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"Mass graves" in Leyte a massive hoax by the AFP
Fr. Santiago "Sanny" Salas
Spokesperson in Eastern Visayas
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
September 02, 2006

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas accuses the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Arroyo regime of recycling an old psywar routine in the so-called discovery of "mass graves" in Inopacan, Leyte of allegedly 300 summarily-executed victims of the revolutionary movement. This massive hoax desperately aims to cover up the murder by the Arroyo regime of more than 700 activists and civilians to date, by demonizing the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army as inherently evil and inhumane. By resorting to such a wornout psywar scheme to stigmatize the CPP and the NPA, this regime that has become an international pariah because of its political killings thereby seeks to justify and intensify its all-out war, especially the bloodbath of activists and civilians who are virtually sentenced to death as communists and revolutionary sympathizers.

The AFP's deception project in Leyte insinuates that the revolutionary movement in Eastern Visayas is malevolent as well as conceals the anti-infiltration hysteria in the mid-1980s. In fact, for more than ten years beginning in 1992, the CPP's Second Great Rectification Movement had already addressed and repudiated the grave errors that had led to anti-infiltration hysterias such as the Anti-VD Campaign in Leyte. The rectification movement also rendered justice to the victims who were declared innocent and martyrs of the revolution, and made possible the investigation and punishment of those principally responsible for the bloody witch-hunts. In summing up 21 years of revolutionary struggle in the region from 1971-92, the Party's Regional Committee in Eastern Visayas formally declared the Anti-VD Campaign as a grievous error and directed the rendering of justice to the victims and their families, sanctions for those responsible, and thoroughgoing rectification against the recurrence of such a hysteria. The fact that the revolutionary movement in Leyte and the whole country continues to flourish and advance attests to the inutility of the AFP's repetitious psywar scheme of making up so-called mass graves.

There are three points that expose the Inopacan mass graves as a massive hoax.

1. These alleged mass graves are not the first nor will be the last to be made up by the military, which resorts to transferring the skeletal remains of unknown individuals from place to place, and then "exhuming" these in front of the mass media as alleged victims of the NPA. For example, in March 2002 in Candelaria, Quezon, the AFP Southern Luzon Command made noise that they had "discovered" the mass graves of 64 victims of the NPA. These were in addition to 200 skeletal remains that the military had allegedly found around Mt. Banahaw, as well as the wild claim that 4,000 NPA fighters had been executed in the preceding decade. All of these claims were exposed by the CPP as false. Furthermore, only in May earlier this year, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and the 26th IB announced the finding of mass graves in San Fernando, Bukidnon. Gov. Jose Zubiri vowed to investigate the matter, expressing incredulousness because he had never heard of any mass grave in his province in his five years in office. Nothing likewise came of it.

2. AFP chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon is plain stupid and blindly malignant in accusing Bayan Muna's Rep. Satur Ocampo, Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, and NDFP chief peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni of ordering the summary execution of 300 people in these alleged mass graves. These three were in fact nowhere near Leyte in 1984 nor were they in a position to issue such an order. Ocampo was in maximum security detention as a political prisoner of the Marcos fascist dictatorship from 1976 until his escape in 1985. So was Sison from 1977 until his release by the Aquino regime in 1986. Jalandoni had been abroad in international solidarity work for the NDFP since the late 1970s. Esperon's real motivation in setting his sights on these three is to justify and intensify their persecution by the Arroyo regime along with the US, which has since 2002 branded the CPP-NPA and Sison as "terrorists" and has been trying to effect the "rendition" (kidnapping and illegal detention) of Sison and his comrades in Europe.

3. The AFP has apparently timed the disclosure of these so-called mass graves to complement the creation of the Melo Commission to investigate the political killings in the country. The psywar mill has long been trying the spin that the revolutionary movement is responsible for the political killings in the name of "purges". This not only aims to divert attention from the real mastermind but likewise seeks to camouflage the military's accountability for the killings as well as in a much greater bloodbath to come. The current psywar campaign with its "mass graves" also affords greater convenience for the Melo Commission in studiously avoiding the investigation of the real mastermind behind the political killings: Gloria Arroyo. The NDF-EV calls on the people and all democratic forces to expose this psywar scheme of the AFP, and to continue to bring the Arroyo regime to account for its reign of greed and terror.

For confirmation, please contact:
Roy Santos, NDF-EV Media Liaison Officer
+639108279214

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