by MART D. SAMBALUD
Somewhere in Compostela Valley – A year after Typhoon Pablo destroyed crops in this area, about 100 kilometers from Davao City, farmers have now harvested some 12,000 sacks of rice, that was made possible through their rehabilitation efforts with the New People’s Army.
This, the farmers declared during the celebration of the 45th year anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), as they also formalized 12 barrios consisting of around 1,800 families, in a new municipality under the “people’s democratic government.”
In an interview with Davao Today, Ka Sixto, leader of the red area’s Municipal Revolutionary Committee, said that the CPP in Southern Mindanao helped organized farmers and implement the communal farming system.
“Tungod sa nahimong tabang sa Partido daghan natabangan nga mga tawo hilabina ang mga lumad ug kabus na mag-uuma. Sukad nagsugod og communal farming, naa na gikaon ang mga kabus, lumad ug mag-uuma tungod niini natabangan sila (Because of the Party’s effort, small farmers and lumads were given help. Since the communal farming began, the people were able to eat and survive),” said Ka Sixto.
The communal farming involved farmers taking turns in farming and maintaining the crops. Ka Sixto showed the farm occupying some 55 hectares, with major crops such as rice and corn.
The farmers also put up vegetable farms crops such as upo (white squash), okra, talong (eggplant).
Ka Sixto said that the communal system ensured food security for the communities, especially after Typhoon Pablo destroyed their farms and livelihood last December 4, 2012.
Ka Sixto said in the last six months, not only were they able to harvest, they were also able to process their harvested grains through a rice mill constructed by the NPAs.
“With the rice mill, people will no longer need to go far to the market to mill their harvested rice,” he said.
The harvests gave farmers more reason to celebrate the CPP’s 45th anniversary in this area. Some 800 farmers, women, youth and lumads gathered on a hilltop at 1 pm toay, and held a cultural program with songs and dramatization of the farmers’ plight and calls to continue the “national-democratic revolution.”
Sixto said the Aquino government has failed to provide the farmers adequate rehabilitation materials.
Sixto said that the government only favored military deployment and mining operations that aggravated their poor situation.
“Instead of giving the basic needs of the toiling masses, the Aquino government, instead, intensified the militarization in poor communities,” he said.
Sixto said the Party’s “ideological” support helped them in finding a way to survive Pablo.
“Ang Partido dili makahatag og daghang material pero ang ideology makahatag og giya sa masa kung unsa makalingkawas sa kahimtang.(The Party may not give abundant material things, but the ideology guides the masses to overcome their poor situation),” he said.
The CPP’s 45th anniversary statement released today said “organs of political power in the countrysides” covering barrios and “sub-municipal or municipal organs of political power” are tasked to take “mass struggles and mass campaigns.” (Mart D. Sambalud, davaotoday.com)Communist Party of the Philippines, CPP 45th anniversary, CPP NPA, Liberation Movements, NPA, Typhoon Pablo rehabilitation