In Face of the New Peoples Army Frans Welman looks at the people behind the struggle for their rights. Often depicted as rebels, killers, criminals and the like they actually live in a semi feudal, a post colonial society where they are oppressed and exploited.
The Government of the Philippines condones this exploitation of the poor and deploys its Army against its own people, cheap labor by millions of Philippinos, to force them to abide their corrupted policies. In the Cordillera of Northern Luzon the uprising began when a hydro-electric dam project was going to be implemented in the Chico River which would inundate large tracts of Indigenous land.
Front man Macliing Dulag led the protest against what would have a devastating effect on his tribe: The Kalinga. Macliing Dulag was murdered in his home in the village of Bugnay by army officers which spurned even stronger protest and in turn led the Cordillera peoples to become part of the New Peoples Army of the Philippines.
Having been there and knowing the faces of the ‘rebels’ with this book Frans Welman pays tribute to all those who have the courage to stand up for their right, in this case the Kalinga and Bontoc of the Cordillera and in Volume Two to the people of the island of Samar.
These heroic people who fight for fundamental human rights are gentle, hospitable and most of all genuinely friendly.