CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/01 August) — The spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division slammed his counterpart in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Mindanao for coming out with an “unfair assessment” of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s performance.
Jorge Madlos, NDFP-Mindanao spokesperson reportedly said Aquino has kept none of his promises since Day One of his administration.
“Aquino’s vows to stop corruption, reduce poverty, promote human rights and attain peace and development were mere pledges but devoid in deeds,” Madlos was quoted as saying.
In a phone interview Monday, Maj. Eugenio Julio Osias IV, commanding officer of the 4th Civil-Military Operations Battalion said it is the other way around.
“The New People’s Army, armed-wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is the number one hindrance to development. They have kept on passing the blame to the President. It is because of their atrocities that investors have shied away from the countryside,” said Osias.
The military official said the NPA’s presence in almost all islands of the country makes it a primary hindrance to development.
Madlos, in an emailed statement, claimed that the President has not presented a program for free education “since he gave more importance to the military by increasing its budget.”
He further claimed that hunger and poverty indices are at their worst since Aquino took office as President.
“The Aquino administration has even encouraged militarization in almost all provinces in Mindanao,” he added.
“We all want a better and peaceful place to live in. That is why we have more civic than combat operations, lately,” Osias countered.
“This is the right time for the NPAs to change. Like them, we also have children and families. Let’s not fight among ourselves. We should maximize everything to achieve a better Philippines,” he said.
Instead, Osias added, all Filipinos should prepare for external aggression “especially that the tension in the Spratlys is escalating.” (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)