The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Mindanao (NDFP-Mindanao) is one with the Filipino people in celebrating with utmost joy the 49th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on December 26, 1968. We congratulate all Party cadres and members for tirelessly working to advance Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and valiantly taking on the task of leading the national democratic revolution towards its socialist future. We also take this occasion to honor all our martyrs who selflessly offered their lives for the revolution and the Filipino people.
After its historic 2nd National Congress in 2016, the Party continued to correctly lead the revolutionary movement and the people in facing the chronic semifeudal and semicolonial social crisis in the first year of the US-Duterte regime. The Party most creatively dealt with the dualism of Duterte, whose ‘change is coming’ mantra almost quickly plunged the nation towards its wars of death and destruction, and an economic crisis far worse than ever before.
After he claimed to be ‘leftist’ and ‘socialist’ and claimed intent to enforce an independent foreign policy, Duterte tore away his mask of pretense as he kowtowed to the dictates of his master US President Donald Trump, revealing his true character as a puppet of US imperialism.
From the start however, he was already an avowed implementer of neoliberal policies, ensuring profits for the business interests of big bourgeois compradors and foreign monopoly capitalists. The US-Duterte regime imposed such brazen, anti-people and deceptive policies as the multi-billion ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, which will further drown the country in debt. A debt that will further burden the people in their entire lifetime under this system. The newly-signed tax reform law will further burden the people with more taxes imposed on basic commodities and services. And, the imposition of other measures in line with liberalization, privatization, deregulation, and denationalization are all detrimental to the nation’s welfare.
The US-Duterte regime’s ‘change’ turned the economy for the worse and increased the suffering of the Filipino people: poverty rate increased, incidence of hunger rose, unemployment and underemployment shot up to new levels; the dearth of and disregard for social services, especially health and education, continue unabated; land grabbing and deprivation became more widespread and the displacement of peoples is at an all-time high.
To mitigate the worsening crisis, Duterte could only do nothing but placate the increasingly frustrated Filipino masses with chump change, which is a mere pittance and can never adequately respond to the people’s needs. Numerous victims of previous calamities have not even been completely supported and rehabilitated by the reactionary government, and many among them, if not all, remain suffering under deplorable conditions.
In Mindanao, the US-Duterte regime let loose upon the people the full-force of its triple wars of death and destruction.
First, Duterte set off on a rampage against the Bangsamoro and the people of Mindanao by declaring Martial Law, using the ‘ISIS terrorist’ bogey as a pretext to justify his destructive attack against Marawi City. Duterte’s AFP/PNP is responsible for Marawi City’s complete and utter devastation, which deprived thousands of its Bangsamoro residents of their homes and livelihood through incessant airstrikes, shelling, mortar fire and ground assault. The people of Marawi City are set to suffer a great deal more because, apart from the fact that it will take years to rehabilitate the city, large portions of the area have already been guaranteed by Duterte to serve the interests of both local and foreign big business as well as of the US Armed Forces for the establishment of a new military base. Despite the bogus ‘liberation’ of Marawi City and the uninterrupted attacks against other Bangsamoro communities in Mindanao, the armed resistance of the Moro people will rise even stronger as they continue the fight for their genuine right to self-determination.
After razing Marawi to the ground, Duterte was quick to tag both the CPP and the NPA as ‘terrorist organizations’ to justify the extension of martial law until 2018 and beyond, serving as a springboard for imposing his tyranny on the entire nation.
Second, the US-Duterte regime has launched Oplan Kapayapaan against the revolutionary movement and the people of Mindanao, a bloody all-out war that utilizes the worst and most dreaded features of past military campaigns of suppression and encirclement (Oplans Lambat-Bitag, Bantay Laya 1 and 2, Bayanihan). Apart from the AFP’s direct troop assault against many hinterland communities in the island, military operations are also reinforced by airstrikes from jet fighters, attack helicopters and armed drones.
Certain drones used by AFP units in their operations are capable of releasing deadly rockets or missiles day or night, terrorizing numerous peasant, Lumad and Bangsamoro communities, including schools and other structures where civilians congregate. The countryside is literally shoved into the throes of death, resulting in the massive evacuation of whole Lumad and Bangsamoro communities from their ancestral lands.
With martial law extended and a ‘shoot to kill’ order against all Red fighters, Duterte has virtually disregarded all international protocols and rules of engagement, and directed the AFP to literally go on a bloody killing-spree, even against those whom they only suspect as working with the revolutionary movement, with complete impunity.
Third, in Duterte’s so-called ‘war against drugs’, not only has the PNP and their death squads perpetrated the mass murder of suspected small-time drug peddlers and users, but it has also included among its targets leaders and members of legitimate progressive organizations, which in Mindanao, has already taken the lives of hundreds. The regime also activated its legal offensive through the PNP-AFP Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IALAC) in the filing of trumped up charges against mass leaders and activists. It has also bolstered its propaganda offensive that spread vile forms of vilification in social media, peddling lies and fake news against the revolutionary movement and the progressives.
With the correct guidance of the Party however, the revolutionary movement and the struggling masses were able to counteract against the snare lain by Duterte to have the revolutionary movement stoop down to its wiles.
Under the absolute leadership of the Communist Party, the New People’s Army is ever more ready to face the full-scale war that will further intensify in 2018 and beyond. The number of tactical offensives (TOs) launched by NPA units in the whole of Mindanao since January this year reached nearly a thousand military actions. The NPA in the Southern Mindanao region (SMR) launched more than 300 tactical offensives; the North Eastern Mindanao region, with more than 180; the North Central Mindanao region with over 200; the Far Southern Mindanao region with more than 100; and the Western Mindanao region with more or less 80 tactical offensives. There were a few well-chosen and well-executed head blows as wells as numerous attritive actions against operating enemy troops, military camps and police outposts, making them suffer a casualty rate of more than a battalion. NPA units in Mindanao were able to confiscate high-powered firearms from enemy forces that could equip a battalion of Red fighters.
Despite the use of airstrikes, armed drones and prolonged focus operations, not one single NPA unit in Mindanao was wiped out. The number of platoons and companies have in fact increased this year. In spite of the constant black propaganda, bogus peace caravans and the incessant parade of fake or recycled surrenderees, NPA Red commanders and fighters never faltered; ever willing to sacrifice their lives for the revolution and the people than be servile to the fascist dictatorship of the US-Duterte regime.
NPA units in Mindanao maintained a forward-looking and offensive posture in facing an AFP military campaign gone berserk and were able to sustain a high morale in its commitment to serve and defend the masses. Daring NPA units were able to sanction banana plantations that greatly exploit and oppress workers, peasants and Lumad and destroy the environment, set up ambuscades and attritive actions against operating AFP troops, and arrested erring elements of the PNP and accorded them the proper treatment for prisoners of war (POWs). Every minute, NPA units made certain that they are ready for battles, using every encounter as an object lesson to improve on strategy, tactics and technique to annihilate the enemy and punish the most rabid killers of the US-Duterte regime.
Under the absolute leadership of the CPP, the NPA continues to have a firm grasp of the basic principles of MLM in undertaking its tasks for the revolutionary movement. To ensure this, several batches of Red fighters in various NPA units in Mindanao were able to finish this year the Basic Party Course (BPC), which outlines and discusses the fundamental principles of MLM and of the national democratic revolution.
Meanwhile, majority of Red commanders and political officers either completed or were instructors of the Intermediate Party Course (IPC), which gave a more comprehensive survey of the three main weapons of the people’s democratic revolution – the Party, armed struggle and the united front. Furthermore, there were regional committees in Mindanao that have successfully held in not more than 15 days the Advanced Party Course (APC), which outlines a deeper articulation of MLM and the country’s socialist and the world’s communist future.
As the people’s war in Mindanao continue to develop comprehensively, Party members in people’s governments and among revolutionary mass organizations, have taken an active leading role in launching agrarian revolution and realizing for hundreds of thousands of people through well-organized mass struggles, the implementation of the minimum program and, in few select areas where it is possible, the maximum program of agrarian revolution.
Consequently, this has led to the further consolidation of various organs of political power of the people despite the constant and brutal attacks of the AFP in the countryside. The masses have launched anti-feudal, anti-fascist and anti-imperialist mass struggles and campaigns. As a dialectical result, thousands of masses have been recruited as Party members.
The peace negotiations between the NDFP and the GRP that ran for several months was handled adeptly, which made it possible to finish the 4th round of talks and was about to begin the 5th round, until it was unilaterally stopped on its tracks by Duterte and his terror proclamation. Clearly, the US-Duterte regime sabotaged the peace talks, revealing its utter contempt for peace and total disregard for genuine socio-economic reforms.
Despite this, however, the NDFP, as the representative of the entire revolutionary forces, expressed its willingness to resume with the talks. It will never, on other hand, submit itself to talks of capitulation. To further prove the revolutionary movement’s seriousness in supporting the talks, the NPA in Mindanao has undertaken the orderly and safe release of more than 20 prisoners of war (POWs) since January this year.
Given these resounding achievements of the revolutionary movement under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NDFP-Mindanao calls upon all revolutionary forces and the struggling masses to redouble efforts in undertaking our basic ideological, political and organizational tasks to advance the people’s democratic revolution until complete victory.
We must never shirk from our revolutionary responsibilities and face, head-on and without fear, any sacrifice we may encounter along the way in the performance of our tasks and duties, especially before the intensifying attacks of the fascist US-Duterte regime.
It is imperative that we must take the lead in uniting the people in an anti-fascist, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal united front, deliver wave upon wave of militant protests that will gather people from various oppressed and exploited classes and sectors, including the middle classes and the enlightened gentry, by the hundreds of thousands and lead the overthrow of the US-Duterte regime.
The NDFP-Mindanao calls on the NPA to launch more and more tactical offensives, combining multiple attritive actions with well-chosen and well-planned annihilative blows against the fascist AFP/PNP/paramilitary troops. The NPA must be determined to bring the people’s war to new heights!
Long live the 49th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Long live the People’s Democratic Revolution with a socialist perspective!
Ka Joaquin Jacinto