The New People’s Army (NPA) recently mounted a series of tactical offensives in different Philippine provinces. Red fighters of NPA-Quezon under the Apolonio Mendoza Command ambushed a 30-strong unit of the 85th IB in Doña Aurora, Calauag, Quezon, last 25 March. This is just a few days before the latest “deadline” (the end of March 2024), declared by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to defeat the units of the NPA in all the guerilla fronts.

Ka Cleo del Mundo, spokesperson of the NPA-Quezon, said the Red fighters blew up a command detonated explosive at the 85th IB, injuring three fascist soldiers, in the 10-minute battle. The NPA unit is safe.

Ka Cleo added, “The military action of the NPA is proof that the aim of Gen. Romeo Brawner of the AFP and its commander in chief Marcos to destroy the revolutionary movement is a pipe dream.”

It can be recalled that Quezon was also declared by the AFP as “insurgency-free” in June 2023. To stand by their lie and cover up their failure, the 85th IB now falsely claims the attacking Red fighters were from Bicol.

In Rodriguez, Rizal, the NPA-Rizal ambushed troopers of the AFP’s 80th IB on January 31. Apart from serving as guards of the Wawa-Violago dam project being built, the AFP unit also protects the interests of the ruling big land grabbers like the Aranetas, Villars and Robles.

The 80th IB is involved in multiple human rights violations including the illegal detention of indigenous people and peasants defending their right to livelihood. Since January 31, the 80th  IB intensified and tightened surveillance on the residents’ entry and exit in the community. Soldiers set up checkpoints and went door-to-door intimidating residents and subjecting them to illegal interrogations.

In Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, the NPA-Agusan del Sur mounted a harassment operation against the 3rd Special Forces Battalion of the AFP on 19 January.

According to the NPA-Agusan del Sur, the armed action is a response to the AFP’s relentless focused military operation that covers the mountains bordering Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur. It added that military operations have disrupted the livelihood of the indigenous people and peasant masses since 2022. Clusters of communities are militarized by the AFP to allow and protect large logging and mining companies in the Caraga region.

In Baleno, Masbate, a unit of the NPA-Masbate hit the 96th IB on January 13. According to Ka Luz del Mar, spokesperson of NPA-Mabaste, the armed offensive is part of their efforts to obtain justice for the victims of military abuses and defend the people against the ongoing military rule in the province. These include the 24 victims of political killings in Masbate under the US-Marcos regime. Residents are also very indignant at the persistent encampment of counter-insurgency units of the AFP and the Philippine National Police in the town.