Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Only 2,112 NPA fighters left – AFP

From the Philippine Star (Dec 27, 2022): Only 2,112 NPA fighters left – AFP (By Michael Punongbayan)

After 54 years of existence, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the communist rebel group, considered as a local terrorist organization, has suffered significant strategic losses as it lost a great number of guerrilla units, leaders and members.  STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Because of sustained military operations coupled with the whole-of-nation approach of bringing development to far-flung areas and offering benefits to surrenderees, the military believes that the New People’s Army (NPA) now has only 2,112 fighters left.

After 54 years of existence, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the communist rebel group, considered as a local terrorist organization, has suffered significant strategic losses as it lost a great number of guerrilla units, leaders and members.

The military, releasing figures yesterday, said the NPA has been reduced to 2,112 members with 1,876 firearms, from 89 to 22 guerrilla fronts with 17 already classified as weakened.

The military said NPA leaders neutralized by government forces include Helenita Pardales, secretary of the Eastern Visayas regional party committee; Ericson Acosta, top NPA leader of Komite Rehiyon-Cebu-Bohol, Negros, Siquijor; Rogelio Sapon Gerondio Jr., secretary of sub-regional committee 3 in Agusan del Norte; and Gina Belsa Granada, secretary of defunct guerrilla front in Zamboanga del Norte.

The AFP also claimed that from as high as P4.2 billion in 2017, the NPA was allegedly only able to extort P8.5 million in 2022.

During the recent celebration of the 87th AFP founding anniversary rites, Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro said the military has achieved strategic victory against the NPA.

“We can confidently state that we have achieved strategic victory and are inching closer to total victory against these terrorists,” he said. “Our localized peace-building efforts, with multi-stakeholder and whole-of-nation approach, also yielded positive results, as we encouraged enemies of the state to return to the fold of the law and build goodwill with communities.”

AFP spokesman Col. Medel Aguilar said the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), following the death of its founder Jose Maria Sison last Dec. 16, has lost its relevance. “The death of its founding chair, ‘teacher and guiding light’ leaves the UGM (underground movement) with no sense of purpose and direction,” Aguilar said.

The CPP central committee yesterday dismissed the Philippine military and defense department’s claim that NPA guerrilla fronts are “now down to five,” calling the figure “ludicrous.”

Although the CPP acknowledged the underground armed movement has suffered setbacks and losses in some parts, “these are mainly caused by internal weaknesses and errors.”

It remains confident “that (it) can gain unprecedented strength, lead the revolutionary movement in the Philippines to steadily advance in the coming years and achieve victories much greater than ever before.” – Artemio Dumlao, Ralph Edwin Villanueva, Jose Rodel Clapano

250 duped communist supporters pledge allegiance to govt

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 27, 2022): 250 duped communist supporters pledge allegiance to govt (By Jerome Carlo Paunan)

Photos by PIA-NCR

MANILA, (PIA) -- At least 250 residents of Barangay 185 Malaria in Caloocan City, who were deceived into supporting the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army (NPA)-National Democratic Front (NDF), officially declared their withdrawal of support to the communist cause in a simple ceremony on Monday.

Apart from pledging and signing their oath of allegiance to the Philippine Republic, the group also vehemently expressed their disgust and signified their abandonment of the communist front organization that they said “used and deceived” them for rallies and mass demonstrations. The ceremony was lead by Barangay Malaria Chairperson Ronnie Masaoay.

“They (communist front organization operatives) used and deceived us. This time we will no longer believe in their lies, and we condemn their wrongdoings. We want to live in peace,” they said unanimously.

The event, which coincided with the 54th founding anniversary of the CPP, is a joint effort of all government agencies and security forces for the attainment of peace and development in Metro Manila. These agencies include the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA-NCR), Joint Task Force NCR (JTF) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG-NCR), among others.

NICA-NCR Assistant Regional Director Marcial Mendoza expressed his appreciation for the event and said that, “This is a clear manifestation that the Whole of Nation Approach or Executive Order 70 was implemented.”

The NCRPO, through its Revitalized Kasimbayanan program, in coordination with the JTF-NCR, the local government unit, and other civic clusters successfully facilitated the group’s withdrawal from the communist front organization, and their renewed support for the government, and for peace and development in their community.

For his part, Brig. Gen. Ponce Rogelio Peñones, the Northern Police District director emphasized the importance of preventive measures so that communities will not be deceived by the false advocacies of the communist group.

Gen. Peñones also urged all of the “few remaining supporters of the CPP-NPA-NDF” to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law.

“This is your chance to return to the mainstream of society and be the government’s important partner in working for economic development,” he added.

Meanwhile, the group members were also provided with relief supplies, food packs, and other forms of assistance, including the registration of their organization with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The event was also made possible through the support of the 11th Civil-Military Operations Battalion of the Philippine Army led by Lt. Col. Gene Orense and the Caloocan City Police Office led by Police Col. Ruben Lacuesta.

It can be recalled that the CPP-NPA has been listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

While the National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PIA-NCR)

2 NPA rebels yield to cops in Quezon town

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Dec 27, 2022): 2 NPA rebels yield to cops in Quezon town (By: Delfin T. Mallari Jr.)

LUCENA CITY – Two alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered with their firearms to the police in General Nakar, Quezon on Monday.

The Quezon police, in a report on Tuesday, said the rebel returnees, Michael Malabanan, 37, and Vicente Brillante, 64, turned themselves in at the local police station at around 10 a.m.

The alleged former rebels turned over a loaded .45 caliber pistol, a loaded .38 caliber revolver and NPA documents.

The police said Malabanan and Brillante are former NPA Apolonio Mendoza Command members operating in the province.

Malabanan used to serve as one of its squad leaders, the report said. The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The government authorities are preparing the necessary assistance to the former rebels in their reintegration protocols under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip).

E-Clip offers free medical treatments, education, housing, and legal aid to rebels who will surrender. In addition, each rebel can receive cash aid and other benefits to help them and their families to start new lives.

10 ranking NPA leaders surrender

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Dec 27, 2022): 10 ranking NPA leaders surrender

TEN ranking leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered to government authorities in the province of South Cotabato, the police reported Tuesday, December 27, 2022.

Police Colonel Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said they surrendered around 10 a.m. Monday, December 26, at the municipal police station of Tupi, South Cotabato.

Verceles identified the NPA surrenderers as Ryan Coliao, Jimmy Freay, Rolan Ante, Juanito Paala, Genecis Pagdato, Anthony Edianel, Junrey Escultor, Jose Fabello, Ruby May, and Mario Mino.

Verceles said the 10 NPA surrenderers are all squad leaders under the Guerrilla Front Musa and the dismantled Guerrilla Front Alip, both of the NPA’s Far South Mindanao Regional Committee.

He said the 10 NPA squad leaders have surrendered through the efforts of the personnel of the South Cotabato 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company, Regional Intelligence Division-12 Tracker Team Charlie and South Cotabato Provincial Intelligence Unit.

He said the 10 NPA surrenderers were placed under the custody of the South Cotabato 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company for custodial debriefing.

21 NPA rebels surrender in Negros, South Cotabato

From the Philippine Star (Dec 28, 2022): 21 NPA rebels surrender in Negros, South Cotabato (By Roel Pareño)

MANILA, Philippines — Twenty-one New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have surrendered in South Cotabato and Negros island, authorities reported yesterday.

Eleven members of the Far South Mindanao Regional Committee, including a squad leader, surrendered to the police in Tupi and Surallah towns, Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said.

He said the rebels were tracked down and convinced to surrender on Monday by personnel of the South Cotabato police First Provincial Mobile Force Company and intelligence unit.

The rebel-returnees were presented to concerned local government units and placed under the temporary custody of the police for debriefing.

Ten communist rebels who were with the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/Cebu/Bohol/ Siquijor surrendered to the 62nd Infantry Battalion, according to Lt. Col. William Pesase.

The rebel returnees turned over an M16 A1 assault rifle with magazine, a Colt M203 40mm grenade launcher, two caliber .45 pistols, a 357 Magnum revolver and bullets.

Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, welcomed the surrenderees, saying they are victims of “ deceptive tactics” of the communist group.

The military had earlier said the NPA had suffered significant losses with the neutralization and surrender of its leaders and members.

It said the rebel group is down to 2,112 fighters, with 17 of its 22 remaining guerrilla fronts considered as weakened.— Gilbert Bayoran

10 rebels surrender guns

From the Visayan Daily Star (Dec 28, 2022): 10 rebels surrender guns (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Ten self-confessed members of the New People’s Army operating in central Negros have abandoned the armed struggle and surrendered guns to the 62nd Infantry Battalion, its commander, Lt. Col. William Pesase, confirmed yesterday.

Pesase said that the rebel surrenderees are members of the Central Negros of the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/ Cebu/Bohol/ Siquijor, who also surrendered an M16 A1 assault rifle with magazine containing 29 ammunition, a Colt M203 40mm grenade launcher, two caliber .45 pistols with ammunition and a .357 Magnum revolver with six live bullets.

The 10 former rebels also took their oath of allegiance to the government, after being presented by Pesase to Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander.

Pasaporte welcomed the decision of 10 rebels to abandon the armed struggle, stressing that they are only victims of “deceptive tactics” of the communist terrorist group.

Among those who surrendered were father and son Crasiolo “Claire” Landisa, 53, and Redgen “Anghel” Landisa, 22, Boging “Jona” Cantila, 52, who was with the NPA for 13 years, and her son Joel “Prince” Sta. Ana, 23, turned themselves in along with their four comrades, Crisel “Tadlong” Fat, 39; Jerome “Bradely” Bitongga, 36; Ricky “Bugtong” Saraguelles, 32; and Rodney “Gary” Pasatiempo, 25.

Two surrenderees are also siblings Jercel “Be-an” Gonzaga, 27, and Ronel “Robert” Gonzaga, 33.

In September this year, 16 rebels belonging to Central Negros 1 also surrendered to 62IB.

Makabayan bloc files reso urging gov’t, NDFP to restart peace talks

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Dec 28, 2022): Makabayan bloc files reso urging gov’t, NDFP to restart peace talks (By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu)

ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro. file photo / Noy Morcoso

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc have filed a resolution that would urge the resumption of peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in a bid to end the armed conflict waged by communist guerillas finally.

If the still unnumbered resolution — copies of which were released on Wednesday — is approved by the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress would support the resumption of peace talks stalled under former president Rodrigo Duterte’s term.

According to Makabayan bloc member and Alliance of Concerned Teachers Rep. France Castro, there is a huge support for the resumption of peace talks as a previous resolution in the 18th Congress, which also called for the resumption of the discussions, garnered several votes.

“The breakthroughs in the peace negotiations have generated much support among our people, including members of Congress. In fact, House Resolution 636 in the 18th Congress calling for the resumption of the peace talks —after Duterte first canceled them in 2017 due to the sabotage by the militarists and opponents of basic socio-economic and political reforms — garnered the support of more than 130 members of the House of Representatives,” Castro said.

“No amount of fake news, red tagging and presentation of fake surrenderees can change the fact that there are glaring inequalities present in Philippine society. If these are not addressed then it will only worsen until the present oppressive and exploitative system is replaced by a more just and humane one,” she added.

Furthermore, Castro said that the negotiating panel from the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP would have signed key agreements if talks did not bog down.

“The peace negotiations have gained milestone agreements since 1992. Ironically, the GRP and NDFP panels were set to formally sign a number of agreements, important components of an aspired-for Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reform (CASER) that would address the causes of the armed conflict, when President Duterte unilaterally ‘terminated’ the peace talks in November 2017,” she claimed.

“These include common drafts of an agreement on land reform and rural development and on national industrialization and economic development. These are the gist of the negotiations and would start to address the roots of the conflict,” she said.

The New People’s Army (NPA) — the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) — has been waging a guerrilla war for over five decades now, starting from the time of former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s martial law regime.

During the time of Duterte, it appeared that peace talks between the two sides would prosper, considering his close relationship with some key CPP officials like founder Jose Maria Sison, his former professor.

However, mistrust between the two sides — with the government claiming that rebels are still doing ambushes despite a previous ceasefire order — led to the failure of discussions.

READ: No more peace talks with communist rebels, says Duterte

However, there is a growing belief within the government that the recent death of Sison would lead to NPA fighters losing their sense of purpose. Last December 19, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said that NPA members would lose their direction and demoralize due to Sison’s demise.

READ: Without Joma Sison, CPP-NPA is weakened, and rebels lose motivation – AFP exec

The Philippine National Police (PNP) also boasted of having 55 former rebels surrender to the government last December 26 — on the founding anniversary of the CPP itself.

But in a letter published by his wife at the Philippine Revolution Web Central, Sison said — in a message from his deathbed — that the Filipino democratic revolution would live on, noting that every administration has failed to suppress the revolutionaries’ quest for changes.

READ: 55 NPA members surrender on CPP’s 54th anniversary

Army: No soldiers injured in clash with NPA in Bohol

From the Sun Star-Cebu (Dec 28, 2022): Army: No soldiers injured in clash with NPA in Bohol

Image from Google Maps

NO SOLDIERS were reported injured during the 10-minute encounter between the military and members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the upland municipality of San Isidro in Bohol around 10 a.m. Wednesday, December 28.

Members of 47th Infantry Battalion (IB) went to the area after receiving a call from a concerned citizen regarding the presence of around 10 rebels conducting extortion activities.

Army Lieutenant Colonel Allyson Depayso, commanding officer of 47th IB, said nobody was injured among his men, but they are still verifying if there were casualties from the NPA.

The 47th IB personnel were able to retrieve from the scene bullets from caliber .45 pistol and AK 47 rifle, magazine of caliber .45 pistol, poncho tents, medical paraphernalia, food packs, and subversive documents belonging to the NPA.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to put an end to the local communist armed conflict and stop their recovery efforts in Bohol Island, the residents' willingness to assist the soldiers by providing noteworthy information on the whereabouts and activities of these NPA terrorists is extremely helpful," Depayso said.

Depayso vowed to continue in their fight against the rebels to maintain peace and order in Bohol.

Army troopers in pursuit of NPA rebels after clash in San Isidro

From the Bohol Chronicle (Dec 28, 2022): Army troopers in pursuit of NPA rebels after clash in San Isidro

Government troopers are in pursuit of suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) following a clash between the Philippine Army (PA) and an estimated 10 rebels in a remote village in San Isidro town on Wednesday morning.

Police operatives and soldiers of the PA’s 47th Infantry Battalion have set up checkpoints in San Isidro and surrounding municipalities to flush out the NPA rebels, said Second Lt. Gin Lagunero, assistant civil operations officer of the 47th IB.

According to Lagunero, the brief encounter erupted at past 10 a.m. in the hinterlands of Barangay Baunos.

No one was injured during the exchange of gunfire which lasted for around 10 minutes.

NPA admits burning 5 sugarcane trucks in Negros Oriental

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Dec 28, 2022): NPA admits burning 5 sugarcane trucks in Negros Oriental (By: Carla Gomez)

New People’s Army (NPA) | file photo

BACOLOD CITY — The New People’s Army (NPA) claimed responsibility for the burning of five sugarcane trucks in Toboso town, Negros Occidental on Monday, December 26.

In a statement on Tuesday, December 27, Cecil Estrella, spokesperson of the Roselyn Jean Pelle Command (RJCP) – Northern Negros Guerilla Front of the NPA, said a unit of the group burned the sugarcane trucks owned by Teotimo Ballesteros on the 54th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines last Dec 26.

“The punitive action is the second incident against class enemy Ballesteros. On December 14, the NPA set fire to two cane trucks in Barangay Tabun-ac in the same town,” the statement read.

Ballesteros’ sugar lands, it said, are within the guerrilla zones.

The NPA alleged that the landowner disregarded his farm workers’ repeated calls for wage increases and benefits.

“The only peace talks the revolutionary forces in northern Negros promote is the one that addresses the wage and land issues…the peace talks should be at a national scale that tackles the root cause of armed conflict – genuine land reform to address landlessness, national industrialization to address unsecured jobs, among others,” it said.

Alleged NPA member killed in Negros Oriental clash

Bulatlat: #KaJomaLives | Progressives immortalize Sison’s legacy in people’s movement for change

From the pro-CPP/NPA/NDF propaganda outlet Bulatlat (Dec 28, 2022): #KaJomaLives | Progressives immortalize Sison’s legacy in people’s movement for change (By JONAS ALPASAN)

Photo by Carlo Manalansan / Bulatlat

MANILA — “We gather today not just to mourn but to pay tribute.”

This is how longtime labor leader Elmer Labog opened the program at the University of the Philippines Film Center as progressives paid tribute to the late founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines Jose Maria Sison, who passed away last Dec. 18, 2022.

Those who joined marched from the Commission of Human Rights, chanting “Ka Joma lives.”

Short clips of Sison’s previously recorded interviews were played during the program, giving snippets of his life in exile in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

A young Joma

In one of the short video clips, Sison revealed he once dreamed of becoming a lawyer and eventually a politician. But he said that as he studied Marxism, Leninism, and Maoism, this dream waned. It was clear to him, he said, that revolution was the answer.

He said that it took two years to be able to build the new Communist Party of the Philippines. He was only 23 years old when he became part of the Executive Committee of the old Communist party.

Being part of the old party allowed him to know and earn the trust of the people, to recognize the mistakes of the old party, rectify these and be better.

Francisco Nemenzo, former UP president, described Sison as a dear friend. Though their friendship turned sour when Nemenzo chose to stay in the old Communist party, he said that he eventually saw that he was on the “wrong side of history” when Marcos Sr. declared martial law.

Nemenzo said their friendship was reignited when Sison was released from prison in 1986. He then described Sison as an “amiable human being” whom he said will be defined in his place in history by his great organizing skills and commitment to national liberation.

Political prisoner Adelberto Silva, in a message read by women rights activist and wife Sharon Cabusao, shared that he was once a student of Sison when the latter taught at the Lyceum of the Philippines University.

“He liked to joke. He was never boastful,” Silva said of his late literature professor.

Silva also remembered how there were always coffee and biscuits in the rented apartment of then young couple Sison and Julie de Lima, who is now the interim chairperson of the peace panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

On establishing the NPA

Political prisoner Rey Claro Casambre, in a message read by his daughter Xandra, recognized the role that Sison played in establishing the New People’s Army.

This he referred to as Sison’s second most important contribution to the people’s aspirations for change, next to the establishment of the CPP.

Casambre said Sison did not only find armed struggle as apt but essential to the struggle of the people. From a handful of arms in the first guerilla front in Tarlac, the armed movement soon spread in many provinces, he said.

“We have nothing but a copy of the PSR,” the early NPA members were quoted as saying as they referred to the Philippine Society and Revolution written by Amado Guerrero, Sison’s nom de guerre.

“What we know is that we have to immerse ourselves in the masses,” Casambre said.

While Sison contributed greatly to the establishment of the NPA, Casambre said he was also among the first to call out mistakes as he did in 1985.

The NPA leadership then initially did not heed Sison’s advice, said Casambre, but this was later corrected that led to the Second Great Rectification Movement.

Erin Tañada said three generations of Tañada worked with Sison in pursuing the cause of nationalism.

“Many may love him. Many may hate him… But one cannot deny one fact, he loved the country in his own way,” Tañada said during the program.

Bibeth Orteza, chairperson of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines, said Sison deserves to be a National Artist not only because he was a poet but because he inspired many artists and cultural workers to use their art in advancing people’s interests and welfare.

As a warrior of peace, optimism

Many speakers during the nearly three-hour program shared how they appreciated Sison’s sense of optimism.

Lawyer Antonio La Viña, then a student, said he was among those who listened to Sison’s speech, following his 1986 release from prison.

People, he noted, expected him to be angry. But La Viña said he was not, and that he was funny and optimistic in his first speech as a free man.

His colleagues in the peace talks also noted how he was a problem solver and the “North Star” in the course of the negotiations.

“There will be no capitulation or surrender, especially since there is a DDR paradigm that the United Nations is propagating,” Luis Jalandoni, senior adviser of the NDFP Negotiating Panel said. DDR refers to Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration which has been applied to national liberation movements in other countries.

Jalandoni added that Sison’s sharp analyses also helped revolutionaries in other countries.

Meanwhile, Elisabeth Slattum, former special envoy of the Norwegian government in the peace talks, described Sison as a constant during her tenure.

“He has the gift of being ideologically firm but also pragmatic,” she said in a video message.

In a statement, a joint statement of political prisoners in Camp Bagong Diwa paid tribute to Sison. “As political prisoners, we were able to reflect on the depth and scope that Sison has made for the people.”

They added that state forces will never be able to understand that the movement will continue even with Sison’s passing.

They said, “they will never be able to understand that Joma spent his entire life ensuring that the revolution will continue even without him.” (RVO)

NPA rebels, military troops clash in Boh

From the Philippine Daily Star (Dec 29, 2022): NPA rebels, military troops clash in Boho (By: Leo Udtohan) FILE PHOTO

TAGBILARAN CITY — A gunfight ensued between suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and government troopers in Bohol province in San Isidro town on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Soldiers clashed with at least 10 “remnants” of NPA’s Bohol Party Committee, Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor, according to a report from the 47th “Katapatan” Infantry Battalion (IB).

San Isidro, 32 km from the capital city of Tagbilaran, has at least 9,000 residents.

In a statement, the 47th IB said residents of Sitio Bajong, Barangay Baunos, San Isidro informed soldiers about the presence of communist rebels who were allegedly extorting money from them.

The troops responded, resulting in an encounter at around10 a.m. The firefight lasted for about 10 minutes.

No fatalities were reported.

Recovered in the encounter site were different ammunition, tents, food packs, personal belongings, and subversive documents.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to put an end to the local communist armed conflict and stop their recovery efforts in Bohol Island, the residents’ willingness to assist the soldiers by providing noteworthy information on the whereabouts and activities of these NPA terrorists is extremely helpful,” said Lt. Col. Allyson Depayso, the commanding officer of the 47th IB.

Depayso assured the people that the Army in Bohol will continue to battle the NPAs to uphold a just and lasting peace on the island.

Alleged NPA member killed in Negros Oriental clash

10 NPA members yield in Tupi

From the Manila Times (Dec 29, 2022): 10 NPA members yield in Tupi (By Franz R. Sumangil)

TEN members of the New People's Army (NPA) surrendered to authorities in Tupi town, South Cotabato province, an official said on Tuesday.

Mayor Romeo Tamayo said the rebels who belonged to the NPA's Guerrilla Front ALIP turned themselves in on Monday at the municipal hall.

"We welcome the 10 former rebels who wish to live a peaceful life," said Tamayo, who also handed cash assistance and food packs to the former rebels.

He said the surrenderers will be enrolled in the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

"In the government, everybody is given the chance to improve their lives, earn a decent income and live peacefully," Tamayo said.

During the activity witnessed by Police Regional Office-Soccsksargen chief BGen. Jimili Macaraeg, the former rebels also burned the Communist Party of the Philippines flag as a symbol of their condemnation of all its terrorist activities.

Macaraeg urged other members of the communist group to surrender and avail the government programs for their reintegration into the society. FRANZ SUMANGIL

Jose Maria Sison: a flawed revolutionary

Posted to Solidarity (Dec 29, 2022): Jose Maria Sison: a flawed revolutionary (By David Glanz)

The founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, died in exile in the Netherlands on 16 December, aged 83.

Sison established the CPP at the end of 1968 with the aim of launching guerrilla warfare to achieve “national-democratic revolution, a revolution seeking the liberation of the Filipino people from foreign and feudal oppression and exploitation”.

Three months later he founded the New People’s Army (NPA), which at its peak was thought to have 25,000 fighters under arms. In 1973, the National Democratic Front (NDF) was formed, bringing together mass, legal organisations of workers, women, peasants and youth.

The NDF remembered Sison as a “great proletarian internationalist, patriot, communist, revolutionary leader, teacher and poet”.

But in reality, Sison was never a revolutionary socialist. The Stalinist politics of the CPP led successive generations of young Filipinos into a dead-end strategy which attempted vainly to mimic Mao Zedong’s victory in China in 1949.

Early days

Sison’s politics were formed by the intersection of three factors, the first of which was nationalism.

The Philippines had been ruled as a Spanish colony from 1542 to 1899 before passing into the control of the US, which imposed its rule with the utmost brutality. In 1946, the US granted the Philippines independence but maintained significant economic and political influence, as well as having access to huge military bases.

US domination was bitterly resented by many Filipinos. In 1959, Sison, his future wife Julie, and friends founded a discreet Marxist study circle, which eventually became known as the Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines (SCAUP). Five years later, Sison launched the Kabataang Makabayan (KM or Patriotic Youth), which laid the basis for later NDF formations (CPP front groups).

The second factor was the rising tide of radicalisation around the world. Sison founded the CPP at the end of the year which had seen the Tet offensive in Vietnam, the student revolt in France which triggered a mass strike by 10 million workers, the continuing rise of the black liberation movement in the US, and much more.

Young people in the Philippines were part of that radicalisation. War in Vietnam was the fuel which powered the movement. The Philippines was involved in two ways—by sanctioning the use of US bases in the archipelago for the war effort, and by the dispatch of the Philippine Contingent.

On 25 January 1965, KM co-ordinated an anti-American demonstration of “20,000 workers, peasants, students, and patriotic businessmen” in front of the presidential palace, the Philippine Congress and the US Embassy. The rising tide of revolt culminated in huge mass protests led by radical students in 1970 and 1971.

The third factor was the Cultural Revolution in China. In reality it was a chaotic faction fight, unleashed by Mao to consolidate his control. But to many outside observers it seemed to reflect a burning revolutionary spirit that contrasted with the grey, conservative stodginess of Stalinism in Moscow.

In 1987, Sison said: “I was already a Marxist when I first read Mao. Then and now I consider him the greatest thinker on colonialism and imperialism and feudalism … And he was unbeatable on the subject of a people’s war.

“And then by 1964, the line between the USSR and Mao was very clear. Krushchev to me meant cooperation with imperialism and China was the leader against him. China was a big force and was encouraging revolution of all colonial countries. China looked to me like the Philippines of today.”

For Sison and many in his generation, China was an inspiration—an Asian country that had stood up to imperialism and won. The CPP was established in the hope of following its example, with its founding meeting timed for 26 December, Mao’s birthday.

Stalinism, Mao-style

The CPP inherited from Stalinism the idea that workers in the Global South should not challenge for state power. Instead the revolution has to proceed through stages, the first of which was to win national independence, which would lay the basis for substantial capitalist development and a future, distant bid for working class power.

The working class needed to seek broad alliances, above all with the peasantry but also with so-called “progressive” nationalist capitalists. That meant workers had to restrain their demands.

But inspired by Mao’s success, the CPP adopted two further ideas—that the Philippines was “semi-feudal” and that the path to victory lay through “people’s war”, a guerrilla war that would lay the basis for seizing the cities on the path to the victory of the national democratic revolution.

Semi-feudalism meant that the Philippines economy was impacted by, but not yet integrated into, capitalist relations. The analysis underpinned the party’s position that the fight for socialist revolution could take place only in the distant future, when Filipino capitalism was fully developed. It gave pride of place to a rural struggle based on the numerical strength of the peasantry and reduced the working class to a subsidiary role in events.

Yet there is an industrial working class in the millions in Metro Manila and elsewhere. Industrial waged workers comprise some 15 per cent of the workforce and there is a substantial number of service workers and agricultural workers.

Sison talked about the leading role of the “working class” in the abstract but substituted the party and guerrilla warfare in place of the living, breathing reality of workers’ struggles. He wrote: “The working class is the most progressive productive and political force in the Philippines … Being a minority class in Philippine society, the working class can muster a bigger force by forming a basic alliance with the peasantry … But how is the basic alliance realized? It is by deploying and developing CPP cadres and members in the countryside to build the New People’s Army.”

The emphasis on building the NPA and on people’s war marginalised the CPP and its leadership when mass struggles emerged in the cities. It also militarised politics. When faction fights broke out in the 1990s, the authoritarian party regime that Sison had created set the scene for the mass murder of opponents and supposed spies in the party. Sison admitted that one such incident in Mindanao alone cost the lives of 950 party and NPA members.

There was an alternative. The success of the October 1917 revolution in Russia showed that the working class in an underdeveloped country, backed by the peasantry, could go beyond overthrowing a landlord dictatorship to take control of industry and create a workers’ state, triggering the potential for international revolution.

Tragically, the triumph of Stalinism, which aimed to build a strong nation state at the cost of massive repression, obliterated that alternative. Leon Trotsky and his followers, who defended the idea of permanent revolution—of international socialism from below—were marginalised. Sison could not make his contempt for Trotsky clearer. In February 2021, he issued a media release entitled “Trotskyitis is a virulent type of psychopathic anti-communism”.

Missed opportunities

The logic of Sison’s position meant that political struggle was subordinated to the need to build the guerrilla army, the NPA. Many student and worker activists in the cities who were won to the CPP position were told to abandon work in the urban areas and to move to the mountains to join or form guerrilla squads.

Yet over and again, despite Sison’s focus on the centrality of “people’s war” in the countryside, the struggle erupted in the cities.

In 1970 and into 1971, the Philippines experienced its “1968” moment. On 26 January 1970, the National Union of Students of the Philippines organised a demonstration outside the opening of Congress. Fifty thousand students and workers turned up and were attacked by the police, turning the demonstration into a battlefield. It was the initial event of what was to be dubbed the First Quarter Storm.

This was the curtain-raiser to three months of rebellion involving actions in Manila of 50,000 to 100,000 people. On 30 January, in what became known as the Battle of Mendiola Bridge, national democratic students stormed Malacanang, the presidential palace, at one point breaking into the grounds and hurling molotov cocktails.

On 12 February, the newly formed Movement for a Democratic Philippines, a coalition of national democratic groups, held a massive educational rally at the Plaza Miranda. A further mass rally on the 18th was followed by an assault on the US embassy by 5000 youths.

A year later, students, faculty members and residents of the University of the Philippines Diliman campus, together with transport workers, led an uprising against an increase to the price of fuel that became known as the Diliman Commune.

The CPP was active in these events, not least through the KM, which grew rapidly. But the party saw the urban struggle primarily as a source of recruitment to the NPA. It publicly rejected the idea of urban insurrection against the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos, writing: “The demonstrations have served as a rich source of activists for the national democratic revolution and therefore, of prospective members and fighters of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army … Ideological, political and organisational preparations are continuously being made for intensified revolutionary armed struggle in the countryside …”

Millions on the streets

If Sison’s party missed the significance of the stormy events of 1970-71, it was even more blindsided by the urban uprising that broke the Marcos regime in 1986.

The CPP was at its peak. A report to the US Senate in 1985 noted that the NPA has grown to probably more than 15,000 regulars and a somewhat larger number of part-time irregulars, fighting on 60 fronts around the country. CPP membership was about 30,000, with the party and its guerrillas controlling or contesting control over settlements inhabited by at least 10 million people.

Yet just months later, the CPP was pushed to the margins of politics as the urban masses took to the streets against President Marcos, who had rigged an election in February 1986 against Corazon “Cory” Aquino. Aquino called a rally in central Manila that attracted between one and two million. When a faction within the armed forces plotted a coup to bring down Marcos (and head off the threat from the left), the Church appealed on radio for people to help the mutineers. Up to two million heeded the call. Marcos fled to Hawaii.

This moment presented a serious chance for revolutionary transformation. There was a real need for a non-Stalinist socialist workers party that could have seized the revolutionary moment and built on the struggle against martial law by agitating for workers to take events into their own hands, to strike, demonstrate and occupy, to insist that real democracy would not come by voting for Aquino; that workers and their families would fight for higher wages, better conditions, and democracy not just in broader society but in the workplace.

Such a party could also have called on the landless farm labourers and tenant farmers to seize the plantations and begin sharing the land or running it collectively. But the CPP could not do that because it was stuck within a Stalinist framework that dictated that victory was military and rural, and merely, in any case, a stage in which workers and peasants would have to continue to subordinate their interests to those of their exploiters. The biggest urban political crisis in the post-independence history of the country, the People Power Revolution, had passed it by.

Sison fled to the Netherlands, where he gained political asylum. He watched and wrote and in later years made multiple videos to try to direct events. But the CPP never recovered from its 1986 failure. When mass demonstrations again erupted in 2001 and toppled President Joseph Estrada, the CPP was again irrelevant. Today it is a fraction of its former size and the NPA has shrunk to irrelevance. The rest of the left, however, has failed to occupy the space left by the CPP’s decline and so it still maintains some influence through its legal NDF formations.

Perhaps the most shameful footnote to this story is the CPP’s reaction to the election of Rodrigo Duterte as president in 2016. Duterte had been a KM member in the 1970s. He was prepared to be outstandingly rude to the US. He even admitted CPP sympathisers to his first cabinet. The CPP thought it had finally found a genuine representative of the “progressive, nationalist bourgeoisie”.

Sison issued a statement that praised Duterte as “the first Left President of the Philippines who is determined to uphold national independence, expand democracy for the people, carry out national industrialization and genuine land reform, and realize an independent foreign policy”.

But Duterte was not only corrupt and unpredictable but bloodthirsty. He unleashed a war on drugs that was effectively open season on the poor. By some estimates, up to 20,000 people were gunned down in their homes or on the streets. Initially, the CPP supported the government’s offensive, offering the NPA to help arrest (but not kill) drug warlords. Only as the death toll grew did the party finally keep its distance from a president who was deservedly called the “Trump of Asia”.

Sison dedicated his life to fighting colonialism and imperialism. But his devotion to a version of Stalinist politics that valued rural guerrilla warfare over class struggle at the heart of the system means that, ultimately, his was a deeply flawed revolutionary project that has left a deep scar on Filipino politics.

The time is ripe for the emergence of a non-Stalinist revolutionary left. The future of a free, socialist Philippines is still to be written by the workers, in the factories, on the land, in the service sector, in alliance with the landless poor.

Opinion: Reforms needed in the AFP

Opinion piece in the Manila Times (Dec 25, 2022): Reforms needed in the AFP (By Maj. Gen. Edgard A. Arevalo Ret.)

Philippine military personnel march in front of the national flag during the 87th anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. AFP PHOTO

ON December 22, nearly nine decades since its birth in 1935, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has filled its many pages with colorful stories of gallantry and heroism of its soldiers. While modestly armed and poorly equipped, its forebears comprising the Philippine expeditionary forces to Korea in 1950, the Philippine civic action group in Vietnam in 1964, and many other United Nations peacekeeping missions around the globe earned for the Filipino soldiers their lofty place in the world's military history. American general Douglas MacArthur, moved by the incredible resilience and indomitable courage of this brand of soldiers said, "Give me ten thousand Filipinos and I will conquer the world."

The battles that the AFP's soldiers fought knew no distinction. From the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon to the Bagong Hukbong Bayan, the secessionist Moro National Liberation Front to the autonomy-seeking Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group to the Daesh-inspired Dawlah Islamia, the troops' unfaltering devotion as torchbearers of peace never reneged on fighting any war to attain the peace. Be it in some distant and lonely posts in the South Philippine Sea, in the boondocks or the concrete jungles of our country, the AFP's contribution to world peace, national security and stability is just phenomenal.

It is not surprising that the AFP is among the Top 10 performing non-business organizations in the Philippines cited by the Makati Business Club's executive outlook survey in 2019. It has also consistently garnered high satisfaction ratings in Social Weather Stations polls since that year. The Armed Forces obtained, too, the highest trust and approval ratings among government agencies in the Pahayag survey conducted by PUBLiCUS Asia in 2022. For these feats, the nation proudly salutes every soldier, airman, sailor, marine, reservist and civilian human resource of the AFP on its 87th founding anniversary.

Underneath the veneer

The fact that the AFP continues to function and accomplish its mission with distinction is a testament to its resilience and capacity to tuck its internal issues in. But the prevailing situation in the designation and promotion, mainly in and near the apex of the organization, has sorely divided the military. Those who have no political backing were disillusioned. Rather than being corrupted, they are opting to leave the military service with their dignity intact. Those who have resigned to the fate that the malpractice has engulfed the organization have reoriented their moral compasses and played by the emergent rules. And those who cannot take either may likely consider another way of reforming the AFP.

In my past articles, I wrote about how the military suffers in silence as a result of the intemperate and reckless meddling of politicians in the designation to key positions and in the promotion of senior officers. I did not expect it, but the op-ed pieces have hit home across all levels in the AFP's corps of officers both active and retired. The messages I received ranged from encouragement to expressions of gratitude, to laments of what is happening in the upper echelons of the organization, to shooting the messenger. Significantly though, they admit that the malpractice did not only corrupt the established norms, systems and processes, but also undermine the culture of excellence and professionalism in the Philippine military. Instead of meritocracy, it became kleptocracy of the soldier's morals by some shrewd politicians to serve the latter's selfish ends.

What began as benign "pakiusap" became malignant political pressure and undue influence that have metastasized to engulf the organizational being. Junior officers who were taught leadership principles in schools that leaders should "set the example" — good example — saw rotten ones instead. Middle grade officers who were made to realize that in aspiring to be "technically and tactically proficient" there will be competition, healthy, professional contests, saw bitter rivalries. Senior officers who were just about ready to succeed in top AFP posts saw cunning instead of maturity and servant leadership. It must have brought serious disappointments to these subordinate leaders to see their former tactical officers and mentors squabbling and rushing for priority in rank and position. They must be aghast to see their role models succumb to political accommodations to get to the top of the totem pole. It bewilders them why would generals and flag officers in the twilight of their military careers, when their thoughts should be how the AFP will be better after they have retired, will set aside their integrity in exchange for the wheeling and dealing of political patronage.

What can be resolved to be done

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Commander in Chief of the AFP, is a politico sui generis — a politician like no one else. He has eminent powers and prerogatives being the Chief Executive to ensure that the AFP is insulated from political interference that tends to make the military beholden to politicians. We can only beseech him to exert his strong influence over his colleagues to leave the process of selection and promotion to the AFP and allow the organization to resolve its internal issues. He owes a nation of 113 million Filipinos a stable, mature and professional military. Only then can he be assured of a military leadership solely focused on fighting against enemies of the State and mission accomplishment, whose priority is national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity — not the squabble for position or promotion or job security.

The AFP chief of staff being the highest-ranking general has both the authority and the burden to cleanse the ranks. This means that it is incumbent upon him to keep only the most competent and best qualified officers and enlisted personnel and allow the weeding out of those who fall short of the demands of the rank and position. He himself must be resolute in enforcing policies and regulations with no regard to classmate or townmate, friendship or kinship that would cloud his objectivity. Admittedly, this is not easy to do in an organization that thrives on camaraderie. But the AFP's leader must be resolved to enforce policy regulations if he wants to professionalize the organization even if it means being lonely at the top. Leadership, after all, is not a contest for popularity.

Weeding out processes

The inconsistent and non-uniform application of many AFP policies is partly to blame for problems that beset the military today. One of the policies deal with professional military education for officers and enlisted personnel before they can be promoted to the next higher rank or designated to a higher position. These are called career courses that not only provide much-needed academic and leadership training demanded by the rank and position, but also a natural attrition process for those who fail to measure up to the stiff requirements of the courses. In the end, only the officers and enlisted personnel who are best qualified to serve the AFP in a certain rank and position should be retained.

One of these policies demands that an officer must be among the upper quartile of the graduating class in a lower career course before he can advance to the next higher career course. The completion of the latter course, in turn, becomes a prerequisite for designation and subsequent promotion in rank of the officer. Unfortunately, this applies only to career courses offered by allied countries and conducted abroad.

It is high time that the AFP consider the drafting of a policy on career courses offered locally that are taken by roughly 90 percent of the officers. This policy may require a higher level of academic standing, say upper 50 percent of the graduating class, before the officer can be recommended to take up the next higher career course.

This and a few other weeding out processes designed to retain only officers and enlisted personnel who have shown fitness to remain in the service will be concluded and detailed in the next issues. But lest I forget, it is Christmas Day.

Let us all be reminded that redemption came to Christendom when the Son of Man humbled himself to be Emmanuel and become our Savior. May the humility of the birth of Christ Jesus be our beacon. That it is not what material possessions we have or the gifts we give or receive that matter, but the joy we have in our hearts in our being together as a family, as an armed force, as a nation.

May our Christmas be merry and blessed.

Spaniard nabbed in Basilan convicted after plea bargain

From GMA News Online (Dec 22, 2022): Spaniard nabbed in Basilan convicted after plea bargain (By RICHA NORIEGA)

The Basilan Regional Trial Court has found Spanish national Abdelhakim Labidi Adib guilty beyond reasonable doubt for three counts of possession of "a loaded small arm."

According to the Department of Justice, Adib was arrested at a Basilan checkpoint in 2018 carrying explosives, and other items.

Prosecutors in their resolution found probable cause against Adib for three counts of illegal possession of explosives.

However, Adib's counsel during the trial opted for a plea bargain which had him pleading guilty to the lesser offense of three counts of possession of a loaded small arm.

The court, applying the indeterminate Sentence Law, sentenced Adib to suffer for each case imprisonment of a minimum of eight years and one day to a maximum of 14 years, eight months and one day.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla welcomed the conviction.

The DOJ said personnel of the Philippine Army conducted warrantless arrest against Adib on the basis of an intelligence report it received that two suspicious persons will be passing Barangay Townsite, Maluso, Basilan.

Arrested in Basilan

Adib, a Spanish national of Tunisian descent, was arrested in Basilan on January 22.

Two days later, the Armed Forces of the Philippines filed a complaint against him, saying it seized from him two grenades, various improvised explosive device components, various identification cards and cash amounting to P8,520.

“Adib is a known Abu Sayyaf sympathizer and ardent supporter for the establishment of Islamic caliphate in the Philippines,” the complaint stated.

A week later, Adib asked the DOJ to dismiss the criminal complaint against him, claiming he had nothing to do with the improvised explosive device components and hand grenades allegedly found on his person.

He had said he was only in the Philippines as a tourist, but the military found he was an overstaying foreigner as his visa had expired on December 8 last year.

Adib denial

Adib, in denying the charge against him, added that the arresting officers planted the items that were allegedly seized from him.

He also argued that the allegation of his being a sympathizer of the Abu Sayyaf group and a supporter for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the country were “baseless.”

Adib, a Spanish national of Tunisian descent, was arrested in Basilan on January 22, 2018.

Two days later, the Armed Forces of the Philippines filed a complaint against him, saying it seized from him two grenades, various improvised explosive device components, various identification cards and cash amounting to P8,520.

The complaint said then that Adib was an Abu Sayyaf sympathizer and a ardent supporter for the establishment of Islamic caliphate in the Philippines.

A week later, Adib asked the DOJ to dismiss the criminal complaint against him, claiming he had nothing to do with the improvised explosive device components and hand grenades allegedly found on his person.

He had said he was only in the Philippines as a tourist.

Adib, in denying the charge against him, added that the arresting officers planted the items that were allegedly seized from him.

He also argued that the allegation of his being a sympathizer of the Abu Sayyaf group and a supporter for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the country were “baseless.”

2 Abu bandits killed in Basilan military ops

From the Philippine Star (Dec 23, 2022): 2 Abu bandits killed in Basilan military ops (Roel Pareño)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Two Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed in an encounter with soldiers in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan on Tuesday.

Personnel of the Joint Task Force Basilan encountered the bandits in Barangay Baguindan.

Task force commander Brig. Domingo Gobway said there was no reported casualty on the side of the government.

Meanwhile, a member of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute group identified only by his alias of Mas’od surrendered to the military in Madalum, Lanao del Sur.

Mas’od turned over his M14 rifle to Lt. Col. Angestal Angeles II, commanding officer of the 51st Infantry Battalion.

The military said Mas’od was a former member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s 124th Base Command, who was delisted due to his involvement with the Dawlah Islamiya.
– John Unson, Ralph Edwin Villanueva

Peace efforts up after 3 killed in MILF infighting

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 28, 2022): Peace efforts up after 3 killed in MILF infighting (By Edwin Fernandez)

ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM. Mayor Allandatu Angas Sr. (in red right) of Sultan sa Barongis, Maguindanao del Sur, meets with police and military officials on Wednesday (Dec. 28, 2022) to find a solution to help end hostilities in Barangay Barurao involving MILF members. Clashes between two MILF groups in the area erupted on Tuesday and killed three Moro combatants. (Photo courtesy of Sultan sa Barongis MIO)

COTABATO CITY – More military forces have been deployed in Maguindanao del Sur’s town of Sultan sa Barongis after an infighting between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) groups broke out and killed three combatants.

“Normalcy has been restored and the local government is trying its best to resolve the family feud diplomatically,” Maj. Michael Ameril, town police chief, said in an interview Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said the soldiers will serve as peacekeepers and ensure the safety of civilians in Barangay Barurao, Sultan sa Barongis.

The firefight between rival Moro groups started at around 3 a.m. Tuesday and the exchanges of gunfire and mortars lasted for seven hours until Muslim religious leaders and MILF ceasefire panels intervened.

“Efforts are underway to prevent another hostility,” Sultan sa Barongis Mayor Allandatu Angas Sr. said.

Involved in the hostilities are MILF armed groups led by Marhan Sali and Ustadz Daya.

Ameril said the group of Sali, a sub-commander of the MILF 118th base command, first attacked the group of Commander Jaype Emran of 105th base command in Barangay Barurao, apparently to avenge the death of Sali’s relative during the skirmishes on Dec. 14.

“They are all related (by blood); this is now a rido (family feud),” Ameril said.

Angas said the town government has provided initial food packs to families who fled their homes but have returned to their respective communities.

Fish farm harvest 'best Christmas gift' for AgNor ex-rebels

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 28, 2022): Fish farm harvest 'best Christmas gift' for AgNor ex-rebels (By Alexander Lopez)

GOOD HARVEST. Some 38 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who formed a livelihood organization reap the fruits of their efforts as they made the first harvest from their tilapia production project in Barangay Alubihid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte on Dec. 23, 2022. The former NPA rebels surrendered from 2020 to this year to the Army's 23rd Infantry Battalion of the Army. (Photo courtesy of 23IB)

BUTUAN CITY – A group of former combatants of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) is now reaping the hard work they spent on their freshwater fish farming project, five months after conceptualizing the initiative.

The New Life Masigasig Farmers Association (NLMFA) is composed of 38 former NPA guerrillas from Agusan del Norte who surrendered to the 23rd Infantry Battalion (23IB) in 2020.

Aiming to be productive members of their communities, NLMFA members developed a small portion of land in Barangay Alubihid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte for a tilapia production project in July.

“When I decided to abandon the communist movement earlier this year, my focus was shifted into developing a project that will help the other former rebels gain some income, Tatay Apang, the NLMFA chairperson, said in an interview Wednesday.

Apang said NLMFA was formed in June and was registered as a legitimate organization with the Department of Labor and Employment in the province in July.

“After the registration, we underwent training on tilapia production which was facilitated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Agusan del Norte (TESDA-ADN),” Apang said.

TESDA-ADN also provided the organization with the needed tilapia fingerlings when the fish farming project was started in July, he added.

“We are thankful to Lt. Col. Jeffrey Balingao, the commander of the 23IB, Dir. Rey Cueva of TESDA-ADN, and Gov. Angel Amante of the provincial government of Agusan del Norte for this opportunity and continued support,” he said.

The group finally had their tilapia harvest two days before Christmas, collecting more than 200 kilos and sold at PHP100 per kilo in the market.

“This is a great gift to us this Christmas. The good harvest gave us the motivation to continue this project,” Apang said.

He said initial income will be used to expand the project and develop it further for increased productivity.

Alias Rey, NLMFA vice chairperson, said the former rebels felt proud of the success of the fish farming project.

“Some of our members are planning to duplicate the project in their respective communities. Tilapia farming is very promising,” he said.

The project, he added, also served as a therapy for most of them who had undergone violent lives when inside the NPA movement.

“The path of life that I chose now is very different from what we lived before. Now there is peace and a brighter future for our families and children,” he said.

New Army chief in NegOcc backs localized peace talks

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 28, 2022): New Army chief in NegOcc backs localized peace talks (By Nanette Guadalquiver)

TURNOVER OF COMMAND. Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo (center), commander of the 3rd Infantry Division and acting commander of the Visayas Command, with Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte (right) and Col. Michael Samson during the change of command of the 303rd Infantry Brigade at Camp Gerona, Murcia, Negros Occidental on Tuesday (Dec. 27, 2022). Samson was designated as acting brigade commander to succeed Pasaporte, who retired from military service. (Photo courtesy of 303rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army)

BACOLOD CITY – The new chief of the Philippine Army in Negros Occidental has expressed support for localized peace negotiations with members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

Col. Michael Samson, acting commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade (Ibde), said on Wednesday through local engagements, those willing to leave the armed revolution will have the opportunity to surrender without misgivings after being fed by propaganda that they will be harmed by government forces.

"If we erase their apprehensions, we can hold a dialogue, and eventually make a settlement. We can talk out the local issues that can be addressed by the local government units and government agencies, then it's better," he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

"Let's talk about it, but I encourage it to be done locally. The previous national peace talks failed because they blindly follow the teachings or directives of the CPP's Central Committee," he added.

Samson said they will respond with military action to those who insist on fighting the government through terror and violence.

"If they will continue to do that, we will be forced to make their lives miserable. If it's the only way to force them to abandon the armed struggle," he added.

After serving as deputy commander for more than three years, Samson took over the helm of Camp Major Nelson L. Gerona in Murcia town after Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte stepped down as brigade chief as he retired from the military service on Tuesday.

The 303IBde oversees the 79th Infantry Battalion (IB) based in Sagay City and the 62IB in Isabela town, both in Negros Occidental and the 94IB with headquarters in Ayungon town, Negros Oriental.

Kalinaw News: PHP180M Worth ELCAC Projects kicks off in North Cotabato

From Kalinaw News (Dec 28, 2022): PHP180M Worth ELCAC Projects kicks off in North Cotabato

MAKILALA, COTABATO – The local government unit of President Roxas formally kicks off the implementation of road concreting projects, infrastructures, and livelihood programs worth 180 million pesos for its 25 barangays during the groundbreaking ceremony held at Barangay Labu-o, President Roxas, Cotabato Province, December 21, 2022.

The program furthers the DILG and Task Force ELCAC’s Barangay Development Program (BDP) by addressing the development concerns of communities, particularly those once considered Communist Terrorist Group-affected barangays.

Barangays of President Roxas in the Province of Cotabato were once affected by the CTG. They were declared as cleared after the military’s implementation of a community-based Community Support Program in the said barangays.

This ground-breaking ceremony highlighted the efforts and commitment of various agencies in addressing the issues that were once used by the CTGs as propaganda against the government.

Relatedly, nine Peoples Organizations whose members are former members of the underground mass organizations in the said barangays received PhP 2.7M pesos from DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Assistance Program on December 7, 2022, as a starter kit in their livelihood program.

LtCol Ezra L Balagtey during the activity emphasizes the effort of different government agencies to converge their various programs to address the issues and concerns of the communities. “The activity is proof that indeed we have a caring government, we are unifying our effort to address the issues and concerns of our communities,” Balagtey said. “As your partners in peace, we will continue to keep in step with other agencies and continue to do our part in preserving the stability and ensuring the continuous development of people and communities in President Roxas,” Balagtey added.

Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. e-mail:

Kalinaw News: MILF 125th Base Command receives a Livestock program from the Department of Agriculture Region X

From Kalinaw News (Dec 28, 2022): MILF 125th Base Command receives a Livestock program from the Department of Agriculture Region X

Tangcal, Lanao del Norte – Four (4) Carabaos were received by the Lanao Norte Kasalimbago Maranao Association from the Department of Agriculture Region X in a simple turnover ceremony graced by Engr. Maomit M. Tomawis, Deputy Minister for BARMM-MPW on the morning of December 24, 2022, at the Camp Berwar multi-purpose hall.

The Lanao del Norte Kasalimbago Maranao Association is a duly registered organization under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Through the efforts of the 5th Mechanized Infantry Battalion led by Lieutenant Colonel Juvegleen S Escandor and in partnership with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tangcal, the MILF communities and members of 125th Base Command were able to create an alternative livelihood program for the sustainable development of its community. The said livelihood program aims to promote agricultural development through a bottom-up and self-reliant farming system approach where equity, productivity, and sustainability through the use of agricultural resources are given utmost attention.

Mr. Samion Pingno, 125th MILF Base Commander, expressed his most profound gratitude for the unending support of the 5th Mechanized Infantry Battalion and Tangcal LGU in uplifting their way of living.

“Ang hiling namin ay dalawang kalabaw lamang para makatulong sa mga Gawain namin sa bukid pero nabigyan pa kami ng apat. Ito ang tunay naming kailangan bilang magsasaka. Makakaasa kayo na ito’y aming pangangalagaan at pararamihin pa. Makakaasa din kayo na ang buong 125th base command ay kaisa nyo sa pagpapanatili ng kapayapaan dito sa munisipyo ng Tangcal.”

Engr. Maomit, in his message, conveyed that this has a significant impact on the normalization process of MILF, even though the municipality of Tangcal is not under BARMM, the efforts of the different stakeholders only show that they are not forgotten. He also pledged support from the municipality to sustain these kind of programs.

On the other hand, LTC Escandor was elated about the success of the program. He extended his gratitude to the stakeholders involved in this endeavor and urged everyone to continue the harmonious relationship. He also highlighted that the 5th Mechanized Infantry Battalion will always go the extra mile to sustain the gains of the peace process and support the vision of the province, to have an inclusive and sustainable development.

Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. e-mail:

Kalinaw News: 100 former rebels, supporters in Aurora denounced CPP-NPA-NDF on its 54th Founding Anniversary

From Kalinaw News (Dec 28, 2022): 100 former rebels, supporters in Aurora denounced CPP-NPA-NDF on its 54th Founding Anniversary

BALER, Aurora-100 former rebels and its supporters in the province of Aurora gathered on Monday denounce the atrocities, lies and deception committed by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA) during the peace rally conducted in front of the municipality of San Luis on Monday, December 26, 2021.

Ka Adim who is the over-all president of the six peoples organization (POs), namely: IPs Association; Solo Parents Association; Samahan ng Magsasaka ng Camalatan Nonong Sr.; Nagkakaisang Mamamayan sa Dicaluyongan Association; Masaganang Perlas ng Silanganan ng Aurora Province Association and Sambayanan Association.

The group marched in San Luis proper and burned the CPP-NPA-NDF’s flags signifying their denouncement of CPP-NPA terroristic and violent acts to the Filipino people.

The group of personalities who were all FRs also reiterated their allegiance to the government during the event.

Ka Eric representing the Nagkakaisang Mamamayan sa Dicaluyongan Association said that his group is in full support to the government efforts for peace and Nation Building.

He added that it is timely to hold an activity criticizing the long-running communist insurgency since the CPP-NPA-NDF founder Jose Maria Sison is dead.

“Don’t support the terrorist organization. They must disappear because these organization disturb the peaceful living of the people of Aurora,” he said.

Ka Eric said that most of the recruits from the CTGs were coming from the schools and universities.

“They just disappear and their lives became meaningless. It is not too late and we have hope. We cannot solve the problem through armed conflict,” Ka Eric said.

Ka Norma recalled that the year 80’s was so dark wherein revolutionary bases accumulated armed political strength in Sitio Kamalatan in Barangay Nonong Sr., San Luis, Aurora.

“It was dark wherein the CPP-NPA sowing terror like wildfire to the community. The terrorist organization have staged hostilities to include killings of the civilians, burning of private vehicles owned by businessmen, the sabotage on public establishments and vital installations that severely affected innocent civilians. We do not want to it to happen. Itinigil na po namin ang pagsuporta sa kanila kaya kami ay narito. Itigil na ang kasinungalingan na sumisira sa buhay ng mga kabataan at bawat pamilya,” she said.

Ka Diego a resident of Barangay Diteki, San Luis, Aurora said that the civilians greatly affected by the armed activities of the terrorist organization.

“We do not want it to happen again. Armed conflict should be ended. Handa po kaming tumulong at sumuporta sa mga programa ng gobyerno. Sa CPP-NPA, huwag na ninyo kaming linlangin. Mariin po naming kinokondena ang CPP-NPA-NDF,” he said.

Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. e-mail:

CPP/Sison: Jose Maria Sison's Valedictory Message to the Party and Filipino peopleThe Filipino People’s Democratic Revolution Is Invincible

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Dec 23, 2022): Jose Maria Sison's Valedictory Message to the Party and Filipino peopleThe Filipino People’s Democratic Revolution Is Invincible

This article is available in PilipinoBisaya

Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairperson
Communist Party of the Philippines

December 23, 2022

It is with deepest grief that I have to be the one to issue my husband’s last and final message to the revolutionary forces and the people on the 54th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines. He started discussing with me the outline and writing of the message a few days a month ago when he just got discharged from the hospital at his second confinement in November and just before the start of his third and last confinement on November 28. He wrote the first draft on paper, which I keyed in to the computer and then he reread and corrected it twice to produce this final draft below.

Some fifteen or so minutes before Joma took his last breath, he we was still talking about ensuring the revolution would win victory and advancing to socialism. With his last thoughts he remained optimistic about the Filipino people whom he served with utmost determination.


The Filipino People’s Democratic Revolution Is Invincible

Jose Maria Sison, Founding Chairman
Communist Party of the Philippines

December 26, 2022

Since after the reestablishment of Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26, 1968 and the prompt founding of the New People’s Army on March 29, 1969, every reactionary regime of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system in the Philippines (from the time of Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. to the present) has adopted and implemented a strategic operational plan to destroy the Filipino people’s democratic revolution.

But each strategic ‘oplan’ has always utterly failed and instead resulted in the significant growth of the revolutionary movement. Marcos went to the extent of imposing a fascist dictatorship on the people from 1972 to 1986 on the pretext of suppressing the CPP and armed revolution, “save the republic and build a new society”. But his power grab merely stimulated and accelerated the all-round growth of the revolutionary movement nationwide. Ultimately, the armed revolution inspired and backed up the people’s mass uprisings in Metro Manila and nationwide in order to remove the fascist dictatorship from power.

The pseudo-liberal democratic regimes that followed the Marcos fascist dictatorship tried to combine their respective military strategic ‘oplans’ with tactics of deception, including offers of prolonged ceasefire and peace negotiations without addressing the roots of the armed conflict or civil war. Every reactionary regime has been obsessed with destroying the revolutionary movement and preserving the unjust ruling system of oppression and exploitation.

It has used the anti-terrorist card anytime to delay, suspend or terminate the peace negotiations, despite such major joint agreements between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines as The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 as framework for peace negotiations and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law of 1998.

Despite the peace negotiations, every reactionary regime has taken the liberty of killing cadres and members of the revolutionary movement. When the NPA captured General Obillo of the reactionary armed forces under the terms of the CARHRIHL and international laws in 1998, it immediately announced willingness to release him as a prisoner of war upon agreement on the safe procedure for his release. But Estrada continuously took offense and used the capture of his general to become the first reactionary president to terminate the peace negotiations in May 1999.

After his overthrow by people’s mass uprisings in 2001, the Arroyo regime agreed to resume the peace negotiations in 2002, with the Royal Norwegian Government as the third-party facilitator. But in 2004 it became obvious that the Arroyo regime was following US dictates to slow down the negotiations on substantive issues and to suspend them indefinitely and unleash bigger military operations in the name of the “whole-of-nation approach”. These military operations failed utterly to destroy the people’s war. The rabid anti-communist defense secretary would eventually commit suicide upon exposure of his corruption in the handling of the military budget and even of the retirement funds of AFP officers and personnel.
I. Complete sabotage of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations

But the worst came when Duterte became president. He pretended to be eager to conduct peace negotiations but he carried out an all-out war policy against the revolutionary movement by extending Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan until January 2017 when Oplan Kapayapaan was adopted and implemented. Instead of joining the NDFP in addressing the roots of the civil war through basic social, economic and political reforms, he concentrated on trivial and puerile tactics calculated to push the revolutionary movement to capitulation by demanding that the people’s democratic government give up its legitimate powers, offering CPP representation in his cabinet prior to a peace agreement and then self-contradictorily including the NPA as target of his martial law proclamation against the Maute group in Mindanao in 2017.

Failing to achieve his short-sighted objectives in trying outwit the NDFP, Duterte agreed with his military minions to stop serious peace negotiations with the NDFP by hyping fake “localized peace talks” under the surveillance and control of the GRP. Duterte and AFP officers became obsessed with increasing the military budget to accommodate their insatiable appetite for corruption and the operations to red-tag, intimidate people and abduct, detain, torture and murder their political opponents. Thus, the ground was laid for the termination of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations on November 23, 2017 by Duterte after openly consulting US President Trump.

The Duterte’s termination of the peace negotiations since 2017 was intended not only as a negotiating trick but as the beginning of ending permanently the peace negotiations. Subsequently, Duterte designated and proscribed the CPP and NPA on December 5, 2017 and ultimately the NDFP on the same grounds, created the National Task Force to Eliminate the Communist Local Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) and took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to railroad the Anti-Terror Law (ATL) in the servile Congress and the creation of the Anti-Terrorism Council to put the Philippine once more under state terrorism or fascist dictatorship, violate the national and democratic right of the people with impunity and allow those in power to commit treason, tyranny and thievery.

Within this anti-national and anti-democratic framework, Duterte has passed on the reactionary government and ruling system to the Marcos Junior-Sara Duterte tandem by completely controlling the automated electoral system and fabricating more than 20 million votes in favor of the tandem and its candidates for Congress and local executive positions. The current de facto Marcos-Duterte regime is under the dictates of US imperialism and the big comprador-bureaucrat interests of the Marcos and Duterte dynasties and will condone and continue the monstrous crimes of the previous regime until the opposition forces, the revolutionary movement and the broad masses of the people can act to change the situation in the Philippines.

In the meantime, the Filipino people have to suffer the rising level of oppression and exploitation due to the worsening chronic crisis of the ruling system and the anti-national and anti-democratic policies of the Marcos-Duterte tandem. Day after day, they have to suffer, defy and fight not only the bloody human rights violations but also the fake news in the psywar campaign of those in power that the Filipino people and their revolutionary forces have given up the revolutionary struggle for national liberation and democracy.

It is absolutely untrue that the people’s revolutionary forces are dwindling and being defeated and that the Red cadres, commanders and fighters–all tested and tempered in more than 54 years of victorious people’s war—are rapidly being killed or captured in focused military operations or surrendering because of such band-aid offers like the graft-laden Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program, Community Support Program and Barangay Development Plan. And yet the ruling clique and its military minions keep on demanding more public funds not only to attack the people but also to pocket the larger part of the military budget.

The reactionary armed forces have in fact officially admitted that the NPA grew in strength during the Duterte regime. Towards the end of the Aquino II regime in January 2016, when they claimed the success of Oplan Bayanihan, they announced that the NPA commanders and fighters have been reduced to only 3,900. Now, they claim that at the end of the Duterte regime that they have caused the surrender of nearly 24,000 Red fighters. Unwittingly, they expose themselves as big liars and and big budget thieves and admit that the NPA actually increased its strength during the Duterte regime.
II. Why the people’s democratic revolution is invincible

The Filipino people’s democratic revolution is invincible because it is just and necessary to fight for and achieve national liberation and democracy against the three evil forces of foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism in a rapidly rotting semi-colonial and semifeudal society. This new democratic revolution is a continuation of the old democratic revolution that was started in 1896 by the Katipunan and was victorious against Spanish colonial rule but was defeated by the US war of aggression that started in 1898. This time, the leading class in the revolution is no longer the liberal bourgeoisie but the proletariat in the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution.

So long as the aforesaid three evil forces dominate and afflict the Filipino nation, the ground remains fertile for the growth and advance of the people’s democratic revolution. The chronic crisis of the ruling system has been worsening not only due to the factors of exploitation and oppression within the Philippines but due to those in the world capitalist system, chiefly US monopoly capitalism. The Philippines is fortunate to have rich natural resources for its own development but unfortunately the imperialist powers and their reactionary puppets have always agreed to exploit the cheap labor of the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the abundant natural resources of the people.

At every major shift of its economic policy in East Asia, US imperialism has always made it a point to prevent the economic development through a program of genuine land reform and national industrialization in the Philippines. We have seen such phenomenon in the periods when the US favored Japan’s economic reconstruction and expansion after World War II and the economic growth of the “economic tigers” to serve as anti-communist front liners during the Cold War and when it promoted neoliberalism and fascism and developed a neoliberal partnership with China until their ongoing decoupling and intensified economic competition and political rivalry.

In the course of its closest neoliberal partnership with China, the US and its chief Filipino puppets encouraged and allowed China to encroach on the West Philippine Sea in order to have the pretext for the US to circumvent the constitutional prohibition against foreign military bases and forces in the Philippines by making the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement to allow the US military forces to have exclusive bases and facilities within the camps and military reserve areas of the reactionary armed forces. But now, the US is conspicuously locked in a contest with China to plunder the natural resources of the Philippines and the rest of ASEAN.

China is more than ever hell-bent on keeping its artificial and militarized islands in the West Philippine Sea because its own undersea explorations show that there are at least USD 26.3 trillion of gas, far more than enough to carry out genuine land reform and industrialize the Philippines and thereby fulfill the main socio-economic demand in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. Despite all its pious and glittering generalities for helping the ASEAN develop and for starting its reduction of carbon emissions by 2030, China is determined to grab the gas, marine and other natural resources of the Filipino people in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippine economy and government are bankrupt due to its internal ills and the unprecedented crisis of the world capitalist system. Due mainly to extreme corruption, import-dependent consumption and military overspending, the Duterte regime has more than doubled in only six years to Php 12.5 trillion the Philippine public debt of Php 5.9 trillion which had been accumulated since 1902. He did a favor to Marcos Jr. by making him president through the fabrication of more than 20 million votes in the last elections but he has given him the big problem of looking for Php 1.6 trillion to pay for amortization and interest payments to support the Php 5.2 trillion budget for 2023.

The Philippine is now reeling from severe conditions of economic depression, decreased export of raw materials and labor, lessened tax revenues and tighter international credit. Production and employment have fallen so steeply. There is severe decline in food production, including rice, vegetable and fish, and inflation is soaring. But the Marcos-Duterte ruling team circulate the painful joke that the people can always buy imported food, despite the big drop in earnings from the export of raw materials and cheap labor.

The Filipino people are outraged that the two worst political dynasties (Marcoses and Dutertes) rule the Philippines, have no solution to the urgent basic problems of the people, but engage in the most scandalous forms of corruption (e.g. unaudited confidential and intelligence funds) and in the increase of the military budget to intimidate the people and suppress mass resistance despite the psywar claims that the revolutionary forces have been destroyed or their actual strength reduced to only five guerrilla fronts nationwide.
III. The armed counterrevolution will continue to fail

The armed counterrevolution being waged by the Marcos-Duterte ruling combine will continue to fail because the objective conditions of the rapidly worsening crisis of the ruling system are making it impossible for the ruling classes of big compradors and landlords and their bureaucrats to rule in the old way (be it the pseudo-liberal or fascist way); and because it is actually the subjective forces of the revolutionary movement and the broad mases of the people that are gaining strength and advancing the new democratic revolution under the class leadership of the proletariat and along the general line of protracted people’s war

As the advanced detachment of the proletariat, the CPP has made great achievements in its ideological, political and organizational work. It has been guided by the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and has applied it on the history and current social circumstances of the Filipino people, It has put forward the general line of people’s democratic revolution with the strategic line of protracted people’s war and with the socialist perspective. It has upheld the principle of democratic centralism and has built a nationwide organization that is well integrated with the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the rest of the people.

There is no way that the reactionary state can stop the few CPP cadres from performing their tasks in ideological work. From year to year and from decade to decade, under the auspices of the Revolutionary School of Mao Zedong Thought, they were able to educate more Party cadres and members in the course of mass work and put them through the basic, intermediate and advanced levels of Party education after they take the revolutionary mass course for mass activists.

Revolutionary studies can be carried out in so many ways far beyond the limited capabilities of the enemy to spy on and the study materials are now widely available in hard and soft copies.

In their struggle for national and social liberation, the Filipino people regard the CPP as the most important revolutionary weapon responsible for leading the peoples democratic revolution. In turn, the CPP wields two other powerful weapons, armed struggle and the united front (constituted as the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, respectively). The NPA is the main force for fighting and defeating the coercive apparatuses of the reactionary state and enabling the rise of the people’s democratic government. The NDFP is responsible for building the comprehensive national united front and winning over the people in their tens of millions to the revolution against the armed counterrevolution.

The NPA carries out the strategic line of protracted people’s war of encircling the cities from the countryside. In a semicolonial and semifeudal country like the Philippines, the countryside provides for the widest possible social and physical terrain and area of maneuver for developing the strength of the people’s army through definite strategic stages, such as the defensive, the stalemate and counter-offensive. Most of the people are in the countryside. And the main democratic content of the peasant masses is agrarian revolution, the satisfaction of the democratic demand for land.

The NPA is tasked to wage armed struggle as the main form of struggle, carry out genuine land reform from the minimum to the maximum stage and build the revolutionary mass base. It has a major role in building the mass organizations and the organs of political of power that constitute the people’s democratic government and carrying out mass campaigns, programs and activities that implement mass education and organization, land reform and socio-economic development, self-defense, settlement of disputes, protection of the environment and other important tasks.

In accordance with the strategic defensive stage, the NPA been victorious in carrying out the people’s war through guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. This has allowed the NPA to build the guerilla fronts initially in a few areas and regions and eventually to the eleven major islands inhabited by 94 per cent of the people. Now, the NPA operates in 74 out of the 82 Philippine provinces and enjoys the support of the Filipino people and by the NDFP in all the Philippine provinces.

Every reactionary regime has boasted of being able to destroy the armed revolution within the current term of whoever is the president. But the semicolonial and semifeudal character of the ruling system and its ever-worsening chronic crisis put limits on its ability to control the population and suppress the people’s resistance. At any given time, the NPA and other revolutionary forces can work freely and launch tactical offensives in more than 80 per cent of the Philippine archipelago.

Of course, the reactionary armed forces and police can do their best to identify and target the NPA guerrilla fronts with focused or concentrated military campaigns. But the strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare have served the NPA very well. When the enemy advances in superior force, the NPA main force retreats but deploys command-detonated land mines and sniper teams against the advancing enemy. When the enemy displaces and occupies the area of an NPA guerrilla front, the NPA surveils the enemy deployment in order to be able to know how to harass the enemy camp, hit the isolated perimeter guards and ambush the patrol units.

When the encamped enemy tires out and retreats, it is the turn of the NPA to make the advance and deliver more offensive blows. But even while the enemy seems to have the upper hand through his advance and encampment, the NPA force on tactical retreat in one guerrilla front can initiate tactical offensives that it can win in a nearby area. Worst of all for the enemy, as has been often the case, in so many other guerrilla fronts in the same region and all other regions the NPA take the initiative to launch tactical offensives by way of strengthening themselves through struggle and helping the guerilla fronts under focused or concentrated enemy attacks.

On the whole in its entire history, the CPP has been excellent and successful in building the nationwide strength of the revolutionary forces by being able to lead and coordinate them in various forms of struggle and, in the field of revolutionary armed struggle, using an existing guerrilla front to beget other guerilla fronts in the same region and provide experienced CPP cadres and NPA commanders and fighters to other regions.

The initial guerrilla front in Tarlac in 1969 led to the building of several guerrilla fronts in Central, Northern and Southern Luzon from 1969 to 1971 and the big wave of CPP-NPA expansion teams to the Visayas and Mindanao from 1972 onwards. Then within the same decade of the 1970s, the guerrilla fronts of the Visayas and Mindanao helped each other and also provided experienced CPP cadres and Red commanders to Luzon. The CPP, NPA and NDFP have become so well-rooted on a nationwide scale and well-integrated with the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the rest of the people.
IV. Perspective of the people’s democratic revolution

The people’s war in the Philippines is still at the stage of the strategic defensive, advancing from the middle phase to the advanced phase. In concrete terms, nationwide guerrilla warfare is the main form of armed struggle being carried out nationwide. At the same time, NPA companies have arisen from the platoons in preparation for the completion of the strategic defensive and advance to the strategic stalemate wherein companies and battalions will have increasing role in tactical offensives.

The strategic stalemate will probably be shorter than the already protracted strategic defensive with the NPA companies and battalions. Such forces already in stable base areas can be regrouped regiments and battalions in an even shorter time for the strategic counteroffensives to capture or compel the surrender of the last and most fortified and isolated holdouts of the enemy. This is merely a line of probability based of successful civil wars. But there is always the contrary line of probability that US imperialism launches a war of aggression against the people before the Philippine revolution.

The reactionary Marcos-Duterte tandem is hell-bent on continuing the armed counter-revolution to preserve the ruling system, serve the interests of US imperialism and let the current civil war pave the way for a US war of aggression. The Filipino people have no choice but to carry out the new democratic revolution by continuing the protracted people’s war against not only the reactionary state in the current civil war but also the rising military intervention and probable war of aggression by US imperialism.

But there are growing limits to what the US can do to dominate the Philippines, East Asia and the world. It is still No. 1 imperialist power but it is on a strategic decline from its peak after a period of enjoying the status of being sole superpower after the 1991 collapse the Soviet Union, partnering with China in “neoliberal” globalization, expanding the NATO, launching wars of aggression under the so-called neoconservative policy and wasting the enormous amount of USD 10 trillion without any significant increase of territory for exploitation.

The limits of US imperialist power have been exposed by its failure to take over the oil resources and build 16 military bases in Iraq, to destroy the Syria-Russia-Iran alliance, to break the revolutionary struggle of the Turkish and Kurdish people and to hold on to Afghanistan surrendering it to the Taliban. In the current Russian-Ukraine conflict, the US has been using Ukraine as proxy to threaten and provoke Russia to launch a war but conflict has merely served both Russian and US imperialism to waste resources. It has led even the NATO allies of the US to complain why they have to spend more money for energy supply from the US than for the cheap gas from the Russians.

Despite the recent hype that the US can wage to its advantage a war of aggression against China, DPRK and Russia, the people must be reminded that the US lost the Asian mainland and Eurasia as early as the 20th century after losing a series of wars. The drive of US imperialism for wars of aggression and the danger of world war and nuclear war is still restrained by the fear of mutual annihilation and human extinction on the part of the US and all other nuclear powers. Global warming appears to be more imminent as a threat to human existence than nuclear war.

The crisis of the world capitalist system is rapidly worsening due to the over-accumulation of monopoly capital and over-extraction of surplus value from the toiling masses and the intelligentsia. All major contradiction are intensifying such as those between labor and capital, between the imperialist powers themselves, between the imperialist powers and the oppressed peoples and nations and between the imperialist power and the countries assertive of national independence and desirous of democracy and socialism.

The 2008 financial meltdown has developed into a global depression far more prolonged and severe than the Great Depression of the 1930s, which led to the rise of fascism and World War II. But in the meantime, there are still the UN and multilateral and bilateral relations of states among both the main imperialist contenders and third world countries that uphold their own national sovereignty and their own interest in peace and development and wish to fight fascism and imperialist war.

It is the toiling masses and the rest of the people who fight for national liberation, democracy and socialism against imperialism and all reaction who let us hope for a bright future of world peace and common prosperity. They are now waging anti-imperialist and democratic mass struggle against the current global crisis that has been brought about by revisionist betrayal of socialism, neoliberalism and fascism. These are the prelude to the resurgence of the world proletarian-socialist revolution.