By John Rizle L. Saligumba
SAN LUIS, Agusan Del Sur — Streamers bearing greetings for the 45th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines were hung in several places, one of which was only few meters away from the Philippine Army’s 26th Infantry Battalion detachment. Not too far away, several “skylab” motorcycles busily negotiated muddy roads as some people from surrounding villages walked on foot.
Amidst the sweltering heat of the sun, Ka Oris, the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Mindanao greeted the thousands who came to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The rebel leader’s message, which he made after a series of cultural presentations by face-painted young presenters from the urban centers, is that “the party is youthful” even as it nears its golden years.
“Look at our performers from the cities, our army (NPA), our leaders, the revolution is indeed young,” he said.
Ka Oris, standing tall in an improvised stage with his iconic white beard and one-star “Mao” cap, then read the National Democratic Front – Mindanao (NDF) statement on the CPP’s 45th anniversary.
The rebel leader said that “despite the AFP’s (Armed Forces of the Philippines) military and psy-war operations,” the “revolutionary bases” of the NPA “have rapidly expanded and gained strength in more than 2000 barrios in more than 200 municipalities and 19 provinces in Mindanao.”
Oris said the NPA number to about 10 battalions which are “spread out in 46 guerilla zones in five regions in Mindanao.”
With the “increasing” number, Oris said that tactical offensives (TOs) of the NPA have “significantly intensified.”
“From only 250 TOs in 2010, this has increased to 350 in 2011, to 400 in 2012 and to more than 400 in the entire year of 2013,” he said.
He said further that “from 2011 until 2013, casualties sustained by enemy forces have risen to at least a battalion per year, while, on the part of the NPA, the number of casualties did not go beyond a platoon each year of the same period.”
With regards to procurement of arms, Ka Oris said that they have in fact bought from AFP personnel.
“Some we buy from the savings of retired officials, some from incumbent. But Aquino need not worry as the quantity is still small,” he jested.
With regards to the AFP’s “capture” of a supposed NPA “mine factory” in Laak, Compostela Valley few weeks ago, Oris said that they have “many” and can always create “more” factories.
Oris also said that they have launched “punitive actions” against “large-scale mining and plantations owned by the big bourgeois comprador and imperialists who continue to exploit millions of peasants and agri-workers, grab their lands, and plunder and ravage the environment.”
In a press conference that ensued later, a member of the media asked if there was truth that in one of their operations, the NPA slaughtered pigs of Mega Farms in Bukidnon.
Ka Oris explained that the slaughter of pigs was justified, saying “that was just one way to disable their operation. The company polluted the water and the surrounding and destroyed the livelihood of farmers. There is no other way to reprimand them but to kill those pigs,” he said.
Oris said the company was also oppressing their workers who were paid at a P120 per day, smaller than what workers in other NPA-influenced areas who receive at P250.
He also said adding that Mega Farm and other companies have already expressed willingness to talk with them.
With regards to other companies, the NDF, however, has set some “pre-conditions.”
“In plantations for example, the pre-condition is that they cease their expansion before they negotiate with us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ka Oris scored the Aquino government saying that while “the people continue to suffer from destitution as a result of the country’s economic crisis,” the “US-Aquino III regime holds no interest in and has lost its capability to alleviate the misery of the millions of victims of catastrophes, such as those hit by typhoons Sendong, Pablo, Yolanda and the quake in the Visayas.”
Oris said that “in truth it is only the NPA that has reached the great majority of Pablo victims as they are situated in the countrysides.”
Like in Pablo areas, Oris said that CPP units in Yolanda-hit areas should “re-organize in order to rebuild the people’s livelihood.”
He said that the people cannot rely on the Aquino government as “it is preoccupied with squandering away people’s funds, such as in the detested cases of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and other vile forms of corruption,” he said. He also added in the interview later that “if PNoy is removed, there will be no more DAP, no more PDAF.”
Moreover, he scored Aquino’s “failure to deliver justice to the victims of the Maguindanao massacre as well as to the victims of the mounting cases of extrajudicial killings, indiscriminate bombing during the Zamboanga City siege and other forms of human rights abuses.”
Ka Oris said that the “almost daily gunfight” in Moro areas prove that the Moro people “doubts the government’s sincerity” with its ongoing talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
With regards to human rights, Oris said that it is “good” that the military recognize CARHRIHL (Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law) which he said “promotes the protection of the people’s basic rights.”
However, he stressed the protection of the people’s basic rights is the principal responsibility of the “incumbent political power” and “secondary governments like the NPA.”
Ka Oris, in his statement also called on CPP members to advance the armed revolution until the strategic stalemate phase is achieved in the next few years.
He said that the stalemate phase is when there is already “parity” of the AFP and NPA forces. He explains that with the NPA, this means the support of “people’s militias.”
“With the support of about 10-30 million Filipinos, the enemy can now be overwhelmed by this combination,” he said.
Oris said that the CPP must “consolidate and expand the membership” in order to “increase its ability to lead in raising the level of the people’s war towards the strategic stalemate phase until complete victory.”(John Rizle Saligumba/davaotoday.com)Communist Party of the Phillipines, CPP anniversary 2013, gph-ndfp peace talks, ka oris, NPA