New AFP spox contradicts Marcos, amuses CPP

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is only amused at inconsistencies in pronouncements made by government officials about the strength of the New People’s Army (NPA), its chief information officer said.

In a statement Wednesday, CPP officer Marco Valbuena said it was quite amusing to observe how new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla contradicted her commander in chief President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. a few days into her new job.

In repeating the annual AFP announcement it will eliminate the NPA by the end of the year, the new spokesperson “already sounded like a broken record,” Valbuena said.

In a press briefing last Monday, Padilla said the AFP vows to defeat the NPA by the end of 2024, a promise made anew in the military’s first command conference of the New Year.

“We were given specific deadlines to do such.  So within a span of a year, we are looking at eliminating the threat of the internal insurgency situation,” Padilla said.

Valbuena however pointed out that Marcos himself declared only last January 13 that there are no more NPA fronts, which Brawner in turn rebuffed

“What was interesting, however, is the fact that she issued her statement just days after Marcos, their commander-in-chief, declared that ‘there are no more NPA fronts,’” Valbuena said.

AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner himself rebuffed Marcos two days later by saying the NPA has “eleven weakened fronts,” instead of zero.

“To say the least, these disconnected statements reveal inconsistencies in the Marcos government’s public assessment of the state of the revolutionary armed movement, arising from contradictions in its self-serving objectives,” Valbuena said.

Neither declaration of having strategically defeated the NPA after 55 years or eliminating it can cover up the AFP’s ongoing military offensives and large-scale military operations across the country, Valbuena said.

The CPP officer added that the AFP continues to squander hundreds of billions of public funds in a strategy bound to fail in ending the civil war, he added.

Valbuena explained that the AFP’s annual declaration of crushing the NPA always fails because its strategy results in worsening forms of human rights and international humanitarian law violations.

He added that civilians remain the main targets of AFP’s operation through brutal suppression extrajudicial killings, rounding up people and parading them as “surrenderees,” looting, encampment amid civilian communities, curfews and other arbitrary restrictions on people’s movements and economic activity, food blockades, checkpoints, aerial bombing, artillery shelling and other bloody and dirty tactics.

“The vain objective is to break the people’s spirit and make them cower to submission. The result is the opposite,” he said.

Valbuena cited the recent killings of peasant activists Boy Baloy and Ernesto Torres in Negros Occidental by the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army who claimed the victims were NPA fighters killed in an armed encounter.

Such crimes help make the NPA numbers grow amid the CPP’s new rectification campaign launched last December, Valbuena said.

“All in all, we anticipate steady growth during the rest of the year and succeeding period…the Filipino people have no other recourse but to intensify their revolutionary mass movement and armed resistance,” the CPP said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Joma: ‘Duterte is best NPA recruiter’

National Democratic Front of the Philippines chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said President Rodrigo Duterte is “the best recruiter” for revolutionary movement, such as the New People’s Army (NPA).

In this interview, Sison replies to statements made by Armed Forces of the Philippines officers that the NPA is a spent force. (Contributed video by Urbano Guevarra)

NPA turns 50 today; CPP calls for intensified guerrilla warfare

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) called on the New People’s Army (NPA) to boldly intensify guerrilla warfare and wage all-out resistance against the Rodrigo Duterte government as the revolutionary army celebrates its 50th founding anniversary today.

Congratulating Red fighters all over the country, the CPP’s top leadership said the NPA continues to advance nationwide and succeeded in surmounting Duterte’s all-out offensives and focused military operations in 2018.

Founded by the CPP in March 29, 1969 in Sta. Rita, Capas, Tarlac, the NPA started with only nine rifles and 26 inferior firearms for 60 Red fighters consisting of veteran guerrillas and new recruits from Manila and Isabela.

CPP founding chairperson Jose Maria Sison and local rebel leader Bernabe Buscayno were among the prominent personalities present in the event.

After five decades of continuous guerrilla warfare, the NPA said it has 110 guerrilla fronts all over the country, majority of which are composed of company-sized formation of full-time Red fighters.

The NPA’s guerrilla war is the longest-running in the world today.

Major victories in 2018

Last year, the CPP said the NPA mounted several hundred tactical offensives across the country, seizing at least 107 high powered rifles from government forces and even from security agencies serving big mining operations.

The underground party said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police and their paramilitary forces suffered at least 600 casualties in 2018 with more than 380 killed in action.

One hundred eighty five AFP soldiers were killed in action across eastern Mindanao, the CPP claimed.

The group added that the numbers of government casualties were more than 40 percent higher than in 2017.

Units of the AFP that suffered the most casualties were those deployed in focused military operations in north central and north eastern Mindanao provinces where NPA units were able to carry out active defense operations against AFP offensives.

The CPP said the AFP’s decision to reduce its troop deployment in Mindanao to as low as 60 percent from a high of 80 percent in previous years is added proof that aims to crush the NPA in eastern Mindanao is failing.

“In the face of the steady nationwide growth of the NPA, Duterte’s security officials have already toned down on their earlier braggadocio of defeating the NPA by middle of 2019. They have instead moved their ‘deadline’ to the end of 2022,” the CPP said.

5-year plan

Even as it successfully frustrating Duterte’s all-out war, the CPP called on the NPA to boldly intensify guerrilla warfare nationwide and wage all-out resistance against the Duterte regime.

The CPP said the call is in accordance with the Central Committee’s five-year program (2017-2021) to continue developing nationwide strength, spread and advance.

“We must strengthen the NPA several times over and raise its capability in annihilating enemy units,” the CPP said.

The program includes the building of more units of people’s militias, self-defense units of mass organizations, partisan units, as well as raising their capability in waging mass guerrilla warfare, the CPP said.

“With its current nationwide strength and spread, the NPA is in a position to carry the people’s war forward to unprecedented levels in the coming years,” the group added.  # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NDFP holds ‘lightning rally’; vows to continue people’s war

National Democratic Front of the Philippines allied organizations staged a lightning rally at EDSA Cubao today, vowing to continue waging the people’s war.

Held in time with their ongoing formal peace negotiation with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in Rome, Italy, the underground revolutionaries said only the people’s war would bring about genuine change and social justice. Read more