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					                                           Pahayagan ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas
                         ANG               Pinapatnubayan ng Marxismo-Leninismo-Maoismo
                                                                                                   English Edition
                                                                                               Vol. XXXIV No. 11
                                                                                                     July 7, 2003


Batter the Arroyo regime
with more tactical offensives
      he Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)           CPP Central Committee to intensify the revolutionary

T     salutes the heroic Red commanders and fighters
      of the New People's Army (NPA) for the victori-
ous tactical offensives launched in various parts of
                                                            armed struggle based on the expansion and strength-
                                                            ening of the revolutionary mass base and attendant to
                                                            the advance of the peasant masses' antifeudal strug-
the country these past three weeks.                         gle in the countryside.
    The revolutionary forces and masses nationwide               They are a concrete response to the people's
acclaim the NPA's brilliant tactical offensives in Samar    seething needs and aspirations in the face of their
and Compostela Valley that have resulted in the con-        extreme oppression and hardship at the hands of the
fiscation of relatively large numbers of weapons and        reactionary regime. The conduct of these tactical
the annihilation of fascist enemy troops.                   offensives is part of the escalation of various types of
    The offensives are in accordance with the general       people's resistance to the puppet, militarist and cor-
revolutionary line and call of the 11th Plenum of the       rupt Arroyo regime.
                                                                 It is likewise necessary to intensify tactical offen-
                                                             sives to arm the people's army and further expand it,
                                                             strengthen it and enhance its capability to meet the
                                                             ever-growing task of advancing people's war.
                                                                 These offensives show that the Arroyo regime's
                                                             much-vaunted militarism and its all-out war against
                                                             the NPA are a failure. The NPA continues to grow
                                                             stronger nationwide consequent to the victories of
                                                             the Second Great Rectification Movement and as
                                                             proof of the correctness of the line of extensive and
                                                             intensive guerrilla warfare based on an ever-widening
                                                             and ever-deepening mass base at the present stage of
                                                             launching protracted people's war in the Philippines.
                                                             It enjoys ever-widening mass support and reaps con-
                                                             tinuous and more numerous victories.
                                                                 The people's war is advancing more rapidly as a
                                                             consequence of the puppet mercenary army's extreme
                                                             isolation from the masses and the reactionary govern-
                                                             ment's severe anxiety, saddled as it is with mounting

                            More widespread,               Revolutionary
Highlights of this                                                                        Workers’ struggle at
                            more frequent NPA              unionism in Central
                                                                                          Lepanto Mining
issue...                    offensives                     Luzon
                                                                                                                PAGE   9
                                               PAGE   3                       PAGE   5
and utterly irresolvable problems.              of two victorious NPA offensives in     ening to nullify the Joint
This has now been exacerbated by                the island. One of them, the 14th       Agreement on Safety and Immunity
the country's more onerous foreign              IB, had been transferred to Sulu in     Guarantees (JASIG). Actually, the
debt obligations and growing mili-              2001 in response to the growing         regime has long junked the JASIG.
tary expenditures.                              resistance of the Moro people in        It has directly violated the agree-
    The regime is beside itself                 the area. Arroyo has also ordered       ment by colluding with US imperial-
thinking of ways to quench the                  the police and the local govern-        ism in declaring the CPP and the
fires of revolutionary armed strug-             ment to fill the void in areas that     NPA as "terrorist." The filing of fab-
gle in various parts of the country             the AFP cannot cover.                   ricated criminal cases against Jose
with the overextended forces of                     The additional deployment of        Maria Sison and his continuous
the AFP. Though huge, the AFP can               AFP troops to a number of guerril-      harassment are likewise violations
only concentrate its forces in some             la fronts will surely result in more    of the JASIG.
guerrilla fronts. Even in the areas             widespread and graver abuses                These measures of the Arroyo
it can cover, the AFP cannot main-              against the people. Nevertheless,       regime have rendered ineffective
tain its presence everywhere.                   it will provide more targets for NPA    the efforts of House Speaker Jose
    Even then, the bulk of                      tactical offensives.                    de Venecia this June 28 to revive
Philippine Army, Marine and                         With no hope for the reac-          the peace talks. To resume the
Special Forces battalions are                   tionary military forces to defeat       talks, Arroyo must withdraw her
already deployed in NPA guerrilla               the revolution, the Arroyo regime       campaign in the US and Europe to
fronts. In reality, even in                     has no one else to turn to but US       have the CPP, the NPA and Jose
Mindanao, there are more AFP                    imperialism. In colluding with US       Maria Sison categorized as "terror-
forces in the guerrilla fronts of the           President George W. Bush, Arroyo        ist."
NPA than in the areas of the MILF,              has been firmly pushing for US mil-         To support its "terrorist" decla-
MNLF, Abu Sayyaf and other Moro                 itary intervention, using the latter    ration, which the CPP and the NPA
forces.                                         as her foremost boogeyman. She          have strongly objected to and refut-
    This June, the regime was                   also wants to use it as the main        ed, the Arroyo regime is now weav-
forced to withdraw some troops                  instrument in confronting the           ing a web of lies, which include
deployed against the MILF and                   country's growing revolutionary         accusations of NPA involvement in
redeploy them to the guerrilla                  forces.                                 illegal drugs and in maintaining
fronts in Samar. Two battalions and                 On orders of US imperialism to      marijuana plantations in guerrilla
one Reconnaissance Company were                 run roughshod over the peace            zones. All of this, however, can be
added to Samar after the conduct                talks, the regime is stupidly threat-   easily belied. The truth of the AFP,
                                                                                        PNP and government leaders’ lead-
                                                                                        ing roles behind the country's ille-
            ANG                                                                         gal drug trade is likewise being
                                              Editorial: Batter the Arroyo regime           Arroyo is likewise obstructing
     Vol. XXXIV No. 11     July 7, 2003       with more tactical offensives     1
                                                                                        the GRP-MILF talks the same way
       Ang Bayan is published in Pilipino,    Victorious NPA offensives         3       she is impeding peace talks
    Bisaya, Iloko, Hiligaynon, Waray at                                                 between the GRP and the NDFP. The
    English editions.                         Successful establishment of a revo-       GRP has declared the MILF as "ter-
       It is available for downloading at     lutionary union                  5        rorist" and has issued arrest orders
    the Philippine Revolution Web Central
    located at:
                                                                                        against its leaders to put up huge
                                              Victories and valuable lessons from       stumbling blocks to the continua-
                                              the Central Azucarera de Tarlac
       Ang Bayan welcomes contributions                                                 tion of the peace talks.
    in the form of articles and news.         strike                            7
    Readers are likewise enjoined to send
                                                                                            The NPA is in a position to
    in their comments and suggestions for     Twists and turns in the struggle of       intensify the revolutionary armed
    the betterment of our publication. You    Lepanto Mining workers            9       struggle. The NPA is constantly
    can reach us by email at:                                                           aware that when the AFP concen-
             angbayan@yahoo.com               News                              10
                                                                                        trates its forces in particular areas,
                  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee
                          of the Communist Party of the Philippines                                                 to page 3

2                                                                                                 ANG BAYAN July 7, 2003
                                                                      VICTORIOUS NPA OFFENSIVES

More widespread, more frequent
      actical offensives of the New People’s Army      element of surprise and the camouflage provided by

T     (NPA) are gaining momentum and becoming
      more extensive. From June 16 to the first week
of July, Red fighters carried out successive
                                                       darkness and strong rain to successfully overpower
                                                       the patrol base of the 52nd IB’s “A” Company in
                                                       Barangay Cagpili, Oras on June 26. The raid began at
ambushes, attacks and other military actions against   4:30 in the morning and the firefight lasted two
small and isolated troops and detachments of the       hours. Because of the area’s remoteness and the
Philippine Army, Philippine National Police and the    difficulty of access, the enemy was unable to send
Citizens’ Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU).      reinforcements immediately.
    Most striking were the assault on the 52nd IB          The NPA seized seven M16s, five M14s, a grenade
camp in Eastern Samar on June 28 and the NPA           launcher, nine garands and two carbines. Five
victory over 60th IB troops in an encounter on June    soldiers and ten CAFGU members were killed. A
30 in Compostela Valley, southern Mindanao. On the     soldier’s wife was caught in the crossfire. Two others
whole, 33 enemy forces were reported killed while 23   were also wounded. Before retreating, the guerrillas
were wounded. The NPA seized 39 firearms and           burned down the detachment.
ammunition of various caliber as well as other             The raid was the second in Eastern Samar within
military equipment.                                    a week. On June 22, the NPA assaulted a police
    Compostela Valley. The NPA confiscated an          station in the town center of Quinapondan. At the
M203, eight M16s, three M14s and a telescope from      same time, the Red fighters searched through the
a platoon of the 60th IB in an encounter at around     houses of the police and confiscated an M16, a .45
1:30 p.m. in Barrio Pansabangan, New Bataan.           and a .38 caliber pistol. Insp. Cayetano Gannaban,
    Ten soldiers, including their commander 2nd Lt.    the municipal police chief, was wounded in the raid.
Peter James Angeles, and three CAFGU elements were         Abra. A soldier of the 17th IB Special Operations
killed while five were wounded in the firefight.       Team was killed and another wounded in an ambush
    According to a report from the Merardo Arce        conducted by the NPA Agustin Begnalen Command in
Command, the troops encountered a 36-strong NPA        Sitio Tapayen, Barangay Alaoa, Tineg on July 2.
unit. During the exchange of fire, an NPA squad        Together with three guides, the troops were on their
maneuvered to seize the higher ground, thus causing    way to their command post when the ambush
the Red fighters to quickly prevail.                   occurred.
    Agusan del Norte. The NPA ambushed and killed          Zambales. A soldier from the 24th IB was killed
a CAFGU element and three members of the Civilian      and three others wounded in two separate clashes in
Volunteer Organization (CVO) in Lawan-lawan, Las       San Marcelino, Zambales. A soldier was killed when
Nieves on June 27.                                     the NPA assaulted the 24th IB detachment in
    Eastern Samar. Red fighters skillfully used the    Barangay Adlao on the night of June 16. Three

from page 2
                                     crisis of the ruling system. It is    the agrarian revolution and mass
it leaves many other areas wide      bankrupt, steeped in decadence        base building. The various arenas
open. Even when enemy forces are     and corruption and is beset with      and sections of the revolutionary
concentrated, it is important for    fractiousness. The Arroyo regime is   movement are consciously linked
the NPA to pinpoint and deliver      extremely hated by, and isolated      and cooperate with one another, as
blows on the enemy's relatively      from, the people.                     with the movement in the country-
weak points.                             On the other hand, the revolu-    side and in the cities. It is boldly
    The Arroyo regime cannot pre-    tionary movement continues to         expanding the national united
vent the escalation of the armed     expand, deepen and strengthen         front as the revolution enjoys the
struggle especially now that the     itself nationwide. It is advancing    deep and broad support of the
regime is mired ever deeper in the   the armed struggle together with      Filipino people.                   AB

ANG BAYAN July 7, 2003                                                                                        3

soldiers were wounded in an
ambush by Red fighters in Sitio
Itanglew the following day. The
soldiers were part of the group                                               Striking NPA tactical
sent to reinforce the detachment.
The NPA detonated a land mine,                                                offensives
hitting the V-150 armored                   Alaoa, Tineg, Abra
personnel carrier the soldiers were         July 2
riding. Reggie “Ka Cesar” Espi-
nosa, a worker from San Simon,
Pampanga who joined the NPA in
2001, was martyred in the fight.                                       Canaway, Gen. Nakar, Quezon
                                                                       June 28
Contrary to the AFP’s statement
that nine NPA fighters were killed,
                                        San Marcelino and
the other Red fighters were able        Botolan, Zambales
to retreat safely.                      June 16, 17 and July 5                              Cagpili, Oras, Eastern Samar
    On July 5, five troops of the                                                           June 26
Regional Special Action Force and
the 315th Provincial Mobile Group
of the Zambales PNP were sent to
hospital with gunshot wounds                                                                Quinapondan, Eastern Samar
after encountering an NPA unit in                                                           June 22
Barangay Maguisguis, Botolan.
    Quezon. Six troops of the 59th                               Lawan-lawan, Las Nieves,
IB were wounded after attempting                                 Agusan del Norte
to encircle an NPA encampment in                                 June 27
Sitio    Kinasakitan,     Barangay
Canaway, General Nakar on June                                                                Pansabangan, New Bataan,
28. They were hit when the NPA                                                                Compostela Valley
detonated a claymore mine. Two                                                                June 30
Red fighters heroically laid down
their lives in the firefight that
lasted for over an hour.          AB

                        The NPA suffered no casualties in the encounters
                             in Pampanga and Zambales – Ka Roger

    A    monstrous lie. This was
         Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal’s
    reaction to AFP reports that 15
                                       single guerrilla was killed. In
                                       truth, according to the JCC, at
                                       least four enemy soldiers were
                                                                                     “Since suffering grave losses
                                                                                 in Samar and Compostela Valley
                                                                                 and without a single victory to
    Red fighters had been killed in    killed in Sasmoan and seven               prate about, the AFP’s high
    an encounter on July 4 in the      killed in Botolan.                        command and propaganda mill
    town of Sasmoan, Pampanga and           “On orders of Malacañang and         have resorted to manufacturing
    20 in the firefight in Botolan,    the AFP high command, the                 all sorts of lies to cover up their
    Zambales on July 5.                military has concocted a                  losses,” Rosal added, “Weaving
        According to the Josepino      monstrous lie in its desperation          lies has long been the practice of
    Corpuz Command (JCC) of the        to boost the sagging morale of            the AFP. Fascists are in fact liars
    NPA in Central Luzon, not a        its men,” according to Ka Roger.          through and through.”            AB

4                                                                                             ANG BAYAN July 7, 2003
                                                                           CORRESPONDENCE REPORTS

The successful establishment
of a revolutionary union
             orkers, unite! We have nothing to

“W           lose but our chains!” Marx’s decla-
             ration rings true for the workers of
a modern factory in Central Luzon. In a span
of three years, workers in this factory took a
stand and struggled until they were able to
establish a revolutionary union. They are now
reaping the initial fruits of their efforts.
    It was in the year 2000 when organizing
began in the factory which would later
become the arena of struggle and the source of
valuable lessons in setting up and consolidating a rev-    production. But the capitalist maneuvered to hire
olutionary union in Central Luzon. In this factory, the    scabs who were brought inside the factory with the
revolutionary movement came upon the workers’ slave-       help of the police and attempted to break the picket
like conditions. The equipment was modern and labor        line. There were days when the capitalist succeeded in
was centralized, but it was under the old kabo system.     continuing the factory’s operations, and there were
Labor-only contracting was the system of employment.       also days when the workers prevailed. This daily battle
By appearances, it was not the capitalists who             for control lasted for months.
employed the workers but “contractors” who did not             The workers persisted in their long struggle in their
have the means to pay wages or provide benefits. The       picket line despite the lack of resources and continual
workers were contractuals without hope of ever             harassment. This was due to their high fighting spirit
becoming regulars.                                         and the strong support they received from their fami-
    There was no set daily wage. The workers were only     lies and community; the unflagging help from other
paid according to the number and quality of the fin-       unions and progressive sectors; excellent alliance work
ished products. They had no benefits whatsoever. Most      with other democratic sectors and individuals; and the
of the workers lived in shanties in a place without any    revolutionary armed movement’s correct and timely
electricity, water and alternative sources of food.        intervention on the issue.
Others merely rented cramped spaces in the shanties of         Before and during the strike, the workers continu-
their fellow poor.                                         ously launched study sessions that included, among
    Within a year, organizing groups and the organiz-      others, courses on genuine unionism, courses under
ing committee were formed and became the basis for         the Pambansa-Demokratikong Paaralan (PADEPA) and
setting up the Party branch inside the factory.            Marxist-Leninist studies. After the strike, Party mem-
Simultaneously, comrades provided guidance to the          bership doubled and three branches were set up on the
group being formed to set up the factory union.            basis of the flow of production and workers’ concentra-
    The spirit of genuine unionism spread rapidly. The     tion. The Party branch executive committee was like-
fact that all the workers were contractual was not an      wise set up. The number of mass activists developed
obstacle for them in organizing their union.               within the union also ran into the hundreds.
                                                               The key to the strike’s victory was the support pro-
Victorious strike                                          vided by mass organizations in the workers’ communi-
    Even before the union had been formally set up,        ty. Together with organizing inside the factory, the
the workers began demanding from the capitalist the        workers also organized their own community and pre-
benefits that had long been denied them. In response,      pared them for the union’s struggle. The mass organi-
the capitalist fired the workers who were most active      zations were thus tempered, serving as a wellspring of
in organizing the union. The workers went on strike. In    support and a launching pad for campaigns on other
the first few weeks, they paralyzed the factory’s entire   issues confronting the workers. They launched medical,

ANG BAYAN July 7, 2003                                                                                            5

civic and other projects to address    formally recognized by the capital-      eral mass movement. With each
the needs of everyone in the com-      ist as their representative in collec-   program, it sets the target number
munity. A Party branch was also set    tive bargaining.                         of worker-recruits for the NPA and
up here.                                                                        conducts a campaign among the
     To avoid being backed into a      Enlistment into the people’s army        members for them to volunteer. It
corner and crushed by the capital-         Because      of    the    intense    also has a campaign calling on
ist, the workers sought and suc-       exploitation and oppression suf-         workers to hold integration pro-
ceeded in broadening support for       fered by the workers in this factory,    grams with NPA units for a number
their strike and association. Aside    it has not been hard for them to         of months.
from the support of other unions       grasp the correctness and impor-             The union cooperates to pre-
and mass organizations in the com-     tance of the people’s democratic         pare members who signify their
munity, they also won over church      revolution and armed struggle.           desire to join the NPA. Courses that
people, local government officials     From their studies of society and        will be of help to them in conduct-
and even some police forces. It was    from their own experience, they          ing revolutionary work in the coun-
these supporters who gave suste-       find it easy to relate their poverty     tryside, such as the revolutionary
nance to the workers and their fam-    with those of other sectors espe-        guide to land reform and peasant
ilies for the entire duration of the   cially since many of them came           study courses, among others, are
strike. The investigations conduct-    from the peasantry. Their union is       given emphasis in their political
ed and other legal measures taken      now active in regional and national      education programs.
in the cases that the workers filed    mass struggles. They actively par-           The union also helps the work-
against the capitalists were also a    ticipate in political mobilizations      ers gather up necessary items (such
big help.                              and mass campaigns outside the           as packs). The Party branch in the
     The NPA unit operating in the     factory.                                 union, together with the branch in
guerrilla zone where the factory is        But the union’s most striking        the community, ensures the welfare
located was also of great assis-       victory is its ability to continuous-    of the families left behind. The
tance. The NPA explained to the        ly supply the NPA with a relatively      workers do their best to contribute
capitalist the revolution’s policies   large number of recruits. Within         support for the basic needs of such
in dealing with capitalists and fac-   three years, the union has sent over     families. This way, even breadwin-
tories within guerrilla zones. The     20 workers to various guerrilla          ners do not face obstacles in join-
NPA warned the capitalist against      fronts in the region. This is a big      ing the NPA.
taking steps that would be highly      leap considering the entire labor            This factory is but one of many
detrimental to the workers’ interest   movement’s weaknesses in previous        factories nationwide where revolu-
and explained what the punitive        years.                                   tionary unions operate or are being
measures were for such acts. The           The Party branch inside the fac-     set up. They are revolutionary
NPA was able to neutralize the cap-    tory carefully plans the recruitment     because a large part of the union
italist, who immediately refrained     of workers to join the NPA. It tem-      membership possesses class and
from using violence.                   pers the union membership through        revolutionary consciousness, even
     Because of the justness of the    continuous studies and participa-        if some others lag behind.
workers’ demands and their deter-      tion in local struggles and the gen-         In this factory, the Party struc-
mination to fight, the capitalist                                               ture is solid and the number of
was compelled to acquiesce to their                                             activists large. The Party is able to
demands. The capitalist reinstated                                              exercise its leadership in the
the workers who had been fired                                                  union’s day-to-day activities and in
from their jobs and promised to                                                 the economic and political strug-
provide benefits such as SSS and                                                gles of the mass membership even
medical pay. The workers also won                                               as it actively contributes to the
their legal cases.                                                              legal mass movement in the cities
     At present, the workers are                                                and the armed struggle in the
endeavoring to have their union                                                 countryside.                        AB

6                                                                                         ANG BAYAN July 7, 2003
                                                                          CORRESPONDENCE REPORTS

Victories and valuable lessons from the
Central Azucarera de Tarlac strike
       he fires of a general strike by workers and farm   At the same time, the workers repudiated the corrup-

T      workers of Hacienda Luisita and the Central
       Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) blazed in February
2003, rapidly spreading in their communities until
                                                          tion and economism of yellow union leaders and
                                                          paved the way for their expulsion.
                                                              Management asserted that the workers’ actions
victory was achieved.                                     were illegal and attempted to pin down the union
     Hacienda Luisita and CAT are owned by the family     through long-drawn and endless negotiations involv-
of former Pres. Corazon Aquino and former Rep. Jose       ing the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Cojuangco Jr., who is now one of Arroyo’s advisers.           The workers were not deceived and instead
CAT is the country’s second largest sugar refinery and    declared a strike. The DOLE immediately issued an
supplies almost all of Luzon. It is also where 70% of     Assumption of Jurisdiction (AJ)1 order to stop the
the country’s imported sugar is refined.                  strike. Despite management’s outright bribery and
     It had been more than a year since the workers       coercion, the workers militantly set up their picket
laid down their demands before the CAT management         line on Friday evening, February 21 to prevent the
against contractualization and the denial of medical      strike from being nipped in the bud by an AJ order.2
benefits that they had previously enjoyed, as provid-         Subsequently, the operations of the azucarera
ed for in their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).    (sugar mill) ground to a halt and 1,000 workers and
Because of the maneuverings of management and the         their supporters encircled the enterprise. Nearby com-
union leadership’s inclination towards yellow union-      munities of farm workers heeded the call for a work
ism, a long time passed without any resolution in         stoppage and joined the strike. Even before the strike,
sight for these demands.                                  the workers staged a rally joined by more than 500
     By December 2002, the situation had                    supporters, including tricycle drivers, other hacien-
reached boiling point and the workers could                   da workers, farm workers, students and other resi-
not wait any longer. They decided to pursue                                    dents. About a thousand more
their fight just before the end of kabyawan, the                                   joined the picket line each
sugar cane milling season. The paraliza-                                           day. By the fourth day, the
tion of milling operations at this                                                  number of workers and farm
point would threaten to destroy                                                     workers who militantly stood
relations between Cojuangco                                                         their ground at the picket line
and the other landlords in the                                                     had swelled to 4,000. Man-
area who supplied sugar cane                                                      agement could do nothing but
to CAT. The workers won over                                                   negotiate directly with the work-
to their side vacillating                                                       ers outside the processes defined
union officials who were                                                         by DOLE. A thousand workers
otherwise upright and iso-                                                         and farm workers came to the
lated the yellow ones in                                                         negotiations.
order to advance their                                                         Within three days of negotiations,
struggle with full determi-                                               the workers were able to win all of
nation.                                                               their demands. They were able to have
     The full mobilization of                                          their medical benefits restored and the
workers        throughout     the                                        contractualization policy junked. Nego-
enterprise began in January                                              tiations were also opened to imple-
2003. From January to early                                ment wage orders, which management had slyly
F e b r u a r y, t h e w o r k e r s                       removed from the last CBA.
launched a series of collective                                Over 800 workers of CAT benefited from the strike.
actions to assert their demands.                          In addition, management also granted farm workers’

ANG BAYAN July 7, 2003                                                                                           7

demands for a guaranteed mini-               within a week.                              ence of their union in local poli-
mum of 80 days of work for every                                                         tics, their strike’s excellent timing
milling season, and for free hospi-          Victories and lessons                       and the particular economic and
talization, medicine and other                   The workers’ militant stand was         political circumstances that the
basic needs. Electric power, which           the key to the strike’s victory, at a       hacienda and the Cojuangco family
CAT had cut when the workers                 time when their opportunist lead-           were in. In this manner, the nego-
decided to go on strike, was                 ers’ inclination towards yellow             tiations became more fast-paced
restored in the communities.                 unionism had weakened their                 and more flexible.
Management also agreed to help               union. The workers prevailed                    The work stoppage, which
prevent any attempt at militarizing          because they were in possession of          began as a strike at CAT, culminat-
the communities where workers                the correct analysis, were deter-           ed in a general strike involving the
and farm workers resided. Even the           mined to fight, and used excellent          entire hacienda. It grew in scope
issue of the impending land-use              tactics that enjoyed the support of         due to the participation of the
conversion of the hacienda was               the general membership as well as           hacienda’s farm workers and their
opened. The strike ended in victory          of other residents.                         communities, who also put forward
                                                 The corruption and the collu-           their demands and joined the
                                             sion with management of certain             negotiations.
                                             union leaders were thoroughly                   The joint action further broad-
                                             exposed. Such leaders were isolat-          ened and strengthened the work-
                                             ed in the course of the struggle            ers’ links and alliances with other
                                             and during the strike. By tirelessly        sectors and forces both inside and
                                             explaining the issues to the mem-           outside the hacienda. Members of
                                             bers, the organizers were able to           other militant unions in the
                                             combat the deep-seated econo-               hacienda, mass organizations and
                                             mism and other influences of yel-           middle forces directly participated
                                             low unionism that had long                  in the mobilizations. The barangay
                                             obstructed their advance. Thus, the         captains in barrios within and
                                             members further imbibed the spirit          adjacent to the hacienda helped
                                             of genuine unionism and further             defend the strikers by blocking the
                                             raised their class consciousness.           approach of military forces. Sup-
                                                 The large number and militancy          port poured in from students, the
                                             of the forces that the workers were         middle forces and even from local
                                             able to mobilize were a great help          politician-allies.
                                             to their struggle. The workers of               The strike at CAT and Hacienda
                                             CAT were able to prove that it was          Luisita has been hailed not only as
                                             possible to wage negotiations with          a strike of one union against an
                                             management independently, with-             avaricious bourgeois-comprador,
                                             out being confined by the bureau-           but as a struggle of the working
                                             cratic and anti-worker policies and         class, together with the peasantry,
                                             processes of DOLE. They were able           against the big landlord-comprador
                                             to skillfully make use of, and ben-         bourgeoisie and the policies of the
                                             efit from, the strength and influ-          reactionary government.             AB

          1 The AJ or Assumption of Jurisdiction order is often used to declare a strike illegal and force the union to negotiate
even if the strike has a legitimate basis and has gone through legal processes. Through the AJ, the DOLE secretary arrogates the
right to resolve the issues behind the strike. He issues a return-to-work order and uses the police to enforce it.

        2   Because the following days were Saturday and Sunday, no official AJ order could be issued to the workers.

8                                                                                                   ANG BAYAN July 7, 2003
                                                                                    CORRESPONDENCE REPORTS

Twists and turns in the struggle
of Lepanto Mining workers
    t took five months of struggle             declared illegal through an                    a second round of struggle. As

I   for the workers of Lepanto
    Consolidated Mining Corporation
(LCMC) to achieve their demands
                                               Assumption of Jurisdiction
                                               (AJ) injunction from
                                               DOLE, and a return-
                                                                                                      a result, the union pres-
                                                                                                         ident found courage
                                                                                                         and humbly criticized
against management. From Nov-                  to-work order was                                         himself, and firmly
ember 2002 to March 2003, the                  issued. Those who                                         and continuously sup-
workers, along with their families,            refused to resume                                        ported the solid and
communities and supporters, under-             working were imme-                                      determined struggle
went an arduous process of forging             diately terminated.                                    of the masses of work-
their strength. The struggle was led           The workers did not                                  ers.
by the newly elected militant union            budge, defied the DOLE order and                         Meanwhile, support
leadership that replaced the previ-            firmly continued their strike.                       continued to pour in from
ous yellow leadership.                             Within a month of the strike,                   communities, churches,
    LCMC is the country’s largest              the LCMC management attempted            peasant organizations, local chap-
producer of gold and copper, with a            several times to break the picket        ters of Bayan Muna and other
2,586-strong work force. It earns              line with the use of the local police.   groups. They sent food, visited
$47 million (over P2.54 billion)               The company also tried to bring in       every household in the surrounding
annually from exports and its oper-            scabs but this was thwarted by the       communities to explain the issues
ations are based in Mankayan,                  strikers. Many workers were injured      behind the struggle and gather sup-
Benguet.                                       and harassed, and several of them        port and participated in the work-
    Foremost among the issues the              were likewise arrested and jailed.       ers’ rallies and pickets and other
workers fought against were the                    Simultaneously, the manage-          actions outside the mines. Although
company’s policy of contractualiza-            ment ensnared and pressured the          the mayor of Mankayan serves as
tion and forced work during official           union leadership into signing an         the LCMC’s attorney and minion, the
holidays. Among other unjust poli-             unjust agreement where LCMC              workers won greater support from
cies of management, the company                offered no concessions, save for         the local governments in Benguet,
also obligated its workers to report           allowing the workers to return to        including       Mankayan’s       entire
to work much sooner than their reg-            work and promising to discuss the        Association of Barangay Councils,
ular schedule, deprived them of                workers’ demands on condition that       the local governments of nearby
their Christmas bonus, refused to              the entire union leadership be ter-      municipalities as well as Gov. Raul
observe due process, arbitrarily ter-          minated. Because the union leader-       Molintas.
minated employees suspected of                 ship was ill-prepared and the union          With Governor Molintas’ help,
“high-grading1,” and violated cer-             president thought it was all right to    management was finally compelled
tain provisions of their collective            “sacrifice” the union leadership for     to conduct the proper transactions
bargaining agreement.                          the workers’ welfare, the president      with the workers’ representatives,
    The workers struck on February             acquiesced to a Memorandum of            rescind the previous MOA and come
1, 2003 after a series of failed nego-         Agreement (MOA) prepared by LCMC         to terms with the workers.
tiations with management and sev-              which amounted to surrendering the
eral weeks of gathering strength,              strike.                                  Victories
firming up their unity and preparing               But when the MOA was present-            This was the first strike against
for struggle through collective                ed before the general assembly for       LCMC in 55 years. The previous
action.                                        ratification, the union members          strike was held way back in 1949
    The LCMC had the strike                    firmly and unanimously nullified the     when the workers demanded a wage
                                                    agreement. Instead, they fur-       increase and the recognition of
1Pilfering                                          ther closed ranks and launched                                 to page 10
             high-grade ore containing gold.

ANG BAYAN July 7, 2003                                                                                                       9
Illegal detention of activists in Baguio                    NPA not involved in illegal drugs – CPP
              denounced                           IN a statement on July 6, the CPP, through Gregorio “Ka Roger”
                                                  Rosal refuted accusations by Gloria Arroyo that the NPA was
THE NPA Chadli Molintas Command (CMC)             involved in illegal drug operations and maintains marijuana
denounced the illegal arrest and filing of        plantations in guerrilla zones.
trumped-up charges against two members of             Arroyo’s accusation came in the face of the NPA’s victorious
progressive organizations in Ilocos Sur.          tactical offensives and amid the regime’s anti-drug campaign
Elements of the MIG arrested Evelyn Bedaña        that was all for show. According to Ka Roger, it is the AFP, PNP
and Josephine Perez in Baguio City on June        and high government officials who are really behind the illegal
22, brought them to a safehouse and tortured      drug trade in the country. He said that they protected all of the
them into admitting that they were members        country’s more than 215 big drug syndicates.
of the NPA and high-ranking officials of the          According to Ka Roger, only small-time pushers, users and
Communist Party of the Philippines.               innocent victims are being arrested in the regime’s nominal
    Bedaña works for the Solidarity of            campaign.
Peasants Against Exploitation (STOP-Ex),              On the other hand, he said, since the NPA’s establishment,
which helps tobacco farmers in Ilocos. Perez is   its campaign against illegal drugs has been persistent and
the regional coordinator of the College Editors   effective, especially in the areas where it operates. According to
Guild of the Philippines (CEGP)-Ilocos.           Ka Roger, this is the result of the efforts of the CPP-NPA and the
    The CMC assailed the military for accusing    entire revolutionary movement to actively launch mass political
the two women of involvement in the killing       and education campaigns against the use of illegal drugs.
of the mayor of Tineg, Abra; the demolition of        In a statement by NDF-Mindanao spokesperson Jorge “Ka
the Marcos bust in Tuba, Benguet (2002); the      Oris” Madlos, he said that the NPA loathes illegal drugs and has
ambush of the mayor of Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur     never had anything to do with them. According to Ka Oris, the
(2001); the killing of the traitor Conrado        NPA has discovered marijuana plantations in a number of
Balweg (1999) among many other charges.           military detachments raided by the Red army in previous years.
    Meanwhile, Marie Flor Ramos, who was
accused of being an NPA member and                              NPA arrests Zambales governor
involvement in the ambush of military troops      A 12-MEMBER NPA squad arrested Zambales Gov. Vicente
on January 4 in Palian, Tupi, South Cotabato,     Magsaysay as he holed up in his vacation house on May 25.
was released on July 1.                           Taken by surprise, the governor, his six bodyguards and the
    The court ordered the case against Ramos      policemen who were with him were unable to resist.
dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence. She        According to Josepino Corpuz Command (JCC) spokesperson
was arrested by unidentified persons in           Ka Jose Agtalon, the NPA took Governor Magsaysay into custody
Quezon City on March 24 and was deprived for      to talk to him about various complaints by peasants and workers
several weeks of her right to communicate         from Iba, Zambales. Among others, the peasants complained of
with anyone, including her attorney and           being evicted from Barangay Barbara, Iba and the workers raised
family.                                           the non-payment of their wages, bonuses and benefits.

from page 9
their union. This was also the first time in a long while   their contracts end. Agreements were likewise achieved
that the workers’ genuine, militant and patriotic union-    on the other issues confronting the union.
ism prevailed. In the course of the strike, the workers         The workers realized the importance and power of
and their families steeled their determination, winning     collective action to pursue their welfare. Within a week,
the support of theirs as well as other nearby communi-      they proved that collective action was the principal
ties in the struggle against the country’s biggest min-     means of union struggle. They fearlessly defied the var-
ing company.                                                ious schemes concocted by management as well as the
    After the strike, all of the terminated workers were    DOLE’s determination to thwart their struggle. Thus did
reinstated. The workers and LCMC agreed that the com-       they experience democracy within their ranks, effec-
pany would not take any retaliatory action against the      tively confront the capitalists and the state’s maneu-
workers. In addition, the workers achieved their            vers and acts of violence and achieve their overall
demand to have all casual workers regularized when          demands.

10                                                                                        ANG BAYAN July 7, 2003
Magsaysay also forced them to work          US PACOM looking into positioning troops in Albay
for 24 hours without overtime pay.      TWENTY-FOUR American military forces under the US Pacific Command
    The JCC explained that Governor     (US PACOM) visited Legazpi City from June 20-28, with one of the
Magsaysay was a legitimate military     teams headed by Col. Clipton Tarenaka. They used the US PACOM’s
target because of his crimes against    Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Program as their cover. The
the people and his maintenance of       group’s alleged mission is to carry out an in-depth assessment of the
a private army and a large armory.      area’s preparedness against volcanic eruptions, storms, floods, tsuna-
    Nevertheless, the NPA released      mi and other calamities.
him to give him a chance to reform.         In truth, the US PACOM visit’s purpose was to investigate the area
    The NPA seized an M60 machine       in relation to plans to position American troops for military training
gun, two M14s, an M203, four            exercises and other activities under the Visiting Forces Agreement
pistols and ammunition of various       (VFA). The US has avoided media disclosure of the visit to avoid
caliber. Also seized were a radio       controversy.
transceiver, a base radio, seven
cellphones and a camera.                                   Bishop Antonio Fortich, 89
                                        BISHOP Emeritus Antonio Fortich passed away in Bacolod City on July
   Workers poised to strike             2 at the age of 89.
                                            Bishop Fortich was known as the “bishop of the poor.” He was well
         at Cosmos                      known as an advocate of peasants and farm workers’ interests. He
WORKERS at Cosmos Bottling
                                        supported the struggle for genuine land reform. He also united with
Philippines are set to strike against
                                        the people in opposing martial rule, particularly the intense
efforts of company owner Eduardo
                                        militarization of Negros.
“Danding” Cojuangco to short-
                                            Because of his stand for the oppressed, Bishop Fortich became close
change them. Negotiations for their
                                        to the revolutionary movement. He was once an adviser of the National
CBA are currently deadlocked.
                                        Democratic Front (NDF).
Among others, the workers object to
                                            Among those who paid tribute to him were Comrades Luis Jalandoni,
Cojuangco’s scheme to revoke the
                                        Consuelo Ledesma, Frank Fernandez and Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal.
seniority pay that they had long
been receiving and the P10,000
signing bonus received by every
                                                      Demolition in Baclaran condemned
worker. Cojuangco also sought to        THE Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-NCR led a rally in front of the
peg the wage increase to only P40       MMDA office on July 7 to condemn the violent demolition of vendor
per day for the next three years        stalls in Baclaran, Roxas Blvd. and Coastal Road. One vendor was
even as the previous CBA had pro-       killed when MMDA personnel opened fire during the demolition on
vided for an increase of P50 over       July 6. The MMDA truncheoned the vendors, destroyed their stalls
two years.                              and poured gasoline on their wares.
    Workers are also objecting to
the company’s contractualization                South Korea and Germany rocked by strikes
policy. Ever since Cojuangco            STRIKES by workers and employees are now rocking South Korea and
acquired Cosmos in 2001, the            Germany.
company has stopped hiring new              South Korea. Over 100,000 workers launched separate work
regular employees and regulars have     stoppages. Twenty-two thousand workers belonging to the Korean
slowly been replaced with casuals.      Railway Workers’ Union opposed their company’s restructuring plan.
    To prevent a strike, Cojuangco      Eight thousand workers of Chohung Bank opposed the planned
has both threatened and cajoled the     privatization of the bank. Meanwhile, 80,000 workers in Hyundai Motors’
workers. The Department of Labor        100 plants demanded the reduction of their work hours from 40 to 36
and Employment (DOLE) issued an         hours a week.
Assumption of Jurisdiction (AJ)             Germany. Workers at BMW and Volkswagen led by IG Metall
order in the first week of June,        Industrial, the largest auto industry union, have been on strike for
declaring the strike illegal even       almost a month. They demanded that the company reduce their work
before it has been launched.            hours from 38 to 35 hours a week.

ANG BAYAN July 7, 2003                                                                                      11

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