The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) gives its firmest salute and extends its most militant revolutionary greetings to the Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army as we celebrate today the joyous occasion of the 54th anniversary of the genuine army of the Filipino people. Let us exalt the achievements and victories of the people’s army accumulated through more than five decades of steadfastly waging revolutionary armed struggle across the entire archipelago. Today, the Party and all revolutionary forces reaffirm the commitment to fight and end the US imperialist rule and attain genuine freedom and democracy.
On this occasion, let us pay tribute to the hundreds of heroes and martyrs of the people’s army and extol them as models of patriotism and wholehearted service to the people. The people’s war could not have advanced and persevered without their individual and collective contributions and ultimate sacrifice. Their names are etched in the annals of the Filipino people’s revolution and will forever be remembered.
The New People’s Army has incessantly waged more than five decades of intense and relentless people’s war against US imperialism and its oppressive client-state of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords. This is testimony to the iron will and determination of the Filipino people to do everything humanly possible to put an end to four centuries of uninterrupted colonial subjugation and semicolonial domination that has oppressed and exploited countless generations of toiling people in the country, and which continue to condemn them to a permanent state of crisis and hardship.
From its small beginnings, the NPA has become a nationwide force of several thousand Red fighters. Although it remains small and weak compared to the US-trained and -funded puppet Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), its unbending loyalty and boundless ties to the broad masses of peasants, workers and toiling people, combined with the correct leadership of the Party guarantees its continuous growth and ultimate victory.
The NPA is the most powerful weapon of the Party for waging the people’s democratic revolution. It carries out protracted people’s war along the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside. By adapting to the particular conditions of the country, it has achieved great successes in carrying out guerrilla warfare, building guerrilla zones and base areas, and establishing Red political power covering vast areas in the countryside. Day by day, the seeds of the future people’s democratic government are sown in thousands of villages across the country, existing side by side with and antithesis to the present reactionary and fascist government.
The NPA faces heavier and greater tasks ahead. We need to surmount and defeat the intensified campaigns of encirclement and armed suppression being carried out by the US puppet army. We must continue to accumulate strength by smashing the AFP part by part in order to bring the people’s war from its current level to the next higher level. The Party and NPA remain fully determined to carry forward the people’s war to victory.
Given the objective conditions, there are clear prospects for a new period of revolutionary surge in the Philippines. The Party’s cadres and the Red fighters of the NPA are unwavering in their revolutionary commitment and are certain to surmount all obstacles, frustrate the enemy’s brutal campaigns of suppression and gain even further strength in the coming years. The Communist Party of the Philippines is ever determined to lead the New People’s Army to stir up and spread the flames of guerrilla warfare by way of advancing the protracted people’s war.
The Party continues to lead the people’s war
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) established the New People’s Army in March 29, 1969 to accomplish the central task of the people’s democratic revolution in the Philippines of smashing reactionary state power, seizing political power from the US imperialists and the subservient ruling classes of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords and replacing it with the People’s Democratic Government of the Philippines which is an alliance of workers, peasants and all oppressed and exploited classes under the leadership of the proletariat.
The people’s army has accumulated countless victories and achievements over the past 54 years of waging revolutionary armed struggle. It has gained invaluable experience and lessons in advancing the protracted people’s war in a small archipelagic country whose countryside is so vast in relation to the cities but fragmented into so many islands. We must lay out the plans for carrying forward the armed revolution to higher levels. In order to do so, we must assiduously study and apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, reaffirm the basic principles laid out by the Party for waging people’s war in the Philippines, and draw and firmly grasp the lessons drawn from our victories, as well as setbacks.
The NPA wages protracted people’s war following the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside. Starting weak and small, it is necessary for the NPA to wage widespread guerrilla warfare through a relatively long period of time in order to accumulate strength and build its armed forces across the country by defeating and destroying the enemy’s armed forces piece by piece, until it is capable of moving on the cities from its stable revolutionary bases in the countryside and capturing state power nationwide. During the protracted period of growth, the people’s war may go through three probable stages—the strategic defensive, strategic stalemate and strategic offensive—through which the revolutionary forces will undergo the probable course of development from being inferior, to being equal and ultimately superior to the enemy’s forces.
When it was founded in 1969, the NPA had an initial force of 60 Red fighters and commanders with nine automatic rifles, 26 single-shot rifles and handguns, and a mass base of around 80,000 in the first district of Tarlac province. By waging widespread guerrilla warfare, the flames of the people’s war spread throughout the country. It currently has thousands of Red fighters armed with high-powered rifles, explosives which it fabricates from readily available material, and other basic weapons that combine with bolos, arrows, spears and all kinds of weapons in the hands of the people that can be used for guerrilla operations. It has a mass base running to several million people throughout the country. So long as we adhere to correct strategy and tactics, we shall continue to grow big and strong.
The NPA has fought indefatigably over the past 54 years. Although it has grown by leaps and bounds, the balance of forces remains overwhelmingly in favor of the enemy. During this stage of the people’s war, it must continue to establish, expand and consolidate its guerrilla fronts, build guerrilla platoons and companies, combined with even greater numbers of people’s militia units and supported by tens of thousands of village self-defense corps. The task is to wage extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base.
The NPA has steadily advanced and surmounted every disadvantage and setback at every historical juncture. It has frustrated the enemy’s campaigns of encirclement and suppression one after another, from Oplan Prophylaxis, Task Force Lawin (Tarlac), Oplan Saranay (Isabela) and succeeding oplans (operation plans) of the AFP during fourteen years of martial law under the Marcos dictatorship, namely, Oplan Katatagan and its prototype, Oplan Cadena de Amor in Southern Tagalog; as well as Oplan Lambat Bitag I and II and the notorious Oplan Thunderbolt in Negros Island under the first Aquino regime; Oplan Lambat Bitag III and IV under the Ramos regime; Oplan Gordian Knot and Oplan Makabayan under the Estrada regime; Oplan Bantay Laya I and II under the Arroyo regime; Oplan Bayanihan under the second Aquino regime; and Oplan Kapayapaan and Oplan Kapanatagan from the Duterte regime to the present Marcos regime.
With every campaign, the enemy has invariably combined psywar, intelligence and combat operations in order to destroy the mass base of the people’s army and force its units into a purely military situation where the enemy can take full advantage of its superiority in numbers, weaponry and equipment. Then and now, the enemy has deployed a few thousand fascist troops to concentrate and capture an area covering one or several guerrilla fronts of the NPA at any given time. However, he can only do so by leaving open wider areas where the NPA can shift, carry out mass work, mount tactical offensives and create points of initiatives in conducting political and military struggle.
The key has always been for NPA units to constantly expand and deepen its links with the broad masses of peasants in order to have sufficient berth for guerrilla maneuvers. With the active resistance of the organized masses, and screening their guerrilla forces, we can foil the enemy’s attempt to concentrate his forces on our small forces, render him blind and deaf, and make him waste energy and resources by letting him punch the air, thereby exhausting himself. The Party and the NPA arouse, organize and mobilize the masses in the countryside to wage antifeudal and political struggles against fascism and imperialist plunder, and build and train people’s militia in waging guerrilla warfare of the people to hit the enemy on all sides and make it bleed from a thousand cuts.
The preservation and nationwide growth of the NPA through more than five decades of fighting clearly proves the correctness of the strategy and tactics set forth by the Party for waging protracted people’s war in the Philippines. We have taken into consideration the physical and social terrain of the country, and how it is possible and necessary to wage people’s war starting in the predominantly agrarian and backward countryside where majority of the Filipino people are.
We saw the steady growth of the NPA during its nascent years. It succeeded in defeating the first US-Marcos regime’s “nip in the bud” campaigns by fiercely waging guerrilla warfare and persevering efforts to carry out political and military mobilization of the people.
The Party has succeeded in forging a highly disciplined, motivated and self-reliant people’s army. By building the NPA across the country, first in the major islands, and later in other smaller islands, we have overcome the initial disadvantage of fighting in a small archipelagic country and turned it into our advantage. We have compelled the enemy to divide its forces and spread it across different islands. We have overcome the initial difficulty of having a small vulnerable force by taking hold of key mountainous terrain along border areas covering several provinces and later expanding to the populated rolling hills and plains. In doing so, we have compelled the enemy to spread its forces thin across the expansive countryside.
Ensconced with the support of the population of national minorities and poor settlers, the NPA has effectively utilized to its advantage the mountainous terrains with deep forest cover and mountain ranges as physical base for training, consolidation, planning and springboard for carrying out propaganda, organizing and mobilization in the more populated areas in foothills, plains, riverside communities, coastal areas and town centers in bordering provinces.
Through the policy of centralized leadership and decentralized operations, the Party and NPA have produced regional, subregional and front cadres and commanders of high quality. They are fully capable of leading revolutionary forces under their scope, and sustain operations even if the enemy chooses to concentrate on their areas.
The NPA has preserved and grown its forces. From armed propaganda teams, squads and small guerrilla units, it has built platoons and companies, and established up to 128 guerrilla fronts across the entire country. The NPA has been able to effectively command and coordinate its guerrilla units up to the regional level, and has mounted coordinated campaigns against the enemy at the national level.
While the NPA expanded and grew rapidly in the 1980s, some renegades undermined the basic principles and analysis of the Party, including the basic strategy and tactics of people’s war. They perverted the analysis of semicolonial and semifeudal system in the Philippines, claiming that the Philippines had become more urbanized than rural uncritically using government statistics. They promoted the myth that the Philippines had become capitalist under Marcos through his the so-called “11 industrial projects,” obscuring the fact that the economy remained largely agrarian, backward and pre-industrial. These laid the basis for setting aside the basic principles of people’s war, and pushing the line of “urban insurrectionism” supported and combined with the premature regularization of the NPA and mounting unsustainable offensives in a military adventurist push in 1983-1984 and 1987-1988.
Up to 36 companies and two battalions of full-time fighting units of the NPA were formed first in Mindanao, and later nationwide, which caused the drastic reduction in the number of units devoted to mass work, and contraction of the mass base and areas covered by guerrilla fronts. The comprehensive tasks of platoons and squads of the NPA, local militia units and mass organizations were undermined, as they were reduced to function as service units of overconcentrated NPA companies. The mass base became narrow and shallow. The NPA companies won dramatic but mostly pyrrhic military victories, ultimately proving temporary. They overpowered enemy hard targets at high costs. These victories would soon lose their luster as the NPA played into the hands of the enemy, who soon after, deployed far larger forces against concentrated NPA units, which had become vulnerable due to the reduction of the mass base. The enemy pushed the concentrated NPA companies to positions of isolation and passivity, and unleashed a campaign of brutal suppression against the mass base, the local Party branches and mass organizations.
The Party, the NPA and other revolutionary forces suffered unprecedented setbacks as a result of military adventurism combined with urban insurrectionism. This was made worse by hysteria created by campaigns to root out enemy “deep penetration agents” who supposedly crept en masse into the ranks of the Party, the NPA and the revolutionary mass organizations, and to which military losses were erroneously attributed to. These include the disastrous Kampanyang Ahos in Mindanao and similarly disastrous campaigns in other regions, in which hundreds of Party cadres, Red fighters and activists were tortured and murdered by the militarist renegades based on flimsy grounds and without judicious process of evaluation of evidence and fair trial. As a result of these unprecedented losses, the revolution was set back to the 1984 level.
The Second Great Rectification Movement (1992-1998) was launched by the 10th plenum of the Central Committee to rectify the errors of military adventurism and urban insurrectionism and reaffirm the Party’s basic principles, its correct analysis of the semicolonial and semifeudal character of Philippine society, its program for a people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war and its anti-revisionist stand. It raised the theoretical knowledge and grasp of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism through a study movement and campaign to sum-up experiences and clarify the comprehensive revolutionary tasks. Brilliant victories were achieved in the ideological, political and organizational fields which allowed the Party and all revolutionary forces to strengthen steadily, solidly and in all-rounded way.
The Party set the line of waging extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. The NPA redeployed its units to put stress on mass work and recovery of lost territory, boldly expand and consolidate its mass base.
Strengthened by the rectification movement, the guerrilla fronts of the NPA surmounted the counterinsurgency campaign under the Ramos regime marked by intense psywar and offensive military operations, as well as the nearly ten years of brutal suppression under the Arroyo regime. The revolutionary forces could gain strength even in areas where the enemy mounted offensives. Where the mass base was expanded and deepened, the enemy could not concentrate its forces in one area without leaving wider areas clear for NPA units to shift, to conduct political agitation, organizing and mobilization of the masses and to further strengthen themselves.
Overall, the NPA advanced solidly from 2005 to 2016. In 2009, the Central Committee issued a call to intensify tactical offensives, with the aim of completing the requirements of the middle phase of the strategic defensive and moving to the advanced phase and onto the threshold of the strategic stalemate. The Party held the view that the NPA had the critical mass to accelerate its growth.
The declared aim of the Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan (2010-2016) of crushing the NPA, was frustrated by the NPA, which generally maintained its forces and achieved marked advance in some regions, particularly in Mindanao. At the same time, the people’s army had to contend with the problem of overdispersal of squads or teams in the rush to cover a wide area with a small force. There also arose the opposite problem of self-constriction in which NPA units imposed limits on their areas of operations leading to problems of loss of initiative and military conservatism. There was also grave imbalance where there was rapid growth and advance in some parts, while other parts stagnated and suffered losses.
In 2017, the US directed the AFP to mount sustained campaigns of encirclement and suppression (so-called focused military operations) against NPA units across the country. Prodded by the Trump government in October, then president Rodrigo Duterte declared the CPP and the NPA as “terrorists” in order to allow the US government to funnel largely unaudited funds to the AFP through the Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines under the US State Department’s “overseas contingency operations.” The AFP has since accelerated its “modernization program” prioritizing the purchase of attack helicopters, drones, jet fighters, bombs, howitzers, machineguns, automatic rifles and other weapons for counterguerrilla operations.
At the cost of onerous annual military expenditures, the AFP also further increased the number of its battalions by ten (around 4-5 thousand troops) bringing to 150 the total number of military and police battalions arrayed against the NPA. The AFP’s objective (since Oplan Bayanihan) is to deploy at least one battalion for every NPA guerrilla front in order to saturate the villages suspected of giving the NPA political and material support. (It even has expanded its operations to cover the cities and town centers where workers unions, community associations and university organizations have become targets of political suppression.) Still, even with such large numbers, combat troops of the AFP cannot cover the entire breadth of the area where guerrilla units of the NPA can carry out guerrilla maneuvers, and take the initiative to expand mass work and stage tactical offensives. Enemy troops who occupy these villages have been targets of tactical offensives by NPA platoons and local militia units.
The enemy’s sustained military offensives since 2018 first targeted the regions of Southern Mindanao, Northeast Mindanao, North Central Mindanao (during which the entire Mindanao was placed under martial law), and Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Negros (regions placed under military rule by virtue of Memorandum Order 32). The AFP has unleashed the worst forms of fascist monstrosities against the peasant masses, including grave threats and intimidation, illegal arrests, tortures, rape, wanton destruction of properties, abductions and enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, massacres and coordinated mass murders. Under its so-called “surrender” drive, people are accused and adjudged by the military of supporting the NPA without going through any judicial process. Entire communities are placed under hamlet and subjected to state terrorism. Fascist troops of the AFP turn community halls, clinics, sport facilities and other civilian facilities into their barracks; impose curfews, food and economic blockades and other restrictions causing grave hardships on the people; and carry out artillery and aerial bombing near population centers, farms and forests.
The AFP’s five year campaigns of encirclement and suppression have largely failed to attain its declared objective of crushing the NPA. In some regions, the NPA was able to sustain or increase the number of Red fighters, and continue to carry out tactical offensives against the enemy’s fascist troops. Some regions or guerrilla fronts suffered from losses or significant setbacks primarily due to internal weaknesses and shortcomings.
The Party leadership has issued the call to sum-up experiences of the past five and 25 years in order to draw important lessons in carrying forward the people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. Cadres of the Party ang NPA Red fighters are earnestly studying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, basic documents of the Party including Our Urgent Tasks, Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War, Rectify Errors and Rebuild the Party, Reaffirm Our Basic Principles and Rectify Errors and others, in order to identify the ideological, political and organizational root causes of some problems in a number of regions.
Over the past 54 years, the enemy has mounted one campaign of encirclement and suppression after another marked by the same pattern of attacks against the mass base (“clear-hold-consolidate”) in order to isolate and force the units of the people’s army into a purely military situation. The scale, tempo and tactics of these campaigns changes over time but the basic pattern remains.
On the other hand, the New People’s Army has repeatedly demonstrated its capability to frustrate the enemy’s military campaigns and emerge stronger through the application of guerrilla warfare tactics of dispersal, shifting and concentration. To elude the enemy’s encirclement, the main body of an NPA unit can retreat, deploy teams to snipe or lay an ambush against attacking enemy columns, and shift to expand its areas of mass work. While the enemy encamps and occupies an area, NPA and local militia units study the deployment and pattern of operations of the enemy’s operating units to identify its weak points (supply lines, perimeter guards, patrol units) against which it can stage tactical offensives. People’s militia units, on their own or in combination with NPA units carry out widespread guerrilla operations in the enemy’s rear or punitive actions by partisan and special operations units against enemy installations, units or personnel. At the same time, the NPA’s command at the regional or subregional level can coordinate NPA units in other guerrilla fronts to mount timely tactical offensives to help the guerrilla fronts under siege, and to strengthen themselves.
In summing-up our experiences, particularly during the last five years, we must be guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the universal principles of guerrilla warfare, as well as the strategy, tactics and specific lessons which we have drawn and summed-up from our own experience over the past five decades of waging protracted people’s war. We must identify and overcome our weaknesses, shortcomings and errors which have limited our capability in waging extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare during the past several years; impeded our efforts in combining armed struggle, agrarian revolution and mass base building; as well as hindered the push to raise the level of the revolutionary mass movement both in the cities and countryside.
In particular, we must comprehensively address and root out the following clearly observable problems within the scope of waging revolutionary armed struggle: (a) self-constriction of some NPA units, (b) mountain stronghold mentality and roving rebel band tendency in others, (c) inability of some guerrilla fronts to expand to the more populous foothills, plains, riverside and coastal communities, (d) low rate of annihilative or basic tactical offensives, (e) reduction in the number of firearms seized from the enemy, (f) slow pace in the expansion and consolidation of the mass base, (g) lack of updated research and social investigation into the problems affecting the greatest number of people in our areas, (h) low level of propaganda and agitation work, as well as in organizing and mobilizing the broad masses of peasants in antifeudal and antifascist struggles, (i) lack of spread of guerrilla warfare especially in the enemy’s rear areas, and the inability to activate and unleash the initiative of militia units and self-defense corps in guerrilla warfare, (j) confining the strength and scope of the Party’s work of organizing and mobilizing the people to the given strength of the NPA, and other problems.
The Party and all revolutionary forces are determined to address, resolve and overcome these problems in order to effectively lead the Filipino people in great numbers in their economic and political struggles under the US-Marcos fascist regime, strengthen the revolutionary mass movement in the cities and countryside, carry forward the protracted people’s war through extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on an ever widening and deepening mass base, and advance the people’s democratic revolution to attain the people’s aspiration for genuine national freedom and democracy.
Stir up and spread the flames of protracted people’s war
The Party is determined to lead the New People’s Army and the broad masses of the Filipino people to stir and spread the flames of protracted people’s war and guerrilla warfare.
The Party must continue to consolidate itself ideologically, politically and organizationally and strengthen its absolute leadership of the NPA. It must complete the summing-up of experiences of the past five and 25 years within the year. Party cadres and NPA commanders must intensively study or review the basic documents of the Party, the documents of the SGRM, the classic Marxist-Leninist-Maoist writings, the experiences of carrying out people’s war and guerrilla warfare in China and Vietnam.
We must plan to comprehensively expand and strengthen our guerrilla fronts to cover the entire breadth and depth of the physical and social terrain, combining the forested mountains and mountain ranges, foothills, plains, riverside and coastal communities, and town centers. Wherever the NPA operates, it must implement the Party’s land reform program in order to unite the broad masses of peasants, along the line of the antifeudal united front. The minimum program for reduction of land rent and interest rates on loans, raising farm-wages, increasing production and promoting sideline occupation to raise income, pooling labor and land for collective farming, and so on, must be carried out. The advanced elements among the peasants who have been militated in land reform struggles can be recruited into the NPA or its militia units to carry out guerrilla warfare and other military tasks.
The Party must continuously strengthen its organization in the New People’s Army in order to put revolutionary politics in command at all times. We must raise the theoretical knowledge and ideological and political consciousness of Party cadres and NPA commanders and Red fighters. We must further raise their spirit of wholeheartedly serving the people, and of trusting and relying on the masses. We must heighten the fighting will of all NPA commanders and Red fighters and their determination to exert all efforts to advance the revolutionary cause.
We must ensure the correct deployment of NPA forces to put stress on steady wave upon wave expansion and consolidation of the mass base. Guerrilla companies and platoons must have a clear time-bound plan for expansion, recovery and consolidation.
We must avoid large concentration of troops for extended periods and correct the tendency to keep platoons absolutely concentrated at all times, which constrains their mobility, limit their reach and initiatives, reduce them to passivity in the face of intense focused military operations and thereby make them vulnerable to early enemy detection and pinpoint ground and air strikes. On the other hand, we must also correct the tendency of overdispersing and overstretching squads and teams in the wish to cover more ground for recovery and expansion. Without firm control and proper direction from their mother units, and in the face of unfavorable situations, especially when confronted by superior enemy forces, they easily lose their initiative and become passive.
Company and platoon commanders, and Party cadres should master the art of proper employment and deployment of troops. To maintain flexibility and initiative, it is desirable to have regular platoons in relative concentration and dispersal, and avoiding absolute concentration and overdispersal. Our platoon guerrilla forces must be properly divided and deployed, avoiding absolute equal distribution of military and political strength. A main body should be formed to act as military and political center of gravity, which is in relative concentration (where teams can be dispersed in short radius and concentrated at short notice) while the rest of the squads and teams are in relative dispersal (in relatively longer radius) to carry out mass work and expansion work within a designated area. The entire platoon must have one plan with all its parts serving one main direction and objective. These principles and methods are also applicable in guerrilla companies.
We must ensure that the NPA constantly maintains military initiative by combining various kinds of guerrilla formations and operations. NPA companies and platoons can dispatch squads and teams to conduct small-scale guerrilla actions in coordination with local militia and self-defense units. It can task partisan and special units to conduct punitive and sabotage operations in the enemy’s rear. Relatively concentrated regional and subregional guerrilla units should mount annihilative tactical offensives against soft targets or weak points of the enemy to punctuate widespread guerrilla actions by mass work units, militias and self-defense forces.
At all levels of command, the NPA must plan to mount small and big annihilative tactical offensives making sure to confiscate the enemy’s weapons, combined with widespread attritive and punitive military actions. Through the annihilation of enemy forces and seizing its weapons can the NPA steadily grow and gain strength.
Local Party branches, in cooperation with the front guerrilla units of the NPA, must organize or strengthen and activate militia units of the people’s army, as well as village self-defense corps of the local revolutionary mass organizations, in order to carry out widespread guerrilla warfare of the people. These must take the initiative at employing all available weapons to hit the enemy from all sides, while coordinating efforts with local militia units in adjacent villages and with local guerrilla units of the NPA. They serve as the broad base of the basic front guerrilla platoons of the NPA.
While the Party leads the NPA, it must also be keen that the scope of its leadership is much broader, as it also leads and strengthens the revolutionary mass movement in the cities and countryside, the united front and other fields of revolutionary struggle. The comprehensive leadership of the Party is not limited by the NPA nor confined by its strength. The Party builds the NPA, and where it cannot yet establish or deploy the people’s army, the Party establishes its territorial committees at the provincial, district, cities and town, and establishes various types of organization to arouse, organize and mobilize the people.
The Party must strengthen the revolutionary mass movement in the countryside and lead the broad peasant masses in waging widespread antifeudal and antifascist struggles. Leading committees of the Party at the front and regional levels must build the necessary machinery and train cadres and activists to carry out mass organizing and mobilization. Basic revolutionary mass organizations of peasants, women, youth, cultural workers and children must be built or reestablished. Local Party branches must be established or revitalized to lead the comprehensive work of propaganda, organizing and mobilizing the people. The organs of political power or the village revolutionary committees must be established on the foundations of the organized strength of the masses, the Party and the people’s army.
We must conduct research and social investigation to identify the key manifestations of feudal and semifeudal exploitation of the people and the urgent issues that cause the worst hardships on the majority of the people. We must carry out propaganda and agitation to raise the people’s political consciousness and militance, launch mass campaigns to unite the biggest number of people.
We must launch mass struggles to mobilize the peasant masses in their numbers to demand reduction of land rent and interest on loans against despotic landlords, landgrabbers and usurers. We must rouse the peasant masses, minority people and fisherfolk to fight rampant neoliberal dispossession of their livelihood by real estate companies, plantation, mining companies, infrastructure, as well as land reclamation projects. We must rouse the broad masses to fight the brutal tactics of state terrorism, and expose the clear link between fascist suppression with the antipeople neoliberal economic policies and programs being carried out by the Marcos regime.
We must strengthen the Party’s leadership of the revolutionary mass movement in the cities and town centers and carry forward the masses’ economic and political struggles, linking their daily struggles to the antifascist and anti-imperialist struggles of the people, building the revolutionary underground movement and establishing large numbers of Party branches. We must continue to generate widespread political and material support for the armed struggle. The Party must effectively recruit and train workers and intellectuals whom it can deploy to the countryside to carry out work in the revolutionary peasant movement or in the people’s army.
Conditions are becoming more fertile for people’s war
The rapidly worsening global capitalist crisis and the moribund state of the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system underscore the necessity of carrying forward the national democratic revolution. The broad masses of the Filipino people are suffering from increasingly intolerable forms of oppression and exploitation. With the leadership and guidance of the Communist Party of the Philippines, they are ever determined to wage resistance in order to free the country from clutches of US imperialism and the subservient ruling classes, and attain genuine national freedom and democracy.
The message of the Central Committee last December 26, 2022 outlined the main contours of the international situation marked by intensifying class contradictions and inter-imperialist conflicts arising from the deepening and worsening crisis of the global capitalist system. The global capitalist system remains mired in crisis marked by overproduction, falling rates of profits and a burgeoning financial crisis. Leading capitalist countries, including the US, are sliding into recession which would prolong the already protracted period of economic stagnation and cause greater suffering on the broad masses of toiling people around the world.
There are rising fears of an international financial collapse similar to 2008 after recent successive bank failures and collapse of Switzerland’s Credit Suisse Bank and at least three American banks (Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, Silvergate Capital Corp) earlier this month, which will cost at least $294 billion in bailout packages, including the $119 billion funds made available by the Swiss government for the UBS bank to acquire Credit Suisse. The collapse of these banks follow a 42-year high 4.5% increase in interest rates after eight rounds of adjustments by the US Federal Reserve since March 2022 amid high inflation. Up to 85% of central banks followed the lead of the US in raising interest rates which have further dampened investments and production.
Global economic growth is anticipated to further slow down to 1.9% from an estimated 3% last year. The US economy is expected to further stagnate in 2023 with a mere 0.4% growth from an equally slow 1.8% last year. The United Kingdom slid into recession in 2022, and is set to contract further by 0.8% this year. The European Union is expected to grow by only 0.2% from 3.3%; China growth slowed down to 3% last year, and is expected to grow by only 4.8% (from earlier projections of 6% to 6.5%); while Japan is set to grow by a mere 1.5% from an equally dismal 1.6% last year.
Wealth is highly concentrated in the hands of a few monopoly capitalists. In the US, capitalist wealth is highly concentrated, in which 81% of total sales and 97% of business assets are in the hands of the top 1% of corporations; and further concentrated in the top 0.1%, which alone account for 60% of total sales, and 88% of business assets. The same wealth concentration occurs in the UK and European Union, Japan, China and other capitalist centers.
The proletariat and people in capitalist countries are suffering from joblessness, high prices of fuel, food and other basic commodities, low wages and worsening economic conditions. The rapid deterioration in social conditions has spurred a rising wave of workers’ protests in the US, UK, France, Germany, China and scores of other countries. Organized and spontaneous workers’ strikes are breaking out against low wages amid high prices, acute unemployment, as well as against oppressive working conditions, reduction in pension, raising the retirement age, suppression of rights, and other issues.
Monopoly capitalist countries have resorted to increasingly protectionist measures to shield their economies from competition, at the same time, seek to expand the scope of their markets, sources of raw materials and fields of investment. The US, in particular, is aggressively imposing its “rules based order” in its push to counter the economic expansion of China, leading inevitably to trade and investment wars, and ultimately, limited and large-scale wars to redivide the world.
The US and NATO continues to pour billions of dollars worth of arms with the aim of prolonging the now year-long war in Ukraine, in order to weaken Russia, and take complete control over the markets, and sources of mineral, natural gas and other resources in the Central European region. The imperialist US is now repeating the same pattern of mobilizing its military subalterns or so-called “allies” to provoke China over the issue of China’s sovereignty in Taiwan and setting aside the long-standing One China Policy, in the same way that it provoked Russia by reneging on its security guarantee commitment to the defunct Soviet Union under the 1991 Minsk Agreement that the NATO will expand “not one inch eastward.”
Majority of countries that are backward and dependent on foreign capital and trade are pressed down by weak demand for semiprocessed commodities, specifically from China, especially amid overproduction of semiconductor and electronics. These countries are pushing down workers wages in a race to the bottom to draw in scarce investments. While the imperialist themselves implement protectionist measures, neoliberal policies are being forced on backward economies to further open up their economies and allow foreign capitalists to plunder their resources and destroy the environment. Widespread economic dislocation and dispossession of people are inciting people’s protests to defend their lives and livelihood.
The economic and political crisis of the Philippine ruling system continues to worsen under the second US-Marcos regime. The puppet regime is aggressively pushing to impose more neoliberal measures that subject the toiling people to even worse forms of oppression and exploitation. The masses of workers, peasants, fisherfolk, minority people, and other toiling sectors are being economically dispossessed and dislocated as their livelihood—from passenger jeepneys, to the Manila Bay and other fishing waters, agricultural and ancestral land and so on—are taken away by the imperialists and big bourgeois compradors partners.
The Marcos ruling regime is currently railroading efforts to amend the 1987 constitution, either by electing a constitutional convention or convening congress as a constituent assembly. It aims to enshrine the neoliberal economic measures and do away with certain provisions of the Philippine constitution which nominally protect the local economy. In addition to these neoliberal aims, the Marcos-Duterte clique also aims to further dominate and monopolize political power by removing such provisions in the 1987 constitution that limit the powers for declaring martial law, prohibit the incumbent president to run for another term, ban nuclear weapons, prohibit foreign military troops and bases among others. In doing so, the ruling Marcos clique is inviting condemnation by the broad patriotic and democratic forces of the Filipino people.
The US imperialist government continues to incite neo-colonial state terrorism by arming and employing its puppet troops in unleashing increasingly brutal tactics to suppress the people’s patriotic and revolutionary resistance. Since 2021, it has provided more than $2 billion in arms sales and security assistance to the AFP that include attack helicopters, military drones, jet fighters, bombs and missiles. The US government itself is directly responsible for the widespread campaign of terrorism and fascist monstrosities being perpetrated by the Marcos regime and its armed agents against the Filipino people. Furthermore, in collusion with the Marcos regime, the US is actively pushing its plan to construct four or more military bases and facilities in the Philippines, as part of its war theater preparations against China. The strategic aim of the US imperialists is to perpetuate the country’s backward, pre-industrial and agrarian status and reinforce its domination and control of the country.
Now more than ever, the Filipino people aspire to put an end to imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, attain freedom from US control and domination, and carry out land reform and national industrialization. These are the key steps to turn their lives around and enable them to enjoy the wealth of the Philippines heretofore monopolized and plundered by US imperialism and the traitorous ruling classes of bourgeois compradors and big landlords.
The global capitalist crisis and the moribund state of the semicolonial and semifeudal system are generating fertile ground for waging people’s democratic revolution. The rapidly deteriorating conditions in the country, especially in the countryside, are rousing the broad peasant masses and the rest of the Filipino people, to carry forward revolutionary armed resistance. All Red fighters of the New People’s Army and cadres of the Communist Party of the Philippines are dedicated to wholeheartedly serve the Filipino people. They are determined as ever to stir up and spread the flames of guerrilla warfare and carry forward the protracted people’s war.
The achievements and victories that the Filipino people are certain to gain in the coming period of revolutionary surge form part of the great resurgence of the international proletariat and people. Big and small, these revolutionary ripples are bound to create a big wave that will pound on imperialism, fascism and all reaction in all parts of the world.
Fight intensified imperialist oppression against the Filipino people!
Resolutely advance the people’s war for genuine freedom and democracy!
Stir up and spread the flames of the people’s war!
Long live the New People’s Army!
Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Long live the Filipino proletariat and people!