Correspondence Armed struggle against military rule in Masbate

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The New People’s Army-Masbate (Jose Rapsing Command) reported this December that more than 20 military actions were launched by its units against the military and police in the province in 2022. These form part of the NPA-Masbate’s ongoing campaign to emasculate and frustrate the focused military operations and the “shock and awe” campaign of the Joint Task Force Bicolandia in the province. No less than five AFP-PNP-CAFGU battalions were deployed in the province composed of more than 1,500 men to launch these operations and militarization of communities under the RCSP (Retooled Community Support Program).

These actions include the November 7 ambush in Barangay Manlut-od in Placer where two CAFGU troops were killed, and in which the NPA seized two pistols, magazines, ammunition and other equipment.

Four of the offensives were launched in the first 100 days of the new Marcos regime in power. Eleven soldiers were killed and five were wounded in these offensives.

These include the demolition action on August 11 against the 2nd IB in Sitio Puro, Talisay, San Fernando in Ticao island. Five enemy forces were killed and three were wounded. Five were also killed in the sniping-harassment operations against the armed group of village chief Adriel “Boyet” Besana, CAFGU and 2nd IB in Sitio Baldoza, Cabungahan, Cawayayan, Masbate on August 18.

These offensives also show the Red Army’s perseverance to defend and strengthen the determination of the Masbateño masses to act and fight the ongoing military reign in Masbate. Under the Marcos regime, the Masbateño peasants face threats of worse fascist attacks by the AFP-PNP-CAFGU and the Masbate TF-Elcac.

The military and local ruling classes have started its campaign to grab large tracts of former grazing and hacienda lands which were once won by the peasant movement. Up to 11 have been reported victims of political killings in the province. This include the series of murders of peasants cultivating in and around the Pecson land which provincial bureaucrats under Marcos want to secure. The latest case was the murder of Ronnie Andren in Placer town on November 27. He was apprehended while preparing copra and killed.

According to Luz del Mar, spokesperson for the NPA-Masbate, the people’s army will not stop defending the Masbateño masses against military violence and in making the AFP-PNP-CAFGU’s accountable for its crimes against the people. Del Mar declared the NPA’s readiness to continue fighting the worsening state fascism and terrorism in Masbate.

Armed struggle against military rule in Masbate