Volume III, Number 6. 31 March 2021.

In a brilliant display of a well-trained and disciplined army, the New People’s Army was able to subdue a detachment of the elite Philippine National Police Mobile Force on 20 March in Camarines Norte province, south of Manila. The Red fighters were able to seize high-powered firearms and ammunition from the enemy forces, treat the wounded, before safely retreating from the battle scene.

Three police officers survived the firefight after surrendering to the NPA’s superior forces.

Such is the hallmark of a revolutionary army fighting for national sovereignty, genuine democracy and social justice. Even as it maintains the fiercest will to fight the armed oppressors of the Filipino people, it also has an iron discipline in observing International Humanitarian Law. No harm befalls surrendered or hors de combat enemy troops.

At the opposite pole are the terrorists Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and their paramilitary gangs. They are trained to denigrate and hate people who stand up for their rights and resist repression. And they hate even more the people’s army, the NPA! Torture, mutilation, murder and forced disappearance are standard tools of the trade against the NPA and all who are suspected of sympathizing with the armed revolution. Egged on by Duterte himself, the AFP-PNP mercenaries terrorize the people with utter impunity.

Thank goodness they’re not all mindless murderers. Foot soldiers who find themselves in battle with a superior NPA force do choose to surrender, submit their firearms and avoid the further loss of lives.

Duterte and his cronies would do well to emulate their foot soldiers. Their failed ‘war on drugs’ has thus far murdered more than 20,000 Filipinos. Their failed ‘whole-of-nation’ anti-communist campaign has thus far murdered scores of indigenous peoples, peasant leaders, trade unionists, lawyers, journalists and human rights defenders, not to mention scores more incarcerated based on planted evidence. Their militarist measures against the COVID-19 pandemic have utterly failed and have thus far killed more than 13,000.

The Duterte regime has plunged the Filipino people into deeper unemployment, worse poverty, excessive foreign debt and intractable economic stagnation.

Avoid the further loss of lives, surrender! Unheeded, the Filipino people’s swelling resistance will force the ouster of this murderous dictator.