TACLOBAN CITY – Peace and Development Program of 8th Infantry Division of Philippine Army is a deception to the populace particularly to the peasant sector because in reality it does not bring peace and definitely not for development to the communities. Instead they threaten the farmers by taking pictures without their consent, interrogation, forcibly installing an ID system during the presence of Psychological Warfare Teams in the community under the guise of their sugar-coated Civil Military Operations (CMOs).
“It’s really PsyWar that the soldiers of 8th ID-PA are doing since their acts do not contribute in any way and in fact hinder the attainment of genuine solutions to the worsening economic crisis of the people and to the decade problem of landlessness of the peasantry” statement of Nestor Lebico, Secretary General of Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (SAGUPA-SB, Regional Peasants Alliance in Eastern Visayas).
8th ID soldiers spent reasonable time for the training on psychological warfare under 4th Special Forces Regiment with the leadership of Captain Elmer Namocat based at Leyte and other CMO battalion at Samar particularly at Las Navas, Northern Samar.
Lebico added that 8th ID is taking great effort in concealing their fascist character particular at the media but in reality they are hamletting communities by controlling the activities of the farmers through curfew imposition, restriction of rice/food supply to be brought to the farms and to the extent of guarding them at the farms; exploiting women by courting married women and committing rape to those who resist; removing bowels at the rivers, forcing the farmers to sign documents not to join progressive organizations, using civilian as guides during their operation and even threatening the lives of the peasant-leaders.
Lebico moreover added that aside from the pretence that the military are showing they are overindulging and even acting the roles of some of the officials of the government agencies and Local Government Units mostly in the barrios and municipalities as if the latter are inutile.
“This is militarizing over civilians and civilian authority bringing more chaos and economic disorder; not peace and development,” Lebico ended. ###