BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The New People’s Army was quick to the draw today, refuting the statement of an Army spokesman that it is losing mass support amid the series of surrenders by its Red fighters and successive battlefield losses wrought on it by government troops.
Juanito Magbanua, spokesman of the Leonardo Panaligan Command of the NPA, said in a statement posted on the Communist Party’s Paghimakas Facebook page today, pointed out that “…51 years of armed struggle waged by the CPP-NPA in over 110 guerilla fronts in 17 different regions, including regions 6 and 7, is already an overwhelming rebuttal to disprove AFP’s claim.”
Juanito Magbanua is the nom de guerre of the NPA’s regional operations command named after a youth leader who was killed in an encounter with government troops shortly after he joined the NPA.
He was hailed as the first martyr of the NPA in Negros island after the CPP’s internal split in the 90s.
A link to the post was sent to this reporter by a Facebook account with the name Frances Fernandez.
Magbanua’s post came hours after the Army reported that five alleged NPA guerrillas were killed in an early morning gunbattle in Mabinay town, Oriental Negros past midnight today, 18 June 2020.
We publish in full the remainder of Magbanua’s statement.
“The unwavering support of the masses in Negros and the entire country is more than enough proof that the NPA through the absolute leadership of the CPP is steadily establishing political power in the countryside. The worsening crisis is the fuel that fans the flames of the armed revolution, even more so these days due to brutal attacks of the Duterte regime and his military cabinet.”, Ka Juanito Magbanua said in a statement Thursday.
He also challenged Maj. Pancito and the AFP that if they wanted evidence, they can do so all over various social media accounts of the revolutionary movement in Negros and the entire country. They can download our publications and multimedia products in our website. They can discover there for themselves that the NPA has held a klinikang bayan catering to thousands, among other activities that clearly refute their statement.
“If online proof is not enough, the AFP already know that recently, guerilla fronts in Negros have conducted public health campaigns and called for emergency food production as a response to the Covid-19 crisis. It wouldn’t be hard to miss for the AFP since they experienced that reality firsthand when they suffered casualties after sabotage attempts to these campaigns in Himamaylan and Manjuyod the past months. That is the price fascists pay when they attack the people’s initiative and collective action.”, Magbanua added.
NPA-Negros welcomes genuine government efforts when beneficial for the people. But history has repeatedly shown that when the AFP meddle in community programs, these end up being caught in corruption and cronyism.
“It is bold of the AFP to accuse the NPA of lip service when it is them who have consistently terrorized communities while also lying to the face of the masses that they are well-received. In the guise of E-CLIP and CSP, they have destroyed livelihood & cooperatives, arrested & murdered dozens of innocent farmers while milking the budget for these programs. Might I remind the AFP that state terrorism enabled by them remain to be a top reason why the people take arms and join the NPA. We suggest that the truly patriotic rank-and-file soldiers who are just cannon fodder-while the top brass wallow in stolen wealth- to consider joining the NPA for the fight for our national liberation.”, remarked Magbanua.”