By RIGOBERTO F. SANCHEZ
Spokesperson, Merardo Arce Command
NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operational Command
On the occasion of the 42nd founding anniversary of the New People's Army, the Merardo Arce Command of the New People's Army (MAC-NPA) salutes our Red commanders and fighters along with the toiling masses in the front lines in our long and arduous struggle for national democracy. We commend them for their selfless service in building a free nation as they painstakingly build democratic organs of political power, launch health, educational and cultural campaigns, and implement genuine land reform. This is also an occasion to honor our Red martyrs who have made the ultimate sacrifice; we commemorate their selfless service to the people.
The revolutionary people's movement has steadily grown in armed strength and capacity amid the most vicious campaigns of suppression of the various reactionary regimes. Instead of constricting, as the enemy hopelessly tried to effect, the NPA and the Milisyang Bayan continue to grow and expand, forming new guerilla platoons and building additional guerilla fronts. The MAC-NPA congratulates our Red commanders and fighters for a job well done as they constantly deepen and widen the revolutionary mass base.
The MAC-NPA vows to frustrate the Aquino regime's Internal Peace and Security Plan-Bayanihan (Oplan Bayanihan) and uphold the Communist Party of the Philippines' call to advance the current stage of the protracted people's war to strategic stalemate.
Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan is no different from the previous "counter-insurgency" plans hatched by the US and its puppet governments. The same fascist state armed instruments used to inflict widespread terror are now being touted as "peace and development" troops. The 10th Infantry Division-AFP uses "peace and development outreach programs" while the Philippine National Police uses "public safety battalion" as euphemisms for fascism and deceit against the Filipino people and the revolutionary movement.
In Southern Mindanao alone, from January to March this year, 43 cases of human rights violations were documented victimizing a thousand families. Barely a year after Aquino came to power and just a few months after implementing his own counter-revolutionary plan, Aquino's "Bayanihan" is exposed as having the same fascist fangs as that of Arroyo's Oplan Bantay Laya and the "counter-insurgency" plans of the previous regimes that victimized hundreds of thousands of civilians. GPH troops continue to pillage the countryside and wreak havoc among the peasant masses without a single abusive element or military unit being punished.
The AFP, PNP and their paramilitary units are unleashed against the masses to protect big mining, logging and agribusiness concessionaires through the Investment Defense Force. The regime's anti-corruption and good governance drives are mere tokenisms as military and police personnel are intimately involved, if not the masterminds of massive corruption and organized crime.
As the military operations of the 10th ID-AFP continue in both the rural and urban areas, the NPA under the absolute leadership of the CPP and the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is ever determined to strengthen its political and military capacity to defend the people. All military and police personnel, including armed "peace and development" troops, active Cafgus, paramilitary combatants, investment defense forces and intelligence agents shall be targets of tactical offensives by the people's army. The people's army shall fight fiercely for the people's interest as it strictly adheres to the international war protocols and the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAR-HR-IHL).
In the course of advancing the people's democratic revolution, Red fighters will inflict head and body blows against the enemy. The enemy is extremely terrified of the people's army and the Milisyang Bayan's skillful use of indigenous weapons such as the command-detonated explosives and falsely ascribe it as violative of the Ottawa Treaty. The Aquino regime's maneuver to impose a long-term ceasefire in the GPH-NDFP peace talks aims to pacify the will of the revolutionary forces and the people. It is a precondition and a ploy intended to deliberately evade addressing the roots of the armed conflict. But the GPH under Aquino, like its predecessors, can never obtain its self-serving aims amid the people's long desire for revolutionary change highlighted by the ever-worsening economic and political crises; and the people's clamor for independence from US domination, and for genuine land reform and national industrialization.
With the present economic and political conditions and how the Aquino regime deals with these, there is no indication that any significant change will happen. His rhetoric of daang matuwid has not in any way alleviated the lives of the Filipino masses as he continues to cater to the interests and demands of his US imperialist master and the local ruling elite.
Only by addressing the roots of the armed conflict can there be real change for the Filipino people — as it is being struggled by the NDFP negotiating panel in the current Peace Talks and through the resolute struggle of the Red fighters and the revolutionary masses in the field. A just and lasting peace can only be obtained by asserting our national sovereignty and control of our national patrimony through genuine land reform and nationalization under a genuine people's democratic government or an anti-imperialist unity of democratic forces.
The masses cherish their people's army because the NPA upholds the will of the oppressed. And together with the masses of workers and peasants, Red fighters painstakingly work and struggle to advance the protracted people's war to the strategic stalemate stage and until total victory is achieved.