LGU, police deny AFP report; Reds slam ‘despicable lie’

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) slammed the military for “spreading false information,” saying the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the state media are “irresponsible” in distributing lies amid the nationwide battle against the corona virus disease (Covid-19).

Denying that the New People’s Army (NPA) took away distributed relief goods in Sitio Bangon, Barangay Guinmayohan, Balangiga, Eastern Samar around 9:00 AM of April 7, the CPP said there is “absolutely no truth to the false information irresponsibly being circulated by the AFP.”

“It is despicable and condemnable how the AFP has resorted to outright lies and perverse propaganda at a time that the Filipino people are confronted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” CPP information officer Marco Valbuena said.

Screenshot of Balangiga DRRM officer’s Facebook post.

The CPP denial came after ESTE News and PressOne.Ph published news reports Saturday, April 11, quoting the Balangiga mayor, municipal disaster relief and rehabilitation officer, and the chief of police denying such an incident happened.

Government television network PTV carried the news last Friday, April 10.

Screenshot of the PTV report.

Valbuena said the AFP’s lie desperately wants to discredit the NPA’s public health campaign to raise people’s awareness and enable them to adapt the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.

“The NPA’s information drive, mass clinics, and other activities are well received by the masses, especially in the rural areas. There are also efforts to raise food production to prepare for an imminent shortage. We anticipate the AFP to come up with more lies against the NPA in the days to come,” Valbuena said.

He added that the AFP’s objective is to justify its counterinsurgency drive it relentlessly carries out despite their commander in chief President Rodrigo Duterte’s ceasefire order effective March 19 to April 15.

The CPP said in a post in its website that the AFP’s counterinsurgency drives despite the government’s ceasefire declaration has been launched in 24 provinces, 81 municipalities and cities, and 146 barangays nationwide.

CPP image.

Based on its official newsletter Ang Bayan’s initial tally, there had been AFP counter-insurgency campaigns in Rizal (1), Quezon (10), Oriental Mindoro (4), Occidental Mindoro (2), Palawan (2), Capiz (1); Negros Occidental (9), Negros Oriental (1), Zamboanga del Norte (2), Zamboanga del Sur (4), Zamboanga Sibugay (3), Sultan Kudarat (1), Sarangani (1),

Sorsogon (5), Northern Samar (5), Eastern Samar (5), Western Samar (5), Agusan del Sur (1), Surigao del Sur (1), Bukidnon (6), Misamis Occidental (5), Davao del Norte (2), Davao de Oro (3), and Davao City (1).

The incidents range from attacks on NPA emcampments, aerial bombings, shelling, and militarization of civilian communities, the CPP said.

Fire fights in Rizal, Quezon and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces has so far resulted in the deaths of two NPA fighters and two Philippine Army troopers.

Two more government soldiers were also wounded in action. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)