The support of the masses for the people’s war continues to expand and deepen. This was the statement Elias Almazan, political officer of the New People’s Army (NPA)-Cagayan Valley (Fortunato Camus Command). In an interview with Baringkuas (the regional revolutionary publication), he stressed that the intense and large-scale military operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) have failed to foil the expansion and consolidation of the revolutionary mass base in the region.
Ka Elias said that while the AFP and PNP are busy with conducting battalion- and brigade-sized operations as well as sustained Retooled Community Support Program (RSCP) operations in the barrios, the NPA was able to expand and recover territories in more barrios and towns that are not covered by focused military operations. Members of the revolutionary mass base of guerrilla fronts increased by several thousands from 2020.
The NPA platoon has not only been able to reach neighboring villages and communities in interior areas and the hinterlands but also those located in the plains and near highways and in coastal areas.
He said that all of the masses in recovery areas warmly welcomed them, especially those who are suffering from poverty and exploitation.
The coercion of local government units by the military to declare the NPA as “persona non grata” is futile and empty propaganda. This is because the villagefolk themselves desire that their communities be covered by NPA operations for them to be able to report their concerns.
Among the problems facing the masses are the widespread and various forms of landgrabbing. These are primarily perpetrated by big landlords, private companies and government agencies in connivance with their favored contractors.
This is on top of various types of semifeudal explotation such as the imposition of high loan interest rates and other forms of usury, low farmgate prices, and price manipulation schemes employed by traders who buy their produce. “The masses see that only the NPA is fair and eager in finding solutions to their problems,” said Ka Elias.
The NPA continues to operate in these barrios and towns covered by sustained RCSP operations and sees to it that these are not left behind. Platoons clandestinely deploy smaller NPA units to reach the masses in these areas and conduct activities that they could hold.
“The enemy’s operations and psywar are futile because the masses easily understand that the AFP is only pretending to have changed its “anti-people” nature.”
It is to the advantage of the people’s army that revolutionary ideas have for decades been sown and taken root among the masses. Its territories are expanding and more and more revolutionary mass organizations and organs of political power are established in villages and clusters of barrios.
“Even in prioritizing expansion work, we also have to combine this effort with the strengthening of the mass base,” he ended.