NDF-Ilocos: On its 52nd year, NPA further proves itself a truly revolutionary army


NDF-Ilocos: On its 52nd year, NPA further proves itself a truly revolutionary army
Duterte keeps economic and political situation favorable for armed revolution

Whenever he deems to show himself and play pretend president of this administration, Rodrigo Duterte mainly just froths at the mouth with expletives, gibberish and hot air against his many opponents and critics. But there is no one or nothing that triggers him most than the continued existence and resolute advance of the NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY (NPA). As the NPA celebrates its 52nd anniversary, the NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT-ILOCOS (NDF-Ilocos) congratulates the only true revolutionary army that Duterte and his predecessors have time and again failed to crush.

Revolutionary Times

More than a year into the pandemic and its militarist mismanagement, Duterte takes us back in time by implementing another round of enhanced community quarantine. With around 13,000 dead and a daily average of 8,000 contracting the virus since cases escalated this month, with almost four million left jobless and around 90,000 small to medium-scale businesses shuttered, he still refuses to address the public health issue with medical solutions.

Meanwhile, in Region 1, the agricultural sector is practically devastated by the pandemic. Last year, due to higher cost of production, incomes went down anywhere from 30 to 65 percent. Minimal rainfall resulted in irrigation problems; many were unable to pay their debts to the National Tobacco Administration which imposes a steep 5 percent interest. Early this year, continuous rain damaged tobacco plants up to 90 percent. And for rice farmers who have had to contend with the enacted tariffication, farm gate prices went down to Php12 from the previous Php22. Also, due to irrigation issues, harvest decreased from 100 cavans in 2019 to 24 cavans the following year. Fisher folk who were prohibited from selling their catch had to bury their haul in the ground. Around 500 personnel from the bus liner Partas was laid off.

Since Day 1, these current issues has exposed the lethal rot in the current system and the few elites who control it without any bit of thought for the majority of the population. True to its character, the Duterte regime continues to whip the Filipino people with neoliberal attacks even in the midst of the pandemic. A stark example is the enactment of CREATE (or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act) at the prodding of international lending banks. Official lines insist that it is necessary to cut corporate tax to “stimulate the economy.” Yet, ironically, it is most urgent now to collect revenues to provide for public health needs and economic assistance. Also, according to legal research institution IBON Foundation, there isn’t any study on whether investment decisions are made on the basis of any particular tax policy. But Duterte’s administration refuses to take note of these realities.

The abundance of economic, political and social issues means that the situation is potent for armed revolution. More and more sectors and individuals are being politicized. They confirm the glaring lack of concern for the Filipino people’s health and economic burdens; the need for radical, if not revolutionary, change is brought into harsher light. Duterte’s brand of rabid fascism through the widely criticized Anti-Terror Law has only served to reinforce the broad unity against him. Even the systematic and synchronized attacks against legal activists and progressive organizations have turned the people towards national democratic organizations, the NPA foremost of them. In the face of economic downfall, political crisis and state terrorism, the armed revolution is becoming a more viable option for the newly politicized and socially aware. These are more than enough reasons for the people’s democratic war to surge forward and the NPA to strengthen its ranks through their consolidation and expansion.

Revolutionary Army

Even before its formal inception as the NPA, its role has been to protect the Filipino people and advance their interests. Its forerunner, the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon took upon itself the task of repelling Japanese invaders after the American colonial government and its Filipino lackeys chose to run off. It was actually guerrilla revolutionaries who killed Ferdinand Marcos’ father Mariano, a known Japanese collaborator before his past was deodorized using Marcos wealth. And in the Cordilleras, especially when the dictator Marcos was forcing the Chico Megadam Project against the self-determined opposition of the tribes of Kalinga and Mountain Province, it was the NPA and the Igorot peoples’ armed uprising that stopped the destructive project from pushing through.

The NPA today is still very much the heroic army of the Japanese resistance then and of the people’s continuing struggle to protect their territories and livelihood. Fascist administrations, most especially Duterte’s, try in vain to paint Red fighters and commanders as terrorists, common criminals and/or immoral personas. But these maneuvers speak more about their desperation rather than the real circumstances of the Soldados ti Umili. With his vigilantes originating in Davao and then spreading to national fame, with his Tokhang death toll numbering tens of thousands and with his record of summarily executing defenseless peace consultants, Duterte is the actual terrorist.

The Red fighters’ perseverance despite all hardships springs from the fact that a new social system will arise only from the victory of an armed revolution by the upcoming dominant class, specifically the proletariat, with the rest of the people. So great is the objective of the People’s Democratic Revolution that Duterte’s best move is to once again sit down to negotiate peace and address the root causes of the revolution. Militarization in the countryside only further earns him the ire of the peasant class and this translates to greater numbers taking up arms. Because in reality, the NPA is impossibly far from surrendering and is actually valiantly overcoming the enemy’s focused military operations. Despite the deployment of several battalions with high-powered and advanced armaments against them, the NPA still stands undefeated. While some units have suffered losses, these become critical lessons. Much to Duterte’s sorrow, the sacrifices made to garner each lesson are, and will continue to be, honored by forwarding the revolutionary struggle.

The relic that is Duterte is much like the old system that the NPA is poised to inevitably overthrow. With his regime in its twilight and facing a growing ouster campaign, Duterte has merely emphasized his own ineptness and underscored the fact that the NPA as an army for revolutionary change is most steadfast against a fast-plunging regime like his. ###

NDF-Ilocos: On its 52nd year, NPA further proves itself a truly revolutionary army