a counter-insurgency program of the Aquino administration patterned from the US Counter-insurgency (COIN) guide of 2009. It is part of the Internal Security Operations (ISO) of the government that aims to destroy revolutionary movements waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA), National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and other armed movements like the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
ENEMIES OF THE STATE
In 2005, a 20-minute Powerpoint presentation of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) entitled “Knowing your Enemy” listed 26 groups labeled as “enemies of the state”. The list includes people’s organizations Bayan, KMP, KMU, Karapatan, Amihan, Migrante, Anakbayan, Courage, Kadamay, KAMP, ACT, Karatula, PCPR, CEGP, SCMP, LFS, and Pamalakaya. Partylist groups at that time are also included – Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela Women’s Party, Anak ng Bayan and Suara Bangsamoro. It also includes religious group AMRSP, journalist groups PCIJ and NUJP, and the church group Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
According to Karapatan Monitor, a quarterly release of Karapatan or the Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, there are a total of 1,205 victims of extrajudicial killings and 206 victims of enforced disappearances under Gloria Arroyo’s administration from January 2001 up to June 2010.
For BS Aquino, since July 2010 to June 2014, there are already 204 and 21 victims of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances respectively.
“This is a clear manifestation that the Philippine Army and the state consider as enemies those legitimate and legal people’s organizations and are no different from armed rebel groups, hence are targets of various operation plans such as Bantay Laya 1 & 2 and the current Oplan Bayanihan of Aquino,” Hervilla said./