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Joma: It’s Duterte regime that may not survive by 2022, not the NPA

The Rodrigo Duterte government should concentrate on surviving the next three years rather than be preoccupied in trying to wiping out the New People’s Army (NPA) by 2022, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said.

Even with a reset deadline, government military and police forces will surely fail in destroying the revolutionary army, Sison in a statement said, adding it is Duterte who may already be out of office by 2022.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairperson explained the military and the police cannot accomplish in three years what they failed to accomplish in 50 years.

“The scheme will surely fail from day to day, week to week, month to month and from year to year as the NPA will intensify tactical offensives and mass work,” Sison said,

 Instead, Duterte himself will have difficulty surviving politically, he added.

“These are lameduck years for him, during which infighting among his followers will be debilitating and challenges will rise from within the ruling system as well as from the revolutionary forces,” Sison said.

Department of National Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters Tuesday the government hopes to wipe out the communist guerrillas in three years.

 ‘Pipe dream’

In the press briefing, Lorenzana admitted that defeating the communists could not be accomplished within the year, as earlier predicted by Duterte.

In September, President Duterte’s said the government would win the war against the NPA by the second quarter of 2019.

Former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff and now Presidential peace adviser Antonio Galvez in November echoed Duterte’s statement that the military will eliminate the NPA by next year.

Lorenzana, however, said the prediction is a tall order even with increased military operations nationwide.

“We cannot do it this year because it is a huge problem. If you will recall, this insurgency has been going on for the past 50 years already and we cannot end it in one year,” Lorenzana said.

“Maybe, our target now should be in the remaining three years of President Duterte’s term. We can probably accomplish that,” he added.

‘Wasted years’

Sison said Duterte should be blamed for wasting opportunities to sign peace agreements with the NDFP aimed at addressing the root causes of the armed conflict.

Duterte cancelled the peace talks with the NDFP in November 2017 and moved to have CPP and the NPA declared as “terrorist organizations.”

“Were the Duterte regime willing to engage sincerely and seriously in peace negotiations with the NDFP to address the roots of the armed conflict and make agreements on social, economic and political reforms, a just peace could be attained in less time than three years and at far less cost in contrast to the enemy’s futile military campaigns that are costly in terms of blood and public money,” Sison said.

“The problem with the Duterte regime is that it thinks peace negotiations are merely for the surrender and pacification of the revolutionary forces and that the sincerity of the NDFP is merely the willingness to surrender to the unjust ruling system of big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats like Duterte,” he added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NPA in Bicol celebrates CPP’s 50th anniversary

The Romulo Jallores Command of the New People’s Army invited journalists of select local and international media groups to a press conference in a guerilla camp deep in the Bicol Region.

The event was part of the nationwide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

CPP successfully celebrates 50th anniversary

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) successfully celebrated its 50th founding anniversary yesterday in many regions nationwide despite the government’s refusal to reciprocate its unilateral ceasefire declaration, the group’s information bureau announced.

“In the guerrilla areas, NPA (New People’s Army) Red fighters and Party members gathered in fiesta-like assemblies together with the peasant masses from nearby barrios with food and cultural programs,” the CPP said in a statement.

The NPA’s temporary ceasefire held since December 24 despite relentless military offensives by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), the group said.

No fire fights happened during the NPA’s unilateral ceasefire from December 24 to 26.

“In the cities, Party members and activists held meetings and small gatherings under the nose of police and military intelligence agents,” the group’s information bureau revealed.

Last week, members of the Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions, an underground organization of workers, held a rally in downtown Manila as a “warm up” activity prior to yesterday’s anniversary.

Abroad, a rally was held in Hong Kong last Sunday by Filipino migrants in unity with the CPP celebrations.

An assembly was also planned in The Netherlands where the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) International Office is based, the CPP said.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Saturday the destruction of all Reds, both combatants and civilians, marking the first Christmas and New Year that his government refused to declare a ceasefire.

A platoon of the Romulo Jallores Command of the New People’s Army parades before members of the media and civilian supporters in a camp in the hinterlands of Bicol. (Photo by R. Villanueva)

NPA victories

In response to ongoing military operations against communists, NPA guerrillas struck in the Bicol region, Kalinga Province in the North, Compostela Valley in Mindanao and Northern Samar in the Visayas, scoring massive victories that netted them dozens of firearms while inflicting casualties on both AFP and paramilitary forces.

In Barangay Western Uma in Lubuagan, Kalinga last December 23, Sunday, the NPA’s Lejo Cawilan Command overran a detachment of the 77th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (PA) and carted away 30 firearms.

The detachment’s commander, a Sergeant Elon D. Bayang, was reportedly killed while three paramilitary troopers were injured. The NPA said they also suffered one casualty in the attack.

The NPA accused the PA unit and its Civilian Auxiliary Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) paramilitary of harassing and restricting the movements of residents in the area whom they accuse of being rebel supporters.

The government troopers also instigated gambling and “anti-social” activities in the communities, the NPA said.

The raid followed a massively successful NPA raid of a military patrol base in Barangay New Tubigon, Sibagat town, Agusan del Sur where they carted away 24 high powered firearms “without firing a single shot.”

The Red Fighters also took two soldiers of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion and 12 paramilitary troopers captive. The NPA assured that their prisoners of war are being treated humanely under International Humanitarian Laws.

Earlier, the NPA also launched successful tactical offensives in Sorsogon and Northern Samar provinces.

In Las Navas town in Northern Samar last December 22, a government soldier was killed while two others when attacked by the NPA.

PA Private First Class Alvin Avila died on the spot while Private Ivan Anthony Ignao Michael Ocasla were wounded.

The NPA in Sorsogon Province attacked a Philippine National Police station in Magallanes town, inflicting injuries on three police personnel before withdrawing after a ten-minute fire fight.

Aside from projecting nationwide strength on the CPP’s 50th founding anniversary, the successive NPA attack are seen as the NPA’s response to massive military operations against civilian communities.

Since early December bombings and military operations in the Kalabugao plains straddling the  tri-boundary of Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental in Mindanao have forced indigenous peoples and civilian communities to flee.

Col. Edgardo de Leon, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade said the bombings and military operations are meant to disrupt the CPP’s anniversary celebrations.

“We discovered a major NPA hideout that is probably a projected venue of the CPP anniversary celebration,” de Leon said.

Meanwhile, CPP and NDFP’s respective websites, prwc.net and ndfp.org have become inaccessible since yesterday.

“The CPP’s website became inaccessible as it was under attack likely by the US-trained AFP cyberwarfare group. But in social media, the hashtags #CPP50 and #LetsCelebrate were the top Twitter trending topics in the Philippines for several hours since early morning and was still trending as of mid afternoon,” the CPP Information Bureau said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

CPP hails Sison, heroes and martyrs on 50th anniversary

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) hailed Jose Maria Sison and its thousands of martyrs and heroes in a message on the revolutionary group’s 50th founding anniversary today.

“The Central Committee gives highest honors to Comrade Jose Ma. Sison, the Party’s founding chairman, who masterfully applied Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the concrete conditions of the Philippines and set the revolution along the correct path and steered it from strength to strength,” the CPP said.

Celebrating a rare milestone in the history of armed uprisings in the world, the party said Sison continues to be a leading light of the longest-running Maoist revolution in the world.

“Even during his prolonged incarceration and exile since 1987, [Sison’s] theoretical, socio-historical and practical insights continue to illuminate the Filipino people’s revolutionary path, help guide the Party as well as rouse the international proletariat and people to wage anti-imperialist resistance and socialist revolution,” the CPP said.

Aside from Sison, the revolutionary party said it salutes all revolutionary heroes and martyrs who gave their all for the people and served revolution to their last breath.

“It is with their dedication and sacrifices that made possible the revolutionary victories of the Filipino people,” the CPP said.

The CPP was founded in the province of Pangasinan in 1968 by a small group of intellectuals and activists led by Sison on a date that coincided with the 75th birth anniversary of the revolutionary thinker, poet and leader Mao Tse Tung.

The CPP said it celebrates its anniversary while it wages “all-out resistance against Duterte’s fascist tyranny, corruption and puppetry.”

“The rise of the US-Duterte fascist regime and its reign of terror and tyranny is, symptomatic of, and aggravates the grave conditions of the semicolonial and semifeudal system in the Philippines,” the CPP said.

The party added that the killings and many other forms of human rights violations is the Duterte regime’s way of countering the Filipino people’s growing resistance against old methods of political rule characterized by political dynasties, corruption and neglect.

Worsening crisis under Duterte

Under Duterte, the CPP said, social crises have grown even more grotesque as shown by fiscal deficits and debts.

Last September, the budget deficit widened by almost 80 percent to P378 billion from P213.1 billion during the same period last year, the group said.

To finance its programs and operations, the CPP said the Philippine government plans to borrow as much as P624.4 billion next year as Duterte seeks excessive amounts of loans from China, as well as from the Asian Development Bank and other financial institutions in order to spend for his Build, Build, Build Program.

“Under Duterte, Philippine public debt rose by more than 17 percent to P7.167 trillion from P6.09 trillion in 2016. Over the past 15 years, the Philippines allotted P10.741 trillion in debt payments and services,” the CPP said.

Against this backdrop, the CPP said the Duterte regime has become outright fascist, unleashing martial law in Mindanao until the end of next year and implementing its counter-insurgency scheme Oplan Kapayapaan to bloody results.

But the CPP said Duterte cannot defeat the NPA with such schemes, owing to widespread and deep support to its revolution.

NPA is growing

The CPP said that amidst Duterte’s harsh rhetoric against the party and the NPA, the armed revolution still grows five decades after it began.

“Duterte and the AFP have repeatedly boasted of crushing the NPA. Their claim last year that the NPA will be defeated before the end of 2018 has been frustrated and proven a big lie. This year, they proclaim that the NPA will be completely finished by mid-2019. As in all previous regimes, they keep on moving their impossible deadline,” the CPP said.

The CPP said the NPA has more than 110 guerrilla fronts in 80 provinces throughout the country, a great majority of which boasts of company-sized or bigger fighting units that are augmented by people’s militias.

“Even with US military advice and support, Duterte’s pipedream of crushing by mid-2019 the people’s armed revolution and other forms of resistance will fail,” the CPP declared.

“With the nationwide spread and growth of the NPA, it is practically impossible for Duterte to achieve superiority on all fronts at any given time. The NPA enjoys such widespread and deep support among the masses rendering the AFP incapable of encircling or constricting every guerrilla unit without rousing widespread resistance,” the group explained.

The CPP said the NPA has recently stepped up “annihilative tactical offensives” from north to south, wiping out small enemy units and seizing firearms and other war materiél while carrying out numerous attritive actions against fascist troops with the help of people’s militias and self-defense corps of revolutionary mass organizations.

In Mindanao, the NPA continues to persevere and succeed in launching successful tactical offensives despite being focus of military offensives, most notable of which is the recent overrunning of a paramilitary detachment and capture of 24 firearms in Agusan del Sur.

The CPP also said the three-week long offensives by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Bukidnon-Misamis Oriental-Agusan del Sur triboundary allegedly aimed at driving away the Lumad from their lands have been roundly frustrated.

“The enemy desperately wants to duplicate its concentrated and sustained offensives in the Davao region in North Central Mindanao, Samar, Bicol, Southern Tagalog and Negros. It will, however, be roundly frustrated as it faces a stronger nationwide force of the NPA that is ever more capable and determined to mount annihilative attacks on its weak and vulnerable points, to make it bleed with countless attritive actions while avoiding its attacks,” the CPP said.

Duterte’s November 28 order deploying more AFP troops in Bicol, Samar and Negros lessens the 75 percent concentration of government troops in Mindanao to 65 percent, the CPP said.

“[It] provided the NPA in the Luzon and Visayas regions the opportunity to mount a growing number of tactical offensives. Duterte’s order to deploy more troops in Bicol, Samar and Negros is an admission of the growing strength of the NPA in Luzon and Visayas. In doing so, the AFP is being further overstretched, increasingly exposing thinner parts to NPA annihilative offensives,” the group revealed.

CPP challenges members

The CPP’s 50th anniversary statement challenged its members to intensify their anti-feudal struggles and other mass struggles in the countryside.

“Amid worsening conditions and worsening forms of exploitation and oppression, the broad masses of peasants must intensify the land reform movement across the country and raise the demand for free distribution of land to the tiller. Mobilize the peasant masses in their millions,” the group said.

The party called on workers, students and other democratic sectors to carry out mass struggles in the advancement of their rights and welfare amid worsening socio-economic conditions against “Duterte’s heavy taxation, inflation, corruption, misuse of public funds and other anti-people policies.”

It also called on underground organizations and network to frustrate and defeat the Duterte regime’s surveillance, arrests, extrajudicial killings and other forms of attack against the legal democratic forces.

“Activists and mass leaders who are being targets of liquidation or abduction can avail of the security of the guerrilla base areas of the NPA,” the CPP said.

“As we mark and celebrate the Party’s 50th anniversary, we look forward to accomplishing ever bigger achievements and revolutionary victories,” it said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Generations of fighters | Bicol as hotbed of revolution

A few weeks ago, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the deployment of more troops to crush the “insurgency,” but the men and women, both old and young, of this armed revolution just laughed.

By RONALYN V. OLEA

BICOL REGION – Somewhere in the mountainous part of the region, there were makeshift huts made of freshly cut pieces of wood, leaves and plastic waterproof sheets. A few hammocks made of taffeta hung in between trees. These served as temporary sleeping quarters for the mobile army composed mainly of peasants, some workers and intellectuals.

There was a kitchen, a meeting place and a stage. Slits of bamboo were used as poles for the flags of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Electricity came from a generator. Water was sourced from the nearby brook.

The temporary camp was only a two-hour walk (for the urban-raised but less than an hour for those who know the terrain by heart) from the cemented road.

In this same region, military operations continue. A few weeks ago, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the deployment of more troops to crush the “insurgency.” But the men and women, both old and young, of this armed revolution just laughed at their enemy’s dream.

Why such confidence? What sustains the NPA? Who supports them?

Four NPA guerrillas from different generations shared their stories.

Taking roots

The NPA prides itself as the people’s army.

Samuel Guerrero, the 69-year-old spokesperson of the NPA-Celso Minguez Command, has devoted 27 years living among the poorest. Like many NPA units, 70 percent of his time is devoted to organizing and the other 30 percent to military work.

“In some villages, the poor eat lima-lima (a Bicolano term for pig’s food) because they could not afford to buy rice. If you are immersed among the poor, your resolve to fight is strengthened all the more. Even the fatigue disappears when you are with the masses,” Guerrero said in Filipino.

He himself came from a poor peasant family. At the age of 12, Guerrero’s small hands became familiar with soil. His family cleared portions of public land and planted abaca, corn, sweet potatoes, banana and coconut. Sometime in 1975, the soldiers came and destroyed their crops. The men in uniform also accused his father of being a NPA. Out of fear, the family left and went back only in 1986.

When his father was confined in a hospital due to a disease affecting his spine, the family became deeply indebted. They were able to pay it many years after.

“The poorest just waits for death to come,” Guerrero said. “The system only works for the rich.”

And so, it was easy for Guerrero to embrace the alternative society espoused by the revolutionary movement. On May 10, 1991, Guerrero sought out the NPA to join them.

Guerrero explained that the NPA does not only fight their enemy but also help the masses in agricultural production, wage agrarian revolution, provide health services, build organs of political power, among others.

His hair, beard and moustache already white, Guerrero does not have any plan of retiring yet. He guides the younger ones, often talking to them and helping them in even the menial tasks of preparing food and fetching water.

“The leader should be the role model in strict discipline. He should have a good relationship with his troops,” he said.

His wife and their three children are also active in the revolutionary movement in the village.

Peasant and worker

A few years younger than Guerrero, Ka Cedric, 53, also came from a poor peasant family. He grew up in a village considered as NPA mass base and decided to join the guerrillas when he reached 18, the minimum age set by the CPP to join its army.

Asked if his parents agreed with his decision, Ka Cedric paused, his face distorted, his shoulders stiffened and he broke into tears. After a minute or so, he related that the 52nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army took his father when he was eight years old. “They tortured him for one week. When he came home, bruises were all over his body,” he told Bulatlat in Filipino.

After the incident, Ka Cedric’s father joined the NPA. When his father died, he was not able to pay his last respects because he was assigned in another province.

In 1983 Ka Cedric was wounded. A grenade exploded as they took soldiers’ firearms after a successful ambush. The left side of his body and his left leg were hit by shrapnel; it took him eight months to recover.

He soon rejoined the NPA, performing organizing tasks and technical work. In 1990, problems arose within the NPA and Ka Cedric decided to leave.

Ka Cedric’s family decided to go to Manila where he worked as a construction worker for more than ten years.  He became active in their union and held a strike to demand wage hike, remittance of their social benefits, among others.

When all of his children already finished high school, the family went back to the province.

In 2017, he rejoined the NPA. “I have always believed there is no other solution,” Ka Cedric told Bulatlat.

Women guerillas

For Ka Arianne, 43, becoming a guerrilla was a fulfilled dream.

Born in a middle class family, Ka Arianne grew up in the city. As a young girl, she remembered her mother, a lay leader who was active in the movement against the Marcos dictatorship, welcoming NPA guerrillas in their home.

In 1998, after earning a degree and passing the licensure examinations, Ka Arianne was dead set to join the NPA. Finishing her studies was sort of a concession, she said. Her parents eventually respected her decision.

Even when she got married and gave birth to her two sons, Ka Arianne never thought of leaving the NPA. Her husband, a NPA fighter of peasant origin, is assigned in another unit. Once a year, they are able to spend quality time with their sons, now aged 13 and 8.

“I never imagined life outside the movement. Raising a revolutionary family is part of our plan,” the guerrilla with a fair complexion and her long, black wavy hair tied in a ponytail, said.

Last summer, her eldest was able to attend an educational discussion about the Philippine Society and Revolution. “He was shocked to know that Cory [Aquino] was far from being saintly,” Ka Arianne said smiling.

“We do not want to impose [upon our children] but we make it a point to expose them to the kind of life we have here, a communist way of living, that is, from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” she said. “At the very least, we want them to learn how to care for others and not to think only of personal satisfaction.”

Asked what sustains her, she replied, “The best part is being able to help resolve the problems of the masses.”

Ka Arianne said they form revolutionary committees, the concrete manifestation of red political power, in villages, municipalities and provinces, depending on the level of consolidation of the mass base. These committees perform the functions of revolutionary government, including the dispensation of justice, setting up people’s militia and provision of social services.

Asked what she thought of Duterte’s pledge to crush the revolutionary movement, Ka Arianne let out a gentle laughter and said, “Hindi niya kaya.” (He is not capable.)

She said government troops are afraid of the NPA. “They dare not go to the mountains. They often stay in urban areas, terrorizing the people,” she said.

One of the youngest NPA in the camp also dismissed Duterte’s threats. Ka Kim, 20, said the masses love the NPA so much. “They would invite us to their homes, offer us coffee and whatever food they have,” she said, her eyes glowing.

Like Ka Arianne, Ka Kim grew up seeing NPA guerrillas in their home. “They would give us rice whenever we did not have anything to eat.”

At the age of 11, Ka Kim, the fifth of six siblings, helped in planting banana, vegetables and root crops.  “Whenever NPA fighters pass by, they would also help us in our work,” she said.

Her parents and siblings are active members of organizations in the village. When she reached 18, she joined the NPA.

In the first few months, Ka Kim admitted getting homesick. Whenever melancholy strikes, she performs her tasks or talk to her comrades. “They are all inspiring, especially the old ones,” Ka Kim said.

Ka Kim looks forward to the NPA growing bigger and stronger in the following years.

With the CPP turning 50 this year, Guerrero said they adhere to the resolutions last 2016 to overcome conservatism and achieve more gains for the Filipino people.

“This is a protracted people’s war. When I’m gone, my children and my grandchildren would be there to continue breaking the yoke of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism,” Guerrero said.

Imperialism refers to foreign domination and control over the country’s economic, political and military affairs. Feudalism refers to the feudal bondage of farmers and agricultural workers while bureaucrat capitalism is the use of public office to plunder the nation’s wealth.

For less than a week, the temporary camp was undisturbed. Several farmers came to visit, bringing vegetables and other supplies. Members of cultural group Armas performed revolutionary songs and skits.

Despite the cold December breeze, their hearts were on fire. #

Duterte’s counter-insurgency measures will be defeated, Bicol NPA vows

BICOL–The New People’s Army (NPA) in the Bicol region vowed to defeat President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest counter-insurgency orders, saying the new militarist measures are barefaced efforts to extend martial rule and impose “fascist dictatorship” from Mindanao to the rest of the country.

In a press conference days before the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) celebrates its 50th founding anniversary on Wednesday, the Romulo Jallores Command (RJC), the regional formation of the NPA in Bicol, said Duterte has completely set-up his requisites to impose nationwide martial law.

“The people of Bicol condemns Duterte’s Executive Order Number 70 that sets up its so-called National Task Force Against Communist Insurgency and yet another extension of martial law in Mindanao until [the end of] 2019,” Raymond Buenfuerza, RJC spokesperson, said.

Duterte has only shown that his “treacherous populism” has been unmasked in issuing such orders, the group added.

Duterte signed EO 70 last December 4 following his issuance of Memorandum Order 32 last November 22 ordering increased military presence and operations in Bicol, Samar and Negros Island against communist revolutionary groups in the said regions.

Buenfuerza told a select group of journalists in a NPA camp in the region that Duterte’s militarist approach would only encourage Bikolanos to resist.

“The people had long embraced revolutionary armed struggle to fight for their democratic interests that are being denied by the imperialist United States and local ruling elite,” Buenfuerza said.

“Duterte does nothing but inspire the people to topple the rotten and crisis-ridden system that is made worse by both fascist attacks of the regime,” he added.

The RJC said there have been 77 victims of extrajudicial killings in the Bicol region under Duterte, adding the Bicol region has among the most number of victims of the government’s Oplan Tokhang.

In response, Buenferza said the various NPA units under the RJC have carried out nearly 90 tactical offensives in 2018, killing 68 state security forces and wounding 50 others “in response to the “heightening calls for justice.”

In spite of increased and more vicious attacks by the military and police, the NPA has not only successfully defended its fronts in Bicol but has strengthened its more than 110 guerrilla fronts all over the country, Buenfuerza said.

The NPA called on Bicolanos to further resist and defeat Duterte’s EO 70 and martial law in Mindanao.

“Let us be inspired by the 50th anniversary of the CPP to launch intensified people’s struggles as well as tactical offensives of the NPA until the fascist and terrorist US-Duterte regime is completely defeated,” Buenfuerza said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Duterte ouster more likely than CPP’s defeat, Sison says

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison laughed off President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that the revolutionary movement would be finished by the middle of next year.

Sison said he thinks Duterte is taking too much of the anti-pain drug Fentanyl, leading him to have “pipe dreams.”

“Duterte is delusional by claiming that he shall have destroyed the CPP-New People’s Army (NPA) and the entire revolutionary movement of the people by the middle of next year,” Sison said after Duterte said in a speech his government is winning the war against the rebels.

In a speech at Camp Melchor dela Cruz, headquarters of the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry Division, in Gamu, Isabela Tuesday, September 18, Duterte claimed his government is winning the war against the revolutionary movement.

“I think, God willing, this will be over by about the second quarter of next year. Many are surrendering,” Duterte said.

Duterte commended the 5th ID for its active and relentless efforts against threat groups in Cagayan Valley.

But Sison said Duterte forgets that his government’s “campaigns of mass murder, mass intimidation, fake surrenders and fake encounters under Oplan Kapayapaan are angering the people and inciting them to íntensify their resistance.”

Sison added it is Duterte’s bankrupt and weakened government that is ready to be toppled due to corruption as well as soaring prices of basic goods and services that make him the target of the “people’s rising hatred.”

“The people consider Duterte a clown” as they “reject the traitorous, tyrannical, murderous and corrupt character of his regime,” Sison said.

The communist leader said it is more likely that Duterte would be ousted from power than that he could destroy the people´s revolutionary movement by the middle of next year. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NPA to carry out rescue, relief and rehab after ‘Ompong’

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) announced Saturday, September 15, that New People’s Army (NPA) units are ready to conduct humanitarian activities for victims of Typhoon “Ompong”.

“The NPA and all revolutionary forces in North and Central Luzon, as well as in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, are geared to carry out rescue, relief and rehabilitation work for millions of people whose homes and livelihood were ravaged by strong winds and rains brought about by typhoon Ompong,” the CPP said in a statement.

The CPP said that while remaining vigilant over “relentless” offensive operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, local NPA commands shall primarily concentrate in civic action amid the disaster in the next few days.

The CPP announcement was issued even as tropical cyclone “Ompong” (International name: Mangkhut) is still barrelling across extreme northern Luzon, packing sustained winds of around 205 kilometers per hours (kph) and gusts of up to 285 kph.

“Ompong” made landfall at 1:40 am at the rice-producing town of Baggao in Cagayan Province and moved west-northwest at a speed of 25 kph after hitting the Sierra Madre mountain range.

Billions of pesos in damages to crops are expected as rice and corn, both major crops  in Cagayan, Isabela, Apayao, Abra and Ilocos Sur, have yet to be harvested before “Ompong” ravaged the area.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has yet to announce any casualty from the typhoon.

As of 1 pm Saturday, the typhoon has weakened and its center was located off the coast of Laoag City in Ilocos Norte.

The typhoon’s path closely followed the trajectory of Supertyphoon “Lawin” which hit the same area in late 2016, killing eight victims and causing an estimated P60 billion in damages to crops and properties.

Typhoon Ompong’s aftermath in Cabagan, Isabela.

Extending all help

In light of the widespread destruction, the CPP urged the Filipino people and international humanitarian agencies “to unite and extend all possible help to address the welfare of the people. “

“[The CPP] urges all democratic sectors to establish Serve the People brigades to help collect and distribute relief assistance. The broad masses of workers, peasants, minority people, fisherfolk and other basic sectors suffer the most from the damage wrought by typhoon Ompong,” the CPP said.

The revolutionary group added there is urgent need to mobilize peoples and groups to facilitate the entry and equitable distribution of all financial and material assistance.

The CPP warned that rampant corruption and inefficiencies by the government may hijack relief operations, as when Supertyphoons Pablo, Sendong, Yolanda and Lawin devastated large parts of the country in recent years.

The group also urged the Rodrigo Duterte government to implement wage increases, land distribution, cancellation of debt, agricultural subsidies, free irrigation and livelihood assistance and economic relief to help the victims. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NPA: 11 gov’t soldiers dead in Masbate ambush

The Jose Rapsing Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) claimed 11 government soldiers were killed in the ambush it conducted Friday, August 3, at Sitio Manga, Barangay Mactan, Cawayan town in Masbate Province.

In a statement, Luz del Mar, spokesperson of the rebel army command, confirmed an earlier Philippine National Police report that three were killed on the spot but said eight more died at a hospital in Masbate City.

Three more state troopers were injured, she said, adding NPA guerrillas recovered two assault rifles and ammunition as well as documents containing valuable information from the combined Philippine Army (PA) and Civilian Auxiliary Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) troopers.

“The fire fight lasted for 20 minutes and ended when the surviving government soldiers fled, leaving behind their dead and injured comrades,” del Mar said in Filipino.

Last Friday, the Masbate Provincial Police Office reported that soldiers of the Philippine Army detachment based in Barangay Del Carmen in Uson town were conducting combat patrol operations when they encountered NPA fighters in the area.

Del Mar said that their successful ambush was in defense of civilians who suffer human rights violations by soldiers of the PA’s 2nd Infantry Division and the 22nd CAFGU Battalion operating in the area.

She cited the case of of the four motorcycle drivers massacred on August 3, 2015 as among the atrocities allegedly committed by government soldiers in the area.# (Raymund B. Villanueva)

 

3 CAFGUs die in Masbate encounter

Three government troopers under the 2nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army were killed in an encounter in Masbate Province Friday morning, a spot report from the Philippine National Police said.

The soldiers figured in a fire fight with suspected members of the New People’s Army at Barangay Mactan, Cawayan town at about 8:30 in the morning that resulted in the deaths of three Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit auxiliary troopers, the police added.

The Masbate Provincial Police Office (MASPPO) said that soldiers of the Philippine Army detachment based in Barangay Del Carmen in Uson town were conducting combat patrol operations when they encountered NPA fighters in the area.

The MASPPO did not reveal the names of the casualties.

The PNP said they have yet to determine if the NPA also suffered casualties.

The Romulo Jallores Command of the NPA in the Bicol Region has yet to issue a statement on the incident. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)