The Communist Party of the Philippines on 10 September denied claims by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that the revolutionary forces in Southern Mindanao is “on the brink of collapse”, declaring that “the CPP Southern Mindanao Regional Committee is intact.”

Marco Valbuena, CPP Chief Information Officer said, “All the key leadership duties of the Party in the region are being performed by high-caliber and experienced revolutionary cadres.” He further pointed out that the regional party committee has a deep pool of cadres “who can be promoted when necessary to take on bigger and heavier tasks of leadership.”

On 7 September, AFP Maj. Gen. Ernesto C. Torres, Jr, bragged about the success of the military operations and community support programs in the Southern Mindanao region, as he presented 12 surrenderers whom he claimed were high-ranking leaders in the area.

Valbuena pointed out that the AFP general is misrepresenting ‘high-ranking’ regional cadres “so they can pocket more funds and boost their credentials.” He said some of the ‘surrenderers’ presented are in fact captives who are being denied legal representation, detained inside AFP camps and have no access to information and communication.

The false declarations of the AFP, Valbuena said, “would not deceive nor demoralize the Red fighters and revolutionary forces in Southern Mindanao.

“Despite the brutal suppression unleashed by the AFP, the peasant masses and Lumad people in the region continue to support and take part in the revolutionary struggle to fight worsening forms of oppression and exploitation.”