Robert Reid | Chairperson FFPS
We, as Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle, strongly condemn the December 25th Malaybalay massacre perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). With aerial bombing and shelling that lasted for hours, the AFP martyred 10 people in a New People’s Army (NPA) camp.
The bombing and shelling, using 250-pound bombs and 52 caliber artillery rounds, was disproportionate to the target, excessive and indiscriminate making it a violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The use of these weapons also causes superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering. The bombings mangled and dismembered the bodies of the martyrs. In the communities surrounding the camp, the bombing and shelling caused fear and destroyed the livelihoods of these communities.
Especially in the rural areas of the Philippines where there is an overall lack of government services, the civilian population enjoys and celebrates the presence of the revolutionaries. Contrary to the AFP, the NPA is a true people’s army that supports local agrarian production, carries out education campaigns including literacy campaigns and provides free and needed health care services. Because the NPA fulfills many responsibilities that the reactionary government fails to provide, civilians in the countryside support and often engage with the NPA. The indiscriminate bombing of a camp such as on December 25 therefore puts civilians at extreme risk, very much in line with the tendency of the reactionary US-Marcos government and AFP to target and tag any- and everyone as a “terrorist”, in violation of IHL.
Civilians often suffer under the AFP’s attacks on the people’s army, as also seen in the case of two civilians that were murdered by the AFP in Batangas on December 17. The AFP’s counterinsurgency operations, falsely dubbed ‘counter-terrorism’, is in fact a terror campaign against the Filipino people who are struggling for liberation from foreign domination, landlord exploitation and a corrupt fascist state.
Furthermore, the artillery pieces used to massacre 10 people in the said camp were US- and Israel-supplied. As an imperialist state, the US connives with governments of its client-states like the Marcos administration to wage war against its people and suppress their just struggle, and works together with the settler-colonial Israel, that is now committing genocide in Gaza. International solidarity is thus imperative in resisting these supplies of arms.
The terror campaign of the US-Marcos regime and its AFP forces will never achieve its supposed goal of defeating the Filipino people and their people’s army. As long as a rotten system of goverment persists and conditions of poverty and exploitation are present, there will always be people who would rise up for national liberation. We call upon all progressive people of the world to oppose US-backed AFP terrorism, to defend the Filipino people and to defend the NPA bases as seeds of a genuine people’s government currently being built in the Philippine countryside.
Long live the martyrs of the Philippine Revolution!
Stop the bombings in the Philippines!
Stop arms sales and military aid to the Philippines!
End US-Marcos state terrorism in the Philippines!
From Palestine to the Philippines, stop the US war machine!
Support the revolutionaries and defend the bases of the people’s army!