In deference to the basic people’s right to vote freely during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, the Regional Operational Command of the New People’s Army – North Eastern Mindanao Region (ROC-NPA-NEMR) directs all units of the NPA and the People’s Militia under its command to temporarily suspend the launching of tactical offensives against Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and CAFGU forces from May 14 until May 18, 2018.
This particular directive is in response to the popular call for the free, orderly and safe conduct of the Barangay and SK elections. In truth, these are part of bourgeois reactionary elections that are controlled and run by big politicians who serve the interests of big bourgeois compradors, big landlords and their US imperialist master. However, if the people could fully exercise their sacred right of suffrage without the influence and pressure on whom to vote for, despite the torrent of money intended for vote buying, intimidation and coercion, it is possible for sincere and well-meaning candidates who truly serve the interests of people to win in these elections.
The revolutionary movement in NEMR calls upon the forces of the AFP, PNP, CAFGU and paramilitary under the AFP to desist from harassing the people or interfere during elections. They must refrain from exerting influence and pressure on voters with regard to their choice of candidates. Its armed forces must not encamp themselves within barangays. They must not launch military operations during this time; COPD teams already in operation must leave from the premises of any barangay in order to maintain a suitable environment for free elections and to avoid the people from being intimidated by the presence of armed military forces.
On the other hand, we would like to remind units of the NPA-NEMR and all revolutionary forces to maintain a high level of alertness against deceptive attacks of the AFP within our guerrilla fronts. All units must firmly place themselves under the active defense mode and be prepared to launch counter-attacks in order to defend ourselves and the welfare of the people against the destructive attacks of enemy forces.
We call on the people in the region to stand, carry out and protect the right of suffrage as part of the struggle to serve the genuine welfare of the people by way of choosing true and sincere leaders despite the corruption and decadence in bourgeois elections. It is only right for the people to assert that no AFP troop must encamp themselves within barangays during elections.
However, we must not allow ourselves to be placed under the illusion that bourgeois elections could solve the basic problems of the Filipino people. This is because until the Filipino society is dominated by exploitative and oppressive classes, all the machinery of the reactionary government only function to serve their selfish interests and continue to gain back the victories attained as a result of people’s struggles.
Thus, we must consistently and resolutely wage a solid and united revolutionary struggle in order to achieve the class aspirations of the people, such as genuine agrarian reform, national industrialization, the elimination of contractualization and free social services. It is only through the path of the national democratic revolution whereby we can attain a free and equal society where genuine democratic elections are completely realized.
Ka Ariel Montero
Regional Operational Command