The following important statement on the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines is from the CPP organ, Ang Bayan:
Strive to make a great advance in the People’s War for New Democracy
We celebrate today with utmost joy the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines as the revolutionary advanced detachment of the Filipino proletariat under the theoretical guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. We are deeply gratified by the long-accumulated as well as recent victories won by the Filipino proletariat and people under the leadership of the Party in the course of the new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. We salute and congratulate all our cadres and members and we pay the highest respects to our revolutionary martyrs and heroes for making our victories possible.
We have long proven that, by pursuing the strategic line of protracted people’s war, we can build in stages the strength of the revolutionary forces of the people and overcome the brutal campaigns of suppression unleashed by US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. In the process, we have so far built the largest and strongest revolutionary movement of the Filipino people in the entire history of the Philippines since the revolution of 1896.
We have grown in strength and advanced precisely through resolute and fierce revolutionary armed struggle against every regime of counterrevolutionary violence directed and supported by US imperialism. We have prevailed over the 14-year Marcos fascist dictatorship and all the succeeding regimes that have pretended to be liberal democratic but have been so brutally antinational and anti-democratic.
The current Arroyo regime is going down in history in complete ignominy for its grave crimes against the people. It has utterly failed to realize its pipe dream of destroying or reducing the armed revolutionary movement of the people to inconsequentiality. Not only have we prevailed and preserved our forces against the enemy campaigns of suppression, we have also gained strength and scored resounding victories.
After more than 40 years of successful people’s war, we consider it of highest importance today to declare our determination to strive within the next five years to make the great advance from the stage of the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate, fulfilling all the requirements and without skipping any necessary phase. We can look forward to still greater revolutionary possibilities within the next ten years if we carry out successfully the tasks and plans for the next five years.
Our revolutionary optimism is based on three factors. First is the ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system, which is now in the throes of its worst crisis since the Great Depression. Second is the accelerated worsening crisis and rotting of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system. Third is the revolutionary forces of the people led by the Party that have far more strength now than at the start of our people’s war in 1969 and have the sufficient strength and critical mass to carry out the tasks and plans for advancing from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate of the people’s war within the next five years.
World capitalist system in the throes of depression
The world capitalist system is in a state of economic depression. The economic and financial crisis has spread throughout the world like a plague from the imperialist countries. The most devastated economically and socially are the underdeveloped countries. But the imperialist powers and their followers keep on euphemistically calling the situation a mere recession and keep on referring to any spike in the financial market as a sign of recovery.
The crisis of overproduction runs unabated and continues to be aggravated by the financial crisis. Factories continue to scale down production or to close down. The toiling masses of workers and peasants and even the middle social strata continue to suffer the loss of jobs and homes, the reduction of income, the soaring prices of basic commodities and social services and the deterioration of the social infrastructure. The level of exploitation and oppression is escalating on a global scale.
The US and other imperialist states are using public money in the trillions of dollars to bail out the big banks and corporations in the military-industrial complex and in the service sector. New and bigger financial bubbles are being generated with the use of state funds for lending and subsidy to the monopoly bourgeoisie, especially the financial oligarchy. The money is being used merely to raise profits in the balance sheets of big financial and industrial corporations and has not resulted in real economic recovery in terms of generating employment and increasing production and consumption.
The current economic and financial crisis of the world capitalist system has been the outcome of the recurrent, accelerated and cumulative crises since the monopoly bourgeoisie and its economic policymakers were confronted by the phenomenon of concurrent stagnation and inflation as a result of the reconstruction of the imperialist countries ruined by World War II, intensified inter-imperialist competition, rising costs of the cold war and wars of aggression and the growing severity of the crisis of overproduction in the world capitalist system.
Since then, the imperialist states headed by the US have blamed the working people for having caused the stagflation due to what they have termed as wage inflation and excessive social spending by government. At the same time, they have obscured the costs of the Cold War, especially those of military production, overseas deployment of military forces and wars of aggression.
In the succeeding decades, they adopted and implemented the policy of freezing wages, reducing social spending, privatizing public assets, liberalizing investments and trade, doing away with regulations and denationalizing the economies of underdeveloped countries. They let loose the unbridled greed of the imperialist banks and firms to prey on the people of the world. Thus, they undercut and constrict the global market far beyond what debt financing can cover and conceal.
Having run for several decades, the policy of “neoliberal” or “free” market globalization is deepgoing and has caused widespread social ruin on a global scale. It continues to dominate the thinking of policymakers of the imperialist states. It serves first of all the big banks and corporations against the demand of the people for economic recovery, employment, social relief and rehabilitation. Thus, the current grave crisis of the world capitalist system continues to worsen and is bound to persist for a long while.
The monopoly bourgeoisie seeks to pass on the burden of the crisis to the working people in the homegrounds of imperialism but much more to those in the underdeveloped countries. The imperialist powers and their puppets continue to extract further superprofits from those already laid low by the crisis. We therefore witness today the initial manifestations of the peoples’ resistance in both the imperialist and the underdeveloped countries.
In the imperialist countries, the monopoly bourgeoisie wages a ferocious class struggle against the proletariat and is pushing the proletariat to fight back by waging the just side of the class struggle. It seeks ever more to divide and confuse the working people by whipping up anti-terrorist hysteria, chauvinism, racism, fascism and religious bigotry and pitting the host people against the migrants. However, revolutionary parties and movements are arising to expose the roots of the crisis in monopoly capitalism and rouse the working people to wage class struggle.
The peoples subjected to ever rising levels of exploitation and oppression are waging various forms of resistance against the imperialist powers and their local puppets. Those who are victimized by imperialist aggression are waging armed resistance for national liberation, as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and Lebanon. National liberation movements led by Maoist and other revolutionary parties are gaining strength and are advancing as in India, the Philippines, Nepal, Turkey, Peru and Colombia.
Some governments as those of North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia have taken anti-imperialist positions and invoked national independence in response to the clamor of the people for resistance to imperialism and its worst reactionary agents. Such governments as those of China and Russia try to collaborate with the US-led alliance of imperialist powers while at same time cooperate with Iran and other governments that are subjected to sanctions and embargoes by the US and its imperialist allies.
The imperialist powers are still united in oppressing peoples and nations of the world and in passing on the burden of crisis to them. But they are also driven by imperialist greed and by the crisis to compete and contend with each other in a struggle to redivide the world for sources of raw materials and cheap labor, markets, fields of investment, spheres of influence and strategic points of control.
The complete restoration of capitalism in countries previously ruled by revisionist regimes has added Russia and China to the ranks of big capitalist powers and has made the world ever more cramped for inter-imperialist competition. The US has pushed the NATO to expand to the borders of Russia and threaten and seek control of this huge source of oil, gas and other strategic raw materials. Although China is acknowledged as the biggest partner of the US under the policy of “free market” globalization, contradictions between them over major issues are growing.
The betrayal of socialism brought about by the rise of modern revisionism and the full restoration of capitalism in the former revisionist-ruled countries have contributed in a big way to intensifying inter-imperialist contradictions and generating the conditions for wars of aggression and the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. The threats posed by imperialism to the very existence of humankind seems unstoppable. But they can be effectively countered by the people’s revolutionary mass movement, revolutionary civil wars and people’s wars for national liberation.
The US and the NATO are so aggressive that China and Russia consider themselves threatened and are thus developing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization into a potent security bloc. Almost all global regions, such as the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa are fraught with the danger of war.
The intensification of inter-imperialist contradictions has already resulted in wars of aggression and military intervention, such as those in the Balkans, Africa, Central and South Asia and the Middle East. These have been carried out under the initiative of the US, its NATO allies and its major partners in the UN Security Council. The insatiable drive of the US and its closest NATO allies to monopolize the sources of oil and other raw materials and to subordinate Russia and China is upsetting the balance of forces among the imperialist powers.
The imperialist powers are frenziedly engaged in wars of aggression and plunder of natural resources, causing both social and environmental disasters. The wars of aggression have resulted in heavy casualties among the people, in the destruction of the social infrastructure and pollution of the environment from the use, among others, of radioactive and toxic weapons of mass destruction. The wanton plunder of natural resources by the profit-driven monopolies has been a major factor in ecological destruction that has caused ever more destructive typhoons, floods, droughts and other disasters.
The imperialist powers are the biggest destroyers and polluters of the environment as they wantonly plunder and misuse the world’s natural resources. They pretend to be concerned about environmental destruction and the problem of global warming in order to deflect attention from the problems of social exploitation, manufacture of weapons of mass destruction and wars of aggression. They manipulate the issue of environment and global warming in order to justify further imperialist control and exploitation of the world’s resources.
Greater social turmoil and political disorder in all continents and in nearly all countries are in the offing. From year to year, the US will continue to be afflicted by economic crisis and will be sucked into new quagmires of military aggression and intervention. These are conditions favorable to the revolutionary forces of the Filipino people in advancing the people’s war for new democracy from the stage of strategic defensive to that of strategic stalemate.
Accelerated rotting of the domestic ruling system
Under the weight of the crisis of the world capitalist system and due to its own internal weaknesses, the rotting of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system is accelerated in economic, social, political and cultural terms. The rotten unjust ruling system in chronic crisis is overripe for overthrow and replacement by the people’s democratic system.
The imperialist policy of “free market” globalization has grossly distorted and made the Philippine economy more lopsided than ever. The economy is mainly agrarian and semifeudal and yet does not produce sufficient food for the people. This is the result of the dumping of agricultural surpluses by the imperialist countries and some neighboring countries. It is compelled to reduce food production to make way for the production of certain commercial crops for export and to serve the purposes of imperialist control.
The agricultural, mineral, forest and marine resources of our country are being exploited for export at a rapid pace and at lower prices. There is no economic development through national industrialization and land reform. The unequal exchange of raw material exports and manufactured imports persists. The natural resources of the country are plundered even as the imperialists and the local reactionaries shed crocodile tears over the lack of development and the destruction of the environment.
Incomes from the reexport of low-value added semi-manufactures and the export of cheap labor have not been enough to cover the growing balance of payments deficits. Thus, the foreign debt continues to mount. The reduced demand for raw materials, semi-manufactures and overseas contract workers is inflicting economic ruin and social devastation on the Philippines.
The toiling masses of workers and peasants and even the middle social strata are suffering from a rising rate of unemployment, drastic fall of incomes and the soaring prices of basic commodities and social services. The tax burden is mounting, even as the economy is depressed and the social infrastructure and social services are deteriorating. Debt service (interest payments and amortization of the principal) and military expenditures gobble up most of the government budget. Social misery and discontent are fueling legal mass protests and the people’s war against exploitation and oppression.
The US-directed Arroyo regime has followed the US policy of global war of terror and carried out Oplan Bantay Laya since 2001 in order to intimidate and attack the broad masses of the people, especially the legal opposition forces and the revolutionary forces. It has perpetrated gross and systematic human rights violations, victimizing workers and peasants as well as social activists from the ranks of the women and youth, the professionals and religious. As a consequence, the regime is isolated domestically and globally by its own crimes and by the outrage and resistance of the people.
US-supported state terrorism has been unleashed with a combination of the military, paramilitary and police agencies and the private armies and security agencies in order to bust labor unions and strikes and to displace millions of peasants and national minorities from their homes and farms. The Ampatuan massacre of 58 persons in less than an hour is emblematic of the crimes committed with impunity on a large scale by the combination of military, police and paramilitary forces in the service of the violent and corrupt regime and is indicative of the growing violence of political rivalries among reactionary politicians at the national and local levels.
The broad masses of the people and a broad united front of opposition forces are ranged against the Arroyo regime. The outcry for the ouster of the Arroyo ruling clique has been going on for years against its puppetry, corruption, brutality and mendacity. But the clique has increasingly used the coercive apparatuses of the state to suppress its critics and the people’s resistance. Many of its opponents can only hope to obtain justice after the clique is removed from power.
However, in trying to preempt prosecution for its grievous crimes against the people, the Arroyo clique is desperately using the resources of the state to engage in electoral fraud and terrorism. Fears are widespread that it intends to declare martial law nationwide or in a number of key regions by claiming a failure of elections and thereby perpetuate itself in power. It can only inflame the people’s resistance by treading the Marcos path of fascist dictatorship.
At any rate, the political crisis of the ruling system is worsening as a consequence of the economic and social crisis. The contradictions among the reactionaries are becoming ever more bitter and violent. Whichever reactionary clique gains power would tend to monopolize the bureaucratic loot and use the instruments of state violence in suppressing the intrasystemic opposition and the revolutionary movement of the people.
The major political parties and coalitions vying for offices in the 2010 elections, except Makabayan, avoid or even oppose the people’s demand for national indpendence and genuine democracy and do not criticize and repudiate “free market” globalization and the US-instigated policy of terror against the people. The Lakas-Kampi party of the ruling clique clings to its discredited antinational and antidemocratic policies. The major opposition parties, like the Liberal Party and the Partido ng Masang Pilipino concentrate on pretending to be for good governance to dissociate themselves from the scandalous corruption of the Arroyo regime.
Whichever reactionary clique takes power through the electoral process is predisposed to follow the same path being trod by the Arroyo regime. It will keep power under the dictates of the US and the local exploiting classes and will use its power to enrich itself and deploy the coercive apparatuses of the state to suppress opposition.
Among the four major presidential candidates, former Senate president Villar seems to be the most patriotic and progressive insofar as he advocates the interests of Filipino businessmen, expresses sympathy for the workers and peasants and condemns human rights violations. However, it remains to be seen whether he can win and prove himself any better than his major political rivals who have bloodstained records of opposing the demands of the workers and peasants, like Aquino of Hacienda Luisita notoriety, Teodoro of being the mad dog defense secretary of Arroyo and Estrada of having a bellicose record during his failed presidency.
So far, in the history of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system, every president has kowtowed to the power of US imperialism and has sought to amass wealth and power for self-aggrandizement against the rights and interests of the people. No president ever has had the political will to undertake significant reforms that respond to the people’s demand for national independence and genuine democracy nor has used peace negotiations in order to forge agreements with the revolutionary movement on social, economic and political reforms as basis for a just peace.
We can anticipate that whichever new reactionary ruling clique arises from the 2010 elections, it would continue to apply draconian measures by legally misrepresenting revolutionary acts as common crimes, as acts of terrorism or as rebellion punishable by reclusion perpetua and therefore nonbailable. It would carry out campaigns of military suppression against the revolutionary forces of the Filipino people including those of the Bangsamoro. It would merely pretend at being for peace negotiations and try to use these not to arrive at agreements on basic reforms with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines but merely to deceive and confuse the people and destroy the revolutionary movement.
A new ruling clique is bound to continue allowing the US to deploy military troops in the Philippines under the US-RP Mutual Defense Pact and the Visiting Forces Agreement and under various pretexts, including so-called anti-terrorism, anti-drugs, humanitarian intervention, civic action, disaster relief, medical mission and the like. The ground is being laid for ever increasing military intervention and outright aggression, mainly under the pretext of combating terrorism as they label the Filipino and Bangsamoro revolutionaries as “terrorists.”
The worsening crisis of the ruling system would compel the prospective ruling clique either to escalate counterrevolutionary violence or to seek truce and alliance with the revolutionary forces against the US and the worst of the local reactionaries if in the first place the armed revolutionary movement grows in strength, delivers lethal blows on the weak points of the ruling system and advances to a new and higher stage of development.
We can take full advantage of the socio-economic and political crisis of the ruling system in order to strengthen ourselves, wage all forms of revolutionary struggle and make great advances in our people’s war. We can hope for national and social liberation only if the people gain the power for its realization. The people’s power can arise only through revolutionary struggle against US imperialism and the local exploitating classes.
Current basis and tasks for the great advance
At its founding in 1968, the Communist Party of the Philippines had only a few score cadres and members and a few thousands of activists in various types of mass organizations. But since then we, as a Party, have been able to lead the revolutionary mass movement and make it grow in stages from small and weak to big and strong because we have availed of the favorable objective conditions for making revolution and have adopted and implemented the correct line in ideology, politics and organization.
We have pursued the ideological line of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the political line of new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war and the organizational line of democratic centralism. We have accumulated rich experience and reliable knowledge, gained ideological, political and organizational strength and won great victories in the course of waging all forms of revolutionary struggle.
Our current all-round strength as a Party is our basis for carrying out our tasks and plans for advancing the new democratic revolution and the people’s war from the stage of strategic defensive to that of strategic stalemate within the next five years.
We have thousands of Party cadres and members with the capability to do work in theoretical and political education. They can propagate the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and our works on Philippine history and current circumstances. They can run the basic, intermediate and advanced levels of Party education everywhere possible in the urban and the rural areas. They can ensure that our Party members grasp the Marxist-Leninist stand, viewpoint and method. They can develop cadres to lead work at various levels of our Party organization and in various fields of our work.
We must put forward and carry out an educational plan to produce sufficient Party cadres and members who can lead the work from grassroots level and upwards and who have the determination to establish and develop the Party and the mass organizations where these do not yet exist. The multiplication of our Party cadres and members who are schooled and steeped in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism makes our Party ever indestructible and victorious.
We must have a comprehensive political plan for expanding and consolidating the revolutionary mass movement in both urban and rural areas. For this purpose, we have tens of thousands of Party cadres and members to lead mass work. Their duty is to arouse, organize and mobilize the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the rest of the people along the line of the new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. We have a wide and deepgoing mass base running in the millions of the people nationwide.
We can advance wave upon wave from our existing mass base. The local branches and leading committees of the Party lead the mass organizations. These can be built much ahead of the expansion of the NPA. They prepare the way for the NPA and the establishment of the temporary and then the regular organs of political power. At any rate, the Party within the NPA can deploy teams of Red fighters for mass work.
Our Party has the New People’s Army as its main organization for fighting the enemy, building the mass movement in the countryside, establishing the organs of political power and strengthening the basic alliance of the working class and the peasantry. We have thousands of Red commanders and fighters capable of achieving immensely far more than could the original 60 Red fighters we had in 1969.
Our Party is at the head and the core of the NPA. It grows with the expansion of the NPA and ensures the consolidation of the NPA. We draw our Party recruits from the ranks of the Red fighters and from the mass activists. We must intensify the recruitment and the politico-military training of the Red fighters under the leadership of our Party.
We must have a plan to increase the number of Red commanders and fighters, units of the NPA and guerrilla fronts from around 120 to 180 in order to cover the rural congressional districts and gain the ability to deploy armed city partisan units in the urban congressional districts. The increase in guerrilla fronts can be made in a manner and at a pace at which the seed units of the NPA (be these teams, squads or platoons) can draw strength from the mass base in the areas of expansion.
The process of expanding towards the goal of 180 guerrilla fronts will result in strengthening the Party and the NPA command at the levels of the guerrilla front (district), province and region. Relatively stable base areas will arise on varying territorial scales, depending on the growth of the Party, the NPA, the mass base and the organs of political power and of course on the actual destruction and disintegration of enemy political power in the localities.
We must continue to carry out extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. We must intensify our tactical offensives as we widen and deepen our mass base. As a matter of course, the enemy forces will react to our offensives by concentrating on those guerrilla fronts where we are estimated as being strong and by unleashing vicious campaigns of suppression. But as the enemy forces are extremely limited on the national and regional scale, we can maintain our initiative by employing flexible tactics of concentration to go on an offensive, shifting to evade a superior enemy force and dispersal to conduct mass work.
The Military Commission of the Central Committee is responsible for deciding and issuing the most strategic guidelines and plans. Every level of operational command must provide the necessary information and recommendations as well as feedbacks to their respective higher organs. Within their respective territorial scopes, they can formulate and issue specific guidelines and operational plans for tactical offensives aimed at attacking the weakest points of the enemy and seizing weapons in the process.
The weapons for arming new units of the NPA at the levels of the district, province and region must be obtained mainly from the enemy through ambuscades, raids and other operations. The seizure of weapons from the enemy would accelerate upon the increase of initiative, coordination and cooperation of NPA units at the provincial and regional levels.
To enable the NPA to engage in offensive campaigns with short rest periods from battles, there must be an ever expanding mass base in which the mass organizations and local organs of political power can engage in campaigns and specific activities to improve the people’s social, economic, health and cultural concerns.
The campaign for land reform must be carried out well in order to win the steadfast support of the poor peasants, farm workers and lower middle peasants. The minimum land reform program can be raised higher towards the level of the maximum, depending on the strength of the NPA and the peasant movement. The campaign of mass organizing, public education, raising production, health care, defense, cultural work and settling disputes among the people must be pursued well.
The people’s militia must perform police duties and the mass organizations must train units in charge of self-defense. The NPA can strengthen itself only by having a far bigger number of people in the militia and self-defense units that can serve as auxiliaries and as reserve forces. The front, provincial and regional units of the NPA , which serve as centers of gravity and/or as strike forces, can move faster and become more effective with the assistance of the organs of political power, the mass organizations and the local guerrilla units, the people’s militias and the self-defense units within their respective areas of responsibility.
As well exposed in the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya and previous national operational plans of the enemy, the number of enemy forces available for campaigns of suppression against the NPA in the countryside is limited relative to the population and the entire country. It cannot cover more than 10% of the terrain at every given time. Conversely, the NPA can move freely in more than 90% of Philippine territory. The number of enemy combat effectives can be further limited by the growing militancy of the urban mass movement and by the internecine fighting among the reactionaries in the form of coup and counter-coup threats against each other.
The NPA can take the initiative of developing armed city partisan warfare and launching special operations against enemy facilities and antipeople enterprises in order to force the enemy forces to go on guard duty and put more of its troops on the defensive. The movement of enemy units can be hampered by sapper operations, mine warfare, sniping and other small team operations. These appear to be mere pinpricks but have far reaching demoralizing effects on enemy troops.
The NPA must target for arrest and trial violators of human rights and international humanitarian law and the penal code of the people’s democratic government. It must move to dismantle extremely exploitative plantations, logging-for-export enterprises, mining and other operations that grab land from the people and destroy the environment. The dismantling can be accomplished by disabling equipment, discouraging management personnel and launching tactical offensives against the armed guards. More land must be made available for land reform and food production.
In our first decade of Party expansion from 1968 to 1977, our Central Committee created and used the regional Party committees as the key instrument for organizing the Party, the NPA and the armed revolutionary mass movement nationwide. The current regional Party committees must strengthen themselves and the provincial committees directly under them. In turn, the district committees must strengthen the municipal or section committees directly under them. We must keep in mind that when a higher level of Party leadership works hard to strengthen the next lower level, the base of the Party is ultimately strengthened.
We must have an organizational plan for increasing the number of Party cadres and members for the purpose of achieving the great advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate. We need at least 200,000 Party members for this.
We need to be at the core of the people’s army and to lead the work in the localities from the barrio level upwards and in the mass organizations, economic enterprises and cultural institutions. The organizational strength that we wish to develop for the great advance in the next five years will be the foundation for still greater advances in the next five years after.
We have a wide range of sources for our Party recruits. This includes the people’s army and the mass organizations. From these sources, our Party must put emphasis on recruiting the advanced mass activists of the working class, peasantry and urban petty bourgeoisie. In wave upon wave of advances, we must ensure that we have the mass strength and various types of cadre capabilities necessary for winning the revolution.
We must remould and temper all our Party cadres and members through revolutionary education, hard work and arduous struggle in both rural and urban areas. We must encourage the workers and the educated youth to serve in the people’s army and in the countryside. We need the most conscious and competent proletarian revolutionaries in the countryside in order to advance the people’s war and at the same time prepare for the ultimate seizure of political power.
We are confident of fulfilling the ideological, political and organizational requirements for our Party to achieve the great advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate in the next five years. We must seize every minute, every day and every week for carrying out plans and the tasks assigned to us.
The crisis of the world capitalist system and the domestic ruling system, and the people’s suffering and outcry for advancing the new democratic revolution in the direction of socialism and communism are urging us to do our best and achieve our utmost at every phase and stage of the struggle.