By Ben Serrano
A New People’s Army commander of one of the biggest front committees in Caraga Region claimed the promised of jobs, housing and money to any rebel cadre who will surrender to the government is a hoax .
Ka Oto, spokesperson of the NPA’s Front Committee 16 in Northeastern Mindanao called up Caraga News Courier to comment and made public how the NPA rebels in Caraga react to President Duterte’s promises of jobs, livelihood and housing to NPA rebels who lay down arms and return to the fold of law.
“He (Duterte) can’t even fulfill housing to government employees, urban and rural poor and until now his botched promised of P2-B aid to victims of February 2017 Surigao earthquake until now are waiting in despair because their houses damaged by 6.7 quake, not repaired. He is only duping us and only wanted us to surrender,” he said.
“He is Tuta, sunod-sunoran to U.S imperialist, Philippine military designed Oplan Kapayapaan, a peace initiative daw but still they are attacking, provoking us and harassing lumad, hinterland communities. No one among our ranks believes in Duterte, ” Ka Oto said.
Under Ka Oto’s Front 16 and command are entire Surigao del Norte province, Surigao City and four towns of Agusan del Norte namely Kitcharao, Jabonga, Santiago, Tubay and parts of Cabadbaran City.
The NPA commander also reacted to Duterte’s tirade against Prof. Joma Sison and said:“ Although we respect Ka Joma as founding chair of CPP/NPA, the New People’s Army leadership in the entire country practiced collective leadership therefore decisions and policies comes from collective will from the people, the NPA members and their leaders then processed by the Central Committee which decides finally not Ka Joma.”
Ka Oto claimed that even if Joma returns to Philippines as challenges by Duterte himself “The NPA founding chair will only serve as adviser not as number leader because we practiced collective leadership in all aspects in managing NPA affairs and policies. Ka Joma already old, therefore his mental and physical capacities, prowess to lead us diminished through the years.”
Reacting on decades old military tirades against the NPA and now Duterte that NPA rebels’ collection of revolutionary taxes is an extortion, Ka Oto claimed both military and Duterte are making false claims, saying there is an existing another government in the country today representing disgruntled, aggrieved, oppressed Filipinos, all victims of too much corruption and injustice.
“We do not extort instead we invite business sector of the society if the one invited by us, can’t come. We make sure we will talk, explained politely and conversed with them, why there is revolutionary tax. This is because even international communities recognized the status of State of Belligerency granted to NPA, CPP, NDF. That’s why in any peace talks, a third country host the talks because talking peace are two sets of government,” Ka Oto said.
Ka Oto said that when talking to the business sector, the communist movement always reminded businessmen, businesses their moral obligations for fair labor practice and giving right wages to its workers.
“ We also lecture businesses that workers must have right to good, sound working conditions, better work place and totally stop contractualization which is oppressive and against existing labor laws as provided by internationally recognized labor laws, ” Ka Oto added.
Ka Oto said those engaged in mining, quarrying and construction business, “ We always reminded them the utmost concern in protecting environment and biodiversity, the rights of the indigenous people to free prior and informed consent ( FPIC) and the lumad people’s rights not violated neither exploited.”
“The NPA’s thrust is towards sustainable, environment friendly development, that biodiversity, natural resources, the mountains where watersheds exist, the source of clean, potable drinking waters to communities are sustainably maintain not damaged, exploited.”