The AFP’s so-called “keyhole tactics” against the revolutionary movement in Panay has failed. In a statement issued on the occasion of the CPP anniversary, the Panay Regional Party Committee said that many of the military forces assigned to the island have been forced to withdraw from their camps because of NPA guerrilla attacks. According to the “keyhole tactics” frame, the AFP deploys battalion- to brigade-size formations against one or two suspected guerrilla fronts to crush the NPA forces in the area.
In a quiet admission of the regime’s failure to destroy the revolutionary forces in Panay, the entire PNP 6th Special Action Force Battalion has been deployed to augment the 301st Infantry Brigade’s strike forces.
This combined force has nonetheless failed to stop the expansion of the revolutionary movement in the island. In fact, mass organizations have been able to expand to populated areas, including the cities.
The membership and cadre core of the Party, NPA and organized forces and the areas of operation expanded by 10-15% last year. This year, the revolutionary movement is targeting a two-fold growth in the Party, organized masses and areas controlled and influenced by the revolutionary movement, up to the urban areas. There are also plans to intensify tactical offensives in the entire island even as antifeudal campaigns such as advancing the right to till, demanding lower interest rates and the like are conducted across the region.
The Party is likewise ready to support the people whose anger has been exploding and who have been launching protest actions in the streets against the deceptive, corrupt and puppet-fascist regime. It will be expanding people’s alliances to broaden revolutionary influence and contribute to the nationwide advance towards the threshhold of the strategic stalemate.
Meanwhile, on December 18, a unit under the Napoleon Tumagtang Command (NPA-Southern Front) ambushed a team under the 82nd IB that was conducting military operations under the guise of “Community Organizing for Peace and Development” in Sitio Anoy, Barangay Cabalaunan, Miag-ao, Iloilo. Killed in the ambush was Pfc. Ricky Gardose, son of former 6th IB chief Col. Noe Gardose.