Fearless forecast for 2022: NPA-Eastern Visayas to outlast Duterte, 8th ID

The New People’s Army-Eastern Visayas (Efren Martires Command or NPA-EMC) today laughed off as a loser’s bluff the Duterte regime’s latest deadline to only “contain” the revolutionary movement in the region by 2022, a stark difference to their previous declarations of completely “ending” the NPA which they have already adjusted several times over the years.

Reacting to the recent declaration of Duterte’s cabinet henchman in Eastern Visayas Eduardo del Rosario, NPA-EMC spokesperson Ka Karlos Manuel said, “Unwittingly, he accedes that the previous deadlines of ending the NPA in the region by 2019, by 2021, and then by 2022 have all failed. Duterte, del Rosario and the 8th Infantry Division have deferred to aiming to only ‘contain’ the NPA because they foresee it will be very difficult for them to try to decrease its strength, let alone defeat it,” said.

Manuel dismissed as hogwash del Rosario’s statement that the NPA has decreased in strength, saying that Duterte and the 8th ID have not only failed to contain the NPA in Eastern Visayas but are in fact aiding its growth in number and strength. “Duterte’s ‘whole-of-nation’ and ‘whole-of-government’ approaches have imposed de facto martial law in the countryside, destroying the lives and livelihood of thousands of peasant communities through combat and psywar operations. He and his henchmen fail to understand what every regime before Duterte also failed to – that the NPA and the people’s armed resistance thrive on the conditions of worsening hunger, poverty, neglect and state terror. They themselves are pushing the masses to tread the path of armed revolution.

“The thousand barrios where for decades the NPA and the masses have performed their revolutionary work of organizing, waging agrarian revolution, and launching tactical offensives cannot be simply declared ‘cleared’ after three months of forced surrenders, interrogations and veneer of ‘serbisyo caravans,’ as 8th ID commander Maj. Gen. Pio Diñoso III claims they have done. At most, Duterte’s all-out war against the people can only cause temporary setbacks, but the armed revolution can never be completely defeated.

The NPA-EMC spokesperson further observed that del Rosario and the 8th ID are only reechoing Duterte’s spiel about defeating the NPA in his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA). “Duterte and his ilk can only resort to rhetoric and hyperbole in the face of the consecutive defeats of the 8th ID against the NPA. But they cannot downplay its recent guerrilla offensives which have dealt them grave casualty and even taken away their firearms.

“A thousand threads bind the masses and their army. The NPA in Eastern Visayas has outlasted every regime and it will surely outlast Duterte and the 8th ID in 2022 and beyond,” Manuel ended.#

Fearless forecast for 2022: NPA-Eastern Visayas to outlast Duterte, 8th ID