The revolutionary forces led by the Communist Party of the Philippines in Northcentral Mindanao Region (NCMR) scored numerous victories in 2014. According to Ka Norsen Manggubat, the region’s Party spokesperson, NCMR was able to contribute to the overall advance of the democratic revolution towards the strategic stalemate.
It had its share in thwarting the Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan. In the face of intense militarization, it was able to launch up to 102 various military actions against the AFP, PNP, CAA and paramilitary groups. The NPA was likewise able to seize 55 firearms of various caliber and inflict 183 casualties on the enemy, including 103 killed. It destroyed six military vehicles and fired at Air Force helicopters on three separate occasions. It launched punitive actions against oppressive, exploitative and environmentally destructive companies, criminals and other bad elements. The enemy’s forces have become overstretched.
An AFP brigade commander and battalion commander were both relieved from their positions for incurring heavy losses in clashes with the NPA. The NPA arrested and detained as prisoners of war two 8th IB soldiers and held them for more than four months, proving the NPA’s capability to arrest and detain enemy forces and respect their rights as prisoners of war. The 403rd Bde’s attempts to get hold of them were all in vain.
Amid the intensity of enemy attacks, the number of guerrilla platoons grew by 12%. The people’s militia likewise grew by 57%, and has company-size forces in village clusters and battalion-size forces at the municipal level. The people’s militia daringly launched 21 independent tactical offensives or 20% of the total number of military actions in the region in 2014.
On the other hand, the only thing the regime achieved in its imposition of brutal militarization in the region was the dislocation of thousands of people from their homes and livelihoods and a longer roster of military abuses and human rights violations.
To further invigorate the agrarian revolution, the Party convened the second regional consultation of Party cadres on agrarian revolution to deepen understanding of the land problem and the prevalent relations of production and draw up concrete measures to advance the antifeudal struggle to a higher stage.
From small and sporadic barrio-level antifeudal actions, the masses are now able to launch municipal and inter-municipal antifeudal mass movements. Despite the enemy’s relentless combat operations, 18 antifeudal struggles were launched in 58 barrios covering 13 municipalities in three provinces.
The peasants succeeded in raising wages, reducing milling fees and selling their produce at higher prices by courageously confronting landlords, buyers, usurers and owners of farm machinery. Daily wages have been raised from P150 to P200, milling charges decreased by P0.20 to P0.50 per kilo and prices for abaca fiber, rice and other products have been increased. More than 3,400 families or almost 20,000 individuals benefited from these actions, providing them some measure of relief from their poverty.
In certain areas, land has been confiscated from landlords and abandoned or vacant land occupied and cultivated. The ejection of peasants from their homes and the lands they till has likewise been prevented in various ways.
The campaign to develop a self-sufficient economy has been expanded in the uplands, taking concrete form in the setting up of agrarian cooperation through labor-exchange teams, cooperative and communal farming, animal-raising and fish culture. Campaigns against the spread of destructive imperialist genetically modified seeds have been launched as well as against the expansion of agribusiness plantations and the entry of mining companies.
Amid the scourge of fascism, Lumad communities stood as one to defend and assert their rights. They resorted to organized evacuation to make their issues heard and win powerful support to sustain their struggle until they could return to their homes safely.
Campaigns to rehabilitate and defend the environment have been launched through the widespread study of a primer on climate change. Nonetheless, more effort is needed to propagate the issues and educate the organized masses, especially those who live in forested areas and continue to make their living out of small-scale logging activities.
Tree-planting campaigns were begun in 2014 in at least 100 villages. The majority of the guerrilla platoons are now conscious of limiting the felling of trees when setting up camp. There are platoons that regularly collect seeds, plant bamboo and join other tree-planting activities and conduct regular assessments of the number of trees planted and grown.
The revolution’s mass base has expanded and deepened, now numbering in the tens of thousands. In the uplands, from the accumulated strength of peasant and Lumad organizations, local organs of political power continue to grow through the establishment of more barrio revolutionary committees. Municipal-level revolutionary mass organizations have also been established.
Leadership over Party branches in the barrios has further expanded and people’s organizations down to the area and sub-village level have become more tightly knit following the successful implementation of the minimum land reform program.
The invigoration of the revolutionary movement in the countryside closely influences the urban poor in the cities of the region who aspire eagerly for genuine change, especially those who have fallen victim to demolitions, injustices and the reactionary government’s neglect. The open mass movements in the region’s cities continue to condemn the rottenness of the ruling system, its failure to solve injustices and provide badly needed assistance to calamity victims, and its utter puppetry to US imperialism. The region marched abreast with the rest of the country in demanding the ouster of the reactionary Aquino government.
The legal democratic movements in the cities continue to serve as wellsprings of activists and youth and semi-proletarian cadres.
Vigorous education work continues with the implementation of the three-level Party course as well as special courses. Party education work has been conducted even under the very noses of the enemy. Young cadres are trained in assuming leadership tasks in the different fields of Party work.
In conclusion, Ka Norsen said that the key in all of the Party’s achievements is ideological and political consolidation. The region has overcome the conservatism of years past and has learned to further advance warfare through warfare no matter how harsh conditions are. He called on comrades in the region to redouble their efforts in the coming years to further keep the flame of revolution raging and achieve more victories.
[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the
and is issued by the CPP Central
Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis
of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is
published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.] Philippines