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NDFP

Ipagtanggol ang Pilipinas laban sa paghihimasok ng US

in Editorial

Pahayag ng mga kasaping organisasyon ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) sa okasyon ng ika-51 Anibersaryo ng pagkakatatag ng NDFP

Ipagtanggol ang kaligtasan ng Pilipinas laban sa tumitinding paghihimasok ng US at pang-uupat ng gera!

Isulong ang digmang bayan para sa ganap na kalayaan mula sa imperyalismo!

Nalalagay sa matinding panganib ngayon ang Pilipinas. Kakaladkarin ng US ang Pilipinas sa inter-impeyalistang gera nito laban sa China sa layong panatiliin ang paghahari ng US sa rehiyon ng Asya.

Ang rehimeng US-Marcos ay walang kahihiyang nagpapakatuta at nagiging sunud-sunuran sa US kahit pa ipapahamak nito ang kaligtasan ng Pilipinas.

Ipinagkakait ng imperyalismong US at tutang si Marcos Jr. ang dignidad, karapatan, at kalayaan ng mga Pilipino. Kaya tayo mismo, tayong mga mamamayan, ang dapat lumaban para kamtin ito! Wala nang iba pang maaaring asahan.

Habang suportado ng US ang gera ng Israel laban sa mga Palestino, at gera sa Ukraine laban sa Russia, nagbabalak itong magbukas ng panibagong larangan ng digmaan sa Asya. Ginagamit ng US ang usapin ng pang-aagaw ng imperyalistang China sa West Philippine Sea para sa paglalagay ng tropa at base militar ng US sa Pilipinas.

Naghihintay lang ang US ng pagkakataon na makipagsalpukan sa China, hindi para ipagtanggol ang Pilipinas, pero para sa sariling interes na mamayaning nag-iisang superpower sa Asya-Pasipiko at sa buong mundo.

Sa tindi ng pang-uupat ng US maaring sumiklab ang inter-imperyalistang gera sa pagitan ng US at China. Kapag nangyari ito ay gagawing teatro ng gera ang Pilipinas.

Nasa interes ng imperyalismong US na wasakin ang mga rebolusyonaryo at anti-imperyalistang pwersa sa Pilipinas sa pangunguna ng Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army at ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Ang mga rebolusyonaryong pwersa sa Pilipinas ay nagsusulong ng matagalang digmang bayan laban sa imperyalismo, pyudalismo, at burukrata kapitalismo. Naninindigan ito na magiging ganap na malaya lamang ang Pilipinas kapag naibagsak ang imperyalismo at papet na estado at mabigyang kapangyarihan ang mamamayan.

Mula sa panahon ng Katipunan hanggang sa isilang ang NPA, nagpakita ang mga Pilipino ng kagitingan sa harap ng dayuhang agresyon. Kung walang sariling hukbo ang mamamayan, wala silang anupaman. Nakaamba ang panganib ng inter-impyeralistang gera at dapat na itong paghandaan.

Isulong ang pambansa-demokratikong rebolusyon!

Palawakin at palaparin at palalimin ang kilusang lihim!

Sumapi at palakasin ang NPA sa buong kapuluan!

 

Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid (PKM)*Artista at Manunulat para sa Sambayanan (ARMAS)* Christians for National Liberation (CNL)*Katipunan ng Gurong Makabayan (KAGUMA)*Liga ng Agham para sa Bayan (LAB)*Lupon ng Manananggol para sa Bayan (LUMABAN)* Makabayang Samahang Pangkalusugan (MASAPA)*

 

Theoretical Conference on Imperialism and War highlights need for international revolutionary work

in Mainstream

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has successfully led the first-ever Theoretical Conference on Imperialism and War amid the intensifying crisis of the monopoly capitalist system, fueled by conflicts and wars causing greater havoc on workers and other toiling peoples. Held in a European country in the last quarter of 2023, the conference aimed to further promote and enrich Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) in the course of resisting imperialism and waging revolution for people’s democracy and socialism.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) delivered the keynote addresses. These were followed by presentations from the following organizations:

The Communist Party of Turkey Marxist-Leninist (TKP-ML), the Party of the Committees to Support Resistance for Communism (CARC-Italy), the Freedom Road Socialist Organization-USA, the Korean Committee for Solidarity with the World People, the Russian Communist Workers Party, the (New) Communist Party of Canada, the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), the Revolutionaire Eenheid (Netherlands), the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), the Communist Party of Belgium, the People’s Democratic Party (South Korea), and the Marxistisch-Leninistiche Partei Deutschlands (Germany).

Certain comrades and experts from China also participated.

Participants numbering 139 represented various proletarian-socialist, anti-imperialist, and democratic parties from Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, Italy, Turkey, Kurdistan, the Netherlands, North Korea, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea and the USA.

The Conference was also in line with the CPP Central Committee’s (CC) call, in its 55th anniversary statement, for rectification of subjectivism in the form of empiricism attributed to bourgeois and petty-bourgeois mindset. It was mainly manifested in politics as right tendencies and bureaucratism; and liberalism and ultrademocracy in the organization.

The rectification movement, described as an ideological and study movement within the Party and among its allied organizations, called for study campaigns and strengthening of international revolutionary work, among others. The latter in particular included strengthening fraternal communist relations with MLM parties and organizations, and strengthening international communist dialogue and cooperation. The CC also called on the revolutionary forces to wage active ideological struggle to expose modern revisionism, and repudiate Trotskyism, Gonzaloism, and other revisionist currents that misrepresent Marxism, Leninism and Maoism.

Keynote Address

The CPP keynote address laid out the key questions of the Conference: 1) the theoretical framework governing the question of the inevitability of wars—specifically imperialist wars of annexation and intervention; 2) the current balance of power among the imperialists and key flashpoints in the violent and non-violent conflicts between them; and 3) the working class attitude and policy of opposing and preventing inter-imperialist wars.

We remain in the era of monopoly capitalism and proletarian revolution as characterized by Vladimir Lenin. According to the CPP, “Lenin’s ‘Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism’ is still the most scientific and thoroughgoing analysis of the end-stage of the capitalist system. It is a theoretical progression of Marx’s Das Kapital, in which Lenin incisively points out how capital and capitalist production have become so centralized that it has rendered free competition of the previous period no longer possible.”

Written in 1917, the year of the Bolshevik revolution’s victory, Lenin’s analysis describes the essential features of imperialism which—106 years later—remain true:

(1) production and capital has become greatly concentrated that it has formed all-powerful monopolies; (2) the formation and predominance of finance capital or the financial oligarchy based on the merging of bank and industrial capital; (3) the export of capital, as distinguished from the export of commodities, has gained exceptional importance; (4) formation of international monopoly associations which share the world among themselves; and, (5) territorial division of the entire world among the biggest imperialist powers is completed.

Discussing the current flashpoints of inter-imperialist conflicts, the CPP pointed to the following major contradictions following the revisionist betrayal of the socialist revolution in the Soviet Union and China: the contradiction between monopoly capital and the proletariat in capitalist countries; between rival imperialist powers; between the imperialist powers and oppressed peoples and nations; and between imperialist powers and countries assertive of national sovereignty and socialist programs.

US imperialism has been ceaselessly fomenting wars since the 1990s. It is “driven by US finance capital, including banks and venture capitalists, which are deeply intertwined with the US military-industrial complex including arms manufacturers, defense contractors and private mercenaries.” It has been directing its might at Russia and China in its effort to assert superiority in an already multipolar world.

The CPP discussed the US-NATO proxy war in Ukraine, which was among those tackled in the Conference reflecting divergences in analysis. According to Ang Bayan, the official publication of the CPP, the Conference also discussed the current occupation and bombardment of Palestine by Israel, fueled and supported by the US.

Secondary flashpoints, according to the CPP, are results of inter-imperialist rivalries in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. At this writing, the US has expanded its imperialist war in the Middle East, bombing Houthi forces in North Yemen. The Houthis are in support of the Palestinian people’s struggle against US backed-Israel in Gaza.

Asia is also a flashpoint of inter-imperialist rivalries as the US has sought to contain China’s growth since 2011. These include increased military presence in Japan, South Korea and Singapore, and strengthened military foothold through bases, training exercises, and aid to the Philippines. The latter has largely been directed at “counterinsurgency” operations.

The CPP called on the international proletariat to “unite and condemn the war preparations and do everything to mobilize the masses to prevent the outbreak of an inter-imperialist war that can only succeed in bringing untold misery and disaster to the working class and people, especially in the smaller countries which are being dragged into the conflict between the imperialist ‘great’ powers.”

Some major points

Conference participants largely acknowledged Lenin’s identification of the essential features of imperialism as the foundation in understanding and analysis of key developments today. The Marxist-Leninist theoretical framework was affirmed as guide to building unities and identifying tasks for moving forward in revolutionary struggles.

Participants were united on the analysis of US imperialism as the world’s dominant imperialist power, even if the current period has seen the decline of its superpower hegemony especially in relation to the challenge posed by China’s rapid economic and military rise.

Acknowledging the need to constantly build and strengthen Marxist-Leninist parties in each of their countries and elsewhere, the participants stated that “Marxist-Leninist parties should support the people’s struggles for national liberation with a sense of urgency, including the Palestinian struggle against occupation and genocide.”

Some practical questions raised included the following: In our duty as proletarian internationalists, how can Marxist-Leninist parties and our movements and organization be in solidarity with each other? How do we determine alliances and relations between our parties, movements and formations? What is the role of Marxist-Leninist party in each of our countries and what should our objectives, strategies, and tactics be?

NDFP Theoretical Conferences

As reported in Ang Bayan, the participants forged a common understanding of the theoretical framework and analysis of the current state of the world.

Following the Imperialism and War Conference, the NDFP is slated to hold an International Theoretical Conference on Economic Crises of Imperialism in 2024.

These theoretical conferences aim to serve the broad united front against imperialist war within the proletarian-socialist and anti-imperialist movement. For NDFP allied member organizations, understanding the contradictions of the moribund world capitalist system is vital in resisting imperialism and all form of reaction, and advancing the national democratic revolution with a socialist perspective through people’s war. (Aya Servando, CNL) ###

11 Things You Might Like to Know About NDFP

in Mainstream
  1. The CPP-NPA-NDFP is not one and the same organization.

These are three distinct organizations, even as they have the same political objective of winning the people’s democratic revolution in order to overthrow the semifeudal and semicolonial system in the Philippines and set up a socialist system.

  1. The NDFP is the umbrella, the underground alliance, of all existing revolutionary organizations that are pursuing the national-democratic line with a socialist perspective.

Revolutionary organizations from various classes and sectors—such as the Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions for workers, Kabataang Makabayan for the youth, Makibaka for women, Christians for National Liberation for religious people, KAGUMA for teachers, MASAPA for health workers and professionals, and of course, the CPP and the NPA. These organizations unite to pursue the NDFP’s 12-point program that contains the legitimate aspirations of the Filipino people for peace, prosperity, and a just society.

3. The CPP is a member of the NDFP at the same time the leading organization in the alliance. 

The CPP is the most advanced revolutionary organization within the alliance in terms of carrying out the theory and practice of people’s war in the Philippines. Other member-organizations look up to the CPP for theoretical guidance, lessons and experiences, dedication, and perseverance in the struggle.  

4. The NPA, which is under the absolute leadership of the CPP, is the only armed revolutionary organization in the NDFP.

The NPA is the main revolutionary organization within the NDFP, composed largely of peasants who are most desirous of resolving the land problem which is at the root of the armed revolution. The NPA carries out armed struggle guided by the principle that at all times, politics must rule the gun.  

  1. The highest governing body of the NDFP is the General Assembly (GA) composed of the representatives from each member-organization. A National Council is elected from among the representatives in the Assembly, or in absentia, as the situation may require.

Security restrictions have limited the regular meetings of the General Assembly. The National Council and/or its Executive Committee may take over to issue calls and implement decisions upon consultation with member organizations. 

  1. Decisions in the NDFP are through consensus.

Each member-revolutionary organization is self-acting and autonomous. Thus, within the NDFP decisions are made through consensus and become binding to all member-organizations. Outside of the decisions of the NDFP the member-organizations continue to carry out their own programs for the masses they served.

  1. Contrary to lies peddled by the reactionary state, legal mass organizations are not members of the NDFP. 

Certain legal mass organizations may be progressive and may call themselves national-democratic, too. However, they operate under the State’s jurisdiction and bound by its rules, hence they carry out their objectives through popular protests or unarmed struggle. But the NDFP, being outside of the legal system, openly calls for armed revolution and sets up its own people’s democratic state. This is what differentiates the NDFP from legal mass organizations. In short, neither sympathy nor seeming likeness nor respect for the NDFP is synonymous to membership.

  1. Neither are legal mass organizations “fronts” of or “infiltrated” by the NDFP forces.

To “infiltrate” is to put malice on the word. Revolutionaries are practically everywhere as they are common people. They have as much right as anyone to become a legitimate part of any legal organization for as long as they believe in its constitution and program. The NDFP does not make “fronts” of legal organizations. Calling these organizations as “fronts” disrespects the right of the masses to organize and seek redress of grievances and could be made an excuse to set the stage for their repression by the state.

  1. Membership in NDFP organizations is individual, informed, and voluntary.

No one is ever forced to join an NDFP-allied organization. If so, that would have already been self-destructive and would not make the NDFP reach its 50th year. Individual recruits or invitees to any of the member-organizations are well-informed of principles and program before they even pledge membership to the organization of their choice. Leaving the organization is likewise voluntary. As NDFP member-organizations operate in secret especially in the cities, the true identities of individual members are hidden from the enemies. In the countryside where revolutionaries operate freely NDFP allied organizations and their members are usually known by the people.

  1. The NDFP serves as framework for establishing revolutionary organs of governance.

These organs of political power (OPP)—at the municipal, district, provincial levels—are the seeds of the people’s democratic government (PDG). Even at this stage, these organs of political power already administer justice and implement social services for the masses in guerrilla zones. The NDFP represents the organs of political power in establishing proto-diplomatic relations with states and other international agencies. It also represents the OPP in peace negotiations with the GRP since 1986. 

  1. The NDFP definitely wants peace.

The entire NDFP has been painted by state forces as “terrorist”. Despite the attacks and demonization, the NDFP has never turned its back on the peace talks that it has committed to pursue. Now on its 50th year, the NDFP continues to respond positively to the sustained calls—by various peace advocacy groups, institutions, organizations, and known personalities—for resuming and completing the GRP-NDFP peace talks towards attaining a just and lasting peace in the country. (Vida Gracias, Pat Gambao) ###

Duterte Wants to Grab Land Reform from the NPA

in Countercurrent

by PINKY ANG

On the 31st anniversary of the failed Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) last August, President Rodrigo Duterte spewed lies against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New Peoples’ Army (NPA). Preening before the media while giving out Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), he boasted he would finish the CPP-NPA-led revolution.

But this put-on picture—Duterte distributing CLOA < click >, Duterte tough-talking on Hacienda Luisita < click >, Duterte feigning concern for the future generation caught in the armed conflict < click >, Duterte promising land reform alongside crushing the 50-year people’s war < click, click >—is phony and old (he isn’t the first president to pose for it). It also defies logic and history.

Save for a fleeting period when he was talking peace with the communists, Duterte has done nothing but the opposite of land reform and national industrialization.

On the verge of signing with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) what would have been a landmark agreement to redistribute land for free all over the country, he scuttled the talks in 2017. Since then, he has made no bones in taking the well-worn path of his most despotic predecessors in Malacañang.

No Philippine president in history has truly implemented land reform nor attempted to jumpstart national industrialization spurred by a genuine land reform program. On the contrary, their so-called land reform programs sought only to placate the masses even as land remained in the hands of a few. From the bitter experiences of peasants, every land reform program by the Government of the Philippines had more loopholes than grounds to actually distribute land. And even when some eventually got distributed, it somehow got back soon enough to landlords.

Duterte merely continued the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program begun under former Corazon Aquino. Despite decades and a succession of presidents and CARP extensions, it is still far from attaining 100-percent distribution of its already narrowed target. Under Duterte, distribution is at the slowest, poorest pace.

DAR records show that the Duterte administration, in its first three years in office, was able to distribute to farmer-beneficiaries only 91,776 hectares of agricultural landholdings. That’s an average of 30,592 hectares a year. His land acquisition and distribution (LAD) pace was only 8% of that of the Fidel Ramos administration in its first three years. Ramos was top performer among the previous presidents.

Here are the comparative LAD accomplishments of Duterte’s predecessors in the first half of their terms:

  • Corazon Cojuangco Aquino: distributed 452,074 hectares from 1988 to 1990, or 150,691 hectares a year;
  • Ramos: distributed 1,113,019 hectares from 1992 t0 1994, an average of 371,006 hectares annually;
  • Joseph Estrada: distributed 379,905 from 1998 to 2000, or 126,635 yearly;
  • Gloria Arroyo: distributed 313,778 hectares from 2001 to 2003, averaging 104,593 hectares per year;
  • B.S. Aquino III: distributed 320,916 hectares from 2010 to 2012, or 106,972 hectares each year.

Data: Dept. of Agrarian Reform land distribution accomplishment in 2016 to June 2019 is 2,920 hectares on average per month under Duterte,

less than the July 2010 to 2015 monthly average of 8,254 has. reported by DAR under Noynoy Aquino;
9,407 has. under Arroyo in January 2001 to June 2010,
and 11,113 has. monthly average under Estrada.

There is a raging armed revolution in the Philippines because peasants and the basic masses, including sections of the middle class and local small capitalists, thirst for land reform. They yearn for the greater prosperity of industrialization that genuine land reform will naturally stimulate, and for the assured just distribution and sustainability of this prosperity because of the socialist perspective of the national democratic revolution being waged by the CPP-NPA-NDFP.

Over the years, the masses especially the poor peasants have been supporting and joining the NPA because they have seen in its programs and its achievements the solutions to feudal and imperialist oppression. This is the movement that truly promises and will deliver thoroughgoing change for the better.

Duterte is striking a very wrong stance with his CLOA distribution and counterrevolutionary war cries. His threat to crush the people’s democratic revolution is a threat to derail developments in actual land reform being implemented by the peasant-based NPA. It’s a threat as well to delay the country’s national industrialization. This is not acceptable to the Filipino masses who continue to suffer a life of misery under the landlord-comprador and imperialist puppet presidents including Duterte.

Another president who posed with CLOAs amid counterrevolutionary war cries was Joseph Estrada. In Bondoc Peninsula, after a series of successful NPA tactical offensives there 20 years ago, he vowed to crush the revolution movement. He became the second president to be ousted through the people’s peaceful direct action.

“WHOLE OF NATION” AS MARTIAL LAW UNDERCOVER?

By this time, as commander-in-chief, Duterte has already issued one too many orders— declaring and thrice extending martial law in the whole of Mindanao; declaring a state of emergency to quell “lawless violence” and issuing Memo 32 to deploy more troops in Samar, Negros island and Bicol; utilizing the so-called “whole-of-nation” approach that harnesses the entire government (national and local) plus civil society organizations in a bid to end the 50-year armed conflict. Clearly though, his actions contradict his boasts against the CPP, which his government shrilly tries to demonize and misrepresent as a puny force being deserted by droves of supposed surrenderers.

But, like the failed land reform program, Duterte’s “whole-of-nation” approach is just another war plan his predecessors have long applied and failed on. It is like the wolf appropriating the voice of the innocent so it can freely enter homes to devour and kill.

Duterte is turning the entire government bureaucracy including civilian sectors into a counter-revolutionary surveillance and black propaganda factory. Its services are being deployed to feed into the coercive military and police troops cracking down on legal democratic mass organizations, and their allies here and abroad. While this government is raining bombs and lies, it is restraining flow of information about the revolutionary movement. It is banning media interviews and coverage of revolutionary groups.

Duterte is trying to revive the monsters of Marcos’s martial law, but not quite succeeding at muzzling the freedom of association and freedom of the press. He goes all-out with K-12 miseducation that’s washing off traces of patriotism and prompts for critical thinking among the youth. All the while he is pushing for military partnership with schools to abet surveillance and intimidation of critical students and teachers.

PR-labeling all these as “whole-of-nation approach,” Duterte dreams about finishing off the CPP-led revolution but only through a one-sided, reality-defying, blood-drenched misrepresentation of life on the ground.

For this brutal fantasy, his office wants to double its intelligence budget to P4.5 billion in 2020, or bloat it to half as big as the total budget of the Office of the President. His minions in Congress seek to add more teeth to the anti-terror law they euphemistically call as Human Security Act. His regime and the US government have agreed to locate a regional training center for combating insurgency and “terrorism” in Cavite. The military consistently receives from the US technical and intelligence support, training and equipment for countering the revolutionary groups.

Yet, amid the Duterte regime’s one-sided diatribes against the CPP-NPA, some truths still inadvertently emerge. Some from his own big mouth. Duterte himself can’t deny the public support for the communist revolutionaries.

After all, he wooed the Filipino voters into electing him president by cultivating appearances of being friendly to the CPP- NPA. His campaign ploy has confirmed that candidates gain popularity by calling themselves “leftist” or “socialist”; by promising peace talks with the communists; and by taking up issues articulated by or identified with the Left. For example, the call to assert Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea vis-à-vis China’s aggressive intrusion into and grabbing of maritime areas within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zones.

Past presidents and presidential candidates publicly pretended to ignore the existence of revolutionary mass bases in the countryside, even when they were impelled to engage in peace talks. They fumed whenever “security concerns” delayed their visits to some locales, when candidates can’t simply enter guerrilla zones. They evaded disclosing the fears expressed by multinational corporations over another government operating clandestinely in the Philippines, which, unlike the reactionary government, calls them to task for their plunder and rights violations.

Perhaps Duterte, who claims to know a lot about the revolutionaries, panicked after he realized that the neocolonial institution he leads wouldn’t tolerate his slight deviation from the usual conduct of puppet presidents. Or, perhaps as a true neocolonial leader of landlord and comprador class (albeit with lesser money in his hands?) he panicked at his first-hand confirmation of the depth and breadth of the Left’s mass support.

Whatever, even when he was firmly following the tradition of imperialist puppetry of those who got to become temporary residents of Malacañang, he still inadvertently slips up, revealing in his ramblings the good things the CPP-NPA have been doing. For example, land reform.

But it would be political suicide for Duterte, or for any local government executive and for the AFP, to say outright that he is against land reform. To “win hearts and minds” and bar more people from supporting the revolutionaries, Duterte and his cohorts have to put deceiving masks to their war plans.

NPA: THE TRUE ARMY OF THE PEOPLE PUSHING FOR GENUINE LAND REFORM

The NPA is largely a peasant army. Its support and troops mainly come from the poor peasants who comprise about 70 percent of the Philippine society. As the army of the revolutionary people led by the CPP, the NPA is waging a revolution against the imperialist stranglehold on Philippine society. It aims to end this stranglehold by dismantling the puppet government that orchestrates and secures it to benefit the landlords and compradors. In the process, the NPA, under CPP leadership, is resolving with ever growing number of people the roots of poverty, landlessness, feudal exploitation, agricultural backwardness and the stunting of industrial development.

Ever since the CPP-NPA-NDFP began waging an armed revolutionary war, it has been pushing for genuine land reform. It is deriving greater strength the more it works to organize and help peasant communities undertake land reform.

The NPA is not just a military force. It is arousing, organizing, and mobilizing the masses. It is starting and helping the peasants into organizing and running the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magsasaka or PKM (National Peasants Association), and other revolutionary mass organizations based in rural communities.

These organizations conduct campaigns for land reform suited to their capacities. The more masses organized into revolutionary groups the more they could undertake land reform and enjoy its fruits. The more they cherish and bolster the NPA underpinning their successes.

A PKM leader correctly said recently, as the national democratic revolution advances, the PKM shall be able to give more lands to poor peasants. Lands confiscated from landlords and agri-business corporations are given to beneficiaries free of amortization. The CPP-NPA also punishes the most despotic landlords.

Contrast this to the misery of intensifying feudal and semi-feudal exploitation, and one sees the futility of discouraging the masses from supporting the NPA. In time, their level of organization and experience approaches the building of bigger and bolder organs of political power in communities. This may start small with humble benefits, but as a PKM leader said, it is enough for PKM chapters to withstand the hardships and tragedies of counterrevolutionary wars.

In revolution they have hope. And having tasted its benefits even from the early stage of strategic defensive of the protracted people’s war, they would not easily be swayed by phony pictures and declarations.

Thanks to the NPA, the country’s peasants have had a taste of what it’s like to be in a truly democratic government—at least, the local underground government they are building up every day, campaigns after campaigns for land reform. What it’s like to govern themselves, to elect tried-and-tested leaders among themselves, to work the farm sustainably, to share and enjoy its fruits among themselves and not let it become the sole entitlement of landlords, to help plan and execute appropriate farming techniques and technology.

The organized peasants are also doing their share in thwarting the imposition of imperialist-led “reforms” and programs.

The NPA has functioned to truly harness the power of the people in working collectively for each other’s economic and political gains.

“The comrades in the NPA are helping us come up with policies and guidelines in the land distribution, especially on who should be prioritized—those landless and those who lack lands to till,” said Ka Iling, a peasant leader who participated in a local agrarian revolution conference in 2017 held at a guerilla front in the north. It was a joint project of local members of the CPP, the NPA, and the various revolutionary mass organizations in the area.

All over the country, PKM and other collectives of revolutionary groups, without fanfare, have tackled problems of landlessness, conducted land occupation, palit-tanim (changing crops) to have something to eat even as they are forced to plant cash crops. They have struggled to reduce land rent and usurious rates. They have formed cooperatives to work the land more efficiently, buy their needs, and sell their produce lessening the dominance of traders-landlords-usurers.

Almost a million PKM members have benefited from the CPP and the NPA’s maximum agrarian reform program: more than 44,000 hectares of land have been confiscated and redistributed all over the country. Millions of others have benefitted from the campaigns for lower land rent, lower borrowing interest rates, just share in proceeds of harvest, increased farm gate prices, and eliminating traders’ trickery when farmers’ produce are weighed and priced.

Their support services include training and workshops on organic farming, construction of mini dams for free irrigation, installation of hydroelectric and solar or wind-powered turbines for post-harvest drying or processing, among others.

All these and its further development are what are at stake in the counter-revolutionary war waged by the Duterte administration.

THE COMMUNIST REVOLUTION ON A WINNING PATH

Farmers call Duterte a hypocrite for pretending to care about the future generation while doing his best to kill their best prospects today.

He was quoted as telling the CPP-NPA, “We cannot go on this way. We have been fighting for 53 years. Maawa kayo sa susunod (Have mercy on the) coming generation.”

If he was indeed a man of mercy, he could have helped signal the end of armed fighting early into his term. When he terminated the peace negotiations in 2017, the two sides were on the cusp of signing an agreement prompting the Philippine government to implement a genuine land reform.

A clearly-defined mutually coordinated ceasefire would have followed.

As such, even before the massacres occurred in the hacienda land of Negros, or before the killings of peasants all over the country have reached a staggering number of victims (more than 200 as of August 2019 since he became president), the Duterte government could have halted the fighting. For the first time in history, it could have led to the neocolonial government helping resolve the peasant demands which are at the root of the prolonged armed conflict.

Instead, Duterte only confirmed the correctness of the people’s war as means to dismantle the neocolonial government by armed force. His regime has acted true to form in deploying more troops against the peasant-based NPA fighters. Duterte himself acted true to form like the other neocolonial leaders before him. He vowed to sell to highest bidders the fertile lands being defended by the peasants with their very lives.

His agricultural secretary accused the farmers doing bungkalan for survival that they have no rights to the land they should have owned already. He has also been approving with alacrity the appeals of landlords to defeat the farmers’ demands for land distribution. This includes the lands in Hacienda Luisita already ordered for distribution by the Supreme Court.

Duterte admits that “it’s not only about gaining a foothold in those areas,” referring to hotbeds of revolution like Negros, for example. In Sagay City where peasants awaiting CLOAs were massacred by paramilitary troops in October 2018, farmers have been forced to leave and go hungry as troops continue arriving to secure the landlords’ “lawful” ownership. How could the Duterte administration think they could win over these farmers?

Duterte himself admits it is not enough to just bring soldiers to guard the land. “Kunin mo na ang initiative sa komunista (Take the initiative from the communists). What they’re parlaying is land. Eh di unahan na natin. Bigay na natin [ang lupa] (Then let’s move ahead of them. Let’s distribute the land already).”

From the puppet leader who has repeatedly uttered lies and shamelessly admitted to uttering lies, the only true thing he revealed here is that the initiative on land reform is with the communists.

Ever since, the puppet government bowing to imperialist masters has only been reacting to the peasants’ demands for land with bogus land reform programs. The imperialists profit so much from dumping their surplus agricultural products here, while pushing their manufactured products, too. As long as the domestic industries are pushed back and stunted, they have a captive market. The landlord and comprador classes, meanwhile, win big in corruption, buy-and-sell profits, fat contracts and commissions. But the masses grow poorer and hungrier by the day.

Four years ago before Duterte, the poorest 50 percent or 11.4 million Filipino families subsisted on just P15,000 or less per month (P500 or less per day for a family of six). After tax and price hikes amid the lowest wage grants and the worst job generation in the post-Marcos period, the people are definitely worse off today under Duterte. Meanwhile, thanks to his economic policies, the net worth of the country’s richest and the profits of the largest corporations have ballooned.

“Crisis generates resistance,” as CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison titled one of his recent books. The peasantry had launched uprisings and died in bigger numbers before, without the communists to guide them. Now that they have tasted agrarian victories and glimpsed the best future in advancing the national democratic revolution, with socialist perspective, they have hope and will not likely give up on that.

Duterte’s “whole-of-nation” mantra for what he strains to approximate as martial law stands no chance. His human rights record already stinks with blood and many have recoiled from it, even the ordinary people in other countries.
His publicly paid troops who perform services for the landlords, oppress the peasants and the indigenous peoples, will continue to earn the people’s ire and mistrust. Duterte’s minions can conveniently dismiss their war crimes as “shit happens” and “collateral damage”. Before the media, Duterte can shed tears when his troops suffer defeat in legitimate combats with the New People’s Army.

They will keep on getting what they deserve from the people’s army, if they don’t stop standing in the way of genuine land reform, democracy and real prosperity for the majority of the people. #

#PeasantMonth
#ServeThePeople
#JoinTheNPA

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