CPP Debunks Army Psywar Claims of Split in Party Leadership
Posted by Ka Frank on February 1, 2010
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.