Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 000729
DEPT FOR EAP/PMBS
NSC FOR GREEN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2013
TAGS: MOPS MARR PREL PINS RP
SUBJECT: CPP/NPA DENOUNCES BALIKATAN EXERCISE
REF: 04 MANILA 5865
Classified By: (U) Political Officer Paul O’Friel
for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).
¶1. (SBU) On February 11, Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, the
spokesman for the Communist Party of the Philippines/New
Peoples Army (CPP/NPA), denounced the upcoming annual
Balikatan exercise as “a blatant mockery of Philippine
sovereignty.” Rosal claimed US troops intended to “interfere”
in the armed conflicts in the Philippines, using the
“pretext” of relief efforts to conduct military operations.
¶2. (SBU) US forces, in partnership with their Armed Forces
of the Philippines (AFP) counterparts, will conduct
humanitarian assistance and civil affairs programs during the
February 21-March 6 Balikatan exercise, targeting the storm
ravaged provinces of Quezon and Laguna, which were badly hit
by December 2004 flooding that killed over 1,000 people.
These projects will include medical and dental outreach to
affected communities and light construction projects to
rebuild schools and clinics. In December 2004, in the
immediate aftermath of the floods,
Task Force 535 (reftel) airlifted over 400,000 pounds of
badly needed relief supplies to Quezon and neighboring Aurora
¶3. (C) COMMENT. The CPP/NPA has long considered Quezon
“theirs.” The province is home to the Melito Glor Command
formerly headed by Rosal. Despite (or perhaps because of)
the warm welcome received by US soldiers and Marines
associated with JTF 535, the CPP/NPA vigorously protested the
December 2004 US disaster assistance, calling for the
pull-out of all US troops engaged in relief efforts.
Although Ka Roger’s December 15, 2004 press statement
conceded that CPP/NPA’s signed agreement with the government
strictly forbids attacks against troops engaged in
humanitarian missions, CPP/NPA leader Jose Maria Sison
quickly clarified the following day that this agreement did
not apply to the US military. Sison sullenly asserted the
NPA was “magnanimously” not targeting US troops to give them
the chance to leave the Philippines as quickly as possible.
Despite the Communists’ bombast, we do not believe CPP/NPA
central authorities are ready/capable to take action against
US forces engaged in joint humanitarian assistance operations.
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