The Twelve Points of the NDF Program
3. Build the people‘s army and a people’s defense system.
The New People’s Army is necessary in order to bring about and guarantee the national and social liberation of the people. It is the main instrument of the entire Filipino people for destroying the reactionary state and establishing a government that will truly serve the interests of the people.
The NPA has been able to grow in strength and extend its areas of operation because it enjoys the full support of the masses. It has gained the trust and confidence of the masses because it upholds their national and democratic interests, promotes agrarian revolution and helps them establish local organs of political power.The NPA not only upholds democratic principles in its relations with the masses but also practices democracy within its ranks. Thus there is unity between the army and the people and between officers and men on the basis of revolutionary principles and democratic processes.
Guided by revolutionary principles and by its own strict code of conduct and discipline, the NPA has always strived to avoid the loss of civilian lives and damage to their property during its military operations. It has also dealt with enemy prisoners in a humane manner and treated the enemy wounded to the extent possible. The NDF welcomes international norms and guidelines, and adheres to the provisions of Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions, as well as other humanitarian laws whose aim is to protect non- combatants. In the course of the ongoing civil war in the Philippines, the NDF is seeking the diplomatic recognition of the status of belligerency. Upon the attainment of victory, the NPA shall be under a ministry of national defense and shall have ground, naval and air forces. There shall also be police forces and a people’s militia under a ministry of public security.
The basic tasks of the revolutionary army are to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and to defend the gains of the revolution and the Filipino people from internal subversion and external aggression. To this end, the revolutionary army as well as the people shall constantly be in a state of vigilance and readiness to repel any act of intervention and aggression from foreign forces.
The people will play the key role in defending the gains of the revolution. With their revolutionary consciousness and militance, they will be the surest guarantee against internal subversion and external aggression. Thus there will be no need to maintain a huge standing army.
The national police force shall be drawn from the local police and militia forces that have defended and protected the people in the course of the revolutionary war. Militia units shall be improved where they have already been formed in the course of people’s war and shall be formed in places where they do not yet exist. Special consideration shall be made in the areas of the Bangsa Moro, the Cordillera peoples and other indigenous peoples. With the time-tested revolutionaries firmly in command of the people’s army, former enemy officers and men who have joined the revolutionary cause before total victory or who have not committed any serious crime shall be allowed to stay in the military service on a selective basis and shall pass on their knowledge and expertise to the revolutionary fighters and shall themselves undergo revolutionary education. Aside from its military function, the people’s army shall perform tasks in other spheres, such as production, environmental renewal and relief work in times of disaster. It shall be a revolutionary school for its permanent members and for the youth who shall be required to render military training service for a certain reasonable period of time.