Sunday, May 3, 2020

P5.1-M marijuana uprooted in Sulu

From Tempo (May 3, 2020): P5.1-M marijuana uprooted in Sulu

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Marine soldiers and agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) discovered Friday dawn a plantation with some 22,000 fully grown marijuana in Kalingalang Caluang, Sulu.

Marine Battalion Landing Team 7 (MBLT-7) commander Lt. Col. Oliver Baylon, said, the marijuana plantation has a total land area of 2,100 square meters with fully grown marijuana worth around P 5.1 million.

According to Baylon, combined elements of MBLT-7 of the 4th Marine Brigade and PDEA agents conducted an operation
for possible arrest a certain Sahabi in Sitio Mangal-Mangal, Barangay Masjid Punjungan, Kalingalang Caluang, Sulu.

Sahabi, a notorious drug dealer in Sulu is a supporter of the Abu Sayyaf Group, Baylon said.

Baylon said that while scouring the area, the government troops discovered six plantation sites of fully grown and two plantation sites of newly planted marijuana.

The soldiers, in coordination with barangay officials of Masjid Punjungan, uprooted and burned the marijuana plants on Saturday.

“The marijuana plantation could be another source of fund of the ASG and their supporters,” Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Joint Task Force Sulu commander said.

PDEA personnel also collected samples of marijuana for laboratory testing and as evidence against the suspects. (Nonoy E. Lacson)

Manhunt for Abu Sayyaf supporter launched

From the Philippine Star (May 4, 2020): Manhunt for Abu Sayyaf supporter launched (By Roel PareƱo)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Marine troopers and agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) are tracking down an alleged supporter of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group in Kalingalang Caluang, Sulu, officials said yesterday.

The suspect, identified as Sahabi, is reportedly the owner of marijuana plantations in Barangay Masjid that were raided by the authorities on Friday.

Sahabi escaped during the raid.

“While patrolling the area, the joint team of the Marines and the PDEA discovered eight marijuana plantations in Sitio Mangal-Mangal,” Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said. 

Two kidnap-for-ransom Abu Sayyaf members killed in clash with gov't troops in Tawi-Tawi

From GMA News Online (May 4, 2020): Two kidnap-for-ransom Abu Sayyaf members killed in clash with gov't troops in Tawi-Tawi

Government troops clashed with the Abu Sayyaf kidnap for ransom group in Tawi-Tawi on Sunday, which led to the death of two rebels, the military said.

The fatalities were
identified as Jul Haber a.k.a. Black Shabu/Toks and Kamsel Ampang, according to a press release from the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom).

Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi commander Colonel Arturo Rojas said
Haber, a member of the Abu Sayyaf-kidnap for ransom group, arrived in Sitio Gigipan in Barangay Dungon, Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi in May 2017.

"He was also engaged in illegal drug trade in the area of Tandubas together with Odin Masihul, a.k.a. Baby/Bedi/Ombak, who was neutralized in a buy-bust operation in Sitio Pahapatan, Barangay Baldatal Islam, Sapa-Sapa, Tawi-Tawi on November 20, 2019," Rojas said.

The 10-minute firefight occurred in Barangay Taruk in the municipality of Tandubas on Sunday morning.

Combined elements from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-6, Tandubas Municipal Police Station and Provincial Mobile Force Company conducted the joint law enforcement operation.

Recovered from the site were an M16 rifle (ELISCO) with scope; 123 rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition; six short alloy magazines of M16 rifle; three long magazines of M16 rifle (1 alloy and 2 plastic); one rifle grenade; one suspender; five plastic sachets made of straw; one plastic sachet of shabu; and other drug paraphernalia.

The wife and son of Haber were turned over to Barangay Taruk chairman Nasil Hajiul Abug, the military said.

The cadavers, meanwhile, were turned over to the Tandubas Municipal Police Station for proper disposition.

WestMinCom commander Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana commended the Marines and the police for the operation and urged them to continue collaborating to fight terrorism and criminality and work for peace in communities.

IS followers killed in clash with troopers in Tawi-Tawi

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 4, 2020):  IS followers killed in clash with troopers in Tawi-Tawi (By: Jeoffrey Maitem)

COTABATO CITY — Government security forces killed at least two followers of Islamic State (IS) in a clash in Tawi-Tawi on Sunday (May 3), according to the military on Monday (May 4).

Members of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-6 and policemen were
on patrol at the village of Taruk, Tanduan town when they encountered an undetermined number of members of the homegrown terror group Abu Sayyaf, said Col. Arturo Rojas, head of the anti-terror Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi.

Abu Sayyaf had joined forces with IS
in an attempt to turn Marawi City into an IS caliphate.

Two Sayyaf gunmen, identified as July Haber and Kamsel Ampang, were killed in the gunfight,
according to Rojas.

Recovered from the clash site were an M-16 assault rifle, 123 rounds of ammunition for Armalite rifles, several magazines and a rifle grenade.

Rojas said Haber was an Abu Sayyaf member who arrived at the village of Dungon, Panglima Sugala town in Tawi-Tawi in May 2017 yet.

Haber, according to Rojas, was also involved in the illegal drug trade along with another suspect, Odin Masihul, alias Baby, Bedi and Ombak.

Rojas said Masihul had been killed on Nov. 20, 2019 in a buy-bust operation in Sapa-Sapa town, Tawi-Tawi.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, regional military commander, said the bodies of the slain terrorists had been turned over to the police station of Tandubas town.

“Let us continue to collaborate in the fight against terrorism and criminalities (sic) and work for peace in the communities,” Sobejana said.

Among the most brutal armed groups operating in Mindanao, Abu Sayyaf members had beheaded two Canadian hostages and a German captive three years ago.

In January 2019, an Abu Sayyaf unit was also found involved in an attack on a Catholic church in Jolo which left 23 people dead.

NDF/Sison: On the threat of martial law and military junta

Jose Maria Sison propaganda interview posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Apr 29, 2020): On the threat of martial law and military junta

Interview with Jose Maria Sison (JMS)
By Raissa Robles

May I ask you the following questions:

1) Duterte has formed an Inter-Agency Task Force to fight the coronavirus and most of its members are generals whom he had appointed Armed Forces chief-of-staff and then retired. In a number of speeches inside military camps and a military hospital, he has urged the military to take over and form a junta in case anything should happen to him or they simply want him out.

Can this IATF body be turned into a similar one like Ferdinand Marcos’ Rolex 12 which planned and operationalized the imposition of Martial Law?

JMS: The Inter-Agency Task Force of Duterte is quite similar to the Rolex 12 of Marcos which planned and operationalized the imposition of Martial Law. It consists of Duterte loyalists who owe to their commander-in-chief their previous promotions in the military service and opportunities for corruption in and out of the military service. The IATF is also a coordinate of the National Task Force-ELCAC which was earlier formed under Executive Order 70 to militarise the government and establish a fascist state.

Duterte is using the IATF to undertake a de facto martial law regime in the name of fighting the corona virus and to prepare the way for the formal declaration of martial law and the full imposition of a Marcos-type fascist dictatorship. There is also an added threat by Duterte that in case he dies because of his physical and mental illnesses or because of assassination by any of his many political enemies and rivals in the drug business the IATF becomes a military junta to rule the Philippines beyond the bounds of the 1987 Constitution.

2) Duterte has a draconian law in the works –a revised Human Security Act that could stamp down on political dissent, surveil and arrest dissenters for longer periods. On top of this, he is still trying to change the 1987 Constitution. Today, he controls Congress through his political allies and is packing the Supreme Court with his appointees. Given all these, do you think he can do a Marcos?

JMS: Duterte can do a Marcos by imposing a full fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people. Aside from having turned the military and police forces as his instruments for tyranny, he can change the 1987 Constitution to make himself fully a fascist dictator. For the purpose, he can use his supermajorities in the Lower House and Senate which he obtained through pork barrel corruption and rigging of the Comelec count in 2019. He can also use the Supreme Court to further legitimize his illegal and immoral acts, as previously done in the junking of the plunder cases of his allies and the removal of the sitting Supreme Court justice,

As I said previously, there is already a de facto martial law regime in the Philippines. Executive Order No. 70 has set the policy for such a regime under the pretext of anti-communism. It is being buttressed by a revised Human Security Act that can suppress by military force political dissent and can surveil, harass, arrest without judicial warrant and detain dissenters for longer periods. Duterte has already used both houses of Congress to obtain emergency powers and use public funds as he pleases under the pretext of fighting the Covid-19 contagion.

There are preparations for changing the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for the full establishment of a fascist dictatorship as the main objective in conjunction with such objectives as to establish a pseudo-federal system of government under a highly centralized fascist dictatorship and favor foreign investors with the right to have 100 per cent ownership of land and enterprises engaged in natural-resource exploitation, public utilities, media and other types of businesses previously reserved to Filipino citizens 100 per cent or at least to the extent of 60 per cent.

3) What is the biggest difference between Duterte and Marcos?

JMS: In terms of personal characteristics, the biggest difference between Duterte and Marcos is that the current president is already old and sickly both physically and mentally. When Marcos set out to become a fascist dictator, he was much younger, more agile physically and mentally and more articulate in deceptive rhetoric about “saving the republic and building a new society”. Duterte comes out as merely a crazy thug and a farcical copy of Marcos.

In terms of crisis conditions to exploit in order to realize fascist dictatorship, Marcos still had plenty of allowance to take foreign loans, raising the foreign debt from USD 500 million in 1965 to more than USD 28 billion in 1986 and he was faced with a still small armed revolutionary movement that had only 9 automatic rifles in 1969 and only 6,100 automatic rifles in 1986. Now, Duterte is hampered by a more lopsided underdeveloped economy, by far bigger trade and budgetary deficits and far bigger local and foreign public debt, now aggravated by the deleterious consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.

And of course, Duterte is faced with an armed revolutionary movement of the people with plenty of experience in frustrating strategic enemy campaigns of military suppression, a people’s army with around 10,000 fighters and people’s militia with hundreds of thousands of members in more than 110 guerrilla fronts in 74 out of 81 provinces, mass organizations of different sectors with millions of members and local organs of political power that constitute the people’s democratic government.
I have been informed by AFP insiders that Duterte and his generals are having nightmares over the potential of the NPA guerrilla fronts in launching tactical offensives even only at the rate of three to five offensives per guerrilla front per month as the socio-economic and political crisis will further deepen and worsen.

4) Do you think he will declare Martial Law or just continue threatening to?

JMS: It is in the personal and political character of Duterte to make threats of formally declaring martial law and butchering many people. But I am not absolutely sure that he will carry out his threats. As described by Waldy Carbonell and Homobono Adaza, Duterte is an extreme coward in physical and moral terms but who is always trying hard to show off that he is a killer and a strong man. Most of the time, he merely orders his armed minions to butcher the victims who are already hogtied, as in the mass murder of 30,000 drug suspects. And according to himself, he himself as mayor of Davao City killed some individuals extrajudicially, while he was in the secure company of his armed minions, supposedly for the purpose of inspiring them to kill people upon his orders.

What can deter or prevent Duterte from formally declaring martial law and establishing a fascist dictatorship is a combination of various organized forces similar to those that concurred and moved towards the overthrow of Marcos in the years following the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, 1983 to 1986. The broad masses of the people keep on rising in protest mass actions until they inspire the anti-Duterte groups within the armed forces and police to junk Duterte. The churches already so much abused and insulted by the Duterte regime can support and encourage the broad masses of the people and the various anti-Duterte groups to fight for democracy and human rights. Duterte will be in deeper shit if he exposes himself as seeking or enjoying the protection of any foreign power, the US or China or both, in order to keep him in power against the popular demand for his ouster.

For Marcos to be overthrown, the New People’s Army did not have to be in Metro Manila in any significant number. But with their relatively smaller size then, it could carry out many tactical offensives which pressured the Marcos regime and which persuaded the US to junk Marcos as a liability prejudicial to the persistence of the pro-US Philippine ruling system. Now, the NPA has a far bigger and more widespread strength than ever before. There are estimates that in due time soon the NPA can inflict serious blows to the Duterte regime in the countryside, whether to help discourage the regime from the project of fascist dictatorship or become the main fighting force against an already installed full fascist dictatorship. ###

NDF: CPP blasts Duterte regime for lockdown abuses and corruption; says virus containment thru lockdown not supported by science

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Apr 29, 2020): CPP blasts Duterte regime for lockdown abuses and corruption; says virus containment thru lockdown not supported by science

The Communist Party of the Philippines has denounced the Duterte regime for the widespread abuse of power, violations of human rights and corruption as a result of its policy of locking down entire communities.

In a statement, dated April 29, 2020, released by its Information Bureau, the CPP stressed that the Duterte regime’s claim of containing Covid-19 thru the lockdown is not supported by any scientific study.

All over Luzon and many parts of the country, people’s rights are being abused by power-hungry military and police troops. Working people are being accosted in the streets and brutalized, tortured and subjected to various forms of inhumane and demeaning punishment. People’s private homes are being violated by the regime’s brutes. People are being threatened and silenced for expressing their disgust and exposing their conditions.CPP

The CPP said more than 130,000 have been apprehended for violations of curfew, travel restrictions, face mask requirement and other increasingly stringent and repressive policies that are arbitrarily set by the police and government officials.

It further said that the Duterte regime has turned its so-called measures to counter the virus to further justify fascist rule, repression and suppression of the people’s democratic rights. The regime has labeled ordinary people asserting their rights as “pasaway” (disobedient) and is criminalizing all dissent and opposition to the regime.

Newspaper accounts have reported, documented and denounced increasing incidents of police and military brutalities in urban and rural communities, invasion and violations of privacy, arresting humanitarian missions, and curtailing the freedom of expression by coercing and threatening netizens to refrain from using social media to vent their frustration, desperation and anger at the isolated regime.

The experiences of other countries, the CPP emphasized, have shown that a more democratic response to the Covid-19 pandemic is possible and effective, with the necessary public health measures to protect the elderly, pregnant women and the infirm who are most vulnerable to the disease.
Blatant corruption amidst people’s hunger and desperation

The CPP also blasted rampant corruption under Covid-19. Duterte’s closest associates, it said, are raking in profits from his emergency rule.

The CPP cited, for instance, Duterte’s business dummy Dennis Uy, who had two of his ships rented by government for P35 million each, and turned into a quarantine center, even if another quarantine center at the PICC is underutilized; The PICC facility, on the other hand,was constructed by another Duterte crony, the Villars; the reported overpriced $1 billion purchase of personal protective equipment; and, the AFP Chief-of-Staff himself being exposed as using his position to receive favors when he wrote the Chinese embassy asking for some medicine for his personal use.
Revolutionary government promises to take action

The CPP has urged the people to continue documenting and reporting abuses and violations of their their rights and to report and send these to the appropriate organs of the people’s democratic government, Party committees and units of the NPA which will receive these and can investigate and take action.

“The Party calls on the Filipino to demand an end to the Duterte regime’s continued lockdown which was imposed in lieu of the necessary public health measures. They must assert that a more democratic and science-based response to the crisis is possible. They must oppose Duterte’s schemes to establish a fascist dictatorship and prolong the people’s sufferings under a draconian regime,” the CPP concluded.#

NDFP International Information Office
Utrecht, The Netherlands
29 April 2020

NDF/Sison: The rival behemoths terrorize themselves and the masses

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (May 1, 2020): The rival behemoths terrorize themselves and the masses

By Jose Maria Sison

The rival behemoths are aggressive and pose as fearless
As they compete to control and rob the working people,
Oppress entire nations, lord over oceans and continents,
Force themselves upon the prostrate and hapless earth.

They seem to have no fear of their own decline or death
As they terrorize themselves and the people of the world
With the constant threat of sudden death by the outbursts
Of nuclear bombs delivered by overextended phalluses.

And of course they either ignore or are oblivious of coming
To the point of no return from too much heat and slow death
As the icebergs melt, oceans swell to swallow the cities
Forests ignite, deserts expand and storms come fierce and often.

But the behemoths seem to be terrified by the pathogens
Coming from bio-warfare labs or from dwindling forests
Raped by transnational corporations mindless of the people
And the environment but ever mindful of profits and privilege.

Behind the behemoths’ show of fear and concern over the plague
Lurks the scheme to save and further serve their interest.
They grab more power and resources in the people’s name
As they shift to them the burden of hunger, illness and death.

The lockdowns during the plague show how the wealthy classes
Divide and rule the people, punish the poor without mercy.
The behemoths and their agents perpetuate the injustice and misery
Until the masses end the constant lockdown by the ruling system,

CPP/Ang Bayan: Plantation expansion results in bloody conflict

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): Plantation expansion results in bloody conflict

The landgrabbing of Tiruray and Moro ancestral lands by big agribusiness corporations is the reason behind a bloody conflict in Ba­ra­ngay Ka­la­mo­ngog, Le­bak, Sul­tan Ku­da­rat.

The conflict escalated with the entry of the La­pan­day Foods Cor­po­ra­ti­on, an agribusiness corporation owned by the landlord comprador Lo­renzo family which is notorious for bootlicking whoever is in power. The company has been operating its banana plantation in the area for more than one year. It deceived residents into selling or leasing their lands in exchange for money and employment. However, not all were convinced as some families opposed the entry of the plantation.

The company deployed its private security forces that were backed by the AFP. They employed some of residents who agreed approved of their operation.
The company provoked the said residents to evict the farmers who are opposed to its operations by claiming that the lands that the farmers have since been tilling are part of their ancestral domain.

The company succeeded in dividing the community. The rift escalated last year after the murder of former barangay captain Dios­da­do M. Eleazar, who was known for opposing the plantation expansion. Residents disclosed that armed goons were behind the crime but both the local government and the PNP have not acted on the crime to the hold suspects accountable.

He was replaced by former first councilor Hai­ru­din Ta­to Gu­bel who was a critic of the plantation. He was killed by the plantation’s armed goons on March 17. He was replaced by incumbent barangay officer-in-charge No­lasco Za­mo­ra Ado who is a personnel of the company.
The company is making it appear that the conflict in Ka­la­mo­ngog is a tribal war between Ti­ru­rays and Mo­ros. In an interview, Ado accused the relatives of Gubel of involvement in an shooting incident which took place in Sitio Kia­tong on March 25. He is also asserting that the ongoing conflict is politically motivated.

Residents are worried that if the conflict will continue to escalate, they will no longer be able to return to their lands that are being grabbed by Lapanday.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Relatives file petition for immediate release of vulnerable political prisoners

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): Relatives file petition for immediate release of vulnerable political prisoners

Relatives of vulnerable political prisoners filed a formal petition before the Supreme Court on April 8 to call for their immediate release amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the outbreak, there has been a mounting clamor for the release of prisoners especially the elderly, sick, pregnant and nursing mothers, even temporarily, as they are highly vulnerable to the deadly virus. Among them are 23 political prisoners who are being detained based on trumped up charges.

It is impossible to maintain social distancing in jails due to heavy congestion. Prison facilities also lack sufficient sanitation equipment. In Bicutan where political prisoners are detained, 4-5 individuals are cramped in 2×4-meter cells. Some of them are highly vulnerable as they are suffering from old age infir­mi­ties and various complications such as chronic diseases such as dia­be­tes, hyper­ten­si­on and asthma.

Conditions even worsened with the Duterte regime’s militarist lockdown implementation. Earlier during its implementation, relatives of detainees were allowed to bring food and medicines through the service of the Bu­reau of Jail Ma­na­ge­ment and Pe­no­logy (BJMP). This service will be stopped if the reactionary state is going to impose stricter restrictions. Prisoners are fed only twice a day.

Not all prisoners are provided with face masks. There is a high chance that they will get infected in case of an outbreak in prison facilities. In the Quezon City Jail, nine prisoners already tested positive for Covid-19. Nine others suspected of being infected had to be isolated.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Arrests, bombing amid Covid-19 crisis

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): Arrests, bombing amid Covid-19 crisis

State forces continued to perpetrate cases of human rights violations even amid the public health crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From April 6-19, at least 19 farmers were arrested in various parts of the country. A peasant was killed and a community was bombed in Mindanao during the same period.

Residents of Sit­io Ka­pa­nal, Ba­ra­ngay Ga­si sa Kiam­ba, Sa­rang­ga­ni were awakened at around 5:00 a.m on April 19 when the military dropped at least four bombs near their community using an attack plane.

They grew more restless especially that their community is occupied by the 27th IB. The AFP has long been ravaging Ga­si and nearby villages. There are currently 300 troops in the area. The La­pan­day Cor­po­ra­ti­on is situated in Kiam­ba and adjacent towns.

In Miag-ao, Iloi­lo, the 61st IB killed farmer John Fa­rocil­lin, chairperson of the Alyan­sa sang Ma­ngu­ngu­ma sa Miag-ao and a council member of Pa­mang­gas. Fa­rocil­lin played key roles in advancing peasant struggles in the island.

Before this, 12 civilians, including five minors, were arrested by the 61st IB on April 14. The victims are residents of Barangay Igpa­nu­long, Si­ba­lom, Antique, and were gathering honey when they were apprehended. The NPA command in Southern Panay (Mt. Napulak Com­mand) belied the claim of the military that the victims were caught during an encounter. It disclosed that no clash took place in the area.

In Butuan City, state forces arrested Proce­so Tor­ral­ba at Pu­rok 3, Ba­ra­ngay Bon­bon on April 11. Tor­ral­ba or Ta­tay Si­soy is the chairperson of the Unyon sa Mag-uu­ma sa Agu­san del Nor­te and has been at the forefront of peasant struggles in the province for three decades already. To­ral­ba was among those implicated by the AFP in a raid of Red fighters against a military detachment in Agu­san del Sur in 2018. He was slapped with trumped up kid­nap­ping and se­rious il­le­gal de­ten­ti­on charges.

Two other farmers were arrested in Sout­hern Ta­ga­log and were presented as NPA surrenderees. The victims were identified as Lam­ber­to Asi­nas who was arrested in Ba­ra­ngay Bun­du­kan, Na­sug­bu, Ba­ta­ngas on April 16; and No­me­ria­no Fuer­te in Ba­rok Per­las at Sit­yo Tag­ba­kin, Mag­say­say, Ge­ne­ral Lu­na, Quezon Province on April 13.

In Nueva Vizca­ya, the police arrested Ro­nal­do Pu­li­do, chairperson of the Alyan­sa ng Novo Vizca­ya­no pa­ra sa Ka­li­ka­san on April 6. He was arrested during the demolition of the residents’ barricade against the operation of Ocea­na­gold. He was released the next day through the assertion of fellow residents.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Measly funds for peasant sector amid restrictive lockdown

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): Measly funds for peasant sector amid restrictive lockdown

At least 26 provinces in Visayas and Mindanao declared their respective lockdowns simultaneous with the Duterte regime’s implementation of a Luzon lockdown. Commerce and trade in these areas are paralyzed as the transportation of people and products is restricted. Farmers were also forced to halt production in the countryside. Even areas without lockdowns are also affected because majority of those locked down are regional and provincial centers.

Millions of farmers and farmworkers lost their incomes due to the lockdowns.
More than 700,000 workers in sugar centrals and 75,241 farmworkers in sugarcane plantations lost their incomes due to the closure of factories and haciendas. In Bukidnon, the local government ordered the closure of the Su­gar Mil­ling Cor­po­ra­ti­on and Crystal Su­gar Com­pany, Inc. from March 27 to April 26. Around 10,000 workers and another 10,000 small sugarcane planters are affected by the closure. Thousand of farmworkers in Negros suffered from an early tiempo muerto (dead season) with the closure of sugarcane plantations and sugar centrals in the island. Despite this, only 6% of sugarcane farmworkers was aided by the regime.

Only a small portion of aid from the Department of Agriculture (DA) was delivered to them. Even its loan program is limited to only 300,000 which is only 3.7% of the total number of farmers and farmers and fisherfolk.

Measly aid

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) pointed out that the agency received a budget allocations of P62.69 bil­lion this 2020. Adding the P31-billion fund it requested on March 25, the agency has a total budget of P93 billion.

Farmers will receive only a small portion of this budget. Nearly 90% of the budget is allocated in lump sums for projects that do not provide immediate relief to hungry and bankrupt farmers. Duterte’s report on April 20 indicates that only 52,000 of the targeted 591,246 million rice farmers benefited from the regime’s P3-billion Social Social Amelio­ration Program. The agency provided no mechanism as to how beneficiaries will receive the aid intended for them.

The DA added that 300,000 poor farmers already received P5,000 each from the Land Bank’s Rice Farmers Financial Assistance Program. The agency still has a long way to go in aiding approximately 9.7 million farmers, farmworkers, and fisherfolk in need of immediate assistance.

The regime’s aid distribution program is riddled with corruption. Many are complaining over the apparent arbitrary distribution of aid, and the stringent and extremely slow process. In a town in Camarines Sur, the P5,000 aid for senior citizens was slashed by P1,400 as this would purportedly be used to buy medicines, rice and sardines. Senior citizens however noted that no such relief goods were given them.

Senior citizens with their children who are employed will also not be aided, even if they could not make a living due to the lockdown. Workers in groceries, banks and other establishments who are not registered as residents will also not be aided.

Fascist oppression

Curfew and checkpoints in the countryside further causes economic hardships on farmers and farmworkers as they are restricted from transporting their produce.

In several towns in Ilocos, residents were charged P50-P80 each for a daily travel pass. The curfew also limited the number of hours farmers in Ca­ga­yan Val­ley and Lo­wer Ka­li­nga are allowed to work.

Farm produce from Upper Ka­li­nga, Be­ngu­et, Ifu­gao and Moun­ta­in Province were barred at checkpoints. In Ti­noc, Ifu­gao, farmers were forced to immediately harvest their vegetables after the local government implemented a lockdown. They struggled to sell nearly 100,000 tons of vegetables at extremely low rates instead of just leaving theses to rot.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Lies of the 8th ID

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): Lies of the 8th ID

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is relentlessly fabricating stories to justify its counterinsurgency campaign during the Covid-19 pandemic. Among its biggest lies was the false information peddled by the 8th ID that Red fighters “robbed” the food aid intended for residents of Sit­io Ba­ngon, Guin­maa­yo­han in Ba­la­ngi­ga, Sa­mar on April 7.

Even town officials belied this story. In a report published by the Eas­tern Sa­mar News Service on April 11, local officials including the town mayor, those who were distributing relief goods, and even the chief of police denied such an incident took place in the area.

Despite this, the 8th ID has insisted on peddling this story. On April 13, it compelled the local government of Ba­la­ngi­ga to issue a resolution condemning the action of the NPA. However, local officials refused to comply with the order of the military to declare that Red fighters “forcibly took” or “robbed” the food aid and just said that they just “took a portion” of it.

Meanwhile, the AFP is using aid distribution as a guise for counterinsurgency. In Sorsogon, the 31st IB which is currently occupying a certain village in Bulusan attempted to take over the distribution of relief goods which were solicited by barangay officials. The soldiers wanted to grab the credit and take photos of each beneficiary. The barangay officials refused to hand them over the aid and confronted the soldiers instead.

The opposite is happening in Bukidnon. Twenty-five barangays and Lumad communities in Ca­bang­la­san and San Fer­nan­do were denied aid just because the military accused these of being NPA bases. Before the pandemic, the NTF-ELCAC used the said areas as showcase of its E-CLIP program. Instead of providing aid, soldiers further tightened restrictions imposed on residents.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: State forces arrest 3 farmers in Masbate

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): State forces arrest 3 farmers in Masbate

FARMERS ROMNICK Var­­­gas, Juan Di­ki­no and Alden Javier were arrested by 2nd IB and police elements in Ba­ra­ngay Ca­bas-an, Aro­roy, Mas­ba­te on Abril 10. The three were apprehended after an encounter between the said troopers and an NPA unit. The victims were accused of being members of the people’s militia.

On the same day, the troopers burned the house of Ba­syon Me­ral­les and forcibly evicted residents Jun Dikino and Marven “Binoy” Grazil from the village.

The said attacks were spearheaded by 2Lt. Jay Zachary Tu­nguia.

Under the guise of the Re­too­led Com­mu­nity Sup­port Prog­ram, the military and police continues to conduct counterinsurgency operations in the towns of Aro­roy, Man­da­on, Clave­ria, San Pascual, Ba­tu­an, Mon­re­al, San Fer­nan­do, San Jacin­to and Ca­wa­yan in Mas­ba­te, covering at least 24 ba­ra­ngays.

In Ticao island, soldiers gunned down civilian Ki­ko Ga­ra­may, 30, on March 10. The victim was a resident of Ba­ra­ngay Rizal, Mon­re­al. On the next day, the troopers also killed civilian Nong­nong Her­mo­sa, 50, a resident of Sitio Ela­wod, Ba­ra­ngay Mac­arthur in the same town.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: NPA counteroffensives in Negros and Masbate

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): NPA counteroffensives in Negros and Masbate

A unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) successfully countered an attack of the 94th IB at Sitio Ka­mu­ag, Ba­ra­ngay Ca­ra­ba­lan, Hi­ma­may­lan City on April 19. The unit was attacked while conducting a health campaign against Covid-19 in the said area. The Red fighters remained alert against military attacks even with the Communist Party of the Philippine’s extension of its unilateral ceasefire declaration until April 31. Three assaulting soldiers were killed including a lieutenant, while four others were wounded during the 30-mi­nu­te encounter.

The NPA-South Central Neg­ros (Mt. Can­ser­mon Com­mand) belied the statement of the 303rd IBde that Red fighters are “stealing” relief goods for residents. It also condemned the 94th IB for using the Social Ame­lio­ra­ti­on to justify its conduct of combat operations in the area.

In Mas­ba­te, 2nd IB and police elements also attempted to encircle an NPA unit in Ba­ra­ngay Ca­bas-an, Aro­roy on April 10. The unit just finished conducting a Covid-19 information drive and was set to return to camp when it was attacked by soldiers. A soldier was killed and nine others were wounded in the counteroffensive. In retaliation, the soldiers arrested three civilians whom they accused of being members of the people’s militia.

As the Duterte regime’s unilateral ceasefire declaration lapsed on April 15, military and police combat operations have intensified. Successive attacks were mounted against NPA units that are conducting health and other campaigns in various parts of the country.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: CPP extends ceasefire amid counterinsurgency ops

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): CPP extends ceasefire amid counterinsurgency ops

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on April 15 directed all commands and units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the people’s militia to extend its unilateral ceasefire declaration until April 30. The extension aims “to ensure quick and unimpeded support to all people requiring urgent medical, health and socioeconomic assistance in the face of the public emergency over the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The declaration was issued despite the difficulties and dangers brought about by the continuing occupation and operation of military and police troopers in rural communities.
Related to this, the Na­tio­nal De­mocra­tic Front of the Phi­lip­pi­nes submitted a letter to the United Nations informing it about the Duterte regime’s violation of its ceasefire which was declared on March 16 and took effect from March 19 to April 15.

Based on Ang Bayan’s initial compilation of reports from March 16 to April 15, the military and police continued to carry out counterinsurgency operations in 104 towns and cities, covering 219 villages.

These operations resulted in 14 armed encounter in various parts of the country. Thirteen of these were raids against temporary NPA encampments. Three each were recorded in Quezon Province, Bu­kid­non and Zam­boa­nga, and two in Davao.

The most recent incident was the 67th IB’s raid against Red fighters in Mahan-ub, Ba­ga­nga, Davao Ori­en­tal on April 11. Another encounter ensued a day earlier in Ba­­ra­ngay Ca­bas-an, Aro­roy, Mas­ba­te in Bicol after 2nd IB and PNP elements attempted to encircle an NPA team who just finished conducting a Covid-19 information drive in the area.

The highest number of violations were reported in Quezon Province (29) in Southern Tagalog, next to Bu­kid­non (27), Neg­ros Occi­den­tal (25), and Mas­ba­te (24).

Most soldiers who enter rural communities are outsiders and do not wear face masks. In Abra, residents from seven villages in the town of Malicbong complained over nightly patrols conducted by soldiers which keep them awake.

On the last week of March, 24th and 69th IB troopers ransacked the quarters of small-scale miners in Barangay Guin­guinabang, Lacub, Abra, stole their personal belongings, and burned their mining equipment. The troopers also razed a large portion of the forest between the towns of Lacub and Malicbong, and stole and butchered a farmer’s cow.

Residents from several communities in Negros, Zam­boa­nga and Mi­sa­mis Occi­den­tal also reported that soldiers are initiating cockfights and drinking sprees.

In a report submitted by the NPA-Sout­hern Ta­ga­log on April 15, it disclosed that the military continues to operate in 157 villages across the region. In Quezon alone, the military and police continues to conduct counterinsurgency operations in 105 villages. Thirteen villages in Palawan are also militarized.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Military rampage in Pantaron Range

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): Military rampage in Pantaron Range

The 10th ID recognizes neither the pandemic nor ceasefire in its fascist campaign in Mindanao’s Pantaron Range. From March 24 to April 1, two of its battalions (60th and 56th IB) launched extensive combat operations in Lumad sitios and barrios along the border of Agu­san del Sur, Bu­kid­non and Davao del Nor­te.

On March 24, around 6 a.m., the New People’s Army (NPA)-Bukidnon was able to thwart an attack of the 56th IB against an encampment of Red fighters near Ba­ra­ngay Man­da­hi­kan in Ca­bang­la­san, Bu­kid­non. Number of soldiers died after being hit by a command-detonated explosive. In retaliation, the 10th ID bombed the surrounding area of the barangay using an FA-50 at around 7 a.m. It dropped four rockets and a bomb. Simultaneously, four artillery rounds were fired from Loreto, Agusan del Sur. At 10:30 a.m. on the same day, the reinforcements were again thwarted by the NPA. Starting at 1 p.m., artillery rounds started hitting the ground near the community. The bombs landed 330-400 meters away from the community, frightening Lumad children.

The AFP bombed the area again on March 27. Within an hour, it fired three rockets and three artillery rounds. It depoyed 6 more columns in the area using a helicopter. Three more rockets and three cannons were fired afterwards.

The operation covered ­Sit­io Min­dao, Ba­ra­ngay Mang­ga­od and sitios Uma­yam and Ma­ge­mon in Ba­ra­ngay Man­da­hi­kan, Ca­bang­la­san, Bu­kid­non; Sitio Ta­pa­ya­non, Ba­ra­ngay Gu­pi­tan, Davao del Nor­te; and another community in Lo­re­to, Agu­san del Sur.

More than a year of suffering under the 10th ID

This area in Pantaron has long been militarized. In March 2019, the 10th ID declared the Tapayanon community as a “newly discovered tribe” that the government has “never reached.” In reality, 67th IB has long been going in and out of the community, while Alamara paramilitary forces have long been besieging the area. In fact, the Alamara killed the sitio’s datu, Loredno Pocoan, on February 4, 2017.

The 10th ID presented Tapayanon as a new discovery so that the Re­gio­nal Task Force-End Local Com­mu­nist Armed Conflict can use it as a showcase. High-ranking military and government officials visited to have their pictures taken in the area. Government agencies poured food, funds and projects, in return for the residents’ “surrendering” and turning over their homemade guns.

Before coming into the area, 10th ID forces first bombed neighboring sitios to ensure that the residents are paralyzed by terror. Around 200 soldiers entered the sitio and encamped in the middle of the community. Because of this, some families fled the area. Up to now, they are temporarily staying at the capitol grounds in Malaybalay City. Tapayanon was previously part of Cabanglasan.

Since then, the 10th ID has placed the sitio on permanent lockdown. Soldiers barred 105 families (525 individuals) living here from leaving the area to buy necessities. They forced all residents to “surrender,” including children who they paraded as “child soldiers.” They banned peasants from going to their farms, saying that they will just use the opportunity to complain to the NPA. They force married and single women to line up in front of their detachment every Saturday so that soldiers can have their pick and rape them. During their long occupation, they impregnated a lot of women, and wrecked many families. They coerce Lumad men to do reconnaissance, and work like slaves in their camp, ordering them to fetch firewood and water, and work as night guards. They make the men wear military uniforms and forcibly recruit them to the CAFGU.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Police arrests former congressman and volunteers in Bulacan

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): Police arrests former congressman and volunteers in Bulacan

POLICE ELEMENTS ARRESTED former Anakpawis Rep. Ari­el Ca­si­lao and twelve other volunteers and residents in Norza­ga­ray, Bu­lacan on April 19. Casilao and five other volunteers were set to deliver relief goods to farmers when they were apprehended at a checkpoint at 10:15 a.m.

They were brought to the Norzagaray police station, along with seven residents who were supposed to receive aid, and were detained there for two hours. There were then brought to the Bulacan Police Provincial Office in Malolos where they are being held until today. They were accused of planning to conduct a rally and were charged with sedition.

The arrest shows the Duterte regime’s perverse priorities even amid the pandemic and utter contempt for the plight of the Filipino people. The arrest is a handiwork of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) which is led by Duterte’s generals.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Duterte is exploiting the Covid-19 crisis to impose fascist dictatorship

Propaganda editorial from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 21, 2020): Duterte is exploiting the Covid-19 crisis to impose fascist dictatorship

The Duterte regime is exploiting the Covid-19 crisis to further accumulate authoritarian powers and tighten its grip on power. The pandemic is far from contained. Yet instead of more aggressively undertaking needed public health measures, it is threatening to further mobilize its military forces and place the country under martial law “total lockdown” and establish a fascist dictatorship.

More than a month ago, the Filipino people were made to accept the quarantine and lockdown measures as a means to slow down the spread of the virus with an expectation that the necessary public health measures and socio-economic assistance will be carried out with urgency. However, these measures were not carried out competently, sufficiently and expeditiously. One month after the lockdown was imposed on Luzon and in many parts of Visayas and Mindanao, the Covid-19 continues to spread across the country and infect more and more people. Millions of families suffer hunger, anxiety and uncertainty as Duterte and his inept generals lurched from one ill-thought plan to another.

The regime has failed to carry out the necessary measures to enable the public health system to fight the spread of the virus, and to provide socio-economic support to the millions of families during the lockdown. Government agencies have been sloppy and haphazard in planning a response to the crisis.

It has yet to take steps to systematically carry out mass screening and testing of the population, as the most crucial component in the fight against the pandemic. It has relied on the initiative of private hospitals, organizations, and local government units. It has not realigned enough funds to build new facilities, hire doctors and nurses, train health workers, or set up factories to produce equipment for protection, mass screening and testing. It has prioritized funding to increase the “hazard pay” of police and military personnel, instead of health workers.

After initially bragging that he has the money, Duterte declared that his government is broke as an excuse for the bureaucratic, chaotic and tightfisted distribution of funds for “social amelioration.” Funds for distribution are insufficient. The workers and semiproletariat are suffering the worst from the lockdown and the government stinginess. Middle-income earners are also becoming increasingly desperate with savings running out. With help from private organizations running out, they are being compelled by their economic conditions to defy the restrictions to seek ways to earn a living.

The regime’s Covid-19 response is being led by military officials, instead of public health experts, resulting in a militarized approach to the crisis. There is a rapidly increasing deployment of military forces in the National Capital Region. Military and police forces are exercising martial law powers to “impose order.” Tens of thousands have been arrested and detained for quarantine violations.

Amid the public health crisis, the regime deployed thousands of soldiers in the rural areas to further intensify counterinsurgency, wasting hundreds of millions of pesos in very costly combat operations, bombing, psywar and drone surveillance. His soldiers roam the countryside without proper health precautions, making the so far insulated barrios vulnerable to infection. As in the cities, he set up checkpoints in national and provincial roads, forcing people to unnecessarily stop for useless “temperature checks” which only expose them to possible infection.

Despite the urgent need for economic reforms, the government has chosen to stubbornly stick to the neoliberal measures which, in the first place, has taken away funds for health and public services. It has refused to heed the clamor for suspending debt servicing and instead plans to borrow more money, bury the country deeper in debt and impose new taxes in the future.

To strengthen his authoritarianism and justify his plans to impose more draconian measures, the Duterte regime is blaming the people for the spread of the disease. Duterte puts a spotlight on some recalcitrants to condemn everyone except his own errors, failures and ineptitude. He has resorted to outright lying, falsely claiming to have had the foresight and imposed early the lockdown to prevent the spread of the disease.

The plain truth is that the Duterte government refused to heed the demand of the people as early as January and February to close the country’s borders to China where the virus originated. It imposed the lockdown on Luzon too late and without the necessary accompanying measures to detect and contain the virus, and worse, without sufficient social support to tide the broad masses over the crisis.

Duterte is browbeating the people to make them believe that the virus can be defeated by his authoritarian “just obey” dogma. He is using the people’s fear of the virus to make them bow in submission to his authority, and paralyze them by compelling them to “stay at home.” As the people’s fear of the virus is overcome by their desperation to live and earn a living, Duterte resorts to instilling fear of his wrath backed by his proven murderous record.

Without mass screening, testing and contact-tracing, even with Duterte’s lockdown and checkpoints, the virus has continued to spread undetected and now threatens widespread infection in the congested urban communities. People in the rural areas, especially the hinterland communities, may ultimately be infected in numbers if the government remains unable to detect the spread of the virus.

Wearing face masks, physical distancing, practicing proper hygiene and maintaining sanitation are necessary measures to help prevent or slow down the spread of the virus. However, stopping the spread of the Covid-19 can only be done effectively with mass screening and testing, rigorous contact tracing, and judicious isolation and quarantine measures. It is only through such measures can the chains of transmission be broken.

The experience of South Korea, Vietnam, Venezuela, Iceland, Canada, Taiwan and other countries prove that the spread of the virus can be controlled or slowed down through detection and isolation, even without the overly restrictive measures against travel and work and certainly without the heavy-handed use of military and police to enforce people’s compliance with public health measures.

The spread of the Covid-19 in the Philippines has already reached a relatively advanced stage with the number of infections reaching more than 6,200. Thus, there is need to urgently conduct screening and testing, as well as contact tracing on a mass scale. This requires the mobilization, training and equipping of tens of thousands of health workers in order to scour communities, factories, schools, and so on. The scientific community must be mobilized and heeded in order to determine how to systematically and effectively conduct this campaign. The machinery must be built with the help of local government units, civic and religious associations, scientists, doctors and health workers, and people’s mass organizations. There must be open consultations and everyone must be encouraged to do their utmost to defeat the spread of the virus.

To their credit, some local officials have gone against the orders of Duterte’s generals and aimed to carry out widespread testing, contract-tracing, loosening of quarantine measures, as well as distribution of financial aid. These efforts, however, will be in vain if these will be done in isolation from each other. There must be initiative on the ground with fund support, push and coordination from the top.

In other words, to surmount the Covid-19, democracy must be unleashed, not suppressed. No amount of Duterte’s tyranny can defeat the spread of the Covid-19. On the contrary, without mass testing and contact-tracing to detect and isolate the virus carriers, Duterte’s lockdown and quarantine restrictions are blind measures and mere fascist tools designed to suppress democracy.

In the face of the Duterte regime’s continuing failure to control the spread of the Covid-19, it is incumbent on the Filipino people to more actively demand the government to carry out widespread mass screening and testing, and contact tracing, and oppose the indefinite extension of the military lockdown and checkpoints which has caused an intolerable humanitarian crisis.

At the same time, they must push for immediate and sufficient social support as recompense in the form of cash distribution. They can push the government to allot funds enough to provide every family with the equivalent of the daily minimum wages set by the government. The Filipino people have been demanding Duterte and his inept generals to answer for their failed Covid-19 response. Failure to heed these urgent demands will only further stoke the people’s demand for Duterte’s resignation or ouster through direct democratic action.

Amid the lockdown, economic hardships and lack of government support, the people’s mass organizations must continue to carry out mutual aid efforts in their communities and strengthen people’s solidarity to bring together their efforts to help each other surmount the economic and health crisis. They can continue setting up community kitchens, collective buying of supplies, cooperative stores, production of face masks for the community, and raising funds through donations and other means. They must identify and give extra effort to help those requiring extra assistance and care, such as the elderly and infirm, pregnant women, single-parents and others.

Unions must demand that workers be paid compensation to cover their cost of living in the past month under lockdown. Workers in factories, restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies and other establishments must demand safety measures in their workplaces to protect them against Covid-19 infections. Contractual workers must demand assurances of continued work and job security.

Market vendors, as well as small shop owners can demand rent reduction or suspension for their stalls. Farmers must demand state subsidy for the purchase of rice and other farm produce to save them from bankruptcy and help ease consumer prices. Local government units can demand greater funds to respond to the urgent demands and needs of their constituencies.

The Party calls on all its committees in the cities to further strengthen and consolidate themselves, and help guide and lead the people and their organizations to confront the crisis.

In the countryside, the Party calls on the New People’s Army to give priority to responding to the public health and economic needs of the people. The extension of the ceasefire in response to the United Nation’s call for a global ceasefire will give all NPA units the opportunity to expand its reach among the masses to conduct a public health campaign to help the peasant masses prevent Covid-19 infections and prepare for its possible spread in their villages. They must continue to conduct information drives, at the same time, help train the community in screening, preparation of the necessary facilities and equipment for isolating and treating patients, and emergency transportation to city hospitals. They must moreover assist the masses in waging antifeudal struggle and raising production in the face of an imminent economic downturn.

At the same time, the NPA must be on high alert in the face of the intensified operations of the AFP. While maintaining the strictest secrecy to avoid detection, they must be ready to engage in battle the fascist forces who are determined to prevent the people’s army from extending its support and service to the people.

The Filipino people must seek to overcome the state of social paralysis that they have been forced into by the Duterte regime’s lockdown. They must find ways to express their voices and take collective action. They must not only overcome their fear of the virus, but shatter as well the terror of Duterte’s de facto martial law rule.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines 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.]

CPP/NDF-KM: Nothing is new under Duterte’s ‘New Normal’

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 2, 2020): Nothing is new under Duterte’s ‘New Normal’

MAY 02, 2020

Duterte’s New Normal Plan will only aggravate the people’s suffering by holding a tighter grip on neoliberalism and fascism

The Duterte regime is determined to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic through its deceptive rhetoric of ‘the new normal.’ As of Duterte’s fifth report, state offices helmed by the National Economic Development Authority are going into the transition stage. Agencies are submitting priority program and projects and identifying their respective budgetary priorities for fiscal year 2021. However, there is certainly nothing novel about a ‘normal’ that is characterized by glaring economic hardship, social inequality, massive corruption, parochial relations to imperialist powers, and militarism. Rather, the Filipino people are being subjected to the true face of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal condition.

The inherent weaknesses of the semi-feudal and semi-colonial system are being laid bare by this crisis. The age-old problems of hunger, poverty, and lack of health services have been amplified and exacerbated to such a degree that it can no longer be denied – to the great detriment of the Filipino people.

Moreover, the bumbling inadequacy of the regime, its criminal neglect of the people, and its self-serving agenda are plain to see. With more than 7,000 confirmed cases and more than 500 dead, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from contained. Now, with its inanity and callousness in full view, this Duterte regime is desperately clinging to power by resorting to draconian rule and a militarist lockdown with no end in sight.

Unabated Health Crisis

Even before the onset of this pandemic, the country’s public health system has been in a state of disrepair due to decades of neoliberal policies. The policies of privatization, annual budget cuts, and state abandonment has left it weakened and sickly. Public hospitals are ill-equipped and health workers are overworked. Moreover, the doctor-patient ratio of 1:33,000 is simply appalling. It should come as no surprise then that the poor populations in both rural and urban areas are left with little to no access to health services, leaving them all the more vulnerable.

The Duterte regime has certainly done nothing to reverse this situation, albeit it has actively pursued the same policies. For instance, the funds for the epidemiology and disease surveillance program, which could have played a crucial role in early detection of the disease, was reduced by P148 million. Now, as the lack of medical equipment becomes an issue of survival for those in the front line, health workers in are left to fend for themselves.

So far, there are now over 1,000 health workers infected with the virus. At least, 26 of them have died that we know of. This situation could have been prevented had the regime prioritized social services and provided them with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Many of them have even resorted to the use of plastic bags as makeshift equipment. Moreover, the lack of mass testing makes the fight against the disease all the more difficult.

Despite the fact that all the death and suffering of our frontliners hung over his head, the madman in Malacanang still had the gall to call these deaths heroic. A tragedy and a travesty would be more fitting. As the regime adds more names to its list of victims. Duterte’s hands, long sullied by blood of innocents, will now have those of the fallen health workers.

Exacerbated Hunger and Poverty

The vast majority of the Filipino live in the deplorable conditions of poverty. Social distancing becomes an impossibility when you are living in a shack in an overpopulated slum. Staying at home would be suicide if you have no means to feed yourself and your family. While our farmers are able to grow an abundance of food in the countryside, the militarist lockdown ensures that it all goes to waste. This is the reality that the Duterte regime has created because of the anti-people policies it has promoted and pursued.

The workers and the semi-proletariat bear the brunt of this crisis. Because of this militarist lockdown and the regime’s stinginess, they are forced to suffer through the worst imaginable conditions. The process of distributing aid perfectly encapsulates this regime’s incompetence. It is laden with red-tape, bureaucracy, and chaos. It is as if the tightfisted regime has no plans to distribute the funds the people direly need.

Workers, for instance, have had to make do with their measly wages and persistent job insecurity caused by contractualization. According to the Department of Labor and Employment, 2 million workers have already lost their jobs because of this lockdown. Even those who didn’t lose their jobs but are unable to work will have to deal with the fact that most enterprises enforce a ‘no work, no pay’ policy.

For the semi-proletariat living in shanty towns in the shadow of the metropolis, this militarist lockdown is adding insult to injury. Time and again, their demand for decent and affordable housing has been ignored by this regime. Now, it has the gall to tell them to stay at home.

In addition to this, the country’s long-neglected peasantry has always been at the receiving end of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation. The state acts as an enforcer for the landlords and facilitates the export-oriented agriculture that has resulted in the Philippines being unable to feed its own population. Now, we are set to reap the effects of an import-dependent economy. The country’s food security will soon be put in jeopardy as more and more countries will look to secure their own needs first.

This realities are further exposed as Duterte fails in handling the national emergency. Even the promise of social amelioration still leaves 64% of the 19 million target with no support from the government. Not to mention that the P5,000 – P8,000 economic aid is far from being enough to buffer the impact of the pandemic.

The need for economic reforms has become all the more obvious and urgent in this time of crisis. In order to address the needs of the Filipino people, the people’s demands for agrarian reform, national industries, job security, greater wages, and decent housing must be met. Yet, it is obvious that this regime is stubbornly doubling down on neoliberal measures which made the Filipino people vulnerable in the first place. Duterte even announced that it is still his government’s priority to continue debt servicing and loans from China and other foreign lending institutions.

The social and economic conditions compel the Filipino people to defy the lockdown restrictions. Failure to do so will mean certain hunger and death. Yet, despite the widespread clamor for aid, the Duterte regime continues to do nothing to address the people’s situation. In fact, it actively works to make aggravate the situation and compound the people’s problems.

Normalizing Repression Through a Militarist and Fascist Lockdown

The regime has a bloody record filled to the brim with extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, and a myriad of human rights violations. Oplan Tokhang, All-Out War, and Martial Law in Mindanao all stand as testament to the Duterte regime’s fascist and militarist mindset. It is wholly unsurprising then that the regime is making the most of the opportunity provided by a public health crisis to impose a fascist dictatorship.

Instead of putting public health experts at the helm, the regime has put the military in charge, giving way to a militarized approach to the crisis. All over the country, more than a hundred thousand people have been fined, arrested, accosted, and detained for supposed quarantine violations. The is also a rapid increase in military deployment to the National Capital Region while their rampage in the countryside continues unabated.

Military and police forces are being emboldened to abuse their authority. In order to ‘impose order’ Duterte has given his flunkies orders on how to deal with quarantine violators, telling state forces to ‘shoot them dead.’ The fascist forces have certainly taken this order to heart. In the month of April alone, there have been two cases wherein the police have shot civilians dead. The first case was that of a farmer in Agusan del Norte who was shot by police in a checkpoint. The man refused to wear a mask. The most recent victim was an Army veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

To justify his authoritarianism, the Duterte regime has put the blame squarely on the people. Stating that their failure to obey and follow the rules has led to this point. Now, not only is this a blatant lie, it is also a base attempt to conceal the regime’s failures. The people remember clearly how this regime downplayed the severity of the crisis in order to kowtow to his imperialist master. It seems Duterte’s decrepitude and senility always gets the better of him when it comes to matters of accountability.

The pandemic is only getting worse as time goes by. Without mass screening, testing and contact-tracing, the disease will continue to spread undetected and will infect a vast portion of the population. Yet, this regime remains pre-occupied with implementing despotic policies that will ultimately benefit no one but Duterte and his henchmen.

With the extension of the militarist lockdown in NCR and several parts of the country, we can expect only expect more blatant violations of the people’s liberties. This is the ‘new normal’ that the regime wishes to impose on the Filipino people – wherein repression, fascism, overt military presence and the curtailment of their rights are everyday realities.

Overcome the Lockdown, Forward the Revolution

The new normal we want is a society that is truly just and free, where inequality and exploitation are nothing but relics of the past. In order to achieve this ‘new normal’ the Filipino youth must take on its historic role of being a proactive agent of change in this time of great upheaval.

The youth and student movement must continue and advance its mutual aid efforts in their communities. Alleviating the hardships imposed on the masses should be our priority while we expand, educate, and organize our forces. This is crucial to strengthening the people’s solidarity. Only through collective struggle can we overcome this economic and health crisis.

We must not let uncertainty, despair, and lethargy get the better of us. We must make the most of all avenues available to us. Alongside the broad masses, we must overcome the social paralysis being imposed upon us by the Duterte regime’s lockdown. The weekly outpouring of online indignation following Duterte’s late night blathering should serve as a stark reminder that the Filipino people are their own messiah. The Filipino people are ready to oust this dictator.

CPP/NPA-EV: NPA ridicules AFP for maintaining Balangiga charade, urges civilian officials to stand up to military coercion

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 3, 2020): NPA ridicules AFP for maintaining Balangiga charade, urges civilian officials to stand up to military coercion

MAY 03, 2020

The New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today laughed off the Armed Forces of the Philippines for maintaining the NPA seized relief goods related to the anti-COVID-19 campaign in Balangiga, Eastern Samar. “It is farcical when the AFP now says the Balangiga town council supports the military’s accusation after initially rejecting it,” said Ka Karlos Manuel, spokesperson of the Efren Martires Command. “But as can be gleaned from media reports, the Balangiga town council never made an independent investigation but only acceded to the military’s version after a meeting of the municipal peace and order council (MPOC) dominated by the military.

“To those who are not aware of it, the MPOC has long served as the rubberstamp of military operations, even more so today after the Duterte regime imposed Memo 32 and EO 70 in November 2018 to subordinate the local government to the counterinsurgency campaign through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.”

The spokersperson of the NPA regional command said the military’s charade in Balangiga underscores the Duterte government’s insincerity in its ceasefire, as well as the fiasco of its anti-COVID-19 campaign. “While the NPA is conducting its own anti-COVID-19 campaign and responding to the UN’s call for global ceasefire, the AFP would rather continue its military operations and provocations against the NPA. It goes to show the AFP has no concern for the plight of the people in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Efren Martires Command urged the local government units and other civilian branches as well as civil society to resist the Duterte regime’s militarist solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Soldiers and policemen regimented for counterinsurgency and implementing a militarist lockdown is not the answer to COVID-19 but harbingers of a creeping Duterte dictatorships. The people need more doctors and nurses, mass testing, food security and socio-economic aid. Because the Duterte regime is incompetent, fascist, corrupt and pro-imperialist, its anti-pandemic campaign is turning into chaos and repression of the irate people as the contagion rages on. Thus, the local government units in the end will be bringing grief to the people, and not the NPA , if they simply acquiesce to the strong-arming of the armed minions of the Duterte regime. They must take a stand against militarization and register the democratic demands of their constituents to effectively fight the COVID-19 pandemic and other burning issues against the isolated and vicious Duterte regime.”#

CPP/NPA-Albay: Malisyosong Propaganda ni Cong. Alfredo Garbin Jr ng AKO-BICOL Party List–NPA-Albay

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 3, 2020): Malisyosong Propaganda ni Cong. Alfredo Garbin Jr ng AKO-BICOL Party List–NPA-Albay

MAY 03, 2020

Ibinintang ni AKO-Bicol Partylist Cong. Pido Garbin kamakailan sa midya na ang nangyaring pananambang sa grupo nila Mayor Morilla kasama ang DSWD Albay at ang escort nitong kapulisan sa Libon, Albay ay kagagawan ng Santos Binamera Command-BHB Albay. Dapat umanong maging alerto at mapagmatyag ang militar at kapulisan kaugnay rito.

Bakit ganoon na lamang kadali para kay Cong. Pido Garbin na magbitaw ng kongklusyong malinaw na hindi pinag-isipan o sinuri? Kailan pa siya naging tagapagsalita ng militar? Sa pagbitaw ng ganitong mga kongklusyon, ginagatungan pa ni Cong. Garbin ang pakana ng militar na ituluy-tuloy ang mga operasyon at pananalakay nito sa mga komunidad.

Muli naming inililinaw na ang nasa likod ng pananambang at pagnanakaw sa tim na namimigay ng Social Amelioration Program (SAP) ay ang grupong Concepcion, mga bandido at paramilitar sa Albay na inaalagaan ng 9th IDPA para maghasik ng pasistang karahasan laban sa masang Albayano.

Mahaba na ang kasalanan ng grupo ni Concepcion sa pangkaraniwang mamamayan ng Albay, maging ang 9th IDPA. Sa kabila ng tigil putukan ay nagpapatuloy ang kanilang pwersa sa paglulunsad ng operasyon sa mga baryo ng Malisao, Malbog, Inagnoan, Sityo Pulang Daga na pawang mga sityo ng Brgy Tigis at Turog-turog sa bayan ng Jovellar, maging sa Donsol sa mga baryo ng Vinisitahan, Malinao at Gimagahan.

Ang Santos Binamera Command-BHB Albay ay mahigpit na tumatalima sa tigil-putukan at disiplina ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan na nakapaloob sa Walong Alituntunin nito katulad ng “huwag kumuha ng gahiblang sinulid mula sa masa” o sa madaling salita ay huwag magnakaw.

Nilalabanan ng Santos Binamera Command-BHB Albay ang anumang ginagawang pamiminsala ng militar sa interes ng masa.

Sa mga umiiral na kalamidad gaya ng pagkalat ng epidemyang COVID-19, ang Santos Binamera Command-BHB Albay, ay tumutugon sa pangangailan ng masa gaya ng serbisyong medikal at pagbibigay ng edukasyon hinggil sa pagharap at paglaban sa COVID-19. Sinisikap din ng SBC-BHB ang pagbibigay ng tulong sa masang magsasaka sa abot ng makakaya nito at nakikipag-ugnayan din ito sa mga mapagkaibigang grupo o indibidwal na nagsasagawa ng tulong sa masang magsasaka kung papaano magtutulungan ang magkabilang panig.

Ang SBC-BHB ay handang magtanggol sa anumang atake na gagawin ng 9th IDPA at PNP sa hanay ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan at sa mamamayang Albayano.

Mabuhay ang Santos Binamera Command-BHB! Ibagsak ang rehimeng US-Duterte! Karahasan ng 9th IDPA, labanan! Demokratikong Rebolusyong Bayan, solusyon sa Kahirapan!

CPP: NPA-Albay: Masang Albayano, Tutulan ang Nagpapatuloy na Militarisasyon at Banta ng Martial Law ni Duterte at ng AFP!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 3, 2020): NPA-Albay: Masang Albayano, Tutulan ang Nagpapatuloy na Militarisasyon at Banta ng Martial Law ni Duterte at ng AFP!

Pinatutunayan ng bantang Batas Militar ni Duterte ang palpak, pabaya at kriminal na pagharap ng rehimen sa krisis pangkalusugang hatid ng COVID-19. Sa halip na itigil, ginagamit ni Duterte ang walang habas na operasyong militar ng AFP at PNP laban sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan bilang tuntungan para isakatuparan ang kanyang ambisyong pasistang diktadura para patahimikin at supilin ang mamamayang nag-aalsa sa lumulubhang krisis.

Sa halip na maghanap ng solusyon para pigilan ang papalubha pang krisis, walang ibang inaatupag si Duterte at ang mga payaso nito sa AFP-PNP kundi patindihin pa ang pananalakay sa BHB sa kabila ng unilateral na tigil-putukang idineklara ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. Sa gitna ng krisis na hatid ng COVID 19, patuloy ang walang habas na pang-aatake ng AFP at PNP sa masang Bikolano gamit ang mga operasyong Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) at focused military operations (FMO) sa ilalim ng EO 70. Ang AFP ang numero unong lumalabag sa lockdown sa pambubulabog nito sa mga komunidad para ipagpatuloy ang kampanyang pagpapasurender, panunupil at pandarahas laban sa masang magsasaka.

Sa Masbate, tuluy-tuloy pa ang mala-Negros na istilo ng pandarahas sa pangunguna ng 2nd Infantry Battallion, 96th MICO at 91st at 93rd Division Reconnaisance Companies at PNP-Masbate. Sa bayan ng Monreal, apat na magsasaka ang pinaslang ng militar sa gitna ng paglaganap ng COVID-19. Kabilang rito ang mag-amang sina Dionisio De La Cruz, 47 taong gulang at Jerome dela Cruz, 25 taong gulang na pinatay ng militar noong Abril 30 sa Sityo Dalaquit, Brgy. Macarthur, bayan ng Monreal, isla ng Ticao sa Masbate. Pinalabas ng 9th IDPA na napaslang ang mag-ama sa isang engkwentro.

Masahol, isinasangkalan nila ang pamimigay ng ayuda para sa kontra-insurhensyang pakana. Ipinalalabas nilang sinasabotahe ng NPA ang pamimigay ng mga ayuda at relief para patindihin pa ang operasyong militar nito sa mga komunidad at masahol, upang kontrolin at nakawin ang pondo. Sa Libon, Albay, inambus ng bandidong grupong Concepcion sa basbas ng AFP ang tim na namimigay ng Social Amelioration at ipinalabas na kagagawan ng NPA. Sa ilan pang mga bayan sa prubinsya, kasabay sa pamamahagi ng amelioration, namamahagi rin ang PNP ng mga polyeto kaugnay sa ECLIP. Sa loob na rin ng ditatsment at kampo namimigay ng mga ayuda.

Sa kabila nito, hindi mapagtatakpan ng bantang Martial Law ang pananagutan ng rehimen sa paglaganap ng COVID-19. Hindi matatakasan ni Duterte ang paniningil ng taumbayang gutom, nawalan ng trabaho at yinurakan ng karapatan. Walang poder si Duterte na igiit ang Batas Militar sa ngalan ng “pagpataw ng kaayusan” sa harap ng magulo, bulagsak at burara nitong pagtugon sa krisis. Nakailang ekstensyon na lamang ng lockdown, hindi pa rin naisasagawa ang mass testing, screening at malawakang contact tracing kaya patuloy pa rin ang paglaganap ng virus. Sa Albay, muling ibinalik sa enhanced community quarantine ang prubinsya subalit hindi pa rin nakukumpleto ang pamimigay ng ayuda. Nagresulta lamang ang libu-libong ipinakat na militar at pulis sa mga tsekpoynt sa libu-libo ring kaso ng paglabag sa karapatang-tao. Ang nalantad na direktiba ng AFP kaugnay sa pagpapatupad ng Martial Law ay patunay ng kawalang-intensyon at kawalang-sinseridad ng rehimen na tugunan ang tunay na pangangailangan ng mamamayan.

Kaisa ang mamamayang Pilipino, dapat paghandaan ng masang Albayano ang patraydor at pinalupit pang hakbangin ng rehimeng US-Duterte para makapanatili sa kapangyarihan. Dapat nating ikasa, sa pinakamapanlikhang mga paraan, ang pinakamalawak na kilusang masa upang labanan ang paglaganap ng virus at gapiin ang batas militar ni Duterte at ng AFP. Handang-handa ang BHB-Albay na ipagtanggol ang masang Albayano sa anumang pananalasa at pananalakay ng berdugong pwersang AFP at PNP. Patuloy ang kanilang pagtulong at pag-agapay sa masa sa pagharap at paglaban sa krisis na hatid ng COVID-19. Walang social distancing at lockdown ang makahahadlang sa pagnanais ng mamamayang gapiin ang COVID-19 at ihiwalay at pabagsakin ang pinakamasahol na virus sa bansa-ang Duterte virus.#

CPP: Magpakatatag at pamunuan ang bayan laban sa pasistang iskema ng rehimeng Duterte

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 3, 2020): Magpakatatag at pamunuan ang bayan laban sa pasistang iskema ng rehimeng Duterte

Sa unang Mayo Uno ng bagong dekada, binabati ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas at lahat ng rebolusyonaryong pwersa ang uring manggagawa at masang anakpawis sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo. Bilang partido ng proletaryong Pilipino, ang Partido Komunista ang nangunguna sa pagsusulong ng dalawang-yugtong rebolusyon sa Pilipinas para sa pambansang demokrasya at para sa sosyalismo.

Nakikiisa ang Partido sa mga panawagan ng mga manggagawang Pilipino para sa kagyat at sapat na ayuda para sa milyun-milyong mga Pilipinong labis na nagdurusa sa ilalim ng militarista at mapaniil na pagharap ng rehimeng Duterte sa pandemyang Covid-19. Nakikiisa rin ang Partido sa panawagang kagyat na ipatupad ang kinakailangang mga hakbanging medikal kabilang ang malaganap na testing at isagawa ang mas demokratikong paraan ng pamamalakad sa krisis, sa halip na paraang batas militar.

Ginagamit ng rehimeng Duterte ang kasalukuyang krisis pangkalusugan para iabante ang kanyang iskema para ipataw ang pasistang diktadura. Sa ngalan ng “kaayusan,” ginagamit niya ang brutal na pwersa para pasunurin at payukuin ang lahat, patahimikin ang kritisismo at reklamo, at supilin ang lahat ng lumalaban at nagpoprotesta. Sa ngalan ng pag-iwas na kumalat ang Covid-19, nais niyang ipatupad na “bagong normal” ang mga patakarang mapaniil (curfew, checkpoint, presensyang militar, pagbabawal sa pagrarali) at mga neoliberal na hakbanging kontra-mamamayan (pagbuwag sa mga komunidad ng maralitang lungsod, pagpigil sa pagtaas ng sahod, pagbabawal sa mga dyip).

Ginagamit ni Duterte at kanyang mga kroni para pagkakitaan nang malaki ang krisis. Milyun-milyong pisong pondo ng bayan ang kinakamkam ngayon ni Dennis Uy, mga Villar at iba pang malalaking burgesyang kumprador. Kasuka-suka na ang dalawang barkong “ipinahiram” ni Uy para gamiting “quarantine center” ay inupahan ng gubyerno sa halagang P35 milyon bawat isa. Walang kahihiyan din ang kaliwa’t kanan mga konstruksyon para sa Covid-19 na kinontrata ng gubyerno sa pamilyang Villar. Batbat ng korapsyon ang pagbili ng mga kagamitan, pamamahagi ng ayuda atbp.

Kasabay ng paggigiit na ipatupad ang pangkalahatang mga hakbanging pangkalusugan, at pagsingil sa ipinangakong ayuda para sa lahat ng pamilyang naghihirap, dapat itulak ng mga manggagawa ang pagpapatupad ng mga patakaran sa mga pagawaan at lugar ng pagtatrabaho na magtitiyak na ligtas sa paghahahawaan sa Covid-19, kabilang ang pabibigay sa kanila ng mga face mask at iba pang mga kagamitan, lugar para regular na makapaghugas ng kamay, at angkop na distansya sa pagitan ng mga manggagawa. Gayundin, dapat nilang igiit ang panawagan para sa umento sa sahod para makaagapay sa arawang gastos, regular na trabaho at pagwawakas sa kontraktwalisasyon.

Sa ilalim ng mga paghihigpit at paniniil ng rehimeng Duterte, dapat patuloy na magsalita at lakasan ng mga manggagawa ang kanilang boses. Dapat patuloy silang mag-organisa ng kanilang mga unyon at asosasyon para ipagtanggol ang kanilang interes at ang kagalingan ng masang anakpawis. Dapat patuloy nilang isulong ang kanilang mga kahilingan at mga karapatan at tuluy-tuloy na itulak ang karapatan sa demokratikong pagkilos na may pagsasaalang-alang sa kinakailangang distansyang pisikal bilang pag-iwas sa pagkalat ng sakit.

Kasabay nito, dapat patuloy na palakasin ang Partido Komunista sa hanay ng mga manggagawang Pilipino upang magsilbing gulugod at gabay sa kanilang mga pagkilos at paglaban. Itinuturo ng Partido na ang mga demokratikong pakikibaka sa araw-araw ay nakaugnay sa mas malaking pakikibaka para sa rebolusyonaryong pagbabago ng lipunan.

Ang lumulubhang pagsasamantala at pang-aapi sa mga manggagawa ay bunga ng lumalalang krisis ng malakolonyal at malapyudal na sistema sa Pilipinas na nakaugnay sa nagpapatuloy na krisis ng pandaigdigang sistemang kapitalismo. Ang bigat ng krisis ng naghaharing sistema ay ipinababalikat sa mga manggagawa at masang anakpawis sa pamamagitan ng lalong matitinding anyo ng pagsasamantala at pang-aapi, mga pabigat na na buwis at iba pang mga patakaran neoliberal na nagbibigay ng buong laya sa mga monopolyong kapitalista at malalaking burukrata na todong-pigain ang mga manggagawa at mamamayan para kamkamin ang maksimum na tubo.

Bago pa man sumiklab ang krisis bunsod ng pandemyang Covid-19, ang pandaigdigang sistemang kapitalista ay nasa bingit na ng pagsiklab ng isang krisis sa pinansya at ekonomya. Ang ibinubunga nitong di mabatang kalagayang panlipunang ay nagtutulak sa milyun-milyong mga manggagawa at mamamayan na lumaban. Sa nagdaang taon, sumiklab sa iba’t ibang bansa ang galit ng mga manggagawa at mamamayan sa malalaking protesta laban sa pagkakaltas ng subsidyo sa mga serbisyong panlipunan, laban sa korapsyon, paniniil sa mga migrante, minorya at kababaihan, at para sa permanenteng trabaho, umento sa sahod, paggalang sa mga karapatan at iba pang mga demokratikong reporma at kahilingan.

Sa nagdaang mga taon, sumisiklab ang mga welga at pakikibakang manggagawa sa Pilipinas para igiit ang umento sa sahod at regularisasyon sa trabaho. Lalo pa ngayong kailangan na palakasin ang mga pakikibakang ito sa harap ng banta ng lalong pang-aapi at pagsasamantala.

Ang lalo pang paglala ng krisis dulot ng pandemyang Covid-19 ay tiyak na militante at matapang na haharapin ng uring manggagawang Pilipino.

Mabuhay ang uring manggagawang Pilipino!

Mabuhay ang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas!

Persona non grata status remains in effect against BIFF, DITG

From the Philippine Information Agency (May 3, 2020): Persona non grata status remains in effect against BIFF, DITG (By DPAO-6ID)

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CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – The Municipality of Sultan Sa Barongis and Radjah Buayan in the Province of Maguindanao declared the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Dawlah Islamiya-Terror Group (DITG) as Persona Non Grata.

The declaration in Sultan Sa Barongis was approved in a Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) resolution last November 25, 2019. In a similar note, Radjah Buayan town also crafted a similar declaration in resolution approved by the Sangguniang Bayan during the regular session meeting last January 27, 2020.

The two municipalities openly condemed the atrocities and all forms of criminalities perpetrated by the BIFF and the DITG. The declarations remains in effect.

Col. Joel Q Mamon, OIC, 601st Infantry Brigade and 33rd Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Boongaling whose area of operations covers Sultan Sa Barongis and Radja Buayan, expressed their strong support to the initiatives of the two municipalities.

They also expressed their optimism that other towns will follow in declaring the terrorist groups as persona non grata in their respective municipalities.

The Commander of Joint Task Force Central, Maj. Gen. Diosdado C. Carreon, commends the LGUs of Sultan Sa Barongis and Radjah Buayan. He said that “openly declaring the BIFF and DITG as persona non grata is a robust manifestation that terrorism is unwelcomed and unacceptable in the community. He added that “The declaration will contribute to the peace and security efforts of the JTFC in the area. (DPAO-6ID)

RTF-ELCAC 6 vows to address CPP-NPA threats amid COVID-19 pandemic

From the Philippine Information Agency (May 3, 2020): RTF-ELCAC 6 vows to address CPP-NPA threats amid COVID-19 pandemic (By Jemin B. Guillermo)

ILOILO CITY, May 3 -- The Regional Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) 6 is all out in its commitment in the fight against the illegal activities of the CPP-NPA in Western Visayas.

The Task Force has pledged anew to be one in addressing the illegal activities of the communist-terrorist groups in the Region “even if the resources of its member-agencies were significantly committed in fighting the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel of the Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster of RTF-ELCAC 6 actively form part of IATF in ensuring that the delivery of the basic services will reach the community and its populace.

Records show that despite the pandemic, there were four deliberate attacks on government forces in Region 6.

“These atrocities clearly show their callousness on the sufferings of our people. They intentionally derail the government assistance to fuel their propaganda that the government is allegedly inept, uncompassionate and irresponsible,” the RTF-ELCAC 6 said.

The evidence and personal accounts of residents easily confirm the evil intention of taking advantage of the current situation by the CPP-NPA for them to extort money and goods, recruit more locals to rebel against the government, and plan to conduct tactical offensives against the government forces and vital installations, the Task Force noted.

The RTF-ELCAC 6, with the 12 Clusters under it, will never be unfazed with CPP-NPA's declaration to resume offensive operations as their force is merely composed of coward leaders and misguided ranks.

“What we are more concerned with and determined to prevent are their attacks on non-combatants and defenseless civilians as well as government workers who day and night are exhausting everything to perform their duty of serving the people,” the Task Force added.

Amidst the multifarious task that the government agencies are doing to cope with the pandemic, survive the crisis, and prepare for the so-called “new normal,” the RTF-ELCAC 6 vows to pursue its initiatives to make these terrorists irrelevant with the support of every Filipino people.

“We will not hesitate to put our lives on the line – against the unseen enemy which is the COVID-19 or the lingering CPP-NPA virus. We will defeat them as one,” the Task Force said. (JBG/CCPIII/STRATCOM Cluster)