By MARIA ROJA BANUA
Spokesperson, NDFP Bicol Chapter
Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista deliberately conceals from the people the basis for waging armed revolution. But the people are resolved that armed revolution is their principal method of breaking away from the wide-ranging and ever-worsening crisis being sponsored by an oppressive and exploitative system. Only with armed revolution, through the New People’s Army, have the people caught sight of hope in achieving genuine liberation, and claiming their rights to land and livelihood. They know fully that their establishment and defense of a truly democratic government rely upon the strength of the people’s army.
Moreover, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Bicol Chapter remains sincere in proceeding with the peace negotiations in order to pave the way towards resolving the roots of armed conflict between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP/GPH) and the NDFP. The people have long yearned for a peace based on justice.
This is in stark contrast with Lt. Gen. Bautista’s deathly peace that he aims to impose upon the people. For Bautista, peace is the stockpiling of arms and other materiel, under the guise of an anomalous modernization plan, in order to intensify the armed suppression of the people’s discontent. Bautista’s peace is the sustained positioning of soldiers that terrorize the peasant masses in the countryside.
It is laughable how Lt. Gen. Bautista’s impudence drives him to announce the so-called downward trend of the New People’s Army in the Bicol region, and subsequently lie about the AFP’s supposed forthcoming victory. Has early senility afflicted the self-assertive architect of Oplan Bayanihan? Bautista must have already failed to recall his admission only months ago that the AFP has been unsuccessful at implementing the first phase of their campaign to render irrelevant the people’s revolutionary movement.
Oplan Bayanihan has miserably failed in Bicol as it has been unable to occupy more than 10% of the region’s territories. The purported achievements of the so-called Peace and Development Teams have only succeeded in exposing the failure of each counter-insurgency campaign that go under a different name in every regime-change. The situation in the town of Bula in Camarines Sur province is an accurate example of how Special Operations Teams of the 1980s have mutated into present-day PDTs, and have ruined the peace and order in the town. The AFP coddles former NPA members who have been expelled from the people’s army due to incorrigible corruptness. These former NPA members are driven by their handlers to misrepresent themselves as active members, perpetrate crimes in the areas, and persecute upright villagers, before attributing their vile deeds to the revolutionary forces.
What victory does Bautista take pride in? It is disgraceful how the failed general gathers the gall to lie to himself, to his soldiers, and to the people. But then again, Bautista displays his pigheadedness to the psywar component of O-plan Bayanihan – mumbling illusions of victory amidst abounding news of NPA victories in the field.
The truth is that Bautista had to check on the 9th Infantry Division in order to constrain the demoralization that permeate amongst his troops in the face of Oplan Bayanihan’s failure to coerce the people to fight the revolutionary movement. Not even the military’s expected allies in the bureaucracy and the courts have delivered their presumed support. Also, Bautista had to assuage his troops’ anxiety as the New People’s Army continues to score outstanding victories across the nation despite the AFP’s self-assured triumph in capturing some of the revolution’s leaders.
Moreover, Bautista called on his soldiers in order to ensure Danding Cojuangco’s economic interest in profiting from the people through his control over power generation and distribution in Bicol. Bautista likewise wanted to guarantee the protection of the pro-imperialist APEC gathering in the region.
The AFP chief could very well wallow in his Oplan Bayanihan delusions. He could spring from AFP camp after AFP camp babbling about his perceived “weakening” of the revolutionary forces. But no sooner will his falsehoods be refuted by surprise attacks by the NPA. Bautista’s lies will be answered by the masses’ active offering of their best sons and daughters to join the NPA. Because the masses understand that without a people’s army, nothing else is in store for an oppressed and exploited people.
Long live the revolution!
Long live the Filipino people!