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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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NDF hits priests’
participation in CMPAG

BY GILBERT BAYORAN

The National Democratic Front-Negros has condemned the “active participation” of some priests who are members of the Church-Military-Police Advisory Group in counter-revolutionary activities.

It claimed that these priests have allowed themselves to be part of the “black propaganda machinery” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Priest-turned-rebel Frank Fernandez, NDF-Negros spokesman, claimed in a statement released yesterday, that some priests serve as instruments in removing revolutionary organizations in areas called “zone of peace”, and in preventing the people in their fight against the land-grabbing activities of mining firms, oil palm and rubber tree plantations.

In 2008, CMPAG–Negros was created through a memorandum of understanding between the Dioceses of Bacolod, Kabankalan, San Carlos and Dumaguete and the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade, to promote human dignity and sustain peace and development in Negros Island.

Fernandez, however, accused the CMPAG of engaging in deceitful activities, in tandem with the AFP.

He also belittled the implementation of the Negros First Policy and Provincial Peace Integration and Development Unit of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., that he described as expensive programs, and had no effect at all on the ordinary people.

Fernandez further said that the “rebel surrenderees” being claimed by the military had either long left the rebel movement, or had been dismissed from their organization.

Col. Jon Aying, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, meanwhile, described the accusations of Fernandez as plain and simple “lies”.

Fernandez also called former RPA-ABB national commander Carapale Lualhati a “certified traditional politician”, who has been added to the list for being a spokesman of the US-Aquino regime.

The RPA-ABB, a splintered group of the New People’s Army, entered into peace talks with the government in year 2000. The final peace agreement is waiting to be signed by President Benigno Aquino III.

The Pro-PIDU initiative of the provincial government of Negros Occidental is being implemented in 20 hinterland barangays of Escalante City, Toboso and Calatrava (ESTOCA), where the influence of the rebel movement on the populace has been noted.

The ESTOCA areas have been the focus of the Philippine Army for more than six months in 2013 for their “winning the peace” campaign, in tandem with multi-sectoral groups, through the Pro-PIDUt, a sub-committee of the Provincial Peace and Order Council chaired by Marañon.*GPB

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