An Open Letter to the Rank and File of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from the New People’s Army (NPA)
The recent ambush at Cabunagan, Poblacion, Tadian, Mountain Province last April 2 is another classic example of how the forces of the AFP, PNP and CAFGU are shoved into peril to protect the economic and political interests of the ruling class. In the said battle, one police officer died while eight others were wounded.
Based on reports received by the CMC from the Leonardo Pacsi Command (LPC) of NPA-Mountain Province regarding the ambush last April 2, one PNP element was immediately killed while others were wounded through the ignition of command-detonated explosives and the initial burst of gunfire at the onset of the attack. In the middle of battle, some of the ambushed police officers who were already trapped in the killing zone were starting to surrender but their commanding officer was madly ordering them to assault the well positioned NPA red fighters while threatening that he himself will shoot at whoever would dare to defy his command. Because of the coerced maneuver, the ambushed PNP unit suffered more wounded. Had they surrendered, the additional casualties could have been avoided.
This is a common occurrence in battles between the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU. You certainly know this too well.
And what does this incident reveal? That your commanders have no sincere concern at all for your precious lives. Because of orders from your generals and other high ranking officials who only care about the pursuance of their promotion and the large amounts of bonuses and rewards they shall receive, they thrust you ordinary soldiers and policemen into the gateway of death.
It is not the concern of your commanders, all the more your lunatic and terrorist commander-in-chief Duterte, if many of you would die in battle. Neither is it their concern if you don’t have enough provision of logistics and supplies for your combat operations and if you don’t receive enough benefits. As long as they gain commendations from your “accomplishments” while they wallow in the wealth they amass from embezzling large funds of the AFP-PNP, and protecting and managing criminal activities such as the illegal drug business.
To pursue economic programs and projects that only benefit the landlords and big foreign and local capitalists, the reactionary state drives you to commit different forms of violence and savagery against the people. Instead of implementing your duty to respect and protect human rights, you are ordered to wantonly disregard these. You are trained to use terror – to arrest and detain the innocent, abduct, torture, rape, salvage, burn down & damage houses and properties – and other heinous crimes against the people. You are ordered to kill civilians that you report as “NPAs who died in battle” or criminals who “violently resisted arrest”, just like the ruthless murder of 14 farmers in front of their very own pleading families that you recently committed in Negros Oriental. Even with the results of independent investigations that the 14 you murdered are innocent civilians, your generals callously defend that the said operation executed by the PNP was “legitimate” and that the 14 were killed because they “fought back” while resisting arrest.
Upon the instructions of your despotic chief Duterte and his bloodthirsty generals, you are driven to become murderers and criminals against the people who are exerting and struggling for their basic rights. Within just three years of the Duterte regime, more than 20,000 civilians have already been killed by the AFP-PNP in the brutal ‘war on drugs’ and war of suppression.
And what have you gained from this? You have only earned the wrath and hatred of the broad masses who are raging against the intense oppression and barbarity they experience in your hands. It is no surprise that they treat you as enemies.
The ongoing civil war in our country is a class conflict. It is a war between the Filipino people against their class oppressors and exploiters – the landlords, comprador bourgeoisie and their imperialist masters. To protect their control over the country’s economy and the reactionary state, the ruling class and their imperialist masters employ the fascist machineries of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU and other para-military groups to violently suppress any opposition against the status quo. ‘Service to the people’ does not exist within the hearts and minds of your higher officials and commander-in-chief. For they are totally subservient to the aristocracy who perpetuate a rotten system of society where the majority, including your own families, are mired in extreme poverty.
This is the main reason why your despotic commander-in-chief Duterte terminated the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) which represents the revolutionary movement. Duterte and the ruling class have no interest at all in undertaking a comprehensive economic and social service program that would address and resolve the roots of the impoverishment of the workers, peasants and other disadvantaged and marginalized. They do not want to lose nor diminish their economic and political power which they have acquired through the existing exploitative and oppressive system.
We know that intense poverty has driven you to enter the AFP and PNP. But in your desperate effort to uplift your families from destitution, is it utterly wrong for you to work and provide service for the very system that perpetuates the suffering of our people. You better think deep and reflect on this. There is no honor in serving and defending power-hungry oppressors who gain wealth through abusing the vast majority of the population.
We exhort you to stand for the true interests of the people. Learn from them about the real situation of our country and the basic masses. Unite with them in their mounting struggle against poverty and resistance against the tyranical Duterte regime. Establish links with and join the revolutionary movement.
The NPA will always be ready to accept you whenever you decide to join our ranks and directly participate in the people’s armed revolution that shall finally liberate the masses from class oppression and exploitation. ###