CPP Statement: Win Greater Victories in the People’s War
Posted by n3wday on April 3, 2009
This article was published on Philippine Revolution.
Communist Party of the Philippines
March 29, 2009
With boundless joy, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the New People’s Army (NPA) on March 29 under the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Since then, the NPA has won great victories in the Filipino people’s revolutionary struggle for national liberation and democracy through protracted people’s war against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords.
We congratulate all the Red commanders and fighters, the Party cadres and members in the NPA and the broad masses of the people for their accumulated and current victories. We render the highest tribute to our revolutionary martyrs and heroes. Our high revolutionary principles, courage, perseverance, hard work, fierce struggle and sacrifices have won us our victories since the establishment of the Party and the NPA.
The NPA stands today as the largest revolutionary army built by the Filipino people nationwide. It is larger and stronger than the Philippine revolutionary army that fought Spanish colonialism from 1896 to 1898 and against US imperialism from 1899 onward. It is also larger and stronger than the People’s Liberation Army against Japan from 1942-45 and the People’s Liberation Army from 1949 onward.
The NPA today is far stronger than itself in the 1980s. It has excelled as a force fighting the enemy, spreading revolutionary propaganda, organizing and mobilizing the masses in campaigns for advancing their national and democratic rights and interests. It is the main organization for defeating and overthrowing the reactionary state and for establishing the people’s democratic government. It has succeeded in integrating the revolutionary armed struggle, land reform and mass base building.
It has built its strength by waging tactical offensives within the stage of strategic defensive and looks forward to carrying out bigger offensives in subsequent strategic stages of the people’s war. It is attending to the demand for land reform and all other demands for the attainment of national and social liberation. Thus, it has won the participation and support of the peasant masses and the rest of the people in the armed revolution.
With the NPA, the people have been able to establish revolutionary organs of democratic political power. These draw strength from the mass organizations and the mass campaigns. With the NPA as its weapon, the people’s democratic government is developing and is bound to defeat and replace the reactionary state of the big compradors and landlords completely.
The NPA has benefited from the First Great Rectification Movement against the Lavaite opportunists and the Taruc-Sumulong gangster clique in the 1960s and 1970s and the Second Great Rectification Movement in the 1990s. Through these rectification movements, the NPA has reaffirmed basic revolutionary principles, has enabled itself to overcome errors and weaknesses in ideology, politics and organization and has always emerged ever stronger.
The NPA has overcome tremendous odds posed by military campaigns of suppression unleashed by the Marcos fascist dictatorship and the succeeding post-Marcos regimes. It has proven to the entire world that it is possible to wage a protracted people’s war successfully in an archipelagic semicolonial and semifeudal country dominated by the US imperialists and the most clever and cruel puppets.
It is precisely through fighting the armed counterrevolution that the NPA has grown in strength and advanced. It has totally frustrated and defeated Oplan Bantay Laya I (OBL I) from 2001 to 2006 and Oplan Bantay Laya II (OBL II) from 2006 onward. The brutal attacks unleashed by the US-directed Arroyo regime on the broad masses of the people, including communities and unarmed activists from various walks of life, have isolated and weakened this regime and discredited it throughout the world.
Today, the NPA enjoys high prestige as a revolutionary force. It shines as a valiant fighting force against the rottenness of the Philippine reactionary ruling system and the current regime of puppetry, corruption, cruelty and mendacity. As the crisis of the world capitalist system and the domestic ruling system worsens, the NPA is availing of the exceedingly favorable conditions for people’s war and winning greater victories and accumulating strength. The broad masses of the people clamor for the intensification of the people’s war and are waging all forms of struggle.
I. Deepening depression of global capitalism
Not so long ago, the imperialists and their camp followers were gloating that China, the Soviet Union and other revisionist-ruled states, which they misrepresented as socialist, were in turmoil and were carrying out the full and undisguised restoration of capitalism. They were proclaiming that the cause of national liberation and of socialism were hopeless and that history cannot go beyond capitalism and liberal democracy. Since then, the monopoly capitalists have launched ideological, political, economic and military offensives against the working people and the revolutionary forces. Now, the world capitalist system is imploding.
The worst financial and economic crisis of the world capitalist system since the Great Depression has rapidly spread from the US as its epicenter and continues to deepen with no end in sight. It is well on the way to becoming the Greater Depression, wreaking havoc on the forces of production and the lives of the broad masses of the people throughout the world. The current depression has been running since the latter half of 2007 but the imperialists and the local reactionaries persist in calling it a mere recession.
The policy of “neoliberal” globalization has collapsed. It has utterly failed to overcome the chronic tendency of monopoly capitalism to stagnate and go into ever worsening cycles of boom and bust. US imperialism and the entire world capitalist system are engulfed by economic catastrophe and gloom. The “free market” dogma is being condemned widely as a hypocritical slogan of the monopoly bourgeoisie for privatizing profit and “socializing” losses.
Trillions of US dollars have been handed over by the US federal government to the giant banks and other financial corporations since 2007. Only belatedly and inadequately has it adopted relief measures for a small percentage of the tens of millions of people who have lost their jobs, homes, savings, pension funds and social benefits.
For three decades, the imperialist powers headed by the US have implemented the policy of pressing down the wage levels of the working people, cutting back on government social spending and making more capital available to the monopoly bourgeoisie supposedly in order to counter stagnation and inflation and to stimulate economic growth. They have blamed the phenomenon of stagflation in the 1970s on rising wage levels and government social spending and not on the over accumulation of capital in the hands of a few, the growing competition among imperialist powers and the demand-pull inflation caused by excessive military spending.
The imperialist powers firmed up an international division of labor with themselves in charge of high-tech production of capital goods and other big items (weaponry and luxury items), with a few other countries allowed to produce some basic industrial products and low value-added consumer semimanufactures and with the overwhelming majority of countries consigned to providing cheap labor and raw materials.
The problem of monopoly capitalism in pushing down the wage and income levels of the working people in the imperialist countries and abroad is the recurrence of the crisis of overproduction at ever worsening levels at every round. Thus, the policy of “neoliberal” globalization has repeatedly unleashed ever more serious financial and economic crises from decade to decade.
Nevertheless, the imperialist policymakers have presumed that such crises can always be overcome by deregulating the financial markets and resorting to debt financing. Debt financing is supposed to enable the monopoly bourgeoisie to beat the tendency of the falling rate of profit; states to overcome rising levels of budgetary and trade deficits; and households to maintain high levels of consumption despite the reduction of regular employment and income. But even if from time to time debt financing could seem to stabilize the so-called free market and conjure the false illusion of economic growth, the unsustainable accumulation of debt would ultimately collapse on the entire economy.
The current grave financial and economic crisis is rooted in a) the maximization of profit through the ceaseless cheapening of labor power; b) the accumulation of both productive and finance capital in the hands of the monopoly bourgeoisie in the course of competition; c) the crisis of overproduction resulting in further overaccumulation of capital; and d) the drive of the monopoly bourgeoisie to overcome the tendency of the rate of profit in production to fall by extracting profit from the creation of fictitious capital and sheer financial speculation. This explains the unbridled expansion of credit and the money supply, the invention of derivatives, financial bubbles and overvaluation of assets. The financialization of the economy in the hands of an oligarchy and the overaccumulation of finance capital for the purpose of control and speculation characterize the US.
The policy of “neoliberal” globalization accelerated the concentration and centralization of capital in the hands of the imperialist powers, with the US taking a full 70% of global capital. To push down the wage levels in the US economy, the US monopoly bourgeoisie opted to outsource consumer manufacturing from countries with very cheap labor as in China and to use debt financing to cover huge deficits in trade with the major European countries, Japan, China and others.
But the US monopoly bourgeoisie could not just leave the US working class and middle class alone with decreasing regular employment and incomes. It devised one financial bubble after another: the savings and loans association bubble of 1986-1989, the high-tech bubble of 1995 to 2000 and then the housing bubble of 2002 to 2006 in order to make credit available to the working class and the middle class for buying stocks and houses and make them share the “irrational exuberance” and the “wealth effect” and ultimately to fleece and dispossess them.
The monopoly bourgeoisie, particularly the financial oligarchy of all imperialist countries, have pursued the same policy of “neoliberal” globalization under the US baton. Thus, all the imperialist countries have been gravely afflicted by the serious crisis and have spread the plague to the other countries with which they have bilateral and multilateral economic and financial relations.
The monopoly bourgeoisie has ceaselessly waged a fierce class struggle against the proletariat and people by using the instruments of state power (all branches of government, especially the coercive apparatuses) to suppress trade union and other democratic rights and bring down the wage and income levels of the working people. It has also used the educational system, the mass media and other persuasive means to steer the working class away from waging class struggle in a conscious and organized way.
But the moment of truth has come. In the wealthiest and most iniquitous country of the world, the broad masses of the people are outraged that there are no prompt and adequate relief measures for the working people who have lost their jobs, whose homes have been foreclosed, whose pension funds have been lost in 401K and other investment scams, who suffer the lack or dearth of unemployment relief, medical care and other social benefits. The persistent adherence of the officialdom and the finance oligarchy to the policy of “neoliberal” globalization is obstructing and delaying the adoption of Keynesian measures in the effort to stimulate demand and production.
Social discontent and unrest are spreading in all imperialist countries– in the US, the European Union, Japan and Russia. The workers, youth, women, migrants and other people are demanding democratic rights and social justice. There is polarization in imperialist countries as the monopoly bourgeoisie try to distract the people from the urgent social and political issues with slogans and acts of chauvinism, racism, anti-terrorism and warmongering.
At any rate, the current severe and protracted economic crisis provides favorable conditions for the working class and the rest of the people in the imperialist countries to build progressive and revolutionary parties, mass organizations and movements against monopoly capitalism and for socialism. The broad masses of the people need to lift themselves from the economic and social morass, prevail over the repressive and aggressive instruments of the imperialist state and to promote revolutionary solidarity among all peoples.
The Obama regime seems to be drawing away from the worst features of the Bush-hyped “global war on terror”. But the fact remains that US imperialism is the No.1 force in the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, the military intervention in the Philippines and many other countries and in the maintenance of hundreds of US military bases and forward stations all over the world. The people in the imperialist countries and the rest of the world need to unite and move against the wars of aggression unleashed by the US and other imperialist powers.
As the financial and economic crisis worsens, the tendency towards multipolarization and intensified struggle for a redivision of the world is growing among the imperialist powers. The imperialists have no effective center for unifying overall economic policies as well as urgent fiscal and monetary policies. Unlike in the past, no single country like the US or financial institution like the IMF now can claim to have the sufficient pool of funds for advancing stabilization loans. The US and the IMF are begging China, Japan and some oil-producing countries to ante up the funds, as if these countries were not themselves adversely afflicted by the crisis.
Any imperialist state that is serious in generating stable jobs tends to make its own plan of reviving production. The Obama regime has already been accused by other imperialist countries of protectionism for requiring “Buy America” in its economic stimulus package and for extending direct financial support to the giant car and other manufacturing firms.
In contrast to the arrogant unilateralism of the Bush regime, the Obama regime is stressing multilateralism in US relations with allies and is thus trying to make imperialist interventions and wars of aggression more effective under US command. But the worsening economic crisis and competition for energy resources, raw materials, markets and fields of investment are straining relations among the imperialist powers. Resentment is growing over the US use of its military power to grab the lion’s share of spoils. Russia, France and Germany have expressed resentment towards superpower arrogance and global hegemonism of the US.
US-China relations are also strained by economic and military contradictions. China is worried that the US is building up a new big bubble in US treasury bonds, that it can rapidly devalue these, that it is deliberately reducing its demand for China’s exports and that it is seeking to revive its own manufacturing capacity for export. China is deeply concerned that the US wants to maintain military supremacy in the Asia-Pacific region and carries out shows of military strength and provocations in the region in order to keep China in a position of subordination.
Among so-called emerging markets, China is the biggest US partner. But the current economic and financial crisis is making the US ever more wary of China’s domestic and foreign policies that are assertive of national sovereignty and independence, despite the long period of Sino-US collaboration within the framework of global capitalism.
Those hit hardest by the global financial and economic crisis are the overwhelming majority of countries that are dependent on the export of raw materials and are ever in need of foreign loans to cover their trade and budgetary deficits. There is now a drastic reduction of demand for their exports and a credit crunch. The IMF and the World Bank do not have enough resources for lending. All the promises of unilateral debt relief for the most impoverished countries and poverty alleviation and development for all underdeveloped countries have long been proven empty.
The peoples of Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe have been economically and socially devastated for decades under the IMF-imposed structural adjustment programs and under the policy of “neoliberal” globalization. They are rapidly being further degraded economically and politically in the current crisis. They undergo terrible suffering and are impelled to resist and strive for national and social liberation.
The peoples in countries victimized by imperialist wars of aggression, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been the most fierce in waging armed resistance and inflicting casualties on the imperialist and puppet forces. Under the current global crisis conditions, they are more than ever inspired to fight for national liberation.
All armed revolutionary movements for national liberation and democracy, such as in the Philippines, India, Tamil Eelam, Turkey, Palestine, Colombia, Peru and Nigeria, are more confident than ever of growing in strength and advancing amidst the current global crisis. The revolutionary forces pursuing the strategic line of protracted people’s war are providing a clear example to the peoples of Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
The crisis is bound to deepen further and run for a long time. It is conducive to the development of the subjective forces of the revolution through various forms of mass struggles in many countries and in all continents. The security officials of the imperialist powers, especially the US director of national intelligence, have started to express fears that the current global crisis can worsen to the point of bringing about conditions of turbulence comparable to those of the 1920s and 1930s in the imperialist as well as underdeveloped countries.
II. Smash the rotten ruling system
The constant demagogic line of the US-directed Arroyo regime is that the armed revolutionary movement is the cause of underdevelopment. It is rather the extremely oppressive and exploitative semicolonial and semifeudal system which causes underdevelopment that generates the armed resistance. The exploitativeness and oppressiveness of the ruling system have been aggravated by the regime’s subservience to US imperialist policy dictates in the economic, political, military and cultural fields.
Under the policy of “neoliberal globalization”, the Arroyo regime has pushed denationalization, liberalization, privatization and deregulation. It has used legislation and executive fiat to negate economic sovereignty and national patrimony, allow the unrestricted flow of foreign investments, to let foreign monopolies take over public assets, natural resources and all types of businesses and do away with all regulations that previously served to protect public interest, the working people, women, children and the environment.
By following the policy of “neoliberal globalization”, the Arroyo regime has opposed the people’s demand for national industrialization and genuine land reform. It has limited the economy to raw-material production and low value-added semimanufacturing for export. It has gone so far as to allow the dumping of agricultural surpluses on the country, thus ruining domestic food production.
The regime has deepened the preindustrial, agrarian and semifeudal character of the economy and thus is always beset by budgetary and trade deficits and by ever mounting foreign and local debt. As it is now engulfed by the global financial and economic crisis, the economy is sinking rapidly due to the drastic reduction of demand for its exports, the drying up of international credit, the flight of speculative foreign capital and the fall in the amount of remittances from overseas contract workers.
The broad masses of the people are suffering grievously from the breakdown of production and depressed condition of the economy. The rate of unemployment is rapidly rising. Incomes for the basic masses and the middle social strata are falling. The prices of basic commodities are soaring and social services have deteriorated.
The people are therefore rising up to protest and condemn the puppetry and corruption of the regime. They are making demands for policies and measures to overcome the crisis and revive the economy, to keep jobs at decent wages, to assure a means of livelihood for all families of the lower and middle classes and to ensure sufficient food production.
The regime is reacting violently more than ever before to the democratic mass movement of the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the middle social strata. It has escalated military and police assaults on communities under the pretext of “counterinsurgency” in order to displace the people and grab the land for the benefit of agricorporations, mining companies, logging companies and the like. It has carried out extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture of unarmed activists as well as other civilians who are close relatives and friends of suspected revolutionaries. It vilifies them as “enemies of the state” and sets them up for the worst forms of human rights violations.
For its arrogance and brutality, the regime finds support in the growing US military presence and intervention in the Philippines. It is US imperialism that is instigating the gross and systematic violations of human rights through the US-RP Mutual Defense Board, Joint US Military Advisory Group, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) agents and their Filipino intelligence assets and the US-indoctrinated and trained puppet bureaucrats and security officials.
The new chieftain of US imperialism Obama has followed the path of Bush in endorsing the brutal military policy of the Arroyo regime by justifying it as antiterrorism. Thus, the regime continues to pipedream about destroying or weakening both the legal democratic mass movement and the armed revolutionary movement of the people before the middle of 2010. It draws confidence from such unequal agreements with the US as the US-RP Military Assistance Agreement, the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement.
It does not heed the growing clamor of the people for the repudiation of the Visiting Forces Agreement as a travesty of Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity and as a license for the US to deploy military forces anywhere in the Philippines for any length of time in violation of the 1987 constitution prohibiting foreign military troops and nuclear weapons.
The Filipino people are fully justified in waging armed revolution for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. The US-directed Arroyo regime is obsessed with using military force to suppress the people’s war and the legal democratic protest movement. It has opted to carry out the so-called Internal Security Operational Plan Bantay Laya and to sabotage the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations by labeling the forces and representatives and consultants of the NDFP as terrorists or common criminals and by stopping formal talks and the implementation of bilateral agreements.
The regime is hellbent on using military force to suppress the Moro people’s revolutionary movement for self-determination and their ancestral domain. In this regard, the reactionary armed forces have divided their strength, deploying half of this in Moroland and spreading the other half more thinly than ever before in so many other parts of the Philippine archipelago against the New People’s Army. Rendered blind and deaf by the people, the enemy has moved battalions from one province to another often without reason or in knee-jerk reaction to NPA tactical offensives.
As the economic and social crisis worsens, the political crisis of the ruling system also worsens. The spoils for division among the competing factions of the exploiting classes have become smaller than before. Those in power tend to monopolize the bureaucratic loot and intimidate their political rivals. Thus, the contradictions among the reactionaries are intensifying and are becoming more bitter and violent.
The regime has become extremely discredited and isolated because it has been exposed for so many gross acts of corruption. In fact, it has been rated as the most corrupt regime in Asia and one of the most corrupt in the world. Acts of corruption include the bribery of Comelec officials to fake the votes for Arroyo and cohorts in the 2004 and 2007 elections, the cutting into all major business contracts requiring approval of public officials, overpricing of all government purchases and infrastructure projects, misuse of government loan guarantees and misappropriation of funds intended for the indemnification of victims of human rights violations during the Marcos fascist dictatorship.
The Arroyo regime has a deliberate policy of letting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the paramilitary forces to commit gross human rights violations with impunity in order to intimidate the people and opposition forces and discourage them from exposing and opposing its acts of puppetry, corruption and cruelty. Moreover, it has persistently tried to push for changes in the 1987 constitution that would allow the fake president to stay on as prime minister after 2010 as well as to amend or delete certain constitutional provisions on the protection of human rights and on putting limits on the declaration of martial law, on economic sovereignty and conservation of national patrimony and on the prohibition of foreign military bases and weapons of mass destruction on Philippine territory.
The broad masses of the people and the broad range of opposition forces are not at all intimidated by the regime. They are outraged by its antinational and antidemocratic policies. A broad alliance of opposition forces has therefore been formed to fight the regime and seek its ouster. To counter this alliance, the regime has used all kinds of dirty tactics, including unwarranted searches and seizure of persons and property, disruption of mass actions and the kidnapping, torture and murder of opposition activists. The patriotic and progressive forces have suffered the main brunt of the fascist attacks.
So far failing to push charter change, the Arroyo regime is trying to consolidate an alliance of the most reactionary and most corrupt political factions, such as the regime’s KAMPI and Lakas-NUCD and Eduardo Cojuangco’s National People’s Coalition, and to put up defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro as their presidential candidate in the 2010 elections. These factions expect to prevail in the 2010 elections with the use of their power and money and with the supposed inability of the opposition to agree on a single presidential candidate.
The contradictions among the political factions of the big compradors and landlords are reflected in the military and police forces of the reactionary state. In the first place, the ruling reactionary clique has the initiative in using the chain of command in the military and police against its political rivals. It rewards its loyalists among the military and police officers with promotions and lucrative assignments that involve stealing public funds or collaborating with criminal syndicates.
However, there are officers and men in the armed services who resist the criminal dictates of the ruling clique and who form groups or movements seeking at least a clean and honest government and at most the national and social liberation of the people from foreign and feudal domination. Some officers simply wish to improve on the existing form of government while others wish to participate in or cooperate with the revolutionary movement.
One quick way to achieve a just and lasting peace in the country is for the patriotic and progressive officers and men in the reactionary armed services to succeed in withdrawing support from the traitorous ruling clique and support a transition government of predominantly civilian leaders who are patriotic and progressive and are willing to negotiate a just peace with the NDFP at an accelerated rate.
The revolutionary forces and the people led by the CPP are ever willing to participate in any broad democratic alliance or movement as well as in a coalition government that upholds national sovereignty and independence, carries out national industrialization and land reform, promotes a patriotic, scientific and democratic culture and adopts a foreign policy of peace and development.
The socio-economic and political crises are already of such gravity that the armed revolutionary movement is assured of conditions favorable to its growth in strength and advance as well as to the evolvement of the concept and realization of a democratic coalition government. If the most reactionary forces succeed in arranging the next regime, the people’s war in the Philippines will intensify as never before. If the opposition were to win, the people’s war would also intensify if the new ruling clique betrays the people.
III. Accumulated and Current Victories of the NPA
In the last 40 years of its existence, the New People’s Army has followed the leadership of the Party and has struck deep roots among the people. It has accumulated strength and rich experience and has won great and glorious victories in carrying out the new democratic revolution through the protracted people’s war against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords.
The proletarian revolutionary cadres and the Red commanders and fighters launched in 1992 the Second Great Rectification Movement (SGRM) to identify and rectify major errors and stood fast against subjectivism and “Left” and Right opportunism during most of the 1980s until the early 1990s. They won great victories in criticizing, repudiating and rectifying the errors in ideology, politics and organization. They consolidated and revitalized the Party and NPA and brought about immediately a new upsurge of the revolution in various aspects of work.
The worst subjectivist error was the notion that the Philippine economy is no longer semifeudal but industrial capitalist, by implication affirming the claim of the Marcos fascist dictatorship to have developed it. The Right opportunists openly espoused such notion and tried to take out the leadership of the working class from the united front supposedly to make it more attractive to the people under a bourgeois leadership. The “Left” opportunists also exaggerated the degree of industrialization and urbanization in the Philippines in order to justify urban uprisings as the lead factor in the revolution and reject the strategic line of rural-based protracted people’s war.
As a result of consolidation in ideology, politics and organization, the Party and the NPA stopped the retrogression and deterioration of the revolutionary movement, particularly the drastic reduction of the mass base, which had become conspicuous in the later half of the 1980s. By 1998-99 when the SGRM was declared closed, the Party and the entire revolutionary movement had registered significant growth and advances. Party membership doubled in the next four years. Most of this growth occurred in the guerrilla fronts (in the units of the NPA and local Party branches). Most were recruited in the countryside. Recruits from the urban areas also increased.
The armed strength of the thousands of NPA fighters increased by more than 15%. As a result of further successful tactical offensives, the number of firearms seized from enemy forces increased by 33%. The number of barangays where the NPA operated expanded to more than 9000 (21% of the total in the country). The number of guerrilla fronts rose to 128. The mass base increased threefold and included the millions of people in about half of the towns and cities in the country (800 out of 1600).
Today, the NPA surpasses the magnitude and scale of all previous revolutionary armies in Philippine history. It is far stronger in an all-round way than what it was in the 1980s, contrary to the claims of the reactionary armed forces and the renegades. It has comprehensive mass support. It has been tempered like steel in many battles and has the critical mass needed to deliver lethal blows on the enemy on a nationwide scale through tactical offensives with short rest periods.
For several years already, the Party Central Committee has put forward a program for completing the early phase of the strategic defensive and moving towards the middle phase. The main characteristic of this phase is the horizontal building of the Party, the people’s army and the revolutionary mass movement. The revolutionary mass base is being widened and deepened ceaselessly. In this connection, the people’s army is being built towards having company-size strength per guerrilla front, with a platoon as center of gravity on the scale of the district and with a platoon per municipality.
At the same time, the organs of political power are being established at the levels of the barangay, municipality and district in the consolidated areas. Different types of work are being attended to in major towns in order to arouse, organize and mobilize the masses in rural and urban areas. Alliances are built in the localities and at higher levels. The key to all these is the vigorous and widescale strengthening and consolidation of the Party, the people’s army, the organs of political power and the revolutionary mass organizations.
In the initial year of implementing the program, the Party registered a rapid rate of growth. But subsequently the rate decreased. Only half of the recruitment target has been attained. It is of utmost importance to fulfill the requirements for increasing, training and promoting the corps of Party cadres and members, the people’s army and the mass organizations in order to expand and consolidate them.
On the whole, the recruitment of Red fighters is vigorous. The people’s army is continuously growing and has a high fighting morale. Concentrated enemy attacks in certain areas can result in temporary difficulties. But the barbarities perpetrated by the enemy forces outrage the people and drive the peasants and activists who are being hunted down to join the people’s army. It is the fundamental weakness of the AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces that they are cruel instruments of US imperialism and the local exploiting classes.
In reaction to the strengthening of the armed revolutionary movement, the US-directed Arroyo regime laid out the so-called Internal Security Operational Plan Bantay Laya in 2001 in a bid to destroy the NPA. But Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) became exposed as a total failure in the second half of 2005 when the NPA carried out tactical offensives on a nationwide scale. In its internal assessment in 2006, the AFP general staff admitted the failure of OBL.
But the regime concealed the assessment and became more desperate in wishing the destruction or the strategic defeat of the NPA. Thus, it recycled and renamed the failed plan as Enhanced National Integrated Security Plan to launch a far more vicious and brutal than OBL 2. What is extremely malicious and evil about OBL II is that the military vilifies the suspected activists as “enemies of the state” to set them up as targets before the death squads kidnap, torture and murder them and finally the military propagandists proclaim that the victims were “purged” by the CPP and NPA despite contrary testimonies by the victim’s colleagues, relatives and friends.
The Party has responded to the escalating enemy attacks on communities and activists by calling for all-out struggle to seek the overthrow of the regime, intensify guerrilla operations and advance all forms of struggle for national liberation and democracy. The human rights violations perpetrated by the enemy forces have been so conspicuously gross and systematic that international human rights and religious organizations, some governments and the UN Human Rights Committee and special rapporteurs have taken notice, engaged in fact-finding missions and held the Philippine government authorities accountable for the atrocities. Until now, the regime has covered up the crimes of its armed minions.
From a strategic viewpoint, the ratio of military strength between the AFP and the NPA may be 10:1. But within the strategic defensive, the NPA can launch tactical offensives against the AFP at the ratio of 10:1. The enemy forces do not know when and where the NPA launches tactical offensives against enemy units it can defeat. In stepping up hostilities against the MILF in Mindanao, the AFP has redeployed half of its forces to Moroland, drastically reducing the number of AFP troops against the NPA.
Even before this, the AFP has been overstretched and spread out thinly against the NPA. It has been unable to occupy more than 10% of the territory of the 128 guerrilla fronts. At every given time, it can occupy only 300 barangays out of the 42,000 in the whole country. Even in the priority target guerrilla fronts of Oplan Bantay Laya, the AFP has been able to cover only 12 barangays per guerrilla front for three to six months.
The small units of the AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces are all vulnerable to NPA tactical offensives in 90% of the territory of the guerrilla fronts and adjacent areas. In fact, units of the NPA can move at will in more than 90% of the Philippines. As the AFP concentrates its forces in only a few limited areas at every given time, the NPA has taken full initiative in launching tactical offensives, including raids, ambushes, sabotage, sniping and arrest operations. The NPA has given priority to seizure of arms in accordance with the objective of increasing the number of Red fighters and NPA units.
The enemy is bleeding from thousands of wounds inflicted by an ever increasing number of blows by the NPA. Morale is low among AFP and PNP officers and personnel. They are losing in an ever increasing number of NPA tactical offensives. The enlisted personnel are angry at their officers for bullying and maltreating them, for cheating them of their rations and allowances, for sending them out on blind and dangerous patrols or for committing too many fatal operational errors.
Rage from frequent defeats, frustrations and desperation are contributing factors to the propensity of AFP officers and enlisted personnel to engage in gross human rights violations in order to intimidate the people and extract information. They also invent military encounters with the NPA to claim battle merits or losses of firearms and ammunition which they sell in order to make up for their low pay.
The regime and the entire AFP chain of command are themselves completely shameless in fabricating victories by claiming that they have killed so many NPA fighters, made NPA units to surrender, overrun so many NPA camps and destroyed so many guerrilla fronts. In fact, they have suffered many casualties. They have misrepresented ordinary folks as NPA surrenderees. They have falsely depicted peasant communities as NPA encampments. They have not destroyed a single guerrilla front. All the 128 guerrilla fronts are intact and are the foundation for building 42 more guerrilla fronts in order to cover each of the 170 rural congressional districts.
The regime and the AFP are shamelessly repeating the lie that they will either destroy or reduce the NPA to inconsequentiality before the middle of 2010. At this point in time, they should admit their failure. Whether they admit this or not, the NPA will demonstrate the existence of all the guerrilla fronts through repeated tactical offensives in each guerrilla front before 2010.
OBL 2 has been further discredited for setting up checkpoints in urban areas, deploying troops on the grounds of schools and churches and in 27 urban communities and engaging in so-called saturation drives in a futile attempt to intimidate the workers, urban poor, the youth and women and to suppress the national democratic movement in the urban areas. The broad masses of the people here are outraged and have become ever more determined to protest and resist.
The utter failure of OBL proves that the new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war is the way for the Filipino people to achieve national and social liberation from their oppressors and exploiters. In the course of people’s war, the NPA has excelled as a fighting, propaganda, organizing, productive and cultural force. It has integrated the revolutionary armed struggle, genuine land reform and mass base building. It has pursued the antifeudal united front within the framework of the national united front.
The NPA is invincible and ever growing in strength because it follows the correct leadership of the Party and enjoys the inexhaustible support of the people. It is the people’s instrument for carrying out agrarian revolution as the main content of the democratic revolution. It carries out land reform from the level of the minimum program (rent reduction, elimination of usury, raising the wages of farm workers, improving prices at the farmgate and raising production through mutual aid and rudimentary cooperation) to the level of the maximum program of confiscating land from landlords and distributing this free to the tillers.
The NPA is the main instrument for building the mass organizations of peasants, rural workers, women, youth, cultural activists and other people and for building the organs of political power from the level of the appointive organizing committee in the barrio to the elective barrio revolutionary committee. The organs of political power and the mass organizations ensure the close relationship of the NPA and the people. They engage in mass campaigns in public education, land reform, production, health and sanitation, training in self-defense, settlement of disputes and cultural upliftment.
The armed revolutionary movement draws strength from the people not only in the countryside but also in the cities. The Party coordinates the mass struggles in both urban and rural areas and assigns cadres and activists from the working class and educated youth for work in the people’s army and in the countryside. The continuous coordination of the masses in the urban and rural areas prepares the way for the building of a patriotic and progressive coalition government or for eventual revolutionary seizure of political power in the cities and on a nationwide scale.
IV. Advance the People’s War
In the entire year ahead, we must continue to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the New People’s Army by intensifying and raising the people’s war to a new and higher level and thereby carrying forward the people’s democratic revolution against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords.
For this purpose, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines is calling on Red fighters and commanders, Party cadres and members in the people’s army, the territorial organizations of the Party, the organs of political power and the mass organizations and the broad masses of the people to do their best and utmost in carrying out or helping carry out the fighting tasks as enumerated below.
1. Intensify guerrilla warfare on the basis of a widening and deepening mass base.
Maintain initiative in launching tactical offensives against enemy units, be these of the AFP, the PNP, paramilitary forces and private armed groups of the oppressors and exploiters. Wage only the battles that you are sure to win. Use the element of surprise to concentrate a superior force against an enemy unit of inferior strength.
Give priority to tactical offensives to annihilate enemy units and seize weapons. We need more weapons to increase the number of NPA units and guerrilla fronts. Destroy the oil depots, vehicles and other equipment and facilities of the enemy. Disrupt enemy movements and attack supply lines. Harass enemy detachments or encampments in order to further demoralize enemy troops, inflict casualties or bait a reinforcing unit for ambush.
The types of offensives include ambushes, raids, arrest operations, sabotage and sniping. Employ tactics flexibly in a war of fluid movement. According to the objective and circumstances, use the tactics of concentration to your advantage in attacking enemy units, of shifting to evade enemy blows and of dispersal to undertake propaganda and mass work.
2. Undertake politico-military education and training of Red fighters and commanders.
Put politics in command. This involves the leadership of the Party over the people’s army, the propagation of the general line of people’s democratic revolution and adherence to the mass line of learning from the masses, trusting them and relying on them. Politico-military education and training should be undertaken in schools organized by the Party as well as in every NPA unit in accordance with guidelines provided by the Party.
The purpose of politico-military education and training is to raise the revolutionary consciousness and military skills of Red fighters and commanders and to develop Party cadres and Red commanders in the NPA at various levels. Simplified politico-military education and training must also be given by the Party and the NPA to the people’s militia and to the self-defense units of the mass organizations.
3. Build the units of the NPA in accordance with the plan to increase the number of guerrilla fronts.
The standard force in every guerrilla front is a company, with a platoon as center of gravity and the other platoons deployed to cover a wider area. It is desirable to have a platoon in every municipality within a district covered by the guerrilla front. Efforts must be exerted to increase the number of guerrilla fronts from 128 to 170 in order to encompass all or nearly all the rural districts in the country.
Every municipality and barangay in the guerrilla front must have a unit of the people’s militia in charge of police work. At every level, the mass organizations must form self-defense units. The people’s militia and self defense units are the reserve and augmentation forces of the people’s army.
From nearby guerrilla fronts, units of armed city partisans can be deployed on specific mission orders to urban districts. Such units must include those who have a mastery of the terrain and circumstances of the urban district. Their mission orders may include arrest, punitive and sabotage operations on the basis of accurate surveillance and reconnaissance.
4. Carry out minimum land reform to the fullest possible extent.
The minimum land reform program must be carried out in consideration of the limited strength of the Party, people’s army and the peasant movement and the need to give concessions to rich peasants and landlords who are not big and despotic and who follow the laws of the people’s democratic government and cooperate with the revolutionary forces.
The people’s army can undertake actions to render the big and despotic landlords incapable of running their estates and force them to take flight and abandon the land. The same actions can be undertaken against all kinds of landgrabbers, including agri-corporations, logging enterprises for export, mining companies and real estate speculators. Land abandoned can be subsequently divided among the landless tillers for food production and land reform.
5. Carry out maximum land reform where possible.
The maximum land reform program of confiscating the land and distributing it free to the landless tillers must be carried out where the strength of the Party, the people’s army and the peasant movement is sufficient for the purpose and where the landlords have lost power and have abandoned the land.
The preparations for the maximum land reform program include the destruction of the political power of the despotic landlords and the incapacitation of hostile agri-corporations, mining companies, logging-for-export enterprises and real estate speculators.
6. Expand and deepen the mass base.
Expand and consolidate the mass organizations for workers, peasants, women, youth, cultural activists, children and other sectors. Build the organs of political power at the barangay, municipal and district levels with the support of the mass organizations. Form the committees to lead the daily work and campaigns for public education, health, self-defense, land reform, production, settlement of disputes and cultural affairs.
By building the mass base, cadres and activists come to the fore. They become the resource base for building the Party in the localities and for recruitment of Red fighters. Mass work is a good preparation for those who wish to join the NPA.
7. Develop the guerrilla fronts as the base for building relatively stable base areas.
Guerrilla fronts develop into relatively stable base areas as they cohere and become stronger under the Party committees and army commands at the provincial and regional levels. The merger or cohesion of guerrilla fronts as relatively stable base areas in the future will develop from repeated coordination by the provincial and regional levels of Party leadership and army commands.
Such relatively stable areas arise and grow in strength as a result of the rising political and military victories of the people’s war and the weakening or disintegration of the ruling system at various levels.
8. Ensure adequate economic and financial resources for administration, operations and social programs.
Always ensure adequate economic and financial resources for administration, operations and social programs undertaken by the CPP, NPA and the organs of political power. There are at least three sources of such resources.
First, the people’s army has production projects for its needs. Mass organizations also undertake such projects for the people’s army.
Second, a reasonable portion of the gains from land reform and cooperative projects can be given to the NPA as voluntary contributions.
Third, upon the direction of the Party or the people’s democratic government, the people’s army as enforcement agency collect taxes from productive and profitable undertakings of entities that do not belong to the toiling masses. The people’s army receives a share of the tax collection in accordance with a periodic budget.
9. Enforce orders of the people’s court to arrest, for investigation and trial, the violators of human rights, plunderers and other criminals.
On the basis of prima facie evidence submitted by the people and the people’s army through the people’s prosecutor, the people’s court system issues warrants for the arrest of suspected principals, accomplices and beneficiaries in cases of human rights violations, plunder, drug trafficking and other crimes against the people.
The people’s democratic government should provide protection and assistance to victims and witnesses of the aforesaid crimes.
When the criminal suspects are known to be armed and dangerous or protected by armed escorts for armed resistance to arrest, the necessary precautions and preparedness must be undertaken by the arresting team and its auxiliaries. Under the judicial warrant of arrest, the arresting team has the authority to protect itself from armed resistance by criminal suspects.
10. Enhance cooperation and coordination between the revolutionary forces in the rural and the urban areas.
Cadres and activists from the working class and educated youth are encouraged to render service to the people in rural areas or to join the people’s army. Certain requirements of the people’s war are best fulfilled by cadres and activists from the urban areas.
Teams of the people’s army that have mission orders to carry out in the urban areas must be given the necessary support and assistance from underground personnel of the Party.
11. Inform the people of the world about our people’s war.
The just revolutionary cause of the Filipino people must be made known to and gain the support of the people of the world. The exploitation and oppression suffered by the Filipino people and the revolutionary struggle that they are waging must be reported worldwide. All significant activities and accomplishments of the people’s army, including combat, mass work, education, health care delivery and cultural works, must be promptly reported.
12. Contribute to the advance of the global struggle for national liberation, democracy and socialism.
In the spirit of revolutionary internationalism, we do our best to advance the people’s democratic revolution. This is our best possible contribution to the common struggle of the peoples of the world against imperialism and reaction and for national liberation, democracy and socialism. We regard the revolutionary struggles and victories of other peoples as our own.
However, we should strive to have concrete mutual support and cooperation with other peoples to the extent that we are capable of. We can share experiences through publications, seminars and conferences. We can exchange cadres in programs of study and training. We must strive to promote international solidarity and contribute to the advance of the revolutionary struggles of the peoples of the world.