Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CPP/NPA-Zamboanga: 11 AFP troops killed, 10 wounded in two successive NPA attacks in Zamboanga del Norte

NPA-Zamboanga propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jul 18): 11 AFP troops killed, 10 wounded in two successive NPA attacks in Zamboanga del Norte

Ka Mario J. Jose, Spokesperson
NPA-Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX)

17 July 2017

On July 16, at around 5:30 a.m., an NPA platoon under the Zamboanga Peninsla Regional Operations Command ambushed a 22-person unit of the 44th IB (16 army regulars and 6 CAFGU elements) in Purok Biwa, Barangay Titik 1, Leon Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte. The firefight lasted for one and a half hours up until reinforcements from the military camp in the neighboring barangays of Bukana and Titik 2, both in Sindangan, arrived. Both military units sustained casualties. On the part of the 44th IB, one soldier was killed and seven wounded. On the side of the NPA, five members were woulded. A civilian was shot and killed in the firefight.

At 1:30 on the same day, July 16, another NPA platoon ambushed a KM40 transport vehicle (with 13 regular troopers onboard) from the 42nd IB HQ in Leon Postigo who were sent to reinforce the ambushed troops earlier that day. By combining firepower and command-detonated explosives, a large part of the reinforcing troops was paralyzed and only a few managed to fire back during the two-hour firefight. The arrival of two six-by-six trucks of the 42nd IB prevented the Red fighters from getting the firearms from the first truck which turned over and whose troops were almost entirely pinned down.

The said ambush resulted in 10 AFP regular troops killed and three wounded. The wounded were taken to different emergency hospitals in Sindangan and Dipolog City. On the NPA side, a Red fighter was slightly wounded. Another Red fighter, Ka Masaw, was killed.

The two attacks were carried out in line with the NPA’s principle of active defense. In the face of relentless attacks of the fascist regime, the NPA holds the initiative to fight and launch tactical offensives. Only by defending itself by fighting can it ensure its defense of the interests and victories of the oppressed and exploited masses.

If there is no real people’s army, if this army allows itself to be defeated by being passive in the face of crazed armed attacks by the ruling class, the people’s century-long struggles will not be realized—the peasants’ struggle for their own land to till, the workers’ demand for job security and decent wages for their families, defense of the Lumads’ ancestral lands; to benefit from what is left of our land and sea natural resources through national industrialization and a system of pro-preople and anationalist social services from the cities up to the countryside where majority of the poor will be lifted out from their poverty into a prosperous life.

It is not true that the martial law declaration in Mindanao only targets the Maute group in Marawi City and other terrorist groups such as the ASG and ISIS, which the US through the CIA established and funded. This is because as Marawi City is bombarded, shelled and straffed with bullets, the AFP in truth carries out attacks against the NPA and revolutionary forces not only in Mindanao but in the entire country.

Prior to the NPA ambush in Leon Postigo and Sindangan, 44th IB and 42nd IB troops have repeatedly entered forests, barrios and communities of the Lumad-Subanen to search and destroy the NPA in the guise of anti-drug operations. There are even AFP troops in several barangays in Leon Postigo and Sindangan who ask for support from the residents by posing as Mautes even as operating troops from the 42nd IB are stationed nearby.

On the other hand, the NPA has always supported the struggle for a genuine and lasting peace. The NPA fully support thte NDFP in the current round of peace talks with the GRP. The genuine and lasting peace relies on the founding of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms or CASER’s which the NDFP has pushed to be signed in the next round of talks in August or September 2017. The CASER is the meat of the peace talks.

But if peace means the surrender of the entire revolutionary forces as the Duterte regime carries out its relentless suppression campaign Oplan Bayanihan while showing no interest in resolving the roots of the armed conflict of the last 50 years, then, this is a peace only for the imperialists, big compradors and landlords and bureaucrat-capitalists.

The Duterte regime’s militarist solution to the Philipine social crisis, which it has intensified through Duterte’s all-out war and martial law in Mindanao, will surely fail. Like during the time of Marcos, martial law will not solve and will even exacerbate the crisis.

Red salute to the Red fighters of the New People’s Army, the people’s true army, dare to struggle and win!

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