Read in: Hiligaynon
The Roselyn Jean Pelle Command (RJPC) marks the 52nd anniversary of the New People’s Army (NPA), today, March 29, 2021, with the firm resolve to further strengthen its ranks, combat conservatism, and inspire the people of Northern Negros to join the rest of the oppressed Filipino masses in an upsurge of protest and people’s war.
During the past few years, Negros has become one conspicuous locus of the dirty counter-revolutionary war of the fascist Duterte regime. The RJPC honors the sacrifices made by activists and peasant leaders from North Negros like Zara Alvarez, Jerry Catalogo, Oscar Vallente and Antonio Arellano who were brutally killed by the enemy during the past year even amid the COVID-19 crisis.
We likewise pay the highest tribute to the Red fighters of Negros Island, particularly the brave comrades who were martyred in recent firefights in Guihulngan City and Negros Oriental. They dedicated their lives in serving the oppressed and in pursuing the fight for national liberation and socialism.
To boost its fascist rampage in North Negros, the AFP deployed the 79th IB whose moniker “Masaligan” or “dependable,” pertains to its fanatical drive to impose murders, massacres, raids, arrests and the forced surrender of scores of unarmed civilians to conjure so-called accomplishments in lieu of actual combat victories against the NPA.
The 79th IB and Duterte’s National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and its local counterparts hand-picked Escalante City as a center of triad operations and its “whole of nation” approach with the avid cooperation of Mayor Melecio “Beboy” Yap Jr. Yap ran for the mayoral post unopposed during the 2019 local elections.
As an upstart in power, Yap probably thinks he could secure his political and economic foothold against the more established landlords and bureaucrats in North Negros through the spoils and military backing he hopes to gain in pushing the anti-people, corrupt and murderous schemes of the AFP and Duterte’s NTF-ELCAC.
Yap banked on his cordial relations with some progressives to either convince or coerce local activists, peasant leaders and former revolutionaries to “clear their names” with the military, a euphemistic term for abandoning one’s principles for self-preservation and class collaboration. Through Yap’s acquiescence, the NTF-ELCAC whipped up the wasteful spectacle dubbed the North Negros Peace Summit in Escalante City in 2019, where 2,500 civilians were wrongfully presented as rebel returnees. Many “surenderees” who were duped to attend never received a single centavo out of the promised pay-out and livelihood funds from Duterte’s specious but spendthrift E-CLIP program.
Yap joined AFP mouthpieces in yapping about “healing wounds” and “moving on” from military atrocities such as the 1985 Escalante Massacre, even as prominent rights advocates like City Councilor Bernardino “Toto” Patigas were murdered in cold blood. The hollow “peace caravans” cannot conceal that state-sponsored killings in Escalante have in fact escalated and that its citizens are still directly affected by unceasing military threats and ransacking of homes and communities, peasant cultivation areas and offices.
Yap went a step further in kowtowing to the military’s demands with the creation of a Center for Collaborative Solutions, an office manned by opportunists and racketeers who aim to blackmail, corrupt and make milking cows out of local farmworkers associations and cooperatives which they tag as Communist supporters. Dubious “public servants” like Yap and the traitors who intently followed his lead will be judged harshly by the masses whom they betrayed and sold-out to the military and the landed elite.
The people of North Negros can no longer allow this treachery to persist. Landlessness and joblessness, complicated by draconian COVID-19 restrictions and the coming tiempo muerto season in the sugar industry, are enough silent killers that currently plague the masses. State terror is nothing but a facade to hide the feeble and flailing core of the rotten ruling system. The people must, and will definitely resist.
The Filipino people did not cease fighting for their economic and political rights, and they will continue to do so against all odds. The revolutionary organizations of North Negros must gather strength and inspiration from the struggling masses across the country. We must overcome the setbacks and the divisive tactics of the enemy and devise countless ways to actively serve the people. We must persevere in the tasks of armed struggle, agrarian revolution, and mass base building while keeping the enemy unaware of our revolutionary activities.
The revolutionary vigor and experience of the people of Escalante and the rest of North Negros must not be wasted to passivity and atrophy or the numbing effect of state terror. We must likewise struggle to overcome our own empiricist tendencies and arrogance, and truly become humble pupils of the people.
We must seriously study revolution by waging revolution. We Red fighters must serve and defend the masses through fierce struggle and by consciously raising our caliber in waging people’s war.
The people look to their beloved Red army amid this harsh crisis, and they are all the more inclined to wage armed struggle against the rotten ruling system. Mass campaigns and initiatives to support and strengthen the NPA will surely multiply despite the rabid and desperate smear campaign of the enemy.
The Roselyn Jean Pelle Command enjoins all patriotic sons and daughters of North Negros to cast away their fears, get organized, and engage in revolutionary political work wherever they can. The RJPC for its part vows never to rest until revolutionary justice is attained by Negrosanons. The masses await the new wave of our best sons and daughters who would wield weapons and take part in leading the people’s democratic revolution to complete victory.
Long live the NPA!
Advance the People’s War!