Journalists' role in standing on the side of the people deeply appreciated
The 42nd anniversary celebration of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in Mindanao, held at Brgy. Pong-on, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur on 26 December 2010 and sponsored by the North Eastern Mindanao Region (NEMR), was an unprecedented success. It was an event that required meticulous planning, tremendous mobilization, and sharp tactical cunning.
The 18-day truce between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) from 16 December 2010 to 3 January 2011 was a gain of the revolution and Filipino people that gave further leverage to mount one of the most remarkable events in the history of the Philippine revolution led by the Communist Party of the Philippines.
It was remarkable because it was graced by an unprecedented mass attendance of more than 11,000 people from different sectors in all provinces of Caraga and other parts of Mindanao, packing the little-known Brgy. Pong-on with a kilometer line of over 150 vehicles.
It is equally remarkable especially since the Communist Party has had emerged victorious over Oplan Bantay Laya, which was Arroyo regime's nine-year brutal onslaught against revolutionary forces. The brutal counter-insurgencies of the past five presidents of the puppet Philippine regimes have failed to decimate the Philippine revolution that is loved and embraced by the Filipino masses.
The event was a manifesto that the revolutionary movement is rooted from the masses and is supported by broad alliance of the workers and peasants and other middle-strata forces; that it is not a terrorist organization, and that it truly banners the interest of the toiling people for national liberation and democracy.
The event proceeded not, however, without any brazen and blatant attempt on the part of the fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to discourage, harass and demoralize the masses and friends, including the media, from attending the occasion through series of checkpoints they have set up on the very day.
This was clearly a barefaced breach of the truce, belying earlier pronouncements made both by the AFP's chain of command and by their commander-in-chief, Noynoy Aquino himself, that they would "respect" their own ceasefire declaration.
On the part of the NPA unit hosting the event, a dilemma arose that needed to be tacticized and rightly decided. The sheer fact that enemy AFP forces were critically an earshot from the anniversary grounds, there was the likelihood that they would dare a direct attack. The dilemma was whether to continue the celebration or not, despite the arrival of masses and friends to the venue and other considerations.
For the NPA's part, it decided not to stage counter-action so as not to put the people there at risk, and in the spirit of ceasefire. All hosting NPA forces in the perimeter are ordered to withdraw to a location away from the massive crowd in attendance to protect the people and take them out of harm's way.
Similarly, on the part of both local and national media, its members have had played a highly appreciated and significant role in standing on the side of the people, defying and helping thwart the AFP's attempt to ultimately foil the said event. There were close to 50 press members who came to cover and witness for themselves the celebrations.
The program flow was followed, which consisted of: (a) the main program that featured the main anniversary message from the NDFP-Mindanao spokesperson, Ka Oris, and a cultural presentation that narrated the development through the years of the revolutionary movement in the country, particularly in Mindanao; (b) the peace forum, which highlighted prospects for the resumption of formal talks on February; (c) a press conference with Ka Oris; and, (d) a special program for the masses.
The people, most of all, who braved the enemy's threat and other risks, were the motive force in the very success of the CPP anniversary celebrations. Their overwhelming response and conviction were indeed a testimony of the strong, correct political leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines among the exploited peoples.
The event ended on a high note, especially with the masses revitalized with the Communist Party's call for the revolutionary movement to "fulfill the requirements in order to attain the strategic stalemate phase of the people's war."
All delegates, including members of the host NPA unit, left the anniversary premises with the renewed resolve to win bigger victories, despite threats from the US-Aquino regime's new military campaign Oplan Bayanihan (OPB), for the people's democratic revolution.
We especially gave thanks to our friends from the media sector. Your unwavering undying role of amplifying and standing for the truth is truly one of the bastions of a true democratic society.