PEOPLE’S WAR REPORT
The Red Flag
ARMED AGITATION AND PROPAGANDA
19.04.2022: Poster hung against a corrupt road construction project between the villages of Chakramal and Babebira (Bargarh, Odisha), signaling the return of communist presence in the district.
18.04.2022: Assault by red soldiers of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army, the Communist Party of India (Maoist)’s armed forces, against a police security base camp at Kutru (Bijapur), injuring four police officers before retreating safely. The cops all had to be brought to the hospital.
20.04.2022: Ambush by red soldiers against a reactionary squad of Special Task Force, District Reserve Guard and CoBRA units between Kottaguda and Pegdapalli villages (Bijapur, Chhattisgarh); a head constable of CoBRA, the old Indian State’s counterinsurgency jungle unit, was injured. The ambush is part of the Communist Party of India (Maoist)’s tactical counter-offensive campaign that the comrades are currently carrying out.
15.04.2022: Damage of a bridge in Sukma district (Bastar) with explosives. The entire bridge would have gone down if the action hadn’t been interrupted by Central Reserve Police Force and District Reserve Guard units of the old State; the colleagues made a tactical retreat and suffered no casualties.
18.04.2022: Arson attack against seven tractors engaged in a road construction project in Managanar village (Barsur, Bijapur). A contingent of 100 to 150 armed red soldiers stood guard and set the tractors on fire; a banner was left behind warning the village secretary and project contractor to stop the project.
19.04.2022: Another arson attack by red soldiers against four Hyva trucks, two JCB machines and another vehicle, all being used for sand mining near the Mingachal river (Bijapur, Chhattisgarh).
18.04.2022: Annihilation of tribal leader and suspected police informant in Kalaiguda village (Sukma, Chhattisgarh).
11.04.2022: Dr. G. N. Saibaba published a book from inside solitary confinement titled «Why Do You Fear My Way So Much? Poems and Letters from Prison». Saibaba was arrested in 2014 over alleged ties to the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The book describes life inside his cell and his dream for freedom; officials of Nagpur Central jail tried to prevent him from publishing the book by scrutinizing him, but to no avail. Saibaba’s mother tongue is Telugu, but the Indian reactionaries forbid him and his wife to speak it or even to write letters in it. He has contracted Corona twice while being imprisoned, but receives no medical treatment.
13.04.2022: The old Indian State’s Bombay High Court denied political prisoner Varavara Rao’s plea for permanent bail amidst Rao’s harsh health problems such as first signs of Parkinson’s disease. The progressive poet, who was imprisoned in 2018 over allegations of rioting and ties to the Communist Party of India (Maoist), is still currently on a temporary bail so he can undergo a cataract operation. However, the reactionaries are determined to lock him back up, with prosecutor Anil Singh simply remarking: «He is over 80 years old, obviously there will be medical problems. But that does not mean he keeps taking extensions forever. He has to surrender some time. I don’t see why this plea should survive.»
10.04.2022: Annihilation of Jeger Flores, a red-tagger (= he accused masses of being red soldiers in order to justify State repression against them) and local snitch for the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, in Guihulngan City (Negros Oriental) by the New People’s Army ─ Central Negros (Leonardo Panaligan Command). Flores had directly been involved in the murder of Arnold Suerte, who was accused of being a red soldier, by the reactionary armed forces back in January.
15.04.2022: Annihilation of Elvin Janapin Alzaga, a member of a military intelligence special unit, in Guinlajon county (Sorsogon City). Death was overdue for this reactionary, who hardly had any room left on his hands for more blood: he had a long red-tagging history, was involved in the abduction of organized fisherfolk in February, forced multiple people to falsely surrender as New People’s Army members, killed others extrajudicially and was part of a special unit operation in June 2019 that murdered the red commander Comrad Dupax.
IMPERIALISTS, GET OUT! THE PHILIPPINES ARE NOT A CHESSBOARD! PART 3: THE COUNTERREVOLUTION AT HOME
INTRODUCTION: THE FASCIST’S EMPTY WORDS
The Communist Party of the Philippines and the revolutionary armed forces of the New People’s Army have been waging a people’s war against the old Philippine State and its imperialist masters for over half a century to this day. The people’s war is not a war of aggression or an ethnic conflict, but a war of liberation, with the goal of uniting the oppressed people in revolution, destroying the old State and constructing a new one in its place. This new State is a new-democratic dictatorship (that is to say, with democracy for the working people and not for the CEO’S, generals, foreign investors and landlords). This new democratic revolution enables the reconstruction of the entire Philippine economy, its political and its cultural life in service of the working people instead of any exploiters.
The people’s war in the Philippines has endured hard times, among others the fascist dictatorship of the U.S.-backed Ferdinand Marcos, which we touched on in the second part of this article series. These hard times have taught the fighting communists, soldiers and masses important lessons for the liberation of the Philippines and strengthened the revolution ─ but the international capitalist class tries to claim the opposite by spreading numbers about the size of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army that are fake from start to finish. The most common claim is that the New People’s Army had its peak in 1986 with about 24’000 soldiers after the end of the Marcos dictatorship, while today it only numbers between 4’000 and 5’000 soldiers. In fact, the opposite is true: In 1986, the Communist Party of the Philippines numbered about 10’000 Party members, the New People’s Army was about 6’100 soldiers strong and many more fought as part of people’s militias and self defense units. Today, the Party numbers 150’000 members and leads tens of thousands of soldiers organized in the New People’s Army, people’s militias and self defense units. Additionally, the mass base of the Philippine revolution has grown from about 50’000 people in the Party’s founding year of 1968 to millions of members of revolutionary mass organizations. Some of these people are contributing to the construction of the new-democratic people’s dictatorship ─ with democracy for the people, but dictatorship for the exploiters.
One figure who seems to believe the hoaxes against the Philippine revolution himself is the Philippines’ current fascist president, Rodrigo Duterte, who in recent years has made grand announcements mutiple times that he will crush the people’s war before the end of his term on the 30.06.2022. This promise is as empty as his strategy for fulfilling it is hopeless: Billions of Swiss francs are pumped into the Philippine armed forces (which includes the Armed Forces of the Philippines as well as the Philippine National Police) by him and the imperialists and reactionaries backing him. This enables the armed forces to conduct campaign after campaign of counterrevolutionary terror against the Filipino people using up-to-date weaponry ─ but mind you, these are the very people who are turning towards revolution because of, among other things, sufferings like these that are caused by the current system.
WHERE IS THE PHILIPPINE REACTION GETTING ITS WAR GEAR FROM?
We want to start by looking at the arms deals and donations that Chinese social-imperialism arranged with the old Philippine State in recent years. In December 2016, during a meeting with the Chinese ambassador, Duterte was offered about 13’200’000 CHF worth of material as a gift and about 471’000’000 CHF worth of more material as a «long-term soft loan« (a loan that can be paid back in small rates over a longer period of time under relatively low pressure). The gift was made up of small arms, speedboats and night vision goggles; it was handed over in 2018 under the pretext of supporting Duterte’s fight against the Philippines’ «drug problem». This has been an excuse to kill poor people and potential enemies of the State since the beginning of Duterte’s term in 2016, when he issued a call to extrajudicially kill cartel members and small dealers alike. Since then, the Philippine armed forces can plant drugs on people as an excuse to kill them like it’s nothing; bourgeois sources estimate almost 32’000 people have died because of such «anti-drug operations» (as of Jannuary 2022). China also made this gift and issued this loan in the context of a U.S. senator blocking the U.S: sale of almost 26’000 M4 guns because of «human rights concerns» ─ it lines up with the beginning of the period in which Duterte tried to sever ties to U.S. imperialism.
The next Chinese arms gift followed in June 2017 in the form of 3’000 rifles and 6’000’000 pieces of ammunition worth about 6’880’000 CHF «for the fight against terrorism». Among other things, this Chinese statement referred to an ongoing armed conflict between the old Philippine State and multiple jihadist groups in the city of Marawi. The jihadists had conducted selective annihilations against State personnel and occupied parts of the city starting in May 2017. They surrendered in October 2017 after Philippine and U.S. troops had razed the entire city to the ground… and of course, the donated weapons have stayed in the hands of the reactionaries ever since.
Another donation, this time of 18’900’000 CHF worth of logistical equipment, followed in the autumn of 2020. China made it’s most recent larger gift in January this year, when it gave 18’400’000 CHF worth of military equipment to the Philippines amidst growing tensions in the «South Chinese Sea». It seems as though Xi Jinping and company are running out of ideas; they again said that the gift was for «fighting drugs» and «fighting terrorism». If we add up all the numbers we cited (which definitely doesn’t encompass all the war gear coming from China), we can say that Chinese imperialism has donated at least 528’600’000 CHF worth of arms material to the Philippine armed forces since 2016.
However, this pales in comparison to the war gear coming from U.S. imperialism: From 2002 to 2016, the U.S. donated about 750’000’000 CHF worth of small arms, ships, helicopters, radios, protective vests, night equipment and coastal radars to the old Philippine State, in addition to about CHF 566’000’000 worth of material during Duterte’s presidency ─ and that’s just the gifts! What’s more, the U.S. has sold about 2’450’000’000 CHF worth of military equipment to the State since Duterte took office (as of March 2022). Hence, if we compare the flow of Chinese and U.S. war gear into the Philippines since 2016 (taking into account the limitations of this calculation), we have about 528’600’000 CHF vs. about 3’016’000’000 CHF. If we go by value, the U.S. has transferred over five times as much material to the Philippine reactionaries as China has.
Aside from the U.S. and China, there is a longer list of countries that have sold arms material to the Philippine armed forces, among them Russian, Japanese and British imperialism as well as the Tukish and «South Korean» reactionaries.
When it comes to Swiss imperialism, statistics of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (which can be found on kriegsmaterial.ch) show that Swiss arms companies have exported 21’888’229 CHF worth of war materials to the bloodthirsty Philippine military ─ 21’385’212 CHF of which were exported in the last 10 years.
But arms companies are by far not the only organizations that are contributing to the counter-revolution from here. For over a decade now, neo-nazis and other reactionaries have been constructing a secret putschist network inside the States of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The network originated in the German army and police, extends across diverse agencies and branches of the States listed above and also has a legal organization called UNITER e.V. which moved its headquarters to Rotkreuz in the Swiss canton of Zug in 2020. UNITER offers «training workshops» to police and military personnel across the world, including the reactionary Philippine State: In February 2019, a representative of the organization held a presentation on UNITER for Philippine politicians and high-ranking police officers and a two- to four-day workshop of the organization’s «Medical Response Unit» was held for units of the Philippine National Police in July of the same year.
German big capitalist Bernhard Alexander Krah acted as UNITER’s representative and gave the presentation. He holds multiple positions, such as with «Black Ops Coffee», the side-hustle of UNITER’s founder and fascist pig André Schmitt a.k.a. Hannibal ─ and he’s also the CEO of one of the market leaders for water and sewage pipes, «Krah GmbH». This company ─ which among other things is developing the water and sewage system of Manila, the capital of the Philippines ─ directly works together with UNITER, with Krah employees having received the first of multiple planned workshops from the same unit that trained the Philippine reactionaries. Bernhard Alexander Krah himself openly sympathizes with the «Werteunion» («Values’ Union»), a fascist faction of the right-wing German party CDU/CSU; he’s clearly economically and ideologically interested in no revolution being victorious in the Philippines. Hence, he’s actively promoting UNITER’s activities in the country, with the organization itself also making a pretty penny off training its fascist comrades-in-arms.
DUTERTE’S BOMBING CAMPAIGN
During Duterte’s term, the Armed Forces of the Philippines have conducted almost 200 bombings and strafings in the country (as of March 2022), with the number of attacks increasing year by year: 11 happened in 2017, 19 in 2018, 40 in 2019, 55 in 2020 and 68 in 2021. The material for these attacks mainly came from the U.S., Turkey and Israel. Poor peasants and indigenous national minorities of the Philippines have been hit the hardest; tens of thousands have been forced to evacuate their destroyed communities and hundreds of thousands of people have been robbed of their livelihood. The bombings are also a direct assault on nature and thus have a disastrous effect on climate change, which the Philippines are affected by extra hard due to tropical storms and which will take the lives of countless more people in the future.
A recent example of such a bombing took place in November 2021 in Miag-ao county on Panay island, which makes up part of the island group of Visayas. The New People’s Army was out helping masses back on their feet by distributing food and helping in production in the mountains nearby after a natural catastrophe. The Armed Forces of the Philippines responded by dropping at least four 225 kilo bombs out of attack planes; the bombs destroyed an area spanning a hundred metres and left behind craters up to 4,5 metres deep. A few hours later, the reactionaries strafed the bombed area with howitzers; all in all, at least nine people were cowardly slaughtered. As the New People’s Army reported, this was only one of many bombings that had recently occurred in provinces of all three of the main island groups that make up the Philippines (Mindanao, Luzon and Visayas) as well as on the island of Mindoro.
One of the worst and most cowardly attacks against revolutionary forces in the Philippines took place on the 16.08.2021. A unit of about 50 New People’s Army soldiers was out helping with land cultivation, politically educating masses and giving them medical assistance against the Corona virus (such as vaccinating them) in Dolores county in the province of Eastern Samar. The New People’s Army enjoys broad support in Eastern Samar due to waging an actual «war on drugs» together with the people, among other things: It fights armed criminals and drug cartels in the region that are protected by the local police and military forces. Multiple members of the NPA unit came from poor peasant families in the are and had only just joined.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines snooped around the area with surveillance drones before arriving in attack planes at 4:00 and dropping a total of eight 225 kilo bombs. They followed this up with more bombings and strafings throughout the day, including the use of machine gun helicopters and Gatling cannons; at the end of the day, 19 red soldiers had fallen victim to the slaughter. Since then, they have made history as the «19 Martyrs of Dolores».
«BLOODY SUNDAY» ─ AN EXAMPLE OF OTHER CRIMES COMMITTED BY THE PHILIPPINE ARMED FORCES
Bombings and strafings aren’t the only crimes the bloodhounds of the old Philippine State commit against the people. They are simply the clearest demonstration of what kinds of mass murderers still rule the Philippines and why it’s so crucial that the revolution is led to victory. However, the following on-the-ground example is important because by recounting it, we can commemmorate the victims of what was a reactionary selective annihilation operation: «Bloody Sunday».
On the 05.03.2020, Duterte gave the police and his armed forces the order to «kill» and «finish off» any communists they encountered. Two days later, on the 07.03., the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police jointly conducted 24 raids in four provinces of Southern Tagalog against various members of mass organizations with the dead-beat excuse of «search warrants». A total of nine people were killed in the raids and six more people were arrested. Among the murder victims were:
- A well-known and popular trade union leader from Cavite province by the name of Emmanuel «Manny» Asuncion, who was slain in a workers’ assistance centre
- four housing rights activists (that had been involved in squats among other things)
- the siblings and members of the indigenous Dugamat tribe Puroy and Randy «Pulong» dela Cruz
- as well as Ariel and Chai Lemita Evangelista, two fisherfolk and members of a peasants’ organization that fights against mining projects and land-grabbing in the region; their ten-year-old child was orphaned by the Philippine reaction.
This gruesome annihilation campaign against adtivists from diverse movements was harshly condemned across the country and the Communist Party of the Philippines organizes solidarity activities for the fallen in March of each year since then.
In the last half year, the Philippine revolution also lost two dedicated fighters. On the 29.10.2021, 72-year-old Jorge Madlos a.k.a. Comrade Oris was on the way to a doctor’s appointment when him and Comrade Pika who was accompanying him were gunned down in cold blood by the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army. Duterte himself had ordered the murder. Comrade Oris had served in the New People’s Army and as a member of the Party’s Central Committee for decades ever since the Marcos era and his dedication to the revolutionary cause was held in high regards by everyone around him. What’s more, on the 24.12.2021, Menandro Villanueva a.k.a. Comrade Bok, a New People’s Army commander, was captured, tortured and then killed by the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army along with Comrade Kaye in Southern Mindanao. Here too, the final killing order came from the fascist heading the old State.
CONCLUSION OF THE ARTICLE SERIES
THe Philippines have high strategic importance for the two blocs preparing for the next world war in the current imperialist world situation. All imperialists also thirst for making superprofits off of the country’s vast resources and the working people of the 13th-largest population in the world. It was the U.S. imperialists that completed the export of capitalism to the Philippines in the form of a subcontractor capitalism, which ist run by people who serve as accomplices to to the plundering and oppression of the country in exchange for a piece of the pie to this day. Hence, because capitalism in the Philippines didn’t emerge as a revolution against feudalism (the medieval conditions in which poor peasants have to cultivate landlords’ soil), the latter continues to exist alongside capitalism in the form of semi-feudalism. This additional subjugation of the people suits the imperialists all too well.
This is the context in which the current developments in the Philippines are taking place, developments which must resolutely be fought. In addition to the violations of national sovereignity and the brutal counter-revolutionary war, we want to emphasize something more: Vaccine bribary and blackmail. Since the start of the pandemic, oppressed countries across the globe have been demanding the temporary lifting of patents on health goods needed to combat the pandemic. This way, they could produce vaccines etc. themselves and the health of the people of the world could be safeguarded. However, the imperialist pharmaceutical monopolies and States in general ─ with Roche and Novartis, two of the largest, being situated in Switzerland ─ have refused to budge one inch and the example of the Philippines gives a clear illustration as to why. Since the pandemic broke out, both the U.S. and China were able to put pressure on Duterte with vaccine doses in order to increase their influence in the country. Furthermore, Novartis also has a branch there which made almost 150’000’000 CHF in 2020.
Against the violations against the Philippines which we recounted in all three article parts, we demand the following:
- We demand the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops and all foreign war gear from Philippine territory; this includes the entire maritime territory that the Philippines are entitled to according to the international law of the seas. The various islands inside the «South Chinese Sea» may not be used as an excuse for more Chinese expansionism.
- We demand an immediate end to all arms exports to the Philippines and the payment of reparations by all exporters to the Filipino people, amounting to the value of the war gear in question.
- We demand the immediate and permanent prohibition of the organization UNITER e.V. We demand that everyone connected to the organization and its training operations abroad immediately be prosecuted based on their assistance of the crimes committed by reactionaries who were trained by UNITER. We demand that everyone connected to UNITER recieve a permanent carrying ban, a ban on leaving their respective countries and a ban on State jobs.
- We demand the immediate withdrawal of all imperialist companies and projects from the Philippines; they carry part of the blame for Duterte’s genocidal campaigns, as the old Philippine State was built up and is sustained by the superprofits of these monopolies. We demand the immediate handing over of all pharmaceutical and health infrastructure run in the country by foreign monopolies without compensation; for example, Novartis has to hand over its entire Philippine sub-company.
- We demand the global abolition of all patents and health goods and services that are needed for combating the Corona pandemic (including vaccines).
These demands will never be fulfilled by any old state and can only be implemented to serve the people by the Philippine new-democratic dictatorship. For example, imagine handing over Novartis’ goods and infrastructure to Duterte today ─ he will have sold it off to the next imperialists or a U.S. or Chinese billionaire will have bought into the new board of directors by tomorrow. However, if the new State wins, it can promptly oppress all foreign subcontractors who try to make new money off of the industry at the expense of the people. As such, it’s our duty as communists and as everyone who wants to be rid of imperialism that we support the people’s war in the Philippines by fighting for revolution and the fall of imperialism at home. Switzerland will never be free as long as the monopoies inside the country can squeeze the whole world dry, then turn and use their amassed superprofits in order to force us into 50-hour work weeks and a life of always being a few francs away from broke. The masses in the Philippines and the masses here are being subjugated by the same people, with the workers of both country even being subjugated in the exact same way. A victorious revolution in the Philippines would be a victory for all enemies of imperialism across the globe and a direct slap in the face to their plans for a third imperialist world war; and the Communist Party of the Philippines, along with the New People’s Army, is the only force capable of actually completing the revolution and leading the construction of a new-democratic people’s dictatorship. The Party can rest assured that it has our full solidarity on its path to defeating the old State.