Since May 2017 the island of Mindanao in the Philippines is under martial law, meaning that the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) can do whatever they want in order to fight the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA (New People‘s Army) who are carrying out People‘s War. According to the NDFP Far South Mindanao (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) the anti-revolutionary operations increased in quantity and quality since the declaration of martial law. Last month hundreds of people had to flee their homes to evade military reprisals. The AFP reacts to encounters with the NPA with air strikes, killing farmers and lumads (indigenous people). The prisons are full of alleged NPA members, mainly farmers and lumads as well. The protests against landgrabbing and and coal mining operations of multinational firms are brutally suppressed. And in these areas, where the military counter-insurgent operations are most frequently, the imperialists are investing their money. This shows what the Duterte regime is trying to do: offering foreign investors the opportunity to rigorously exploit the Filipino people for their business interests, no matter what that means for the people. If they have to be expelled, that's the way it is. If they starve, that's just the way it is. But if they resist, then they just have to be locked up, tortured and killed.

In addition, the reactionary press does anything to denounce the struggle. They write, that the “victims” of the NPA would mostly be “unarmed civilians”, “mistaken for (military) informants”, they try to confuse the masses and make the struggle look unjustified and the methods “terroristic”, by saying that they would be “the ultimate violation of human rights”. By that, they try to disguise the fact that they are the ones who are waging terror against the Filipino people.

And the reaction is forced to act like that, otherwise they would have to admit that the People’s War is still ongoing and that the masses can’t be silenced easily. Still, there are many areas in Mindanao that the AFP can‘t access, as the President Duterte confirmed a few days ago. He also hopes that the peace negotiations with the CPP will end the resistance soon (and will subsequently bring more foreign investors and businesses to the island and therefore worsen the situation of the Filipino people).  But every Maoist knows that you can’t just make peace with the enemy. The masses won’t be satisfied until Imperialism is destroyed for good and it’s the task of every Maoist to work towards this goal, while not captivating oneself with the reaction, nor being led astray by revisionism. You can’t reach anything at the table of negotiation that you haven’t already won on the battlefield.