Ang Bayan | Editorial April 7, 2023
On April 24, let us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the broad alliance uniting revolutionary mass organizations which advance the national democratic movement and support the armed struggle.
The NDFP was established seven months after the first Marcos regime imposed martial law, one of the darkest periods in the country’s history. The NDFP served as the flaming torch which shone light on the path of militant and revolutionary resistance. The NDFP steeled the people’s courage and will to persevere in the difficult path of resistance towards a bright future.
The NDFP Preparatory Commission was created on the initiative of the Party to unite mass organizations forced to operate underground because of the imposition of the fascist dictatorship. It prepared the NDFP manifesto and the 10-point (later 12-point) program which served to unite the broad masses of people. Subsequently, anti-dictatorship organizations would one by one come together under the NDFP.
Not soon after, the NDFP served as the core of the people’s resistance and will later be recognized inside and outside the country as representative of the Filipino people in resistance. Other underground national democratic mass organizations were founded and joined the NDFP. It is now composed of 18 organizations representing different progressive and democratic classes and sectors united by the revolutionary aspiration of ending the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism.
The NDFP today is the most consolidated part and the most solid backbone of the national united front. It is a united front for the revolutionary armed struggle. The NDFP is indeed the people’s shield, while the New People’s Army is its weapon. Through the NDFP and organizations composing it, armed struggle became widely recognized as a just form of struggle against the Marcos fascist tyranny and the succeeding pseudo-democratic regimes.
With the further advancement of the people’s war in the entire country, organs of political power as embryo of the People’s Democratic Government of the Philippines sprang out. These are represented in general by the NDFP in relating with different movements, nations and governments overseas. The NDFP has excellently upheld and represented the interests of the Filipino people in peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines since 1987, which highlighted the just demands of the people and bore some significant agreements.
The upcoming NDFP anniversary has deep historical significance. It symbolizes the more than five decades of the people’s persistent resistance for national freedom and genuine democracy. The extreme suffering of the majority of the Filipino masses under the current puppet and fascist US-Marcos regime II highlights the need to further strengthen and expand the NDFP and its allied organizations, the mass struggles and the revolutionary armed struggle across the country.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s gross subservience to the geopolitical, economic and military interests of the US imperialists is unfathomable. He surrenders the Filipino people’s freedom, livelihood and life in exchange for investments, military aid and loans.
With Marcos’ further push for neoliberal policies, the toiling people are being dispossessed of their sources of livelihood and exploited by foreign monopoly capitalists. Mountains, wide swathes of land, and even oceans are being swooped and plundered. The environment is being destroyed, and the peasant masses, fisherfolks and the rest of the toiling people are being driven out and deprived of their livelihood. To attract investments from big foreign capitalists, Marcos turns a deaf ear to the demand of workers and ordinary employees for wage increases amid the unimpeded skyrocketing of food and commodity prices.
Under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), Marcos Jr opened four additional locations (from five) to establish US military bases and facilities, displaying subservience to the US imperialists. Two of these are in Cagayan, and one each in Isabela and Palawan. These are additional components to the US strategy of surrounding and provoking its imperialist rival China. The Philippines is part of what the US calls the “First Island Chain” where it aims to establish a network of missiles aimed at China. Under the EDCA, the US can stockpile nuclear arms or any other weapons without the knowledge of Filipinos. This unduly involves Filipinos in a war that is not theirs, and turns the Philippines into a possible target of any action or counter-action by China.
Amid all these, the Filipino people must come together under the banner of patriotism and genuine democracy, to defend the life and freedom of the country. They need to fight in all possible fields of resistance, mobilize the broadest number of people, and exercise their strength to change and carve their own historical destiny.
The role that the NDFP in gathering the strength of the people and creating a powerful wave of protests and resistance cannot be understated.
The NDFP’s national-democratic program must be rigorously propagated to unite the Filipino people. It primarily aims to end the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system, and to free the country from foreign domination and control. These are the basic conditions to change the Filipino people’s destiny, end the hundreds of years history of oppression and slavery, and bring the country to a new chapter of progress and development.
The Filipino people’s aspiration for genuine freedom and democracy is immeasurable. It cannot be quelled even by the puppet state’s brutal terrorism. Let us draw strength and inspiration from the thousands upon thousands of Filipinos who offered their lives in the now centuries long revolutionary struggle. Let us wholeheartedly give everything to serve the people. #