NDF-Eastern Visayas propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 1): Balangiga’s lasting relevance of people’s uprising will haunt Duterte
Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas, Spokesperson
NDFP Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)
1 August 2017
The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas said today GRP President Rodrigo Duterte may yet eat his own words by urging the return of the church bells of Balangiga, Eastern Samar taken as war trophies by the US Army in 1901. “GRP President Duterte thinks he can appeal to patriotic sentiments by criticizing US imperialism in the past while ignoring its crimes in the present,” said NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas. “Moreover, he is oblivious to the historical continuity of the armed struggle from the ilustrado-led Katipunan to the proletarian-led New People’s Army of today seeking to complete the unfinished revolution.
“Duterte rails against US war crimes in Samar that killed as many as 50,000 people during the Filipino-American War including the targeting of children over ten. But he also cheers on the current crimes of the US-trained, US-equipped AFP and PNP who are indocrinated according to the US Counterinsurgency Guide. As many as 10,000 people have already been killed in Duterte’s “war on drugs,” and hundreds of thousands more are victims of various human rights violations in the “counterinsurgency” Oplan Kapayapaan and the war on the Bangsamoro in Marawi and Mindanao. Duterte’s selective memory glosses over the throwback of the US military who are presently active in directing mercenary troops in the AFP and PNP against the Filipino people in Duterte’s various wars.”
Fr. Salas said the Balangiga bells, whose return the US embassy claims it will look into after Duterte’s tirade, cannot fully satisfy the people who demand national freedom and democracy from the clutches of US imperialism and its succession of puppet regimes. “Unlike the Balangiga bells, US imperialism has never really left the Philippines and continues its economic, political, military and cultural dominance. For all his bluster, Duterte is no different from the puppets who preceded him in hewing to US hegemonic interests in the semifeudal and semicolonial ruling system.”
The NDF-EV spokesperson warned GRP President Duterte that Balangiga will haunt him on his path of martial law and rejection of peace talks with the NDFP. “The historical significance of Balangiga is not over its lost bells but the lasting relevance of people’s uprising within the revolutionary armed struggle for national freedom and democracy. In fact, Balangiga’s bells were looted by US troops out of anger because the parish priest and church faithful actively supported the Katipunan in a general uprising that routed the foreign occupiers from the town.
“Duterte has refused to pursue peace talks with the NDFP and arrive at an agreement for basic socio-economic reforms as part of the process towards addressing the root causes of the civil war. He has instead chosen to extend martial law in Mindanao until December and intensify an all-out war against the revolutionary forces represented by the NDFP. The people must therefore unite, support and strengthen the New People’s Army, and seriously study the lessons of the Balangiga uprising. The AFP, PNP and paramilitary are extremely isolated and widely despised by the people, vulnerable to being wiped out just like the US troops in the Balangiga uprising. In the time to come, as the people’s war intensifies, more and more troops will be annihilated through such means.
Fr. Salas urged Duterte, “The unfinished national democratic revolution has been going on for more than a hundred years and the people will surely fight for as long as it is necessary to attain national democracy and build socialism. But you, Duterte, in your ignorance, think you can intimidate the revolutionary forces with another fifty years of civil war. Beware: if you do recover what the US troops looted from Balangiga, never send to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for you.”