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in Mainstream

by Pat Gambao

Dissent in the military

The debased culture and unscrupulous practices in the military institution of the reactionary government have caused demoralization and dissent among its constituents. These have awakened their consciousness and revitalized their ideals.

Political patronage, an abomination passed on to the Filipinos by our Spanish and American colonizers, is an enduring feature of the AFP and PNP. The breaking away of then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and Constabulary Chief Fidel Ramos from the DND-AFP command was in resentment of the favor and privileges accorded to General Fabian Ver by Pres. Marcos. The fray ignited the 1986 EDSA People Power Uprising.

The defection of bemedalled Brig. General Raymundo Jarque, the highest-ranking AFP officer who joined the New People’s Army (NPA), was in extreme disgust of the corruption in the military and then President Ramos’s accommodation of his allies. Jarque displeased the well-connected Pena family in Negros over a land dispute. This put him in a bad light as the court favoured Pena and turned the table on Jarque who was falsely charged with stealing prawns from Pena’s farm and ambushing the judge.

Amidst the struggling masses, Jarque realized that his greatest mistake was to have rendered service to the greedy and powerful who exploits and oppresses the poor. Having led the implementation of the bloody Oplan Thunderbolt in Negros in 1989-1990, he manifested his sincere repentance by going to the people, crying as he asked for forgiveness. Weeks after Jarque’s defection, a number of CAFGU (Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit) members from Northern Negros fled with their weapons and joined the NPA.

Corruption is deeply entrenched in the reactionary ruling system. It is endemic and at its worst in the military establishment because of the latter’s authoritarian nature and armed supremacy. Corruption in the military is manifested in the procurement process, in bribes extracted from foreign and local business and industrial corporations, through involvement in smuggling, in illegal drugs, and in the sale of arms and military materials to rebel groups.

Juggling and malversation of funds is just as common. Corruption plagues the top hierarchy of the institution and any dissent or exposé from below is met with drastic if not fatal repercussion.

Young Philippine Navy Ensign Philip Pestaño was found dead with a single bullet wound in the head inside his cabin after he discovered the loading of logs and drugs in the navy ship. Navy officials dismissed the case as suicide although autopsy results showed otherwise.

Lt. Jessica Chavez, platoon leader of the 191st Military Police Battalion stationed in Fort Bonifacio, was being used by her superiors in gunrunning and other criminal activities. She had planned to expose the corruption before leaving the service but she was summarily killed before she could do so. Again, the AFP declared her death as suicide.

The Oakwood mutiny in 2003 by 300 soldiers from the Philippine Army, Navy and Air Force, including 70 junior officers, was an expression of their grievance and dissent over the gross corruption in the military and the fascist regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which she wanted to perpetuate. The mutineers declared withdrawal of support from the chain of command and demanded Arroyo’s resignation.

However, because it lacked strong support from a people’s movement as the mutineers relied on spent politicians, the Oakwood mutiny, as well as the succeeding Peninsula Siege, quickly dissipated.

The brazen corruption is incessant and sickening. Imagine allocating PhP50 million from AFP funds as send-off gifts to retiring generals, over and above their legal retirement pay. Imagine the PNP police director for comptrollership being questioned by Russian customs office for carrying excessive amount of cash (105,000 Euros or PhP6.9 million). The general was with an 8-member PNP delegation that attended the International Police (Interpol) Assembly in St. Petersburg in Moscow in 2008.

The most contemptuous scam committed by the military top brass was the diversion of the funds of the AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS) for their vested interest. The funds came from the compulsory collection of five percent of every soldier’s monthly salary. The government continued to pay the pension and separation benefits of soldiers.

Meantime, the RSBS funds and proceeds from its investments were pocketed by the AFP officials. Although most investments incurred losses, the officers still benefited from brokering the deals and from substantial allowances they received, charged to the funds.

The Mamasapano incident in Maguindanao, on January 25, 2015, claimed the lives of 44 members of the PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF). Without notifying or coordinating with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the SAF conducted Operation Exodus against a US-tagged “terrorist” adversary, the Malaysian bomb-maker Marwan or Zulkifli Abhir, (also known as Abdul Basit Ulman). Marwan was killed, but the MILF and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) bivouacked in the area were alerted by the firefight. They ambushed the SAF members as they were withdrawing, resulting in the latter’s massacre.

Operation Exodus was a joint operation with the US Army. However, the SAF was left alone in the implementation, while US authorities and Filipino political leaders and generals monitored the incident from afar through telecast.

It was utterly bad that for the protection of foreign (US) interest and the local ruling class the lives of members of an expensively-trained elite police force were unnecessarily sacrificed. The Mamasapano incident was no different from how soldiers are sent to senseless violent battles and pitted against their own class.

This is a wakeup call for the military minions of the ruling class. ##

Revolution strikes chords in the state military


Website: https://liberation.ndfp.org
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in Editorial

Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant

September 1, 2019

From the revolutionary publications of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, I have been able to gather the ten points enumerated below to demonstrate why the Duterte regime cannot wipe out the armed revolution of the Filipino people.

  1. The crisis of the world capitalist system is at its sharpest in countries like the Philippines which are semicolonial and semifeudal. The evil forces of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism exploit and oppress the Filipino people and incite them to wage the new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war.
  2. In committing mass murder and other gross crimes with impunity, the Duterte regime aggravates the chronic crisis of the domestic ruling system, which is dominated by imperialism and run by bureaucrat capitalists who represent the big comprador and landlord classes. The gross crimes that the regime commit characterize it as treasonous, tyrannical, murderous, and corrupt. They give no choice to the people but to engage in armed revolution.
  3. The so-called whole nation approach, which is being carried out by the National Task Force to militarize and spread anti-communism in all branches and agencies of the government and all sectors of society involves huge wastage of public funds in an already bankrupt government and outrages the people who perceive it as a brazen scheme to impose fascist dictatorship through red-tagging, persecution, murders and widespread violation of democratic rights.
  4. The Philippine economy is characterized by underdevelopment, misallocation of resources, mass unemployment and widespread poverty and the absence of any plan to industrialize and develop the economy, generate employment and improve the living conditions of the people. Public funds are being used to serve the interests of foreign corporations, the exploiting classes, the corrupt bureaucrats, the military and police.
  5. The armed revolution is led by the Communist Party of the Philippines, which has a correct ideological, political and organizational line and which has the experience of overcoming the Marcos fascist dictatorship and the subsequent pseudo-democratic regimes. It always carries out theoretical and political education among the Party cadres and members, and political education on the Philippine society and the people’s democratic revolution among the masses of workers and peasants, the indigenous peoples, women and the youth who fight for national and social liberation.
  6. The CPP leads and provides the New People’s Army with the strategy and tactics of protracted people’s war for fighting the enemies of the people. The NPA now operates in more than 120 guerrilla fronts nationwide and can at will strike at the weakest points of the counterrevolutionary military and police in order to seize and increase its arms. It is carrying out land reform as the main content of the democratic revolution and is enabling the establishment of the democratic organs of political power which are growing in waves against the counterrevolutionary state.
  7. The relatively stronger forces of the NPA have assisted the relatively weaker forces with the redeployment of cadres and arms. The problem of conservatism is now being solved. The overdispersal of NPA squads and small teams for mass work is now being corrected by the necessary balance of combat and mass work units in periodic rotation under the appropriate command. The “local guerrilla units” or people’s militia units are tasked to concentrate on internal security, instead of being expected to serve as combat units.
  8. The NPA is determined to secure the people from the enemy military, police and paramilitary forces and from local tyrants and bad elements. Armed city partisans and rural-based commando teams are also being deployed to punish the big criminals in power and the criminal syndicates that are in urban areas and to disable or destroy the installations that allow the exploiters to control and exploit the people. Thus more and more armed forces of the enemy will be forced to do guard duty and become defensive.
  9. The peasant masses in the countryside are being driven by the brutal enemy campaigns to support the revolutionary armed struggle, carry out land reform and other social reforms, strengthen their mass organizations and the organs of political power and to adopt necessary security measures. They are effectively applying the anti-feudal united front, neutralizing by persuasive means the unreliable sections of every locality and rallying to the democratic organs of political power.
  10. The anti-communist witch hunts, the constant threats and violent attacks of the enemy against patriotic and progressive organizations in town centers and cities are generating widespread resistance, inducing said organizations and other democratic entities to fight back in defense of their democratic rights. Many social activists who are in danger of arrest or murder go underground and join the armed revolution. They are welcomed by the revolutionary forces and people in the countryside who need more personnel for military and civil tasks.

While the Duterte tyranny persists, the armed revolution will grow in strength and advance. The drive of the Duterte regime to impose fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people will be defeated, like the Marcos fascist dictatorship. The revolutionary forces and people will emerge ever larger and stronger as a result of the revolutionary struggle for national and social liberation.###


Website: https://liberation.ndfp.org
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in Mainstream

She practically spent her youth in the revolutionary movement, having been part of an activist organization in a Catholic high school at age 15. She is now 39 years old. She is a lesbian. The “awakening” happened at the same time she became conscious of the social issues affecting the country. That was in her elementary years.

“It helped that I always hear my parents discuss current events. Kaya elementary pa lang nakikipag-debate na ako, alam ko na noon yung US Bases (I could already engage in a debate on the US Bases when I was still in elementary),” Ka Maggie recalled. “At the time, I also had a crush on my female teacher,” she hastened to add.

For Ka Maggie, it wasn’t easy growing up with conservative parents who were both raised in the province. Also, between Ka Maggie and her parents was an age gap of 42 years. Hence, the burden of being a lesbian and activist was heavier— as both were widely considered by society as ‘aberration’, ‘abnormality’, even a crime.

‘Coming Out’ and ‘Going Up’

Like her ‘awakening’, ‘coming out’ and ‘going up’ (the mountain) to join the New People’s Army (NPA) happened at the same time. As she recounted her experiences it didn’t show that she went through a personal struggle as her sentences were often punctuated with laughter.

“Naging kloseta ako sa kilusan for a time kasi hindi ko alam kung ano’ng stand natin sa LGBT. Nakikiramdam muna ako (I kept mum about this in the movement because I didn’t know our stand on LGBT).” The way her high school collective handled the case of another lesbian member was an acid test.

“Nanligaw siya sa masa. E, di inulat ko dahil di pa panahon—bata pa kami, tapos masa pa niligawan. Pero, sa tingin ko, ang naging pokus ng usapan yung gender niya. So, ang sense ko ito pala yung handling ng kilusan sa gender (She courted someone who was unorganized so I reported it—we were still young and a masa was involved. But I felt the discussion focused on her gender, so I had a sense that this was how the movement handle cases such as this).”

Although she did not waiver on her commitment to the revolution, she decided “to stay in the closet.” At one point she even courted a male comrade; or opened herself up to courtship by other male comrades in her collective.

In college, she decided to finally ‘come out’ to her collective. Expecting ridicule, Ka Maggie sought integration with the NPA as soon as she ‘comes out’, “Kasi mas kaya kong harapin ang maririnig sa mga kasamang hukbo mula sa peasant kaysa sa mga YS na ‘to (I could stand comments from NPA peasant comrades rather from the youth and students),” she confessed. “For all my anxiety and insecurity, my collective’s reply was just ‘that’s it? Is there a problem?’, after which they immediately prepared me for my integration,” Ka Maggie recalled, as she laughed heartily.

It was during her integration when she decided to stay and join the people’s army. That was in 1998.

Lesbian Sisters

I was already in the NPA when Ka Maggie ‘came out’ to her parents. “Mas nauna akong nagsabi na maghuhukbo ako. Ang tingin ko kasi noon, too much na nga na ipatanggap na hukbo ako. E, NPA na nga, lesbiana pa. Sobrang bigat na para sa kanila (I first told them I was joining the NPA; admitting being a lesbian came later. I felt it would be too much for them to accept me as NPA and lesbian all at once).” It was only when she was getting married that Ka Maggie told her parents she is lesbian. “Babae, sabi ko. E, di lalong nagwala (I was marrying a woman I said and they really hit the roof),” she cringed.

At the start it was difficult for Ka Maggie to leave her parents specially because they were already old and ailing. “Bunso ako. Inisip ko kung di man ako magtatapos mag-aral, tiyakin ko na lang ako ang aalalay sa kanila (I was the youngest and since I don’t intend to finish school at least I would take care of them).” Back then, she still wanted to be a human rights lawyer.

Then she thought of her older sister, Ley. “Buti na lang, nung college napaugnayan ko ang kapatid ko. Na-organize din siyang hanggang ND (National Democrat) activist (It’s fortunate that I had my sister recruited and organized as ND activist while still in college).”

Though both sisters would discuss their involvement in the revolution, Ley admitted early on she wasn’t ready for Ka Maggie’s ‘level of sacrifice’. While Ley fully supported Ka Maggie’s decision, she reluctantly accepted the responsibility of taking care of their parents.

“Ang matindi kasi, hindi niya magawa ang gusto niyang buhay. Eh, lesbian din siya. Ako yung unang nag-out tapos umalis pa ako (My sister could not do what she wants. She’s a lesbian too. But I came out ahead of her and left for the mountains).”

“Ano ba ‘yan di ko magawa ang gusto ko dahil dyan sa decision mo (I can’t do what I want because of your decision),” Ka Maggie remembered her sister’s words. Both of them talked about their sexual orientation when they were in high school. But Ley chose to stay ‘in the closet’ and was at times forced to conform to the expectations of their parents, “but not as far as going into relationship with males,” Ka Maggie recalled.

Having a collective and a liberating consciousness facilitated Ka Maggie’s ‘coming out’. “Kung wala ang collective, wala ang kamulatan maghihintay ka na lang na mamamatay ang magulang mo bago ‘mag-out’. Dati yun ang naisip ko. Mas ang kapatid ko ang naging ganun, hintayin ko na lang. Nag-out naman siya bago namatay ang tatay namin (If it were not for my collective and awareness I would have waited for my parents to pass away before I can even ‘come out’. My sister had been forced with that choice, though she came out before my father died).”

Lesbians in the NPA

“I was the first lesbian in our unit. So I knew we were all adjusting at the start,” Ka Maggie mentioned. “Dumaan kaming lahat sa pag-aaral kung paano. Lalo na nung may ikinasal na (We underwent studies to understand each other, especially when a same-sex marriage happened).” But, she didn’t experience discrimination because of her gender preference. “Mas sa pagiging babae pa. Yung nag-excel ka sa pagsusuring pang-militar na supposedly pang lalaki. Pero once lang yun. At di yun pinalalampas ng collective (I exprienced it once, but it was more of my being a woman who excelled in military science which is deemed as the expertise of men. But my collective did not let that slide).”

Also, she was considered a ‘competitor’ by male comrades when it came to relationships. “Uunawain ko na lang yun na dahil mas maraming lalaki kaysa sa babae. E, syempre yung mga kasamang lalaki ang tingin iilan na nga lang kayo tapos kayo-kayo pa (I can understand that as there are more men than women in the NPA, and choices for men become limited as women court women),” she explained.

She’s never had a problem with lesbian relationships in the Party and in the people’s army. “Failed relationships”, said Ka Maggie can be attributed to “difference in perspective”—in staying or leaving the people’s army and in parenting—and never to gender preference.

A divorce ended her marriage. But what struck her, though, in that marriage was when, as a newly-wed couple, her collective asked them about their plan, “O anong plano niyo sa pag-aanak, para mapaghandaan, para mapagplanuhan (Do you have plans to bear children? We have to prepare for that. We need to have plans).” Up to now, she is still amazed at her group’s openness to include artificial insemination, and not just adoption, as option for her and her partner.

“Isang dahilan yan kung bakit proud ako sa Party, talagang mapagpalaya. Imagine, kung may means pa ang Party, lalo na kung Sosyalismo na, mas yayabong talaga ang kalayaan at karapatan ng LGBT (That is one of the reasons why I am proud of the Party; it is indeed liberating. Imagine, if it already has all the means, like when we reach socialism, the rights and freedoms of the LGBT would surely be enshrined),” she added.

Albeit recognizing the need for further intra-Party discussions and education sessions on the LGBT question, Ka Maggie is certain that the CPP has the leadership to advance the cause of the LGBT.

“Posible talaga ang panahon na ang bawat isa ay hindi na tumitingin sa kung ano ang kulay, kasarian. Kaya dapat ipagpatuloy natin ang dakilang pakikibakang ito dahil do’n din nakasalalay ang mga butil ng pakikibaka ng mga LGBT.”

A future when color and gender do not define a person is possible. Thus, we should carry forward this noble struggle because here we also have sown the seeds of the LGBT struggle.


in Statements

Not less than 43 soldiers and police is the recorded casualty in three tactical offensive by the New People’s Army under Mt. Cansermon Command (MCC) in Negros since June 22- July 18.

Last June 22, a unit of MCC – NPA conducted a sniping operation which resulted to 3 casualties on the side of the 94th IBPA in the hinterlands of Sitio Bulo, Brgy. Bantolinao, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental. The soldiers killed are part of the team securing the area for the medical mission sponsored by Police Regional Office 7(PRO 7).

While conducting combat and clearing operation, the joint force of 94th IBPA and 704th Regional Mobile force Batallion we’re ambushed through the use of command detonated explosives (CDX) and exchange of firefight in Sitio Cambugtong, Brgy. Bantolinao, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental. More than 20 recorded casualty on the fascist reactionary side. To save face, only 1dead and 2 wounded was reported to the public.

Meanwhile last July 2, a unit of MCC-NPA foiled the raid attempt of 11th IBPA in Sitio Small Samac, Brgy. Nalundan, Bindoy, Negros Oriental. The unit of MCC-NPA launched a counter offensive and positioned for ambush. The gunfight ensued for an hour which resulted to 10 dead and 6 wounded on the side of the military. No casualty on the NPA side and the unit successfully maneuvered outside the enemies encirclement with the guidance of guerilla tactic’s in warfare.

On othér news, four police killed in an ambush in Sitio Yamot, Brgy. Mabato, Ayungon, Negros Oriental. Aided by a substantive Intel report the enemies plan to conduct another record round of oplan sauron was deferred. Confiscated from their possession are 4 canik 9mm pistol, 9 magazines and 135 ammunition, and a list of names of their targets.

The series of successful tactical offensive was conducted by MCC-NPA to need the call for justice for the victims of extra judicial killings especially for the innocent victim’s of Oplan Sauron 1 and 2.

Oplan Sauron or Synchronized Enhanced Management of Police Operations (SEMPO) is the current fascist move of the Duterte régime to brutally attack the people of Negros. It is characterized by surprise and synchronized attack of target locations; planned arrest or killing of targets. Since its inception last December 2018, it already claimed 21 victims killed and almost 100 illegally arrested on false charges. it has also resulted in forced evacuation and destruction of crops and livelihood of the people.

Dionisio Magbuelas, Spokesperson

Mt. Cansermon Command-New Peoples Army

July 25 2019


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