Report from Southern Tagalog: Basis for leaping to a new stage of people's war*
April 21, 2011
The Party and the New People's Army (NPA) succeeded in preserving their critical strength in the countryside and cities of Southern Tagalog (ST) despite the unprecedented brutality of Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) I and II. These victories serve as the region's basis for contributing to the national effort to advance the people's war to a new and higher level within five years.
In a statement issued on March 29, ST's regional leadership reported that the NPA was able to maintain its more than ten guerrilla fronts in the face of the enemy's more than nine-year military campaign (2001-2010). As a result, the people's army and the revolutionary people were able to overcome the most difficult conditions of battle and have been steeled in the process.
Particularly in the Calabarzon area (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), more than ten battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) have been deployed, aside from several CAFGU battalions and special armed paramilitaries within industrial enclaves. In the Mimaropa area (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), there are forces of the Philippine Marines aside from the Philippine Army, PNP Special Action Force (SAF) and CAFGU.
Despite the huge number of enemy troops in the region, the NPA was able to launch more than 60 tactical offensives and other military actions. In Calabarzon, the people's army was able to inflict casualties on fascist troops repeatedly in a span of 18 months. A guerrilla front was able to launch 31 tactical offensives and other military actions, killing 17 enemy elements and wounding six others, including two agents of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP). The guerrilla units were also able to seize seven M16s, four shotguns and ten pistols.
In another guerrilla front, 22 enemy elements were killed and 17 were wounded in 18 tactical offensives and other military actions. And in another guerrilla front, 14 tactical offensives were launched, including three separate ambushes on elements of the 3rd PNP Special Action Force. (In these three gunbattles in particular, eight elements from the 3rd SAF-PNP were killed and eight M16s and three pistols were confiscated).
Meanwhile, the Mimaropa area contributed significantly to the people's army's resurgence regionwide by pinning down and dispersing enemy forces thinly. In a year's time, the NPA in this area was able to launch 12 tactical offensives. An NPA platoon was able to annihilate a 22-man force of the 23rd Division Reconnaissance Company, seizing 17 high-powered firearms consisting of 11 M16s, three M14s, two M203 grenade launchers, a K3 SAW (Special Warfare Automatic Weapon) and an M60 light machine gun. Also seized were several rounds of ammunition and military equipment such as four Falcon Harris radios.
In other tactical offensives, the NPA was able to overrun a police substation without firing a single shot, seize an M16 and four pistols and ambush two truckloads of Philippine Marines, wounding six troopers.
Tens of thousands of peasants have also benefited from agrarian revolution and other antifeudal struggles. Depending on the strength accumulated by the revolutionary people, the NPA has been able to confiscate land from landlords and distribute them for free for the peasant masses to till.
The revolutionary movement in the cities has provided valuable political support to guerrilla fronts that are under attack by the enemy. It has helped to blunt repeated enemy attacks on guerrilla fronts and in the process produced many volunteer recruits for the NPA.
The Party leadership in ST has full confidence that the NPA and the revolutionary forces possess a firm foundation to continue gaining strength and firmly persevere in protracted people's war.