By Jose Maria Sison
Communist Party of the Philippines
August 23, 2018
Author´s Note: As founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, I have been asked by academic, journalist and activist friends and many other people to evaluate the CPP in the last 50 years and describe its current situation and prospects. All of them are anticipating the fast approaching golden anniversary of the CPP. I write this article on the basis of my previous experience and on the basis of publicly available documents.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was founded on December 26, 1968 as the revolutionary party of the Filipino proletariat and people under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) in order to continue the unfinished revolution started by the Katipunan in 1896 and to fight for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local reactionary classes of big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists.
Since then, the CPP has scored great ideological, political and organizational achievements. These are inspired by all previous revolutionary struggles of the Filipino people and surpass the achievements of the Katipunan against Spanish colonialism and the Communist Party of the Philippine Islands and the Merger Party of the Communist and Socialist Parties (MPCSP) in the periods of the US colonial regime, the Japanese fascist occupation and the neocolonial regime of local reactionary classes servile to US imperialism.
In applying the revolutionary theory of the proletariat to the concrete conditions and practice of the Philippine revolution, the CPP has generated so many volumes of documents and bylined works that constitute a major contribution to the treasury of said theory and have correctly and successfully spread and raised revolutionary consciousness of all aspects of Philippine society and in all fields of revolutionary work: economic, political, military and cultural.
The CPP has systematically strengthened itself ideologically, politically and organizationally. It arose with only a few scores of cadres and members from the revolutionary mass movement of the 1960s. It has become nationwide and has become even more deeply rooted among the toiling masses of workers and peasants. It continues to draw strength from the revolutionary mass movement. It has grown into tens of thousands of cadres and members who have been tested and tempered in revolutionary armed struggle and other forms of struggle.
The CPP leads the New People´s Army (NPA), which it founded on March 29, 1969 in the second district of Tarlac. Now, this army operates in more than 110 guerilla fronts covering substantial parts of 73 out of the 81 Philippine provinces in 17 regions outside of the national capital region. It is assisted by the people´s militia and self-defense units of mass organizations. It follows the strategic line of protracted people´s war, carries out agrarian revolution and guarantees the building and functioning of the people´s democratic government.
The CPP leads the national united front whose most consolidated embodiment is the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) founded on April 24, 1973. The national united front relies mainly on the revolutionary basic alliance of the working class and the peasantry, wins over the middle strata of the bourgeoisie and takes advantage of the conflicts among the reactionaries in order to isolate and defeat the enemy, which is the worst reactionary clique.
The united front is effective in reaching and rallying the people in their millions. It has demonstrated that it can overthrow the fascist dictatorship of Marcos in 1986 and the corrupt regime of Estrada in 2001. It is necessary to defeat one reactionary clique after another and thus increase the strength of the revolutionary movement for overthrowing the entire semi-colonial and semifeudal ruling system, accomplishing the people´s democratic revolution and laying the basis for the socialist revolution.
Since the founding of the CPP in 1969, the plenums of the Central Committee had been the most authoritative in summing up the international and Philippine situation and the ideological, political and organizational work and struggle of the entire Party and the people and in setting forth the tasks in carrying the people´s democratic revolution forward. Between plenary meetings of the CPP Central Committee, the Political Bureau and Central Executive Committee had served as the decision-mking organs.
Guided by the theme “Greater unity, greater victories,” the CPP held its Second Congress in a guerrilla base from October 24 to November 7, 2016 to sum up the revolutionary practice of the Party in 48 years. The Congress took stock of the current objective and subjective conditions and reaffirmed the Party’s determination to advance the national democratic revolution to greater heights.The decisions and resolutions of the Congress are contained in its Communique issued on March 29, 2017.
1.Ideological Achievements of the CPP
The CPP has a comprehensive and profound understanding of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It has published the classical works of Marx, Engels, Lenin Stalin and Mao Zedong as well as its basic documents and the works of its leading cadres on the basic principles of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory in various fields. By adopting this revolutionary theory of the proletariat as theoretical guide, the CPP has integrated it with the history and concrete circumstances of the Filipino people and proletariat.
The CPP has traced the major strands of Philippine history: communalism and patriarchal slavery in the pre-colonial period, feudalism under Spanish colonialism, semifeudalism under US colonialism and the semicolonial and semifeudal society since after the 1946 US grant of nominal independence to the Philippines. Based on the analysis of Philippine history and concrete circumstances, the CPP has defined the character of Philippine society, general political line of struggle, motive forces, adversaries, stages and future of the Philippine revolution.
The CPP has put forward the general line of people´s democratic revolution, with a socialist perspective against the semicolonial and semifeudal conditions. This is a revolution led by the proletariat and no longer by the bourgeoisie in keeping with the global era of modern imperialism and the proletarian revolution. Under the leadership of the proletariat, with the CPP as vanguard party, the Filipino people can proceed from the basic completion of the new democratic revolution (the overthrow of the semicolonial and semifuedal ruling system) to the start of socialist revolution.
The CPP has applied Marxism-Leninism to define the new democratic and socialist stages of the Philippine revolution. It has also applied Maoism to combat modern revisionism and guarantee a future of consolidating socialism and preventing the restoration of capitalism. For some years, from 1963 onwards, the founders of the CPP were enlightened by the Marxist-Leninist line against modern revisionism centred in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the revisionist character of the MPCSP.
In breaking out of the MPCSP, they launched the First Great Rectification Movement in 1966. This criticized and rectified the subjectivist and the ¨Left¨ and Right opportunist errors from 1942 to 1966, the year when a scion of the Lava family imposed his revisionist line and grabbed leadership in the MPCSP. The proletarian leaders who developed from the workers and youth mass organizations pursued the rectification movement and cleared the way for the foundation of the Communist Party of the Philippines from 1966 to 1968.
The CPP has established, clarified and developed the principles and policies for winning the new democratic revolution with a socialist perspective by wielding the three major weapons of the Filipino people: the revolutionary party of the proletariat, the people´s war and the united front policy. It has practised criticism and self-criticism of errors and shortcomings in the course of assessing and evaluating current work. It has therefore always improved the mode and style of work and thus have achieved better results.
The CPP has waged rectification movements to overcome major errors in ideology, politics and organization. It successfully waged the Second Great Rectification Movement from 1992 to 1998 as an education movement in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to criticize and repudiate major subjectivist and ”Left” and Right opportunist errors in the period of 1981 to 1992.
It debunked the subjectivist notion that the Marcos fascist dictatorship had made the Philippine economy industrial capitalist. This subjectivist error gave rise to Right and ¨Left¨ opportunist errors. The Right opportunists advocated a united front without the leadership of the revolutionary proletariat and kowtowing to the anti-Marcos reactionaries, The ”Left” opportunists rejected Mao´s strategic line of protracted people´s war and promoted adventurism and the premature regularization of the NPA at the expense of mass work.
Currently, the CPP is subjecting to criticism and rectification among others the phenomenon of conservatism, which overly stresses mass work, unwittingly favors the style of roving rebel bands and neglects the need to intensify guerilla tactical offensives in order to annihilate the enemy forces and seize the weapons from them and to bring about the full development of the strategic defensive and reach the strategic stalemate in the people´s war.
The CPP has educated tens of thousands of Party cadres and members in the theory and practice of MLM by providing them with three levels of Party study courses: basic, intermediate and advanced. These cadres are the ever growing hard core of the revolutionary mass movement, institutions of various kinds and specialized fields of work. Party education is meant to enlighten and inspire the Party cadres and members among the toiling masses of workers and peasants as well as among the middle social strata of the bourgeoisie.
The basic Party course provides Party cadres and members with a knowledge of Philippine history, the basic problems of the Filipino people and the people´s democratic revolution; the intermediate Party course on building the Party, the people´s army and the united front with a comparative knowledge of successful revolutions led by the proletariat; and the advanced Party course with a comprehensive knowledge of materialist philosophy, political economy, scientific socialism, the strategy and tactics of proletarian revolution and the international communist movement.
The CPP has contributed greatly to the world treasury of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism by issuing ideological and political documents and bylined works written by CPP leading organs and cadres for declaring the position of the Party on theoretical and practical issues, for building and developing the Party, the people´ army and the united front, for criticizing and rectifying errors and shortcomings and for analyzing and opposing imperialism and reaction in the Philippines and abroad. Many of such works have attained the level of texts for theoretical or doctrinal study.
On a national and global scale, the CPP has been outstanding in being steadfast against modern revisionism, reformism and opportunism and in upholding the socialist and communist future of mankind. It has contributed to the analysis of modern revisionism up to the full restoration of capitalism in former socialist countries and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the years of 1989 to 1991. The written stand of the CPP for socialism against modern revisionism is an avidly studied and cherished text in the international communist movement.
The CPP has analyzed and opposed the ideological offensives against Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the monstrosities of the US-instigated neoliberal economic policy and the neoconservative policy of full-spectrum intervention and aggression. These have accelerated the strategic decline of the US since this superpower appeared to have won the Cold War in 1991 upon the collapse of the Soviet Union. The US has undermined its position as sole superpower and is sliding from the peak of its global power. It is still a major capitalist power and is desperately and vainly trying to maintain overall hegemony in a multipolar world.
The CPP has defined the current world situation as one still in the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution and in a period of intensified inter-imperialist contradictions, social disorder and wars of aggression in transition to a world of resurgent proletarian revolution and national liberation movements since the full restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, China and Eastern Europe.
The documents and articles of the CPP central leadership on Philippine and international issues are highly respected domestically and internationally because they are the products of the growing revolutionary movement in the Philippines which has overcome the most brutal onslaughts by US imperialism and local reaction and which has successfully waged ideological struggle against imperialism, revisionism and reaction. Such struggle has been in pursuit of revolutionary change in the Philippines and in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity among peoples.
The Second Congress of the CPP reaffirmed the ideological line of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It amended the CPP Constitution to reflect the Party’s experience in applying Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory to the concrete revolutionary practice. It expressed appreciation for the contributions of the Party cadres and members in the ideological building of the Party and upheld the rectification movements against subjectivism and opportunism. It has resolved to study and learn from previous and current positive and negative lessons in ideological work and struggle and propagate materialist dialectics and the proletarian stand, viewpoint thinking and acting.
2. Political Achievements of the CPP
The CPP has correctly described Philippine society as semicolonial and semifeudal and formulated the program for a people´s democratic revolution with a socialist perspective in the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution. The leading class of the revolution is the working class. It relies mainly on its basic alliance with the peasantry, wins over the urban petty bourgeoisie and further wins over the middle bourgeoisie in order to isolate and defeat the ruling classes of big comprador bourgeoisie, landlord class and bureaucrat capitalists subservient to US imperialism
The CPP has built itself as a strong revolutionary party of the proletariat by successfully implementing the general line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people´s war. It has become nationwide and is deeply rooted among the toiling masses of workers and peasants. And it has built the people´s army and the national united front in order to wield them as weapons of the revolution and the people. Thus, it has aroused, organized and mobilized the people in their millions to form a strong revolutionary mass movement of workers, peasants, national minorities, youth, women, professionals, cultural workers and other sectors in all regions of the country.
The CPP has built and led the New People´s Army (NPA). This is the strongest people´s army built since the defeat of the Philippine revolutionary army by US imperialism in 1902 and since the backbone of the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan was broken in 1952. The current armed strength of the NPA in terms of high-powered rifles is bigger than the 5,600 recorded in the 1985 Plenum of the CPP Central Committee.
This is contrary to the claim of the enemy that the NPA had 25,000 in the mid-1980´s and that it has only 2000 to 4000 now. And yet the tyrant Duterte and his military minions claim to have caused the surrender and death of more than 7000 Red commanders and fighters, victimizing the civilian population and privately collecting reward money for the purpose.
The NPA is the main weapon of the people for defeating the enemy and winning the revolution. Without it, the people have nothing. It carries out three integral tasks: revolutionary armed struggle, agrarian revolution and mass base building. It carries out a war of fluid movement and avails of the tactics of concentration, dispersal and shifting as circumstances require. It follows the strategy of protracted people´s war, with three probable strategic stages: defensive, stalemate and counter-offensive.
The NPA applies the principle of centralized ideological and political leadership and decentralized operations, which is very appropriate to the archipelagic character of the Philippines even as the Party central leadership issues operational guidelines for the national, regional and lower levels to implement. Currently, the NPA is victoriously carrying out extensive and intensive guerilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base in order to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate.
The NPA has an effective national operational command, with several departments (political, personnel training, intelligence, logistics, ordnance, medical and technical) and with lower levels of command down to the basic level. It has thousands of Red fighters who are disciplined and have high fighting morale. They have undergone political-military training at various levels, armed with high-powered rifles, tempered in the armed struggle and have various capabilities in the service of the people.
They are a force for fighting, politico-military training, propaganda and agitation, mass organizing, production, medical care, cultural work, environmental protection and disaster relief. But they relinquish nonmilitary functions to the local organs of political power and mass organizations in order to be able to wage tactical offensives and open new guerrilla zones.
The NPA is assisted by tens of thousands of men and women in the people´s militia and hundreds of thousands in self-defense units of the mass organizations. It operates in more than 110 guerrillas fronts which occupy substantial parts of 17 regions and 73 out of the 81 Philippine provinces. It is increasingly capable of annihilating units of the military, police and paramilitary forces of the ruling system in order to increase the strength of its fighting units and to weaken and dismantle the enemy forces.
US imperialism and its puppets have unleashed all kinds of military onslaughts, excluding an outright US war of aggression but including the 14-year fascist dictatorship of the US-Marcos ruling clique and the US-instigated strategic operational plans from the Marcos fascist regime through the pseudo democratic regimes of Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Macapagal-Arroyo and Aquino II regime to the current Duterte regime, all propped up and armed by US imperialism.
The Marcos fascist regime could not destroy the NPA when this was still small and weak but unwittingly succeeded in generating the conditions for people´s war even more fertile. Marcos the despot became known as best recruiter and supply officer because through his oppressive and exploitative polices and acts he unwittingly incited the people to join the NPA and because he sent his armed minions to attack the NPA, they ended up being ambushed and yielding their arms and supplies to the NPA. Thus, the NPA grew in strength and succeeded in contributing significantly to the weakening and fall of the fascist regime. It continues to contribute significantly to the weakening of the entire ruling system.
The highest praise that has been accorded to the NPA comes unwittingly from the rulers of the reactionary system who have always considered the NPA as the No. 1 security threat to their counterrevolutionary state. But in another categorical way, the neocolonial republic of the Philippines has recognized the NDFP as the representative of the CPP, NPA and other revolutionary forces and people and has found it necessary to engage the NDFP in peace negotiations .
In developing the alliance of the working class with the peasantry in the antifeudal untied front, the CPP has correctly taken the line of relying mainly on the poor peasants, winning over the middle peasants, and neutralizing the rich peasants in order to isolate and destroy the power of the landlord class. The CPP and NPA have taken the key role in carrying out agrarian revolution as the main content of the democratic revolution.
Depending on the circumstances, they have carried out the minimum and maximum land reform programs. The minimum program involves rent reduction, elimination of usury, setting of fair farm-gate prices and promotion of agricultural production and sideline occupation through independent households and rudimentary cooperation. The maximum program involves the confiscation of land from the landlords and land grabbers and free land distribution and agricultural cooperation in stages.
While encouraging and giving due course to the peasant movement for land reform, the CPP leads the NPA to guarantee that the landlord class and the reactionary state cannot frustrate the land reform; to defeat the despotic landlords and distribute the land to the tenants; and to dismantle the landholdings grabbed by the corporate and bureaucratic plantation owners and effect the restitution of the land to the indigenous peoples and poor settlers. The NPA has also the duty to enforce the laws of the people’s government, especially on enterprises that lessen the area available for land reform and that damage agriculture and the environment.
Because of the people´s army and advance of the people´s war, the CPP has been able to build the local organs of political power nationwide, from the barangay level upwards. At the barangay level, the barangay organizing committees are appointed and then eventually the barangay revolutionary committees are elected. The local organs of political power constitute the people´s democratic government of workers and peasants in opposition to the reactionary government of big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists.
They are composed of the representatives of the Party cadres, the masses and technically capable persons. They oversee and supervise mass organizing, public education, production, finance, self-defense, health and sanitation, cultural affairs, environmental protection, disaster relief and rehabilitation and the settlement of disputes. They are in charge of the people´s militia and the people´s court at the pertinent level.
Two conflicting governments exist in the Philippines. The reactionaries are talking nonsense whenever they say that the revolutionaries have not accomplished anything in 50 years by not being able to seize the presidential palace in Manila. They are even more absurd when they try to deny the existence and belligerent status of the people´s democratic government and dismiss it as a mere nonstate actor.
In fact, this government, duly constituted by the workers and peasants, is growing and advancing wave upon wave until it shall be able to overthrow every level of the reactionary government. At certain levels and in many areas in the Philippines, the reactionary government cannot function without its enlightened local officials obtaining the permission or cooperation of the revolutionary government.
As it now stands, the people´s democratic government has millions of people under its governance and influence. It is mindful of the class line in the national united front and in the anti-feudal united front in being able to govern the revolutionary mass organizations and the broad masses of the people. The policy of the united front guides the people’s war as well as the various forms of legal struggle in the urban areas in order to promote the armed revolution and attract the support of the people in their millions.
The CPP has built the united front as a weapon of the people for armed as well as for legal struggle. The united front is embodied in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines as the largest and most consolidated united front organization. The NDFP consists of 18 allied organizations bound together by patriotic and progressive principles and policies. And it has the flexibility to become the base for an even broader united front that takes advantage of the contradictions among the reactionaries in order to isolate and defeat the current enemy, which is the most reactionary clique in the country.
Under the direction of the CPP, the broad united front has twice succeeded in overthrowing the reactionary regime. First, it succeeded in fighting, undermining and overthrowing the Marcos fascist dictatorship from 1972 to 1986 and in ousting the corrupt Estrada regime in 2001. Even without as yet deploying units of the people army in the cities aside from armed city partisans, the broad masses of the people rose up to show their hatred for the ruling clique and subsequently the reactionary armed forces refused to follow orders to attack the people but decided to withdraw support from the hated ruler.
To score its political achievements, the CPP learned well from the periodic and timely summings up of experience and learn from positive as well as negative lessons. It has followed the general line of people´s democratic revolution and the strategy and tactics of protracted people´s war. Accomplishments and exemplary models of achievement have been recognized to inspire further successes in revolutionary work and struggle. Major and minor errors and shortcomings have been criticized and rectified in the normal course of criticism and self-criticism.
A rectification movement of longer duration and with the appropriate degree of intensity has been carried out to confront major errors of Right and ¨Left” opportunism that are long persistent and threaten the very life of the entire Party or a major part of it. The CPP has learned from the First Rectification Movement which criticized and repudiated the Right opportunism of Vicente Lava from 1942 to 1946, the ¨Left¨ opportunism of Jose Lava from 1948 to 1950 and the Right opportunism of Jesus Lava from 1950 onwards.
The Second Great Rectification Movement criticized, repudiated and rectified the Right opportunist error of taking out the leadership of the communist party and the working class from the national united front supposedly to attract more people and make the united front the main weapon of the struggle; and several trends of ¨Left¨ opportunism, the most damaging of which overstressed the verticalization of the NPA at the expense of horizontal deployment of the NPA for mass work and which upon failure resulted in blaming those tagged as deep penetration agents as causing the failure and subjecting them to punishment without due process.
As a whole, the CPP has learned well from the Second Great Rectification Movement by developing the balance between armed struggle and mass work and the center of gravity in a relatively concentrated force (e.g., command platoon of a company or the command squad of a platoon) and the relatively dispersed force for mass work (two-thirds of a formation deployed on a wider scale). The line for the NPA is to wage intensive and extensive guerilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. But the erroneous currents of conservatism and roving rebel bands, which neglect the waging of guerilla tactical offensives by overemphasizing mass work by armed propaganda teams, has afflicted some regions for extended periods, especially in Luzon and the Visayas.
Even mass work is prejudiced and ultimately disappears when squads or armed propaganda units think and act like roving rebel bands because the Party leadership and NPA command do not plan and launch tactical offensives to take initiative in people´s war and do not increase the armed strength of the people´s army. Without a center of gravity and being deployed in an overextended way, the squads and armed propaganda teams can easily be put into a purely defensive and losing position by the enemy forces. It is fine that conservatism and roving rebel band mode are being criticized and rectified.
The CPP has excelled in leading the armed revolution that is among the longest running, strongest, and continuously growing armed revolutions for national liberation, democracy and socialism in the world. This armed revolution has proven correct Mao´s theory and practice of people´s war as well as the development of this theory and practice by the CPP leadership in accordance with the specific characteristics of the Philippines in terms of social and physical terrain, with the peasant population as the most numerous class in the mountainous archipelago.
What makes the Philippine revolution most outstanding currently is that it has overcome a long running fascist dictatorship and a long series of strategic operational campaign plans of US-lining pseudo-democratic regimes to destroy it. The revolutionary forces and people have become strong precisely by fighting all the series of strategic operational plans that have been undertaken by the US with the collaboration of the Filipino puppet regimes. They have also combated and prevented all attempts of modern revisionism, reformism and opportunism to undermine and weaken the armed revolution.
The line of development and advance for the people´s war is from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate and ultimately to the strategic counteroffensive for accomplishing total victory. The ruling system is in chronic crisis, keeps on rotting and making the ground ever more fertile for people´s war. Under the leadership of the CPP, the NPA must annihilate more and more of the enemy forces in order to strengthen itself, demoralize the enemy as a whole and raise the fighting morale of the people and cause the disintegration of the reactionary and its armed forces.
Because of the success of the people’s war in the Philippines, the CPP enjoys high prestige in the world and is proactive in spreading information about the Philippine revolution in order to inspire other peoples and to seek international solidarity and support. The millions of Filipinos who have sought jobs abroad are a major target of mass work to support the revolutionary movement in the motherland and also serve as a wide base for the CPP´s international political work. The CPP is active in strengthening the revolutionary core in the mass formations and movements of overseas Filipinos and also in international organizations of communist and workers´ parties and international solidarity organizations among the people.
The Philippine revolution led by the CPP has served as a torch bearer of the world proletarian revolution and the movements for national liberation, democracy and socialism in various countries in the current period of intensified contradictions among the imperialist powers, wars of aggression and escalating oppression and exploitation in all imperialist-dominated countries. The CPP is playing an outstanding role in leading a revolution in the period of transition to the worldwide resurgence of revolutionary movements of the proletariat and people. Only by fighting and defeating imperialism and all reaction can the people of the world advance towards socialism and the communist future,
The Second Congress of the CPP updated the Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution on the basis of an updated critique of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.This integrates the lessons accumulated by the Party in the course of leading the people’s war and the democratic mass struggles. The strategy and tactics are further clarified to take advantage of the strategic decline of US imperialism, the worsening crisis of the domestic ruling system and the world capitalist system.The newly-elected Central Committee has taken stock of the current national and international situation, as well as the present strength of the Party and the broad range of revolutionary forcesánd allies. It has approved the Party’s three year program and subsequently expanded it into a five-year program.
3. Organizational Achievements of the CPP
The CPP has succeeded in leading the Philippine revolution because it has built itself as a solid organization. At every stage in this development, it has followed the principle of democratic centralism under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the general line of people´s democratic revolution through protracted people´s war. This is centralized leadership on the basis of democracy.
The entire Party follows its Central Committee and lower organs follow the higher leading organ. But at every level of decision-making democratic processes are followed, with the leading organ taking into account the reports and recommendations of lower organs and with the majority prevailing over the minority by voting. Those in the minority have the right to reserve their opinion but must follow the majority vote as a matter of discipline. Such a decision may be vindicated, modified or entirely changed on the basis of further revolutionary practice.
The CPP could be established in 1968 because it was preceded by the development of a resolute and militant mass movement, which started among the workers and youth in the period of 1959 to 1962 even if the proletarian revolutionary cadres had to join first the MPCSP from 1962 to 1966.
When the proletarian revolutionary cadres from the youth movement and the labor and peasant movement joined up in 1962 onwards, they were able to form in quick succession the proletarian revolutionary organization within Lapiang Manggagawa (Workers´ Party), Malayang Samahan ng mga Magsasaka (Free Peasant Association) and the Kabataang Makabayan.
As a comprehensive mass organization of the youth devoted to the new democratic revolution and to the leadership of the working class, the Kabataang Makabayan was able to expand its organization nationwide from 1964 onwards and was also able to stimulate the formation of other types of organizations of various classes and sectors
The KM had for members the young men and women from the working class, peasantry, students, teachers, other professionals and other sectors of society. It facilitated the national spread of the CPP because its core of proletarian revolutionary cadres educated an ever increasing number of mass activists both on the national democratic revolution and on the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
The KM availed of its cooperation with Lapiang Manggagawa and its trade unions in order to recruit members from the working class and initiate the building of new revolutionary trade unions in the national capital region and nationwide. Likewise, it availed of the cooperation of MASAKA in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog regions to recruit KM members from the ranks of the young peasants but it proceeded to form peasant associations in other regions.
By the time that its Founding Congress was held, with scores of Party cadres and members represented by twelve delegates, the CPP could rely on a nationwide mass base and start to strike deeper roots among the toiling masses of workers and peasants. At the same time, it had gained national prominence as having a significant mass following among the educated youth, including students, young teachers and other professionals.
In the entire second half of the 1960s, the KM spearheaded the mass movement on national issues as well as on international issues, especially the US war of aggression against Vietnam. After the CPP was founded in 1968, it could exercise effective leadership in the mass movement immediately. Thus it directed the upsurge of the open mass movement in 1969, the First Quarter Storm of 1970 and the further protest mass movement up to September 21, 1972 when Marcos proclaimed martial law and imposed fascist dictatorship on the people.
Since its founding, the CPP has exerted efforts to recruit its members from the various types of mass organizations and create Party groups within them at every level. It also formed Party organizations within factories, institutions and in urban and rural communities. When the CPP founded the NPA, it constituted this under the absolute leadership of the CPP through the Central Committee, Political Bureau and Military Commission. At the same time it built the Party organization within the NPA at every level.
The CPP is now in a position to increase its membership from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands in keeping with its increasing responsibilities. It has successfully built itself in all 18 regions of the Philippines and has also created regional operational commands of the NPA in 17 regions. It has encouraged the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and all its 18 allied organizations to build themselves as underground revolutionary mass organizations. These are different from the legal mass organizations of BAYAN and other legal national democratic alliances.
At various stages in the organizational development of the CPP, various regional party organizations have gained national prominence because of the conspicuous strength of the revolutionary masses and the victorious NPA tactical offensives under CPP leadership. Central Luzon, particularly Tarlac, stood out in 1969 onwards; Cagayan Valley, particularly Isabela from 1971 onwards; Southern Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Bicol provinces from 1972 onwards, Western Visayas, particularly Panay and Negros islands from 1973 onwards; Ilocos-Montañosa-Pangasinan region, particularly Ifugao from 1974 onwards; and Eastern Visayas, particularly Samar, and Mindanao from 1975 onwards.
The various regional Party committees can sum up their respective historical experiences to show how the Party, NPA and the united front began and expanded in their respective areas and nationwide. They can narrate their relations with the Party Central Committee and the experience of having inter-regional commissions and cooperation to relieve or lessen the burden of the Central Committee in dealing with regional committees.
The CPP central leadership has made sure that stronger regional Party organizations serve as a base for assisting weaker regional Party organizations in terms of education, training, competent cadres and commanders and resources. It has always tried its best to give direction to any part of the revolutionary movement under concentrated enemy attack to solve its own problems and to urge other regional Party organizations to intensify their own offensives in order to relieve the comrades under attack in other regions and to make the enemy pay dearly for its attacks in other regions.
The CPP has been alert to and has overcome the occurrences of bureaucratism, sectarianism and ultra-democracy. Centralized leadership and the hierarchy of leading organs are respected but the CPP criticizes and repudiates the imposition of sheer authority without a basis in facts and reasoning laid out through the democratic process. The CPP also eschews sectarianism, which is merely in the interest of the entirety or part of the Party, without due consideration of the legitimate interests of other political forces and the broad masses of the people. The CPP shuns ultra-democracy, liberalism and anarchy because these break the unity and discipline needed to strengthen the ranks of the revolution and confront the enemy,
Despite its great organizational achievements, the CPP can improve its work and style of work. Prolonged and delayed meetings have adverse consequences and detract attention from the prompt solution of problems. When a higher level of leadership engages in prolonged and delayed meetings, lower levels tend to follow the style and thus so much time for revolutionary work is lost. The most thoroughgoing meetings, with the best of possible conclusions and documents, can also be ineffective if the leading organ concerned does not issue the needed urgent directives on the basis of current circumstances and developments between such meetings.
The CPP is organizationally strong because it builds on its previous strength and seriously examines its organizational errors and shortcomings which it is ever determined to criticize and rectify. The current strength of the CPP in the tens of thousands can move up to the level of hundreds of thousands. These are needed to respond to the growing demand for Party cadres for various types of work in the revolutionary struggle. The previous stock of Party cadres and members is the base for the expansion of the Party in consonance with the accelerated advance of the revolution.
There is nothing arcane or too complicated for leading Party organs and specific units to plan and carry out the expansion of the Party membership. The field for recruitment is the mass movement. A mass activist becomes a Party candidate-member by accepting the Party Constitution and Program and becomes a full Party member by the time he or she finishes the basic Party course of education. The Party has competent and conscientious political instructors. Study materials are in print and audio-visual forms that are available to people with various levels of prior formal education. Education and mass work ensure the high quality and durability of Party membership.
The ideological and political education and work of all Party members and candidate-members can be accelerated and amplified. More Party educators can be trained and put to work in coordination with the accelerated recruitment of Party candidate members from the mass movement. The Party can take full advantage of the available technology to produce educational materials that are printed and audio visual.
As early as 1969, the CPP central leadership authorized the formation of the US Committee to build the CPP and mass organizations among Filipinos in the US. By 1971 the delegation of the Central Committee of the CPP was based in Beijing in order to relate to the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and to connect with proletarian revolutionary parties and national liberation movements on a world scale. In 1976 the CPP supported the establishment of NDFP offices in Europe and the Asia-Pacific in order to organize the overseas contract workers and resource centers as well as form solidarity organizations with the host people.
The CPP and NDFP have been successful in their international work. They have been instrumental in forming organizations of migrant Filipino workers, resource centers on the Philippines and solidarity organizations with the host peoples in many countries. They have initiated as well as joined anti-imperialist and democratic struggles abroad in defense of the rights and welfare of Filipinos and other peoples.
The CPP has a wide range of bilateral relations with other Communist and workers´ parties. These range from comradely relations with Marxist-Leninist parties to friendly relations with anti-imperialist and democratic parties, organizations and movements. The CPP assumed a key role in the building of international communist organizations, such as the international Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations from 1992 onwards and the Brussels Communist Seminar. It has also participated in multilateral conferences and seminars organized by other fraternal parties and revolutionary movements in various countries.
To the extent possible, the CPP has engaged in practical cooperation with other revolutionary parties in order to exchange experiences and views and engage in mutual support and assistance. It has received comrades and friends from abroad who desire to learn first hand the activities of the Philippine revolutionary movement. It has also dispatched CPP representatives and delegations to exchange experiences with and learn from fraternal parties, organizations and movements on their own homegrounds.
The Second Congress of the CPP successfully brought together the leading cadres of the Party from all the regions of the country. These represented the 70,000 members of the CPP. The Congress elected a new Central Committee and Political Bureau for a five-year term. The new central leadership represents the Party’s most advanced cadres and integrates young, middle-aged and senior cadres to ensure the smooth transition of leadership to the next generation.
The Second Congress resolved to honor all the heroes and martyrs of the Central Committee and entire membership of the Party who had served as models of selfless dedication and served the Party to their last breath. It accorded the highest honors to the founding chairman of the CPP as thinker, leader, teacher and guide of the Filipino proletariat and exponent of the international communist movement. It recognized his theoretiical and practical contributions to the Philippine revolution and the international working class movement.
Purpose of Celebration Amidst the People´s War and Crisis of the Ruling System
The Communist Party of the Philippines can proudly celebrate its great achievements in the last 50 years. The celebration can take many forms: accelerated recruitment and development of new Party members, vigorous mass work and intensified tactical offensives, mass meetings, seminars and forums, book publications of archival and timely materials, films on the history and current status of the Party nationwide and in the regions, stage plays and musicals, art exhibits and so on.
The purpose of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the CPP is to take stock of the great achievements of the Party, to honor the entire Party, the revolutionary heroes and martyrs, the Party cadres and members, the Red commanders and fighters, the mass activists and the people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants.
Most importantly, the purpose is to inspire the entire Party, the people´s army , all other revolutionary forces and the people to frustrate and defeat current attempts of the enemy to destroy the revolutionary movement and to win greater victories towards the total victory of the people´s democratic revolution.
The US-Duterte regime is seeking to scapegoat the CPP, NPA and the revolutionary mass movement of the people in order to establish a full blown fascist dictatorship. It is using the most brutal and deceptive tactics in the vain attempt to destroy the revolutionary forces. These tactics used by Oplan Kapayapaan are akin to those used in Oplan Tokhang and Double Barrel.
The barangay officials are coerced to list down suspected revolutionaries in the communities supposedly to make them participate in fake surrenders and to receive payments. The list also serves as a death list because military officers get higher payment for those killed in fake encounters. Like the police in the war on drugs, military officers are turned into butchers and corrupted more than ever before.
The Party, the people´s army and other revolutionary forces exist and operate on a national scale and in depth through clandestinity and countryside basing. The enemy forces do not have the precise knowledge and capability to attack and destroy the revolutionary forces all at once even under martial law and fascist dictatorship. They are liable to rob, abduct, torture and murder many people as they are already doing on an expanded scale.
The people´s army can launch tactical offensives against the increasingly more vulnerable points of the enemy forces whenever these are overstretched and spread thinly in campaigns of suppression. The enemy armed forces does not have enough armed strength to concentrate on and destroy the Party and the people´s army in any region, without those in other regions launching offensives to relieve their comrades in the region under attack..
Whenever one or several guerrilla fronts are the focus of concentrated enemy attacks, they are capable of winning battles of counter-encirclement and the other guerrilla fronts of the same region can intensify their tactical offensives. When the NPA forces in certain regions are under enemy attack, those in other regions can intensify their own offensives and wibn battles..
As of the latest report, 75 of the total 98 maneuver battalions of the reactionary armed forces are concentrated in Mindanao under conditions of martial law. Forty-four battalions are deployed against the NPA areas and 31 against Bangsamoro groups. Meanwhile, the guerrilla fronts in Luzon and the Visayas have even better opportunities for launching and winning offensives against the overstretched 23 maneuver battalions that are deployed against them.
As it has been able to do repeatedly, the NPA can take advantage of gaps in the enemy encirclement operations and conduct counter-encirclement operations and annihilate the vulnerable parts of the enemy forces in Mindanao. The Party and the NPA can use the basic tactics of guerrilla warfare as well as more complex tactics against both the military and police forces of the enemy.
The Party has a strong basis for the confidence in winning greater victories in the battlefield. The more the US-Duterte regime deploys and overstretches its military, police and paramilitary forces against the NPA the more will it make these forces available for NPA tactical offensives and provide opportunities for the NPA to seize weapons and other supplies from these forces.
The combination of wastage of public funds for military equipment and operations, corruption among the officers, unbridled human rights violations and the soaring prices of basic commodities and services are goading more people to join the people´s army and help to hasten the advance of the people´s war for nationwide liberation and democracy against the US-Duterte regime.
The crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system and the world capitalist system is rapidly worsening. It is escalating the conditions of people´s oppression and exploitation and at the same time driving the revolutionary forces and the people to wage revolution. On the basis of the ideological, political and organizational strength that it has already attained, the Party can make bigger strides forward and win greater victories.
So long as the oppression and exploitation of the Filipino people by US imperialism and the local exploiting classes persist, the Communist Party of the Philippines has fertile ground for leading and waging the people´s democratic revolution. As the oppression and exploitation escalate under the US-Duterte regime, the CPP and the Filipino proletariat and people can win ever greater victories in the revolutionary struggle and realize a new Philippines that is truly independent, democratic, prosperous, socially just and progressive in an all-round way.###