Message of solidarity on the 41st anniversary of the New People's Army
By Simon "Ka Filiw" Naogsan
Spokesperson, Cordillera Peoples' Democratic Front
The Cordillera People's Democratic Front extends a revolutionary salute to all Red fighters and commanders on the commemoration of the of the New People's Army's 41st founding anniversary.
Since 1970, the national minorities of the Cordillera have been part of the national democratic revolution through a protracted people's war. In a little more than a year after the founding of the NPA, its armed units were already deployed to the Cordillera from Isabela. From its first guerilla base in the tri-boundaries of Benguet, Mountain Province, and Ifugao, the NPA spread out to Abra, Mountain Province and Kalinga. In 1976, an NPA unit from northern Isabela made a leapfrog to establish a guerilla front in Upper Kalinga.
The NPA and the armed struggle in the Cordillera has come a long way since then. It was at the core of the peoples' valiant victory over the mammoth Chico River Dam Projects and the Cellophil Resources Corporation despite the brutality of the Marcos dictatorship. Many respected tribal elders, such as Ama Macliing Dulag, Ama Lucian "Ka Charlie" Lumbaya, Ama Manzano Domin-eng, Ama Mangatam and Ama Daniel Ngayaan joined the revolutionary movement and even laid down their lives in the course of the struggle.
The best sons and daughters of the Cordillera people, among them Wright "Ka Chadli" Molintas Jr., Jennifer "Ka Maria" Carino, Agustin "Ka Merto" Begnalen, Leonardo "Ka Nardo" Pacsi, Ka Lejo Cawilan, Ka Ana del Rosario, and many others laid down their lives while serving in the people's army. In the past year, these martyrs were joined by brave Red commanders Michael "Ka Tarius" Reyes and Dionisio "Ka Noli" Tongdo and comrade Alvin "Ka Paolo" Cajubal.
Their sacrifices continue to inspire the Red fighters and the people to resist and frustrate the massive military offensives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as it desperately tries to meet the impossible deadline of crushing the NPA before the term of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ends on June 30, 2010. Since the start of the year, the AFP suffered 35 dead and 35 wounded in eight combat engagements in Kalinga, Abra, and the Mountain Province.
National minorities often bear the brunt of militarization that accompanies destructive large-scale projects such as mining and energy projects in the Cordillera, Laiban Dam in Rizal, big mines in Mindoro, and logging concessions in various places in Mindanao. As always, the people's army is at the core of the indigenous people's struggles against exploitation and abuse. In the process, the national minorities see the NPA as their own and extend the all out support that bring about the numerous successful tactical offensives of the NPA.
The national minorities in the Cordillera have stood and will continue to stand with the rest of the Filipino masses in advancing the national democratic revolution until victory. The CPDF calls upon all national minorities to contribute even more heroically so that the people's war can advance to the next strategic phase in five years.
Mabtad tako am-in! All out mobilization for the people's war!
Long live the New People's Army!