The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins all Party members and cadres, Red fighters and commanders of the New People’s Army, all revolutionary forces and the entire Filipino people in celebrating the 48th anniversary of the Party’s reestablishment on December 26, 1968. Let us extol all heroes and martyrs of the Philippine revolution who have selflessly served the people.
The Filipino people continue to wage and intensify their national democratic struggles amid the domestic and international crisis. For nearly half a century, the Party has led the Filipino people in waging their revolutionary struggles. They have together accumulated immense victories.
The Party is poised to lead the national democratic revolution to greater heights over the next few years and onwards to victory. It embraces and tirelessly studies Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in order to apply its theory and principles to sumup our experiences, grapple with the current conditions and lay out the revolutionary path of advance.
The Philippines is mired in a global and domestic crisis
The entire world is mired in crisis. There are no exceptions. All capitalist countries are caught in the global quagmire of capitalist overproduction, financial crises, economic decline or stagnation. Likewise, the underdeveloped countries continue to suffer from foreign debt overload, trade deficits, rising prices of food and basic commodities, foreign plunder and environmental disasters. All over the world, people suffer from acute unemployment.
The neoliberal policy regime is increasingly isolated and discredited in the face of the protracted depression of the US and world capitalist system since 2008. It has utterly failed to bring about the reinvigoration of the capitalist system. In the past year, the capitalist world was rocked by upheavals such as the sharp fall of the China stock market in January and the Brexit (exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union). In the US, big capitalist Donald Trump is set to withdraw from the TPP and TPIP “free trade” talks and venture on his declared “US-first” policy to further boost US protectionism.
The neoliberal policies have brought about widespread destruction of productive forces, especially of the working class who are experiencing worsening forms of capitalist exploitation in all countries, including the highly industrialized capitalist powers. Various sections of the monopoly bourgeoisie are seeking a new approach to the crisis including a return to some sort of Keynesian economics.
The Philippine semicolonial and semifeudal system has been wallowing in a continuing and deepening crisis.
The productive classes of workers and peasants are mired in poverty and socio-economic difficulties as they suffer from chronic mass unemployment, low wages, contractualization and other oppressive labor policies, landlessness and landgrabbing, environmental plunder, rising costs of living and more frequent and more destructive natural calamities. The reactionary government fleeces the people with burdensome taxes while social services continue to deteriorate amid budget cuts, rampant corruption and state neglect.
Foreign monopoly capitalists, big bourgeois compradors and the landlord class continue to accumulate wealth and profit. They exploit workers especially in highly oppressive labor enclaves as well as centers of so-called “business outsourcing.” In the countryside, they exact feudal land rent from land monopoly.
They control vast tracts of plantation land operated directly by foreign-controlled agro-corporations and indirectly through so-called “contract-growing” agree-ments. The exploiting classes collaborate with bureaucrat capitalists to benefit from control of state funds and contracts.
The Filipino people are fed-up with the rotten ruling system. They seethe with revolutionary rage. They aspire to end the system of exploitation and oppression and are ever ready to wage revolutionary struggle under the leadership of the Party.
Tasks for advancing the revolution
In waging 48 years of revolutionary struggle, the Party has developed nationwide strength and prestige. It has struck deep roots among the toiling masses of workers and peasants, as well as among other the urban petty bourgeoisie. It establishes links with the middle bourgeoisie and has formed tactical alliances and cooperation with some disenchanted sections of the ruling classes. The Party exercises leadership of the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), as well as the growing number of local organs of political power representing the embryo of the people’s democratic government.
The Party must further consolidate and strengthen itself ideologically, politically and organizationally in order to bring forward the national democratic revolution to greater heights. Using Marxism-Leninism-Maoism , the Party must sum-up its experiences in order to identify and rectify its errors and shortcomings and carry out criticism and self-criticism.
We must focus efforts at completing the three-level study course of the Party. The task of leading study meetings should not be limited to cadres in education departments but must be shouldered by the biggest possible number of cadres. There must be a greater number of decentralized than centralized educational discussions and study meetings.
Ensure that candidate members of the Party complete the five to six day Basic Party Course prior to becoming full members, that is, within six months for recruits from the basic classes, one year for those from the petty bourgeoisie and so on. The Intermediate Party Course must be completed by all Party members within a year of their full membership, and the Advanced Course, within two years.
The Central Committee will issue the necessary materials and guidelines to help accomplish these targets.
The Party must firmly pursue the policy of boldly expanding its ranks without letting in a single undesirable. It can accelerate the recruitment of new Party members by developing the anti-feudal mass movement as well as rapidly expanding of the New People’s Army. At the soonest possible time, we must eliminate the backlog of activists who can be recruited as candidate members, as well as of candidate members who can be recruited as full members.
Within the year, all Party branches must plan out to build new branches by expanding to new barrios, factories, schools or colleges and communities, as well as by increasing the number of new NPA platoons. Ensure that all Party branches assemble all full members to approve an annual ideological, political and organizational plan and elect its executive committee.
The Party must further strengthen its leadership of the people’s war by firmly directing the New People’s Army in waging revolutionary armed struggle. The Party draws lessons, both positive and negative, from the successful advance of the revolutionary armed struggle in Mindanao, in order to address the stark imbalance between the development of the people’s war in Mindanao, on the one hand, and the stagnation in Luzon and Visayas.
The Party and concerned commands of the people’s army are intent on urgently resolving the overdispersal of NPA units in squads or teams in some regions in the counterproductive effort of covering a wide area with limited forces.
By deploying the strength of the people’s army with the platoon as the basic unit and with front, interfront and regional centers of gravity, we shall increase the NPA’s capacity to exercise initiative and flexibility, have a sufficient core of Party cadres to ably lead the political and military work of the NPA, raise the morale of Red fighters and the masses, and enable them to carry out a slew of other tasks in waging agrarian revolution and base building. We can also accelerate the recruitment of new Red fighters and the formation of new platoons in order to cover wider areas of operation.
The Party must closely guide the NPA in developing the proper balance in its vertical and horizontal forces with the aim of conducting extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. The Party through the operational commands must wield the strength of the people’s army at every given moment and given level, and develop the interplay and mobilization of forces in order to cause the wave upon wave advance of the people’s war. The local Party organizations in the countryside must be developed further. The Party must enable its local section committees to assume more responsibilities in leading Party branches in barrios and communities and in launching mass campaigns in order to unburden the NPA units and enable it to carry out its principal task of waging armed struggle. At the same time, the local Party section committees must develop its own armed units, both militias and full-time NPA units.
We must consolidate our mass base by actively carrying out anti-feudal and anti-fascist mass struggles from the barangay to the municipal, district and even provincials levels; and waging anti-imperialist struggles against big plantations and mining companies. We must invigorate political and cultural work among the masses, step-up the expansion of mass organizations, build the organs of political power and accelerate the recruitment of new Red fighters.
Through territorial and work conferences and other methods, the Party actively ensures the summing up and sharing of positive and negative lessons of Party organizations and undertakes the exchange of experiences of Party cadres and NPA commanders in order that the advanced experiences in some regions help accelerate revolutionary work in other regions.
The enemy has failed to suppress the advance of the revolutionary armed struggle in Mindanao despite sustained all-out military offensives since 2014. It will certainly fail in stopping the further advance of the NPA throughout the country.
Even as the people’s war advances in the countryside, the mass movement of workers, student-youth and other democratic sectors must vigorously move forward in the cities to amplify the call for a national democratic revolution, support the people’s war and fight for the democratic interests of the people.
Despite all-out efforts by the big capitalists and reactionary state to dismantle the unions of workers or prevent them from forming unions, the workers are ever eager to organize themselves and wage strikes and mass struggles to demand wage increases and an end to the flexible-employment schemes that subject them to extreme exploitation. In the face of worsening exploitation of workers, mass strikes are bound to erupt in the country in the coming years.
The peasant masses and minority people are waging mass struggles against landgrabbing and expansion of plantations, as well as against military abuses in the countryside. They must advance in nationwide mass struggles to demand land reform and oppose militarization of their communities. They have launched marches and caravans going to Manila to raise their protests. Urban-based democratic forces must generate all-out political, organizational and mass support for their struggles to draw national and international attention to their plight. They can also organize caravans to the rural areas in order to mobilize thousands from the cities to support the struggles in the countryside.
The Party calls on the activists among the student-youth to wage a cultural revolution to resist the continuing onslaught of imperialist ideology and colonial brainwashing through the dominant bourgeois mass media and the social media, as well as through computer games and various imperialist-sponsored trainings, scholarships and programs. Activists must carry out painstaking efforts at arousing, organizing and mobilizing the student-youth.
The Party urges the intellectuals to study the national democratic program and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as tools for scientific inquiry and analysis and engage in social organizing and political activism. The Party urges the student-youth and other intellectuals to conduct social and class investigation among the toiling masses in order to study and help expose their concrete conditions.
The Party invites the best and the brightest among the student-youth to join the New People’s Army and serve in the people’s war. Their integration with the workers and peasant masses in the people’s army forges one of the most powerful creative force in history.
Prospects of alliance and struggle with the Duterte regime
At around the start of his term in July, Rodrigo Duterte, GRP president, presented himself as a “socialist” and the first “Leftist president.” He has had long friendly relations with the revolutionary forces in Mindanao and had expressed willingness to address the roots of the armed conflict. From a list of recommendees prepared by the NDFP, Duterte appointed Left personages from the national democratic mass movement to his cabinet and other government agencies.
Accordingly, the Party issued a policy of alliance and struggle, as an expression of the willingness of the revolutionary forces to forge cooperation along the patriotic and democratic aspirations of the people. At the same time, the Party is fully aware that key positions in his government remains in the hands of the Right. In particular, the reactionary armed forces remains firmly in the command of pro-US generals.
Thus, it is not altogether surprising that Duterte has blown hot and cold over his earlier grand declarations of an independent foreign policy. For several times now, he has announced his intention to abrogate the EDCA or the VFA only to backtrack soon afterward. He has also approved of the plan for the US military to conduct more than 250 military exercises in the Philippines next year, including the annual Balikatan exercises after having declared several times that US troops must be out of Philippine territory.
In terms of economic policy, he has largely relied on top managers and bureaucrats who are known exponents of the neoliberal prescriptions of the US-led International Monetary Fund-World Bank-World Trade Organization which perpetuated the worst of the neoliberal policies of the past regimes. The government’s main economic managers and planners remain obsessed with attracting foreign investments by lowering wages and allowing foreign entities to own and operate large enterprises in the country. They repeatedly declare the need to do away with the constitutional limits on foreign ownership. Duterte himself seems to have set his sights on building the infrastructure for large labor enclaves that will integrate with China’s Factory Asia blueprint.
Duterte has allowed the AFP to continue its armed operations in the countryside under Oplan Bayanihan. Not only do these trample on the spirit of the reciprocal ceasefire declarations, these have also brought about rampant cases of human rights abuses. These is also widespread condemnation of police and vigilante killings instigated by Duterte in his “war against drugs.”
There is bound to be much uncertainty regarding the prospects of an alliance between the revolutionary movement and the Duterte government. There will be increasing instances of sharp differences and struggle as the people become increasingly restive over their worsening socio-economic plight. They are fully-justified in advancing the national democratic struggle and demanding an end to the pro-imperialist, anti-people and anti-democratic policies.
The Party continues to support the peace talks and other means for possible agreement with the Duterte government on cooperation to realize basic patriotic and social reforms.
Indeed, the earlier enthusiasm over the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations has considerably waned because Duterte has refused to release all political prisoners through a presidential amnesty proclamation despite promising twice and agreeing to do so in the first round of peace talks,. Also, armed units of the AFP continue to be deployed in NPA guerrilla zones and guerrilla bases to conduct counterinsurgency intelligence and psywar operations resulting in widespread military abuses.
The unilateral ceasefire of the CPP and NPA has become increasingly untenable. Continuing Oplan Bayanihan operations, in particular, is forcing the NPA to engage in evasion maneuvers. There are bound to be armed skirmishes as the AFP conducts armed provocations. Thus, the termination of the CPP’s unilateral ceasefire declaration becomes inevitable.
Nonetheless, the Party and the NDFP remain open to forging a bilateral ceasefire that would take effect simultaneous with the release of all political prisoners. The Party looks forward to the next round of talks on January 18-23 to be held in Rome, Italy.
The revolutionary forces estimate that negotiations on socio-economic reforms and political and constitutional reforms can be completed in one or two years. This will give the Duterte government and the NDFP at least four more years to implement the agreements and help improve the situation of the people.
Communist Party of the Philippines
December 26, 2016