The 35 year old, Maoist insurgency in the Philippines is a strange war.
While people are fighting and dying in the field, the Communist Party of the Philippnes/New People’s Army conducts a chatty little propaganda war over the internet, via cellphone and press release against the Philippines Army and government.
The recent press release below gives an interesting take on the progress of the war from the communists point of view.
Allowing for prpaganda spin, it reveals some of the problems facing the Army in combating the resurgent Maoist insurrection.
Communist Party of the Philippines
Esperon’s target of crushing 24 NPA guerrilla fronts will fail miserably—CPP
January 8, 2007
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will miserably fail in realizing Gen. Hermogenes Esperon’s boast of crushing within the year 24 of the more than 100 guerrilla fronts of the New People’s Army (NPA), pointing out that “the fascist AFP does not have the military nor the least of political capability to stop the growth of the revolutionary forces and the people’s armed struggle.”
CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal twitted the AFP Chief-of-staff’s pronouncements saying the AFP has been “declaring to end the NPA since the 1970s“. Rosal promised to return to Gen. Esperon his boast at the end of the year “so that he can eat his own words for Noche Buena come next New Year’s Eve.”
He challenged Esperson to have himself “dishonourably discharged from the AFP by the end of 2007” if the AFP fails to meet the targets that he has set. “The general’s statements will only blow in his face of an impending upsurge of the revolutionary armed struggle,” Rosal added.
Rosal pointed out that in the past, even at its strongest during the Marcos martial years, the AFP could only concentrate its forces in a maximum of 12-15 guerrilla fronts in any one year. The NPA has more than 120 guerrilla fronts that cover thousands of barrios in more than 800 municipalities in 70 provinces nationwide.
“Within a year of operations, the combat troops of the AFP can only cover at most 10% of the areas of operation of the NPA. The NPA fighters can easily shift from “hard areas” to accelerate mass work and organizing in the other 90% of its territory where AFP forces are absent or are spread out thinly.”
Rosal said that, given the present strength of the AFP, it can only cover at most only 600 baranggays at any time. “In fact, 300 baranggays is the more realistic figure since practically half of AFP troops are tied down to headquarters duty, presidential security, the security of ruling politicos, strategic installations and key enterprises. While the AFP busies itself in a few areas it wants to concentrate on, the NPA has a wide berth to continue organizing the people, recruiting Red fighters, building local revolutionary organs of government, attending to the needs of the masses and launching tactical offensives to seize arms and weaken the enemy in thousands more of the 42,000 baranggays throughout the country,” added Rosal.
“Even in guerrilla fronts heavily infested with fascsist government troops, not only can the NPA preserve its forces, it can continue its work by relying on the support of the people and employing guerrilla tactics to fight back and carry out tactical offensives against the fascist forces. The NPA also takes the opportunity of the presence of more armed enemies in order to launch tactical offensives and seize sizeable number of arms,” explained Rosal.
The CPP spokesperson denied Gen. Esperon’s further boast that Oplan Bantay Laya I has caused the decline in NPA membership to 7,100 by the end of 2006. Rosal said that the viciousness of the AFP’s counter-revolutionary war has succeeded only in increasing the number of people wanting to join the NPA “In fact, the NPA has to launch even more tactical offensives this year in order to provide more arms for its growing number of new recruits.”
“By 2010, the NPA targets to complete the plan to form several scores more of company-sized guerrilla fronts with several platoon complements each, capable of launching successive tactical offensives nationwide. The AFP’s repeated declarations of defeating the NPA strategically will blow in their face,” said Rosal.
In line with the CPP’s call to intensify guerrilla warfare, Rosal said the NPA will “carry out more and more tactical offensives this year in order to defeat the enemy’s Oplan Bantay Laya II, seize more weapons from the enemy to arm the increasing number of Red fighters, help put an end to the Arroyo regime and bring the people’s war closer to victory.”
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