The NDFP and the Filipino people are waging a just war

Terror-tagging the Filipino armed resistance movement is derogating the people’s inherent right to self-determination

On June 2021, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) arbitrarily and unjustly designated the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as so-called ‘terrorist’ organizations. Contrary to their claim, the armed revolutionary struggle of the Filipino people against the repressive and oppressive governments of the Philippines and US imperialism derives its justness from the universal and inherent right of all oppressed peoples to self-determination. This right to self-determination is enshrined in many international treaties.

Unable to break the determination of the people to fight for self-determination, the US and their lackeys directed its Philippine puppet state to incorporate the CPP, NPA and the NDFP, in their list of so-called terrorists. It also encouraged its imperialist allies in Asia-Pacific and Europe to do the same, in its wish to isolate and demonize the CPP-NPA-NDFP internationally and locally.

Delivering a compelling testimony as an expert witness at the IPT in Brussels, Belgium last May 17-18, Marjorie Cohn, an American legal scholar and political analyst, said that the right of the Filipino people to self-determination is the highest form of international law.

Under international law, the Filipino people have a legal right to resist the repression of the Philippine government, including by the use of armed struggle. A 1982 resolution of the UN General Assembly reaffirmed the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle”, Cohn stated.

The Philippine fascist regime and the US government in their futile effort to deny the Filipino people this right to self-determination have launched a brutal war of aggression employing the violent, treacherous and dirtiest means to this end. Philippine puppet regimes from the time of the Marcos fascist dictatorship up to the current Marcos Jr. fascist regime have embraced and employed the US “counterinsurgency” scheme that has resulted to the grave and heinous violations of IHL.

The US-Marcos regime wishes to deny and revise the revolutionary tradition of the Filipino people who fought against Spanish colonialism and US war of aggression during the Philippine-American war. The CPP-NPA-NDF continue this revolutionary tradition by waging a people’s war for national liberation and democracy against the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.

Since its founding in April 1973, the NDFP has drawn and continues to draw support, inspiration and solidarity from a cross section of Philippine society and from its broad network of friends abroad. In the Philippines, the NDFP represents the most solid alliance of the workers and peasants together with the youth, women, overseas Filipinos, indigenous peoples, Lumad, health professionals, church workers, cultural artists, legal professionals and academics and scientists, and patriotic business entrepreneurs. It has worked and cooperated even with reactionary politicians on issues, programs and activities that advance the people’s rights and welfare, and the national democratic revolution.

During the First Session of the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) on the Philippines held in Antwerp, Belgium in 1980, the US-Marcos fascist dictatorship was found guilty of economic and political crimes against the people and declared the NDFP as the genuine representative of the Filipino people.

The NDFP further enjoys the respect, admiration and support of the international community – some governments, political parties in power, prominent political leaders, and movements from the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Europe, the US and Canada, New Zealand and Australia and the African continent. It is a national liberation movement (NLM) that is admired by other NLMs, whose prestige is recognized alongside the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), the African National Congress (ANC) other NLMs in Africa and Latin America.

The NDFP’s international and domestic recognition, and its revolutionary resilience and determination, from which it derives its status of belligerency, further bolsters the fact that there exist two governments in the Philippines – the US puppet regime based in Manila, and the revolutionary government of the workers and peasants administered by the NDFP’s organs of political power in the countryside.

In her testimony as an expert witness during the recent IPT in May 2024, Julieta De Lima, Chairperson of the Peace Negotiating Panel of the NDFP, explained in full clarity, the NDFP as deserving of the recognition as a government of the Filipino people in the exercise of their right to self-determination. Significant excerpts from that presentation deserve to be amplified here, thus:

The ongoing armed conflict in our country has reached such intensity and scope – – in terms of the frequency and regularity of the armed clashes, the number of armed forces involved, and the systematic and orchestrated abuses and atrocities by the reactionary state on both civilians and combatants – – as to make the application of the rules of war imperative,” added De Lima.

On August 15, 1991, the NDFP issued its Declaration of Adherence to Common Article 3 and Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions formalizing its compliance with international laws governing the rules of war. Furthermore, the NDFP issued its Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol 1 of 1977 on July 5, 1996.

The NDFP has signed bilateral agreements with the GRP in the course of peace negotiations including the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) of March 16, 1998. In addition, the NPA since its founding in 1969 has adopted its own internal protocols including basic rules of discipline which subjects all Red fighters to the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points of Attention which includes the protection of civilians and the humane treatment of prisoners of war.

The NDFP has shown its consistent and long-standing cognizance of the declarations it has issued and agreements it has signed. It is a national liberation movement that truly respects human rights and international humanitarian law. In its campaign to misrepresent and demonize the revolutionary movement as “terrorist”, the US and the GRP both aim to intimidate and pressure the NDFP to capitulate one way or the other.

“Against these, the NDFP asserts its status of belligerency which it has established from decades-long revolutionary armed struggle. The NDFP will always defend and fight for the rights of the exploited toiling Filipino masses in their struggle for national and social liberation and will seek justice everywhere and anywhere,” De Lima concluded.