Gen. Brawner is mistaken, the NPA in the Visayas cannot be destroyed

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This article is available in Hiligaynon

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr bragged about his confidence that the overall victory against “NPA remnants” in the Visayas will be achieved by the end of 2024. But the brutal and cowardly massacre of five hors de combat in Bohol by the 47th IB and PNP and the bombardment of the Trangkal Range in Escalante City, including the murder of Jose Caramihan, an ordinary farmer, shows the dirty and cruel conduct of the AFP and the police to publicly manifest the fake success of their counter-insurgency campaign.

Amid the AFP’s repeated postponement of its deadline to finish the NPA, it is obvious that Brawner and his Commander in Chief Marcos Jr do not want to admit the defeat of their scheme to destroy the revolutionary movement.

The NPA can never be destroyed. The justness of people’s war waged with the unwavering support of the masses has been proven in more than 55 years of the NPA’s existence under the leadership of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). While the rotten semi-colonial and semi-feudal system remains, more will oppose and are willing to offer their lives in the armed revolution.

In this essence, the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command-New People’s Army Negros Island Regional Operations Command (AGC-NPA), together with all guerrilla fronts on the island, gives the highest tribute to Domingo Compoc (Ka Silong or commonly known by the masses in Negros as Ka Laser) and Alberto Sancho (Ka Juaning) who were among five Red fighters brutally massacred by elements of the 47th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army and troops of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Sitio Matin-ao 2, Barangay Campagao, Bilar, Bohol province on February 23.

According to witnesses, no encounter happened in the aforementioned area. Ka Laser and Ka Juaning and the other three comrades were still alive when captured by the mercenary military and police. Ka Laser was suffering from arthritis and had no capacity to resist.

Instead of respecting the rights of the five Red fighters as prisoners of war, they suffered torture at the hands of butchers 47th IB and PNP. They were made to roll in the mud and were shot to death, except Ka Laser. He was stabbed in the neck and his stomach was slit which caused his death. These are clear violations of the 1949 Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol 1 of 1977.

The masses in Negros greatly cherished Ka Laser and Ka Juaning. They became part of the revolutionary movement’s growth on Negros Island.

Ka Laser came from Bohol province and has long implemented revolutionary work in his area since the 1980s. In 2007, he was deployed to Southeast Negros and afterwards, was assigned to the southwest part of Negros in 2015. Later on, he was redeployed to Bohol on 2017 as Platoon CO and deputy secretary of the Bohol Provincial Committee.

Before Ka Laser was deployed to Negros, he had significant contributions to the advancement of a guerrilla zone in Bohol. He helped in the breakthrough of agrarian revolution during the Second Great Rectification Movement (SGRM) including the increase of production share in favor of the tenants. He also greatly contributed in invigorating the underground mass organizations in Bohol.

Ka Laser was also well-known for his role in tactical offensives in Bohol. The most notable tactical offensive he was involved in was the 1999 raid of 7th PNP-Regional Mobile Group Combat Support Coy (RMG-CSC) Headquarters in Barangay Rizal, Batuan, Bohol that was executed without a single shot, where the NPA seized 80 M16 rifles, a M60 machine gun and a 60mm mortar.

Meanwhile, Ka Juaning helped in the legal mass movement during the early part of 2010 in Negros Oriental and committed as a full-time NPA fighter later that year.

Ka Juaning was active in the mass struggles of the urban poor sector since 1980s. On 1987, he was captured by reactionary state forces because he supported the armed partisans. He was convicted in 1994 and was brought to the National Bilibid Prison (NBP). He was among those who affirmed the SGRM and helped in strengthening the standpoint of political prisoners in the NBP. After his release from prison in the later part of the 1990s, Ka Juaning returned to work in the mass movement in Cebu.

The AFP and PNP must be held accountable for their heinous crime of slaughtering the five Red fighters. The butcher military and police forces are wrong in their belief that through their modus of executing massacres and sowing terror in the countryside the NPA, either in the Visayas or the entire country, will weaken.

Revolutionary martyrs like Ka Laser and Ka Juaning offering their lives serve as inspiration to Red fighters and the whole revolutionary movement. Their revolutionary spirit will live on in our persistent waging of the people’s democratic revolution for the people to attain a future where there is genuine peace and liberation.###

Gen. Brawner is mistaken, the NPA in the Visayas cannot be destroyed