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Confronting old state, New Peoples Army in Philippines unable to stage strategic offensive

By Harsh Thakor 
In recent weeks a series of different actions have been undertaken by the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of Philippines to consolidate the People’s War, in Phillipines. They have heroically retaliated the neo-fascist armed offensive terrorising even civilians, creating tremors in the camp of the enemy and boosted people’s striking capacity.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) congratulated the units of the New People’s Army (NPA) which staged tactical offensives on the islands of Negros and Masbate over the past few days retaliating the mortal attacks on the peasant masses perpetrated by the military and police forces of the Marcos fascist regime.
In the most of escalated attacks and abuses carried out by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) against the broad masses, especially in the countryside, it is imperative for the NPA to undertake armed struggle to defend the rights of the people.
The 24th Infantry Battalion of the AFP is embarking on military actions that destroy the backbone of productivity of the people, and continuously frames people it suspects to be supporters of the NPA. Also the so-called Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the State is causing only suffering to the people in Abra region.

Actions

One AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) was assassinated on the 27th of June, by the Agustin Begnalen Command of the New People’s Army – Abra. in Sitio Mangmangga, Barangay Naguillan, Sallapadan, in the northern province of Abra.He was executed for the crimes of the AFP for the crimes commited over the people.
On the 6th and 10th of July the NPA launched a massive demolition operation in Sorsogon. , targeting the soldiers of the 22nd Infantry Battalion of the old Filipino State. In first offensive of the operation on the 6th, the NPA attacked soldiers who had been camping in an evacuation center for three weeks, who fled and stormed into houses of civilians to use them as human shields. In the second offensive of the operation the NPA blew up the fence of a 22nd Infantry Battalion camp.
On the 7th of July, 7:00 in the morning, the NPA attacked a team from the 94th Infantry Battalion in Negros Occidental who were on their way to the house where they would be resting when they were attacked.
On July 30th, the NPA killed one soldier and wounded another from the 62nd Infantry Battalion in Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan, in Negros Oriental, when the Guerrillas intervened, to intersperse combat operations. On July 25th, in a harass operation, a soldier from the same battalion unit was wounded in Negros Occidental, and another police officer was injured on August 2nd in Guihulngan. NPA reports that 30 soldiers have graduated from their military training in Samar area to be able to give a blow to the People’s War.
On August 5th, the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) bombarded different towns in Guihulngan starting at 5:00 a.m for more than an hour and a half. in the area that the peasants use to plant vegetables. This is part and parcel of the strategy overall, of the Philippine National Police which makes it a habit to sabotage the harmony and economic activity of the peasants.. There is still sustained military presence in the area, interrogating residents and flying drones.
The revolutionary armed struggle confronting and threatening old State to establish a new democracy is far from being marginalised. It should be mentioned that on July 24th, 12,000 people protested in various cities in the Philippines against their wretched conditions, 10,000 of them in Quenzon City. These protests were staged under the banner “More wages, livelihoods and food on the table! Stop the violence! Well-being of the masses, not of the nobility” to protest the exorbitant rise in prices that the country is undergoing.. The protests were joined by democratic groups from South Tagalong, Central Luzon, Cordillera and other neigh boring regions. There were also marches in more cities that mobilised up to 600 people and democratic groups, such as Metro Manila and Isla de Negros. These protests spread like wildfire internationally and were carried out by groups of migrant Filipinos in the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand or Australia. The protests were aimed against the Marcos government, which is paying a deaf ear to grievances such as hunger and anti-popular measures that endanger the livelihood of the smallest fishermen.
During the first days of August, a substantial rise in prices of goods in the Asian country. took place. The newspaper Ang Bayan, a democratic newspaper in the Philippines, analyzes that this is caused by the repressive policies of the Marcos regime: “This destroys the productive forces and deepens the agrarian, non-industrialized and economically backward forces. The ability to produce food and other goods is diminishing, and is increasingly dependent on imports, external loans and foreign investment. They add that this only serves the interests of large foreign banks and monopoly capitalists while undermining the economic rights of the people. They also add that the situation is worse where the Marcos regime allows big landowners, the comprador bourgeoisie and foreign capitalists to seize hundreds of thousands of hectares of land for plantations and mines, “green” energy projects and ecotourism, among others. “Hundreds of thousands of farmers are forced off the land and deprived of other means of production and livelihoods resulting in widespread bankruptcy and poverty.” With the objective of winning these economic rights it is necessary to embark on path of the national democratic struggle: “Only by achieving true freedom from foreign control can a nation be established, sensitive to the needs of the people, standing on its own feet and advancing towards a modern and progressive socialist opening.”
Furthermore, 2,000 residents from different provinces of Samar staged a march on August 7 demanding an end to destructive mining industries planted the islands of Homonhon and Manicani. The action started with a caravan from different towns to Borongan City where they marched together. Ang Bayan reports that the purpose of the march was to “explain the negative effects of mining operations” on the island and “to call for an end to these activities.” Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines (UP)-Tacloban Student Council extended its solidarity in action against mining operations. Four mining companies are currently operating to extract nickel and chrome on the island of Homonhon: Techiron Resources Inc, Emir Mineral Resources Corp, King Resources Mining Corp, and Global Min-met Resources Inc.
On 14th of August the CPP saluted the actions and initiative of the NPA, undertaking t a series of tactical offensives in Negros and Masbate, and persuaded it to initiate more offensives in defence of the rights of the people and to consolidate these attacks against the old Philippine State. Two days later, news of new successful NPA actions spread like wildfire in these two territories: the first one was in Masbate, where NPA troops ambushed a pick up carrying several armed agents of the Philippine State, destroying it and injuring its occupants.. Paramilitaries in the area were responsible for patronising the Filipino State and large mining companies which evacuate peasants off their land,.
The other action was carried out in Negros Oriental, where an armed civilian known as “Pen-Pen Fajardo” was disarmed, snatching four pistols from him that were confiscated by the NPA. This man used the weapons to inflict terror on the masses.
The NPA has also announced that a Revolutionary People’s Court in Negros Occidental has sentenced Jomarie Benitez to death and executed him for committing multiple crimes against the people, including switching to the AFP where many civilians, wounded guerrillas and opponents of the old Filipino State were stationed, to facilitate their elimination.

Conclusion

The New People’s Army is exhibiting death defying courage and hitting the enemy at it’s strongest point, manifesting trend of massline. However it is unable to take the peoples war onto stage of strategic offensive, and is locked in the zone of a strategic defensive stage. It is unable to penetrate, coordinate or link the people’s war with the urban areas. Possibly, it is not able to devise a people’s war path unique to the situation in Philippines, or devise a proper strategy to overpower the neo-fascist Marcos regime. In recent times the movement has received mortal blows, even to democratic activists. The United front against the old state seems to have weakened. It is not able to sufficiently build up revolutionary mass political base or movement to back the armed struggle.
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Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who has studied national liberation struggles. Thanks information from Red Herald and Red Spark

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