NDF-EV in solidarity with protest evacuations, calls on people of Eastern Visayas to unite and fight fascist Duterte regime with all forms of struggle

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV) today expressed solidarity with the protest evacuations over the killings of two barangay captains in Samar. Residents of Barangay San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar evacuated this May 9 over the killing of village chief Apolinario Lebico. Earlier last April 26, residents of Barangary Beri, Calbiga, Western Samar also evacuated to protest the murder of the barangay captain, Wilmar Calutan, and to demand the pull-out of the military from their village.

NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas pointed out that Duterte is not interested in pursuing elections, peace talks nor any other form of democracy in the country. “He is only concerned in maintaining his tyrannical rule using any means such as his terror campaign so any threat against his power will surely be paved out of the way,” he said.

The NDF-EV spokesperson also slammed Duterte for escalating his terror campaign in the region and pinning the blame on the New People’s Army (NPA). “Duterte is using alleged ‘NPA attacks’ to declare various barrios as election hot spots and justify militarization in Eastern Visayas. Since the declaration of Memorandum Order No. 32 last November, the GRP has concentrated 11 battalions in the region, redeploying some from Mindanao.”

Amidst the regime’s terror attacks, National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas supports the people of San Miguel, Las Navas in their continued fight for their human rights. It noted that with the recent killing of their barangay captain, Apolinario “Pening” Lebico who is a known supporter of anti-fascist movement in their barrio, the people’s response is an evacuation action to register their dissent, banish military forces from their town, file a case against the 20th IB as the mastermind behind the killing of Lebico and finally expose the rotten system of the fascist Duterte regime.

Last April 26 as well in Beri, Calbiga, 375 people also actuated an evacuation action in response to the killing of their barangay captain, Wilmar Calutan. “The people are fighting for their democratic rights that are being violated. We warn Duterte that any administration is nothing without the masses. That’s why the fascist Duterte regime should never disregard the combined forces of the people,” Fr. Salas said with pride.

In solidarity with the people’s movement using all forms of resistance against the regime, the New People’s Army is also proceeding with the urgent task of advancing the armed struggle. More and more military actions are being set off by the combined forces of the NPA, militia units and special operations group. Last April 16, one element of the 20th IB was killed and one injured when the NPA fired shots in Brgy. Quirino, Las Navas. Meanwhile, there was another injured Army element in Brgy. San Francisco, Las Navas when they attacked the military camp. The people’s army also had a sparrow attack in Catotoogan, Las Navas wherein two military forces were killed and two .45 caliber pistol where confiscated.

More than 10 military actions were actuated by the NPA against the elements of 20th IB since 2017 with accumulated casualties equivalent to a platoon. All these military actions will only be possible with the support of the masses. “These successful tactical offensives are proof that the masses are already using all means possible to oust a tyrant. If Duterte proceeds with his regionwide as well as nationwide terror campaign, the masses and the NPA will be further united and ready to fight,” Fr. Salas said.

Fr. Salas enjoins every freedom-loving Filipino in the region to join forces and form the anti-fascist movement and the broad united front to oust the tyrant Duterte. “All peasants, workers, media, lawyers, church people and human rights and peace advocates will never be silenced and will do various means to resist the US-Duterte regime. Meanwhile, platoons and companies of the New People’s Army will certainly multiply, carry out more and more military actions, and further advance to full-scale guerrilla warfare,” he ended. #