The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) commends the New People’s Army (NPA) for the series of successful tactical offensives across the country over the past two months. Various NPA units have mounted scores of ambushes, harassment and demolition operations and other tactical offensives against the regime’s fascist armed troops, paramilitaries and other armed agents, as well as sanctions against environmentally destructive big mining, logging and plantation operations. Offensives have been mounted across Mindanao and in Eastern Visayas, Negros, Panay, Bicol, Southern Tagalog and Cagayan Valley.
The Party acclaims the NPA’s Red fighters and commanders and pays tribute to those who have fallen in battle. They will forever be remembered and extolled as the people’s heroes and martyrs.
The broad masses of the Filipino people applauds the NPA’s offensives. These offensives underscore the people’s determination to resist Duterte’s tyrannical regime and inspire and embolden them to fight back against the reign of state terrorism, corruption and national treachery.
The NPA ambush last October 4 in Lianga, Surigao del Sur is particularly outstanding. It dealt a headblow against the 3rd IB’s paramilitary group Magahat-Bagani and served justice to the Lumad masses. These armed agents have been determined to be responsible for the 2015 Lianga massacre and are being used by the military and mining companies to intimidate and suppress the people. Outstanding as well is the September 2 ambush in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat against the 37th IB which wiped out a platoon of troops assigned to secure the logging road project of the big comprador Consunji.
Based on initial summation of publicly available information and internal reports during the first three quarters of the year, NPA units have been able to mount at least 36 offensives since the start of August or almost one tactical offensive every other day. Red fighters have took the guerrilla initiative in the provinces of Albay, Negros Occidental, Surigao del Sur, Oriental Mindoro, Misamis Oriental, Capiz, Agusan del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Iloilo, Northern Samar, Occidental Mindoro, Surigao del Norte, Eastern Samar, Samar, Sarangani, Negros Oriental and Cagayan. At least 289 fascist troops, the equivalent of a small battalion, were killed in action in encounters since the start of the year. While the NPA lost 146 fighters during the same period, at a ratio of 1 NPA fighter killed for every 2 fascist, this has gone down to 1:3 in favor of the NPA since July. These numbers are subject to change as more reports come in.
There is a marked reduction in the number of defensive encounters or battles initiated by the AFP. From almost 60 last April, when the AFP mounted nationwide offensives to take advantage of the NPA ceasefire by way of responding to the United Nation’s call for a global ceasefire, the number of defensives has dropped to less than 10 a month. The NPA must aim to bring this down to zero.
The reduced number of defensives indicates how NPA guerrilla units have adopted and adjusted to the AFP’s focused military operations that aim to blockhouse and encircle the NPA. Guerrilla units are mastering tactics of shifting, concentration and dispersal, in order to avoid the enemy’s main force, take advantage of wide gaps between enemy operating units and strike at its weak flanks. While some suffered losses, the large majority of NPA units, supported by the masses, have effectively adopted the appropriate policies and tactics to keep the enemy deaf and render ineffective its military superiority.
Conservative estimates put AFP spending at P100 million for a few weeks of focused military operations to mobilize at least 1,000 ground troops to scour a small area covering several villages in border areas, combined with the use of drones, helicopters and jet fighters for bombing raids, and showcase psywar projects. These large-scale operations have proved to be a huge waste of money. Corruption is rampant as large amounts of funds are diverted to the pockets of military officers in the form of overpricing, overdeclaration of expenses, skimming of the “community integration” funds, delaying release of salaries for troops and CAFGU personnel, false reports of achievements to pocket rewards, selling unspent artillery in the black market, and so on.
The fascist regime has resorted to waging a dirty all-out war that consider and treat civilians as adversaries in the armed conflict. Entire communities are subjected to gross abuses, extrajudicial killings, endless intimidation and harassment to force people to “surrender” to the AFP. The AFP has extended its dirty war to the cities and seeks to suppress the organizing efforts of workers, unemployed, students, teachers, and other democratic sector.
Duterte’s dirty war, however, is a self-defeating war. The more it resorts to state terrorism, the more people are driven to join the armed struggle. It makes the countryside ever more fertile ground for NPA recruitment. The peasant masses support and join the people’s army in order that they could defend themselves and their communities, advance their struggle for land and agrarian reforms, and build the democratic organs of the people’s government.
The growing strength of the NPA exposes the futility of the US-designed counterinsurgency which relies primarily on military superiority and the suppression of people’s resistance. The so-called “whole-of-nation approach” is a shibboleth that vainly hides the overarching military control of all aspects of governance and civilian life.
The rising number of NPA offensives during the past months show that Duterte’s declared goal of “ending local communist armed conflict” is bound to fail. These puncture a big hole on the AFP’s repeated pronouncements of having weakened the NPA, that NPA fighters are “surrendering” in droves, and that it has lost the support of the people. Duterte’s declared goal of crushing the NPA before the end of his term is set to fail and will surely be rescheduled for the nth time.
The increasing number of tactical offensives mounted by the NPA are indubitable proof that the people’s army continues to grow in strength and enjoy the deep support among the peasant masses. As a guerrilla army with inferior weapons and limited resources, the NPA could not have mounted these offensives if not for the support of the masses. The masses support the NPA’s tactical offensives because these serve their interests and are carried out in their defense.
The Party calls on all NPA units to vigorously wage revolutionary armed struggle in all parts of the country by way of response to the brazen fascism, massive corruption and squandering of people’s money and national treachery of the tyrannical Duterte regime. The NPA must heed the Filipino people’s clamor for justice. The Party leadership has directed all commands of the NPA to mount more frequent tactical offensives, and mobilize its companies, platoons and squads. Use all possible types of weapons—from rifles and command-detonated explosives, to spears and punji sticks—against the enemy. The NPA must make the tyrant bleed from a thousand cuts and punish the fascists for all their crimes.
All NPA units should mount ambushes, harassments, demolitions, raids, sniping operations and other tactical offensives against the most notorious units of the AFP, counterguerrilla units of the PNP and their paramilitary groups. They must avoid hitting at hard targets and aim at the weak and isolated units of the enemy, and at all times, avoid situations that could put civilians at risk of getting caught in the crossfire. The NPA must also temporarily dispatch partisan teams in the cities and town centers to strike at military transport and communication systems, ;and carry out the orders of duly-authorized people’s courts to arrest or punish fascist officers, plunderers and despotic bureaucrat capitalists and landlords who are wanted for crimes against the people.
The NPA must also intensify armed resistance against the expansion of anti-people mining, logging, plantation, energy and tourism operations which dispossess and displace the peasant and minority masses.
In particular, the revolutionary movement must take effort to frustrate plans of the Duterte regime to allow the further expansion of Chinese companies, especially those involved in the construction of seven Chinese military bases and in the plunder and destruction of Philippine marine resources in the West Philippine Sea in violation of Philippine sovereignty. Some of these same Chinese companies are involved in some big-ticket infrastructure projects for the construction of mining roads and dams that are encroaching deeper and deeper into the ancestral lands of the national minorities and forests in various parts of the country. These infrastructure projects not only displace thousands of peasants and minorities from their lands, they also wreak havoc to the natural ecosystem of the country’s remaining forests.
By mounting tactical offensives against the armed agents of the state, the NPA is helping the Filipino people advance their resistance against Duterte’s tyrannical regime and cause its downfall. Although the NPA does not yet have the strength to overthrow the entire ruling system, it is in a position to help weaken the reactionary armed forces, draw its attention away from the suppression of the democratic mass movement and force it to dissipate its strength. The more NPA tactical offensives, big and small, the more difficult it will be for Duterte to carry out his scheme to perpetuate himself and his family and minions in power; and the better for the democratic forces to grow in strength and thrive.
As the NPA wages armed struggle in the countryside, the broad masses of the people are encouraged to continue intensifying their democratic mass struggles in the cities. The Party calls on the people to unite and advance the struggle for wage increases, job security, economic, education and health subsidies and other urgent socioeconomic reforms in the face of the acute economic crisis and the failure of the Duterte regime to manage the pandemic. They must oppose additional tax burdens on the people and tax exemptions for the big capitalists, meager budget allocations for health, education and other social services, budget increases for counterinsurgency, debt-servicing and pork barrel projects, and anti-people and foreign debt-funded infrastructure projects.
While encouraging the democratic mass movement in the cities, the Party calls on workers, the unemployed masses, nurses and health workers, teachers, students and other sectors to join the New People’s Army in the countryside and help wage people’s war across the country. In advancing the people’s war, the Filipino people gain strength not only to end Duterte’s tyrannical reign, but to advance the overall cause for national and social liberation.