DAVAO CITY – Membership of the Communist Party of the Philippines in the central region in Mindanao rose by 47 percent this year, coinciding the 47th year of the CPP, the longest running Maoist revolution in Asia.
In a statement, Norsen Manggubat, spokesperson of the CPP in North Central Mindanao said “the number of Party branches this year increased by 40% and the Party membership by 47% as compared to the previous year.”
Manggubat claimed their guerilla warfare has posted a “28% increase in total barrios covered and 39% net increase in our organized masses.”
More Party branches and members in the countrysides came about as a result of active operations by the New People’s Army, he said.
This year, Manggubat said 108 various military actions against the Army, police and paramilitary groups, including “bandit” groups “BULIF, Gantangan, “Alimaong,” Bagani, Alamara, and Dela Mance groups.”
He said the NPA fighters and high-power rifles (HPR) also grew by 14 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
“We continue to conduct political-military training for our officers and fighters; we strive to strengthen the system of command from the regional level down. Command conferences are called regularly in every level, including municipal command conferences of our people’s militias,” he said.
The agrarian struggles, Manggubat said, benefitted “more than 100,000 individuals” after “raising wages, reducing milling fees, increasing farm-gate prices of agricultural produsts, reducing loan interests, increasing palay share of rice field workers, increasing maintainer’s shares and launching cooperative and communal farms for increased production.”
Manggubat has debunked the claims of an Army commander who said that the armed struggle of the rebels are already “irrelevant” as development are already taking place in the countrysides.
“Yung Pilipino laban sa kapwa Pilipino, hindi na yata napapanahon especially ngayon nakikita naman natin slowly yung development pumapasok na sa ating mga kanayonan. So, hindi na natin kinakailangan pang mag-alsa at mag-aklas laban sa gobyerno dahil unti-unti itong mga kinakailangan ay natutugunan na. (The conflict between Filipinos is not anymore timely since our country is already slowly developing. We do not need to protest and fight against the government since the needs of the people are being addressed),” said Eastern Mindanao Commander Major General Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
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Captain Alberto Caber, chief of the Army’s Public Information Office also said they wish the CPP would realize “that the armed struggle it is pursuing has only brought untold sufferings and miseries to the people.”
“EastMinCom also wishes for the Filipino people to strongly assert their rights and desires for peace and an end to terror and violence brought about by the armed struggle being carried out by the (CPP-NPA-NDF) armed wing; the New People’s Army.”
Caber added: “The wish is for CNN to stop creating an environment which is detrimental to the security of the people in Eastern Mindanao and other parts of the country, by secretly or discreetly mobilizing them for the armed struggle through deception, threats, intimidation and manipulation. The wish is for the CNN to refrain from demonizing the government and its efforts to uplift the lives of the people.”
However, Manggubat said the opposition of the people is caused by the injustices in the countrysides.
“Organized oppositions were resorted to by the masses against military operations that foment disunity among them, threaten them, quell their dissent, and force them to accede to the entry of giant mining companies, plantations and other projects of the ruling class that would displace them wholesale from their communities and deprive them of their livelihood, grab the Lumad ancestral lands, plunder the natural resources and further devastate the environment,” said Manggubat.
Manggubat said the existence of revolutionary government in the countryside “is beyond refute that businessmen doing their trade in these areas and to some extent some class enemies have to acknowledge its presence.”
“A number from their rank recognize the justness of the revolution and thus, the building of the revolutionary government,” he said. (davaotoday.com)