Defend the masses against fascist attacks

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Hundreds of fascist soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recently invaded and imposed martial law on remote villages and communities in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental. At least 18,000 farmers, farm-workers and ordinary people were forced to flee their homes due to the relentless AFP shelling and strafing near their communities, and the ransacking, beating and threats by soldiers against civilians. People were forced to evacuate as the military imposed a “no man’s land” policy where anyone left behind would be considered target of AFP shooting.

The AFP’s rampage in Himamaylan follows a series of encounters with a unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) in a remote village where six fascist soldiers were killed. The AFP’s brutality is retaliation against the masses in the area who they consider as supporters of the people’s army, an act that violates international humanitarian law.

The relentless terrorist attacks against the masses in Negros, behind the veil of “community support programs,” is part of the heightening attacks against civilians in various parts of the country, such as Samar, Davao, Masbate, Mindoro, Cagayan and other islands and provinces. It forms an intensification of the five-year offensive of the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) nationwide, under the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac.

AFP operations focus on suppressing the revolutionary armed resistance of the NPA who are the most ardent defenders of the masses’ interest and struggle against feudal and other forms of exploitation and oppression. However, the essence and objective of the AFP and the PNP’s attacks against civilians is to crush all forms of mass resistance. It serves the aims of big landlords and interests of big bourgeois compradors and bureaucrat capitalists involved in the expansion of mines, plantations and in destructive and anti-people infrastructure projects.

Hundreds of barangays in different parts of the country are currently placed under military hamlet. Peasants and the poor are virtual prisoners in their villages: a blockade is imposed on food purchase and commerce, work on their fields and swidden farms are restricted, camps or barracks in the middle or near their villages are established, even as civilian structures such as schools, clinics, barangay halls are turned into barracks.

Everyday, the peasant masses in villages occupied by the AFP and PNP face state terrorism and its brutal tactics. The fascist-terrorists want to spare plant fear and anxiety in the hearts of the masses, break their spirit, shatter their unity, and crush their determination to defend their interests.

However, by intensifying the suppression of the peasant masses and rural poor, the AFP only deepen the people’s grievances deepen and stoke their anger against fascist soldiers and the rotten ruling system. A great majority of them realize the need to strengthen their determination and to unite and act to defend their interests and welfare.

The peasant masses and rural communities need the support of the entire people in their fight against the fascist attacks of the terrorist AFP and PNP. Every effort must be carried out to expose and criticize every violation of the AFP and PNP against human rights and international humanitarian law. Fight the disinformation and fake news being spread by the AFP and PNP to obscure its fascism and human rights abuses.

It is the responsibility of all democratic forces, human rights defenders, especially classes and sectors in the cities, to defend the welfare of the peasant masses against state terrorism in all possible fields of struggle. They must exert efforts to link arms with people even in the remote areas of the countryside.

The suffering of the peasant masses and the poor in military-occupied villages must be brought to the attention of the broad masses of the people in factories and offices, schools, churches, in mass media and social media, Filipino migrants and the international community. The people must bring together their voice against fascist attacks and martial law in the countryside, and support the demand of the masses to drive away the armed military and police forces in their communities.

Expand and strengthen the various forms anti-fascist united front. Demand justice for all victims of massacres, murder, torture, illegal arrests, beatings and other abuse of people’s rights, as well as war crimes, against revolutionaries who are unarmed, hors de combat or civilians.

Fascists’ monsters must be made to pay dearly for their blood debts. The NPA must do everything it can to find, hunt down and punish military officials who mastermind the killings, as well as their mercenaries and minions. The NPA should firmly defend the masses in the guerrilla zones while expanding their territory and mass support in new areas.

The struggle against all forms of oppression and exploitation, the grabbing of land and environmental destruction should be advanced in an all-round way. Antifeudal struggles must be strengthened and expanded to lower land rent, raise the wages of farm workers and attain fair farmgate prices.

Above all, the NPA and the peasant masses should work together to advance widespread struggle for genuine land reform as the principal demand for national democratic change.

Defend the masses against fascist attacks