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Left “guardedly optimistic” on Duterte

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is “guardedly optimistic” with its discussions with president-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Back in Manila from his meeting with Duterte in Davao City early Tuesday morning, NDFP spokesperson Fidel Agcaoili said today they are negotiating with Duterte with open eyes. Read more

Ka Roger and Ka Soly laid to rest

Here is a video of the funeral march of Gregorio and Soledad Rosal who were finally laid to rest in Ibaan, Batangas last March 31.

Ka Roger died due to a heart attack last 2011 while his wife Ka Solly was killed in an encounter in Southern Tagalog in 2013.

Roger acted as Communist Party of the Philippines spokesperson until his death. His remains were hidden for five years due to security threats.

VIDEO: Northeastern Mindanao celebrates CPP 47th founding anniversary

Despite checkpoints by the Philippine Army and threats by a paramilitary group that it will kill attendees, thousands of members, supporters and invited guests attended the grand Communist Party of the Philippines 47th founding anniversary celebrations in Northeastern Mindanao last December 26.

Here is a video of the singing of the communist hymn “Ang Internasyunal” led by a company  of New People’s Army fighters.

NPA in Mindanao grows, leaders say

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The Internationale. Part of a company of NPA guerrillas presenting arms as they sing the communist hymn “Ang Internasyunal” at the start of the CPP’s 47th founding anniversary.

 

Kitcharao, AGUSAN DEL NORTE—The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) further gained strength despite more than five years of brutal counter-insurgency operations by the Benigno Aquino government, a top rebel leader said during their 47th founding anniversary celebrations in this town last December 26.

National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao spokesperson Jorge ‘Ka Oris’ Madlos said that the New People’s Army (NPA) now has six more guerilla fronts from 40 at the start of the Aquino administration in five regions of Mindanao.

Madlos added that the NPA’s operations in Mindanao now cover 2,500 barrios from 1,850 five years ago.

“These ever expanding and deepening bases render great advantage to the NPA’s maneuver, the launching of tactical offensives (TO), the recruitment of Red fighters, the implementations of widespread agrarian revolution and the launching of mass struggles,” Madlos in a video message said.

A company of uniformed guerillas presented arms while the communist hymn “Ang Internasyunal” was sung to start a three-hour program marked with speeches, songs and skits that delighted the thousands of supporters, well-wishers and guests who attended the event.

The fact that a single NPA Front can organize and successfully hold a big public event despite threats and harassments by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Magahat paramilitary group is proof that Oplan (Operation Plan) Bayanihan 1 and 2 have failed, Guerilla Front 16 spokesperson Ka Utok said.

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Uniformed and fully armed. A platoon of red fighters in their uniform and high-powered arms such as AK-47s and M-16s with grenade launchers. They say most of their guns were won through victorious battles with Philippine government forces.

 

Threats and harassments

Government troops set up checkpoints on roads leading to the venue of the celebrations but were ignored by convoys of vehicles carrying visitors to the guerrillas’ celebrations.

More than a dozen journalists also covered the event despite threats by the Magahat paramilitary group that they would kill those who will cover the anniversary celebrations.

In a press conference after the main program, Utok and Front 16 political officer Ka Edroy condemned threats made by Magahat leader Loloy Tejero as part of a single act by the paramilitary group, the Philippine Information Agency and the Aquino government.

“It was the PIA who disseminated Tejero’s threat to kill journalists who will cover our celebrations and it is proof they are colluding in this criminal act,” Ka Edroy said.

Philippine Army public information officer Col. Benjamin Hao however belied the NPA’s accusation as well as claims of increased strength and influence.

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Loved and welcomed. A cultural presentation showing how the NPA guerillas are welcomed and loved by the masses.

No SOMO violations by Philippine Army

“The threat of the Magahats, if it is true, is of their own doing.  We do not have anything to do about it,” Hao said.

“If journalists have problems on that, we will provide necessary assistance if they request from us, the PNP (Philippine National Police) or they can file an appropriate case,” Hao added.

The government army spokesperson belied their checkpoints were directed against the NPA and their supporters. He said no operation is conducted to violate the suspension of military operations (SOMO) with the NPA. The checkpoints, Hao claimed, were for the tower posts of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

There were no reports of NGCP towers under threat of attack in Kitcharao town where the NPA held their celebrations, however.

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A big celebration. A huge crowd of supporters, well-wishers and guests attended the anniversary celebrations despite being organized and hosted by a single NPA front, the Guerilla Front 16 in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte. Insiders say GF 16 now has at least five full-sized companies.

 

AFP records

Hao also dismissed Madlos’s statements as “highly exaggerated”.

He said that based on AFP records, the NPA strength of 2,035 has gone down to 1,691 followers this year. He added that the NPA’s most significant decline is in the number of their guerilla fronts, which used to be 29 but is now down to 24.

Hao said further that out of the 547 NPA-influenced barangays, it is now down to 413.  On firearms count, he said the NPA lost 101 firearms this year.  “They also lost a lot of leaders, especially Commander Parago,” Hao added.

“These are contrary to what are being claimed by the NPA spokesman of Mindanao (Madlos)…So wherever he got his number, he is now accountable to his boss in The Netherlands,” Hao said, referring to CPP founder Jose Maria Sison.

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Huge crowd. Part of the crowd who braved the difficult trek up and down the mountainous village, Philippine Army checkpoints and the Magahat threat of murder against attendees.

Festive mood

Despite threats by the Magahat and the presence of checkpoints on roads leading to the venue, the celebrations started on time this year.

To the delight of the crowd, the performers did not mind rolling on the ground rendered muddy by the intermittent rains.

Unlike last year, tents were put up to protect the crowd from the sun and the rain.

Before lunch time, dozens of lechon (whole roast pig) arrived strapped on “skylab” motorcycles that were served with fried chicken and rice.

Youthful NPA fighters took over the stage and sang as their guests started trekking back down to the main roads at around two in the afternoon.

On spots along the mountain roads, skylabs laden with big canisters were parked and ice cream was offered for free to the visitors.

The Philippine Army checkpoint at the corner of the provincial road and the national highway was gone by the time the main body of the attendees made their way back home. # (News and photos by Raymund B. Villanueva)

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Ready to fight. While saying the Magahat group is not present in their area, Guerilla Front 16 said they are willing to face the paramilitary and the Philippine Army if they dared to disrupt their celebrations.

 

Revolutionary orgs stage lightning rally on eve of APEC

REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATIONS under the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) staged a “lightning rally” as world leaders are due to arrive in the country for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit starting Monday.

Hundreds of revolutionaries marched on Manila’s crowded downtown area to condemn APEC as an imposition on poor countries like the Philippines.

“(We) vigorously condemn the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as an imperialist instrument of plunder and greed,” the NDFP National Council said in a statement.

“The Filipino people have long suffered under the economic policies and multilateral agreements aggressively pushed by the APEC which have only ensured the interests of the advanced capitalist economies, especially that of the United States,” the underground alliance said.

Police officers in the area were caught flat-footed by the swift mobilization, which proceeded to march from the Carriedo area and dispersed at the corner of Recto Avenue and Quezon Boulevard.

The Benigno Aquino government has been implementing street-clearing operations and raising security alerts as it welcomes heads of states from dozens of countries, including United States president Barack Obama.

The revolutionaries distributed leaflets and painted slogans on walls as many of bystanders—mostly ambulant vendors—cheered from the sidelines.

The NDFP and its allied organizations are waging a “national democratic revolution” for nearly five decades, said to be the longest running revolution in Asia. #