DAVAO CITY – The National Democratic Front said the revolution has continued to advance in the island of Mindanao despite the government’s deployment of 60 percent of its armed forces here.
The NDF is the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines which is celebrating its 47th year on Saturday.
The CPP’s “protracted peoples’ war” is touted as the longest-running insurgency in Asia.
Ka Oris, spokesperson of NDF Mindanao in a statement said, the government’s counterinsurgency operation Oplan Bayanihan (OPB) has deployed “60 battalion or 60 percent of its military troops in Mindanao.” Sixty percent of its total military positions are deployed in the areas of New Peoples’ Army (NPA), Ka Oris said.
“Wala pay apil ang mga PNP, CAFGU ug ubang para-militar sama sa BULIF, Alamara, Gantangan, Bagani, Magahat, pundok ni Calpet ug uban pa. Gilunsad niini ang labing bangis ug hugaw nga mga teroristang taktika ug pamaagi aron lang gyud malisang ang katawhan ug moundang sa armado ug dili-armadong pagsukol (Aside from that there is the Philippine National Police, Citizens Armed Geographical Unit and other paramilitary groups like the BULIF, Alamara, Gantangan, Bagani, Magahat, Calpet’s group and others. It launched fierce and dirty terrorist tactics to attack the people and to counter the armed and non-armed opposition),” he said.
From 40 guerrilla fronts during the first year of the Aquino administration in 2010, the NDF said the NPA forces have expanded to 46 guerilla fronts scattered in five regions.
The NDF said “not one” front was dismantled.
NDF said out of the 200 cities and municipalities where they operate from, they operated in 1,850 villages then in 2010, and have grown today to 2,500 villages.
“A third of these areas are consolidated areas while several more areas were under the organs of political power or people’s democratic government on the level of barrio and some are city or town levels,” Ka Oris said.
The mass base of the New People’s Army has now grown to 200,000 from 130,000 in 2010. Ka Oris said their mass base provides for easy maneuvering of NPA troops in the countrysides, a steady base for Party and NPA fighter recruits, and will help in launching people’s campaigns.
Ka Oris said the increase in NPA formations has also led to the increase in the number of tactical offensives carried out in Mindanao.
He said there was a yearly increase in tactical offensives: from 250 in 2010, 350 in 2011, 400 in 2012, almost 400 in each year of 2013 and 2014, and almost 500 this year.
Ka Oris cited some of their biggest military actions including the raid against the private army of Monkayo town mayor Joselito Brillantes, Jr on April 2014 where the NPA seized 74 firearms.
Other successful operations according to Ka Oris include the raid inside the PNP headquarters in Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur, Don Victoriano, Misamis Occidental, and Alegria, Surigao del Norte; the raid against Earth Savers Security in Butuan City; raid against the Army’s Community Organizing for Peace and Development in Gingoog City, Tandag City, and San Fernando in Bukidnong; the raid against Army-Cafgu detachment in BInicalan, San Luis, Agusan Del Sur; in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, and Banay-banay in Davao Oriental; and the punishment against three giant mining companies in Taganito, Claver, Surigao del Norte and the plantation in of Del Monte Phils in Bukidnon.
The NDF also claimed that the NPA has killed an equivalent of a battalion of the Army troopers in Mindanao this year.
“Wala pay labot ang mga samdon, samtang sa bahin sa NPA dunay pipila lang (We have not yet included those who were injured, while on the part of the NPAs there are only a few),” said Ka Oris.
Oris said the NPA also captured 61 prisoners of war under the Aquino administration in Mindanao alone.
However, the Army’s Eastern Mindanao Commander Major General Rey Leonardo Guerrero has previously dismissed the NPA’s cause as irrelevant citing development efforts of the government in the countryside.
Peace advocates have been calling on the government and the NDF to resume formal peace talks.
“May this season of hope inspire both parties to break down the dividing wall of hostility and engage in principled negotiations to end the decades-old armed conflict in the country,” said he Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform in a statement Thursday. (davaotoday.com)