It’s been 38 years since the Maoist New People’s Army Group of the Philippines started clashes with government troops. From what started out as a group supported by the masses as it fought against the Japs in WWII and the military regime of a dictator in the 1970s, it is now a group which turns those in poverty into extreme poverty.
During its early years it was called the Hukbahalaps, which means Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon or in english The National Resistance against the Japanese, they were the armed wing of the earlier Pro-Soviet Communist Party of the Philippines (PKP) which was abolished during the term of President Ramon Magsaysay. A splinter group formed a new communist party in 1969, during the time of martial law, wherein thousands of students joined the group. The group was lead by Jose Maria Sison and Commander Dante (Bernabe Buscayno).
The NPA follows Maoism, claiming to fight for that ideology’s concept of “New Democracy”. It started with 57 fighters and 34 rifles and quickly increased during the dictatorship. At its peak in the ’80s, there were about 25,000 fighters. However NPA officials were arrested in the middle of ’70s, including Jose Marie Sison. Warfare continued but due to extortion, human rights abuses and the different crimes it committed the group lost public support.
After the 9/11 attacks the group has been designated as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union. The group operates in rural areas, targeting politicians, soldiers, businesses and sometimes US agents. The NPA also destroys establishments such as schools who refuse to cooperate with their ideology. Most recently, burned down road-building equipment after the town mayor refused to pay revolutionary taxes. Leaving those who could’ve have benefited from the project in despair.
Communism is suppose to be a good ideology, aimed at eradicating poverty. But groups who claim to be communist uses the wrong idea, just like the NPA, who instead of defending the poor and human rights do human rights violations themselves and leaving more people in the poverty state with their “revolutionary” taxes and punishments to those who don’t support them. Yet they insist that the government is behind the killings and they burn down establishments in self-defense. The NPA can indeed fight, but if they were really brave why would they send 100 fighters to raid a police station with 4 cops on duty armed with only 3 rifles and a handgun? The NPA has proved that it could talk, but they’re far from proving that they could walk.