GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in Mindanao claimed it had added more guerrilla fronts and added close to 1,000 high powered firearms under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.
In a statement sent to the press, National Democratic Front (NDF) spokesman Jorge Madlos (a.k.a. Ka Oris) said the NPA guerilla fronts climbed from 42 to 47 since 2010 when Aquino was elected president.
“In the 5 years of US-Aquino regime, the armed struggle in Mindanao has gathered more strength. The tactical offensives of the New People’s Army (NPA) have become bolder and more intensified,” Madlos also said in Visayan dialect.
The NDF is the political umbrella of the CPP and its armed unit, the NPA.
The statement came on the eve of Aquino’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 27.
The President is expected to trumpet gains made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in reducing the armed strength of the NPA.
Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año, commanding general of the Philippine Army, claimed the AFP has reduced the armed strength of the NPA to less than 4,000 armed regulars, more than half of them are reportedly in Mindanao.
The CPP-NPA-NDF previously claimed it has approximated their 1980’s strength when, at their height, it was believed the NPA has close to 8,000 fully armed regulars.
The AFP recently scored a major victory after a unit of the Philippine Scout Ranger killed Leoncio Pitao, a.k.a. Ka Parago, in a military raid in Davao City last month.
Ka Parago headed the The Pulang Bagani Battalion, first NPA battalion to be organized throughout the 46-year history of the NPA, and one of the most senior and experienced guerilla commander.
But in a show of force, more than 10,000 NPA supporters and sympathizers held an unprecedented funeral march in the streets of Davao City waving revolutionary flags and shouting slogans extoling Ka Parago and the NPA.
Madlos also belittled the economic gains under the Aquino government.
“The 6.3% average growth Gross National Product or GDP in 5 years was primarily based on the growth in the service sector,” he explained.
Madlos said both agricultural and manufacturing productions have declined from 60 percent of the GDP to only 40 percent over the last five years resulting into the increase in the number of underemployed and unemployed.
“The unemployed and underemployed has reached 11.8 million or 27 percent of the total workforce in the country,” the NDF statement further added.
The NDF spokesman blamed the implementation ‘neo-liberal policies’ of the Aquino government which, he pointed out, only led to the “exclusive growth of the ruling elite” instead of the promised inclusive growth.
The CPP-NPA-NDF has been waging a Maoist inspired guerrilla warfare since 1969. – Rappler.com
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