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NPA launches documentary, MTVs on YouTube

By Nonoy Espina
First Posted 16:02:00 03/30/2007

Filed Under: Internet, rebellion, Armed conflict

MANILA, Philippines -- Communist rebels launched a documentary on the New People's Army (NPA) and two music videos, more popularly called "MTVs," on YouTube to mark the guerrilla force's 38th anniversary Thursday.

"Bigwas (Blow)" justifies the NPA?s intensification of tactical operations as a response to human rights violations by the government and its security forces and is posted in two parts, the first running for 9:06 minutes, the second, for 9:05.

In a statement announcing the release of the rebel documentary, Gregorio Rosal, spokesman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, said: "We take the opportunity of posting 'Bigwas' and other forthcoming documentary and music videos on the internet to make information on the New People's Army more widely accessible to the public and thus serve to inspire a greater number of Filipinos in their efforts to resist the Arroyo regime's brutal state terrorism through all forms of struggle."

?Pagbati (Greeting),? on the other hand, is a martial tune 3:08 minutes long about rebel supporters greeting guerrillas after a victorious operation and lists some of the NPA?s successful assaults from 2005 to 2006 while ??Panaghoy (Lamentation),? is a dirge that pays tribute to activists and other victims of human rights violations and runs for 2:41.

Both songs are part of the soundtrack of Bigwas.

All three videos are produced by an outfit that calls itself Sine Proletaryo (Workers? Cinema) and are well edited, with a slick look and feel normally seen in professional media productions.

Bigwas includes combat footage of NPA guerrillas assaulting police stations and mounting ambushes, apparently taken by rebel videographers, as well as interviews with ranking rebel commanders such as Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Ma. Sison, Rosal, Jorge Madlos, spokesman of the National Democratic Front in Mindanao, Simon ?Ka Filiw? Naogsan, spokesman of the Cordillera People?s Liberation Front, and Tirso Alcantara, spokesman of the NPA?s Melito Glor Command in Southern Luzon.

In an apparent show of confidence, most of the interviewed rebel officers are shown on-camera with no attempt to conceal their identities.

Then documentary opens with footage of an actual NPA nighttime raid on what
appears to be a provincial police station then segues into President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?s last State of the Nation Address in which she praises now retired major general Jovito Palparan, who the rebels and activist groups accuse of ordering many of the extrajudicial killings and abductions in the areas he was assigned to.

Aside from the interviews with the rebel commanders and combat footage, the documentary also shows footage of NPA guerrillas training and interacting with mass supporters.

It also shows news footage, many of these culled from mainstream and alternative media that are all properly acknowledged in the end credits.

It ends on the same triumphant note as it opened, with footage of guerrillas storming a police station, this time in daylight.

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