By MARIA MALAYA
Spokesperson, NDFP – North-Eastern Mindanao Region
Other versions: Bisaya
Today we celebrate with utmost joy the Filipino people's gallant struggle for national liberation and genuine democracy under a united front. Thirty seven years ago on April 24, in the face of the fascist Marcos dictatorship, revolutionary organizations came together to form the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Through the years the NDFP has proven its commitment in advancing the revolutionary struggle of the Filipino people to overthrow the semi-colonial, semi-feudal system which oppresses, deprives and exploits majority of the masses.
The shamelessly corrupt and evil US-Arroyo regime and its utterly inhumane anti-insurgency campaign Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2 aimed to quash dissent and perpetuate the regime in power, but failed miserably to douse revolutionary fervor and only succeeded in driving the oppressed and exploited masses to fight strongly for their rights. It is effective only in pushing the best sons and daughters of the Filipino people into waging armed revolution and joining the New People's Army.
The people's hatred of Gloria Arroyo has spilled over the election season where progressive, patriotic and anti-Arroyo candidates have more chances of winning in the coming May elections than the utterly corrupt Arroyo minions who are in power. Conversely, the election season has widened the cracks even more within the entire ruling system amidst series of political attacks thrown against the ruling Arroyo clique and defections to opposition forces and the heating and bloody race for power. It is likewise favorable for the advancement of the people's demand for revolutionary change and unfavorable for the ruling system wanting to perpetuate the oppressive status quo.
In the North Eastern Mindanao Region (NEMR), membership in the NDFP allied organizations is flourishing and increasing inspite of the Oplan Bantay Laya terror. Membership in underground mass organizations grew by 89% within the 9 years of OBL. Mass base increased by 46% within the same 9 years of brutal military attack while consolidated areas increased by 87%. Organs of political power were established in several communities and barrios.
In these areas, victories in the implementation of genuine agrarian reform were achieved, and the people, with its Milisya ng Bayan (People's Militia) and Red Fighters (the New People's Army), protect the land and its resources from the uncontrolled greed of multi-national and transnational mining and logging companies.
It has successfully punished despotic landlords and mining and logging companies. The most recent is the successful attack against the SUDECOR Logging Company of the Puyat Family in Surigao del Sur. Under Oplan Bantay Laya, the number of NPA tactical offensives against the state's instrument of chaos, the mercenary Armed Forces of the Philippines, increased by 32%.
In the last two months, five mayoral candidates and their armed escorts, who refused to comply with the policy of no-firearms in campaign sorties in barangays, were disarmed by NPA Red Fighters. These were: Jessie Callano and his escort in San Vicente, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur on April 10; Caloy Egay's escorts in Lahi, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte on April 15; incumbent and unopposed mayor Pimentel in Tandag, Surigao del Sur; Thelma Lamanilao on April 20 in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur; and incumbent mayor and candidate Polizon and his councilors and escorts last April 22 in Santa Juana, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur.
The effective enforcement of the policy which protects the people from these politicians was made possible because of the growing number and strength of the revolutionary forces led by the Communist Party of the Philippines, with the New People's Army as the main instrument and under a united front forged primarily by a worker-peasant alliance.
In the months of March and April, mass actions on a region-wide level were launched by the united force of peasants and workers demanding genuine agrarian reform. More than 3,000 lumad people took to the streets on Earth Day in defence of their ancestral domain against profit-hungry mining and logging concessions that employ operations that are environmentally destructive. These reflect the ever-growing strength of the people's struggle in the Caraga region.
All indications point to an advancing people's revolutionary struggle. But we must work harder to ensure more victories.
Let us celebrate the founding anniversary of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines by strengthening our resolve and doubling our efforts. Revolutionary organizations must arouse, organize and mobilize the majority of the people by the thousands within and outside of their ranks. Red fighters mostly come from the lumad people and peasantry, and so the petty bourgeoisie especially the educated youth, must go to the mountains and join the New People's Army. All-out effort must be made towards building the people's army and advancing the national democratic revolution from the stage of the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate within five years!
Long live the revolution!
Long Live the National Democratic Front of the Philippines!
Onward with the struggle!