Part 1: No one remembers the dead peasants
Editors Note: The writer was once an urban Communist operator and worked from his cover in the local press and in the activist alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Negros.
He handled urban alliance work with political groups and politicians and handled propaganda and political agitation work for Bayan amd its allied groups including KMP, KMU, NFSW, and Karapatan.
H was sworn in as a full member of the CPP by former priest Frank Fernandez in a rebel camp in the village of Omas in Sipalay City in 2002 and was appointed in that year’s plenum as the youngest member of the Regional Urban White Area Committee.
His stories include some personal experiences about the Communist movement.
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – For the past two months since 14 June 2023, the countryside of Negros island, once a stronghold of the avowed Maoist rebels, the Communist Party of the Philippines has been on a killing spree.
The underground Communist group, aged more than half a century, had been classified domestically and abroad as a terror group and is now struggling to recover its bases lost here to a reintensified and refocused government counterinsurgency campaign.
As it revived its tag of “US-Marcos nga rehimen (US-Marcos regime)” for the administration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr, its armed wing, the New People’s Army, has also brought back a purge to communities of upland folk, mostly poor and unarmed peasants belonging to the social class the CPP calls as “ginapigos kag ginahimuslan (oppressed and exploited),” and for whom the CPP claims to be fighting its war of liberation.
“There are two kinds of purges – one is cleaning up a community before a rebel base is established and the other is the elimination of suspected infiltrators within the organization,” political analyst and former ranking Communist Earl Parreno told DNX.
Some former rebels, among them a Communist cadre deployed to the countryside in the 90s, said a “panghawan (clearing)” is usually done in an area the NPA wants to establish a base or a guerrilla zone in or to recover.
Among those to be “cleared,” a euphemism for “to be killed” are usually “anti people,” anti-social” or “anti-revolutionary” elements” – or basically everyone who does not “cooperate” with the rebels.
This seems to be the case with the Resotays, Ka Filemon told DNX.
Filemon is a former NPA guerrilla who was deployed to Central Negros under former Negros island top cadre Frank Fernandez.
He noted the NPA usually does this when they are facing successive defeats or trying to rebuild a territory after losing it like in the 1990s when the NPA lost a majority of its armed regulars and area of influence when cadres, commanders, and Red fifhters
In the case of the Faustos, however, he said this was an internal purge, the second type that Parreno also described.
This type, Parreno added was basically an organizational step against infiltration by enemy agents like in the 1990s that triggered what was later called in Party documents as an “anti-DPA hysteria” that led to thousands of Party cadres and members and even of mass sympathizers.
These NPA purges included Oplan Missing Link and Olympia in Luzon, and Kampanyang Ahos in Mindanao.
The latest two cases – the Fausto massacre in the mountain community of Kangkiling in Himamaylan City, and the gangland style execution of Felix Resotay Jr and his nephew Eliseo Jr on 9 August 2023 in Batyogon, a mountain community in the village of Minapasok where the NPA has brazenly admitted to killing five unarmed civilians so far since last year in Calatrava, a town two hours north from here, have all gained public attention anew.
Most of the local press reported on the admission of the NPA in the killing of the Resotays who were accused as military spies on 14 August 2023.
Three days later, groups identified by former rebels, including Jeffrey Celiz, as “legal fronts” of the CPP wailed on the streets against the government to commemorate the slay of Zara Alvarez and others that they called as victims of “extrajudicial killing” since the “Duterte regime” then and now the “US-Marcos regime.”
There was no mention of the Resotays.
But even as the rebels are on a killing spree in the island, the National Police has yet to file appropriate charges against them on the two latest killing that have become controversial not only for the attention paid to it by the local press but by the events surrounding these.
NO CHARGES YET
Despite the strong leads of the police and a highly-publicized announcement days after the Fausto massacre, police in Himamaylan City have yet to file a charge against the New People’s Army rebels who killed the defenseless Faustos inside their
The city police chief, Colonel Reynante R Jomocan had been mostly out of rrach or had not been answering texts and calls from DNX on why no case has been filed yet against the suspected members of the NPA allegedly led by an in-law of the victims.