Volume III, Number 1. 15 January 2021.
Although many decades have passed since this was first expressed by a great revolutionary leader, the recent developments in the Philippines once again prove this to be true.
The increasing repression of the Duterte regime started from 2016 with the extrajudicial killings of presumed drug addicts and dealers and unarmed social activists that has thus far resulted to more than 30,000 victims. It has then expanded with the hamletting and forced evacuations of rural communities suspected by the regime of being influenced by the New People's Army.
Using his regime's Anti-Terror Law as a flimsy legal justification, Duterte has now drummed into a crescendo the massive illegal arrests and murder of members of progressive grassroots organizations nationwide. In just the past few weeks, Duterte's armed troops massacred nine indigenous Tumandoks in Panay island, five farmworkers in Rizal province and activists all over the country.
This escalation of atrocities is accomplished by Duterte's enlargement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines which now has 150 battalions of maneuver troops. Duterte deployed 82% of these against the NPA in eight regions from Luzon in the north to Mindanao in the south. In addition, the Philippine National Police and 70,000 paramilitary augment the AFP in their operations. They are also emboldened by new supplies of military equipment from the US and other countries.
Suffering from increasing poverty and the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Filipino people, under a rapacious, corrupt and brutal dictator, are increasing their resistance. More and more are joining anti-fascist alliances, revolutionary mass organizations, the local organs of the people's democratic government, the CPP, NPA and the NDFP.
With greater numbers supporting the revolutionary movement, the NPA is continuously building guerilla fronts in old and new territories alike, even in the regions where Duterte has concentrated his forces. In just the past weeks, the NPA defeated Duterte's forces in Malibcong in Abra, Labo in Camarines Norte, Marabut in Samar and Carmen in Surigao del Sur, to name just a few.
Duterte, presently the main enforcer of the elite ruling class oppression, may not be in power for long. But the Filipino people's resistance will rise and prevail.