On the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of the true army of the people, the New People’s Army, Red fighters and commanders in Southern Mindanao, along with our tens of thousands of people’s militia, reiterate our commitment to serve the people and the armed revolutionary people’s war until victory and for the attainment of socialism. With the US-Duterte regime’s free falling deterioration to being the most fascist, corrupt and anti-people puppet regime since Marcos, the path of revolutionary armed resistance is clearer more than ever.
The past year has yet again proven the distinct contrast between Red fighters of the NPA and the brutal dogs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. While the NPA consistently serves the interests and welfare of the workers, peasants, Lumad and all other sectors of society, the fascist enemy in Southern Mindanao has been squarely reduced to a rabid, mercenary and brutal organized group of hooligans out to do the bidding of the ruling class of landlords, bourgeoise comprador, bureaucrat capitalists like Rodrigo Duterte and their imperialist masters.
The AFP’s fascism in the region under Duterte’s martial law has rivalled and in other cases surpassed the dark days of Marcos’ martial law. Training their guns on farmers, workers, the Lumad, activists, minors and other civilians, extra-judicial killings have not only become standard fare for the AFP’s brutal troops but tremendously enjoyed Duterte’s utmost support and impunity. Since February this year, AFP troops have managed to abduct and detain for almost 2 days two underage girls in Kitaotao, Bukidnon; killed a Lumad student in Talaingod, Davao del Norte and murdered 2 civilians and fatally injured one other in Mabini, Compostela Valley. As far as Duterte and the AFP are concerned, the bloody trail of deaths and abuses under martial law in Mindanao is part and parcel of establishing the dictatorship which will perpetuate Duterte in power or ensure he escapes responsibility for the crimes he has committed against the people.
Failing to make any significant gains against the NPA, however, the AFP in the region have resorted to all sorts of fake news and shenanigans to smokescreen their utter failure in the counterinsurgency campaign Oplan Kapayapaan. They have made a milking cow of the Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP), from which their officials have pocketed millions, all the while recycling past surrenderees or else rounding up civilian peasants and Lumad and forcing them to surrender as members of the NPA. AFP troops employed psywar tactics in order to force local government units or tribal councils to come up with so-called “declarations” naming the CPP, NDFP and the NPA as persona non-grata (unwelcome persons). Before long, however, the AFP spin doctors will have to explain why Red fighters are still able to launch tactical offensives against their troops or deflect their attacks in areas they previously “cleared” from “communist influence.”
The Eastern Mindanao Command of the AFP has belabored the need for the so-called localized peace talks in lieu of the formal negotiations between the GRP and NDFP panels scuttled by Duterte himself and insisted on the “crucial role” of the local government units and other agencies of the reactionary government. Reading through the sweet talk and false obeisance, the AFP actually wants to subvert civilian authority and ensure that LGUs and other agencies tow the fascist line in their counter-insurgency campaign. The enemy desperately wants to ensure that these localized peace talks are being conducted in conjunction with their psywar campaign of intimidation and harassments, fake mass surrenders of civilians, alongside enforced disappearances, bombings, forced evacuations and extra-judicial killings. The AFP in fact is sending a veiled threat against all peace-loving local officials, human rights advocates and sympathizers of the revolutionary cause in the region, or else face the fatal consequences.
Meanwhile, the New People’s Army in the region continues to be the center of gravity for the masses’ hope and earnest struggle in resolutely resisting the present tyrannical US-Duterte regime. Fifty years into the revolutionary armed struggle, the NPA remains and has proven its mettle to be the main instrument of the Filipino people in realizing genuine national democracy to defeat US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
Tempered in the realities and hardships of the people’s war, NPA units in Southern Mindanao are able to promptly adjust their mode and conduct of political and military work in consideration of the fluid military situation. During the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2 when the region became the priority target of the brutal counterinsurgency campaign, the NPA in Southern Mindanao strengthened in numbers and in skill in guerilla warfare. All indications—including and mostly especially the worsening fascism as a result of heightened AFP militarization—point to the NPA emerging from the present challenges to become a far stronger people’s army that is resilient in withstanding the enemy’s suppression campaigns and more creative in advancing the revolution.
NPA units in the region are also able to help the peasant and Lumad masses wage agrarian revolution in order to retain their right to till and campaign for more just share, higher wages, higher farm gate prices for their produce and better working conditions. They have likewise aided the mass organizations and organs of political power in their campaign against the intrusion of multi-national companies, mining corporations and plantations that threatens to drive Lumad and peasants away from their farms and ancestral lands.
With the unwavering support of the masses and the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines, NPA forces in Southern Mindanao are emboldened to achieve heights and bearing in carrying out our urgent tasks in the CPP’s 5-year plan, which include overthrowing the current fascist US-Duterte regime, waging the anti-fascist, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist struggle, and bringing forward the people’s war to the advanced phase of the strategic defensive stage.
In serving the people and advancing their interests above all, the NPA in Southern Mindanao distinctly defines its class line and ensures that the intervening years will see greater and bigger achievements in the revolutionary armed struggle. For Red fighters and commanders in the region, there is no better way to celebrate this golden momentous occasion but by resolutely waging the people’s war until our nationwide victory.