Reds to hold ‘joyous’ activities to mark CPP’s 52nd year

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has announced that revolutionary forces will hold “simple but joyous” activities to commemorate the group’s 52nd anniversary on Saturday.

In a statement Friday, the CPP said its activities in rural and urban areas will resume despite the alleged military attacks in provinces as it claimed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) failed to detect gatherings and assemblies of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“These activities are going to be held clandestinely to evade suppression by the fascist enemy’s military and police forces,” the CPP said.

“In some villages, the masses and local NPA units were able to mount their gatherings right under the nose of the AFP,” it added.

Revolutionary forces in cities will hold gatherings in their communities and homes while assemblies can be held in a creative method in rural areas “to avoid enemy detection,” the group said.

The activities aim to “look back in the past year, take stock of the current situation, pay tribute to the heroes and martyrs of the Philippine revolution,” according to CPP.

The gatherings also affirm their “commitment and determination to serve the people and fight to end the reign of terror and evil” over what it had called the “tyrannical” regime of the United States and President Rodrigo Duterte, the group added.

The AFP has yet to comment on the matter, but the military has previously said the CPP is in no shape to celebrate its 52nd founding anniversary due to political and tactical setbacks.

In a statement Thursday, AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay said the CPP-NPA has nothing to celebrate, claiming that it had “failed on the ground, got exposed in Congress, and were unmasked abroad for their fake advocacies.”

“The CPP-NPA is in a political and tactical crisis given the high impact accomplishments of our troops both on the ground and at the General Headquarters. Paired that with the highly developed capability and equipment of our fighting units, there is nowhere else to go but down for the enemy,” Gapay said.

Both the CPP and the government did not declare a holiday truce this year. President Duterte announced there would be no more ceasefire with the rebels for the rest of his term.

The government declared a temporary truce with the Reds last March at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, citing the need to focus resources in addressing the pandemic. Communist rebels reciprocated the truce, heeding the call of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres for a global ceasefire amid the pandemic.

The truce, however, ended in April as both sides accused each other anew of ceasefire violations.

While communism is not a crime in the Philippines, armed rebels are usually charged with murder and illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The government has a pending court petition to proscribe the CPP-NPA and its political wing, the National Democratic Front, as a terrorist organization. The military, however, refers to it as a “terrorist group” in its press releases.

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