The Romulo Jallores Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the Bicol Region said the government’s increased military presence in civilian communities is proof of their strength, contrary to government’s claims that the Communist guerrilla army is weakening.
In an audio statement 12 days before their 53rd founding anniversary, NPA-Bicol spokesperson Raymund Buenferza said the ruling class is in fact showing fear by flooding communities with government troops as the Communists continue their revolutionary work among the masses.
“They are being eaten by their desperation to crush the gains of the revolutionary movement, both by the earlier and our current generation of NPAs,” Buenfuerza said.
The regional NPA spokesperson said the government has launched costly, prolonged and widespread military operations to force the guerrillas into sustained combat to try to decimate their ranks in the region.
Buenfuerza however urged their Bicolano comrades to keep on resisting and remain faithful to their cause for meaningful change.
“Whatever it is that the government is making us suffer—if your areas are militarized, your work is being disrupted, the mass bases are being attacked—remember that these are because we are faithful to our struggle for the interests of the masses,” he said.
‘The military had last say on talks’
Buenfuerza’s remarks came as President Rodrigo Duterte again mocked the NPA in an address before alleged guerrilla surrenderees in Leyte Province on Thursday, March 17.
In his speech, Duterte said the NPA’s 53 year war is going nowhere.
“[T]ell those crazy people, those who are still fighting the government…Tell them that Mayor (Duterte) is urging you to surrender because I might return before I step down. If there are others who will surrender — if possible all your remaining comrades, come down here now because I can still help you,” he said.
Duterte also said he is instructing the military and police to allow the NPA members who wish to surrender to do so peacefully.
He also again promised to award surrenderees houses and livelihood, even cars.
Duterte said he allowed the resumption of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines early in his term, but was eventually prevailed upon by the military to withdraw.
“The military did not like it; I asked them to give me a chance to (talk peace). They said, ‘Sir, this is likely to result in a coalition government (with the Communists),’” Duterte said.
No giving up
Buenfuerza said the masses’ abject economic conditions encourage them to join their revolution however.
A vast rank of the people is being forced to choose between the two opposing sides of revolution and reaction, the NPA spokesperson said.
“The intensification of the government’s attacks gives way to the deepening politicization of our entire people,” he said.
“The enemy is welcome to delude themselves they are at the eve of their victory while we strengthen ourselves as we grab at the opportunity to move forward,” he added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)