Message of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines to the Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army
March 29, 2012
On the 43rd anniversary of the New People’s Army, we, the Central Committee and the entire membership of the Communist Party of the Philippines salute the Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army for steadfastly carrying out the revolutionary armed struggle for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes.
We congratulate you for all your victories in striving to advance the people’s war from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate. You have further succeeded in integrating the revolutionary armed struggle with genuine land reform and mass base building. We honor our revolutionary martyrs and heroes for their struggles and sacrifices by intensifying our tactical offensives and punishing the enemies of the people.
The crisis of the world capitalist system has worsened to the point of a prolonged global depression. It will persist for a long while, especially because the imperialist powers cling stubbornly to the neoliberal economic policy and are prone to unleashing state terrorism and wars of aggression. The people of the world are suffering greatly and are resisting. Great disorder and upheavals are shaking many countries in all continents.
The global crisis aggravates the internal rottenness and chronic crisis of the Philippine semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system. The Aquino regime is offering no solution to the crisis but is carrying out antinational and anti-democratic policies that aggravate the crisis. The broad masses of the people are outraged by the escalation of oppression and exploitation.
The crisis conditions in the world and in the Philippines inflict great suffering on the people and drive them to wage all forms of resistance. They are favorable for waging people’s war and for realizing the plan to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate.
I. Global depression, great disorder and people’s resistance
The crisis of the world capitalist system continues unabated and is worsening. An economic depression is devastating the lives of billions of people. The political leaders and business magnates of the imperialist countries continue to aggravate the economic and financial crisis and have failed to revive production and employment and to raise the stagnant rates of national economic growth. The G-8, G-20, the IMF, World Bank and WTO cannot solve the crisis of global capitalism. They merely aggravate it.
They continue to pursue the neoliberal economic policy that has brought about the grave financial and economic crisis. They are blinded by the dogma of the “free market” in a system of monopoly and finance capitalism. They continue to allow the monopoly bourgeoisie to accumulate capital in their hands by every means, reduce wage levels and cut back on social services without minding the destructive consequences to the economy and the people.
The finance oligarchy and the biggest corporations have benefited from huge amounts of bailout money from the state. They continue to rake in superprofits by taking advantage of the high rate of unemployment and raising the rate of exploitation in absolute terms. The failing banks and firms are gobbled up by bigger ones. Thus, the process of capital accumulation is continued by ever bigger and fewer monopoly banks and firms.
In both imperialist and dominated countries, public deficits and public debt have grown as a result of the bailouts, the tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy and the lower tax collection due to the economic depression. Nevertheless, bureaucratic and military expenditures continue to run high.
In reaction to the public debt crisis, the imperialist and dominated states adopt austerity measures by further reducing social services, public sector employment, workers’ wages and pensions. As a result, the economic depression worsens and social discontent spreads. The people are therefore waging various forms of resistance.
The US is at the center of the crisis of monopoly capitalism. It is still the No.1 imperialist power, especially because of its high-tech military power. But it has gone into a significant economic decline, which in a big way undermines its military power. It is no longer the sole superpower as it used to be acknowledged in the decade after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
A multipolar world has arisen as signaled by the expansion of the G-8 into the G-20 as a venue for maneuvers and counter-maneuvers among the capitalist powers. The crisis is fueling intense economic competition and political rivalries among them. They are increasingly at odds over global and regional policies and their tendency to struggle for a redivision of the world is growing. The combination of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) tends to oppose the worst of US impositions.
For a while, the imperialists regarded the full integration of Russia and China into the world capitalist system as the triumphant expansion of capitalism and the death of the socialist cause. But inevitably, the increased number of competing capitalist powers has constricted further the ground for superprofit-taking by the dominant monopoly capitalist powers. It is intensifying inter-imperialist contradictions.
The US and China have been the main economic partners under the neoliberal policy of globalization. But since the outbreak of the financial and economic crisis in 2008, contradictions between them have surfaced despite their continuing collaboration. The US fluctuates between bashing China as a cause of US problems and flattering it as a partner in so many ways.
The US outsourcing of consumer production to China undermines the manufacturing base of the US, contributing to unemployment and causing huge trade deficits. China has used a major part of its export surplus to buy US securities and has thus become the biggest creditor of the US.
The so-called antiterrorist alliance that arose after 9/11 has split. The US-NATO alliance is being countered by China and Russia through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China and Russia have been disadvantaged by the US-instigated wars of aggression and have increasingly contradicted the position of the US over the issues of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Iran, Syria and North Korea.
Despite the growing inter-imperialist contradictions resulting from the worsening crisis of global capitalism, the imperialist powers are still united in exploiting and oppressing the peoples of the world and in dealing with a wide range of issues, including the economic and financial crisis, international trade, global warming and nuclear weapons and poverty, in order to obfuscate the root cause of the problems and further take advantage of the working people.
The crisis of the world capitalist system and the escalation of imperialist plunder and war are goading the proletariat and people to wage various forms of resistance. The global depression has resulted in great disorder and great upheavals. Contradictions among factions of the ruling classes in various countries are intensifying. The broad masses of the people are emboldened to fight for a fundamentally better life and bright future.
In the home ground of the No. 1 imperialist power, the Occupy movement of the 99% against the 1% has spread. More powerful mass protests can be expected to arise against the monopoly bourgeoisie for the loss of jobs and homes, the worsening racial discrimination against people of color and immigrants, the rising fascist currents and the wars of aggression.
In the Euro zone, the public debt crisis is afflicting most countries and is met with austerity measures at the expense of the working people. The working class, the youth, women and other people have responded with general strikes and protest rallies on a wide scale, especially in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Working class parties and progressive mass organizations are resurgent.
In Japan and South Korea, the proletariat and the people are restless due to the economic stagnation and the rise of unemployment. They are dissatisfied with the policies of one government after another. In Australia and New Zealand, the people are beginning to feel the adverse effects of decreasing exports of agricultural and mineral products.
In China, mass protests among the workers and peasants are increasing in number and frequency, especially against unemployment, land dispossession and corruption. The US is encouraging separatist movements in Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, the so-called democracy movement to demand the casting away of the communist signboard of the regime and the privatization of state-owned enterprises. At the same time, the Maoist forces are demanding a return to the socialist road.
Russia has seemed to stabilize economically and socially under the regime of the Putin-Medvedev tandem. But it is overdependent on the export of oil and other mineral resources. Once more, political instability is arising as a result of popular dissatisfaction as well as sharpening contradictions among the big bourgeois criminal syndicates.
India and the rest of South Asia are a great field of social unrest. People’s war is developing in a big way in India and in a number of territories where the people wish to build their own independent states. In Nepal, the Maoist party has the potential of seizing power at the center or it has to go back to people’s war in the countryside. Maoist parties are striving to carry out people’s war in several South Asian countries.
The long-running armed national liberation movements in the Philippines, Colombia, Peru, Turkey, Kurdistan, Niger Delta and elsewhere are favored by the worsening global and domestic crisis conditions. In many other countries, revolutionary parties of the proletariat are preparing to wage people’s war.
The popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa have resulted in the overthrow of US-supported despotic regimes in such countries as Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen. But the people are frustrated that in each instance, another US-supported reactionary regime takes the place of the previous one. Thus, the trend to carry on the struggle on a revolutionary path against the ruling system is growing.
In Libya, the Gaddafi regime has been overthrown by reactionary forces supported by the US and other NATO powers. But a new national liberation movement is arising. The Western powers also wish to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria in order to pave the way for a war of aggression against Iran. But the Assad regime is resisting and Iran is preparing against aggression.
The most intense armed struggles are now being waged in such countries which have been victims of US-led wars of aggression and occupation as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya. The puppet regimes put up by the US and its imperialist allies are shaking due to internal contradictions as well as the growing armed movements for national liberation.
In Latin America, revolutionary armed struggles are being waged in a number of countries while some governments like Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia assert national independence, nationalize foreign enterprises and provide social benefits to win the support of the broad masses of the people. Under the circumstances, the US can still intervene heavily in such countries as Colombia but cannot impose itself on the whole region without being confronted by strong resistance from the people.
The US has declared recently that it is refocusing its forces on East Asia and will not decrease its military spending and presence in the region. It wishes to counter the so-called rising power of China, further pressure the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and reassert US hegemony over the entire region. It is using its military bases, forward stations and docking facilities in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore as the frontline, supported in depth by US military forces in Hawaii, Guam and Australia.
The US is pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in order to threaten China with economic isolation and pressure it to privatize its state-owned enterprises. It has stirred up tensions in the South China Sea by instigating the Philippine reactionary government to boast of US military support for its claims over certain islands in the Spratlys and by increasing its military presence and the frequency of military exercises and other operations as well as the movement of US aircraft carrier groups in the region.
We can expect the crisis of global capitalism to persist in years to come. The US and other imperialist countries will be afflicted by further crisis. Inter-imperialist contradictions are bound to intensify as a result of the crisis and the drive of every imperialist power to look after its own national and ultranational interests and take part in the struggle for a redivision of the world.
Separately and jointly, the imperialist powers are further oppressing and exploiting the proletariat and the people. In collaboration with their imperialist masters, the reactionary puppet states are escalating the oppression and exploitation of the proletariat and people in the underdeveloped countries.
But the continuation and aggravation of the oppression and exploitation drive the proletariat and people of the world to fight for national liberation, democracy, social justice and all-round development. The Filipino people and their revolutionary forces are benefited by the rising anti-imperialist and communist movements in the world and are encouraged further to make their own contributions to these movements.
II. Ruling system on a course of impending disaster
The semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system is on a course of impending disaster. The crisis of global capitalism violently impacts on the Philippine economy and society. Whatever is its content, the economic growth rate has fallen sharply since 2010. The crisis exposes the bankruptcy and rottenness of the ruling system in economic, social, political, cultural and moral terms.
More than ever before, the political agents of the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords expose their puppet character. The Aquino regime is extremely subservient to US imperialism. It continues to follow the US-instigated neoliberal economic policy in the most beggarly way and open the door further to US military presence and intervention.
The overdependence of the Philippine economy on raw material and semi-manufactured exports is grossly damaging to the people, especially at this time of global depression. Exports of raw materials (agricultural and mineral ores) and low value-added semimanufactures (more than 50% of which is partially processed electronics) are priced lower and yield lesser export income due to falling demand in the global market.
The global demand for overseas contract workers is also in decline. This is due to the worsening crisis abroad, the rising unemployment, the antimigrant currents and uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. The reduction of earnings remittances from overseas contract workers, combined with the mounting trade deficits and debt service, aggravate the already huge deficits in the balance of payments and of current accounts. Foreign borrowing, which now stands at US$63 billion, is bound to increase at ever more onerous terms.
The rate of unemployment is rising. The latest Social Weather Stations survey places it at 24% in contrast to the grossly underestimated 7% of the reactionary government’s Labor Force Survey. The wage income is depressed while the prices of basic goods and services are soaring. The inflation rate is also understated by the reactionary government. The cost of fuel is rising every week and is pushing up the costs of basic goods and services.
Even as the economy is depressed, the tax burden and fees for administrative and social services are being increased. Government revenues are being wasted through relentless bureaucratic corruption and military spending, while such basic social services as education and health are being cut back.
The Aquino regime offers no solution to the worsening economic and social crisis. Under the neoliberal policy, it continues to open the country to the wanton importation of all sorts of consumer goods, especially luxury goods for the exploiting classes. It favors real estate speculation, unrestricted logging, mining and all other kinds of activities that allow foreign monopoly firms and their big comprador partners to rake in superprofits. It is hostile to the people’s demand for national industrialization and land reform.
The so-called Philippine Development Plan of the current regime is no different from what were in fact anti-development plans of the previous regimes. Its main thrust is to attract foreign investments in huge infrastructure-building projects under the so-called Public-Private Partnership program and to open up the entire country to unbridled plunder and environmental destruction by foreign mining companies.
The regime boasts of an antipoverty program called the Conditional Cash Transfer, which involves doleouts to families (including those of barangay officials and rich peasants) for the purpose of buying the loyalty of certain communities for a short period. This is focused on the guerrilla fronts and is intended to support the so-called counterinsurgency plan, Oplan Bayanihan.
The toiling masses of workers and peasants and even the middle social strata are aggrieved by the widespread loss of jobs, reduction of incomes, deterioration of living and working conditions, glaring social inequity and lack of opportunities. Social unrest is widespread and intensifying.
Mass protest actions are breaking out in factories, urban poor and rural communities and schools. Workers wage strikes and other forms of resistance against capitalist exploitation and state repression. Peasants undertake land occupations, street protests, farm strikes, mass petitions and mass confrontations, as well as illegal and armed actions to fight feudal and semifeudal exploitation, landgrabbing and fascist atrocities. Gigantic mass actions are bound to be launched as the Aquino regime stubbornly refuses to heed the people’s democratic demands. Within the current year or next, the clamor for a people’s uprising will arise, despite efforts of the Aquino regime to divert the attention of the people with anti-Arroyo and anticommunist propaganda.
The broad masses of the people are disgusted by the failure of Aquino to deliver on his electoral promises and his propensity to use publicity and paid poll surveys to distract the people, cover up the criminal acts of the incumbent regime and prettify his image. He has failed to make Arroyo and her accomplices accountable for plunder and human rights violations. Instead, these are worsening under his regime.
The workers and urban poor suffer not only the loss of jobs and incomes but also the demolition of their shanties and communities, without any provision for alternative housing, jobs and other sources of livelihood, in order to make way for real estate and infrastructure projects. The peasant masses suffer ever worsening conditions of feudal and semifeudal exploitation as well as the main brunt of military campaigns of suppression in the countryside.
The hostile attitude of Aquino towards land reform is starkly manifested by the continuing use of force against the peasants and farm workers and his demand for the benefit of his family the prohibitive price of P10 billion for Hacienda Luisita. This is the corrupt ulterior motive for Aquino’s drive to have Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona impeached by the House of Representatives in reaction to the Supreme Court decision to distribute the land to farm workers.
The Philippine social volcano is once more about to explode. A revolutionary mood is widespread among the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the middle social strata. Under the current circumstances, the rival political factions of the exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords are increasingly embroiled in bitter and violent contradictions. A broad range of forces are open to take action against the regime.
At the national level, the contradictions between the pro-Aquino and pro-Arroyo factions are conspicuous in the arrest of former president Gloria M. Arroyo and the impeachment and Senate trial of the Supreme Court chief justice Corona. However, Aquino has so far failed to hold Arroyo and her top accomplices accountable for plunder and gross human rights violations. He is allowing them to keep their ill-gotten wealth and get away with the gravest human rights violations, while he and his own clique take their turn at amassing wealth through bureaucratic corruption and service to imperialist and feudal interests and unleashing violence against the people.
Nevertheless, the Arroyo faction is now trying to rouse up military and police officers previously favored by the Arroyo regime to denounce, discredit and possibly oust the Aquino regime. It is spreading the intrigue that Aquino is poised to appoint the CPP founding chairman to a cabinet position and has already accommodated communists into his government. At the same time, it is accusing him of incompetence and corruption.
Aquino has failed to solve the problems of unemployment, poverty and corruption and is now accountable for aggravating these. His failure to fulfill his electoral promises to the people and even to some of his political allies is bound to incite a broad range of opposition to his regime.
He has also failed to hold Arroyo and her top accomplices to account fully for acts of plunder and gross human rights violations. Despite his slogan of “matuwid na daan” (righteous path), he and his clique are now taking their turn at further enriching themselves through bureaucratic corruption and unleashing human rights violations against the people.
The Aquino regime has paralyzed the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Its presidential adviser on the peace process and its negotiating panel have made clear to the NDFP that they have no interest but to seek the nullification of previous agreements and the capitulation of the revolutionary forces and people.
They have attacked The Hague Joint Declaration by calling it a document of perpetual division. They refuse to comply with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). They have neither investigated, nor made amends for, the extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearance of JASIG-protected consultants. They refuse to release the imprisoned JASIG-protected consultants.
The Arroyo regime was responsible for pressing the Dutch government to arrest the NDFP chief political consultant on trumped-up charges of murder, raid the NDFP International Office and six residences of Filipino refugees, seize documents related to the peace negotiations and destroy computer disks for decrypting files of the holders of the documents of identification. But the Aquino regime now blocks the reconstruction of the documents of identification under the JASIG.
The Aquino regime released more than 400 military prisoners involved in several acts of mutiny during the Arroyo regime. But it continues to hold more than 350 political prisoners who are detained on trumped-up charges of common crimes in violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), especially the Hernandez political offense doctrine.
The current regime does not only condone the human rights violations perpetrated by the Arroyo regime but is committing the same gross violations. Instead of releasing the political prisoners, it is emboldening the military and police forces to engage in more abductions, torture and extrajudicial killings of suspected revolutionaries. The rate at which human rights violations are now being perpetrated by the Aquino regime can surpass the rate of the previous regime.
The Aquino regime is obsessed with carrying out Oplan Bayanihan in line with the US Counterinsurgency Guide to be able to get US military assistance. Oplan Bayanihan seeks to surpass Oplan Bantay Laya in cleverness and psywar by calling military operations “peace and development operations” and violations of human rights “respect for human rights” and at getting more accurate and timely intelligence through so-called civil-military operations.
The Aquino regime is as brutal as the Arroyo regime in carrying out campaigns of military suppression. It approves the gross and systematic human rights violations under the Arroyo regime and pushes the military, police and paramilitary forces to continue with their atrocities. It is increasing the number of political prisoners on the basis of trumped-up charges of common crimes in violation of CARHRIHL.
The Aquino regime is not interested in serious peace negotiations with the NDFP. Within the framework of its Oplan Bayanihan, it considers peace negotiations only as a means to divide and weaken the revolutionary forces while it escalates brutal military campaigns of suppression to “decimate” the armed revolution and suppress the people’s resistance. Unwittingly, it is inciting the people and the revolutionary forces to intensify their armed resistance and to advance the people’s war from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate.
The Aquino regime has also failed in using peace negotiations to hoodwink the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The MILF Central Committee through its Negotiating Panel continues to steadfastly assert the Bangsamoro’s right to self-determination and has opposed and frustrated schemes of the Aquino regime to nullify bilateral agreements already signed, in the same manner that it has attempted to undo its bilateral agreements with the NDFP. The military and police forces of the reactionary government have made provocations against the MILF and have been responsible for major outbreaks of violence. The alliance between the MILF and the NDFP needs to be strengthened further to maximize the benefit of mutual support against a common enemy.
The Aquino regime is extremely subservient to US imperialism. It allows the US to station military forces and build up facilities in the Philippines. It calculates that the US would give allout support for the regime’s campaigns of suppression and for so-called external defense.
The Aquino regime collaborates with the US in stirring up tensions over the Spratlys issue in order to allow the latter to entrench itself militarily in the Philippines. It engages in anti-China provocations and tries in vain to make the people believe that the US would side with the Philippines against China in case of war. It obscures the fact that the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty has no automatic retaliation clause and that the US has far larger interests in its relations with China than with the Philippines.
The revolutionary forces and people must be alert to the increasing US military intervention in the Philippines in connection with US support for the reactionary government in the civil war as well as in connection with the US scheme to strengthen its hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region.
The revolutionary forces and people must fight to make sure that the US and its puppets ultimately lose all ground to stand on in the Philippines.
III. Status and tasks of the NPA
Under the absolute leadership of the Party, the New People’s Army has scored victories and gained political, military and organizational strength since last year. On the basis of its current strength, it is firmly on the course to realize the plan of advancing the people’s war from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate. The Party is pushing for the summing up of experience, learning positive and negative lessons and carrying out the tasks for gaining strength and for advancing against the enemy forces.
The NPA has a mass base that runs into the millions. It operates in more than 100 guerrilla fronts spread out in 70 provinces nationwide. The guerrilla fronts cover thousands of barrios and extensive areas of several hundred towns and cities. The big fronts cover 60-100 barrios while the small and medium-size fronts cover 40-59 barrios. New guerrilla fronts are now being built at a faster clip and new areas are persistently being reached and developed. Vigorous expansion of guerrilla warfare is an imperative to effectively fight and defeat the enemy’s constriction tactics and bring the people’s war to higher levels.
Red fighters number in the thousands and have increased as a result of continuous recruitment and training programs and intensified tactical offensives. Tactical offensives have yielded weapons for arming more Red fighters and building new combat units.
The broad masses of the people have applauded the NPA for seizing the initiative and successfully launching offensives against the escalating attacks of the reactionary armed forces. The more the enemy forces attack, the more the people’s army must seize the initiative in fighting. Only by maintaining an offensive spirit and developing its initiative can a guerrilla force preserve and strengthen itself against large-scale and prolonged campaigns of encirclement, constriction and suppression by fascist troops.
The enemy concentrates around two battalions against a 15-20 kilometer radius priority target area. To saturate the focus area and attack it in depth, the enemy typically employs more than 200 troops deployed into columns of squads and sections to seek engagement and when contact is made, to rapidly converge through the use of modern communications and superior mobility.
Guerrilla tactics of concentration, dispersal and shifting must be used with discernment and skill in order to avoid the enemy’s strong forces while actively attacking its weak ones, maintain firm leadership and guidance over the masses and revolutionary organizations in the areas under attack to actively resist and persevere in struggle, expand outside the concentration of enemy forces and arouse and mobilize ever wider sections of the masses for the revolution.
Independent operations by guerrilla units are essential to achieve flexibility but correct and firm Party and army leadership, planning and command at the regional, subregional and front levels are crucial. Correct and timely assessments of the political and military situation and correct and timely alignment of the tasks, disposition and principal and secondary directions of efforts are critical. Strengthening front and interfront planning, command and coordination are acutely needed for greater maneuverability, flexibility and initiative.
Subregional and provincial guerrilla war theaters or areas composed of three to five guerrilla fronts are being developed with a complete force structure of subregional, front and local forces down to the militia and barrio self-defense corps, as well as partisan or sparrow units for special operations in urban centers. These guerrilla theaters take into consideration and full advantage of favorable terrain in inter-provincial boundaries, combination of mountainous and flat terrain, water systems, linkages with nearby or adjoining guerrilla areas, and political centers. Geographical divisions of these war areas shift depending on the changes in the military situation in the area.
The subregional and front forces in a well-developed guerrilla theater can grow into battalion to oversize battalion strength complemented by brigade strength of militia units and barrio self-defense corps. The subregional forces serve as the rallying point for dispersed front units and enhance the offensive posture in varying capacities of front forces, militia units and barrio self-defense corps. The Oplan Bayanihan forces conducting prolonged and intensive military sweeps and attacks concentrating two or more battalions in a small area of focus are repeatedly attacked by different units of the NPA and suffer heavier casualties than they can inflict on the NPA units.
The Party directs the commands of the NPA at various levels to make timely reports in the revolutionary press on victories in tactical offensives. The people and revolutionary forces are always eager to read about the victories of the NPA in Ang Bayan and other revolutionary publications, as well as see and view images and video footage of their work distributed over the internet or in video disks.
The people welcome the nationwide attacks of the people’s army on mining, logging and plantation enterprises that grab the land, ravage the environment and ruin agricultural fields and other means of livelihood of the indigenous people and the peasants. The recent successful NPA operations against three large mining companies in Surigao and against the Sumitomo plantation inspire the people and revolutionary forces nationwide.
The NPA is highly conscious of genuine land reform as the main content of the democratic revolution and as the way to arouse, organize and mobilize the poor peasants and farm workers as the main force of the revolution. Together with the local Party branches and the peasant associations, NPA units are carrying out the minimum land reform program in most areas and the maximum land reform program wherever this is possible.
The minimum land reform program involves reducing land rent, eliminating usury, raising wages of farm workers, setting fair farm-gate prices and promoting agricultural and sideline production. The people’s army stands in support of the peasant masses who demand such land reform and ensures that the pertinent laws of the people’s democratic government are followed.
The maximum land reform program involves land confiscation or restitution, free land distribution, and providing technical, financial and other kinds of support for land reform beneficiaries. Together with the peasant masses, the people’s army is the decisive force for realizing the agrarian revolution.
The NPA has expanded and consolidated the revolutionary mass base in the guerrilla fronts by building organs of political power, the mass organizations and the local branches of the Party. These revolutionary forces are responsible for civil governance and allow the NPA to move freely in order to fight the enemy and open new areas. All Red commanders and fighters strongly desire the development of the guerrilla fronts as preparation for building relatively stable base areas.
The organs of political power are supported by the mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth, cultural activists and children and are assisted by working committees on mass organizations, public education, land reform, production, health, defense, cultural affairs, arbitration and others as may be deemed necessary. Local Party branches lead the local organs of political power.
The NPA is augmented, complemented and supported in the localities by tens of thousands of people’s militia personnel as local police forces and hundreds of thousands of able-bodied men and women in the mass organizations. These auxiliary forces carry out functions of internal security and basic politico-military training and therefore allow the NPA units to move freely and perform functions over a wide area.
Although the people’s militia, which ranges in size from a squad to a platoon per barangay, is essentially for local police work, the NPA trains militia teams to conduct surveillance and certain offensive operations against the enemy.The organs of political power and the mass organizations are an effective network for observing and reporting the movements and activities of enemy forces. Units of the people’s militia, together with defense committees and self-defense units play an important role in developing extensive local guerrilla warfare.
But to perform effectively its key role of destroying the enemy and thereby strengthening the revolutionary movement, the NPA must rely on the Party and the people and must do mass work and conduct politico-military training of its units. There is ample time in the ongoing five-year plan for the NPA to bring the people’s war to the threshold of the strategic stalemate.
The Party considers the NPA as the key force for advancing the people’s war from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate. In our message to the people’s army last year, we declared that we should strive to realize such advance within five to ten years. But big opportunities for a far more accelerated advance abound as a result of the rapidly intensifying crisis of the ruling system. To prepare the revolutionary forces and position them well to seize such opportunities, we should double our efforts in strengthening the people’s army and other revolutionary forces in ideological, political, organizational, military and economic terms.
The advance depends upon how the subjective forces of the revolution expand and consolidate themselves, reach out to and mobilize an unprecedented number of people and how the enemy forces react. Amid the sharp worsening crisis of the ruling system, the people demand and seek a great advance in their revolutionary struggles.It is absolutely necessary for the revolutionary forces to put forward the call for the advance because the people demand a clear view of what is to be accomplished next on the solid basis of the current strength of the revolutionary forces.
The Party takes the lead in ensuring that the political prerequisites for the advance are realized in both urban and rural areas. The forces led by the Party must militate the people and muster their revolutionary mood. The urban-based legal mass movement must be strengthened in order to make loud and clear the people’s clamor for revolutionary change and in order to discredit, weaken and isolate the enemy. The peasant mass movement must be strengthened in order to unleash widespread agrarian mass struggles across wide swaths of the countryside. The rural-based armed revolutionary movement plays the key role in destroying the enemy forces and increasing the guerrilla fronts to serve as the basis for the emergence of relatively stable base areas in the near future.
The senior cadres of the Party and the people’s army who are now beyond the age of 60 years are elated that the rank and file of the Party and the people’s army are continuously rejuvenated and reinvigorated by a great inflow of young men and women and that the overwhelming majority of young cadres are tempered in people’s war. There should be conscious efforts to promote more and more young cadres and commanders to the second line of the Party’s leading committees and the NPA’s command structure. In doing so, Party and NPA leaders can develop their eventual replacements, delegate more and more tasks and devote more time to summings-up and other ideological tasks crucial to the qualitative advancement of the revolution. Ideological and organizational work must be intensified to urge and prepare large numbers of cadres and activists especially from among the youth to go the countryside and volunteer for the people’s army.
The rapid growth of the people’s army on the basis of a wide and deep mass base is necessary if we are to advance to the next higher strategic level within the current decade and complete the people’s democratic revolution in good time afterwards. The Party must ensure that young cadres with a good grasp of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism are assigned to the people’s army and gain experience and competence in waging the highest form of revolutionary struggle.
The Party cadres and Red commanders must work together closely in planning political-military training and tactical offensives. Party recruitment and education must be conducted within the people’s army. Because the Red fighters are always together in the same unit, the proportion of Party members among them should be high and may even be in the majority. Even when the people’s army is in a process of rapid expansion, it is possible to maintain the ratio of 50-50 between Party members and non-members.
Red fighters as well as peasants and farm workers in the mass organizations must be admitted as Party candidate members upon their acceptance of the Party constitution and program and upon the recommendation of Party full members or Party groups. The candidate members should be sworn in as full members within six months during which they undergo basic Party education and comply with their duties in the units to which they belong.
The Party within the people’s army initiates and directs the formation of the organs of political power and mass organizations within their areas of responsibility and in expansion areas. We must provide the necessary training, tasking and guidance for these forces to stand and grow on their own in the spirit of trusting and relying on the masses. The local Party branch can easily arise upon the existence of the organs of political power and the mass organizations.
The NPA has various functions: political-military training, combat, mass work, production and cultural work. But the main function that distinguishes it from all other revolutionary forces is its capability to wage armed struggle. It is responsible for annihilating the enemy military forces and laying the ground for establishing Red political power.
The people’s army must launch tactical offensives that it is sure of winning. For this purpose, it must apply flexible tactics and use various types and sizes of armed formations, including small teams, squads, platoons and companies. The main objective is to wipe out enemy units and seize weapons so that more units of the people’s army can be formed. The people’s army must seize several thousand more high-powered rifles and other weapons from the enemy.
But it is also necessary to carry out operations to damage and weaken the enemy. Small teams can be trained and employed to use AMFO (ammonium nitrate fuel oil) bombs, plastic bombs, TNT and incendiaries, including the modest cigarette lighter, to destroy target objects such as military vehicles, facilities, fortifications and other fixed structures. Land mines, sniping and grenade throwing can be employed to impede enemy troop movement or harass any encamped force and gasoline bombs to destroy fuel depots, motor pools and military planes and helicopters. Units of people’s militias and self-defense forces are also encouraged to employ indigenous weaponry such as punji-spiked booby-traps, produce explosives from unexploded munitions of the enemy and make use of local tactics in combination and coordination with the full-time formations of the NPA.
It is important to demoralize and disintegrate the enemy forces in various ways. The Party and the NDFP must encourage officers and men of the enemy military and police to study and understand the line of the people’s democratic revolution. Party members must be assigned to cultivate relatives and friends within the military and police to form secret patriotic groups and to support any alliance that arises against the antinational, anti-democratic and corrupt policies and practices of the ruling clique.
In this regard, the NPA maintains its policy of lenient treatment of captured enemy troops in accordance with its rules of discipline, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Protocol I of 1977. Such a policy takes into account the fact that most enemy troops come from the peasantry and working class. It lays the ground for future mass surrenders, mutinies and defections to the side of the revolution, especially when the people’s army succeeds in destroying large numbers of enemy units.
The NPA has consistently released military, police and other security forces of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) humanitarian reasons. This is in stark contrast to the GPH policy and practice of torture and extrajudicial killings of captured NPA hors de combat, or treating them inhumanely under indefinite detention after charging them with trumped-up criminal offenses in violation of its own jurisprudence, the CARHRIHL and international humanitarian law.
The power of the landlord class must be destroyed in the rural areas. The prime targets are the big landlords with political power and who are hostile to the revolutionary forces and unwilling to give way even to the minimum land reform program. Efforts must be undertaken to prevent them from further exploiting the peasants, to break up their feudal property and power and to punish those with blood debts.
There may, however, be some big landlords who accept land reform, especially the minimum program and agree to participate in national industrialization. The middle and small types of landlords can be persuaded more easily to agree to land reform, especially when like the big landlords, they see the growing strength of the peasant movement and the people’s army. Such strength becomes conspicuous when the NPA wipes out more enemy units and overthrows the despotic landlords.
The broad masses of the people strongly demand the arrest, trial and punishment of the landlords with blood debts, all the human rights violators, the plunderers, ringleaders of criminal syndicates in drugs, human trafficking and cattle-rustling and operators of enterprises that ruin the environment, agriculture and livelihood of the people. The just exercise of the people’s power will continue to strengthen the revolutionary movement and weaken the ruling system.
Destroying the power of the landlord class and rendering its running dogs ineffective are necessary for establishing relatively stable base areas. Certain enterprises may be dismantled, such as those that grab land from the peasants and indigenous people, limit the land for land reform, destroy the environment and agriculture, export non-renewable resources, prevent industrialization or engage in extreme exploitation of the workers. These include plantations, mining and logging enterprises that produce for export.
Like its predecessor Arroyo regime, the Aquino regime is promoting and protecting these antipeople enterprises. These use the military, police, paramilitary forces and private security agencies to guard their holdings. Special attention must be given to attacking and disarming these armed personnel as often as necessary until they are eliminated, together with the enterprises that they protect.
The rural mass base of the armed revolution must be built in accordance with the policy of the antifeudal united front. The Party and the working class rely mainly on the poor peasants and farm workers, win over the middle peasants, neutralize the rich peasants and take advantage of the splits among the landlords in order to isolate and destroy the power of the big despotic landlords. The antifeudal united front is within the context of the national united front.
Under the national united front policy, the Party and the working class rely mainly on the basic alliance of the workers and peasants, combine the toiling masses with the urban petty bourgeoisie to form the basic forces of the revolution, win over the middle bourgeoisie in forming the alliance of patriotic forces and take advantage of the splits among the reactionaries by having temporary and unreliable allies in order to isolate and destroy the power of one reactionary regime after another of the big compradors and landlords.
Because of its antinational and anti-democratic policies and actions, which aggravate the crisis of the ruling system, the Aquino regime is bound to be further discredited and isolated. The suffering people will rise up against their extreme oppression and exploitation. The rivals of the Aquino ruling clique will escalate their opposition. The Filipino people and the revolutionary forces can avail of the broad united front in order to further isolate and oust the Aquino ruling clique from power.
We must maintain and further develop our relations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other revolutionary forces of the Moro people. We must respect the Moro people’s right to self-determination. We can and must coordinate with them in destroying the strength of the enemy. We must persist in weakening the enemy forces by forcing them to fight on two distant fronts in the north and in the south.
We must be alert to increasing US military intervention. The US interventionists are engaged in inter-operability with their puppet troops in psywar, intelligence gathering and combat operations. They use all sorts of sham humanitarian missions such as civic action, disaster response, relief work, road building and medical aid as a pretext for carrying out psywar and intelligence gathering operations. They also use electronic instruments, drones and other high-tech military devices and equipment in coordination with their Filipino puppet troops. We must assert and defend the sovereignty of the Filipino people and the territorial integrity of the Philippines.
We must do well our work in drawing support for the people’s war from our compatriots overseas, especially the migrant workers who have been driven to leave their families and seek employment abroad because of poverty and underdevelopment in our country. They are outraged by the reactionary government’s policy of extortion, neglect of their welfare and needs, ignoring their pleas for assistance, and misuse of their foreign exchange earnings.
We must also seek international solidarity and support for the Filipino people and the Philippine revolution from peoples and various forces abroad. We must welcome and support the resurgence of the anti-imperialist movement of peoples and the international movement of communist and workers’ parties.