LEGAZPI CITY --- The National Democratic Front (NDF) in Bicol criticized the military and police authorities as the purveyor of fake news following the capture in Metro Manila of Joselito Naag an alleged top New People’s Army (NPA) leader in Bicol.
Maria Roja Banua NDF spokesperson said Naag is not an NPA member but an element of the military disguising as a communist rebel designed as a propaganda ploy and a money-making venture under the government Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
Banua in a press a statement said Naag veiled capture was “an AFP and PNP latest ploy of presenting their own element as an NPA surrenderree to make it seem like their counter-revolutionary campaign moves forward while freely corrupting the funds of the ECLIP is one of their most desperate acts yet.”
Banua cited that the military ploy was to list Naag as a member of the KLG78 in Albay and has a P100,000 bounty for his arrest, they even listed him as the region’s “most wanted persons,” the PNP presented Naag during a press conference which earned a headline news in national TV, radio and national papers.
The statement accused the PNP NCRPO of pocketing the P100,000 reward money for Naag capture.
Banua claimed that the military’s propaganda scenario has failed as it overlooked one critical piece in their script, “they forgot to instruct Naag to erase his Facebook account and pictures of him wearing his military uniform.”
Banua believes that these cases of military as fake NPA and fake surrender, fake-news is to create the illusion that the government’s war against insurgency is gaining grounds that eventually would “wipe-out the NPA movement.”
Banua believes that the ECLIP strategy could also be a breeding ground for corruption where the government is spending hundreds of millions to entice hundreds of alleged rebel to surrender and return to the folds of the law.
Under the ECLIP program rebel returnees are given P50,000 each, for this military and police officials could collect this amount from fake-surrenderees such as in the case of Naag, Banua said
The NDF also reacted to the military report that another batch of 65 NPA rebels have allegedly surrendered in the town of Castilla in Sorsogon province, military and police could have feasted on about P3.2 million funds tainted with corruption, Banua said.
The NDF spokesperson quoting an ECLIP data wherein Bicol currently has about 304 alleged rebels that surrendered, Banua said with the figure some P15.2 million could have been funneled to the pockets of corrupt military and police officials.
Meanwhile, Major Ricky Anthony Aguilar 9th Army Infantry Division (9ID) public affairs chief said dismissed the communist movement accusation of spreading fake news and corruption in the ECLIP program.
Aguilar the effects of the ECLIP program is a clear manifestation that the tide is turning against the communist movement saying that currently, there are 412 rebel surrenderees of this 259 returnees are enrolled in the program.
The communist movement is now rattled and engages in demolition work to destroy the good image of the program pointing out that the Army’s role is to process and recommends the rebel surrenderees when its done, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) takes over and hands over the checks with their name in it as program beneficiary.
Aside from the financial assistance the beneficiaries receives livelihood “Kabuhayan” kits, and provide technical training.