By Ka WIGAN MONCONTAD
Spokesperson, Nona del Rosario Command
New People's Army-Ifugao
After Red fighters from the Nona Del Rosario Command ambushed unsuspecting elements of the 86th Infantry Battalion last 26 February, the latter is presently in despair to appear in control of the situation. The 5th Infantry Division's statement, though, that the military entered the forested regions of mountainous Ifugao to do humanitarian work only exposes their lack of creativity, not to mention poor judgment of the situation. Recycling excuses — such as peace missions, relief operations, humanitarian reasons — makes them unimaginative.
Saying that they brought carpentry tools along with their high-powered rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers because they intend to construct houses for the victims of Typhoon Juan last October makes them mentally-challenged. Such alibi just will not sell considering that collective action, or ubbo, is deeply ingrained in Ifugao culture. The people who built the famous rice terraces of Banaue do not need gun-toting strangers to build their homes for them.
Even the soldiers' statements reveal their true intentions. Residents report that mercenary soldiers warn them not to allow the New People's Army into their homes because civilians will surely be caught in the crossfire once they find guerilla fighters. Some soldiers even warned that the residents would have to evacuate their homes. When not intimidating the people, soldiers are recruiting for the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit or demanding that they be allowed to establish a military detachment within the community.
Aside from these menacing statements, members of the 86th IB have gone as far as searching a residence in Barangay Cawayan, Asipulo while only the children were present and without any warrant to do so. Residents also report that the soldiers tried to confiscate converted caliber .22 guns used for hunting small birds and other animals for the family's consumption.
This 'humanitarian reasons' explanation is even more implausible under Noynoy Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan. His counter-insurgency program is just as impossible because it expects the people to betray the revolution. The national democratic revolution is their only hope to end all exploitation and oppression. Aquino missed this undeniable truth when he implemented this counter-insurgency program. The masses, on the other hand, remain steadfastly loyal to the revolution and keen about the state's tactics.
While Red fighters and the organized masses conduct an agrarian revolution to ease the burden of severe poverty, Aquino could only use slogans and catchphrases to pacify the already inflamed oppressed class. Bent on keeping appearances, he dismisses the very real and urgent issues of agrarian reform and lack of social services and instead remains loyal to his landed origins. Such problems of the peasantry, however, will never fade away using colorful language and Aquino is no fool not to realize this. Eventually, the present regime will abandon all pretensions and bare its fangs against the people it previously tried to deceive with smart talk.
Even the brightest spotlights fade, however. The Army's illogical statements, the state's unreasonable counter-insurgency program and Aquino's cheap slogans — all these prove how detached the regime is from the majority of the population. The marginalized class needs a radical agrarian program, national industrialization, social services, revolutionized culture and education and other revolutionary changes in the present system. But Aquino, as the US imperialist powers' primary puppet, will never be an instrument to achieve these changes. The marginalized class realizes this and instead will work towards achieving it themselves. The people's war being launched at the countrysides will triumph over the ruling class' efforts to crush it and the people will finally hold in their hands the political and economic power to rule themselves.