Extend Strong Support to Filipino Revolution and Filipino People !
Oppose and Condemn Oplan Bayanihan !
Observe Solidarity Week to Filipino Revolution from April 22 to 28, 2013
[Oplan Bayanihan is the name of the fascist war that the American puppet Benigno Aquino regime is unleashing in the country of Philippines in a bid to eliminate the advancing revolution under the leadership of the Communist Party of Philippines.
The masses of the Philippines and the New People’s Army are heroically resisting this unjust and barbarous war. On the occasion of the week of solidarity to the Filipino revolution in India, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is bringing out this small booklet as a brief introduction to the Filipino revolutionary movement.
The information given in this booklet has been taken from Philippine magazines and documents. If there is any difficulty in understanding unfamiliar words or understanding any portion due to translation, please refer the original Philippine magazines and documents. 26.12.2012]
The Philippines is a small country in South East Asia spread in an area of three lakh square kilometers with a population of nine and a half crores. This is a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country. It is a group of 7,100 islands administratively divided into regions, provinces, cities, municipalities and barrios. The people of Philippines are separated by language, terrain and religion. Christianity and Islam are the two main religions that are practiced.
Christian Filipino people being the majority, they are dominant in many aspects. The Filipino Muslim people are called Moros or Moro Muslims. Apart from these, there are big national, linguistic minority groups such as Ilocanas, Ibanags, Kapampangans, Tagalogs, Bicolanos, Cebuanos, Waray, Hiligaynons, Tausogs and Maravaws. The Filipino people have a rich cultural heritage. They have a glorious history and heroic tradition of sacrifice in the consistent struggle against colonial rule.
The country of Philippines is rich in resources that are sufficient for a self-reliant society. The core of the toiling masses is a strong foundation for the country to develop into a free, sovereign, democratic country. The workers and peasants of the country are the main source for bringing the exploitation and suppression of the imperialists and their comprador ruling classes to an end and to achieve genuine democracy and progress in the society.
The Philippines was thrown under the direct exploitation and suppression of US imperialism a century ago. Later, the country turned into a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country and stagnated. The people of Philippines were forced to depend mostly on agriculture. There is no land to till for the vast peasant masses. Genuine land reforms have not been implemented. With the lack of infrastructure and opportunities for industries to produce basic metals, chemicals and articles, the condition was not favorable for the development of a capitalist economic system.
So only a few light industries to manufacture consumer articles and in the mining sector could develop, and that too depending on the imperialist market. In this situation, the country was forced to buy machinery, equipment and raw material with foreign currency earned through the export of raw material and with foreign loans. Thus, it remained a raw material exporting country serving the industries in the imperialist countries.
The imperialists, imperialist-backed comprador bourgeoisie and the big feudal class did not allow the rise of a national bourgeoisie. This led to the stagnation of capitalist development in the country. Gradually, capital from the US dominated the economy of the Philippines. Unequal exchange with the US took the trade deficit of the country to a serious level. It had to increasingly depend on foreign loans to overcome this deficit.
Thus, the imperialists minted super-profits through direct and indirect investments in the Philippines and by extending loans. Due to the implementation of imperialist policies, inflation is on the rise in the country. In the name of clearing foreign debt, ‘financial reforms’ favorable to foreign investment have been intensified. Thus, the Philippines has fallen into the tightening iron grip of US imperialism, IMF, World Bank and Multi National Companies.
The US agent Benigno Aquino, president of the Philippines, have implemented US-dictated neoliberal policies and opened the doors to all kinds of foreign-made consumer goods, especially luxury goods. As a result, traditional exports are facing losses and local industries are undergoing financial strangulation. The dependence of the economic system of the country on the export of raw materials and semimanufactured goods have thrown the people into a crisis. The Aquino government has allowed the reuse of US military bases in Clark, Pampanga, Subic and Zambles for the deployment of its warships, submarines and spy-planes in the South China Sea.
These military bases were closed down decades back due to popular protests after the overthrow of the dictator Marcos. This deed has mortaged the sovereignty and the geographical integrity of the country. US intelligence activities are on the rise in the Philippines. With the recent agreement between the New York Police and the Philippines Police, the US interference has increased even more.
Like all previous governments in the Philippines, Benigno Aquino too is unleashing severe violence on the masses to serve the interests of the imperialists – particularly US imperialism, which is inviting strong resistance from the people. Day by day unemployment is on the rise in the country, reaching a high rate of twenty-four percent. The real wages of the workers are declining due to direct and indirect taxes. Workers, especially women workers, are migrating to foreign countries in a large number, and are forced to work at dead cheap rates of wage.
In the foreign lands they are facing severe exploitation. Due to the horrible working conditions and atrocities, at least five dead bodies of the Philippine workers are reaching their home country every day. There is an increase in the attacks on worker’s rights to attract foreign investment and cuts in the government budget on welfare schemes. More and more opportunities are being created to allow the exploitation by the imperialist monopoly companies and the domestic monopoly capitalists through subsidies in taxes, facilitating the way for contracts, business and all kinds of capital investment, privatisation, stock market deregularisation and denationalisation.
With the economic ‘reforms’ initiated by the government, fertile agricultural land is going into the hands of foreign corporations, big comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and big landlords. Military and police suppression campaigns are being taken up in order to seize land from the poor peasants and national minorities. In the name of promoting the scheme for selling land voluntarily, big landlords are exploiting the wealth of the country.
The lives of the peasantry have become terrible with the high tenancy rates in agriculture, increased cost of production in agriculture and hike in the prices of essential commodities. While speaking of the autonomy of national minorities on the one hand, their power in political, economic, military and other such fields is being curtailed by the government on the other. Their rights to land and inheritance of property are being violated by the foreign corporations in an indiscriminate manner.
Indiscriminate plunder of natural resources of the Philippines is going on unabated. The environment is being permanently damaged due to deforestation for export of timber, excessive fishing and open-cast mining, etc. Due to the decline in the living conditions and deteriorating working conditions of all classes belonging to the exploited masses, social inequalities have increased while employment opportunities have decreased, leading to mass discontentment.
Social unrest is spreading and intensifying. The Aquino government has proved itself incapable of mitigating the ever intensifying economic and social crisis. Contradictions between the reactionary ruling classes too are manifesting in violent forms. The ruling-class factions are maintaining private armed groups, groupings in the reactionary army, police and paramilitary forces. Since the semi-colonial, semi-feudal system in the Philippines has entered a long-term economic crisis and is heading towards collapse, there is a visible intensification in the fundamental contradictions of the country.
The world capitalist crisis is making a severe impact on the Philippines in the economic, political and social spheres. This is reflected in the rate of economic growth, which has rapidly declined since 2010. The crisis is exposing the economic, social, political, cultural and moral degeneration and corruption of the ruling classes in the country.
The puppet nature of the rulers is being glaringly exposed, and so is the fact that the Benigno Aquino government is obediently serving US imperialism like a pet dog. The Communist Party of Philippines (CPP) has analysed the socio-economic system of the country and formulated its general political line in order to destroy the three main enemies of the people, i.e., imperialism, big feudal class and big comprador class.
It is waging an intense class struggle to liberate the country by successfully completing the New Democratic Revolution through agrarian revolution under the leadership of the proletariat on the basis of worker-peasant alliance.
Birth and development of Communist Party of Philippines
In the 18th century, the Filipino people rose up in hundreds of armed rebellions against Spanish aggression and colonial rule. Due to the heroic resistance from the masses, the Spaniards could never take hold of the entire country. In fact, the people were successful in protecting the mainland of Mindanavo and Cordilleras areas. In 1896, the National Democratic Revolution was initiated under the leadership of Katipunas.
This is said to be the first successful anti-colonial struggle in Asia. In 1899, the Filipino people were deprived of their national freedom due to US aggression. The workers, peasants and the toiling masses fought heroically against the mighty military power of the US. In the 1896 revolution, the factionalistic and deceitful Ilastrado leadership that represented the local exploiting classes surrendered to the US colonialists and turned into puppets of the imperialists.
The Communist Party of Philippines emerged from the anti-feudal struggle of Hakbalahaps (Filipino peasantry) in the early 1930s. This is known in history as the famous ‘Hak struggle’. The Communist Party formed worker and peasant organisations and led the movement. A few months after the formation of the Party, US imperialists and their puppet government banned the Party and the worker and peasant organisations. People’s leaders were arrested.
However, the people’s resistance did not look back. The formation of Socialist Party of Philippines (SPP) in 1932 gave new energy to the peasant movement. In 1939, CPP and SPP merged into one Party. CPP led the anti-Japan people’s army (Hakbo Nag Bayan Laban Sa Hapan or Hakbalahap) against the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in the Second World War. Japan lost in the war and retreated. On July 4th 1946, the namesake Philippines republic was established with fake independence under the dictates of US imperialists.
In 1950, the Hak (peasant) guerilla army initiated armed struggle under the leadership of the unified Party. In AUgust 1950 , Hak guerilla units attacked eleven towns in the Luzon Island and seized a large number of weapons. While Communists came to power in Eastern Europe and China, revolutionary struggles emerged in the South East Asian countries. This alarmed US imperialism and it came out openly to eliminate the “Spectre of Communism”.
It extended a big military hand to the puppet Filipino government in order to eliminate the Communist Hak rebellion. The first comprador president of the US imperialists, Rokjas, banned the peasant guerilla army and revolutionary mass organisations. The government unleashed a wave of attacks on the guerillas and the people in order to suppress the intensified Hak struggle with a guerilla army of fifteen thousand soldiers. The succeeding president Qurino appointed Raman Magasaysay as the Defence Minister who had gained reputation as a commander in the anti-Japan guerilla war during World War II (he later became the president).
He let loose the worst fascist methods in suppressing the Hak rebellion. He tried to divert the rebellion with fake land reforms. With the dictates of the Pentagon and CIA, he trained the Philippines Army and deployed it to suppress the peasant revolution. While the police succeeded in arresting the main Hak leadership, the Lava leadership in the merged Communist Party which subsequently led the movement took to right deviation.
As a result the Hak rebellion suffered a temporary setback by May 1954. Since the Communist Party transformed into a rightist party, the Hak guerilla army too drifted away from its objectives.
The revival of the Party
In the first half of the 1960s, a new wave of New Democratic Revolutions and National Liberation movements emerged many semi-colonial, semi-feudal countries. Various people’s movements (workers, students, youth, intellectuals, the black people in America, civil liberties movement, anti American war movement) came up in the imperialist and capitalist countries all over the world.
In the second half of the 1960s, the Great Debate taken up by the Communist Party of China under the leadership of Comrade Mao Tse Tung against modern revisionists Tito, Thore, Togliyati, Krushchev etc. in the International Communist Movement and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) in China sent ripples across the world.
Naturally, the genuine communists in the Philippines too were influenced. Genuine communist revolutionary forces rejected the rightist deviation of the leadership of the CPP and took up the correct path of revolution. In this backdrop, the National Democratic Revolution of the country revived in the 1960s. The people grew more discontent with the increasing crisis in the country’s economy and exploitation by the US imperialists, the big comprador bourgeoisie and the big feudal classes.
The propaganda work and organisational efforts of the newly emerging proletarian revolutionaries and the few veterans of the old merged party gradually started to show results. The people’s movement of the country was inspired by the glorious national democratic revolutionary struggle of Vietnam against US occupation, the national liberation struggles in the backward countries, the worldwide protest movements including in the US against the war of aggresson on Vietnam, increasing radicalism of the students and intellectuals in the Western countries and Japan, and other such movements.
A patriotic movement was born among the students and intellectuals in towns like Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanavo. Issues like equal rights, withdrawal of the US bases, nationalisation of the retail market, role of the Philippines in the US occupational war on Vietnam and other such issues were raised by this movement. By the end of the 1960s, workers rejected the authority of the fake trade unionists and took up militant strikes.
The revolutionary trade union movement picked up. Moreover, peasant movements for the right to land and against atrocities of the landlords in the rural areas gained momentum. The anti-feudal struggle under the leadership of the revived Communist Party intensified and developed in the direction of armed agrarian revolution.
The armed activities of the Lumad minorities in Agusan, Bukidnon, Surigao and Mindanavo provinces against land grab and atrocities of the domestic and foreign capitalists and their armed guards were also on the rise. Consequently, CPP was reorganised on the 26th of December, 1968. The message of National Democratic Revolution reached the broad peasant masses. A few revolutionary commanders and fighters of the old guerilla army that were under the Taruc-Sumulong gangster clique were influenced by revolutionary propaganda in the towns.
They came in contact with the revolutionary youth organisations and thus gradually established relations with the Party. New People’s Army (NPA) was formed on the 29th of March 1969 with sixty revolutionary commanders and warriors who split from the remaining persons of the old peasant guerilla army and with 9 automatic rifles and 20 countrymade weapons.
By then, except for the support of eighty thousand masses in Tarlann second district, a few activists among fifty thousand members of various mass organizations, a few party cadre and the People’s China as the International Socialist Base, there was no other support for the new Party. The new revolutionary leadership studied the experiences of the Filipino revolution in the light of history and applied Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the Philippine society depending on its positive achievements.
In order to destroy the obsolete semi-colonial, semi-feudal system, the party formulated the general political and military line of Protracted People’s War. It also formulated proper strategy and tactics to bring together and organise the proletariat, peasantry, students, youth, intellectuals, women, nationalities and minorities. It started various revolutionary democratic mass organisations to form the National Democratic Front of Philippines (NDFP). Gradually the organs of New Democratic Power (People’s Committees) were formed. This created the basis for the revolutionary armed struggle in the countryside and the secret revolutionary movement and legal mass movement in the cities.
On the other hand, it started efforts together with various Maoist organisations and parties in the international level for the World Socialist revolution and to fulfill the tasks of the international proletariat. In this process the preparatory commission of the National Democratic Front was formed in 1971 under the leadership of the CPP. At the same time, the people of the Moro nationality got organised against national oppression, exploitation and for the right to self-determination.
They took to militant actions and initiated armed struggle. Soon after the NPA was formed in 1969, it conducted several attacks in 1970 on the armed forces of the Philippines government. The party decided to form party committees at the regional level and NPA commands in 1969 itself, but it could come into practice only during 1970-’72. Thus, regional commands were formed in North Luzon, Central Luzon, Manila-Luzon, South Luzon, West Visayas, Mindanavo and other areas.
It can be said that the period between 1972 and 1974 was the time during which the NPA spread across the country. Also in 1973, the Party, NPA and NDF preparatory commission was formed. The period between 1969-’79 was the decade in which the armed revolution was initiated across the country. And lastly, this was the time during which guerilla fronts, guerilla zones and guerilla bases were formed in certain strategic areas in the country.
Until 1979, the NPA mainly operated as armed propaganda squads and guerilla squads. Anyway, it also had a few platoons to conduct attacks on the enemy and to serve as the centre for mobilising the forces whenever necessary. In 1979, platoons and company-size units were gradually started. Sparrow units were formed in the plain areas. Armed partisan units and small guerilla squads worked secretly in the areas of enemy control. Thus, armed activities spread to the plain areas.
In the period between January and March 1970, there was a spurt in the protest activities of the militant youth and student organisations in the capital city of Manila. This was known as the ‘First Quarter Storm’. Around fifty thousand to one lakh people participated in each of these protests. These spread to the big cities and towns of the country. These mobilisations developed into a strong political and cultural movement with a national consciousness.
It brought forth the basic problems of the people caused by US imperialism, feudalism and comprador capitalism. This mass upsurge propagated the National Democratic Revolutionary task in an unprecedented scale. It strengthened the revolutionary struggle and encouraged militancy among the people of the Philippines. In order to give a blow to the Party and the NPA, the dictatorship of Marcos started a suppression campaign in the name of ‘nip in the bud’ between 1968 and beginning of early 70s.
‘Oplan Mamamayan’ was another suppression campaign unleashed between early 1970s and 1986 during which massacres, shooting s, large scale armed attacks, forcible displacement, bombing, total burning of villages, intimidation, looting, arrests, detainment and torture were perpetrated against the people to suppress all kinds of democratic rights. As the crisis in the semi-colonial, semi-feudal system intensfied and the masses were sloganeering for a revolutionary change, Marcos declared Martial Law (military rule) and brought forth his fascist dictatorship in a blatant manner.
Democratic rights were denied in an unprecedented level Not only the patriotic and progressive forces but other factions of ruling classes that criticized the ruling faction were severely repressed. Around one and half lakh people were massacred. More than 60 lakh people were displaced. Arrests and torture became a daily phenomenon. Anyhow, even before Martial Law was declared, the people’s war expanded as the revolutionary conditions ripened.
The exploitation and fascist repression reached an intolerable level and so the exploited masses courageously rejected the dictatorship of Marcos under the leadership of the CPP. The armed resistance of the people gradually intensified and expanded. In order to build a stable foundation for the unity of all the people’s forces that went underground as a result of the Martial Law, the preparatory commission of the NDF released a ten point programme on the 24th April 1973.
Later, this date was declared to be the formation day of the NDF. Since the people’s army and the united front stood on a strong basis, armed agrarian revolutionary struggle spread like wildfire in the countryside. The revolutionaries concentrated initially in the strategic areas in the islands and later in the areas of secondary importance. From the forest areas the armed struggle spread to the plain areas, towns and the sea coast. The movement advanced through the anti-feudal struggles demanding a reduction in the land tenancy, interest on loans, hike in the agricultural wages and for remunerative prices for crops.
The movements of the workers, students, women, intellectuals and the urban poor intensified. Open and secret movements developed fast and in a coordinated way. NDF played an important role in all these mass upsurges. The Party lent direct guidance to these movements. NDF took a correct line in the fight against Lava’s rightist, reformist line.
It gained experiences in legal and illegal mass struggles. Through this NDF played a vital role in forming and consolidating various revolutionary, democratic mass organisations. It directly led many anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggles. It rallied lakhs of people against the bureaucratic, comprador rulers. It made efforts to coordinate and strengthen the emerging alternate organs of revolutionary people’s power in the countryside.
With the united efforts of the Party, NPA and the NDF, guerilla fronts, guerilla zones and guerilla bases were formed and developed. People’s war advanced to a higher level. Through this experience it was once again proved that there must be proletarian leadership to the United Front and that worker-peasant alliance is a must in armed struggle. Thus, apart from the basic classes, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the vacillating middle bourgeoisie could also be organised. It was possible to utilise the splits in the reactionary classes, isolate them, destroy their power and establish embryonic forms of New Democratic Power.
In order to succeed in the NDR, the experience of the NDF proved that the Party and the United Front must have the same programme and the same revolutionary class line. The CPP learnt about Protracted People’s War, the two stage revolution (first the NDR and then the Socialist revolution), their funamental principles and its concrete application in a semi-colonial, semi-feudal condition from the experiences of the victorious revolutions in China and Vietnam as well as their own past struggles.
At the same time, the Party guided the mass organisations through the bureaus under the organisation department. They faced the problem of maintaining their secrecy in the towns during the raids of the enemy. However, in general secrecy was successfully maintained even during the bureaucratic rule of Marcos as is clear from the fact that the NDF brought out the Liberation bulletin soon after the declaration of Martial law. It also started the ‘Free Philippines News Service’ with the help and cooperation of the ‘National Press Bureau’ of the Party.
It sent to the guerilla zones a large number of cadre and people’s activists who came under the vigilance of the enemy in the towns. In 1975 and ’76 there was a spurt in the worker and student movements. Legal peasant organisations were initiated in the area outside the guerilla zones. As the legal progressive people’s movement gradually developed, the ‘Christians for National Liberation’ (CNL) played a great role.
Thus, the NDF was much more strengthened and the comprador Marcos government failed in suppressing the revolutionary movement in 1976-’77. Rather, the movement developed and expanded in the period. In these favorable conditions the tactical counter offensives of the NPA reached great heights in the first half of the 1980s. In the period between 1980-’83, guerilla fronts were formed in various provinces. The minimum programme of armed agrarian revolutionary reforms was implemented. The organs of political power were formed. By 1985 the NPA became an army with seven thousand rifles.
The Moro people in the South formed an army against the fascist rule of Marcos and waged armed struggle. The Moro Revolutionary Organisation (MORO) became a partner in NDF. NPA consolidated it. The Cordillera people strongly resisted the building of a dam on the River Chico that would destroy the environment and the Cellophil Corporation in Abra. They became part of the formation of the People’s Army and the revolutionary front to achieve the right to self-determination.
The revolutionary movement developed in the other areas of the country, especially in the Lumad nationality region in Mindanavo. In 1981, the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) was formed and joined the NDF. In 1980, NDF together with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) took up a planned struggle against the dictatorship of Marcos in front of the Permanent People’s Tribunal in the city of Antwerp in Belgium.
Thus, NDF was successful in organising moral and material support from other countries for the revolutionary movement in the country. In 1981, the secretariat of the NDF was formed. In 1984, secretariat was formed in the whole of the Visayas area and then in Paane, Negros, and the Samar islands. In 1982, NDF formulated the new Katipunan draft programme and sent to its friendly organisations and other progressive organisations. By early 1985, this gained popularity in the country and abroad. In 1983, when Senator Benigno Aquino was murdered, there were unprecedented protests by the people.
The National Democratic movement made a great leap forward. New people’s organisations, United Fronts, sectional, multiple sectional organisations and open movements in many forms, long marches and large demonstrations were organised. With the integration of the open movements with the armed struggle, big mass upsurges took place in the period between 1983-86. There was a speedy decline in the social conditions of the people and contradictions among the ruling classes intensified. The People’s War gave severe blows to the government armed forces. There was a huge protest from the people against the assassination of the Senator Benigno Aquino. All these led to the expansion of the anti-fascist movement.
More than a thousand mass organisations came together to form a United Front called Bayan in May 1985. It was mainly based on the strong will and strength of the workers, peasants and a majority of the exploited masses. This had a membership of nearly ten lakhs comprising of women, youth, students, the urban poor, national minorities, church workers, teachers and professionals. It struggled for national freedom and democracy. A few sections of the ruling classes also became part of it.
There was also a rebellion in the most powerful instrument of the ruling classes, the army. The protest of the masses took the form of a general insurrection. There was growing discontentment in the reactionary camp as well. As a result, the dictatorship of Marcos collapsed in February, 1986. In the early 1980s, carried away by the growing favorable conditions and fast advancing revolutionary struggle, the party leadership went for quick victory which was reflected in military adventurism, combined with an urban insurrectionary policy.
As a result, left adventurism became dominant in the party. This contributed to the subjective assessment in Mindanavo and other areas that enemy agents infiltrated into the Party and the revolutionary organisations. This led to an anti-infiltration hysteria (Kampanyang Ahos) and also certain bureaucratic trends. All these factors hampered the advancement of the revolutionary forces. NPA could not counter the tactics of the enemy. It suffered severe losses. At that time, when compared with the counter-revolutionary armed forces, the People’s War was in the stage of strategic defensive.
During this period, the people’s struggle against the fascist dictatorship intensified in the countryside and the urban areas in various forms. The loss resulting from the party’s drift away from the line of People’s War was slightly mitigated by this struggle. After Marcos, Corazon Aquino came to power. She immediately held talks with NDF and made a ceasefire agreement. This continued for sixty days. But the government violated this agreement and indulged in a killing spree called the Mendiola massacre.
It also started a very big cruel suppression campaign. While Corazon Aquino came to power with attractive and democratic slogans, she took up the policy of ‘complete war’ and ‘gradual organisation’ against the people since 1987. In the middle of 1987, the government unleashed ‘Oplan Red Buster’ and in 1988 it conducted ‘Oplan Delta Buster’ which inflicted severe losses to the Party and the NPA. The Ramos government that succeeded the Corazon Aquino government took up continuous Internal Security Operations – ISO in the form of ‘Oplan Lambat Bitug – 1, 2, 3, 4’.
All these operations were in accordance with the US-dictated Low Intensity Conflict (LIC). On the one hand, psychological war tactics were implemented and on the other, cruel armed attacks were intensified. The government adopted the tactic of ‘clear, hold, consolidate’. Secret murderous gangs like Alsa Masa, Pulahan, Putiyan, Decolores etc. were formed. These were later rechristened as the Civil Voluntary Organisation (CVO) and the Citizen’s Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU). The country was thus strangled by fascist terror. This gradually led to a situation of undeclared Martial Law.
Though the people for a while had some illusions about Corazon Aquino due to the bitter hatred against the Marcos dictatorship, the new government too was isolated from the people soon after coming to power. It tried to eliminate the revolutionary movement but failed to do so. In 1986, NDF started its activities in South Luzon and formed its two Municipal Councils in South Tagalog Region. In late 1986 and early 1987 its regional councils were formed. Subsequently all the mass organisations held congresses and became more active. Thus, by the end of 1980 NDF could bring unity among the revolutionary forces. Internationally it enhanced relations with anti-imperialist forces and came into contact with certain foreign governments and various interstate (international) organisations.
The National Congress of NDF was held in July 1990. In this Congress, according to the main revolutionary principles and the policy of the Party on United Front, basing on its successes and principled criticism against wrong ideas about United Front, it formulated the Programme and Constitution. It elected the National Council and the Secretariat. The NDF primarily worked as the preparatory force for the organs of state power from the municipal level to the top and also as a form of organisation. The Conferences and Councils of NDF paved the way for the building of organs of people’s democratic power.
But NDF was not a people’s government. It was a preparatory force for the formation of such a government. It conducted certain duties officially on behalf of such a people’s government. It represented the revolutionary movement and the organs of the people’s state power. It represented the national, democratic rights and interests of the broad masses and protected the same.
NDF inspired the secret mass organisations and the open democratic forces in intensifying and expanding the agitations against foreign monopoly capitalist forces and domestic reactionary forces in all the main fields of struggle and main issues emerging in national and social life. It played a vital role in enlightening the masses and organising them with the demand to close down the US military bases.
Thus, it represented the broad masses countrywide. It participated in the peace talks with the government between 1990 and 1992. Both sides signed the Hague Declaration on the 1st of September 1992 and agreed to continue the talks. NDF and its fraternal organisations are strongly committed to the general line of New Democratic Revolution. It believes that stable and just peace is possible only by fulfilling the objective of the people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy.
NDF always criticised the government’s peace slogan whih was raised whenever it wanted to unleash a total war and cruel repressive policy. NDF strongly stuck to the stand that for genuine talks there is a need for a neutral foreign government or any international organisation as the third party and that the talks should be held in any neutral foreign country.
The attitudes, actions and representations of NDF and its fraternal organisations in the Philippines and at the international level greatly contributed to the advancement of the revolutionary movement. Since the formation of the NDF the credit of all its successes go to the revolutionary cadre, activists, the hard work of the masses, their agitations and their sacrifices.
Meanwhile, the movement under the leadership of the CPP suffered a setback in the last phase of 1988 due to the mistakes and wrong trends within the party. The party suffered severe losses in the leadership and also the subjective forces. The Party, NPA, mass organisations and the mass base became significantly weak. Areas of struggle were diminished. Even in suh an adverse situation, the revolutionary forces stood strongly in favour of armed struggle and fought against the wrong adventurist line.
In 1992 the great rectification movement was taken up and a deep two line struggle was conducted. The party was strengthened as a result. NPA too was strengthened. The people became united. The mass organisations and the NDF expanded. The mass base was enhanced and strengthened. The people of the country were organised into powerful struggles against US imperialism and the country’s puppet government. Thus, the loss due to the wrong trend was gradually overcome. Due to the ideological and political weakness of a section of the party leadership, there was an over-emphasis on the favourable objective conditions in the country and a wrong assessment of the prevailing class contradictions.
The party rectified these mistakes by strongly committing itself to the general political line and the line of Protracted People’s War. This formed the necessary basis for future advancement and successes. The party continued to struggle against the persons responsible for the wrong trends. Die-hards, renegades and opportunists were thrown out of the Party.
All the revolutionary forces were unified and the rectification campaign proved to be a great success. The party expanded its mass base all over the country, strengthened it and intensified the guerilla war and the People’s War to the best of the capabilities of the revolutionary forces and the favorable conditions. By 1998-99 they successfully completed the second great rectification movement with which the Party, NPA and the entire revolutionary movement achieved significant successes.
They advanced the People’s War according to their subjective strength by conducting the armed agrarian revolution as its axis. After Joseph Estrada came to power as the president, another suppression campaign was taken up against the revolutionary movement between 1998 and 2001 under the name ‘Oplan Makabayan’. This continued with the aim of giving an irrecoverable blow to the revolutionary forces.
The tactics of ‘Clear, hold, consolidate, develop’ was implemented, concentrating initially in South Tagalog and Bycol areas and later in North Mindanavo. Anyway, this repressive campaign too failed to suppress the people’s revolutionary armed resistance. The next president Gloria M Arroyo took up repressive campaigns from 2001 to 2010 under the banner of ‘Oplan Bante Laya – 1’ and ‘Oplan Bante Laya – 2’ as per the diktats of the US imperialists.
The aim of these campaigns was to eliminate the NPA or to weaken it. These attacks became synonymous violence and terror unleashed on the Filipino people. However, the countrywide Tactical Counter Offensive Campaigns by the NPA and a strong people’s movement defeated ‘Oplan Bante Laya – 1’ by mid 2005. The general staff of the Philippines army admitted this failure in 2006. But the government covered up its failure and once again prepared to defeat the NPA strategically and eliminate it. Its failed scheme was revived under ‘Oplan Bante Laya – 2’ in the name of ‘improved national internal security’.
As a part of this scheme the revolutionary activists were branded with ‘sedition’, they were kidnapped by the murderous gangs, tortured and murdered. It shamelessly propagated that the Communist Party of Philippines and NPA killed them. Though the colleagues, friends and relatives of the deceased proved with evidence that the army was responsible for these murders, the army continued its Goebblesian propaganda. The Party called upon the masses to launch a full-fledged struggle to bring down the exploitative government, to intensify the guerilla actions and to advance the struggle for national liberation and democracy.
Observing the atrocities committed by the enemy forces the International Human Rights organisations, religious organisations, governments of certain countries, the UN human rights committee and journalists conducted fact-finding campaigns. They demanded that the Philippines government bear responsibility for its cruel acts. The areas in Mindora, East Visayas and Central Luzon were strangled by the fascist attacks of the cruel military officer Major General Jovito Palparan. It was a campaign in which many activists and agitators were picked up and murdered.
More than a thousand died in the attacks of the murderous gangs of the Philippines army. False cases were foisted on the activists who were branded as the ‘enemies of the state’, on the mass leaders and those who criticized the government uncompromisingly. There was no difference between legal-illegal, open -secret and armed-unarmed forces. Patrolling became a general phenomenon in the towns including the capital city of Manila. Strategically the ratio of the NPA forces and the Philippines army is 1 to 10 (one NPA guerilla for every ten policemen). But the NPA in the present stage of strategic defensive is capable of conducting tactical counter offensives against the Philippines army in the ratio of 10 to 1, i.e., ten guerillas for one policeman.
At any particular occasion, the Philippines army is in a position to concentrate its forces in only a few areas. So the NPA gained initiative in conducting its TCOCs. NPA conducted many actions in the form of raids, ambushes, sabotage actions, sniper attacks and arrest operations. The broad masses were educated and organised in protest demonstrations and resistance struggles in a more decisive manner. Due to the successful guerrilla attacks of the NPA, the Philippines army suffered huge and unprecedented blows. The morale of the army and the police was on the low.
The regular police forces were angry with their officers for ill treatment, for deceiving them in the supply of food articles and allowances, for sending them blindly to dangerous patrols and for conducting countless suicidal operations. With frequent defeats, fear and tension, discontent and hopelessness, the military officers and the regular police forces indulged in attacks on the people and large scale repression was committed.
Similarly, they also created ‘encounter tell-tales’ to boast about their successes in war and also to cash in on the sale of arms and ammunition by falsely claiming that they were lost in encounters. The Philippines government and its military forces fabricated wrong stories that they killed many NPA warriors, that many NPA units had surrendered, that they occupied many NPA camps and that they destroyed many guerilla fronts. In fact, it was the Philippines army that faced many losses. Ordinary people were described to be surrendered NPA guerillas. They occupied villages and boasted of having occupied NPA camps.
In fact, they could not destroy a single guerilla front. In fact, the NPA is paving way for the construction of many more guerilla fronts. Out of the total 7,100 islands, the guerilla fronts are being constructed in 170 districts. The Arroyo government and the army frequently boasted in the past that they would destroy NPA or disintegrate it by mid 2010.
In ‘Oplan Bante Laya – 2’ – second campaign of the government – they stationed large forces in schools in the town areas and churches, arranged check posts in the streets of the towns, conducted large scale operations to terrorise the workers and the poor people in the towns and to suppress the national democratic movement in the cities. This campaign, however, was an even bigger failure.
The chief of the general staff General Victor Ibrado had to admit in June 2010 that the Arroyo government failed to suppress the armed revolution and the mass movements. Thus, the NPA gained unprecedented strength in all fields as the biggest revolutionary army by conducting tactical counter offensives in the present stage of strategic defensive of the People’s War.
The TCOC was aimed at defeating the counter-revolutionary campaign of the exploitative ruling classes by extensively mobilising the masses and integrating them with the NPA. The NPA has been tempered in many battles. At present, it is capable of giving strong blows to the enemy across the country through tactical counter offensives in a short span of time. It has gained experience and confidence in the struggle against the enemy, in propagating revolution, in campaigning for the national and democratic rights of the people and in organizing them extensively.
It has achieved great success in gaining the support of the peasantry and other masses for the armed movement. Tens of thousands are in the people’s militia forces which are working as the local police and a reserve force, replenishing the losses and meeting the emerging needs of the NPA. A full-fledged command system has been developed in the NPA in the sub-regional and provincial level or in areas (sub-regional, front) where there are three to five guerilla fronts.
The military command also extends from the local forces to the militia, the barrio self-defense core and the partisan or sparrow units engaged in special operations in the urban centers. NPA expanded its activities to thousands of barrios in the seventy provinces of the country and hundreds of towns and cities. A 33 percent rise has been achieved in seizure of weapons from the enemy forces during tactical counter-offensives. The number of guerilla fronts have grown to more than a hundred. While big guerilla fronts cover 60-100 barrios, small and medium level fronts cover 40-59 of them.
New guerilla fronts are developing at a fast pace in new areas. It has a base of lakhs of masses. Lakhs of people are organised in around 1600 towns and 800 cities. CPP is expanding and organising its revolutionary mass base by forming People’s Committees that are the new organs of peoples power, mass organisations and local party branches. The organs of people’s power are being formed and developed with the active support of workers, peasants, women, youth, cultural activists and children’s organisations.
Under these organs of people’s power the working committees of mass organisations, as well as departments such as education, land reforms, finance, employment, production, health, defense, cultural affairs, legal affairs etc. are functioning. The local party branches are leading the local organs of state power. NPA has emerged as a strong weapon in the hands of the revolutionary organs and organisations of the people’s democratic government.
People’s militia is working as local police in each barrio starting from squad to platoon formations. It is also conducting surveillance and occasional raids against the armed forces of the government. The organs of state power and the mass organisations have an well-knit network to observe and report about the movement of the government forces and its activities. The people’s militia and the defense committees are uniting with the local self-defense units and are playing an important role in developing the guerilla war extensively.
The main feature of this stage of the people’s war is building the Party, the People’s Army and the revolutionary people’s movement in a big way. The revolutionary mass base is ceaselessly expanding and deepening. The people’s army is being organised in the formation of a company in each guerilla front and a platoon in each guerilla zone as standard force. Other platoons cover a broad area. The districts covering guerilla fronts consist of a platoon in each municipality. The organs of political power are being formed in organisationally strong areas in the barrio, municipality and district levels.
Efforts are being made to enlighten the people of the rural and urban areas and to organise them. United Fronts are being constituted locally and in the higher levels. There is more recruitment in the rural areas. There is a rise in the recruitment in the urban areas too. As a result of regular recruitment, training and the intensified tactical counter-offensive, the number of red NPA warriors have increased in thousands. Their morale is high. In some areas there are temporary difficulties due to the concentrated attacks by the enemy. Anyway, the people are resisting the cruel deeds of the enemy forces.
So the peasantry and the activists are inevitably joining the people’s army. The NPA is also concentrating on carrying out genuine land reform that is the vehicle for New Democratic Revolution. It is uniting and organising the main force of revolution, the poor peasantry and the agricultural workers.
The local party branches and the peasant organisations are being coordinated and the NPA units are taking up the programme of minimum land reforms (reduction of tenancy rates, elimination of exploitation by usurers, hike in the wages of agricultural workers, remunerative market prices for crops, encouragement to the agricultural and agriculture-related products) in the maximum possible areas. Wherever possible it is also implementing the maximum land reform programme (occupation of land, returning the lands to the peasantry from the landlords, land redistribution, technical, financial and other kinds of help to the poor peasantry, etc.).
The people’s army is standing in support of the peasantry and is taking up land reforms according to the laws of the people’s democratic government. The people’s army which has been united with the peasantry has become a decisive force in advancing the armed agrarian revolution.
From the first president of the Philippines Rokjas to Gloria Arroyo, all the comprador ruling governments considered the revolutionary movement under the leadership of CPP as a threat to their exploitative rule. So they unleashed ‘Internal Security Operations’ (suppression and extermination operations) to eliminate the movement under the direct or indirect supervision of the US imperialists. Under the leadership of the CPP, NPA defeated all these past campaigns and took the People’s War to new heights.
The comprador Benigno Aquino government that came in place of Arroyo in 2010 could not digest the fact that the Filipino people were advancing on the path of revolution under the proletariat leadership (CPP, NPA, NDF) to put an end to imperialist exploitation, oppression and control and the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system. US imperialism and its comprador ruling classes are afraid that if the Philippine revolution gathers more strength, their exploitative interests would not be sustained.
They are trying to deceive the people and to give a blow to the revolutionary movement by tarnishing the revolutionary movement. They are propagating that the violence of the Communists is the sole reason for the backwardness, poverty and other social problems of the country. With the aim of suppressing the Filipino revolutionary movement they have now taken up another extensive, multi-pronged, comprehensive counter-revolutionary war called ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ under the guidance of the US counter-insurgency establishment.
The Philippines government claims that ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ is a ‘strategy centered around the people’ and that it is a counter-insurgency operation taken up under the framework of human security operations. It also claims that this campaign would strengthen the role of ‘non-combat’ military operations and that it would include civil military operations (CMO) and development activities. Moreover, it is also claimed that the campaign will reduce combat operations and bring peace and prosperity to the villagers through good administration, creation of basic services, economic reconstruction and stable development and reforms.
In fact, there is no fundamental or qualitative difference between ‘Oplan Bayanihan’, ‘Oplan Bante Laya – 1, 2’ and other earlier suppression campaigns of the Philippines army. The only novelty is that the old Oplan has now adorned a new veil. The government is propagating in every nook and corner of the country that it is nothing but a massive scheme for the promotion of peace-development-human rights.
It is parroting the slogan of ‘peace’, portraying this cruel military repressive campaign as a pure ‘peace-development’ initiatve and is mystifying the real character of these three-pronged (combat, intelligence, civil-military) operations. The Aquino government has announced that ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ would concentrate on a three-pronged strategy to defeat the danger posed by the communists. This is a revelation of the operation’s true essence. Combat and non-combat (intelligence, civil-military) operations are being conducted in a coordinated manner under this repressive campaign.
In order to deceive the people, to give a blow to the revolutionary movement, to incorporate civil agencies and public organisations in the counter-revolutionary war and to prevent any protest against the Philippines army, the Philippines government is experimenting on these two fronts. The objective of the non-combat military operations is to strengthen the intelligence network and to supply accurate information for combat operations. ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ claims to be in favour of peace and justice. But no commitment to peace is visible in the agenda of this campaign.
The Benigno Aquino government has made no serious effort to hold peace talks with the NDF. Till date, there is no indication that the government wishes to or is ready to do anything other than demanding the surrender of NDF. All the officers and bureaucrats who represent the government in the peace talks do not get tired of spilling venom against the communists. They and their government have no respect for the revolutionary movement and the masses.
In reality, the Benigno Aquino government is intent on intensifying the mopping-up operations in the rural and urban areas, red as well as white areas through ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ and to expand the drag-net against the revolution continuously. The Aquino government is taking up massive ‘scour and wreck havoc’ campaigns in the guerilla fronts, guerilla zones and guerilla bases in order to destroy the Party and the New People’s Army by concentrating its military, police and civil administration in the rural areas.
The aim is to cut off the people’s support to the movement and its mass base in order to give a final blow to the fighting capability and the aspirations of the masses. Through ‘peace and development team operations’, it is concentrating on creating white terror – kidnapping, torture, murders, pressurising people to become informers, keeping vigilance, recruiting them in counter-revolutionary organisations, conducting psychological operations, destroying the mass base by ‘divide and deceive’ tactics, and so on.
The government’s military and police gangs are carrying out surveillance operations to identify the guerilla units, party cadre, members, people’s militia, leaders of mass organisations and activists in order to eliminate them through combat operations. They are kidnapping, killing or putting people in jails. They are also utilising these operations to pressurise the masses to turn against the revolution. The combat operations are concentrating on ‘relentless pursuit and repression’ to destroy the regular guerilla units. The armed forces of Philippines are taking up the tactic and method of gradual constriction.
They are deploying an operational command at brigade level with one or two battalions to take on each guerilla front. They are conducting ‘clear, hold, consolidate and develop’ campaigns. The mopping-up operations in the Caugar 69 IB red areas in Central Luzon, which is based on the experience of ‘Oplan Bante Laya’, is a model for these operations.
The war front is divided by the armed forces into three different kinds of areas – area of combat operation, area of intelligence network, extended area – and different methods of operation are applied for them. Intense combat operations are conducted in the guerilla bases under the leadership of the Philippines army. This is called the key-hole approach. In this method, the government armed forces chase down the guerilla units in the guerilla zones into the area of informer network. These are called areas of intelligence operations. Then they search the residential areas and carry out attacks in a planner manner.
This combination of combat and intelligence operations are being taken up extensively to stop the expansion of NPA to the extended areas where the intelligence operations of the Philippines army are weak. The Philippines government and its army claim to be working for peace. But this is a white lie. Rather, it is working to destroy the revolutionary and progressive organisations of the country. On the one hand, it is unleashing white terror and fascist repression to mop-up the areas where the influence of revolutionary and progressive ideas is visible. On the other, it is pretending to be the champion of peace and human rights.
Moreover, it is portraying the common masses who are organising resistance through collective action as violent criminals and terrorists. Thus, the government is trying to justify the targeting of the masses through fascist violence of the state. Not only the underground activists, but also the leaders and activists of legal and progressive organisations are being murdered with impunity. The Philippines army is justifying its fascist crimes as legal deeds. The government agencies create false evidence to frame the revolutionary and democratic forces. They foist on them one criminal case after another.
They utilise all the methods that lay in the armoury of the corrupt courts and lawyers. They indulge in torture, threat and assault. The special feature of Oplan Bayanihan is that it is concentrating on Civil and Military Operations (CMO). It involves civil agencies, civil organisations, NGOs, government officers, employees, church-related persons, mass media (electronic, print) and people from other fields in the society. It is intensifying anti-revolutionary propaganda and psychological war operations. Thus, by using pressure, fear and isolation, it is trying to make the NPA and the revolutionary organisations surrender.
The government has claimed that the attacks on the NPA are legal and is trying to prove that the Philippines army is clean. It is giving utmost importance to CMO operations and intelligence-gathering and trying to conduct military attacks with precise information. As a part of this strategy, it is forming reactionary organisations (civil and voluntary organisations, barrio protective system, sector protective system, etc). Extensive intelligence network (barrio intelligence network, technical intelligence network, school intelligence network, factory intelligence network, etc.) and other such networks are being formed.
People’s meetings, anti-communist rallies, employment schemes, community development programmes and such other things are being conducted by the reactionary government. It is taking up extensive counter-revolutionary propaganda through radio, TV broadcasting, audio-video programs, literature and cinema. The government’s armed forces are also taking up White Area Clearing Operations in the white areas with CMO battalions.
They are particularly targeting the cities where revolutionary and progressive organisations are active. In this way, it is conducting mopping-up operations to eliminate the revolutionary forces in the cities, towns and plain areas that are under the control of the exploitative ruling classes. The target of the CMO operations in the cities is to destroy the revolutionary, progressive parties and organisations, to isolate and suppress them, to control revolutionary propaganda and struggles and in which the masses are involved. It also organises sector-wise counter-revolutionary organisations and activities.
As a part of it, sector defense system, anti-communist organisations and parties and intelligence networks are set up. They mainly target the revolutionary cadre, leaders and activists of the legal democratic movement.
The Aquino government militarises the country
Though the dictator of Philippines Marcos was brought down by a countrywide wave of people’s movements, the process of militarising the country to suppress the revolutionary movement and the people’s and national liberation struggles under the directions of the US imperialists did not change.
The militarisation is taken up with the objective of protecting the rotten semi-colonial, semi-feudal society. So the supremacy of military power that started under the US-Marcos dictatorship is still continuing in the country. It means that the country is under undeclared Martial Law. There were one lakh soldiers in the Philippines army when Marcos declared Martial law. Now this number has been doubled. The number of police personnel has increased from one lakh fifteen thousand to one lakh forty thousand. The number is much higher for paramilitary forces and the armed forces under the control of the army.
The Philippines army is being modernised under the guidance of US military advisers. Key officers of this army are sent for advanced training to the West Point Military Academy, Annapolis Naval Academy, Port Bening and other institutes in the US. They return as CIA agents. The Philippines government is taking up counter-revolutionary campaigns according to the US military strategy. The present ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ is a part of it. The poor peasantry and the national minorities are the main targets of the Philippines army. This militarisation is only for repressing the people’s resistance, to destroy the developing people’s democratic power and to protect the foreign commercial interests.
The rural poor are being subjected to undeclared military rule to facilitate foreign mining, commercial plantations and big commercial agriculture. Also, militarisation is going on in areas where mega dams are being built for the serving foreign companies and where destructive ‘development’ projects are being taken up. The repression under Oplan Bayanihan is most cruel and barbaric. Murders, kidnapping, torture, patrolling, arrests, detainment, violation of civil and democratic rights are going on in an indiscriminate manner. Bomb attacks, shoot outs, massacres are becoming the norm.
This military operation is destroying the people’s livelihood, homes and properties. People are leaving their ancestral land in thousands and migrating for safety. Villagers are forcibly inducted into the mercenary paramilitary groups and vigilante gangs. It is since 2011 that cruel the military operations in the name of Oplan Bayanihan are being carried out under the pretext of ‘peace and development’. Villages are brought under the control of the army teams in the name of Community Organizing for Peace and Development (COPD) through ‘special operations’.
Schools, community halls and other public buildings are being converted into army camps. The soldiers are forcibly occupying peasant’s houses and property. The army is also liberally spending public funds to win over the women and youth in particular. It is promoting the consumption of drugs, liquor and other harmful practices to divert the youth from the revolutionary struggle. Lumpen elements among them are identified and recruited into the army’s intelligence network.
There is an increased vigilance on the activities of the villagers. The soldiers visit every house in the name of collecting population statistics and try to identify individuals and organisations that are against the government. Curfew and other repressive measures are being frequently resorted to, as if Martial Law is the order of the day. The people suspected to be against the government are slapped fake criminal charges to prove that they are members of the NPA. The army is spreading rumours in order to break the unity among the people and to weaken their resistance.
The military is implementing counter-revolutionary activities like schemes of direct cash transfer to the people and sham agricultural reforms. Fake reforms to divert the masses The Aquino government’s claim that development for the people through various schemes is the real purpose of ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ is an outright lie. In fact, 1.9 billion Pesos allotted for these schemes were spent on psychological warfare in the Samar province in East Visayas and other strongholds of the revolutionary movement.
The military, police force and the local government units are initiating these schemes in a coordinated manner to suppress the NPA. These schemes were introduced in Balangiga and Maslog town in East Samar, Laoyang, Mandragon and San Rok in North Samar. Not only the government authorities but the military too is implementing these schemes through CMO battalions. This is clearly an integral part of Oplan Bayanihan.
Along with these, propaganda activities and intelligence networks too are being coordinated by the armed forces. They are gathering comprehensive and wide-ranging area-wise intelligence. For example, in the name of a drinking water project, information about all the water sources in the areas of the revolutionary movement was collected and maps were prepared. In the month of September 2012, when the government tried to photograph the villagers in Lete barrio, the villagers fiercely resisted.
They exposed the conspiracy of the army through radio. In 2013, the government is constructing a US-financed highway in the border of North and East Samar to facilitate the speedy movement of the army against the revolutionary forces. The aim is to crush the people’s resistance against the entry of big mining companies into the region.
The Benigno Aquino government is trumpeting a poverty eradication programme with much fanfare called ‘conditional money transfer scheme’. Through this, the government authorities would give money to the rich peasants and sponsor poor families. The real aim of this project is to buy off the obidience of certain communities within a short time. This scheme is mainly implemented in the guerilla fronts. The objective is to help the counter-insurgency plan ‘Oplan Bayanihan’.
Counter insurgency plan for the protection of eco-tourism and interests of heavy mining The environment and the fishing industry of the country are facing a serious threat from eco-tourism and under-sea mining that brings a lot of money to the US, Europe, Japan, Australia and other imperialists. Fisher-folk and peasants are displaced from thousands of hectares of land to make way for exploiting black sand, gold, copper, lead and zinc and also for the exploration of natural gas and oil. The Filipino fisher-folk are taking up agitations against these projects.
The Aquino government is channelising its counter-insurgency campaign Oplan Bayanihan to suppress these struggles as well. As a part of it, vigilance and intelligence operations are conducted against poor fishing communities, mainly in the Bycol region and West Mindanavo regions. While the Aquino government is facilitating the loot of mineral wealth of the country and destruction of the environment, its fascist army is continuously attacking the leaders and activists of the Lumad minority who are opposing the heavy mining.
The Lumad people are demanding that the 52,000 hectares of hereditary land should not be given to the mining companies and plantations. But the people of the Lumad minority are being forcibly displaced. There is no respect for their rights. The murderous ‘New Indigenous People’s Army for Reform’ – a paramilitary force – was constituted by the planners of Oplan Bayanihan to forcibly displace the Lumad minority. Many counter-revolutionaries were armed.
As a result there is terror in this area. Atrocities are committed on the peasantry, especially on women and children. Recently the armed agents of the government attacked the protesters against mining. Seventy four Lumad activists were arrested and charged with conspiracy cases alleging that they were in contact with NPA. Thus, the government is depriving the people of their hereditary lands and are indulging in wanton attacks on the old and the young. The Lumad leaders who are vocal against these atrocities are being murdered. The leader of the Lumad nationality Kagayan De Oro was murdered in October 2012. Gilbert Paborada, the president of ‘Panagalasag’, a frontal organisation of ‘Kalumbe’ (the regional united front of the Lumad organisations in North Mindanavo) that is opposing heavy mining, was shot dead.
The Lumad people of the Tigvahanan tribe agitated for six months. Their barrio captain and the leader of the movement Jimmy Liguyan was murdered by the New Indigenous People’s Army for Reform in order to chase the people away from this area. Jenasque Enrikwij, general secretary of ‘Kasalo’ organisation that has been fighting against turning the Karaga region into a military hub and opposing the attacks on Mamanva minorities, Katribu, the vice-president of the local People’s Party, and 36 others were foisted with false cases and arrested.
Earlier, 37 leaders of ‘Mapasu’ organisation were arrested under the pretext that they had weapons and explosives. It is not surprising given the fact that ‘Mapasu’ has been opposing the transfer of the hereditary land of the Manoba people in Liyanga, San Agustin, Marihatag and Tago of Surigavo Del Sar to big mining companies.
Benigno Aquino’s deceptive posture towards people’s rights
Benigno Aquino has unleashed fascist repression on the Filipino people on one hand and has extended support to the human rights declaration of the Association of South East Asian Nations – ASEAN, on the other hand.
This only exposes his duplicity. Such drama is only to mislead the international society. This human rights declaration was agreed on 20th of November 2012 in the ASEAN summit in Cambodia. In the same period of October-November 2012, the Philippines army massacred pregnant women and children.
In the same month the army beheaded a barrio officer. Peasants and tribal women in the Rizal area of Samar were kidnapped. In Compostela Valley the army indulged in indiscriminate arrests. It created a hit-list of 28 citizens in two towns which the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance brought to light. The president of the Alliance too is in the hit-list. In the same November, the government increased the booty on the heads of revolutionary leaders.
This has led to more violations of peopele’s rights. The Philippines government, as usual, is hiding facts, telling lies and covering up its fascist crimes. As a part of the peace talks between the Philippines government and the NDF, a Joint Agreement was signed guaranteeing th3e safety and immunity for both sides. According to this agreement, consultants on behalf of the NDF could not be arrested. But till date no one has been held guilty for consultants who were under protection but went ‘missing’. Moreover, 114 persons have been murdered so far by the government’s forces in the last two years of Oplan Bayanihan.
Attempts were made to murder 127 more persons. Dozens of persons have been tortured. Twelve persons are still missing. Counter-revolutionary propaganda war of Benigno Aquino Benigno Aquino has brushed aside all the allegations of violation of people’s rights and atrocities against them as the ‘propaganda of the Communists’. The government is spending millions of Pesos for this psy-war. He and his military officers are churning out fabricated statistics and surveys to cover up the intensity of poverty, unemployment, high prices, low wages, hunger, housing, landlessness and other such acute social and economic problems.
He is openly threatening the dissenting mediapersons and intellectuals. In this way, Aquino reminds the people of the dictator Marcos. After putting seventy thousand individuals in jail under the Martial Law, Marcos claimed that there were no political prisoners in the country. In the last two years of Benigno Aquino’s government, 170 out of the 385 political prisoners are still languishing behind bars. It is a brazen lie that there are no political prisoners in jail.
‘Oplan Bayanihan’ is against ‘Peace’
The government is planning to keep away from the peace talks. It is treating the revolutionaries and the leaders of the movement as ordinary criminals and subjecting them to brutal attacks. It is threatening that if the revolutionaries do not surrender by the third anniversary of Benigno Aquino government, there would not be any peace talks. On the other hand, the government and its bourgeoisie intellectuals are enthused that if ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ military repressive campaign is successful, there would not be any need for peace talks. In fact, the peace talks failed to conclude even a ceasefire agreement so far.
The government is asking the revolutionaries to surrender unconditionally. It has refused to release the individuals under the protection of JASIG and the 350 political prisoners. It is opposing fundamental economic change and even political and constitutional reforms. The situation reveals that the drama of peace talks might be stopped at any moment. The peace talks that the Benigno Aquino government held with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front too were a failure.
Since the agreements were not implemented, the Moro rebels decided to take the path of struggle for their right to self-determination. NPA, NDF, many independent peoples’ organisations and civil liberties organisations are taking up resistance struggles in armed, unarmed, secret and open forms against Oplan Bayanihan under the leadership of the CPP for the last two years. They are seriously opposing the conversion of the country into a military hub in the name of peace and development.
They are demanding a stop to the counter revolutionary war that is going on in the interest of the imperialists, especially US imperialists. They are working determinedly to defeat the counter-revolutionary war ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ that opposes the armed revolution and the national and social liberation of the people.
Resisting Oplan Bayanihan, the Filipino revolutionary movement advances towards achieving higher aims The CPP has traversed the initial stage of Protracted People’s War – the stage of strategic defensive – in 2011 and is working towards entering the stage of strategic equilibrium. The domestic and international situation is favorable for this.
The Party has a correct line to achieve the same. It has called upon the party cadre and the masses to advance the People’s War to fulfil the aspirations of the people for national liberation and democracy. The Party has concretely formulated a five year programme to reach the stage of strategic equilibrium. It is clear that advancing the People’s War is the only path to achieve the goal of revolution.
The Communist Party of Philippines took up the following tasks to reach its goal – the party must be prepared ideologically, politically and organisationally. It must lead the New Democratic Revolution and develop efficiency to advance the People’s War from the present stage to a new stage. It is clear that following Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the party, NPA, NDF and other people’s revolutionary forces will fulfill great tasks and achieve great successes.
The party has taken up the task of enhancing its membership from tens of thousands to a minimum of two and a half lakhs. In order to reach this target, they are developing people’s movements in the towns and rural areas. It has planned to send party members among workers and educated youth to the People’s Army, mass work and organisational work of party branches, mass organizations and organs of state power in the rural areas. The people are being roused with the politics of New Democratic Revolution.
The anger of the masses towards the exploitative rule is being organised into a revolutionary upsurge. In the same way, the emphasis is to expand the patriotic and progressive mass organisations. The CPP plans to train them to work as militant organisations in order to take up the acute problems afflicting the people’s lives, to enhance the militancy of the masses and to bring pressure on the exploitative government.
Similarly, efforts are being made to strengthen the urban people’s movement. The situation in the Philippines is very much favorable for the advancement of the revolution. Sharp hike in oil prices, essential commodities, rural poverty, rising unemployment, landlessness and homelessness, lack of healthcare, cuts in welfare services and other problems are increasing the people’s sufferings. The CPP is aware that the people must be roused against these issues and must be mobilised into political struggles.
The mass movements in the towns are working with the aim of bringing the broad urban masses into the struggles. The Filipino people have enormous experience of struggle. If Benigno Aquino attacks the protester, if he tries to suppress them, as it happened in the history of Philippines, as it is happening in various countries, the people would rebel en-masse. A strong legal democratic movement in the towns would compliment the struggle of the masses and revolutionary forces in the guerilla fronts.
The NPA is the principal form of organisation of the Party to rouse, mobilise and consolidate.the people. It is entrusted with the task of conducting mass work, constituting organs of state power and mass organisations, local militia and self-defense units in mass organisations, and so on. With the intensification of the war, the responsibility of organising the masses is being gradually handed over to the local party branches and mass organisations.
The objuective is to allow of the People’s Army to concentrate more on political and military training and combat tasks. The People’s Army has the task of intensifying and expanding the guerilla war basing on the continuously expanding and deepening its mass base. NPA is increasing its participation in combat duty, mass work and production activities in specific periods. Relentless tactical offensives are being planned to seize more weapons.
There are also plans to increae the few thousand red warriors to many thousands in order to take on Oplan Bayanihan. It set for itself the aim of gathering twenty five thousand rifles to move into the stage of strategic equilibrium. The NPA is striving to enhance higher-level fighting capacity to advance from the stage of strategic defensive to the stage of strategic stalemate within one or two five-year plans. Increasing the flexibility in implementing the tactics of centralization, decentralization and shifting of forces is aimed at.
All the present 110 guerilla fronts or most of them are being developed into company fronts and new guerilla fronts are being formed. NPA aims to increase in the coming five years the number of the guerilla fronts to at least 180. All the above measures and plans would create opportunities to attack, defend and to develop guerilla war in a fast pace, for the construction of full-fledged strong local guerilla forces and people’s militia of the NPA consisting of regional forces.
The CPP aims to expand the revolutionary movement to all the rural districts in the next five years. It wants to integrate the armed revolutionary movement with agrarian revolution and the establishment of revolutionary base areas. This is because the peasantry would join the People’s War and support it only if their land problem is solved through the minimum and maximum land reform programmes. The Party and the NPA will definitely develop and expand by bringing together and utilising the friendly forces directly or indirectly through the efforts of the United Front.
While strengthening the people’s movement on the basis of the alliance of workers and peasants, the urban petty bourgeoisie can be unified with the basic classes in an alliance of progressive forces. The national bourgeoisie can also be unified with this alliance of progressive forces. The national minorities struggling for liberation such as the Moro people can play a major role in the United Front against American imperialism and the reactionary Manila government.
Countrywide people’s resistance and intensifying tactical counter-offensive of NPA against Oplan Bayanihan
In the present situation of crisis while the Benigno Aquino government is increasingly proving to be anti-people, anti-national, anti-democratic, corrupt and cruel, the revolutionary force too are increasing in strength. The rocketing prices of oil, food and other essential commodities signal the upcoming political storm.
The issue of corruption is going to become one more bane for the Aquino government. People are putting forth severe criticism of Aquino in his failure to investigate Arroyo for corruption and violation of peoples’ rights. They are also dissatisfied with the government for its failure in dealing with the financial crimes of Eduardo Ko Jwanko, Lucio Tan and other such persons who gave large amounts of money for the election campaign to Benigno Aquino in 2010. Recently various scams came into light that is tearing the anti-corruption veil of Aquino.
The armed forces of Benigno Aquino are shaken by the hundreds of small, medium and large scale tactical counter-offensives of the NPA. The army has a tough time facing these actions taking place in a large scale. The heroic resistance is gaining the form of People’s War with the active participation of lakhs of masses. The Philippines army has turned into an instrument in the hands of multinational companies, big comprador bourgeoisie and the landlords.
So the movement against government’s militarisation drive has become an inevitable part of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal struggle. The masses are intensifying their movement for protection of civil and democratic rights, for agrarian reforms, for the advancement of democratic movement and for the right to self-determination.
The recent attacks of the NPA on the heavy mining companies in Surigao and Batuwan and on the Sumitomo plantation inspired the people and revolutionary forces across the country. Workers in the factories, poor people in the towns, rural communities and school students are coming on to the roads carrying demonstrations. The workers are resisting capitalist exploitation and state repression through strikes and other forms of struggle.
Apart from struggles for occupation of land, protest demonstrations, submitting of memorandums in a big way and street fighting, the peasantry is participating in armed actions. They are resisting the feudal, semi-feudal exploitation, land occupations and fascist atrocities. The urban poor people are resisting the atrocities of Benigno Aquino government. The United Front of the town poor in Quezon, the ‘September 26th movement’ is leading the people.
The people are facing in person and chasing away the police when they come to arrest their leaders like the chairperson of Kadame, Jocy Lopez. In the city of Quezon, the people got down to agitation when the colonies of the poor people were destroyed for the construction of district trade center. The government was forced to issue orders suspending the eviction. The people in the cities are fighting the police forces in the cover of barricades in protest to the eviction of slum areas and the shifting of town people to distant places for the sake of various anti people constructions.
Thus the Filipino people are fighting militantly in the towns, villages, factories, slums, universities and offices and with arms too, thus inspiring the exploited masses across the world.
Oppose ‘Oplan Bayanihan’!
Build solidarity movement across India in support ofthe revolutionary movement in the Philippines!
Oppose the counter revolutionary ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ that is indulging in murders, atrocities, arrests, torture and displacement on the Filipino masses and creating terror, for the protection of the interests of the American imperialists, big comprador bourgeoisie and big feudal classes!
Demand the withdrawl of all the American military bases in Philippines!
Demand immediate stop to the war of Benigno Aquino on the people!
Demand the withdrawal of the army, police and paramilitary forces from the areas of struggle and the attacks of the same!
Demand the unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners in the Philippines jails!
Extend support to the heroic Filipino revolution going on against the fascist regime of Benigno Aquino. Expose the multi-pronged repressive attack in the Philippines through meetings, seminars, street and group meetings, campaigns, posters, pamphlets and other such forms among the broad masses! ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ is very cruel but the history of Filipino people and the history of the revolutionary movement in the world reveal that it would certainly be defeated. Finally the imperialists and reactionaries will be defeated. The People shall win.
Dear Revolutionary masses of the Philippines!
CPI(Maoist) and all the revolutionary masses of the country are extending their strong support and revolutionary solidarity to all of you. Both parties are waging revolutionary wars in India and the Philippines with enormous sacrifices to achieve their immediate and ultimate goals.
We promise that we would continue the revolutionary war with indomitable determination, not hesitating for any kind of sacrifices in order to make success the New Democratic Revolution. We also pledge to be a strong co-combatant to the Filipino revolutionary movement as an inseparable part of world socialist revolution.
We would thus contribute our bit, with proletarian internationalism to serve the world proletarian revolution and stand firmly in support of the success of NDR in Philippines. The great people of Philippines, CPP and NPA are invincible. The working class and oppressed nationalities and people of the world are with you.
Ultimately, victory would be yours!
Defeat would be to the US imperialists and their Philippine lackeys !
Oppose Oplan Bayanihan !
Long Live Communist Party of Philippines (CPP) !
Long Live New People’s Army (NPA) !
Long Live National Democratic Front (NDF) !
Long Live New Democratic Revolution !
Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism !
Workers of all countries, Unite !
Fight and Defeat Revisionism of all Hues !
Down with Imperialism !
Long Live World Proletarian Revolution !
Long Live Proletarian Internationalism !
Central Committee CPI (Maoist)