Voices of the revolution: Filipino rebels

Here are three Filipinos in the communist-led New People's Army (NPA) speaking in their own words on their lives as guerrillas. Their real names are not given. Instead they use ka (comrade) plus an underground name. They were interviewed by Clayton Jones, the Monitor's bureau chief in Manila. Ka Migo: I am 42 years old, the oldest in my company, and have been fighting for two years. I've killed two soldiers. I joined because the military stole some of my chickens and killed my brother. I am a peasant and own 10 acres of land. I used to grow coffee and corn and earned $175 a year.... The purpose of the movement is to get a smooth flow in society. I would like farmers to be left as farmers. I am not a communist, and my comrades are not communist.... I like Mrs. Corazon Aquino and know she is trying to stop the confusion.... No, I didn't know there were American military bases in my country. Ka Reuben: I am 16 years old and joined the NPA four months ago. On my first patrol, I ambushed a soldier. I was very afraid and don't think I want to do it again.... Both my parents were in the movement but had to leave me when I was five, because the military was chasing them. I haven't seen them since.... I've never gone to school, and I've never gone to church. I was given political training by the NPA, but I've forgotten it all. I joined because prices are high. Ka Denner: I am 28 years old and just joined the NPA. I made about $50 a year from my land, but the land is still untitled. I would like to earn $300 a year.... I joined after a soldier hit me with the butt of a rifle.... I would like Filipinos not to kill other Filipinos.... I was Catholic, but I dropped my beliefs. My expectations were not met by religion. Only the movement can do that. We need justice and democracy.... There can be no clean elections in this country until we finish this bloody struggle.

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