Philippines: News from the People’s War

Featured image: demonstration in Borongan City, Phillippines. Source: Ang Bayan

During these weeks there have been different actions of the New People’s Army (NPA) regarding the People’s War. You can find previous actions in our previous article. On July 30th, the NPA killed one soldier and wounded another from the 62nd Infantry Battalion. This occurred in Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan, in Negros Oriental, when the Guerrillas attacked the troops to interfere with their combat operations. This is not the only similar action, as on July 25th, in a harass operation, a soldier from the same battalion unit was wounded in Negros Occidental. And another police officer was injured on August 2nd in Guihulngan. Along with this, the NPA reports that 30 soldiers have graduated from their military training in Samar area to be able to continue carrying out this type of action in the framework of the People’s War.

Last Saturday, August 5th, the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) bombarded different towns in Guihulngan starting at 5:00 a.m. and for more than an hour and a half. These bombardments put the inhabitants at serious risk since they occurred very close to the town, in the area that the peasants use to plant vegetables. This is not an isolated event, in the area the Philippine National Police often interferes with the tranquility and economic activity of the peasants. Another bombardment was also carried out in the area on August 3rd. There is still a military presence in the area, interrogating residents and flying drones.

The revolutionary armed struggle against the old State and for new democracy is far from being isolated. Vast parts of the popular masses suffer and hence they rise against the ruling classes. In this sense it should be mentioned that on July 24th, 12,000 people protested in various cities in the Philippines against the conditions they are experiencing. 10,000 of them in Quenzon City. These protests were held under the slogan “More wages, livelihoods and food on the table! Stop the violence! Well-being of the masses, not of the nobility” to protest against the rise in prices that the country is experiencing. The protests were joined by democratic groups from South Tagalong, Central Luzon, Cordillera and other neighboring regions. There were also marches in more cities that brought together up to 600 people and democratic groups, such as Metro Manila and Isla de Negros. These protests spread internationally and were carried out by groups of migrant Filipinos in the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand or Australia. The protests are directed against the Marcos government, which is silent in the face of the great problems of the people such as hunger and anti-popular measures that affect the smallest fishermen.

During the first days of August, it was possible to verify a general rise in prices of goods in the Asian country. This increase is coordinated between the companies, and it is the fourth carried out in the last four weeks in the country. The newspaper Ang Bayan, a democratic newspaper in the Philippines, analyzes that this is due to the continuing policies of the Marcos regime: “This destroys the productive forces and deepens the agrarian, non-industrialized and economically backward forces. The ability to produce food and other goods is diminishing, and is increasingly dependent on imports, external loans and foreign investment. They add that this only serves the interests of large foreign banks and monopoly capitalists while undermining the economic rights of the people. They also add that the situation is worse where the Marcos regime allows big landowners, the comprador bourgeoisie and foreign capitalists to seize hundreds of thousands of hectares of land for plantations and mines, “green” energy projects and ecotourism, among others. “Hundreds of thousands of farmers are forced off the land and deprived of other means of production and livelihoods resulting in widespread bankruptcy and poverty.” And they add that in order to fight for these economic rights it is necessary to carry out the national democratic struggle: “Only by achieving true freedom from foreign control can a nation be established, sensitive to the needs of the people, standing on its own feet and advancing towards a modern and progressive socialist opening.”

Furthermore, 2,000 residents from different provinces of Samar marched on August 7 to call for an end to destructive mining industries on the islands of Homonhon and Manicani. The action started with a caravan from different towns to Borongan City and there they marched together. Ang Bayan reports that the purpose of the march was to “explain the negative effects of mining operations” on the island and “to call for an end to these activities.” Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines (UP)-Tacloban Student Council extended its solidarity in action against mining operations. Four mining companies are currently operating to extract nickel and chrome on the island of Homonhon: Techiron Resources Inc, Emir Mineral Resources Corp, King Resources Mining Corp, and Global Min-met Resources Inc.

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