The masses and people’s army overcome military lockdown operation
The many years since comrades last set foot on Nuevo in Southern Tagalog (ST) did not become an issue insignifant when Red fighters returned to the area amid the pandemic.
Residents here are not new to working with and helping the people’s army. Red fighters were delighted with the residents’ warm welcome, especially because most of them are belong to a new generation of Red fighters, and most of the Red fighters whom the residents’ knew were already martyred or have long been gone even before the 1990s.
While analyzing and studying the particular economic issues faced by residents of Nuevo, the Red fighters helped the masses in production in their swidden farms. They serve as lawyers and mediators when issues cannot be be resolved by local barangay officials, teachers of students who cannot understand their modules, and frontliners in explaining Covid-19 and the importance of having every one vaccinated.
In the evening, youth, peasant, fisherfolk and women groups conduct secret meetings to unite Nuevo in order to improve their economic conditions. Revolutionary mass organizations were established, and the local Party branch was established.
The masses are highly supportive of their army. Even without being asked, they voluntarily give the people’s army food supplies and other forms of support.
However, it cannot be denied that the long absence of the people’s army enabled the AFP and PNP to plant their assets and other bad elements in the community. These individuals are typically those who have records of theft, syndicated crimes, and land grabbing in the area. The NPA adapted to this condition.
One evening, five Red fighters went to the community to facilitate a mass meeting and educational discussion. The following day, two columns of soldiers and police patrolled the barrio. They declared a lockdown, claiming that someone in the community has been infected with Covid-19 but is asymptomatic. This was supposed to be the first case of Covid-19 infection in the community, but residents knew that state forces are only using this as a pretext to justify the lockdown. Later on, it was revealed that the individual whom they claimed was infected was actually in Manila. Actually, The real targets of the lockdown are the Red fighters who were in the barrio.
The soldiers mounted a checkpoint and flew drones, while patrolling the community
They forcibly entered the houses of residents. Little did they know that the Red fighters were in one of these houses.
The masses took the initiative to conceal the comrades to avoid a defensive. They quickly passed information among themselves. The youth secured their hangout spots and houses. Residents prepared a getaway vehicle so the Red fighters could elude the enemy.
The exit of the Red fighters was delayed by a day, and policemen and soldiers entered entered the house where they were waiting. The owners took them to the back of the house, and told the enemy that they know nothing about reported sightings of Red fighters in the area.
Nuevo residents worked together to facilitate the comrade’s exit without being detected by the soldiers. One by one, the masses helped them withdraw until they were able to regroup with their unit.
The lockdown in Nuevo is one of the cases of how the Duterte regime is using the Covid-19 pandemic to serve its repressive war. It is exploiting the health crisis to further sow terror in the countryside.
However, this incident proves further that the close link between masses and the people’s army can defeat all deceptive schemes employed by the military and police amid the pandemic. On numerous occasions, the masses have proven time and again that they are the true heroes. Without their courage and love for their army, the armed struggle will not flourish and advance. (Correspondence from Southern Tagalog)