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)

Country’s leading art critic Alice Guillermo passes away; tributes pouring in

Tributes are pouring in for the late University of the Philippines professor and leading art critic Alice Guillermo who passed away Sunday, July 29, due to a lingering illness.

She was 80 years old.

News of Guillermo’s death immediately circulated among academics, artists, writers and activists Sunday who held off posting announcements and tributes on their social media accounts in deference to requests by her family for some private time.

Born in January 6 1938 in Quiapo, Manila, Guillermo is survived by poet and essayist husband Gelacio and children Sofie and Ramon.

In his message of condolence, poet and fellow art critic Jose Maria Sison wrote Guillermo’s “great amount and high quality of works in the field of culture and art are outstanding and make her a brilliant icon in the national pantheon of culture heroes.”

“She and her works will live on both as significant contributions to the cumulative revolutionary tradition of art and literature and as inspirational guide to the revolutionary artists and creative writers of this and further generations,” Sison added.

Sison said Guillermo studied the entirety of Filipino artists and scrutinized the works of a wide range of Filipino artists, including Francisco Coching, E. Aguilar Cruz, Santiago Bose, Agnes Arellano, Alfredo Carmelo, Galo B. Ocampo and Julie Lluch.

“She paid the closest attention and appreciated most the artists and creative writers that may be considered as the artists of the people, especially the adherents of social realism who exposed the dire conditions and needs of the oppressed and exploited toiling masses of workers and peasants and expressed their immediate demands for national and social liberation and their vision of a brighter and better future in socialism,” he said.

UP professor Lisa Ito for her part expressed grief over Guillermo’s passing who she considers a “beloved professor.”

“Thank you for teaching how words should be wielded with perceptive precision and a sense of purpose for the people,” Ito wrote of Gullermo on her Facebook account.

“Pinakamataas na pagpupugay kay kasama’t kagurong Alice Guillermo,” former UP College of Mass Communication dean Rolando Tolentino wrote on his Facebook account. (The highest tribute to comrade and fellow teacher Alice Guillermo.)

A former chairperson of the Department of Art Studies of the U.P. College of Arts and Letters, Guillermo became one of the country’s leading art critics and expert on Marxist theory of arts and literature.

In 1976, Guillermo won the Art Criticism Award of the Art Association of the Philippines and became the Centennial Honoree of the Arts (for Art Criticism) of the Cultural Center of Philippines in 1999.


(An endearing portrait of Alice Guillermo as narrated by her children Bomen and Sofie Guillermo, husband Gelacio, and visualized by documentary filmmaker, Jaja Arumpac.)

A prodigious author and writer, Guillermo was most famous for her books The Covert Presence, Social Realism in the Philippines, and Image to Meaning: Essays on Philippine Art and Protest/Revolutionary Art in The Philippines.

According to her profile by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Guillermo finished bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in education, magna cum laude, in 1957 at the College of Holy Ghost. She then went to UP where she obtained her master’s degree.

Awarded a scholarship by the French government, she studied at the Universite d’Aix-Marseille in France where she obtained the Certificat d’ Etudes Litteraires Generales, the Certificat de Seminaire d’Etudes Superieures, avec mention Assez Bien, with a study of the French nouveau roman, “La Modification par Michel Butor: Themes et Structures” and the Diplome de Langue et Lettres Francaises, also Assez Bien, in 1967.

She was a member of the Cultural Research Association of the Philippines and the Concerned Artists of the Philippines and was a long-time art studies department professor of the College of Arts and Letters of UP Diliman.

Guillermo wrote numerous reviews and articles for magazines like Archipelago, Observer, Who, WE Forum, Business Day, and New Progressive Review.

Her other books included Mobil Art Awards (1981), Blanco: The Blanco Family of Artists (1987), Images of Change (1988), Alfredo Carmelo: His Life and Art (1990), The National Museum Visual Arts Collection and Cebu: A Heritage of Art (1991), and Color in Philippine Life (1993).

Guillermo was one of the senior authors of the survey of Philippine sculpture, From Anito to Assemblage (1990), and authored an essay for the book, Anita Magsaysay-Ho. She also participated in the CCP’s Tuklas- Sining monograph and video series project as essayist-scriptwriter for Sining Biswal, An Essay and Documentary on Philippine Visual Arts (1989) and Sining Biswal IV, An Essay and Documentary on the American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions in Philippine Visual Arts (1993).

She was the co-author of the textbooks Art: Perception and Appreciation (1976) and Ang Sining sa Kasaysayang Pilipino (1991).

Guillermo was a recipient of a Japan Foundation Fellowship Grant in Tokyo in 1991, a UP Diamond Jubilee Assistant Professorial Chair in 1988, and was a UP ICW national fellow for the essay in 1987-1988.

Her essay, “Ang Kaisipang Filipino Batay sa Sining Biswal”, won a Palanca Award in 1979. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Tao of the Revolution

by Tomas Talledo

Imperceptible, moving the unmoving ceaseless Tao of Revolution,
The immovable Law of Motion calls,
“Come Li Ta-Chao, come Azad, come Reds now…”
Victory revealed by time, space and causality when burst forth open.

War machines spurt foul operation plans,
But Ho-Chi-Minh’s pond stays Zen.
Still is the tempest waiting, murmuring,
“Nanay Walingwaling, Kumander Posa, Ka Tingting”.
Fools are they who spit at the sky.

Summons of kubing, drums, gongs call over, over and over,
I glimpse of communism in dances of Tumandok highlanders
Where moving fauna totems meld together
In such ancient brave colors of their skin apparel.

While navel gazers amongst us are blind what lays ahead,
So are bourgeois ego lickers and eaters of the dead.

                                                                              –18 July 2018

Arrest try of injured Red commander humanitarian law violation, NPA says

The New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Mindanao Region condemned the attempted arrest by combined military and police troopers of its commander recuperating from a major operation in a Bukidnon hospital.

The NPA said Zaldy Cañete, injured in a fierce gun battle in Barangay Kipilas, Kitaotao, Bukidnon Thursday, is obviously an hors de combat and must be given protection, respect and humanitarian medical treatment and recovery in accordance with civilized rules of warfare.

“The GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) should not subject Cañete to further punitive action by virtue of his condition as an hors de combat,” Rigoberto Sanchez, the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command spokesperson, in a statement said.

An hors de combat is a person who is “outside of the fight” after injury or surrender.

On May 10, 2018, the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Battalion attacked Cañete’s 1st Pulang Bagani Company, resulting in a two-hour fire fight that involved aerial and ground bombing by the GRP troops.

Cañete sustained head and body injuries, including a bullet wound on his lower left ear that exited on his right frontal skull.

The NPA said eight government troopers were in turn killed.

Cañete was turned over to his relatives in the area who took him to the nearby Don Carlos District Hospital where he underwent an 11-hour brain surgery.

The injured Red fighter is suffering memory loss and loss of speech as a result of his injuries and is confined at the hospital’s intensive care unit, the NPA said.

A few hours after his operation, however, AFP, PNP and intelligence operatives arrived and attempted to serve multiple warrants of arrest against Cañete, the NPA said.

“The GRP’s hasty attempted arrest and detention of Cañete is treacherous and violates the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the Geneva Conventions and other generally accepted principles and standards of international humanitarian law which clearly protect injured persons of the Parties in armed conflict,” the NPA said.

“In the same manner that the NPA has treated leniently any captured personnel of the military, police and paramilitary forces as prisoners of war in faithful allegiance to the international customary law pertaining to humanitarian principles, norms and rules in armed conflicts, the GRP has no recourse but to afford Cañete the same rights and non-discriminatory protection,” it added.

Human rights group Exodus for Justice and Peace (EJP) echoed the NPA’s call, saying the attempted arrest of an hors de combat is an international humanitarian law violation.

“Any action taken by the AFP on Cañete would constitute a serious breach and will dampen the spirit of reopening the [peace] talks,” EJP said in a statement.

“[The] EJP observes that the AFP continues to ignore the efforts of the GPH panel and the people’s clamor for peace as it continues its operations and propaganda. Clearly this does not help the peace talks,” their statement added.

The EJP periodically acts as a third party facilitator to the release of GRP troops who were taken as prisoners of war by the NPA.

The EJP appeals to the government to release Cañete on humanitarian grounds and as part of an enabling environment for the resumption of the talks.

NDFP and GRP peace negotiators are reportedly engaged in a series of backchannel talks in accordance with GRP President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to try to revive the peace negotiations he cancelled in November last year. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)


NDFP celebrates 45th anniversary

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) celebrated its 45th year at the U.P. Bahay ng Alumni on April 24, 2018 attended by thousands of supporters calling for the resumption of peace talks.

NDFP senior adviser Luis Jalandoni and peace panelist Coni Ledsma talked with the local media on the prospects for the talks. 90-year old Ka Mameng Deunida graced the event.

Former NDFP peace negotiator Satur Ocampo stressed the need to implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), advance the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), and continue the peace talks.

Chief political consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison welcomed the possible resumption of talks as the Philippine revolution progresses against imperialism and local reaction amid the local and international crises. A parade of colors of the 18 NDFP allied organizations highlighted the celebration.

(Music: “Kapayapaan Ngayon Na”, among several cultural performances and video presentations at the event.)

Kaguma @ 47: ‘Drag tyrant out of Malacañan!’

“Duterte is morally-corrupt and barbaric. He has no right to stay in power!”

The underground group Katipunan ng mga Gurong Makabayan or Kaguma commemorated its 47th founding anniversary Wednesday by calling on its members to resist the Rodrigo Duterte government’s “fascism and terrorism.”

In a statement sent to Kodao, Kaguma said it offers a red salute to all freedom-loving Filipinos, “especially to teachers who transcend their role within the confines of the classrooms” as they struggle to thwart what its calls Duterte’s rampage of violence and murder.

Founded in 1971, Kaguma went underground when dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law less than six months later in September that year.

It later became a founding allied organization of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) when it was established in April 1973.

Kaguma logo.

In its statement, Kaguma condemned the government’s K + 12 curriculum it said objectifies schoolchildren as subservient labor to capital.

It cited the deaths of more than 13,000 victims of the government’s so-called war against drugs as well as 150 activists under Duterte.

The group encouraged relatives of victims to seek justice through the International Criminal Court’s should the case against Duterte push through and become a full blown trial.

“We must encourage the international community to look into the case and help by means of amplifying their condemnation as well against the fascism of the US-Duterte regime,” the revolutionary group said.

The group said teachers and the academe has a big role to fill-in in educating the broad masses of people on the true state of our nation under a tyrannical ruler.

“Duterte is morally-corrupt and barbaric. He has no right to stay in power!” the group said as it called on its members to rise up to end to Duterte’s rule.

“Prepare for the people’s uprising and drag this tyrant out of Malacañan!” Kaguma said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Kay Buboy

(Para sa isang kaibigan, kasama, bayani, martir at sa lahat ng tulad niyang inialay ang sarili para sa sambayanan. @49)

Ni Nonoy Espina


ni hindi ka ulirang kasama buboy
mapusok, marupok
madaling maligaw ang
pag-iisip at hakbang

gayunpama’y daig mo
pa ang mga henyong
hunghang na nasilaw
sa sariling talino
at inakalang sa
aminado nga namang
katalinuha’t kakayaha’y
maaangkin ang
dakilang pakikibaka

ikaw na madalas
laitin, mamaliitin,
pagalitan, parusahan,
ang nanatiling

ikamonga’y di dahil
sa nauunawaan mo na
ng lubos ang
nilalaman ng
aklat na pula

pabiro mo pa nga
ng minsa’y napadalaw ka
na kung sa psr
ika’y hilung-hilo
anupakaya sa

subalit sa ating
huling pagkikita
nasambit mo rin
sa kabila ng
pagkalito’t pagkabalisa
ang dahilan ng iyong
pananatili sa
dakilang pakikibaka

‘pinanganak akong alipin…
sa angkang alipin.
ano pa ba ang
mawawala sa akin
kung aking sikaping
maging malaya?
malagas man ako’y
babagsak ako sa
landas na malaya
kong pinili.’

tama ka nga buboy
nahimlay ka ngang malaya

at ang mga hunghang
na madalas ay tawanan ka?
hayun, bundat nga
subalit di naman
makalabas sa gintong hawla
sapagkat ngayo’y
batid na nila na
ang masang kanilang
ibinenta ay nakaabang,
naghihintay na
masingil ang dugong
inutang sa kanila

–Bacolod City

With Arayat as witness 49 years ago today

This was the spot where Jose Maria Sison, fresh from re-establishing the Communist Party of the Philippines the previous year, met with guerrilla leader Bernabe “Ka Dante” Buscayno to establish the New People’s Army in March 29, 1968,  Read more

Joma shows map of NPA presence in 73 provinces

National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison posted a map of the Philippines showing New People’s Army (NPA) presence in “at least 73 of 81 provinces of the country.”

“The color red in this map shows the presence of the New People´s Army in at least 73 out of the 81 Philippine provinces,” Sison said in his Facebook post.

“NPA presence denotes the existence of the people´s militia and the self-defense units of the revolutionary mass organizations. These two layers of people´s defense are the auxiliary and reserve force of the NPA,” Sison wrote.

He said the map came from the Philippine Revolution Web Collective and the NDFP.

According to the map, among the provinces the NPA does not currently have presence are Batanes, Bataan, Biliran, Cebu, Marinduque, Siquijor, Romblon, and Guimaras.

The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao are also uncolored.

The Government of the Republic of the Philippines repeatedly announced in recent years that the NPA is down to about 3,700 fighters.

The  Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recently presented to President Rodrigo Duterte hundreds of NPA fighters who allegedly surrendered as part of 4,000 who recently abandoned armed struggle.

“These are indicators of growing discontent within their organizations, the success of our programs, and the cooperation between residents and local government units,” AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a press conference last January.

Netizens, however, pointed out that the Duterte government in fact presented 300 more so-called surrendered members than the AFP’s claim of NPA’s 3,700 fighters. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Duterte has never been an ally–Sison

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison denied the revolutionary movement in the Philippines has ever been in an alliance or in a united front with President Rodrigo Duterte.

According to a report published on the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) website, Sison said in a speech last September 15 in Utrecht, The Netherlands his former student has never been the movement’s ally despite his claim there is a “Duterte faction” among revolutionaries in southern Mindanao.

Sison said their southern Mindanao comrades described Duterte a bureaucrat capitalist or “a politician who creates private wealth for himself using his public office.”

Duterte is capable of saying and doing anything that is left, middle or right, depending on what serves him from moment to moment, Sison said.

In a speech at the reopening of the NDFP’s International Office in the Dutch city, Sison said some people misunderstood their efforts to promote the peace negotiations between the Duterte regime and the Left already involves a working alliance.

Sison added that while Duterte publicly offered as many as four cabinet posts to the CPP, it cannot accept any government position while there are talks.

The NDFP instead nominated Judy Taguiwalo to the Department of Social Work and Development, Rafael Mariano to the Department of Agrarian Reform and Liza Maza to the National Anti-Poverty Commission.

The NDFP said their nominees are “patriotic and progressive individuals who are highly qualified, honest and diligent.”

Taguiwalo and Mariano, however, were rejected by the Commission on Appointments (CA). Both said they felt no support from Duterte during their CA ordeal.

“There was never a united front deal. As a matter of fact, Duterte doesn’t want a coalition government but only an inclusive government under his leadership. It is by way of undertaking goodwill measure that the NDFP recommended meritorious individuals,” Sison said.

Sison admitted there was a recommendation to the NDFP to entertain Duterte as a possible ally. But he explained the recommendation is conditional to the peace negotiations.

Duterte cancelled the fifth round of formal negotiations in The Netherlands last May after failing to secure an open-ended bilateral ceasefire agreement with the CPP and the New People’s Army.

The report said Sison “assailed some reactionary political forces who claim that the revolutionary movement has been in alliance with Duterte and trying to blame the movement for the human rights violations committed by Duterte.”

Sison said the revolutionary movement is ready to work with a broad united front of various political forces, including reactionaries who are against the Duterte regime it now considers the enemy.

Sison also warned the military and police who would turn against Duterte are the President’s biggest threat that can result in his quick ouster. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)