Tuesday, December 26, 2017

1 rebel killed as Army battles 20 NPAs

From Tempo (Dec 26): 1 rebel killed as Army battles 20 NPAs

Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) reported here that a local terrorist was killed and several high-powered firearms were recovered, two days before Christmas by Alfa Company of 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) in an encounter with 20 New People’s Army (NPA) at Barangay Obongon Diot, Baleno, Masbate.

Colonel Teody Toribio, acting chief of command’s Public Information Office said the rebel was killed after a 45-minute firefight with the rebels then withdrew toward different directions bringing with them their wounded comrades as traces of bloodstain were visible along their route of withdrawal. Though, there was no reported casualty on the military forces around 7:15 a.m

Lieutenant Colonel John Oliver Gabun, commanding officer of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army said, “the encounter happened when the platoon of Captain Lucas, while conducting combat operation received an information from a civilian tipster about the presence of the NPAs in the area who were conducting extortion activities and threatening the people to support violent armed struggle.

Toribio said operating troops recovered an M14 rifle, two M16 rifles, an M79 grenade launcher, ICOM radio, laptop computer, an improvised explosive device (IED), bandoleer with four magazines for M14, five rounds of ammunition for 40MM grenade launcher, 353 rounds ammunition for M60 machine gun, two long magazines for M16, cell phone and voluminous subversive documents of high intelligence value.


Reds in Southern Mindanao ready to face Duterte’s ‘full-scale war’

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Dec 26): Reds in Southern Mindanao ready to face Duterte’s ‘full-scale war’

FILE – Communist rebels, in this 2011 photo, gather somewhere in Southern Mindanao to pay their last respects to New People’s Army spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal. —KARLOS MANLUPIG

Communist rebels in Southern Mindanao said they were ready to face “the full-scale war” that the Duterte administration would be unleashing on them next year.

In a statement issued for the founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on Tuesday, Ka Joaquin Jacinto, the National Democratic Front (NDF) spokesperson in the region, also said the New People’s Army (NPA) would continue to exist to oppose the government’s abuses.

“Despite the use of airstrikes, armed drones and prolonged focus operations, not one single NPA unit in Mindanao was wiped out. The number of platoons and companies has in fact increased this year,” he said.
Jacinto said NPA members were “ever willing to sacrifice their lives for the revolution and the people than be servile to the fascist dictatorship of the US-Duterte regime.”

“In spite of the constant black propaganda, bogus peace caravans and the incessant parade of fake or recycled surrenderees, NPA Red commanders and fighters never faltered,” he added.

He said 2017 spelled victory to the NPA in Southern Mindanao, where it launched more than 300 attacks.

“There were a few well-chosen and well-executed head blows as wells as numerous attritive actions against operating enemy troops, military camps and police outposts, making them suffer a casualty rate of more than a battalion,” he said.

Jacinto said in total, NPA units in Mindanao confiscated high-powered firearms enough to arm a battalion of rebels – including those who recently finished training.

“Given these resounding achievements of the revolutionary movement under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NDFP-Mindanao calls upon all revolutionary forces and the struggling masses to redouble efforts in undertaking our basic ideological, political and organizational tasks to advance the people’s democratic revolution until complete victory,” he added.

Jacinto also called on the NPA “to launch more and more tactical offensives, combining multiple attritive actions with well-chosen and well-planned annihilative blows against the fascist AFP/PNP/paramilitary troops” as the Duterte government intensified its counter-revolutionary moves.

“The NPA must be determined to bring the people’s war to new heights,” he added.


Jihadists attack tribal village in Philippines

From the Mindanao Examiner (Dec 26): Jihadists attack tribal village in Philippines

Armed jihadists attacked a village and torched 2 houses in the restive province of Maguindanao in the Muslim autonomous region in southern Philippines, officials said Tuesday.

Officials blamed the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters for the Christmas day attack on a remote village of Iginampong in Datu Unsay town, home to a minority tribe called Teduray.

Villagers were forced to flee their homes when jihadists started firing and then burned the houses before fleeing to the hills where military planes pursued and attacked them with rockets.

There was no report of civilian casualties, although the 6th Infantry Division – quoting unconfirmed intelligence information – insisted that the airstrike had killed 4 jihadists and wounded five others. Soldiers recovered not a single body at the area.

Other reports claimed that a group of BIFF also attacked an army detachment in Maitumaig village in the same town. The target of the offensive was the 57th Infantry Battalion. The 6th Infantry Division did not release any information on the attack.


MILF: UMYO holds ‘We Love Jesus Peace Conference 2017’

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Dec 26): UMYO holds ‘We Love Jesus Peace Conference 2017’

The Union of Muslim Youth Organizations (UMYO) conducted We Love Jesus Peace Conference 2017 at  Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex,  ORG Compound, Cotabato City last December 23, 2017. The conference itself has a theme: “Understanding Islamic Concept of Loving Jesus (pbuh).” It was attended by more than 700 participants including Muslims and Non-Muslims respectively, which exceeded the capacity of the complex as a venue.
Different topics were discussed by credible resource persons during the sessions. The resource persons during the morning session were Sheikh Abdulkahar Musa who discussed on “The Stories of Other Messengers” and Sheikh Eisa Javier who tackled about “What is the real Message of Jesus (PBUH)?” due to which one of the male participants have reverted to Islam. Everyone was delighted witnessing the moment.

The Mufti of Bangsamoro and current Chairman of Dar-al Ifta, Mufti Abu Huraira Udasan, was the solo speaker in the afternoon session. It has been very interesting since it was designed as a talk show set-up. Many questions were raised from audience especially about the rulings of Islam on the celebration of Christmas or participating in Christmas activities both intentionally or not.

The objective of this event is to enlighten all of the misconceptions of beliefs and practices committed by both Muslim and Non-Muslim respectively so that it will be cleared and rectified to their mind sets as a source of harmonious co- existence towards peaceful environment.

The event was made possible through the cooperation, and support of 19 Muslim youth organizations comprising the Union which include: Jumeyyatul Huffaz bil Filibeen Inc., Association of Young Muslim Professionals (AYMP), Al-Jalis As-Salih, Inc. - Cotabato Chapter (AAI), Anfal Brothers, Nuroshabab Organization Al-Islamie, Youth Islamic Propagators’ Association (YIPA), Muslim Youth Religious Organization (MYRO-Cotabato), Muslim Students Organization - MSU Maguindanao, Kutawato City Arabic Students Association (KCASA), Muslim Student Association - CCSPC, Mindanao People Da’wah Association (MPDA), Tableegh Al-Resalah Organization (TRO), Muslim Youth Society (MYS), Dynamic Youth Movement Assembly in Mindanao Inc. (DYMAMin), Youth Peace Propagators Association (YPPA), Muslim Youth Brotherhood (MYB), United Youth of the Philippines (UNYPhil Cotabato City Chapter), Muslim Women Association for Hegemony (MWAH), and Jum’iatul Tilmizaat Organization (JTO).

The event was concluded successfully in partnership with the Mercy Islamic Center, Mensahe TV, ARMM Regional Government, Voice FM 99.0, Tabun Halal Multi-Purpose Cooperative and Dar-al Ifta Bangsamoro.


CPP/CPP-Mindanao: On the occasion of 49th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)//Resist the fascist US-Duterte regime, end the rotting semicolonial semi feudal system and raise the revolutionary movement to a higher level

CPP-Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Dec 26): On the occasion of 49th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)//Resist the fascist US-Duterte regime, end the rotting semicolonial semi feudal system and raise the revolutionary movement to a higher level

Press Statement
26 December 2017

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Mindanao (NDFP-Mindanao) is one with the Filipino people in celebrating with utmost joy the 49th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on December 26, 1968. We congratulate all Party cadres and members for tirelessly working to advance Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and valiantly taking on the task of leading the national democratic revolution towards its socialist future. We also take this occasion to honor all our martyrs who selflessly offered their lives for the revolution and the Filipino people.

After its historic 2nd National Congress in 2016, the Party continued to correctly lead the revolutionary movement and the people in facing the chronic semifeudal and semicolonial social crisis in the first year of the US-Duterte regime. The Party most creatively dealt with the dualism of Duterte, whose ‘change is coming’ mantra almost quickly plunged the nation towards its wars of death and destruction, and an economic crisis far worse than ever before.
After he claimed to be ‘leftist’ and ‘socialist’ and claimed intent to enforce an independent foreign policy, Duterte tore away his mask of pretense as he kowtowed to the dictates of his master US President Donald Trump, revealing his true character as a puppet of US imperialism.

From the start however, he was already an avowed implementer of neoliberal policies, ensuring profits for the business interests of big bourgeois compradors and foreign monopoly capitalists. The US-Duterte regime imposed such brazen, anti-people and deceptive policies as the multi-billion ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, which will further drown the country in debt. A debt that will further burden the people in their entire lifetime under this system. The newly-signed tax reform law will further burden the people with more taxes imposed on basic commodities and services. And, the imposition of other measures in line with liberalization, privatization, deregulation, and denationalization are all detrimental to the nation’s welfare.

The US-Duterte regime’s ‘change’ turned the economy for the worse and increased the suffering of the Filipino people: poverty rate increased, incidence of hunger rose, unemployment and underemployment shot up to new levels; the dearth of and disregard for social services, especially health and education, continue unabated; land grabbing and deprivation became more widespread and the displacement of peoples is at an all-time high.
To mitigate the worsening crisis, Duterte could only do nothing but placate the increasingly frustrated Filipino masses with chump change, which is a mere pittance and can never adequately respond to the people’s needs. Numerous victims of previous calamities have not even been completely supported and rehabilitated by the reactionary government, and many among them, if not all, remain suffering under deplorable conditions.

In Mindanao, the US-Duterte regime let loose upon the people the full-force of its triple wars of death and destruction.

First, Duterte set off on a rampage against the Bangsamoro and the people of Mindanao by declaring Martial Law, using the ‘ISIS terrorist’ bogey as a pretext to justify his destructive attack against Marawi City. Duterte’s AFP/PNP is responsible for Marawi City’s complete and utter devastation, which deprived thousands of its Bangsamoro residents of their homes and livelihood through incessant airstrikes, shelling, mortar fire and ground assault. The people of Marawi City are set to suffer a great deal more because, apart from the fact that it will take years to rehabilitate the city, large portions of the area have already been guaranteed by Duterte to serve the interests of both local and foreign big business as well as of the US Armed Forces for the establishment of a new military base. Despite the bogus ‘liberation’ of Marawi City and the uninterrupted attacks against other Bangsamoro communities in Mindanao, the armed resistance of the Moro people will rise even stronger as they continue the fight for their genuine right to self-determination.

After razing Marawi to the ground, Duterte was quick to tag both the CPP and the NPA as ‘terrorist organizations’ to justify the extension of martial law until 2018 and beyond, serving as a springboard for imposing his tyranny on the entire nation.

Second, the US-Duterte regime has launched Oplan Kapayapaan against the revolutionary movement and the people of Mindanao, a bloody all-out war that utilizes the worst and most dreaded features of past military campaigns of suppression and encirclement (Oplans Lambat-Bitag, Bantay Laya 1 and 2, Bayanihan). Apart from the AFP’s direct troop assault against many hinterland communities in the island, military operations are also reinforced by airstrikes from jet fighters, attack helicopters and armed drones.

Certain drones used by AFP units in their operations are capable of releasing deadly rockets or missiles day or night, terrorizing numerous peasant, Lumad and Bangsamoro communities, including schools and other structures where civilians congregate. The countryside is literally shoved into the throes of death, resulting in the massive evacuation of whole Lumad and Bangsamoro communities from their ancestral lands.

With martial law extended and a ‘shoot to kill’ order against all Red fighters, Duterte has virtually disregarded all international protocols and rules of engagement, and directed the AFP to literally go on a bloody killing-spree, even against those whom they only suspect as working with the revolutionary movement, with complete impunity.

Third, in Duterte’s so-called ‘war against drugs’, not only has the PNP and their death squads perpetrated the mass murder of suspected small-time drug peddlers and users, but it has also included among its targets leaders and members of legitimate progressive organizations, which in Mindanao, has already taken the lives of hundreds. The regime also activated its legal offensive through the PNP-AFP Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IALAC) in the filing of trumped up charges against mass leaders and activists. It has also bolstered its propaganda offensive that spread vile forms of vilification in social media, peddling lies and fake news against the revolutionary movement and the progressives.

With the correct guidance of the Party however, the revolutionary movement and the struggling masses were able to counteract against the snare lain by Duterte to have the revolutionary movement stoop down to its wiles.

Under the absolute leadership of the Communist Party, the New People’s Army is ever more ready to face the full-scale war that will further intensify in 2018 and beyond. The number of tactical offensives (TOs) launched by NPA units in the whole of Mindanao since January this year reached nearly a thousand military actions. The NPA in the Southern Mindanao region (SMR) launched more than 300 tactical offensives; the North Eastern Mindanao region, with more than 180; the North Central Mindanao region with over 200; the Far Southern Mindanao region with more than 100; and the Western Mindanao region with more or less 80 tactical offensives. There were a few well-chosen and well-executed head blows as wells as numerous attritive actions against operating enemy troops, military camps and police outposts, making them suffer a casualty rate of more than a battalion. NPA units in Mindanao were able to confiscate high-powered firearms from enemy forces that could equip a battalion of Red fighters.

Despite the use of airstrikes, armed drones and prolonged focus operations, not one single NPA unit in Mindanao was wiped out. The number of platoons and companies have in fact increased this year. In spite of the constant black propaganda, bogus peace caravans and the incessant parade of fake or recycled surrenderees, NPA Red commanders and fighters never faltered; ever willing to sacrifice their lives for the revolution and the people than be servile to the fascist dictatorship of the US-Duterte regime.

NPA units in Mindanao maintained a forward-looking and offensive posture in facing an AFP military campaign gone berserk and were able to sustain a high morale in its commitment to serve and defend the masses. Daring NPA units were able to sanction banana plantations that greatly exploit and oppress workers, peasants and Lumad and destroy the environment, set up ambuscades and attritive actions against operating AFP troops, and arrested erring elements of the PNP and accorded them the proper treatment for prisoners of war (POWs). Every minute, NPA units made certain that they are ready for battles, using every encounter as an object lesson to improve on strategy, tactics and technique to annihilate the enemy and punish the most rabid killers of the US-Duterte regime.

Under the absolute leadership of the CPP, the NPA continues to have a firm grasp of the basic principles of MLM in undertaking its tasks for the revolutionary movement. To ensure this, several batches of Red fighters in various NPA units in Mindanao were able to finish this year the Basic Party Course (BPC), which outlines and discusses the fundamental principles of MLM and of the national democratic revolution.

Meanwhile, majority of Red commanders and political officers either completed or were instructors of the Intermediate Party Course (IPC), which gave a more comprehensive survey of the three main weapons of the people’s democratic revolution – the Party, armed struggle and the united front. Furthermore, there were regional committees in Mindanao that have successfully held in not more than 15 days the Advanced Party Course (APC), which outlines a deeper articulation of MLM and the country’s socialist and the world’s communist future.

As the people’s war in Mindanao continue to develop comprehensively, Party members in people’s governments and among revolutionary mass organizations, have taken an active leading role in launching agrarian revolution and realizing for hundreds of thousands of people through well-organized mass struggles, the implementation of the minimum program and, in few select areas where it is possible, the maximum program of agrarian revolution.

Consequently, this has led to the further consolidation of various organs of political power of the people despite the constant and brutal attacks of the AFP in the countryside. The masses have launched anti-feudal, anti-fascist and anti-imperialist mass struggles and campaigns. As a dialectical result, thousands of masses have been recruited as Party members.

The peace negotiations between the NDFP and the GRP that ran for several months was handled adeptly, which made it possible to finish the 4th round of talks and was about to begin the 5th round, until it was unilaterally stopped on its tracks by Duterte and his terror proclamation. Clearly, the US-Duterte regime sabotaged the peace talks, revealing its utter contempt for peace and total disregard for genuine socio-economic reforms.

Despite this, however, the NDFP, as the representative of the entire revolutionary forces, expressed its willingness to resume with the talks. It will never, on other hand, submit itself to talks of capitulation. To further prove the revolutionary movement’s seriousness in supporting the talks, the NPA in Mindanao has undertaken the orderly and safe release of more than 20 prisoners of war (POWs) since January this year.

Given these resounding achievements of the revolutionary movement under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NDFP-Mindanao calls upon all revolutionary forces and the struggling masses to redouble efforts in undertaking our basic ideological, political and organizational tasks to advance the people’s democratic revolution until complete victory.

We must never shirk from our revolutionary responsibilities and face, head-on and without fear, any sacrifice we may encounter along the way in the performance of our tasks and duties, especially before the intensifying attacks of the fascist US-Duterte regime.

It is imperative that we must take the lead in uniting the people in an anti-fascist, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal united front, deliver wave upon wave of militant protests that will gather people from various oppressed and exploited classes and sectors, including the middle classes and the enlightened gentry, by the hundreds of thousands and lead the overthrow of the US-Duterte regime.

The NDFP-Mindanao calls on the NPA to launch more and more tactical offensives, combining multiple attritive actions with well-chosen and well-planned annihilative blows against the fascist AFP/PNP/paramilitary troops. The NPA must be determined to bring the people’s war to new heights!

Long live the 49th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Long live the People’s Democratic Revolution with a socialist perspective!

Ka Joaquin Jacinto


CPP/CPP-NEMR: On 49th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines/ Further Advance amidst the threat of US-Duterte’s Regime of Annihilating the Revolutionary Movement!

CPP-North Central Mindanao Region propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Dec 26): On 49th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines/ Further Advance amidst the threat of US-Duterte’s Regime of Annihilating the Revolutionary Movement!

Press Statement
December 26, 2017

The Communist Party of the Philippines–North Central Mindanao Region (CPP-NCMR) lauds the revolutionary forces and the people of their accomplishments for 2017 in proliferating its recruitment, expanding its mass base, in launching mass campaigns and furthering the advance of the region’s armed struggle.

In the span of one year, the number of barrios encompassed by the movement increased by 17%. Similarly, the population of new members of the organized masses rose by 21% from last year’s figure. Units of the people’s militias, meanwhile, have gained 7% within our countryside barrios. On the other hand, the legal-democratic mass movement continue to advance amidst the martial law and other state fascism.

At the same time, we have implemented around 22 batches of mass movements, in implementing agrarian revolution and other mass struggles for their rights to land, livelihood, decent living, and the like. Six of these were barrio-wide, 14 were inter-barrio-wide and two inter-municipality-wide benefitting thousands of families. While the legal-democratic mass movement had been active in the Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya in achoing Lumad and Moro issues and in Baktas BTL in asserting the rights of the peasants to land.

In the military field, the New People’s Army (NPA) in NCMR triumphantly shared its part in dismantling the enemy’s political power. Within the year, 131 NPA-led military offensives were initiated in the region. Meanwhile, it has endured ten defensive actions against the enemy. Overall, the enemy inflicted 250 casualties, 141 being killed-in-action (KIA) and 109 wounded-in-action (WIA). On the other hand, 12 NPA members offered their lives as revolutionary martyrs while 15 suffered wounds from the firefight. Added to the arsenal of the people’s army are 107 rifles seized after successful NPA actions.

In the ideological field, we have initiated Party education courses despite widespread attacks by the reactionary state. In sum, we have launched 43 batches of the Basic Party Course translating to 49% of the whole Party membership having completed this course. Seven batches of Intermediate Party Course and two batches of the Advanced Party Courses were also launched.

With these gains and losses, we had overcome recruiting revolutionaries from the above movements. NPA personnel have increased by 9% as compared from the previous year. Party membership also rose by 13%.

Our Party has proven the fertile revolutionary situation in the region in fostering mass struggles against land grabbing from the peasantry, contractualization, against the brutal war against drugs, against state terrorism and the Oplan Kapayapaan of the US-Duterte regime. By setting the proper guidance in planning and the revolutionary hard work, the movement can strengthen even more. With the scheme of looming dictatorship by the fascist US-Duterte regime, the people’s clamor against exploitation and oppression will resound, the revolutionary movement is ever ready to resist such dictatorship.

Long live the 49th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Long live the New People’s Army!
Long live the National Democratic Front!

Ka Norsen Manggubat

CPP/CPP-Panay: Maisog nga Batuan ang Teroristang Atake sang Us-Duterte nga Pasistang Rehimen

CPP-Panay Regional Committee propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Dec 26): Maisog nga Batuan ang Teroristang Atake sang Us-Duterte nga Pasistang Rehimen

Pahayag sang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP)-Panay Region sa okasyon sang ika-49 nga anibersaryo sang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas

Regional Committee
26 December 2017

Pula nga panamyaw sa tanan nga mga kadre kag katapuan sang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas sa aton ika-49 nga tuig! Diri sa rehiyon sang Panay nangin madinalag-on kag madinuagon ang dugang nga isa ka tuig sang aton rebolusyunaryo nga paghimakas.

Sa sulod sang isa ka tuig, mapainubuson naton nga ginapaabot ang pila ka natigayon sa patag sang pagpadaku kag pagpabakod sang Partido, mas dalagku nga taktikal nga opensiba, mas nagadako kag nagabaskog nga baseng masa, mas militante kag nagalapad nga mga aksyon sang pumululuyo batuk sa tiraniya kag neo-kolonyal nga mga imposisyon. Upod sa aton mga ganar, aton man nga ginadumdom kag pasidunggan ang mga rebolusyonaryo nga baganihan kag martir sang New People’s Army, rebolusyonaryo nga mga organisasyong masa kag alyado. Ginsakripisyo nila ang ila kabuhi sa pagbato kontra sa imperyalista nga pangginahum, sa pagpanghimulos sang dalagku nga kumprador kag agalon nga may duta kag batuk man sa pasismo sang estado. Gasaludar kita sa ila pag-amot nga mahawanan ang masiok nga dalan pakadto sa tunay nga kahilwayan.

Napasiguro sang organisasyon sang Partido sa Panay ang mas hugot nga paghiliusa sa pagsikway sang konserbatismo kag sa bag-o nga programa sang Ikaduha nga Kongreso sang Partido. Napakita ini sa mga natigayon naton nga mga kadalag-an sa ideolohiya, pulitika, militar kag organisasyon. Napadamo naton ang aton katapuan kag kadre kag nahatagan sang mas paborable nga pwesto sa mas madasig nga paghanas kag pagdebelopar sang ila mga potensyal, kinaadman kag ikasarang paagi sa promosyon kag pagtukod sang mga nagakaigo nga mga istruktura sang organisasyon. Kumpyansado kita nga mas epektibo kag madinalag-on nga mapamunuan sang Partido ang pagpakigbato sa US-Duterte nga rehimen.

Ang aton hangaway sang banwa nag-uswag sa numero kag kinaadman nga makit-an sa pagdaku sang Pulang hangaway sang isa ka daku nga platun kag mas makahas nga mga taktikal nga opensiba batuk sa mga mersenaryo nga suluguon ni Duterte. Bisan gamay pa sa numero pero daku sa mga ideya kag may masangkad nga suportang masa, naisahan sang NPA ang paborito ni Duterte nga pwersa sang PNP sa isa ka makahas nga reyd sa adlaw sa police municipal station sang Maasin. Nakuha ang masobra sa isa ka dosena nga hinganiban nga wala sang isa ka lupok.

Isa pa ka tampok nga kadalag-an amo ang asud-asod nga mga aksyong militar bilang sabat sa nagapalala nga pasismo sang estado nga ginapangunahan sang numero uno nga terorista sang Pilipinas, sa iya nga pagduko sa amo nga imperyalistang US. Sa sulod sang 13 ka adlaw sang nagligad nga Nobyembre, ang mga yunit sang NPA nakalunsar sang 5 ka bira sa Iloilo kag Antique batuk sa AFP kag PNP. May 4 nga kaaway ang napatay kag 16 ang napilasan. Bisan pa nga ara sa depensiba kag napatyan kita sang 3 ka kaupod sa isa ka inaway sa Cuartero, Capiz nagbato sila kag nakapatay sang 3 ka tropa sang AFP kag nakapilas sang pila pa.

Ang aton baseng masa, ang pundasyon kag wala kutod nga suporta sang rebolusyonaryo nga paghimakas signipikante nga nagdako kag ang rebolusyunaryo nga impluwensya tayuyon nga nagalapad paagi sa pagbawi sang mas madamo nga mga barangay sa mas madamo nga munisipalidad. Nahimo ini sa pagtukod sang mas madamo nga mga yunit sang NPA para sa hilikuton masa kag militar.

Padayon ang organisado nga pagpamatuk sang pumuluyong tumandok sa kabukiran sang Calinog kag Tapaz batuk sa kontra-pumuluyo kag makahalalit nga mga proyekto nga dam sang gubyerno kag mga dumuluong-kapitalista. Bisan pa unay ang pamahog sang 61st IB sa pumuluyo nga nagapamatuk, sa gihapon maisog kag pursigido ang masa nga magbuyagyag sa halit sang mga dam sa ila pangabuhi kag ginademanda nga untaton ini.

Indi lang ang mga rebolusyonaryo nga base ang nagabato sa mapintas nga rehimen ni Duterte. Ang malapad nga pumuluyo sa Panay, lapaw sa direkta nga impluwensya sang rebolusyonaryo nga pwersa, nagpakita sang pagkadismaya tubtub sa kaakig sa huramentado nga pagpamatay ni Duterte ilabi na sa iya gyera kontra-druga. Ang kasakuon sang iya pamatay malapit 4 ka bes sa kasakuon sa pamatay sang pinatalsik nga diktador Marcos. Kaanggid sa iya idolo nga Marcos, ang sabat sang rehimen sa balido nga mga protesta sang pumuluyo amo ang pagbansag, pamahog kag pagpamatay mismo sang mga aktibista. Upod sa pungsodnon nga pagpakamalaut maisog nga ginkontra sang mga nagmuklat nga pumuluyo sa rehiyon halin sa kubay sang simbahan, akademya, istudyante, mga organisasyon sang pumuluyo, bisness kag propesyunal ang wala basehan nga mga deklarasyon sang rehimen Duterte nga pagpalawig sang martial law kag plano nga peke nga rebolusyonaryo nga gobyerno sa katuyuan nga paluntaron ang diktaduryal nga pangginahum. Upod nga naggwa sa dalanon ang madamu nga bag-o nga mga personalidad kag pwersa sa pagdemanda nga untaton ang pagpamatay, bawion ang martial law sa Mindanao, untaton ang kontraktwalisasyon kag pagsukot kay Duterte sang iya mga pangako. Mas nagalapad nga kubay sang pumuluyo ang nagabugtaw sa makahalalit nga pangginahum niya.

Nagbaskog ang ligal kag demokratiko nga paghimakas sang mga pigos nga sahi kag sektor. Ang mga mangunguma nga nagabungkal sa pila ka malagpad nga duta sang mga lokal nga agalon, nangisog sa pihak sang pamahog sang mga goons kag paramilitar kag nagbarikada, nagpetisyon kag nagpiket agud itulod ang reaksyunaryo nga gobyerno nga ipatuman ang reporma sa duta. Ang malapad nga alyansa sang mga tsuper sa Panay nag-upod sa iban pa nga tsuper sa pungsod sa mabaskog nga pagpamatuk sa jeepney phase-out paagi sa paglunsar sang makaduha ka bes nga transport strike sang Pebrero kag Hunyo. Nakalab-ot sa 98-99% sang pangpubliko nga mga jeepney drayber sa Panay pati Guimaras ang nag-upod sa duha ka hugnat nga strike. Napakig-away sang mga titser ang ila kinamatarung sa pag-unyon kag sang mga istudyante para sa libre nga edukasyon.

Ang ika-49 nga tuig sang Partido Komunista sang Pilipinas nag-umpisa sa tunga sang klima nga may nagaluntad nga negosasyon pangkalinungan sa tunga sang GRP kag NDFP sa diin mataas ang paglaum sang pumuluyong Pilipino nga maresolbar ang ugat sang armado nga inaway sa aton pungsod. Sa pihak nga bahin nagtakop ini sa tunga sang lubos nga pagsirado sang pasistang rehimeng Duterte sang peace talk kag pagbuhi sang tais na nga bansag sa CPP-NPA-NDFP nga terorista nga organisasyon kag gindalahig pa ang mga ligal nga demokratiko nga mga organisasyon sang pumuluyo.

Sa sulod sining isa ka tuig makatatlo ka bes nga hinali gin-untat ni Duterte ang pagpadayon sang peace talk suno sa iya kapritso sa diin ginabasol ang CPP-NPA nga padayon kuno nagabira sa iya mga tropa (bisan wala man gani sang untat-lupok nga nakasugtan). Ang matuod sini amo nga wala sang seryoso nga handum si Duterte nga lubaron ang mga problema sang pumuluyo paagi sa peace talk kundi ang solo nga kagustuhan niya amo nga mapauntat ang paglupok sang mga pusil sang NPA nga wala pa maestoryahan ang nakasugtan nga agenda labi na ang sosyo-ekonomiko nga mga reporma.

Bangud indi niya mapasugot ang CPP-NPA sa indi prinsipyado nga ceasefire kag nagakapikon sa mga madinalag-on nga mga bunal kag tira sang NPA batuk sa iya bayaran nga tropa, arbitraryo nga nagdesisyon si Duterte nga wala na sang peace talk. Opisyal nga gindeklarar niya ang pag-untat sang negosasyon pangkalinungan paagi sa Proclamation 360 kag masunod ang pagbansag sa CPP-NPA-NDF nga mga terorista paagi sa Proclamation 374. Ginhinambit pa niya nga pagsunod ini sa sadto pa nga deklarasyon sang iya amo nga imperyalistang US nga ang CPP-NPA mga FTO (foreign terrorist organization).

Target sang US-Duterte nga pasistang rehimen kag iya mga militaristang heneral nga ubuson ang NPA sa sulod sang 2018. Todo-arangka man ang iya opensiba sa media nga terorista na ang pagkabig sa CPP-NPA-NDF lakip na ang ligal nga mga demokratiko nga organisasyon kag pati ang nagasuporta, naga-pinansya kag nagahatag buhis sa rebolusyonaryo nga gobyerno. Ang sin-o man nga mabansagan nga ‘terorista’ mahimo nga patyon, arestuhon ukon pasakaan panumbungon. Ini tanan nga mga pamahog sang pasistang diktador nga dugang nga pamatay, pangdakop kag panalakay nagatuyo nga mapahadlok ang rebolusyunaryo nga pwersa kag pumuluyo.

Apang pareho sang nagliligad nga mga reaksyunaryong rehimen mapaslawan ang US-Duterte. Determinado kita kag nagasalig nga masabat ang iya hangkat kag malutos ang mas brutal, mas madugo kag mas mapintas nya nga gyera kontra sa pumuluyo kag rebolusyunaryo nga pwersa.

Dapat dugang nga papag-unon sang tanan nga katapu sang Partido ang pang-ideolohiya nga pundasyon pangunahon paagi sa pagsangkap sang kada bag-o nga katapu sang BKP, masiguro ang IKP sa tanan nga mga kadre kag malagas ang AKP sa mga kadre sa rehiyunal asta distrito nga lebel. Pat-uron sang Partido sa rehiyon nga mahim-os ang pagpanadlong sa masunod nga programa.

Dapat mas maalam naton nga tun-an ang kaaway kag paano makontra ang iya bag-o nga mga taktika kag hinganiban. Palitikan labi sang pamunuan sang Partido kag Hangaway ang pagdihon sang mas epektibo kag mas matalom nga mga taktika nga makadulot sang mas dalagku nga halit sa kaaway, makakabig sang dugang nga armas samtang mahalong man nga ginapreserbar ang kaugalingon.

Labi nga hangkaton kag habigon ang ginatos nga pamatan-on halin sa mamumugon, mangunguma, estudyante kag intelektwal para sa Hangaway kag iban pa nga mga hilikuton sa armado nga paghimakas. Tuman ka paborable subong ang krisis pang-ekonomiya kag pulitika sang nagaharing sahi sa pungsod para sa pagpasingki kag pagpataas sang lebel sang inaway gerilya pakadto sa paglumpat sa masunod nga halintang sang inaway-banwa. Kinahanglan ang labi nga pagpadaku sang hangaway agud malab-ot ang gusto naton nga lebel sang inaway.

Tuman ka importante ang aton malig-on, nagalapad kag wala nagakahubas nga suporta kag baseng masa agud masustiner ang nagapasinsin kag nagalapad nga inaway gerilya. Ang kaaway nagahimo sang tanan nga pamaagi agud maagaw ukon madulaan kita sang baseng masa — halin sa pakuno-kuno nga mga charity works, medical mission, socio-eco projects, scholarship, hatag obra, suhol, etc. hasta sa pagpamahog, pangdakop, pamatay, pamomba kon indi nila makuha ang masa sa pakuno-kuno.

Hatagan sang mataas nga importansya ang pagkonsolida sang baseng masa sa kaumhan kag sa puting lugar. Siguruhon ang pagpamuno sang Partido paagi sa mga sanga sang Partido sa lokalidad, mga grupo sang Partido sa mga sektor kag labi nga pamuadon ang mga rebolusyunaryo nga organisasyon masa, mga self-defense corps, mga lokal nga milisya kag mga lokal gerilya.

Dapat pamunuan sang Partido ang hugot nga paghiliusa sang rebolusyonaryong pwersa sa pag-atubang sang subong nga sitwasyon, mga hilikuton, hangkat kag mga sakripisyo. Handaan kag ipatuman ang mas madasig nga pagdaku kag pagkonsolida sa ideolohiya, pulitika kag organisasyon sa tunga sang mas mapintas nga salakay sang rehimen.

Kinahanglan mapamunuan kag mahugpong ang pinakamalapad nga pumuluyo nga maisog nga magbato para mapauntat ang mga mapintas, garuk kag maki-dumuluong nga mga polisiya sang rehimen, mapunggan ang plano sang martial law sa bilog nga pungsod kag pilit nga maduso ang matuod-tuod nga kalinungan. Kinahanglan ang pumuluyo mismo preparado sa kaisipan, balatyagon kag organisasyon agud maagum ang handum sang tunay nga kahilwayan, hustisya kag kalinong.

Ang tama nga pamumuno sang Partido sa Panay sa Hangaway sang Banwa, sa mga rebolusyunaryong pwersa kag sa pinakamalapad nga pumuluyo sa isla ang garantiya nga indi lang nga mapaslaw naton ang terorista nga atake sang US-Duterte nga diktadurya kundi makaamot man sa pagpabagsak sini.

Mabuhay ang PKP! Mabuhay ang pumuluyo nga nagahimakas para sa tunay nga kahilwayan kag kalinungan!

Rehiyunal nga Komite sang Partido
Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas
Rehiyon Panay
26 Disyembre 2017

CPP/NDF-NEMR: Resist with All Our Strength the Fascist Attack of the US-Duterte Regime and Resolutely Advance the People’s War

NDF-Northeast Mindanao Region propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Dec 26): Resist with All Our Strength the Fascist Attack of the US-Duterte Regime and Resolutely Advance the People’s War

Message of the NDFP-NEMR on the 49th anniversary of the re-establishment of the CPP

Ka Maria Malaya, Spokesperson
NDFP Northeastern Mindanao
26 December 2017

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines-North Eastern Mindanao Region (NDFP-NEMR) joins all revolutionary forces in the region in joyful celebration of the 49th anniversary of the re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). On this occasion we proudly salute the outstanding leadership of the CPP of the Philippine revolution.

As we celebrate the anniversary, we give tribute to all the cadres and members of the Party, Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA), all revolutionaries and activists, for their readiness to sacrifice in the struggle against the fascist oppression of the US-Duterte regime. Let us render our high salute to all revolutionary martyrs for selflessly offering their lives, time and wisdom in order to fully serve the people and the revolution.

Through the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM), the Party wisely guided the revolutionary forces towards the achievement of victories and advanced the revolution in the right path. It correctly analyzed current conditions and appropriately dealt with the destructive attacks of the reactionary US-Duterte regime.
I. Fascist attack of the the AFP/PNP against the people and revolutionaries of NEMR

The continuing subservience of the puppet and fascist US-Duterte regime to the policies of US imperialism in the economic, political and military fronts further plunged Philippine society to severe crisis. The rotting semicolonial and semifeudal system engendered grave poverty, crime, war, corruption, oppression and exploitation. Duterte’s promises such as ending contractualization, land reform, independent foreign policy and others, remain unfulfilled.

Despite becoming the center of mining in the Philippines and the presence of large plantations of banana, oil palm and rubber, the region remains the second poorest in the country. Many are underemployed or unemployed. Contractualization remains rampant in malls, factories, plantations and mines. Not less than 3,000 workers were laid-off from employment by companies this year. The urban poor and vendors are being deprived of their livelihood. Thousands of drivers and operators are being threatened of losing their livelihood because of the jeepney phase-out.

Countless farmers remain landless. They continue to be victims of feudal and semifeudal exploitation such as high land rent, high interest rates of loans and low prices for their products. The grabbing of ancestral lands from the Lumad and farmlands from peasants continue due to the expansion of plantations and mines. They were the most brutally victimized with grave human rights violations committed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police (AFP/PNP) resulting from sustained military operations.

With Oplan Kapayapaan, the extension of martial law in Mindanao and the terrorist declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA), the US-Duterte regime started an all out war against the NPA, revolutionaries, progressives and democratic forces, farmers and Lumad. Fantasizing to crush the NPA by the year 2018, the AFP/PNP launched massive and sustained operations supported by arsenals for bombing, shelling, and surveillance and attack drones which resulted to military abuses and evacuations of thousands of Lumad and farmers in the region.

These were combined with community organizing for peace and development (COPD), productions of sham peace caravans and fake surrenderees under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) and fake propaganda. Rank promotions and funds for plunder were the primary reasons for the surrender programs and livelihood projects of the ambitious officials of the AFP/PNP.

Countless became victims of political killings, arrests and trumped-up charges committed by AFP/PNP personnel against the leaders and members of progressive organizations. There were incidents of staffing of houses and shooting of farmers chanced upon in their farms by AFP forces.

The AFP attempted to destroy Lumad schools and communities by maliciously linking them to armed struggle. The Lumad were threatened with bombing of schools and communities. The AFP filed trumped-up charges against their teachers to force them to abandon the schools. During military operations, the AFP instantly targeted the communities and schools under the guise of looking for Red fighters, prompting the forcible evacuation of the Lumad. The military limited the entry of food to hungry evacuees. In actuality, the AFP wants to destroy the Lumad communities to pave the way for the entry of capitalist mining and plantations in ancestral lands which the Lumad have been opposing.

The police and military has intensified its repression of those living in the countryside by openly preventing them from joining mobilizations in the cities. They were delayed at the checkpoints, required to show IDs and investigated. Several members of progressive organizations were threatened and told to stop joining organizations.

Despite evident fascist repression, oppression, harassment and killings, the AFP/PNP tried to cover up the actual situation to show that the region was peaceful under martial law in Mindanao.
II. Amidst the utterly fascist brutality, the people’s struggle and the revolution in NEMR continue to advance

The declaration of the US-Duterte regime of completely ending the peace talks, tagging the CPP-NPA as “terrorists”, issuing a shot to kill order against NPA members, arresting CPP members and NDFP consultants, and focusing its attacks against the NPA under its extended martial law in Mindanao, are but desperate attempts of the regime in the face of the people’s escalating discontent of the gravely rotten ruling system. This is Duterte’s ambitious attempt to force revolutionaries, progressive forces and the Filipino people to kneel down to fascist rule and the establishment of a dictatorship.

The CPP and NPA are revolutionaries and not terrorists. The CPP has gained high prestige because of his successful leadership in advancing the Philippine revolution for 49 years. Together with the NPA and NDFP it gained support from the people because of its determination to struggle for the just demands of the Filipino people such as genuine land reform, national sovereignty, national industrialization and others. Because the war being waged by the NPA under the absolute leadership of the CPP is just, from being small and weak, it increased and overcame the destructive military campaigns of the AFP since the time of the US-Marcos dictatorship until the present.

History has proven that under the leadership of the CPP-MLM, true revolutionaries and communists will never surrender to the enemy of the people. It is ever at a ready to choose death in the persevering struggle to advance the interests and welfare of the people instead of bowing down to the oppressive reactionary government such as the fascist criminal US-Duterte regime.

In NEMR, the correct leadership of the CPP has been proven. It has successfully advanced the revolution in all fronts amidst sustained fascist attacks under Oplan Kapayapaan.

Studies on Basic and Intermediate Party Courses were successfully conducted. MLM principles and victory of the revolution were learned and gained. It effectively facilitated the molding of ideas among revolutionaries towards the proletarian standpoint, viewpoint and method. It has strengthened their capabilities to fully serve the people and the revolution, and determination to persevere with the struggle to achieve a free and just socialist society.

The NPA-NEMR successfully seized the initiative to advance the people’s war by launching armed struggle, establishing mass base and implementing agrarian revolution. It fulfilled the call of the Central Committee of the CPP and the National Operational Command of the NPA to launch tactical offensives against the worsening fascism of the Duterte regime and its puppetry to US imperialism. The region contributed to the advance of armed struggle in the country.

The NPA continue to be positioned in strategic areas in the region favorable for the advance of the people’s war. The NPA were not prevented from further expansion and consolidation of mass bases through painstaking arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses in the barrios especially by the highway, lowland, coastal areas and town centers or cities. These areas operated served as wellspring, an endless source of NPA Red fighters.

Within one year, the NPA-NEMR launched 180 military actions in defense and as counter-attacks against AFP/PNP troop offensives and to sanction companies that did not respect the people’s government and were destroying the environment and livelihood of the people. The NPA showed impressive bravery that delivered 147 casualties to the fascist troops. The NPA captured one (1) member of the 29th IB, two (2) from the PNP and several CAFGU members who were all treated as prisoners of war (POW). The Red fighters successfully demolished a COPD unit by attacking its camp in the center of the barrio.

In these military actions, the NPA seized weapons enough to equip a new platoon. Not a single NPA-NEMR formation was destroyed by the enemy. On the other hand, eleven (11) Red fighters valiantly sacrificed their lives in battle.

The COPD and enemy attacks never stopped the peasantry from launching reasonable demands in line with the program for agrarian revolution. The struggle for higher wages of agricultural workers continued. The victories attained that decreased rent of land and farming equipment, and lowered the high interest rate of loans or usury, were sustained. Farmers who benefitted from the revolutionary land distribution continue to cultivate. They maintained their collective farming and exchange of labor to develop and expand farms.

Furthermore, the NPA continued to deliver social services to the people in the countryside such as free medical services, maintained peace and order, helped improve livelihoods and farming and others. In the barrios where the NPA operate, the people are free from illegal drugs, theft, gambling and other crimes.

Because of these, widespread support was established among the masses who actively implemented measures that rendered the enemy blind and deaf. The People’s Militias actively join tactical offensives to confront attacking AFP forces.

On the other hand, the people in the region bravely stood firm to assert their rights and welfare. The people launched various mobilizations in the cities to expose and oppose Duterte’s devious and fascist move to establish a dictatorial rule.

In the attempt to defeat the people’s struggle, the US-Duterte regime fueled an outpouring of resistance from the Filipino people against fascist attacks. This will end his dictatorial rule. It was Duterte himself who exposed to the world that his government is anti-nationalist, anti-masses and anti-democratic, that in the end, it is a terrorist state.
III. Efforts to further advance the people’s war in NEMR and frustrate the all out fascist war of the US-Duterte regime

History has proven that a united armed resistance and powerful people’s revolt will defeat the overt oppression and exploitation of a brutal rule.

To frustrate Duterte’s selfish aspiration for dictatorial rule, defeat counter-revolutionary offensives of the AFP/PNP, and contribute more to the advance of the people’s war in the country, we must do the following:

We need to consciously implement the ideological tasks of Party members, NPA, and revolutionary mass organizations to constantly raise the understanding of MLM in its application to the Philippine revolution. Sharpen the understanding of the national and international situations especially on the phase of worsening capitalist crisis and the chronic semicolonial and semicolonial system.

The NPA-NEMR must persistently launch numerous successful tactical offensives based on the ever widening and deepening mass base. Deliver overwhelming strikes against fascist troops. Increase recruitment to the NPA and form additional platoons.

We should persistently arouse, organize and mobilize all classes and sectors of the people in the countryside and cities to establish a wide and strong mass base. Form a powerful force that will strongly resist and frustrate the fascist terrorism of the US-Duterte regime.

We should launch bigger mass struggles that promote and defend rights, welfare and demands. Launch widespread struggles for the program for agrarian revolution, national industrialization and national sovereignty.

Unite and build cooperation with nationalist and patriotic organizations, personalities, businessmen, government officials, soldiers and policemen that will expose the anti-nationalist, anti-democratic moves of Duterte.

Promote and intensify propaganda work to constantly unite the masses and the people. Raise their political consciousness especially about the enemy, to consolidate the determination of the masses in advancing the revolution.

Long live the CPP on its 49th anniversary!

Ka Maria Malaya

EXPERIENCE: Holiday with the Guerrillas in the Philippines

From The News Lens (Dec 26): EXPERIENCE: Holiday with the Guerrillas in the Philippines

Why you need to know:  Michael Beltran spends some quality time with Marxist guerillas on the most important time of the year – Mao’s birthday.

Dear reader,

Allow me to indulge myself. Permit me to share with you a most memorable holiday season from several years ago.

I offer an account surrounding my time in the mountains of Cordillera on the Philippine island of Luzon with the guerrillas of the New People’s Army (NPA).

At this time many guerrilla fronts gear up for the festive season, only not for Christmas but the day after to celebrate the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which coincides with the anniversary of Mao Zedong’s birth: Dec. 26, 1893.

Mao is not revered as a god or a savior by the guerrillas, but his teachings act as a guide to action that propelled the reestablishment of the CCP and the eventually the people’s army.

Nice People Around (NPA)

Along with some visitors to the guerrilla front, we arrived in the dead of night on Christmas evening after a 17-hour bus ride in the capital of one of Cordillera region’s provinces. I believe Cordillera is the most stunning locale in the country by far, and the next few months would only reinforce that impression. Pine trees glistened with precipitation. Landscapes cascaded over thick puffs of fog. Rice terraces, a wonder in themselves, offered amazing views of the mountain ranges.

After being driven a few more hours by some locals supportive of the rebels, we stopped at a solitary shack on the side of the road. It was dawn, and a lone NPA combatant with an AK-47, a green jacket and a classic Mao cap was standing right in front of us. A few moments later, 10 more emerged from the cliff side. They signaled that I continue with them on foot as the pickup truck we rode on disappeared back the way we had come.

I was immediately taken aback by the altitude. The air was the thinnest I had ever breathed – being a heavy smoker, this was no small adjustment. We hiked for a few hours with great difficulty until we reached a remote village of only eight houses. I met all the members of the guerrilla unit and true to their moniker, they were plain "Nice People Around." To a man, they shook the visitor’s hands enthusiastically, some offering boisterous greetings.

The CPP anniversary and Mao’s birth is celebrated widely among NPA guerrilla fronts nationwide, some big and some small, depending on the situation. Last year’s peace assembly in the southern part of the country drew in thousands of red fighters in full display, attracting crowds from all over the country following an open call to celebrate with them. Now that the peace talks with the revolutionary movement have been canceled by the Duterte administration, I suspect such open celebrations will not be seen in the near future.

I had been to similar celebrations before in other provinces. Like this one, they were simply organized, consisting of a crowd of about a hundred souls huddled together to watch a program of NPA soldiers discussing the themes of the anniversary. This time, a black taffeta cloth with chalked lettering of event slogans served as the backdrop and stage. Interspersed were cultural performances from both comrades and the locals conveying different facets of the armed revolution. The people’s army is a cultural one.

Towards the end, the last speaker, the lone red fighter who we first encountered on the road, signaled that we would now proceed to the second part of our celebration. Second part? This was new.

Gongs appeared from the crowd and the group broke into dance. The traditional dances of the Igorot (the dominant indigenous group of the region) were infectious and revolutionaries, peasants and visitors danced in a circle for a couple of hours at least.

The next day I was issued a rifle by one of the senior commanding officers. He was a local, born and raised in the notoriously tough terrain of the Cordillera mountains. Middle-aged yet full of brawn, he clearly had been baptized in the smoke of firefights. He gave me a quick lesson in the dos and don’ts of how to handle the weapon and the environment, ending with a smirk as if to say “you’ll get the hang it.”

It was an M-16 from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, part of a cache seized in a raid or encounter with the enemy. I had pledged to clean it, inspect it and study it, as was expected of everybody else.
Guerrilla march

After the festivities, we were whisked off to our next destination as mobile guerrilla warfare dictates. They were all eager to get back to work. Besides my rifle, I carried a pack which bore my personal belongings, a blanket, emergency noodles, an emergency can of sardines and political documents that were used in meetings, assemblies and discussions.

I wore two pairs of socks over each other with my feet stuffed into large boots, two shirts under a sweater, a jacket and a cap, but I was still freezing. All in all I was carrying about 30 kilos – a modest load. I tried my best to keep my composure and not clumsily ruin the NPA’s reputation.

During my first regular trek, we encountered some locals farming on the hillside. They were met by an armed platoon of men and women marching in single file all dressed in black (a simple form of camouflage) and instead of being frightened, they were all smiles. The Igorot people always greet you in the warmest manner.

They say compared to the rest of the country, Cordillera was less influenced by Spanish colonialists despite their 300-year reign, but more by the Americans who set up several bases in the mountains. In one of the villages I encountered a man wearing a cowboy hat and boots complete with spurs. He brandished a guitar and sang “home on the range” perfectly with his best southern accent.

SEE ALSO: Meet Ka Inday: Activist, Warrior and Defender of San Roque

During my stay, we were never in direct combat. We came close, but the locals led the military away when we stayed in a village to avoid civilian casualties. Besides, most everyone says that the military at that period mainly stayed in their camp in the capital, too lazy to deal with the terrain just to be harassed by locals and rebels.

In the mountains is where I learned to walk. We walked everywhere, for hours on end to achieve certain tasks, mainly to organize peasants, engage or assist in agricultural production, establish greater political consciousness for the revolution, plan for better agrarian practices and facilitate literacy programs. One time we trekked for several hours just for an all-night discussion with some farmers who had just finished working in the fields. A tough day’s work and they were still ready to learn about the revolution well into the midnight hour.

Another time, three of us carried a generator over a mountain from one village to the next just so people could watch movies. We screened documentaries on the poverty blighting the country, updates about the revolutionary war elsewhere, local progressive cinema and even foreign films like “Even the Rain” starring Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which depicted uprisings of national minorities in Bolivia. We did our best to translate for the locals from the subtitles.

The comrades were full of advice: give up on anticipating a flat path, straighten your body to distribute the weight of your load, walk with heels hitting the ground first so your boots get a firm grip on the earth, crumple your toes when descending and alternate your breathing between the nose and the mouth.

One particularly tiring climb was made even more difficult by thick fog. I wondered how it could be this dense in the afternoon. It was quickly made apparent how I misread the situation; This isn’t fog comrade, these are clouds.”

The generosity of the people we met knew no bounds. Mao Zedong said: “The masses are the real heroes. Without the people, the revolutionary army is nothing.” Always when arriving at a village, we made our rifles discreet, introduced ourselves and asked politely if we could stay for a while. We shared food, stories and shelter. All members of the platoon were enjoined to help out with daily chores and concerns or risk being reprimanded. We were reminded that discipline when serving the people should be ironclad.

It might sound strange how or why an army unit is doing this. But it makes perfect sense given that one of the tasks of the revolution is to re-shape the notion of what an army is meant to be. Instead of being a purely military entity like its counterpart, the people’s army protected the masses and was a force for political, economic and cultural development.

Our platoon, like many across the country, was a melting pot of backgrounds. Some were like me, coming from an urban background and educated at a university. Others were impoverished locals who’d grown up dreaming of one day linking with the revolutionary army. There were also workers who’d been organized in unions and had subsequently joined the NPA.

Trials and travails came and went along the way, as seems normal when you are constantly with a group of people with different backgrounds facing uncertain and stressful situations. But we all managed to get along — the work was more important than any of us.

One comrade remarked, “It might sound harsh, and I mean this in the nicest way possible. Our revolution is not an orphanage. We may care for each other but ultimately we are here to contribute and to sacrifice.”

For many in the platoon, especially the more senior comrades, leaving the mountains to retire or “rejoin civilization” simply did not occur to them. “Live in the city? And do what?” said one. The majority of their lives had already been spent, molded to the environment at hand.

We all survived on a diet consisting mostly of sweet potatoes and vegetables, making our meals wherever we stopped, yet poverty was palpable in every household we saw. Hardly any had any form of schooling, no clinics were ever seen (our medic always had her hands full) and due to the backwardness of the agricultural production, harvests usually came just once a year.

Sweet potatoes go a long way in these areas. I once had boiled sweet potato for dinner in a local’s home. He egged me on by saying that we were to enjoy a mouth-watering dessert, building up suspense as we sat by the fire. Turns out the dessert was sweet potato again, except with brown sugar. We both laughed and I admired how he and all the others endured (though I have always really liked sweet potato).

Getting Closer

I left the guerrilla front with a heavy heart. I could have extended my stay, it was encouraged in fact. I find that my personal nature directs me to make decisions with an all or nothing attitude. If I was to stay, it would have been permanent, something which I was not ready to handle at that point.

I wondered if I was less revolutionary than I had thought myself to be, maybe so. In order to advance to victory, we must give everything we can, which in the end may not be enough. We can only hope that what we are able to contribute increases over time. Cordillera has not left me and I am convinced that we will one day be reunited.

Cordillera has not left me and I am convinced that we will one day be reunited.

Dear reader, I could go on. If you’d be interested, I would like nothing more than to elate your mind about the entirety of the people’s resistance and movement. Nonetheless, I am exhausted.

Before you leave, please know this, so that my intentions cannot be mistaken. I do not condone this type of storytelling for the sake of storytelling. Spending the holiday season and beyond in the red areas of the countryside is an unparalleled and recommended experience for learning and contributing to the tide of revolt. You’re welcome to stay, preferably for as long as you can. In Mao's words: “If you want knowledge, you must take part in the practice of changing reality. If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part in revolution.”

Many believe that the conditions for an uprising are becoming riper by the day. President Rodrigo Duterte has taken a number of steps towards establishing a totalitarian government, one that is not unlike that of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

They say Marcos was the “number one recruiter for the NPA” because his draconian regime reflected the futility of the current ruling system of landlords, compradors, cronies and capitalists. Predictably, Duterte looks poised to “recruit” even more.

No doubt all this will speed up the process of dismantling the ruling order. It will also bring about scores of new and bold tales of struggle and optimism. Dear reader, someday I hope we’d share more stories over a campfire, in the heat of revolutionary ferment.

TNL Editorial

Michael Beltran

Michael Beltran: Activist - Musician. Studied Political Science at the University of the Philippines - Manila, has been involved with various student and cultural movements in the Philippines. Currently works as the Information Officer of KADAMAY, the National Alliance of Filipino Urban Poor.


House passes bill declaring Kalayaan Island Group as alienable, disposable land

From the Manila Bulletin (Dec 26): House passes bill declaring Kalayaan Island Group as alienable, disposable land

The House Committee on Natural Resources has declared the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) in Palawan as alienable and disposable land for agriculture, residential and commercial purposes.

The .79-sq. km. island has a population of 184 as of the latest 2015 census but is administered by a municipal government funded by an average P47-million annual income.

MB FILE — Photo of aerial view of Pag-asa, one of the islands that belong to the Kalayaan Island Group, located off the coast of western Philippines taken on July 20, 2011. EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA/POOL
Members of the natural resources panel voted unanimously to endorse House Bill 5614 for immediate passage in the Lower House.

Authored by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (PDP-Laban, Davao del Norte) and Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas (PDP-Laban, Ilocos Norte), HB 5614 provides that the KIG composed of Pagasa (Thitu), Likas, Parola, Lawak, Kota, Patag, Panata, Ayungin Reef, Balagtas Reef, and Rizal Reef containing a total land area of 0.79 sq. km. (0.31 sq. mi.) constituting the Municipality of Kalayaan, Province of Palawan, be declared as alienable and disposable land for agricultural, residential, commercial and other productive purposes.

The Philippine government has declared KIG a territory of the Philippines despite China’s adversarial claim over certain areas of the area.

Alvarez and Fariñas said it is urgent to declare the Kalayaan Island Group as alienable and disposable to promote permanent dwelling and develop a viable source of livelihood for the residents therein.

Alvarez said, as an alienable and disposable land, the KIG would promote the growth of business opportunities and spur the development of trade and industry by attracting investors to the area.

The Kalayaan Island Group offers rich fishing grounds and contains significant oil and natural gas reserves. It is vital to the security and economic survival of the Philippines.

The Speaker also said the Municipality of Kalayaan is in the process of creating new projects to promote tourism for the island group. It is inviting Filipino businessmen to invest in Kalayaan but investors are reluctant because the island group is inalienable and non-disposable for agricultural, residential and commercial purposes.

“Even residents who have been long tilling and developing the parcels of land within the Kalayaan Island Group cannot apply for title for their occupied area,” said the Speaker.

For his part, Fariñas cited Presidential Decree 1596, entitled “Declaring Certain Area Part of the Philippine Territory and Providing for Their Government and Administration,” constituted the Kalayaan Island Group as a distinct and separate municipality of the Province of Palawan, now known as the Municipality of Kalayaan.

The bill provides that within 90 days after the effectivity of the Act, the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Act.

During the hearing, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief of staff Lt. Gen. Salvador Melchor Mison Jr. revealed that the military is set to implement an P11.6-billion development plan for the nine Kalayaan islands.


Troops repel BIFF attack on Maguindanao detachment

From the Philippine Star (Dec 26): Troops repel BIFF attack on Maguindanao detachment

Philippine Marines fire an M101 105 mm howitzer during artillery live-fire training. Cpl. Courtney G. White/U.S. Marine Corps, file
Government forces fended off an attack by the Islamic State-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters over the Christmas holiday, killing 13 bandits and wounding five others.
Army officials and Senior Supt. Agustin Tello of the Maguindanao provincial police office said Monday that BIFF gunmen armed with assault rifles and grenade launchers first attacked at about 10:00 p.m. Sunday a detachment of the 57th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Maitemaig, Datu Unsay.
The soldiers in the detachment, whom villagers had warned of a possible BIFF attack, managed to drive the bandits away after an hour-long gunfight. They carried away five wounded companions.
Moro community elders identified the injured bandits as Said Abunawas, Khong Salik, Usman Sumablao, Andang Sanged and Mudin Alemansa.
Major Gen. Arnel Dela Vega of the Army's 6th Infantry Division said the retreating bandits set fire to houses along the way.
The owners of the houses had already evacuated to safer areas before the attack.
All three factions in the BIFF, which reportedly teaches hatred against non-Muslims and collects "protection money" from farmers, use the black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The BIFF has also reportedly been subjecting villagers to a brutal Taliban-style justice system.
The 6th ID and the Tactical Operations Group 12 of the Philippine Air Force launched artillery and aerial offensives against the fleeing BIFF gunmen before dawn on Monday as they reached less populated areas of the town.
Members of the multi-sectoral peace and order councils in Datu Unsay, Datu Saudi, Shariff Aguak and South Upi towns said 13 BIFF bandits were killed by explosive rockets fired by attack helicopters.
Army artillery positions in nearby towns also bombarded three BIFF groups from Datu Saudi and Datu Hoffer towns to prevent then from reinforcing their companions.
Abu Misry Mama, spokesman of one of three factions in the BIFF, has confirmed their losses to the military counter-attack.
He told reporters the BIFF will avenge the deaths of their companions killed in its latest encounters with units of 6th ID, which has jurisdiction over Maguindanao province.

Negosyanteng padayong gahatag og Revolutionary Tax sa NPA, gipahimangnuan

From Radio Mindanao Network (Dec 26): Negosyanteng padayong gahatag og Revolutionary Tax sa NPA, gipahimangnuan


Hugot karon nga pagabantayan sa mga tropa sa 27th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army ang mga negosyante sa South Cotabato nga nagahatag og revolutionary tax o naghatag og hinabang pinansiyal sa mga aktibidad sa New People’s Army (NPA).

Matud pa kang Lt. Col. Benjamin Leander, commanding officer sa 27th IB, nga ilahang ginabatnatyan usab sa pagkakaron ang mga negosyanteng nga gatabang alang sa logistics sa mga teroristang NPA, pugsanon man o boluntaryo ang paghatag.

Daku ang pagtuo karon sa maong opisyal nga kung walay gahatag nga mga negosyante og hinabang pinansiyal sa NPA wala silay makuhang mga suporta gikan sa Masa nga pang recruit sa gustong musulod sa kalihukan.

Giakusahan pa karon sa militar ang mga NPA nga wala na sila sa ilahan gipakigbisugan nga kawsa kung asa ang tumong na karon matud pa sa mga NPA mao na lamang ang mangkwarta sa katawhan.

Sa bahad karon sa maong opisyal ngadto sa mga negosyante nga maghatag og suporta nga undangon na nila tungod posibling sila na usab karon ang target sa operasyon sa kapulisan og military.


5 wounded after firefight with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

From the Manila Times (Dec 26): 5 wounded after firefight with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Four soldiers and a civilian were wounded after a firefight with members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Patikul, Sulu while soldiers were preparing for a Christmas Party on Sunday night, Christmas Eve.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said on Monday that more or less 20 Abu Sayyaf members attacked troops at about 6:45 p.m. on Sunday with automatic gunfire and M203 grenade launchers.

The four soldiers sustained shrapnel wounds after retaliating and exchanging fire with the terrorist group, which lasted for about 25 minutes. One civilian was also injured by a shrapnel from the Abu Sayyaf.

The soldiers were identified as Sgt. Ramonito Kilat, Sgt. Abutallib Aling, Cpl. Jun-mar Lomonggo and Private 1st Class Rodelio Domingo.
The wounded civilian was identified as Carmina Yusop.

They were brought to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Station Hospital in Busbus, Jolo, Sulu for treatment.

In a text message to The Manila Times, Sobejana explained that an M203 bullet went inside the house of Yusop.

 Adjacent military units were directed to establish a strong defensive position after the incident.


No kidnapping involving Malaysians a win for Sabah in 2017

From Malaysia Insight (Dec 25): No kidnapping involving Malaysians a win for Sabah in 2017

THE year 2017 saw no kidnappings involving Malaysians in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) this year, among other notable security issues.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had, on September 29, announced that the government would deploy about 500 People's Volunteer Corps (Rela) members as a pilot project to assist in monitoring security in Esszone.

Zahid, who is also home minister, said 6,148 Rela members out of 121,888 registered in Sabah would be deployed to Esszone in stages in the future.

On Oct 12, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, along with his Indonesian and Filipino counterparts, launched the Trilateral Air Patrol operations over the Sulu Sea to tackle cross-border crime, including terrorist threats and kidnappings.
Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, who is also co-chairman of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) Advisory Board, recently told the Sabah state legislative assembly that there had been no kidnappings in Esszone throughout the year.

The kidnapping of five fishermen by the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the southern Philippines off Lahad Datu on July 18, last year, was the last of such a case involving Malaysians.

In that case, all the men, aged between 24 and 63, were rescued by the Philippine military forces in March this year and returned safely to their families.

On December 4 this year, members of the security forces in Esszone gunned down a 31-year-old man, known as Commander Paliyak @ Yusuf, who was believed to be involved in a number of sea robberies and kidnappings in waters off Kunak and Lahad Datu since 2014.

According to Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun, 3.65 million tourists – out of whom 2.1 million were locals and 1.4 million foreigners – had visited the state up to October this year, a slight increase from the 3.4 million tourists recorded last year.

The year 2017 also saw the launch of two more work packages of the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway project by Prime Minister Najib Razak, bringing the total number of work packages launched so far to six.

On March 4, Najib launched the upgrading of the Sindumin-Kampung Melalia road alignment, spanning 28.4km, in Sipitang.

The project involved the upgrading of the existing two-lane road into four lanes, and the construction of two interchanges and three bridges to provide access to the oil and gas-based economic corridor between Sipitang and Kimanis.

Najib also launched the sixth package of the Pan Borneo Highway project stretching 19.6km to connect Putatan with Inanam on November 18.

Speaking at the launch of the Putatan-Inanam package, Najib said RM12.86 billion had been allocated for the construction of the 706km Pan Borneo Highway from Sindumin to Tanjung Simpang Mengayau on the west coast and from Ranau to Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Tawau on the east coast.


10 rebel returnees in Palawan get livelihood aid

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 26): 10 rebel returnees in Palawan get livelihood aid

The 10 rebel returnees with Governor Jose Alvarez (7th from left) of Palawan, Col. Robert Velasco (8th from left) of WESCOM, and Gail Ablaña of PSWDO (1st from right) on December 21 at the Provincial Capitol Building. (Photo courtesy of WESCOM)

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan -- Ten members of the New People’s Army (NPA), who surrendered in Palawan, received PHP25,000 each in livelihood assistance under the provincial government’s Local Social Integration Program (LSIP).

Governor Jose Alvarez and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command (WESCOM) awarded the assistance to the surrenderers in a simple ceremony at the Governor’s Office at the capitol last Dec. 21, said Capt. Cherry Tindog, WESCOM spokesperson on Tuesday.

Of the 10 beneficiaries, three were women. Most of the former rebels surrendered last September, following the conduct of focused civil and military operations, particularly in southern Palawan.

“I left the revolutionary movement for quite some time now. I surrendered as I want to clear my name because I was told I am in the military’s order of battle. Without surrendering, I still feel I am not free to roam around. I constantly worry about my safety,” said Rico Libuta, a former NPA fighter who surrendered last July 28.

A total of 26 more rebel returnees are being processed by the WESCOM and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and will receive livelihood assistance, Tindog added.


AFP on full alert as CPP marks 49th anniversary

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 26): AFP on full alert as CPP marks 49th anniversary

As the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) observes its 49th founding anniversary Tuesday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has placed its military units nationwide on full alert to deter possible attacks by the communist group.

"The AFP is on full alert and vigilant for possible CPP-NPA attacks on our people and vulnerable communities. Their celebration is usually accompanied by armed attacks against the people that reflect the CPP-NPA’s true color as a criminal organization void of any ideology," AFP spokesperson, Colonel Edgard Arevalo, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Arevalo said due to the atrocities the NPA has committed through the years, the rebel group has lost its dialogical mooring and all its actions reflect a terrorist organization.

"It is in this light that we call on their members to take a good look at their organization and reflect deeply so that they may be able to decide to come back into the fold of the law, be with their families, and become productive citizens of the community," he added.

Arevalo said the AFP will abide by the government's declaration of suspending military operations, but will remain in an active defense posture to thwart any atrocity, deception, or sabotage the rebels plan to conduct.


DOJ set to file formal petition tagging CPP-NPA as terrorist group

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 26): DOJ set to file formal petition tagging CPP-NPA as terrorist group

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is carefully studying the formal petition they plan to file this week before the regional trial court officially declaring as terrorist groups the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II issued Department Order no. 779 directing the Office of Prosecutor General to file the necessary application or petition with the appropriate court for the proscription or declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army as a terrorist organization pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9372 also known as “Human Security Act of 2007.”

It has been almost a month since President Rodrigo Duterte declared the CPP-NPA as terrorists but Aguirre explained that they have to prepare the petition very carefully.

He noted that as part of the preparations, prosecutors have to seek the help of the intelligence community.

“Our DOJ prosecutors led by the head of task force, Prosecutor Peter Ong, has been meeting with the intelligence people katulad ng (like) NICA (National Intelligence Coordinating Agency), ISAFP (Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) and other intelligence agencies of the government,” he said.

Aguirre is optimistic that the lower court would grant the government’s request following President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation naming the CPP and NPA as terror organizations.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier announced that the President has signed a proclamation formally designating the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.

The Palace spokesperson said the President signed the proclamation pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 10168 or the Human Security Act.

Roque said under the law, affiliate revolutionary groups of the CPP-NPA would also be considered terrorist groups, and anyone proven to be financing them would be held liable.

Citing the pertinent provisions of RA 10168, Roque said a designated person is “any person or entity designated or identified as a terrorist, as one who finances terrorism or a terrorist organization or group under the applicable United Nations Security Council resolution or by another jurisdiction or supranational jurisdiction and pursuant to the proclamation which implements the Human Security Act.”

“Take note that the domestic statute and the UN Security Council prohibit the giving of funds to terrorist organizations. This will enable law enforcement agencies to run after individuals who will, in any way, provide financial support to the NPA now that it has been described as a terrorist organization,” Roque said.

In his proclamation, Duterte directed the Department of Foreign Affairs “to publish the foregoing designation of CPP-NPA and other designated persons, organizations, in accordance with Sections 3 and 15 of RA 10168 and its implementing rules and regulations.”

The proclamation was issued after the Philippine government terminated peace talks with the CPP-NPA after a series of violent attacks which the President described as against the humanitarian law.