GRP fascist strongman Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly declared that after the Marawi siege, he will focus his troops against the New People’s Army (NPA) in what he recently declared will be a “full-scale war.” Several battalions have already been redeployed back to focus on waging all-out war under Oplan Kapayapaan. The AFP leadership has declared the aim of “wiping out” the NPA by the end of 2018.
The AFP has announced that it will complete the recruitment and training of at least 8,000 troops by end-November. It aims to recruit 5,000 more troops by January 2018. The rush in recruitment is in line with the aim of building at least ten more battalions of fascist troops to be deployed against the NPA. Duterte is also feverishly acquiring automatic rifles, attack helicopters, bombs and rockets from the US, China and Russia to train and fire against the people.
Majority of the new battalions will be deployed under the Eastern Mindanao Command, Duterte’s favorite command. The newly-formed 88th IB has already been deployed to Maramag, Bukidnon.
Duterte and his military officials’ declaration that “not one” member of the CPP/NPA will be left by the end of 2018 is a pipe-dream. He seems to be in a drug-induced dreamland for him to wish that the AFP will accomplish in one year what it has failed to achieve in the past 50 years of abuses and armed suppression.
However, with the AFP building more battalions and obsessed with “wiping out” the NPA, there will surely be a rise in the number of extrajudicial killings and cases of human rights abuses as war-frenzied AFP units occupy more rural communities, target and liquidate peasant activists demanding land and opposing mining and plantations, destroy self-organized schools, cooperatives, community farm lots and other socio-economic undertakings for poor communities which the AFP invariably label as “NPA projects.” More civilians will fall prey to military bounty-hunters running after the price-per-NPA-head award offered by the regime.
There are now close to 100 cases of extrajudicial killings of civilians, 91 of whom are peasants, under Duterte’s Oplan Kapayapaan. They have been falsely accused and targeted by the AFP as members of the NPA for being activists demanding land reform and opposing mining operations and land grabbing. The biggest number of cases of peasant killings have been recorded in Compostela Valley, now virtually the Valley of Death. In Sorsogon, a number of peasant leaders and activists were successively summarily executed by state forces in the past weeks.
The Lumad minority groups in Mindanao, in particular, are in Duterte’s cross-hairs. He has ordered the bombing of Lumad schools. Combat troops of the AFP have been deployed to Lumad communities to occupy their homes and schools. Last October 23, combat troops of the 25th IB destroyed books and facilities of the popular Lumad school Salugpungan in Sitio Letter V, Barangay Mount Diwata, Monkayo, Compostela Valley and occupied the community forcing at least eight families to evacuate.
The AFP has heeded Duterte’s “flatten the hills” call to arms. With full US support, the AFP has subjected more and more civilian communities to aerial bombardment and heavy artillery fire in order to overawe and traumatize the people and force them to submit to AFP’s abusive military rule. The AFP glorifies the images of the complete destruction of Marawi City and uses these to threaten the people in the revolutionary base areas.
In the past months, the AFP has dropped bombs endangering civilians in Batangas, North Cotabato, Compostela Valley, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Bukidnon, Agusan del Norte and other provinces in the course of its combat operations against the NPA. In the face of growing resistance against the AFP’s aerial bombardment campaigns, military spokesmen now euphemistically refer to aerial bombing as “aerial support.” The AFP fools no one with this play of words.
Amid the continuing rise in the number of killings and abuses perpetrated by the AFP, the Party calls on the Filipino people to firmly resist and frustrate the Duterte regime’s heightened all-out war against the broad masses of the people and their revolutionary forces.
By popularizing the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the people’s awareness of their political, socio-economic as well as cultural rights is raised and their militancy to defend these is heightened.
The Filipino people demand an end to martial law in Mindanao and will resist Duterte’s declared threats to impose a fascist dictatorship.
The peasant masses, especially, are ever determined to defend their homes and communities and relentlessly oppose the AFP’s occupation of schools, barangay halls, day care centers and other civilian structures. They demand the withdrawal of AFP troops which have occupied their schools and homes as military barracks.
The people demand the demilitarization of the bureaucracy and delivery of social services. The Filipino people demand cuts in the budget for the AFP and a stop to the expansion of the number of fascist troops which they equate with more killings, abuses and aerial bombings.
The people demand an end to US military intervention, war-mongering and direct and indirect support to counter-insurgency operations. They demand an end to such lopsided military agreements as the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement which perpetuate and tighten US control of the AFP.
The people are united firmly in demanding an end to the use of aerial bombardment as a weapon of widespread destruction which endangers the lives of civilians, damages the people’s livelihood, destroys the environment and causes mass trauma, especially among children.
The New People’s Army continues to solidly advance armed resistance against the US-Duterte regime’s intensified all-out war. It will frustrate Duterte’s ambition to wipe-out the armed revolutionary forces by the end of 2018. Guerrilla warfare continues to be waged nationwide, as the NPA seizes weapons from the enemy, recruits more and more young Red fighters, expands the number and scope of guerrilla zones, carries out agrarian revolution and consolidates the revolutionary base areas.
By unleashing fascist violence in its triple war of mass murder and death and destruction, the Duterte regime has succeeded in rousing the people to wage all-out armed and non-armed resistance. The Filipino people are taking the initiative in waging all forms of struggle to resist the regime’s triple wars, all-out economic liberalization and subservience to US imperialism.