Gen. Centino will eat his words

Marco Valbuena | Chief Information Officer | Communist Party of the PhilippinesNovember 13, 2021

Newly appointed AFP chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Andres Centino will eat his words. His declaration yesterday that the military will deal the “final blow” against the New People’s Army (NPA) before the end of Rodrigo Duterte’s term is empty bombast.

In fact, he made the same declaration of wiping out the NPA in Northern Mindanao when he was head of the 4th ID. As he has failed in the past, he will again fail in the future. “Ending the NPA” is a worn-out promise made by all those who came before him. He will not be the last of AFP chiefs to make such a promise.

Gen. Centino’s promise is a threat to carry out intensified aerial bombardment and heightened hamletting and occupation of peasant communities by military forces in the countryside. This will be accompanied by more abuses of human rights, especially of the peasant masses and ethnic minority people who are being subjected to armed intimidation and state terrorism in the form of “forced surrenders” and uprooting of people from their land and communities. The AFP is set to squander billions upon billions of pesos for war planes, attack helicopters, bombs, rockets, cannons, artillery and bullets to wage its war of suppression.

Gen. Centino must remember that no counterguerrilla or counterinsurgency campaign has been won through aerial bombardment or superiority in military firepower — not in Korea, not in Vietnam, not in Afghanistan. By suppressing the toiling masses to serve the interests of big landlords, big mining companies and plantations, the AFP is more and more exposing itself as the true enemy of the people. This political bankruptcy of the AFP is the reason why it continues to fail to defeat the NPA and end the armed revolution.

The Party has directed the NPA to expand and intensify guerilla warfare, raise capability of all its units to deny the AFP of targets through the strict and creative employment of guerrilla tactics of secrecy, further deepen and widen the support of the masses by firmly waging agrarian mass struggles and mount tactical offensives to make the enemy bleed from a thousand cuts.

The New People’s Army is determined to frustrate Gen. Centino and the plans of the AFP. The people’s army is determined to uphold the interests of the peasant masses and minority people, defend their land against the encroachment and expansion of mining companies and big plantations and untiringly fight their oppressors and exploiters.