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Why and How the AFP and PNP are Losing the War

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
1 July 2006

Oplan Bantay Laya is now on its fifth year since its formal launching in early 2002. It has utterly failed to accomplish its declared objective of destroying the New People's Army (NPA). It has only served to fan the flames of the armed revolution by subjecting the people to brutal campaigns of suppression in guerrilla fronts and unleashing extrajudicial killings and abductions against the legal opponents of the Arroyo regime.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), together with their irregular adjuncts like the CAFGUs, CVOs and death squads, will continue to lose in their counterrevolutionary war against the NPA and its complements like the local militia and self-defense units. The fake president is more absurd than ever before by boasting that the AFP and PNP can destroy the NPA in the next two years.

Why and how are the AFP and PNP losing the war? I answer the question as a commentator, analyst and longtime student of people's war.

First, the AFP and PNP are the oppressive instruments of the US and other foreign monopoly interests and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords, while the NPA fights for the national and democratic rights of the working class, peasantry and the rest of the Filipino people.

Second, the AFP and PNP are hated by the people more than ever before because they commit gross human rights violations, reek with corruption and act like the private armies of the Arroyo ruling clique which has used them for electoral fraud and for the repression of the people and the legal opposition through intimidation, extrajudicial killings and abductions.

Third, the ever rising expenditures for the AFP and PNP are aggravating the economic crisis and are drawing resources away from social services like education, health and housing and from economic development, thus incurring the ire of the broad masses of the people.

Fourth, the rottenness of the AFP and the PNP is well exposed by their wanton violations of human rights, corruption, enjoyment of impunity and fractious condition due to subservience to conflicting political groups and involvement in criminal syndicates.

Fifth, the AFP and PNP top dogs want to win a war of quick decision by deploying large units as well as special operations teams for intelligence work, psywar and combat, while the NPA pursues the strategic line of protracted people's war, accumulating armed strength in the countryside and encircling the cities until the time comes for seizing the cities on a nationwide scale.

In terms of number of full time armed personnel, training and equipment, the AFP and PNP may be considered superior to the NPA at the ratio of 10 against 1 at the strategic level. But the people are on the side of the NPA. They render the AFP and PNP deaf and blind. The NPA adheres strictly to the line of intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. Thus, it is superior to the AFP and PNP at the ratio of 10 against 1 at the tactical level.

The AFP and PNP have top heavy structures. At the most, the AFP can deploy only 25 per cent of its 120,000 at every given time. The PNP has regional and provincial mobile units but most of its 115,000 personnel are deployed in local communities and divided by three shifts of eight-hour duty. The small army detachments, local police and the CAFGUs, CVOs and other irregular units in localities are easy targets, whenever the bigger units are some distance away.

The NPA can observe the weak points of the enemy deployment, choose the time and place to launch a tactical offensive by surprise and muster superior strength against the selected enemy target. It can at will launch ambuscades, raids and arrest operations on enemy personnel. It can attack and destroy military and military-related installations and supply lines. It can seize weapons from its enemy and strengthen itself by taking the initiative and launching only those tactical offensives that it can win.

It can bleed the AFP and the PNP to death by launching so many tactical offensives everyday on a nationwide scale. It can watch its enemy clearly and can use effectively the tactics of concentration, dispersal and shifting. On the other hand, the AFP and PNP are deaf and blind and are confounded by the dilemma of concentration and dispersal in a fluid war of movement in which the NPA does not maintain fixed positions and fixed lines. ###

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