Four revolutionary organizations representing different oppressed sectors in Southern Mindanao region forwarded highest praises to the New People’s Army (NPA) on its 52nd founding anniversary last March 29. Members of the Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (Makibaka), Kabataang Makabayan (KM), Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions (RCTU), and Artista at Manunulat ng Sambayanan (ARMAS) congratulated Red commanders and fighters for their dedication to serve the people.
“For more than five decades of waging armed revolution, the NPA remains to be the genuine army of the people for its selfless aspiration for social justice and national liberation,” ARMAS-SMR said in a statement. The revolutionary group of artists, writers and cultural workers said that Red commanders and fighters continue to banner the highest interest of the Filipino people who have long yearned to be emancipated from the ills of a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society.
Founded in 1969, the NPA started as an army of 60 fighters in the province of Tarlac with only 34 weapons—only 25 of which were high-powered—and now lays its forces in 120 guerilla fronts throughout the country.
Despite GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s more than 4 years of monstrous counterrevolutionary war, the NPA endures, according to Macario Santillan, spokesperson of RCTU-SMR, because of the correctness of the program of the national democratic revolution and the people’s support and active participation in the armed struggle.
Hardship and struggle in the time of pandemic
In their statements, which were read during the programs held in different guerilla fronts around the region, the revolutionary organizations highlighted the dire situation of their respective sectors, saying that the burden that the youth, women, workers, and cultural workers carry only doubled due to the Duterte regime’s failed response to the spread of Covid-19.
IN PHOTOS: Red fighters mount a simple #NPA52 anniversary celebration in a guerrilla base in Southern Mindanao. Because the Red army enjoys wide support from the masses, it continues to preserve its forces and grow in strength despite focused military operations in the region. pic.twitter.com/Bnuy5a78xv
— Pasabilis SMR (@pasabilisSMR) April 4, 2021
Karina Magtanggol, spokesperson of KM-SMR, reported that around 65,000 students have decided not to enrol in schools this academic year, twice more than last year’s number. “Some students even committed suicide due to the countless modules and schoolwork they had to accomplish, coupled with the immense pressure of the blended learning and other pressing problems,” she added.
Makibaka-SMR, through its spokesperson Ka Teresa, meanwhile, pointed out the Duterte regime’s continued disregard for healthcare, noting that while Covid-19 cases in the country already skyrocketed to 600,000 and the vaccination program remains lagging, corruption and fascism have become Duterte’s first priority. “Foreign debt has ballooned, while AFP modernization is set as priority over aggressive Covid testing and contact tracing,” Makibaka-SMR added.
The organizations also condemned the reactionary local government under presidential daughter Mayor Sarah Duterte for its treatment of the urban poor in many areas in Davao City. Santillan and Magtanggol attributed the dislocation of urban poor communities and the devastation of their livelihood to railroading of the ambitious Build, Build, Build program and other “modernization projects.”
The Duterte’s fascism worsened attacks and abuses against unarmed civilians and groups, especially those that expose and oppose the regime and call for social justice. Makibaka highlighted the case and condemned the treatment of Roshelle Porcadilla, a teacher of a Lumad school, who was arbitrarily arrested and suffered psychological torture in the hands of the PNP, following illegal raid conducted against the Lumad bakwit school in Cebu City last February.
The revolutionary organizations likewise scored the US-Duterte regime’s culture of impunity, macho-fascism, and neoliberalism, which is being propagated by the reactionary state propaganda machine. ARMAS-SMR denounced the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for peddling the illusion of progress and trying to mask Duterte’s inutile, corrupt, and fascist regime. “Its so-called Dutertards or DDS flood all spaces with their blatant lies, fake news, and misrepresentations,” it said.
Without the Red army, the people have nothing
For the revolutionary forces in the region, the NPA is irreplaceable as the champion of the Filipino people, and is therefore endeared to the oppressed.
“With the masses’ unwavering support, the NPA will undoubtedly march forward step-by-step and the people’s protracted war will advance stage-after-stage towards victory,” ARMAS – SMR said.
“In this political climate of worsening crisis and suppression under the ruling class, the masses can depend on no one else to deliver them revolutionary justice but the New People’s Army,” Santillan stressed. He added that by punishing the oppressors of the people, the NPA gives inspiration and fervor to the masses to stand for their democratic rights.
“It is the dismantling of the reactionary state and the defeat of the reactionary armed force that is the peak of giving justice to the people,” he said.
ARMAS-SMR congratulated the NPA for the “daring and successful” tactical offensives its units launched against the AFP and PNP. According to the CPP, the NPA conducted over a hundred TOs in the past year.
The revolutionary groups highlighted that with even more of the oppressed masses from various sectors choosing to join the NPA, the victory of the democratic revolution is well within reach for the Filipino people. They likewise paid tribute to all martyrs from the NPA.
“The New People’s Army endured and strengthened because of the heroic participation of the working class and all classes in the armed struggle,” RCTU’s Santillan ended.