Statement of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) -Panay Region On the occasion of the 47th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines – December 26, 2015
Last 13 and 14 of December, in a span of 12 hours, the New People’s Army (NPA) in Panay launched a series of tactical offensives from the North Eastern Yating Mountains (Maayon town) to the SouthWestern Madyaas foothills of Panay (San Joaquin town). The 301st Infantry Brigade (Bde) of the 3rd Infantry Division of the AFP owned up to some 8 casualties (including two police officers engaged in counter-insurgency duties) while covering up its more serious losses as it usually does.
The early morning harassment, last 13 December, of the two-truck convoy of the 82nd Infantry Battalion (IB) in Barangay Tiolas, San Joaquin town was along the national highway linking the provinces of Iloilo and Antique. This was the latest military action for the year which included an ambush of a section-size operating unit of the 31st Division Reconnaissance Company in the mountainous Barangay San Antonio of Cuartero, Capiz last July that inflicted a squadsize casualty (including at least 5 killed) that the AFP took great pains to conceal from the public and visiting US troops.
Earlier, in July, several casualties were also inflicted in a series of harassments in Central Panay (Tapaz and Calinog towns) especially on troops guarding the destructive Jalaur Dam. Lately, the Chinese mining company Century Peak’s equipments were also destroyed as punishment for financing the militarization of the Igbaras and Tubungan mountains. This troop concentration provided security for them as they explore some mining prospects with the intent to plunder our national patrimony with the mini-dam as cover. What gave them away was their millions upon millions of road construction cost that was way too much for a mini-dam project.
These main samples of the series of tactical offensives/military action in 2015, not only highlighted the military capacity of the NPA under the leadership of the Communist Party. It also manifested the breadth of the People’s War as conducted all over the island of Panay, even in its major highways and other white areas by night or day. The NPA in the island succeeded, too, in surpassing the minimum rate of tactical offensives per unit set by the national leadership of the Party.
There is some truth to the reasoning of 301st Bde Commander Uchida that the attacks are to show that the NPA is still here—indeed, they are in many places all over the island. That the tactical offensives are intensifying refutes the very boast of the Aquino regime that the arrest of Comrade Concha Araneta would weaken the revolutionary struggle in Panay. Definitely, the year round tactical offensives by the NPA exposes the regime’s claim that the ‘insurgency in Panay is conflict-manageable’ as an outright lie to impress foreign investors.
The military actions in 2015 demonstrated the extent, positioning along the vast mountain ranges and foothills of Western and Northeastern Panay and the depth of the mass base of the revolutionary movement in Panay. The widespread and ever expanding and deepening revolutionary underground in the vast countryside, towns and cities in the island provided the solid backbone of an island-wide resistance to the Aquino regime.
The Party called for sustained, strengthened and heightened island wide mass struggles to overthrow the USAquino regime in 2015. And the masses of Panayanon heeded our call. Tens of thousands of Panayanons massed up on several major red letter days and whenever Pnoy’s disastrous policies or criminal neglect such as that of Typhoon Yolanda’s survivors are highlighted. Especially opposed was the regime’s hosting of the APEC Ministerial conferences in the island that were plotting to intensify the exploitation of the country’s resources such as its mineral deposits, its sea resources and even the small profit of the country’s micro-, small, and medium industries in various privatization and sub-contracting schemes by big capitalist. This includes the opening up the country for advantaged foreign products that L would bankrupt the local agriculture (especially rice and sugar) and already backward industry and destroy our very vulnerable food security.
Even ordinary people in their thousands joined various mass actions spontaneously or led by progressives to protest these impositions which included the privatization of public markets, transport terminals and utilities, of public transport owners and drivers against the planned phasing out of traditional public transports to be replaced by new ones for new transport unit profitable to big foreign transport manufacturing capitalists. Even big and small fishing boat owners opted to boycott fishing for a few days at the height of APEC meetings to register to the Aquino regime its opposition to huge fines and costly requirements for fishing too heavy especially for small fisher folks. The people’s regional and local struggles amounted to almost weekly mass actions in major cities and towns.
Thousands of Typhoon Yolanda survivor’s families continually mobilized themselves to complete the rehabilitation of their housing and production. Simultaneously they joined the mass actions of ten thousands to demand rehabilitation resources from their paid taxes to the Aquino regime as well as from foreign contributions. That hundreds of millions were distributed by government agencies attest to such political pressure that they have generated thus obliging the regime to release public funds. Several thousands more are being mobilized for cooperative production of food in the face of dwindling staple food production.
These relentless struggle defied the all-out militarization of the island to secure various projects and gathering of imperialist neo-liberalization (APEC) and militarization (BALIKATAN and US troops/naval vessel visitation). The regime doubled the local security forces (up to 5000 mobile forces excluding standing territorial PNP). Underpinning the regime’s monopoly rule of the island was its firm command of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and its 301st Infantry Brigade, its police force and various other security forces.
The regime’s military launched more sustained attacks on the various guerilla fronts of the New People’s Army to preempt the tactical offensive campaign by the NPA. Massive militarization of the countryside was resorted to forestall the taking off of popular movement of the mass base to oppose the neo-liberal impositions by big imperialist countries and to demand rehabilitation from damages of Typhoon Yolanda from the regime. The regime’s police saturated the urban center and all its surroundings as well as areas that foreign delegates and PNoy would pass thru not only to secure these people but to prevent the massing up of protesters against the regime and APEC.
The regime and its local minions profited from official foreign tourism hosting/spending. Even as billions were spent on infrastructure for the benefit of big capitalists, foreign and domestic, the regime could only spare a few billion for a long-delayed rehabilitation plan of hundreds of thousands of destroyed houses. Even then such distribution of funds were much short of what was needed, selective and geared for electoral influence. A great many were not covered at all. An enhanced pantawid program was expanded but could not compensate for the basic\needs of the poor and all the while transforming them into glorified mendicants. While infrastructure spending employed many laborers, this could not compensate for the lack of livelihood; it is also temporary.
Most of Panayanon in the countryside suffered loss of income from farms ravaged by El Nino and the unrehabilitated economy smashed by Yolanda. Privatization of markets, utilities and ports deprived consumers and small vendors of adequate income. Policies of government agencies tend to further enrich big capitalists (the Sy, Injap, Yanson of Ceres liner who monopolizes transportation) while imposing higher costs and heavy fines to ordinary driver/operators, fisher folks and even capitalists, market vendors, consumers of water, and passengers. A significant number of OFW are forced to return home due to dangers of war/conflict in their place of employment and the slowdown of the economies of countries dependent on price- deflated oil.
Currently, the regime revels in its seeming monopoly of power in Panay. It boasts of its overwhelming political control of various factions in Panay under a coalition campaigning for the victory of its anointed successor in the coming bourgeois election. But by putting almost all political elite factions under one umbrella only meant intensifying the infighting of various factions that are all ambitious to wield power via the oncoming bourgeois elections.
For most elite factions, joining the Aquino regime’s umbrella coalition meant patronage and money/venues for their electoral campaigns while in exchange the endorse the regime’s candidates. All the while, the various factions stand ready to jump ship as soon as other presidential candidates take the lead and abandon the isolated administration candidate as what happened before in various elections. Mar Roxas may win the most number of votes among presidential candidates in the region due to overwhelming resources but by a much smaller margin than he would be needing to overcome his tail-ending votes from all over the whole country.
Even more, most of the political factions in the island would be approaching progressive groups and even revolutionaries for votes and access to territories under revolutionary sway. As with previous elections they have negotiated with the Left to ensure victory primarily for themselves.
Our Urgent Task for 2016
We are faced with a regime in its last several months in power and hell bent to secure itself from an angry people struggling to oust it from power. It has deployed its last card in suppressing thru force of arms a revolutionary movement that keeps on rising against its rule and strengthening in the process. The regime pins its hope to escape prosecution for its crime on its anointed candidate winning the ensuing bourgeois election. With this in mind the Communist Party in Panay lays down the following urgent tasks:
1. Frustrate the last desperate armed attacks of the US-Aquino Regime by means of a sustained and intensified tactical offensive campaign and anti-militarization mass struggle.
In the last 5 years, the Aquino regime has failed in its attempts to crush the revolutionary movement in Panay and, in the process, honed the military capacity of the revolution, fanned the flame of popular resistance to even wider areas and sectors and firmed up the resolve of revolutionaries. Frustrating the regime’s attacks means persevering in striking its military operation at its weakest moment, blunting its strongest attacks by striking it everywhere possible by harassments combined with selective solid strikes to seize arms or even to inflict casualties in its fascist ranks. Such an extensive and intensive level of military offensive require the further widening and consolidating of the revolutionary mass base even as the latter defends itself from various suppressive assaults of the state security forces.
2. Fight the regime’s desperate attempt to impose its anointed candidate to succeed and perpetuate the distorted ‘Matuwid na Daan’ program favoring the regime’s big landlord and big local and foreign capitalist cronies.
In its last several months, the regime will employ all means, mainly foul and seemingly fair, to have its successor elected to succeed its rule. This serves to ensure that all its ill-gotten wealth be preserved and to protect itself from prosecution for its crimes. As its successor is tainted by the isolated status of PNoy and dwells at the tail-end of various pre-election polls, the regime will resort to all evil schemes to boost its faltering candidate. Only a people’s movement opposed to the regime’s manipulation could ensure Aquino’s ‘legacy’ that is already destined to a special place in the dustbin of history and likewise ensure Aquino’s fate as the cellmate of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The progressive movement in Panay must persevere in the popular movement to contribute in a big way to oust the Aquino Regime and its successor thru mass struggle and electoral means.
3. Strengthen and consolidate, and expand further the organized forces of the revolution.
The tens of thousands that were mobilized during the past year should be further organized into revolutionary or progressive mass organizations. The tripling and quadrupling of recruits must be followed thru with the vertical organizing of local chapters, subsection and section (city district/municipal) chapters and higher organizational structures, development and training of mass leaders and organizers at various levels of verticalization. The consolidation of the organized masses must serve to develop their capacity to contribute further to the advance the people’s war, persevere in more intense mass struggle combined with electoral struggle.
The Party must be built to lead the comprehensive development of the people’s war, the recruitment of hundreds/thousands of party members, raise the level of consciousness and leadership skill. Party cadre must be develop systematically and in large numbers to fill in responsible positions that are ever arising at a faster pace. Further develop the theoretical capacity of leading cadres to enable them to lead the Party and the advancing people’s war to the next stage.
Platoons of activists must be recruited as full-time Red fighters to enable the NPA to build more company size fronts and to sustain the intensity, extensiveness of guerrilla warfare all over the island.
The Aquino Regime is on the way out. The revolutionary forces in Panay must go all-out in ushering the Aquino regime to its ignominious fate in history and a prison cell for PNoy while serving a sentence appropriate for the crime of plunder. Ousting the current puppet regime is one more step nearer to advance to the strategic stalemate of the people’s war.
Regional Party Committee – Panay
Communist Party of the Philippines