Communist party denies Pampanga is ‘insurgency-free’

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Friday, January 17, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denied the claim of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that Pampanga is “insurgency-free.”

Last Wednesday, AFP chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista led ceremonies marking the handover of internal security operations in Pampanga from the military to the Provincial Government and police, in an agreement plus a formal declaration that the province is “peaceful and ready for further development.”

The announcement was largely positively met by Kapampangan stakeholders, including the private sector, where during the Clark Challenge Summit on Thursday at Clark Freeport, expressed optimism that Pampanga would be conducive to investments, business and peaceful living as a whole.

But the CPP, in its statement, emphasized that National People’s Army (NPA) units are still operating in the outskirts of the province and that “revolutionary base organizing work continues to be carried out.”

In a statement, the CPP said “The fact is, since 2010, the NPA in Central Luzon tactically shifted its forces to focus on building its guerrilla base areas in the mountainous areas of the region. Its forces in the Pampanga plains were temporarily redeployed, not so much as a result of AFP operations, but as a planned course of action in line with building the base areas.”

These bases include the Sierra Madre Mountain Range straddling Eastern Bulacan, Aurora and Nueva Ecija, the Zambales-Tarlac-Pangasinan mountain ranges as well as the mountainous and coastal areas of Bataan to Bulacan.

The communist movement added, “Using the guerrilla base areas as rear, and with the help of the peasant masses in the plains, the NPA command in the Central Luzon can launch regular and special tactical offensives in Pampanga and elsewhere when the enemy least expects it, starting with weak and detached units of the AFP and PNP, the armed goons and security agencies of the big landlords and big compradors in order to disarm these and disable them from further causing harm against the people.”

“The workers and peasant masses of Pampanga province continue to suffer from intolerably oppressive and exploitative conditions in the big haciendas, sugar centrals, in the lahar quarrying areas, as well as in the so-called special economic zones,” said the CPP. “Tens of thousands of peasant masses are being displaced as a result of widespread land grabbing by big landlords and so-called developers who are in league with the ruling Aquino regime.”

They said that the AFP’s statement “Pampanga is ready for further development” is just like inviting foreign companies and their local partners to grab land, exploit, take advantage and oppress the working class and peasantry.

“A case in point is that of Hacienda Dolores in Porac town where thousands of peasant families are being driven away from their land by the big comprador-owned Ayala Land and its cohorts by using the military and police to suppress the peasant masses,” the movement stressed out.
The CPP noted of Arman Padino, a peasant leader, along with father-and-son Noel and Reynold Tumali, who were shot Sunday morning by alleged armed goons of a land firm while on their way to their farms. Padino was killed while the others were wounded.

“The peasants and workers of Pampanga continue to wage mass struggles to advance their democratic cause and are ever desirous of waging revolutionary armed struggle. Their best sons and daughters continue to join the New People’s Army”, the CPP said in the statement.

Sun.Star Pampanga tried but failed to reach officials of the Philippine Army at press time. (Sun.Star Pampanga Reportorial Team)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 18, 2014.

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