Revolution in South Asia

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CPP Debunks Army Psywar Claims of Split in Party Leadership

Posted by Ka Frank on February 1, 2010

"Ka Roger," one of the CPP's spokespersons

This statement appeared in Philippine Revolution on January 31, 2010, in response to media reports of an impending split in the CPP leadership. One such news report is included below.

CPP debunks AFP’s recycled psywar

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today lambasted as a “worn-out psywar spin” the claims made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that there is an impending split within the CPP-NPA leadership.

AFP Civil Relations Service chief Gen. Francisco Cruz said in a recent statement that “a ‘third split’ in the CPP-NPA leadership… (is) in the offing (and) is caused by differences in strategy… and has something to do with the May 10 elections.” General Cruz further claimed that some members of the CPP leadership pursue the Maoist strategy of armed struggle, while others see elections and peace talks as an opportunity to grab state power.

The CPP dismissed all this as “pure fabrication and intrigue,” saying that “no one in the CPP, the NPA and the entire revolutionary movement, much less in the leadership, carries the simplistic notion that revolutionary armed struggle and parliamentary struggle are anathema to each other. There is no conflict in stategy and tactics within the leadership and ranks of the CPP and the entire revolutionary movement.”

“The entire CPP and the national-democratic revolutionary movement under its leadership are one in the conviction that it is revolutionary armed struggle that will guarantee the eventual victory of the revolutionary movement and the attainment of fundamental social change given the basically intractable and brutal character of the prevailing decadent semicolonial and semifeudal government, state and system.”

The CPP clarified further that “The entire revolutionary movement welcomes and persistently works for the attainment of substantive or even tactical gains for the revolution and the Filipino people through peace talks, parliamentary struggle and all other forms of legal struggle, without at any moment abandoning or relegating to secondary status the revolutionary armed struggle.”

The CPP dismissed the AFP-CRS chief’s statements as “intrigues concocted in the face of the armed revolutionary movement’s continued advance.”

May polls spark infighting 
within CPP-NPA

Malaya, January 29, 2010

The  Armed Forces yesterday said the coming national elections have ignited infighting within the Communist Party of the Philippines on what direction to take to achieve their goal of putting up a communist state.

Brig. Gen. Francisco Cruz, chief of the AFP Civil Relations Service, said one group led by couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon is pushing for the intensification of the armed struggle to seize control of the state. Cruz said the Tiamzons believe that the bulk of party funds should go toward strengthening their armed wing, the New People’s Army.

Tiamzon is the CPP vice chairman while Wilma is a member of the CPP Central Committee. They supervise ground operations and reportedly enjoys a following in the Visayas and Mindanao.

The CPP is believed to be chaired still by Jose Ma. Sison who uses the alias Armando Liwanag. Sison, who has been on self-exile in The Netherlands since the late 80s, has followers mostly in Luzon. Cruz said Sison sees the coming elections and the peace talks as a chance to seize power.

“The information that was given to us is that the loyalists of the Maoist strategy of armed struggle, headed by Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma Tiamzon, strongly oppose the current strategy of Jose Maria Sison who sees the elections and peace talks as an opportunity to grab state power,” said Cruz.

Peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front has been on hold since 2004. The communists left the negotiating table after demanding that the Philippine government work to have the CPP and the NPA removed from the United States’ list of foreign terrorist organizations.

“Proponents of the armed struggle are resentful as they are the ones bringing in the money from their extortion activities, feeding the organization, carrying the burden of hardships in the mountains, and yet instead of spending for their operations in accordance with the protracted war, party funds are redirected to electoral pursuits. On the other hand, the Sison camp believes that there is no military victory for them, and that parliamentary methods are a better means of effecting societal change or acquiring power,” said Cruz.

“We have every reason to believe that this ongoing rift could be the third wave of CPP/NPA split,” he added.

Cruz said the first CPP/NPA split occurred in the 80s when the CPP implemented a purge of suspected military agents and government sympathizers, victimizing at least 3,200 people.

The second split took place in the 90s when the rejectionist faction left the party and the reaffirmists stayed with Sison.

Cruz said the divisions in the CPP/NPA have severely weakened the organization in terms of personnel, going from a peak of 25,200 fighters in the late 80s to just 4,070 as of end 2009.

Apparently, Cruz said the group in favor of taking advantage of the elections and the peace talks are prevailing. “I feel it’s the electoral (group). Their armed strength is getting weaker. That is the best indicator that they are in favor of the elections, of the peace talks.”

Asked if the participation of some leftist personalities in the polls is also an indication that the pro-elections and pro-peace talks are winning, Cruz said: “Right now, there are leftists who are running.”

Bayan Muna party list Rep. Satur Ocampo, a former member of the CPP Central Committee, and leftist women’s group Gabriela party list Rep. Liza Maza are running for the Senate under the Nacionalista Party of Sen. Manuel Villar.

2 Responses to “CPP Debunks Army Psywar Claims of Split in Party Leadership”

  1. waging revolutionary armed struggle and running for the Nacionalista Party (Wikipedia labels it as “conservative” and “nationalist”) seems fairly contradictory to me

  2. Ka Frank said

    This news item reports on criticism of NP presidential candidate Manny Villar by mass orgs led by the CPP:

    Left allies to Villar: Face Senate on C-5 issue
    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    MANILA, Philippines—Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manuel Villar would lose in the May elections if he won’t face the music and confront conflict-of-interest issues hurled against him in the C-5 road project controversy, militant groups allied with the NP warned on Monday.

    Some militant leaders interviewed for this story, meanwhile, said they were inclined to back only the senatorial bids of party-list Representatives Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and Liza Maza of Gabriela, not the entire NP ticket, in the May elections. The same sources, who asked not to be named, expressed serious concern over allegations that Villar was President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s other presidential candidate in the coming polls, in addition to administration bet Gilbert Teodoro.

    Terry Ridon, national chairman of the League of Filipino Students (LFS), told the Philippine Daily Inquirer it was presumptuous for Villar media handlers to generalize that Villar would get all-out support from all militant groups. “We echo the position of Ka Satur (Ocampo), who believes Villar should meet the issue head-on,” Ridon said.

    Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona urged Villar to “face squarely the allegations against him.” “His failure to clear his name in this alleged case of corruption would lead us to re-think and re-assess the Migrante Sectoral Party (MSP) support for his presidential bid,” said Monterona, also MSP vice chairman.

    Einstein Recedes, president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), said they “laud the NP on the inclusion of (Ocampo and Masa), the two senatorial candidates whom we support, in their ticket.” NUSP also recognized Villar as “the presidential bet who is most open to a progressive platform of government,” said Recedes. Recedes, however, said Villar “or any presidentiable for that matter ought to articulate clearly his or her stand on education and other youth-related issues.” “They need to reach out more to student organizations,” Recedes added.

    Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino cited the NP for its willingness to include the voice of progressives in the new government, as well as the political party’s commitment to pursue a reform agenda, including the need to address the problems plaguing the education sector as well as youth welfare.

    Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes and Alliance of Concerned Teachers national chairman Antonio Tinio said they were supporting Ocampo and Masa and candidates of the two’s host political party.

    Ocampo had warned that the C-5 controversy would hound Villar during the campaign if the presidential aspirant did not meet the issue head-on. Ocampo said Villar had refused to face his colleagues in the Senate to explain his side on the C-5 controversy for fear of being disrespected on the floor. Ocampo had advised Villar to show up during the Senate hearings. The Bayan Muna legislator had told Villar if he wanted to become president, “you have to act responsibly and show leadership.”

    The controversial senator had refused to appear before the Senate committee of the whole, describing it as a kangaroo court. Instead, Villar had resorted to submitting documents to the Senate to dismiss accusations of irregularities in the road extension project in Parañaque and Las Piñas, from which his real estate firm benefited from right-of-way deals.

    A draft report by the Senate committee of the whole seeks to censure Villar and demand the return of some P6 billion to the government. Senators are set to vote on the committee report not later than Wednesday, the last session day of Congress before it goes on a three-month break.

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