Agrarian reform beneficiaries split from leftist group

By Che Palicte

May 7, 2020, 8:49 pm

DAVAO CITY – Some 37 members of the “Nagkahiusang Mag-Uuma sa Pindasan og Pangibiran” (NAGMAPPA) from the Davao de Oro town of Mabini withdrew their support from the leftist “Kilusan ng Mambubukid sa Pilipinas” (KMP), the Army's 71st Infantry Battalion (71IB) said Thursday.

In a statement on the same day, members of the NAGMAPPA expressed their dismay towards the failed promises of the KMP such as tracts of land.

Felix Sultonis, NAGMAPPA chairman, said they are a farmers’ union in Barangays Pangibiran and Pindasan--both in Mabini--and was organized by the KMP which promised to obtain a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

“They [KMP] gave us false hopes saying that we can acquire the land that we till. The KMP even told us that the ANAKBAYAN and ANAKPAWIS will also help us,” he said, referring to two other leftist organizations.

The 71IB said KMP, ANAKBAYAN and ANAKPAWIS have long been identified as legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), as affirmed by its founder, Joma Sison.

It also served as recruitment ground for the New People’s Army (NPA), 71IB alleged.

Sultonis bared their members were trained to become NPA members and he himself was appointed as leader of the Milisya ng Bayan (MB), the NPA's armed civilian militia.

Jun Suarez, another NAGMAPPA officer, reminded the public to avoid "being fooled by the KMP, or any NPA affiliated organization".

During Thursday's gathering with local and military officials, NAGMAPPA members also took their oath of allegiance to the government with Mabini Mayor Reynaldo Dayanghirang acting as the administering officer.

“At the end of the day, you will be the ones to be at mercy for they [NPA] would just leave you like they did during armed encounters. They even left their wounded comrades, thus they died in vain. It was the 71st IB that gave them a decent burial. The NPA never cared at all,” Dayanghirang said.

Following the oath taking, Lt. Col. Sonny Gonzales, commander of 71IB, facilitated the distribution of food packs containing 10 kilos of rice, canned goods and noodles for the NAGMAPPA members.

“We will continue to facilitate continuing activities for the NAGMAPPA to insulate them from CNT’s influence.”, said Gonzales, referring to the military term for the NPA.

The CPP-NPA is listed as terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines.

In February, residents of the different barangays of Mabini also declared the CPP-NPA as persona non-grata, saying they are fed up with the abuses and atrocities perpetrated by the communist rebel group. (PNA)