Celebrate the golden anniversary of the New People’s Army!
The Negros Island Regional Party Committee conveys its greeetings on the historic golden anniversary of the New People’s Army (NPA) which was established by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on March 29, 1969. Together with the masses in Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and the whole country, we offer our Red salute to all the Red fighters and commanders of our beloved army of the best sons and daughters of the people. Let us celebrate the victories of the NPA in the last 50 years of service to the toiling masses and the people, and its continued accumulation of revolutionary strength in the military and political field.
These victories are significant to further strengthen our forces and to advance the people’s war amid the all-out counterrevolutionary war currently launched by the US-Duterte regime through Martial Law in Mindanao and de facto Martial Law in the rest of the archipelaco including Negros Island.
The fascists in the AFP and PNP are beating their chests for they have captured those they tout as “big fishes” of Negros: Ka Frank Fernandez, the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front (NDF) here in the island and Ka Cleofe Lagtapon. But while these fascists bask in boisterous laughter, Negrosanons and the rest of the people are all the more disgusted with them and with their sheer arrogance and desperation in taling, arresting and detaining Ka Frank and Ka Cleofe despite their old age and frail health.
The ruthless fascist terror, repression, lies and madness of the regime motivates the NPA, revolutionary forces and the masses to steel their fortitude even more and master various forms of struggle particularly in developing intensive and extensive guerilla warfare based on an ever-widening and deepening mass base.
The vital integration and implementation of tasks in the armed struggle, agrarian revolution and establishment of organs of political power can effectively preserve and develop revolutionary strength in the countryside towards a higher stage in the people’s war. The NPA and the people’s heroic efforts to frustrate the current regime’s counterrevolutionary war and the broad people’s movement against tyranny, corruption, burdensome economic policies and the continued sell-out of our national sovereighty to the US and even China, will completely isolate Duterte from the people until he is finally ousted from power.
We pay our highest tribute to the martyrs and heroes of the people’s war, the numerous Red commanders and fighters of our Red army who gave their lives to establish the people’s army and gallantly defend the masses from the abuses and atrocities of the armed minions of the local ruling class, the neocolonial state, and imperialism, and to advance the new democratic revolution in the Philippine through protracted people’s war.
In Negros Island, the masses shall never forget the exemplary life and struggle of comrades Apolinario Gatmaitan, Leonardo Panaligan, Roselyn Pelle, Armando Sumayang Jr, Rachelle Mae Palang and other martyrs and heroes from the ranks of the workers, peasants and farmworkers, women, youth and students, the urban poor, professionals and urban intellectuals, and other oppressed sectors of society. They chose to serve the masses and the revolution through the highest form of struggle. They lit the flames of armed struggle now ablaze in the whole island and the whole archipelago. They illuminate the path towards the bright revolutionary future of the heroic Filipino people who dare to struggle and to triumph.
The Revolutionary Armed Struggle in Negros
Armed struggle in the island commenced in as early as 1969 when a small armed unit was deployed to conduct mass work in mountainous areas of North Negros. A small unit of the Party and the staff of the Dumaguete Times were among those who propagated the national-democratic line and analysis of local issues. The first armed unit in North Negros was eager to launch military actions but was cornered due to its failure to establish its mass base before carrying out these actions against big and powerful enemies.
But during the early part of the ‘70s, coinciding with the Party’s efforts to prepare the Negros countryside for guerilla warfare, mass struggles spread like wildfire. Reactionaries failed to stop the workers, peasants and farmworkers who launched strikes against decades of exploitation by big landlord-compradors of the island’s hacienda system and sugar industry.
Through the Second Propaganda Movement, the youth who were able to study in urban centers like Manila returned to Negros and went to the countryside to take on important tasks in propagating Marxism and the national-democratic line, conducting social investigation, and guerilla zone preparation. The workers and peasants steeled in the mass movement, along with the youth, church people and other sectors who eagerly supported the struggle of the basic masses, eventually took up arms and became Red fighters.
Armed with lessons from initial experience, the Party through the NPA would establish in 1973, the revolutionary mass base among the poor peasants and settlers in the Cauayan-Hinobaan-Ilog-Candoni-Kabankalan-Sipalay or CHICKS area in southern Negros Occidental. This was accomplished through painstaking mass work, breakthroughs in the anti-feudal struggle, and successful punitive actions against the most despised despotic landlords and their armed goons. By 1976, the people’s army would reach even the interior barrios in nearby towns of Negros Oriental.
The establishment of the NPA in Negros had a significant and profound effect on the masses who had long yearned to have their own army. The presence of the NPA’s Red fighters in the countryside paved the way for the people to grasp the reasons behind their impoverishment, the hunger they experience, the injustice and varied forms of exploitation and oppression imposed by big landlords and compradors in the island who are also based in Manila and dominant in the political and economic life of semicolonial and semifeudal Philippine society.
The steady growth of the mass movement in the urban centers of the island from the ‘70s to the mid-80’s provided the armed revolution with as steady a source of full-time forces from the workers, students, church people, teachers, and from the ranks of former political prisoners, who were mobilized in the comprehensive development of guerilla fronts and establishment of new ones.
The daring and successful tactical offensives of the NPA in Negros during this period marked the island’s status as a “social volcano” of simmering contradictions between the ruling class and the ruled, the exploiters and the exploited. Effective tactics and techniques in warfare, along with the warm suport from the peasant masses and the people, furthered the NPA’s confidence to fight the private armies or the armed strength big landlord-compradors in the island and the armed forces of the entire reactionary state as represented by the AFP, PNP and its paramilitaries.
Although the revolutionary movement and armed struggle in Negros achieved an unprecedented upsurge during the ‘80s, it was also during this time that the wrong line of Arturo Tabara and his revisionist clique within the Visayas Commission and the Negros Regional Party Committee began to take shape and later implemented in the whole region. The wrong line of strategic counter-offensive or SCO, characterized by premature regularization of guerilla units and urban insurrectionism, brought one failure after another to the NPA and resulted in the decline of its mass base and the revolutionary movement in the island.
Because of this disorientation, the whole revolutionary movement was left vulnerable to the ruthless attacks of Oplan Thunderbolt, the AFP’s counter-insurgency program in Negros during the last part of the ‘80s which brought untold damage to the lives and livelihood of the masses. Intense militarization, bombings of communities and other abuses of the enemy was engaged through puschist and purely-militarist actions that strained the revolutionary forces and neglected painstaking mass work. It was the wrong line pushed by the Tabara clique which further devastated the revolutionaray movement in the island. It led to factionalism, their conception of a bankrupt party and bandit armed force, particularly the bogus Revolutionary Proletarian Army or RPA which is now exposed and notorious in Negros as mercenaries of despotic landlord-compradors and rotten politicians.
As with the stand of the new breed of proletarian revolutionaries during the First Great Rectification Movement who reestablished the Party and people’s army in 1968-1969 from remaining good elements of the old Communist Party and the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan, the proletarian revolutionaries of Negros in the ‘90s took on the task of reinvigorating the revolutionary movement from the remaining cadres who stood up for rectification of errors and reaffirmation of basic principles and the 70 fighters left of the NPA, who composed a mere 3% of the whole strength of the revolutionary movement during the time of disorientation.
The success of the Second Great Rectification Movement (SGRM) on the island is considered one of the most significant triumphs of the Party in Negros for this not only decisively saved the revolutionary movement in the region but also brought it to a favorable position from which to further advance.
The two-platoon strength left of the NPA after it was devastated by disorientation, became seeds that ushered the growth of the armed revolution in Negros along the correct path of the people’s democratic revolution with a socialist perspective.
The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command (AGC), the regional operations command of the NPA in Negros, together with the operational command of different guerilla fronts in the whole island, continue to reap the confidence, support and affection of the masses. The people’s army is the principal instrument established by the Party to engage and to eventually crush the armed strength of the AFP, while building its mass base and organs of political power, engaging in production work, cultural work, providing political education to the masses, and other tasks.
The NPA has proven its iron discipline in accomplishing revolutionary tasks through the guidance and absolute leadership of the Party. Its deep roots within the masses is an assurance that it can no longer be thwarted by any suppression campaign of the enemy, as it has proven during the Marcos dictatorship era when revolutionary forces were still inexperienced and just starting out, and with the successive counterrevolutionary campaigns of puppet regimes which were also successively frustrated by the NPA and the whole revolutionary movement.
The NPA continues to strengthen itself together with the revolutionary masses to face and frustrate the all-out counterrevolutionary war of the US-Duterte regime. The savage attacks of the state against the revolutionary forces and people of Negros gives the NPA a thousand and one targets for launching tactical offensive that will bring additional weapons to the arsenal of the people’s army, sharpen the political and military capability of thousands of Red commanders, fighters and the masses steeled in fierce struggle.
Between tactical offensives that deliver solid headblows to the enemy, the revolutionary masses of Negros are ever-ready to develop further its practice of guerilla warfare of the masses, improve the structure and function of hundreds of units of people’s militia and self-defense units in the barrios for punitive actions and attritive attacks that will render a thousand and one blows to the enemy’s body. Full-time guerilla units of the NPA are also improving deployment and movement of its basic formations in guerilla zones, and the undertaking of partisan operations in urban centers to punish hardcore criminals within the ranks of class enemies and the reactionary state.
Challenges in Duterte’s brutal counterrevolutionary war in Negros
The fascist terror unleashed by the US-Duterte regime’s armed forces, from unbridled killings of peasant leaders and activists, the massacre of farmworkers in Sagay, and the continuing rampage of Oplan Sauron in peasant communities in Guihulngan City, Escalante City and other parts of Negros, are bankrupt moves of a rotten and shaky regime isolated from the masses. The AFP’s arrogant declaration of “all-out war” and Duterte’s imposition of de facto martial law in Negros through his Memorandum Order 32 and Executive Order 70 are indications of the accelerating decay of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system which is now led by a demented murderer.
The ruthless fascist attacks by the US-Duterte regime coupled with government policies that continue to burden the people, compel the people, most especially the peasant masses, to support the people’s army and the armed struggle by directly enlisting and offering their full-time commitment to the NPA, by taking up arms to advance the revolution.
The revolutionary movement in Negros holds strong unity, sufficient strength and mass support, the correct line and close leadership of the Party required for the armed revolution to further advance in the island and to contribute to the current nationwide efforts to develop the people’s war towards the advanced phase of strategic defensive. If the NPA and the masses could, through the guidance of the Party, commence the armed revolution in Negros and the rest of the country from almost nothing in 1969, broaden and strengthen itself during the harshest conditions under the Marcos dictatorship, and prevail over the grave damage brought about by shortcomings and errors during the time of disorientation, the subjective forces of the revolution are now in a most favorable position to implement the Party’s general calls to achive all-round victories in advancing the people’s democratic revolution in the coming years.
The golden anniversary of the NPA is a most opportune moment to kindle the spirit of selfless service to the people, and to resolutely accomplish the tasks of the Party, Red army, and the masses in advancing the people’s war:
Increase the NPA’s membership several times over. Systematically plan and implement propaganda and education campaigns among the people and the mass organizations to boost recruitment and support for the people’s army. Recruit to the NPA, large numbers of cadres and activists from the ranks of workers and intellectuals.
Develop in a planned way the capability of the people’s army through continuous ideological building and upholding the absolute leadership of the Party; systematic training in theory and practice to raise capability in combat, movement and operations of the platoon formation, intelligence, partisan operations, and others; continuous raising of political consciousness; instilling the offensive stance; conscious iron discipline; and implementation of the mass line.
Develop further the various levels of leadership and command in the region to undertake immediate analysis of the situation, planning and supervision of military and political work, wise maximization of the breadth and depth of the people’s army, and to direct the coordination and cooperation of different guerilla forces.
Intensify annihilative basic tactical offensives to deliver solid blows to the enemy and confiscate weapons for the people’s army. Well-planned and successful tactical offensives weaken the enemy and strengthen the people’s army, provide momentum and vigor to anti-feudal fights and other people’s struggles, and broaden democratic political power. Continuously combat military conservatism.
Increase and widen units of people’s militia, self-defense units in the barrios and self-defense corps of mass organizations. Ensure the Party’s effective leadership and the command of the people’s army in these units, and further develop their knowledge and skill in advancing guerilla warfare of the masses.
LONG LIVE THE NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY!
LONG LIVE THE FIGHTING FILIPINO PEOPLE!
ADVANCE THE PEOPLE’S WAR UNTIL VICTORY