28 December 2020
The call for punitive justice and calls to fight the fascist attacks against unarmed activists and civilians in urban areas by Duterte’s death squads dominated the discussions of the forum commemorating the 52nd anniversary celebration of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) held online in Europe last December 26, 2020.
The online forum, which was organized by members of Compatriots (a member organization of the NDFP representing Filipino migrants) and Christians for National Liberation (CNL) in cooperation with the NDFP International Information Office, had as guest speakers Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, founding chairman of the CPP and chief political consultant of the NDFP peace panel, Luis Jalandoni, senior adviser of the peace panel and Coni Ledesma, peace panel member.
Addressing the participants’ pressing call for punitive actions and revolutionary justice for the unrelenting attacks against unarmed activists, peasants and innocent civilians, particularly in the urban areas by the AFP, PNP and Duterte’s death squads, Professor Sison acknowledged that such popular demand is widespread and that the conditions are ripe for the return of armed city partisans to counter the assassinations and impunity by the Duterte regime.
He explained that his observations are based on the 52nd anniversary statement of the CPP and reports published in the CPP’s website.
The increase in the number of guerrilla fronts, the people’s army, peasant struggles and the legal democratic resistance in the urban areas, Professor stressed, are basis enough for small teams of the people’s army to conduct armed partisan operations in the cities to mete out revolutionary justice against Duterte’s terrorist forces based in the urban areas. Because of the presence of many developed guerrilla fronts around many urban centers including the national capital region, the people’s army partisans could easily withdraw to the safety of these guerrilla fronts.
Professor Sison, however, emphasized that this is up to the leadership of the revolutionary movement to decisively undertake. “Experience will be the best teacher on how to do it,” he stated.
He called on the open democratic movement to undertake different forms of legal struggle as the Duterte fascist regime is increasingly isolated and hated by the people, especially an increasing number of the middle classes and the intelligentsia in urban areas as a result of the savagery of Duterte’s death squads against unarmed citizens.
Professor Sison also explained that there is no need for the revolutionary movement to shift to “urban insurrectionism” to deal a fatal blow to the US-Duterte fascist dictatorship, but instead strengthen the existing guerrilla fronts and expand them to prepare for the strategic stalemate, wherein the reactionary AFP and the New People’s Army would have reached a balance of forces.
He added that the number of forces of the people’s army today, based on the reports he had read, is far greater than that in 1986 which was only about six thousand regulars. The rise of younger under 30s red commanders would usher in more daring offensives, he said.
“The mentally and physically deranged Duterte is a far weaker monster who can easily be overthrown, than Marcos,” Sison concluded.
Replying on a question regarding how the movement overseas should respond should the Duterte regime exports its terrorist activities abroad, former NDFP peace panel chairperson Luis Jalandoni maintained that progressives and activists abroad enjoy some protection from the laws of their host countries. But that doesn’t mean, he stressed, that they are completely safe.
“Here in Europe, much is already known about the crimes of Duterte and his regime. That is why there is a case against him in the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the European Parliament issued a strong resolution against the human rights violations of his regime. In addition, the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) which is a third party facilitator to the peace talks is always in close touch with the NDFP peace panel. Even the local police will be able to extend protection to us,” Jalandoni maintained.
“Our strongest shield are our solidarity friends, allies, and the firm support of our compatriots and migrant masses,” Jalandoni emphasized.
Professor Sison further disclosed that there is an assassination team deployed in the Netherlands by the Duterte regime against the NDFP peace consultants and panel members. He said this was revealed to him in March of this year by no less than the Dutch police which advised him to take precautionary measures.
In ending the tyranny of the Duterte regime, there is also a need to strengthen the broad united front even overseas, according to Coni Ledesma. She said Filipinos fighting the fascist regime can learn from the lessons in the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, and the justice and peace movement.
“Even in the face of threats, we should continue and persevere in the struggle. What Duterte wants is for us to be intimidated and silenced. Makibaka, hwag matakot!,” Ledesma concluded.
The forum commemoration was participated in by Filipino activists and allies from many European countries, including the UK.#
Ma. Lourdes Barros
International Information Office
Utrecht, The Netherlands