Statement of the New People’s Army Southern Mindanao Operations Command in their 47th year anniversary on March 29, 2016
With tail between its legs, the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Southern Mindanao is running like a rabid guard dog, protecting US-Aquino regime’s anti-people interests and leaving a bloody trail of human rights violations in its wake. This, as the New People’s Army in the region celebrates its 47th founding anniversary with victories that underscore the ultimate defeat of the counter-revolutionary fascist policy Oplan Bayanihan as the US-Aquino regime’s term draws to a close.
Under the leadership of the Regional Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines, all the NPA units in the region continue to show its mettle as the true army of the people by waging a protracted people’s war, gathering more and more strength from tactical offensives, agrarian revolution and base building. The NPA continues to develop guerrilla warfare and art of war tactics in displaying quick initiative, perseverance, determination and the flexibility to continue to prevail over and lead the people’s war against the US-Aquino regime’s brutal suppression campaign.
Almost 300 military actions since early last year were launched by NPA units in the region. More than a hundred high-powered firearms seized from successful tactical offensives were added to the NPA cache, including machine guns, sniper rifles and other military hardware. In these engagements, the enemy lost at least 400 of its troops, and almost 300 more were wounded-in-action. In particular, the masses rejoiced after the NPA’s successful raid that confiscated 74 high powered rifles in the mining firm armory of Monkayo Mayor Joel Brillantes and simultaneous attack against the 25th IB detachment last April 14, 2015.
In strict adherence to international humanitarian protocols, the NPA in the region safely held in custody and turned over several prisoners of war (POW) to their families amid unrelenting combat operations by enemy troops. Under the auspices of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in its exercise of political authority as a co-belligerent party to the civil war in the country, the NPA acts as the instrument of such political power and has had a long practice of capturing, detaining, giving due process and releasing POWs in the region after undergoing negotiation and political settlement. In contrast to the AFP which makes false arrests of civilians in order to claim and pocket million-peso bounty, the NPA takes prisoners of war as legitimate and necessary part of the people’s war.
In the same manner, the NPA in Southern Mindanao exercised the will, in deference to the legal, judicial system of the people’s democratic government when it successfully meted out revolutionary justice in punishing enemy agents like Dario and Daryl Otaza who terrorized peasants and Lumads in their despotic rule in Loreto, Agusan del Sur.
Red fighters were actively involved in the establishment of organs of political power, empowering peasants and Lumads in developing socialist village-level and municipal level governments in hinterland areas in the region. The NPA vigorously supported anti-feudal campaigns that aim to reduce land rent and costs of farming inputs, raise wages and benefits for farm workers and carry out land confiscations in favor of landless tillers. They were in the forefront of sustainable production work for the ever-growing needs of the army and the people, providing necessary social services such as health and education and aiding in the administration of revolutionary justice in the red bases. More significantly, the people’s army led in recovering areas in the Supertyphoon Pablo-ravaged villages in the region, in contrast to the token and corrupt-laden disaster rehabilitation services falsely trumpeted by the reactionary government agencies.
The year was also witness to an astounding display of the enemy’s desperation to mark a dent against the revolutionary movement in the region. In vain attempt to dismantle revolutionary structures, the AFP mobilized an unprecedented 13 full infantry battalions, three Division Reconnaissance Companies, two Scout Ranger Companies, including at least 3 companies of 3 battalions on operational command. The thousands of fascist AFP troops, not including its rabid paramilitaries and the PNP in North Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Davao City conduct civil-military operations such as Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP), an insidious euphemism for psy-war tactics of brutal intimidation and extra-judicial killings.
The Eastern Mindanao Command’s spindoctors cannot make heads or tails of the classic dilemma: despite the enemy’s superiority in terms of sheer number of fighting troops and arms, it has miserably failed to run the NPA to the ground. To cover up, they babbled incoherence in the media, claiming Oplan Bayanihan is making strides in defeating the NPA while ironically, admitting there is a marked increase in military actions carried out by the NPA against AFP troops.
The US-Aquino regime is daydreaming when it attempts to turn the tide of the people’s war against the NPA in the region by deploying troops in sheer numbers and foisting firepower in superior amounts. Year after year, Aquino and the AFP, like all their reactionary predecessors, mobilize a mercenary and hated army in an attempt to win in a class war against a guerrilla army that is beloved by the masses of tens of millions.
How can a mercenary army like the AFP keep its head above waters when its troops are manic guard dogs of capitalist plunderers and exploiters of the people and the environment? Its troops have been reduced to armed minions that pave the way for destructive coal-fired power plants and large-scale mining companies such as St. Augustine Minerals, Agusan Petroleum and Minerals, Apex Mining and Xstrata Mining Corp., or else paid protectors of landlords and warlord politicians.
How can a fascist army ever hope to win the hearts and minds of the people when, failing to strike a blow against the NPA, it turns against hapless civilians with murderous impunity? The AFP troops in its mad rage killed with impunity 57 farmers, Lumads, activists, urban poor and revolutionaries sparing neither elderly nor children in Southern Mindanao. Brutal invaders that they are, they turn schools and communities into military garrisons, displacing almost 4,000 Lumads from their homes and livelihood around Mindanao.
In the midst of its struggle against the brutal US-Aquino regime over the past year, the NPA paid homage and turned its profound grief into revolutionary courage as it commiserated with the masses and condemned the brutal killing of Ka Parago (Leoncio Pitao), Commander of the 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion-NPA on June 28, 2015 in Purok 9, Brgy. Panalum, Paquibato District, Davao City. Words, fists, and a fitting tribute could barely express the NPA’s deepest regard to the NPA’s great commander and well-loved Red leader Ka Parago, who was suffering from multiple ailments when he, along with medic Ka Kyle (Vanessa Limpag) were riddled with bullets by raiding enemy troops last year.
In Southern Mindanao, this is the bloody legacy that the US-Aquino regime will be remembered for, much like the Marcos regime it hypocritically criticizes. Its last year in power, like the previous years of its administration, was deeply hated by the Filipino people for its criminal neglect during calamities, wanton plunder of our natural resources, insatiable corruption and atrocious militaristic approach towards justified social unrest.
To be sure, the next puppet regime that US imperialism installs will try again to repackage a new internal peace and security plan against the revolutionary movement. But the New People s Army, the true army of the people, will continue to defeat them until the final, inevitable overthrow of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism in the entire country.
(sgd.) Rigoberto F. Sanchez
New People s Army
Regional Operations Command