The NPA will outlast the US-Marcos regime

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People were incredulous over Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s recent declaration that the New People’s Army (NPA) no longer has an “active guerrilla front” nationwide. Even the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was forced to contradict it, although said that the supposedly 11 guerrilla fronts are “weakened”. According to AFP, the NPA only has 1,500 Red fighters by the end of 2023.

The statements of Marcos and the AFP serve the purpose of enticing foreign capitalists. They make it appear that the NPA is non-existent or weak to give large foreign companies all the opportunity to plunder the country’s land and natural resources.

Pouring funds and forces

The regime’s own actions belie their statements. Despite repeated declarations of a “paradigm shift” by the AFP, a large part of its battalions remain deployed in NPA territories. No military forces have been shifted to prepare for the much touted “external defense.”

Around 60,000-70,000 military and police combat troops (or 150 battalions of AFP and PNP counterinsurgency units) remain arrayed against the people’s army across the country. There are also the 50,000-strong paramilitary force and the construction of military camps in hundreds of barangays across the country. If the regime’s numbers of “remaining” Red fighters are true, the ratio of soldiers, police and paramilitaries to Red fighters will be 80:1.

Marcos also inflated the AFP budget by almost 40% from ₱203.4 billion last year to ₱282.7 billion this year. This includes the last-minute insertion of ₱6.17 billion by the bicameral committee of the Senate and Congress. Much of the military’s funding are for buying US-supplied jet fighters and drones used for the frenzied and decadent war of aerial bombing, artillery and all-out military operations in the countryside. The National Task Force-Elcac also received ₱3.18 billion.

In fact, focused military operations continue and are relentless, squandering large funds in many regions of the country. In Southern Mindanao, 19 battalions remain deployed under the control of the 10th ID despite the region being declared “insurgency-free” for more than a year. The regime also maintains and funds about 400 CAFGU detachments and 13 paramilitary forces in the region.

In Eastern Visayas, the 8th ID itself announced that it will continue to mobilize 14 battalions (or equivalent to 5,600 soldiers) throughout the region to “pursue” the alleged 119 remaining Red fighters in the provinces here. The division commander also said he will use all military weapons to already “annihilate” the people’s army.

In Cagayan Valley, the 5th ID sent 100 new soldiers on January 16 to “completely eliminate insurgency throughout the division’s jurisdiction.” This is contrary to the 5th ID commander’s boast last December 2023 that the people’s army is “no longer capable” of launching politico-military work in the region and that they foresee “complete victory” against the NPA early in the year.

Just struggle

In fact, the NPA operates in 14 regional commands each having its own number of guerilla fronts.

The Red army is far from defeated despite the setbacks it suffered in recent years due to internal weaknesses. Since the struggle is just and the NPA represents the aspirations of the farmers and workers who make up the vast majority of the Filipino people, it is bound to persist and move forward.

The NPA continues to carry out guerrilla maneuvers to break out from the AFP’s encirclement, steadily build a wider mass base and expand its guerrilla fronts. It will continue to launch tactical offensives to hit the enemy’s weak points where they are least expecting it.

The NPA vow to outlast Marcos, just as it outlasted his father and all US-backed governments in the past 35 years which all boasted of crushing the NPA. Under the guidance of the Party, the NPA has learned its lessons and is determined to frustrate the brutal offensives of the AFP.

The NPA will outlast the US-Marcos regime