Like its predecessor, Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan will fail to stop the advance of people’s war — CPP

CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today described the US-Aquino regime's new counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign plan Bayanihan

as "the same dog with a different collar." The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is scheduled to unveil tomorrow its new COIN plan that will replace the previous Arroyo government' Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL).

The OBL has been widely criticized for giving rise to the spate of extra-judicial killings and abductions targeting mainly social activists and critics of the   government and the ruling system. It was known for its brutal military operations and other gross human rights abuses that have caused massive sufferings of the people, especially in suspected New People's Army areas as well as those fighting in the legal and parliamentary arena.

More than a thousand people tagged by government military and security forces as "supporters of the NPA" were summarily executed by "death squads" identified with the AFP.

In his assessment of the OBL, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo David Jr. acknowledged the "negative public perception" generated by what he says is a "perceived poor human rights record ascribed to the AFP and the publicized military abuses." In an effort to counter such perception, the AFP command has gone public to say that their COIN plan now stresses the 'whole nation approach' and 'respect for human rights.'

"The problem with the ruling reactionary regime and its armed forces is that they want to dismiss the several thousand cases of human rights abuses by the military as a mere problem of negative perception and is now trying to hide behind new fancy slogans," said the CPP. "With the AFP persistently in a state of denial regarding its record of abuses and rights violations, their new slogans are only good for sound bytes."

The CPP said that "Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan is not at all new except in name and heavy cosmetizing."

Elaborating, the CPP said "the 'new' COIN plan hews to the fancy rhetoric of the latest edition of the US Counterinsurgency Guide. It contains the same, brutal, militarist doctrine and prescriptions of all previous US-designed COIN plans. It pretends only to be different from Arroyo's Oplan Bantay Laya by harping on new rhetoric that are neither grounded in practice nor in will."

The CPP said further that the Aquino government is now being called upon to decisively stop the ongoing extrajudicial killings, brutal military operations and other gross human rights violations of its military, security and paramilitary forces. "It should prosecute and punish the criminal masterminds and principal perpetrators of more than a thousand cases of extrajudicial killings and thousands of other cases of gross human rights abuses committed in the past ten years under Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL)."

Since the onset of the Aquino government, there has been an average of more than one extrajudicial killing per week, which is a much higher rate than during the terminal months of its predecessor.

"In failing to punish the masterminds and perpetrators of continuing gross human rights violations and crimes against the people, the Aquino government is encouraging the culture of impunity and emboldening these criminals. This confirms that reaction, oppression and fascism are endemic to the rotten ruling   system. The people have no other recourse but to resist and wage revolution to effect change."

"Like its predecessor," said the CPP, "Oplan Bayanihan is sure to fail in its declared objectives of defeating the people's revolutionary armed resistance. It can never succeed in its core objective to defend the rotten ruling system that exploits and oppresses the people. It will will keep on engendering revolution until the entire rotten, puppet, reactionary system is brought down and replaced by a revolutionary, democratic, pro-people and progressive one."