NPA rebels view IPs as ‘worthless’: Badoy
MANILA – Communist rebels view indigenous peoples (IPs) as “expendable” and “worthless”, a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict spokesperson said Thursday.
This, as Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy condemned the recruitment of helpless and hapless IPs into the New People's Army (NPA)
Reports showed that a clash between the NPA and government troops in Surigao del Sur province last June 15 left three NPA rebels dead, including a minor, all belonging to the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee of the NPA, an armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Karapatan group, however, claimed the three killed were IPs from the Manobo tribe who were merely tagged as NPA members.
“When the smoke cleared, three NPAs lay lifeless – one male, two females, one of them a 12- year-old girl. All of them indigenous! One of them, a student of one of the Save Our Schools terrorist training camps – Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS). This is how these communist terrorist bastards view our indigenous peoples: expendable, worthless,” Badoy said in a press statement.
Badoy blamed NPA rebels for making a “living hell” out of resourceless people who live in geographically isolated and disadvantaged area (GIDAs).
She also mocked efforts made by front organizations of the CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) for extolling the three victims as “martyrs”.
“And now the CPP-NPA-NDF front, Save Our Schools Network, and the high ranking CPP-NPA-NDF operative in Congress, Sarah Elago, have gone to town peddling their stale old lies of indigenous peoples being killed - and even raped- by the AFP. They have extolled the three as martyrs. Classic CPP-NPA-NDF kawalanghiyaan: walang tapon (Classic CPP-NPA-NDF indecency),” she said.
‘Terrorist training camps’
According to Badoy, the child-focused non-government organization (NGO) Save Our Schools Network is as actually “terrorist training camps that camouflage as schools”.
“Under the Save Our Schools Network are these terrorist training camps from hell: Salugpungan, ALCADEV (Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, Inc.), MISFI (Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc), TRIFPSS (Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur), CTCSM (Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao) that have brought so much grief and suffering on our indigenous peoples because they were deceived into thinking their children were getting a free education,” she said.
Students, she added, were taught lessons in going on “full-out war against government” and “how to be a violent extremist fully capable of killing fellow Filipinos.”
“All over the Philippines- more so in Mindanao- this passion play of pain has played out for decades,” she said. “To this day, countless indigenous children remain missing. And this has turned the simple paradise of our indigenous brothers and sisters a living hell.”
Badoy called for support in the government’s anti-insurgency efforts, stressing that it was the only way to prevent more IPs from suffering heinous crimes under the NPA.
“Bago natin mababago ang isang bagay, kailangan natin malaman ang katotohanan. Tuldukan na natin itong kawalanghiyaan ng mga komunistang teroristang ito (Before we change something, we need to know the truth. Let us put an end to these indecencies committed by communist terrorists),” she said.
She, meanwhile, expressed hope that Filipinos would cooperate in the government's whole-of-nation approach to end communist armed conflict.
“Walang kalaban laban ang mga kapatid nating katutubo bago umupo ang Pangulong Duterte. Ngayon may laban na sila (Our indigenous brothers and sisters used to be no match before President Duterte sat as President. Now, they have a fighting chance),” she added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)