Further stoke the fires of armed struggle in the Visayas and the entire archipelago

Editorial
Ang Bayan
September 9, 2014

The revolutionary armed struggle is thoroughly advancing nationwide. In this issue, Ang Bayan features reports of victory by the New People's Army (NPA) in advancing armed revolution in the Visayan regions, particularly in Eastern Visayas, Panay and Negros islands.

These regions are among the priority targets of the massive counterrevolutionary campaign of suppression Oplan Bayanihan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under the US-Aquino regime. But after four years, military officers have nothing to show for their efforts except empty declarations that "the enemy has been defeated" and that "peace has been attained."

These regions are likewise among the most impoverished nationwide due to widespread land monopoly and the most brutal forms of feudal exploitation. They are ruled over by big landlords, including those who control vast ricefields in Samar, coconut lands in Leyte and thousands of hectares of sugar cane plantations in Panay and Negros.

Impact projects like the Jalaur Dam in Iloilo and the highways in Samar, among others merely serve as milch cows for corrupt officials of the Aquino regime and their local cohorts.

Like the rest of the Filipino people, the people of the Visayas are just as intensely desirous of revolutionary change. Most of the Visayas are a rumbling volcano threatening to erupt in the face of intensifying class struggle.

In Negros, there is a widespread movement of farm workers to till idle lands for food production, in outright defiance of the laws of despotic big landlords. In Leyte, coconut farmers are rising up to assert their right to land. In Panay, the Tumanduk people are fighting for tens of thousands of hectares of ancestral land being seized by the AFP.

The revolutionary armed struggle in the Visayas is advancing alongside the continually spreading and intensifying antifeudal peasant movement. It is in areas where class struggle is most intense that the most number of people are eager to become Red fighters, the NPA enjoys the deepest support and the fires of armed struggle burn the brightest.

The regions in the Visayas were the most seriously devastated by typhoon Yolanda last year. Yolanda pushed the people deeper into the quagmire of poverty and oppression. The US-Aquino regime's exceedingly slow, severely inadequate and anomaly-ridden response to the disaster caused further hardships to the people.

In contrast to Aquino's extremely poor showing, the revolutionary forces immediately took action along with the people of the Visayas to organize a broad movement of peasants, fisherfolk and minority peoples to collectively address the devastation wrought by Yolanda. They immediately undertook cooperative efforts to repair damaged homes and production equipment, facilitate the flow of aid from other regions as well as national and international agencies and initiate collective farming and revitalize production.

But while the revolutionary forces focused on rehabilitation, AFP forces under the 8th and 3rd ID relentlessly conducted their counterrevolutionary war.  Amid the widespread devastation and despite the ceasefire declared by the Communist Party of the Philippines in the typhoon-struck areas, fascist soldiers continued their onslaught and their campaign of suppression without letup. The enemy used fascist terrorism against a people who had taken the initiative to rise up from disaster and strongly protest the ruling regime's grave neglect.

The unstoppable advance of armed revolution in the Visayas unmasks the deceptiveness of Oplan Bayanihan and resists its fascist brutality. The New People's Army utilizes the tactics of guerrilla warfare to continually intensify people's war.

With the goal of raising people's war to a new and higher level, armed struggle must further be fired up in the Visayas and the rest of the country. NPA commands must be strengthened and battle plans forged at the regional and subregional levels. NPA commands must thoroughly hold the initiative in battle and seize all opportunities to mete blows on the enemy. More and bigger tactical offensives where victory is a certainty must be launched. The people's militia must be further expanded and strengthened and their capability to launch independent and coordinated actions raised. Antifeudal mass struggles of hundreds of thousands to millions of peasants must further be expanded, strengthened and intensified.