The New People’s Army (NPA)-Negros Island called on all its units and commands and all revolutionary forces to work together to help the people in the island of Negros affected by the Kanlaon volcanic eruption. Heavy rains on 6 June followed the eruption of the Kanlaon Volcano on 3 June and communities in Central Negros suffered extensive lahar flows.

“All guerrilla fronts are tasked to lead efforts in gathering support from revolutionary mass organizations, various sectors and allies for immediate aid,” Ka Maoche Legislator, NPA spokesperson on the island, said.

On 9 June, 8478 families in 24 barangays, or village administrative units, have been affected by the eruption, according to a report of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The damage to the agricultural sector is estimated to reach P10 million.

Ka Maoche said the Kanlaon Volcano eruption doubled the suffering of the people in the area as they have not yet recovered from the devastation brought by the drought during El Niño.  “Instead of concrete and legitimate assistance, the Marcos Jr regime has settled with mere performative acts of giving unsustainable aid for politicking and military propaganda,” added Ka Maoche.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 303rd Infantry Battalion operating in the area declared that it would not relax its combat operations while conducting “disaster response.” On several occasions, the military used “assistance and aid distribution” for counterinsurgency campaigns and forced the “surrender” of civilians on the island. 

Every time it distributes several kilos of rice and cans, the military takes photographs and sometimes attaches captions claiming that Red fighters of the people’s army have “surrendered”. This military usurpation of civilian functions is implemented through the anti-civilian National Task Force-Elcac. 

The people of Negros should collectively demand fair compensation from the reactionary government for the excessive damage they suffered in the successive calamities during El Niño and the Kanlaon Volcano eruption.

“The succeeding calamities have exacerbated landlessness and buried the Negrosanon masses in perennial destitution and hunger,” Ka Maoche said. He added that agrarian revolution, a component of revolutionary armed struggle, must be pursued to solve centuries of feudal and semifeudal oppression and exploitation on the island.