“There is no campaign to kill anybody.” – Noynoy Aquino
It has been the conduct of governments under the rule of Imperialist US to launch dirty wars against its citizens using para-military groups.
My very first encounter with such armed mobile groups was 27 years ago when CAFGUS in my mother’s hometown in Sta. Rita, Pampanga halted our long drive and insisted on inspecting “what’s inside.” My parents are the kind of people who have little patience for all sorts of aggression. I vividly recall the disgust in my father’s otherwise kind face, something he did not bother to hide in this instance. I am still amused to remember my mother’s “Nananu ko kanyan?” in a tone that is unmistakably hers and in a manner that is quaintly Kapampangan. All that considered, her statement translates to “What the fuck are you doing, what the hell are you thinking?”
Those were armed men she knew from childhood who never left the barrio. They were excluded through and through from formal schooling, and consequently,from gainful employment.
Then President Corazon Aquino (mother of current president Noynoy Aquino) created the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit with the help of then Defense Secretary Fidel V. Ramos (who would succeed Cory’s presidency). Executive Order 264 legitimized the existence of kahfgus in barrios whose objective is to implement the strategy “clear, consolidate, hold and develop.” It was a strategy used to deal with “insurgent-infiltrated villages.”
In client states like the Philippines whose armed forces are under US military control, para-military groups are created by the military establishment itself. Yet the same establishment makes it appear like the former is a separate entity, totally divorced from the official armed forces. This is the SOP by governments that refuse to declare Martial Law yet inflict the worst kind of violence against its “enemies.” Where liberal democracies need to maintain a semblance of democratic governance amidst dire crises, the same state forms engage in dirty wars to quell resistance.
The Lumad have resisted in ways that exceed our notions of the true, the good, and the beautiful. Anyone who has read about their struggles and triumphs would know that ALCADEV, the school, was love, joy, and positive change.
Mr. President, liberal democrats like you cannot tolerate their kind. You, however, must assume some semblance of tolerance. And you cannot do so without the para-military groups who will kill for you and your armed forces in the name of the motherland. Dirty wars are for ruling sissies like you and your men who protect you and your scandalous class interest. You are a bunch of thieves engaged in massive looting and violence. That is why we are enemies. And our anger is not short.
Sarah Raymundo is a full-time faculty at the University of the Philippines-Center for International Studies (UP-CIS Diliman) and a member of the National Executive Board of the All U.P. Academic Employees Union. She is the current National Treasurer of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the External Vice Chair of the Philppine Anti-Impeiralist Studies (PAIS). She is also a member of the Editorial Board of Interface: A Journal for Social Movements.