Joma: Gov’t attacks, propaganda fail to spoil commemoration
By: Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Jigger J. Jerusalem – @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:18 AM December 28, 2018
LUCENA CITY—The military offensives and black propaganda of the government failed to spoil the 50th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Wednesday, exiled rebel leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said on Thursday.
“The propaganda of the Duterte regime and the military amount to nothing because it is based on fakeries well known to the people; fake surrenders and fake casualties in fake encounters,” Sison said in an online interview from Utrecht in the Netherlands.
NPA parades, drills
Sison said the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), across the country “are showing their strength with cultural presentations, NPA parades and drills and in some few cases even defensive actions against the enemy.”
In northern Mindanao, one of the strongholds of the Maoist-inspired guerrillas, the celebrations were held in small groups and scattered areas to avoid the military’s relentless and intensified counterinsurgency operations.
Sison predicted that the government propaganda about supposed diminishing rebel strength “will fail even more dismally when, as already announced by the CPP Central Committee, the NPA will launch more offensives on a nationwide scale after the anniversary in response to the threat of Duterte that he will resort to Suharto-type massacres of legal activists, critics, oppositions and other combatants.”
No holiday ceasefire
For the first time in 30 years, the government did not observe the traditional holiday ceasefire .
The military trumpeted that the ranks of Red warriors have been wracked by mass surrenders of tired and disgruntled NPA rebels.
According to the military, more than 1,120 regular NPA fighters and 9,577 members of the “militia ng bayan” nationwide have surrendered to government forces from Jan. 1 to Nov. 28 this year.
But Sison claimed that the figures were fake.
Norcen Manggubat of the NPA’s North Central Mindanao Region in a statement disputed the military’s claim that its forces have weakened in the past few years.
Manggubat claimed that in Northern Mindanao alone, the NPA made 102 assaults against military troops in 2018.
As a result of these attacks, 88 soldiers were killed and 78 were wounded in battle. Sixteen NPA fighters were killed.
She also said the so-called mass surrender of fighters and supporters in some areas in Bukidnon province was not true.