Heroism of the toiling masses: Tatay Yulo’s secret
This article is part of Ang Bayan’s series recognizing the daily heroism of the toiling masses in advancing the national democratic revolution. Ang Bayan enjoins all units of the Party, people’s army and revolutionary mass organizations to submit stories depicting the resilience, courage and militance of the toiling masses in the face of the reactionary state’s heightened attacks to suppress the raging people’s war.
Walking downstream through a river, Tatay Yulo noticed something submerged in water and sand. At first, he thought that it was a piece of rubber boot. He picked up the object and was surprised to see that it was an M16 rifle complete with ammunition. He placed the firearm inside a sack and waited until evening before returning home. The barrio where he resides is one of the areas in Mindanao where the New People’s Army (NPA) operates.
Several months before finding the rifle, an encounter between the people’s army and military took place place near the river. After the encounter, soldiers besieged and occupied Tatay Yulo’s community under the guise of “delivering services to conflict-affected areas.” Tatay Yulo, however, was aware that the program ultimately aims to deceive people and force them to surrender. He witnessed how other villagefolk were lured into signing attendance sheets during military assemblies which were later used to claim that they surrendered.
In other barrios and cities, soldiers boast of stories about growing number of “surrenderees.” Over the past weeks, the Eastern Mindanao Command touted that more than 200 “surrendered,” yielded their firearms and pledged to live peaceful lives. Tatay Yulo was aware that this was merely a manipulative scheme of the military and the Duterte government.
He somehow felt apprehensive that his secret might be uncovered by soldiers anytime. He was aware that people found to be in possession of firearms often end up in serious trouble. He knew that he could be arrested, tortured or killed by soldiers.
However, his conviction to serve the revolution remained firm. He proved that his principles can never be suppresed by fascists.
After a few months, a unit of Red fighters stopped by his house and requested to stay there temporarily. He has long waited for this opportunity. After welcoming the Red fighters with handshake, Tatay excitedly handed over the sack which he hid beneath his house to the NPA commander.
“I am not sure if this belongs to you or to the enemy. But since this is a weapon, this should be given to comrades,” said Ka Yulo while handing over the rifle.
Little did Tatay Yulo know that the M16 rifle was formerly issued to Ka Mando, a Red fighter who was martyred during the encounter in the area, three months ago. Comrades were able to retrieve the body of Ka Mando and thought that his firearm has already been seized by the enemies.
The rifle is now issued to another Red fighter who carries on in waging the indefatigable armed revolution.