The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), together with the entire membership of the CPP, the Filipino people and all their revolutionary forces, celebrate today 50 years of great achievements and revolutionary victories accumulated by the Party through five decades of leading the people’s democratic revolution since it was established on December 26, 1968 under the theoretical guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
Let us salute all the revolutionary heroes and martyrs who gave their all for the people and served the Party and the revolution to their last breath. It is with their dedication and sacrifices that made possible the revolutionary victories of the Filipino people. Let us be inspired by their examples and emulate their spirit of selfless service.
The Central Committee gives highest honors to Comrade Jose Ma. Sison, the Party’s founding chairman, who masterfully applied Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the concrete conditions of the Philippines and set the revolution along the correct path and steered it from strength to strength. Even during his prolonged incarceration and exile since 1987, his theoretical, socio-historical and practical insights continue to illuminate the Filipino people’s revolutionary path, help guide the Party as well as rouse the international proletariat and people to wage anti-imperialist resistance and socialist revolution.
The chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system continues to worsen. It has given rise to the US-Duterte fascist regime under which the rotten core of the ruling system is more rapidly being aggravated and fully laid bare.
We mark the Party’s 50th anniversary as the US-Duterte regime unleashes full-scale fascist terror and tyranny in the name of crushing the Party, defeating the armed revolution by mid-2019. In fact, it is focused on overpowering all forms of resistance to its plan of manipulating and controlling the mid-term elections and steamrolling charter change for bogus federalism to impose a full-blown fascist dictatorship. Let us celebrate the CPP’s 50th anniversary as we wage all-out resistance against Duterte’s fascist tyranny, corruption and puppetry.
The Party is keenly aware of the exceedingly favorable revolutionary conditions in the Philippines. The broad masses of workers and peasants suffer from ever-worsening forms of oppression and exploitation, increasingly intolerable poverty and deprivation of the basic needs and services and ruthless fascist attacks and abuses by state armed forces. They are driven and roused to rise up in mass struggles and wage armed resistance.
The national democratic revolution in the Philippines is one of the beacons of the international anti-imperialist resistance and proletarian revolution. By leading the Philippine revolution, the Party has helped keep the embers of proletarian defiance burning as the flames of socialist revolution were extinguished with the rise of modern revisionism and restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and China.
Today, as the world capitalist system suffers from insoluble crisis, the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is being hoisted high by the revolutionary proletariat, enlightening and inspiring the working class and oppressed peoples across the world to wage democratic resistance and class struggles against imperialism and all reaction. Indeed, we are on the period of transition to a new international resurgence of national liberation struggles and proletarian revolution.
Prolonged depression of international capitalist system and intensified rivalries among big powers
The world capitalist system continues to muddle through what is euphemistically called the Great Recession, but which, in fact, is protracted economic depression and stagnation that has already lasted for one decade with no end in sight. The biggest capitalist economies have been unable to fully recover from the 2008 financial crisis despite massive state bailouts and stimulus packages for giant financial institutions, investment houses, and monopoly capitalist companies resulting in record debt and deficit spending. The debt bubble continue to inflate and is anticipated to burst soon in a financial meltdown far worse than ever before.
Over the past decade, global debt rose by more than four times from $57 trillion in 2007, to $164 trillion in 2016 and $247 trillion by the first quarter of 2018. As it stands, global debt is now at least three times greater than the projected $87.51 trillion world output this year.
The global centers of capitalism continue to be afflicted by economic crisis and financial troubles. The US, China, Japan and European capitalist countries remain in economic doldrums. Governments are reporting low official unemployment statistics but are merely obscuring the rising number of workers who have lost interest looking for jobs and who are not being counted as part of the labor force. Wages remain depressed.
The US economy, described as “doing very well” by the Trump government, is actually in a state of stagnation with less than 3% growth over the past several years. Fearing a further slowdown, the Trump government desperately seeks to boost investments by cutting interest rates and corporate taxes at the risk of racking up a US$1 trillion federal deficit in the next years, contrary to the position of US Federal Bank calling for higher interest rates. The government hypes up the 3.9% unemployment rate, downplaying its own 7.6% real unemployment rate. The real extent of joblessness is far worse as major companies in manufacturing and retail are laying-off workers as they cut down on operations or close shop as a result of intense competition and rising costs due to higher tariffs.
In an attempt to contend with the US for larger spheres of influence, sustain capitalist expansion and unload itself of surplus capital and idle inventory of steel and cement, China has undertaken the Belt and Road Initiative, a giant infrastructure program to build a network of roads, railways, ports and oil pipelines from China through Central and South Asia to Europe and Africa funded by Chinese high-interest loans and grants. However, Chinese economic growth of 6.5% this year is at its slowest since nearly 10 years ago amid state-imposed cuts in steel production and other commodities in the face of oversupply under the pretext of curbing pollution. The Chinese economy is increasingly financialized. Its debt has more than quadrupled since 2007 from $7 trillion to $36 trillion in 2018, with almost half in property speculation and 30% in shadow banking operations. The Chinese financial bubble is bound to burst even as the Chinese government vainly attempts to prevent it.
The Japanese economy contracted earlier this year, pulling it back to economic crisis, after a mere two successive years of slow growth, its longest over the past three decades. It is burdened by debts as much as 235% of its economy. Government reports almost full employment at only 2.4% unemployment but fail to count millions who have lost employment and have long given up looking for work, especially after 2008. Workers’ wages remain depressed and are threatened by government push for deregulation of entry of foreign workers.
Capitalist centers in Europe struggle with economic stagnation while smaller capitalist countries remain overburdened by debt and shackled with austerity measures imposed by the IMF, World Bank and EU. The rate of unemployment in Europe stands at 8%, and as high as 18.9% in Greece, 14.8% in Spain and 10.3% in Italy. The Russian economy remains stagnant and is buoyed merely by the temporary rise in the prices of oil and natural gas.
Majority of the countries around the world, including the Philippines, remain as economic adjuncts of the main global capitalist centers. These countries serve as sources of cheap raw materials such as minerals and agricultural products. To attract foreign investments, they compete against each other to bring down the costs of labor, liberalize trade and investment and sell their country’s patrimony.
On the other hand, imperialist powers compete to establish their economic hegemony over these countries to bring them within their spheres of influence and fields of investments.
Challenging US economic power, China is busy employing soft diplomacy and economic leverage to compel a growing number of countries to make excessive amounts of high interest borrowings and corruption-laden contracts tied to purchases of Chinese steel and other capital goods. These go to construction of roads, bridges, ports as well as investments in telecommunications, electricity and key economic infrastructure.
The global capitalist crisis has severely impacted on the underdeveloped countries. To attract loans and foreign capital, they are compelled to carry out further liberalization of trade and investments resulting in higher trade deficits, capital outflow, greater reliance on debt, non-productive spending, more rapacious foreign plunder of resources, worsening corruption, wage depression, heightened suppression of labor and land rights and overall worsening of socio-economic conditions of the people.
At the heart of the continuing prolonged depression of the international capitalist system is the crisis of overproduction in practically all fields of commodity production. Monopoly capitalists are burdened by the unsold inventory of surplus oil, electronics and high-tech articles, rice and other food products, steel, cement and other construction materials, garments, foot ware, toys and other low-value added commodities.
Overproduction is the result of the fundamental contradiction between private ownership of the means of production (driven by profit-taking and capital accumulation) and the social character of production pushed to the extreme under neoliberal and financialized monopoly capitalism. The capitalist drive for profit leads to incessant competition to accelerate production at lower labor costs through automation and robotics resulting in accelerated production amid dwindling demand.
The ever rising organic composition of capital results in falling rates of profit and bankruptcies. Capital becomes ever more concentrated and centralized as bigger and more powerful monopolies devour their competitors in mergers and acquisitions on a national and international scale.
There is massive production overcapacity across the board resulting in idle machines and factories and rust belts in entire workers districts and cities in both industrialized and non-industrialized countries.
There is a widespread destruction of productive forces around the world. Workers suffer from low wages and increasingly worsening forms of oppression and exploitation under so-called flexible employment schemes. There is also massive displacement of farmers and farmworkers as a result of expansion of “economic zones” and export-crop plantations.
The global capitalist crisis has led to massive unemployment, as a result of mass layoffs and closure of companies, as well as heightened drive towards automation. Up to 1.2 billion people are categorized as unemployed and underemployed (or “vulnerably employed”).
The broad masses suffer from the erosion or termination of social provisions for education, health services, affordable housing, unemployment relief and other social benefits. They are victimized by cuts in social spending, austerity measures and other neoliberal policies.
Across the world, more than 70% of the population live on less than $10 a day, while more than half survive on less than $5.50 which is not sufficient to provide an average family with decent housing, clothing, daily nutrition, education and extra funds for emergency medical care.
There is rising social and economic inequality and increasing concentration of capital in the hands of the few. In the US, the top 10% of families own 75% of total household wealth, with the top 0.1% own as much as the bottom 90%. The share of the richest 1% of the global wealth has risen from 42.5% in 2008 to 50.1% in 2017, and is projected to reach 64% by 2030.
Economic crises across the globe are leading to the rise of fascism and racism in capitalist countries targeting immigrants, minorities and refugees, and blaming them for the crisis to blur the roots of capitalist exploitation and economic crisis and drive a wedge among the oppressed people and hinder efforts to build working class unity.
Leading the fascist pack, US President Trump is espousing brazen Right-wing ideas and policies under the banner of “Make America Great Again.” Other ultra-reactionary parties and groups have gained headway in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Brazil and other countries.
Capitalist crisis and monopoly competition for domination are more conspicuously leading to open big power rivalry and conflict in the form of trade wars, arms race, military forward deployments and scramble to control trade routes, sources of oil, rare earth and other minerals, oil and natural gas pipelines, and fields of investments. With the strategic decline of the US, the era of American unipolarism has given way to the current multipolar world and to an even more aggressive US effort to defend and assert its hegemony.
Economically, the US is rivalled primarily by China which has gone on an international diplomatic and economic offensive to forge bilateral and multilateral alliances and trade pacts to expand its market, source of raw materials and spheres of investments. China established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to export its surplus capital and rival the World Bank. It has joined an economic alliance with Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa (BRICS) and helped fund the BRICS Bank and other financial institutions.
US and China economic rivalry has broken out in an open trade war after the US imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of China steel, aluminum and other commodities with the declared aim of protecting American manufacturers, but risking backlash with manufacturers dependent on cheap Chinese imports threatening to shut down or move production outside the US. China responded with tariffs on $34 billion worth of commodities from the US.
Militarily, the US is rivalled primarily by Russia whose nuclear arsenal is bigger. Under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Russia is also advancing its diplomatic and military ties with China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgz, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan as well as with India.
In the face of economic stagnation, US imperialism increasingly relies on military strength and arm-twisting to assert power in an effort to counter its strategic decline. It continues to strategically deploy its overseas troops, aircraft carriers and ballistic missiles. It maintains military bases and missiles, and conducts joint military exercises in countries bordering Russia and China as well as in different parts of the world. It mounts so-called freedom-of-navigation operations to challenge and provoke China’s military power in the South China Sea.
Direct military confrontation among the imperialist powers is becoming more and more inevitable. US power projection operations are increasingly incurring the ire of China with some bellicose elements calling for direct counter action. Some US military experts anticipate the outbreak of US-China war in around 15 years. Proxy wars between capitalist powers such as those in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and elsewhere continue to break out.
Increased military spending is fuelling military industries amid heightening arms race, military tensions and war preparations. Global military spending rose last year to $1.739 trillion to fund military research and development of new weaponry including smaller nuclear weapons, lasers, hypersonic missiles, military robots, as well as weapons for electronic warfare. The Trump government allocated $700 billion for military spending, much more than the combined spending of China and Russia. China, the second biggest military spender, increased spending by 5.6% to $228 billion and is expected to spend up to 8% this year.
There are countries asserting national sovereignty against US imperialist hegemony including North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and others. The US continue to employ arm-twisting, economic sanctions and regime-change intervention against these countries. By asserting national sovereignty, more countries can take advantage of imperialist rivalries and contradictions to avail of a myriad of diplomatic, political and military opportunities to advance their country’s interests.
Rapid worsening of socio-economic conditions as a result of imperialist neoliberal policies and austerity measure are rousing millions of people across the world to wage mass struggles as well as armed and other forms of resistance.
Several hundred thousand people participated in widespread month-long mass actions and workers strikes in France to oppose new oil taxes and austerity measures, demanding wage increases and call for the ouster of the government. In addition, workers have also struck in Spain, Germany, Belgium and other European countries. In the US, giant demonstrations have been mounted by immigrants, blacks, women, students and workers to protest Trump’s outright anti-people policies. Workers strikes and student demonstrations continue to break out in China. There is widespread social unrest across the world as a result of food shortages, high prices, loss of income and other maladies caused by neoliberal policies.
There are revolutionary armed struggles for national self-determination such as that being waged by the Kurdish people. Revolutionary armed struggles along the new democratic line being led by communist parties such as those in India and the Philippines continue to inspire other peoples in the world’s vast countryside to launch their own people’s war. Preparations for people’s war are being carried out in several countries.
The global capitalist crisis and interimperialist contradictions create conditions that favor the emergence or continued growth of revolutionary forces. After more than three decades of strategic retreat, the proletariat is in a position to lead a resurgence of new-democratic and socialist revolutions.
Proletarian revolutionary forces in all countries must provide leadership to the struggle against imperialism by strengthening themselves ideologically politically and organizationally. They must assiduously study the universal theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and critically and creatively apply it to the concrete conditions of the people by analyzing and identifying the specific characteristics of the revolutionary struggle in their countries.
In leading the people’s democratic revolution in the Philippines, the Filipino proletariat contributes to the worldwide resistance against imperialism and all reaction. It is in solidarity with and extends all kinds of support to the proletariat and working class parties and cadres across the globe in their efforts to arouse, organize and mobilize the people to rise up against their oppressors and exploiters.
Duterte’s reign of terror and tyranny amid worsening semicolonial and semifeudal conditions in the Philippines
The rise of the US-Duterte fascist regime and its reign of terror and tyranny is, symptomatic of, and aggravates the grave conditions of the semicolonial and semifeudal system in the Philippines. It manifests the increasing inability of the ruling classes to rely on old methods of political rule and their resort to the use of overt force to counter the growing resistance of the people and to compete with other power groups for power and bureaucratic loot.
The Philippines remains economically backward, agrarian and non-industrial. Domestic forces of production are constantly deteriorating under the weight of foreign monopoly capitalist and big comprador operations. The country’s natural wealth and labor resources are being plundered by multinational corporations and their partnership with big bourgeois compradors and big landlords.
Under neoliberal policies of trade and investment liberalization, deregulation and privatization, the country is condemned to being an exporter of cheap raw materials, a source of cheap labor and importer of capital goods and commodities for consumption.
Local agricultural production is mostly small-scale using hand-tools, farm animals and small hand tractors. Rice production is backward with irrigation limited to less than 30%. Use of large farm machineries is highly limited. Wide swathes of agricultural land are held by big corporations and operated as plantations for large-scale production of bananas, pineapple, oil palm, rubber and other export crops with very little integration with the local economy.
Large-scale manufacturing is limited to so-called economic zones where semiprocessing for exports is done by big foreign-owned enterprises which operate their so-called “global value chains” network of factories taking advantage of cheap labor in different countries. Big foreign capitalists dominate the local extractive industries which plunder the country’s mineral resources and ravage the environment. There is very minimal local processing of mineral extracts, which are mostly shipped overseas, taking away large volumes of raw materials that should be used for the country’s industrial development.
There is chronic mass unemployment in the Philippines in the absence of industrialization. There is practically no manufacturing sector in majority of the Philippine towns that could productively absorb millions being displaced from the rural areas. Mass unemployment in the Philippines is only being masked through statistical sleight of hand where the labor force is artificially reduced by not counting those who have already lost interest in looking for work and by counting as employed or underemployed those who are actually unemployed.
Acute joblessness is also being obscured by the large-scale deployment of overseas contract workers over the past three decades resulting in the diaspora of at least one tenth of the Philippine population or more than one fourth of the labor force. Dollar remittances from abroad has grown so large (projected to reach $33.7 billion this year) that the Philippine government relies on it to maintain steady foreign reserves levels. Foreign remittances, however, do not translate to local productivity as most of it merely sustain high costs of living and consumption of imported goods.
The Philippines suffer perennial and constantly growing trade deficits as a result of the unequal exchange between raw materials and low value-added commodities exports and imported finished commodities. It remains dependent on foreign debt which finance mostly corruption-laden infrastructure projects and which at best provide temporary employment.
Foreign investments mostly go to the stock market and other non-productive financial instruments, while some take the form of direct investments in export-oriented semi-processing in economic zones where they enjoy tax-free operations. In recent years, a large chunk of foreign investments go into business outsourcing (or call centers) which despite its size has failed to contribute anything productive to the local economy, except for the meager wages of its employees.
Under Duterte, the worst facets of the semicolonial and semifeudal system have grown even more grotesque in the face of the prolonged depression of the global capitalist system.
Amid economic crisis, the Philippine government continues to wallow in fiscal deficits and debts. Last September, the budget deficit widened by almost 80% to P378 billion from P213.1 billion during the same period last year. To finance its programs and operations, the Philippine government plan to borrow as much as P624.4 billion next year. Duterte is seeking an excessive amount of loans from China, as well as from the Asian Development Bank and other financial institutions in order to spend for his Build, Build, Build Program.
Under Duterte, Philippine public debt rose by more than 17% to P7.167 trillion from P6.09 trillion in 2016. Over the past 15 years, the Philippines alloted P10.741 trillion in debt payments and services. The dollar-dominated foreign debts that are US dollar denominated will become more onerous if the US Federal Bank succeeds in raising interest rates.
The country’s trade deficit has risen sharply to $33.9 billion in the first 10 months, surpassing the $27.4 billion trade gap last year, and is expected to reach $40 billion by the end of 2018. This is the result of large increases in importation of capital goods to supply semi-processing and China-funded infrastructure binge. There is a slow growth of exports in the face of the global economic slowdown.
The rise in the trade deficit has resulted in the sharp increase in the country’s balance of payments deficit which is set to reach to $5.1 billion from $860 million last year or an increase of almost 500%. This is anticipated to further rise to $8.4 billion next year. The peso is set to further devalue against the dollar.
The Duterte regime has expanded the worse of the neoliberal policies. It completely liberalized rice importation on the pretext of bringing down domestic prices, but without a plan to subsidize and help raise local rice production. This is set to cause a grave impact on local rice production and the income of Filipino rice farmers as local farm gate prices are set to dip with the influx of cheap imported rice.
To get the stamp of credit rating agencies and assure lenders, the Duterte regime imposed early this year additional taxes through the TRAIN law pushed by the US-funded Partnership for Growth. The slew of burdensome taxes on goods, which alongside incessant oil price increases, resulted in months of skyrocketing prices of food and other basic commodities and rising cost of living.
The deterioration of the people’s socio-economic conditions is made worse by the Duterte regime’s policy of social spending cuts and privatization of public services. Next year, it plans to cut the budget for education by P54.9 billion and health by P36 billion. Despite the promise of providing free college education, the budget of 63 of 113 state colleges and universities were further reduced. It also reduced the budget alloted to agriculture by P5.9 billion, housing by P2.9 billion and agrarian reform by P1.7 billion. No new public housing nor new classrooms for 2019 is planned.
Bureaucrat capitalism has hypertrophied to monstrous proportions under the Duterte regime. Corruption is all over the Duterte regime and can no longer be concealed by Duterte’s fake “I hate corruption” soundbyte. He has been allied with the Marcoses and Arroyos to mobilize their political support since the 2016 elections and has acted in favor of the plunderers by causing their exculpation and release from prison and enabling them to bounce back in the reactionary political game.
Employing fascist tyranny and flouting Philippine laws, Duterte succeeded in placing the entire Philippine government machinery under his absolute control. He rid the Supreme Court of its critical chief justice through extra-constitutional methods in order to replace her with his appointee. He reinforced alliances with the worst of the fascists and plunderers. To reward his allies in congress and draw support for his charter change scheme to pave the way for dictatorial rule, he bribed politicians with at least P75 billion worth of pork barrel insertions in the 2019 budget. Unequal distribution of pork barrel and other bureaucratic perks has resulted in open rifts among Duterte’s allies in congress.
The biggest corruption schemes under Duterte involves hundreds of billions of pesos in planned infrastructure projects. Duterte and his family, cronies and political allies are set to further enlarge their wealth through bribes and cuts in loan and constructions contracts and “finders fees” in overpriced infrastructure projects.
The biggest among Duterte’s dummies is Dennis Uy who has expanded his business into a large empire capped by the awarding of telecommunication franchise with the state-owned China Telco. Duterte also granted large contracts to other big bourgeois compradors including Eduardo Cojuangco, Ramon Ang, Lucio Tan, Manny Pangilinan and others. On the other hand, he made use of his powers to threaten other big businesses with taxes or sanctions to punish or coerce them to extend financial support.
In exchange for a few billion dollars of high-interest loans and grants, Duterte sold out the Filipino people’s sovereign rights and national patrimony to China in an agreement to “jointly explore and develop” the oil and gas resources in the West Philippine Sea, estimated at around $60 trillion. In the agreement, Duterte treacherously sets aside the Philippine’s rightful claim to its territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf. The Duterte regime failed to oppose China building of military facilities in the Spratlys.
Behind the rhetoric of a foreign independent policy, the Duterte regime has exhibited utter servility to the US. The US military continues to dominate the Philippines economically, politically, culturally and military through unequal treaties, agreements and arrangements and use the Philippines as a base for its operations to project military strength in the Asia-Pacific region, including the South China Sea. It built at least five military facilities within AFP camps under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Civilian ports are regularly used as military docks to service American nuclear-capable warships, aircraft carriers and submarines. There are 200-300 US military advisers permanently stationed in the Philippines. They are attached to the AFP and actively train the Light Reaction Regiment (which was deployed to Marawi) and the recently formed 1st Brigade Combat Team, both based in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
Crime and corruption have melded scandalously under Duterte. He is now overlord of shabu smuggling and trafficking. In just over a year, at least two tons of shabu have been smuggled into the country resulting in the drop in its street prices and worsening state of drug addiction. It has been long clear that Duterte’s so-called war against drugs is nothing but a war to control the illegal drug trade in the country by hitting the operations of other drug syndicates and making all the crime lords bow to his authority. Duterte is compadre to the notorious drug lord Peter Lim, while his son and son-in-law were exposed as involved in the smuggling of more than 600 kilos of shabu.
The reactionary state of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords has turned to outright fascism under Duterte. It is increasingly shedding its trappings of democracy and bourgeois rights. Having been thoroughly exposed for his anti-people policies, Duterte can no longer persuade the people to support his regime. By employing state terrorism to keep himself in Malacañang and monopolize power, Duterte exposes the rotten core of the ruling system.
Duterte has given the military vast powers under his regime. The ceaseless all-out war policy under Oplan Kapayapaan, the extension of Mindanao martial law up to the end of 2019, declaration of the state of national emergency and deployment of a large number of Army battalions to Bicol, Samar and Negros, continuing threats to impose nationwide martial law, Red-tagging and threats of illegalization against democratic mass organizations and mass arrests of their leaders and members are all tantamount to nationwide martial law. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) now has absolute powers covering practically half the country.
He has bribed military and police officials with salary increases, cash rewards for death squad operations and billions of unaudited intelligence funds and appointments in government offices. The budget for the Department of National Defense will be increased by 35% to P183.4 billion, P25 billion of which will go to corruption-laden purchases under the AFP Modernization Program. He also raised the budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (now under former AFP chief Eduardo Año) by 31% to P225 billion next year.
His government is now dominated by former military officials who were appointed to various key agencies including the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Office of the Presidential Peace Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) where they will be in control of several hundred billion pesos of funds for so-called intelligence operations, “integration programs” for “rebel surrenderees,” local peace talks, reward for “balik-baril” program, and others.
With absolute powers, the military is set on meddling in the upcoming 2019 midterm elections, if these are held, in order to manipulate the results to favor pro-Duterte and pro-AFP politicians. This is in line with his plan of perpetuating himself in power by installing himself as a dictator through charter change which would allow for reelections and a bogus kind of federal system in which powers are centralized in his hand and he handpicks his regional and provincial agents among the warlords and political dynasties.
Duterte and the AFP have repeatedly boasted of crushing the NPA. Their claim last year that the NPA will be defeated before the end of 2018 has been frustrated and proven a big lie. This year, they proclaim that the NPA will be completely finished by mid-2019. As in all previous regimes, they keep on moving their impossible deadline.
Under the National Internal Security Plan (NISP) 2018, Duterte and the AFP are mounting a major strategic offensive against the revolutionary forces in the hope of stopping its nationwide growth amid the worsening socio-economic conditions. It released Executive Order No. 70 forming the “National Task Force (NTF) to End Local Communist Armed Conflict” and proclaiming the so-called whole-of-nation approach, a doctrine first espoused by the AFP in Oplan Bayanihan and derived from the 2009 US Counterinsurgency Guide of the US State Department.
Duterte has taken pains to portray his Oplan Kapayapaan counterinsurgency plan as “civilian-led,” when, on the contrary, the entire civilian bureaucracy is now militarized by being placed under the operational control of the AFP. Under the NTF and its so-called 12 Operational Pillars, various government agencies are being clustered with the AFP and PNP to ensure that its programs will fit in with the plans of the military and police. Duterte wants to weaponize the entire government against the revolutionary movement, the legal democratic forces and all opposition.
Under the NISP 2018, Duterte and the AFP aim to suppress the legal democratic forces through surveillance, intimidation and harassment, abductions, restrictions against democratic rights and through a legal offensive of slapping patently trumped-up charges against activists, mass leaders and political oppositionists. There are more than 500 political prisoners suffering prolonged detention, 200 of whom were arrested under the Duterte regime. There are fears of a rise in the number of extrajudicial killings after he outrightly announced his plan to murder “potential members” of the NPA with the use of “Duterte Death Squads”. Taken aback by the blatantly criminal announcement of their commander-in-chief, Defense Secretary Lorenzana dissembled by declaring that the AFP will use “intelligence units” rather than blatant death squads.
Incited and emboldened by Duterte’s bellicosity, the military and police have perpetrated grave abuses and gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Fascist troops have laid siege and occupied hundreds of rural villages and subjected the peasant masses to untold sufferings. Extrajudicial killings and massacres against peasant leaders and activists are on the rise. There are rampant cases of abductions, torture, illegal detention, and other forms of abuses. Military forces are being deployed to suppress workers’ strikes, especially in plantations and mines.
The military has imposed food and economic blockades and other restrictions, subjecting people to endless harassments, accusing them without proof of being “rebels” to force them to “clear their names” and “surrender” to the military, conscripting them to the Army’s CAFGU units and paramilitary groups and forcing them to render labor to construct military detachments. The presence of fascist troops in the peasant villages are unwelcome as they disrupt the livelihood and family life of the people and cause undue distress with their drinking sprees, sporadic firing of weapons, and promotion of pornography, drug use, gambling and other vices. In the Mindanao regions, the military has closed community and church-supported Lumad schools for supposedly being run by the NPA, causing trauma among the children.
Across the country, the AFP and PNP have relentlessly mounted successive focused military operations against the NPA, involving several hundred troops and supported by artillery shelling and aerial bombardment using attack helicopters. These are being carried out primarily in resource-rich areas of the peasants and national minorities, including those in the Bangsamoro areas, with the strategic aim of suppressing the masses’ defense of their farm land and ancestral domain in order to pave the way for the entry of mining companies, logging, energy and tourism projects, oil palm and other export crop plantations, commercial reforestation and other big bourgeois comprador and foreign-owned enterprises.
Duterte has completely shut the doors to peace talks with the NDFP since issuing Proclamation 360 and Proclamation 374 last year. Peace consultants of the NDFP have been treacherously arrested with planted evidence of firearms and explosives and charged with trumped-up criminal cases in violation of their guaranteed rights. The AFP is pushing for so-called localized peace talks, not to address the roots of the armed conflict in a comprehensive way between authorized negotiating panels at the national level, but as a divide-and-rule tactic and an additional corruption racket.
The US-Duterte regime’s fascism and puppetry are engendering the rapid growth of revolutionary armed struggle and mass movement while accelerating its isolation and heightening the people’s determination to cause its overthrow.
Even with US military advice and support, Duterte’s pipedream of crushing by mid-2019 the people’s armed revolution and other forms of resistance will fail.
First of all, he does not have the support of the people. In fact, he is utterly despised by the people for causing grave hardships and trampling on their democratic rights. His regime is a tyrannical, treasonous, brutal, corrupt and mendacious instrument of foreign domination and the local exploiting classes. The AFP’s Oplan Kapayapaan and the NISP 2018 are being fully exposed and discredited for serving the needs of big business, big landlords, mining and plantation companies to the detriment of the peasant masses and minority peoples. Duterte is defending an oppressive and exploitative system that is rotten to the core.
Bereft of political and moral highground, Duterte relies on military superiority, both in terms of number and weaponry, to advance his anti-national, antipeople and anti-democratic aims. His armed forces cannot but act in a brutal and despicable way, despite all pretenses and lies. With the nationwide spread and growth of the NPA, it is practically impossible for Duterte to achieve superiority on all fronts at any given time. The NPA enjoys such widespread and deep support among the masses rendering the AFP incapable of encircling or constricting every guerrilla unit without rousing widespread resistance.
The drive to arm the AFP with more artillery, attack and utility helicopters and surveillance drones are indications of the growing limitations of its ground troops. Spending for big-ticket military hardware, however, burden the people as these exhaust state funds and eat up allocations for social spending. Large military spending is unsustainable in the long run for Duterte’s bankrupt regime even with US support, especially as it becomes domestically untenable for the US to extend all-out support to Duterte and the AFP’s counterrevolutionary war because of American public opposition to gross military abuses and human rights violations.
Duterte’s all-out war and complete disregard for human rights, international humanitarian law and the civilized conduct of war are inciting the people’s antifascist resistance. Rousing widespread hatred for all the rottenness he perpetrates and perpetuates, Duterte is bound to end up like Marcos and Estrada who where overthrown in 1986 and 2001 respectively. By giving the military cabal vast powers, Duterte is setting himself up for a coup or withdrawal of military and police support by those with whom he has partnered with, or by those who have been disenfranchised by his favoritism. This can combine with a popular uprising by a united front of democratic forces which will put an end to his tyrannical regime.
The Party steadily grows in strength as people’s resistance intensifies
The Filipino people’s resistance against the US-Duterte fascist regime continues to intensify amid worsening socio-economic conditions and political crisis of the ruling system.
Duterte’s reign of terror and tyranny, attacks against democratic rights, subservience to the US, sellout of the country’s national sovereignty and patrimony, bureaucrat capitalist corruption and narcopolitics and antipeople neoliberal policies exposes the rotten core of the ruling system and rouses the Filipino people to wage democratic mass struggles and revolutionary armed resistance.
Across the country, there is widespread rural unrest as the peasant masses raise their demand for genuine land reform and struggle for land rent reduction, elimination of usury, fair farm gate prices and higher wages for farm workers. Victims of land grabbing and land title holders who have been deprived of their ownership through so-called agricultural venture agreements, “conversions” and “leasebacks” and various schemes are fighting to wrest back their rights to the land. Peasants and national minority peoples are firmly defending their lands and opposing the schemes of big landlords, real estate speculators, big mining firms, energy and tourism projects and oil palm plantations.
There is a steady rise in workers strikes and protest actions demanding job regularization, wage increases and other democratic demands in Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, the National Capital Region, Northeastern and Southern Mindanao regions. Workers are steadfastly building their unions despite all-out suppression by police and military forces.
Students are being stirred to take action by the Duterte regime’s fascist attacks, the political restoration of the Marcoses, as well as by the regime’s failure to carry out the promised free public college education program and by rising costs of education. They continue to show solidarity with the peasants and national minorities against fascist suppression in the countryside, as well as with workers in factory strikes and protests. Student protests against the regime’s subservience to foreign imperialist interests and growing foreign domination are also on the rise.
The united front of democratic forces and broad range of anti-Duterte opposition forces continue to gain strength. There is widespread clamor to make Duterte accountable for all his crimes in the “drug war,” the destruction of Marawi, martial law in Mindanao and Oplan Kapayapaan.
There is rising demand for justice amid the growing list of crimes perpetrated against the people by the Duterte fascist regime. There is demand for justice over the recent Sagay Massacre in Negros Occidental perpetrated by the Army-controlled and landlord-funded SCAA forces, as well as other massacres and extrajudicial killings. There is broad support in the struggle against Duterte’s closure of Lumad community schools. There is rising demand to end artillery shelling and aerial bombardment as these endanger the lives of civilians and cause widespread trauma. There is resounding call to withdraw all military troops (doing so-called “peace and development” operations) from rural villages, dismantle Army and paramilitary detachments near civilian communities and end the coercion of civilians to pose as “rebel surrenderees.”
The legal democratic forces and the broad anti-fascist united front mounted big multisectoral mass actions in the past months. These are poised to grow even bigger in the coming months as intensified attacks on democratic rights and electoral fraud stoke protests. These will be further bolstered by strikes and other mass protests by workers and other oppressed sectors against new taxes, the soaring prices of basic commodities, the practice of short-term contractualization (endo) and other burdensome neoliberal policies which aggravate their living conditions.
The national democratic forces are one of the strongest pillars of the broad democratic movement against the Duterte fascist regime. They are resiliently asserting their legal democratic rights and opposing the Duterte regime’s crackdown, Red-baiting and legal offensive of slapping trumped-up criminal charges. They are determined to oppose and frustrate Duterte’s scheme to manipulate the elections using the AFP and his Comelec appointees.
As the most consolidated expression of the united front, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) continues to grow as its underground revolutionary mass organizations serve as the solid core of the people’s democratic resistance against the fascist regime. Through the NDFP and its network, more and more people are drawn to join or support the revolutionary armed struggle in the countryside.
The revolutionary armed struggle being waged by the New People’s Army is steadily advancing nationwide. Under the Party’s leadership, the NPA continues to seize the initiative in waging widespread and intensive guerrilla warfare based on an ever widening and deepening mass base across country. It has recently stepped up annihilative tactical offensives from north to south, wiping out small enemy units and seizing firearms and other war materiél while carrying out numerous attritive actions against fascist troops with the help of people’s militias and self-defense corps of revolutionary mass organizations.
Despite being focus of enemy offensives, the NPA in Mindanao continues to persevere and succeed in launching annihilative tactical offensives, most notable of which is the recent overrunning of a CAFGU detachment and capture of 24 firearms in Agusan del Sur. Focused and sustained military operations such the three-week long AFP offensives in the Bukidnon-Misamis Oriental-Agusan del Sur triboundary with the aim of driving away the Lumad from their lands have been roundly frustrated.
With mastery of terrain, superior guerrilla tactics of concentration, dispersal and shifting, combined with the deep support of the masses, the NPA this year succeeded to frustrate one enemy focused military operation after another. The AFP has wasted billions of pesos in mostly fruitless operations lasting several weeks or more. Units of the NPA have adeptly mounted counter-encirclement operations to hit the enemy forces from their rear or flank. Combat units of the AFP have repeatedly suffered casualties as they are deployed as cannon fodder by their superiors.
Quick to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy’s focused and sustained operations and being good at learning lessons from accumulated and recent experiences, the NPA is more confident and capable in defeating the enemy’s strategic offensive. The enemy desperately wants to duplicate its concentrated and sustained offensives in the Davao region in North Central Mindanao, Samar, Bicol, Southern Tagalog and Negros. It will, however, be roundly frustrated as it faces a stronger nationwide force of the NPA that is ever more capable and determined to mount annihilative attacks on its weak and vulnerable points, to make it bleed with countless attritive actions while avoiding its attacks. It will become more isolated from the people and be driven out of many areas by the mounting outrage of the people.
The Party and the NPA grasp more firmly the requisites of widespread, at the same time, intensive character of guerrilla warfare, as to the building and deployment of its horizontal and vertical formations, forming guerrilla theaters composed of two to three guerrilla fronts, employing some elements of regular mobile warfare, mobilizing the masses for armed struggle, waging agrarian revolution and other mass campaigns in the countryside while fighting enemy operations, combining legal, illegal and semilegal forms of organizations and actions of the masses, and using dual tactics in dealing with the reactionary government’s processes and institutions.
Whenever the AFP deploys several battalions in focused military operations against one or several fronts, it unwittingly gives leeway for NPA units in other guerrilla fronts to conduct widespread political work among the people and mount tactical offensives against the isolated and weak points of the enemy in their areas of operation. On a bigger scale, the deployment of around 75% (now down to less than 65% after redeployments) of AFP combat troops in Mindanao provided the NPA in the Luzon and Visayas regions the opportunity to mount a growing number of tactical offensives. Duterte’s order to deploy more troops in Bicol, Samar and Negros is an admission of the growing strength of the NPA in Luzon and Visayas. In doing so, the AFP is being further overstretched, increasingly exposing thinner parts to NPA annihilative offensives.
The Communist Party of the Philippines continues to grow in strength in the course of the struggle against the US-Duterte regime and waging protracted people’s war to carry forward the people’s democratic revolution.
By condemning Duterte’s tyranny and fascist terrorism, calling on the people to resist the regime’s campaign of mass murder, exposing its fake “drug war,” crimes and corruption, denouncing the wanton destruction of Marawi, assailing its subservience to the US, and protesting its neoliberal policies, excessive loans and sellout of country’s patrimony, the Party has succeeded in setting the correct line of uniting the Filipino people under a broad united front to overthrow the US-Duterte fascist regime through all forms of resistance. The US-Duterte regime is now increasingly isolated from the people.
In doing so, the Party has fortified its position to further strengthen the revolutionary mass movement and lead the NPA in further advancing the people’s war.
Let us celebrate the Party’s 50th anniversary and lead the revolution to greater victories
Today, let us mark and celebrate the great and glorious achievements and revolutionary victories accumulated by our Party in the past 50 years of waging the people’s democratic revolution. Let us reaffirm our commitment and determination to lead the revolution to greater victories in the future.
Let us recall the glorious 50-year history of the Party and celebrate its achievements and victories in the ideological, political and organizational fields. The Party’s founding chairman has authored “Great Achievements of the CPP in 50 Years of Waging Revolution” which should be studied by all Party cadres and members to gain a firm grasp of the key lessons drawn from the Party’s history.
The past 50 years of revolutionary resistance led by the Party form the latest stage in the Filipino people’s century-long struggle for national liberation from US imperialist domination. The Party traces its historical roots to the old national democratic revolution against Spanish colonialism which broke out in 1896 led by the bourgeois liberalism-inspired Katipunan, to the anti-imperialist revolutionary forces who persisted in revolutionary armed resistance during the Fil-Am War, as well as from the pioneers of working class organizing and Party-building led by Crisanto Evangelista in the 1930s and their struggles against the American and Japanese colonial forces.
Inspired by its achievements of the past 50 years, the Party continues to firmly uphold the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist stand, viewpoint, and method and the line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war to end the oppressive and exploitative semicolonial and semifeudal system and create the conditions for socialist revolution and its ultimate goal of building a communist future.
The entire membership of the Party is solidly united by the Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution, Constitution and other decisions and resolutions of its 2nd Congress of 2016 and the leadership of the 2nd Central Committee. It is firmly guided by the three-year program of the Central Committee as further elaborated and extended to five years, and by the timely guidance and advice of the Executive Committee.
The Party continues to strengthen its grasp of the universal theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and its particular application in the Philippines. It raises the theoretical knowledge of its members and cadres by providing them the basic, intermediate and advanced Party courses, publication and translation of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist writings, conducting social investigations, studying and analyzing current domestic and foreign events and by summing-up and drawing lessons to enrich and develop theoretical knowledge from the social practice and practical experiences of the Party, the revolutionary movement and broad masses of the people.
The Party central leadership and regional committees aim to complete the 25-year summing-up of the Party to draw lessons in Party building, waging armed struggle and united front work since the Second Great Rectification Movement in order to correct shortcomings and weaknesses and more firmly carry forward the people’s war to higher stages.
We must raise the capability of our cadres in mobilizing the masses in their numbers and unleashing creativity and initiative of the people in waging revolutionary armed resistance, mass struggles and other forms of mass undertaking. Party cadres should firmly apply the principle of mass line in their style of work and methods of leadership.
The Party is single-minded in the task of uniting and leading the Filipino people in their resistance to overthrow the US-Duterte fascist regime and the struggle to end imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
The Party must lead the New People’s Army in waging guerrilla warfare and boldly mounting tactical offensives against the enemy. The NPA must target the worst of the fascist and corrupt units and officials and sanction the worst plunderers who cause grave damage to the environment and the people’s livelihood.
The Party must take hold of the strength of the NPA at the regional, subregional and front levels and relatively concentrate the necessary force to mount raids and ambuscades and other tactical offensives against detached units of the AFP, police stations, paramilitaries and other enemy soft targets as well as abusive private security guards and agencies and criminal gangs. The NPA units must always ensure that they launch tactical offensives that they are capable of winning.
On the basis of information and complaints of the people, ascertained by the pertinent authorities of the people’s court, armed teams of the NPA must undertake arrest operations or punitive actions against individuals in urban or rural areas who are notorious for serious human rights violations, corruption and anti-social or criminal activities.
The Party and NPA commands at all levels and in units must raise the fighting will and capability of all NPA Red fighters and NPA units through political education, military training, regular exercises, intelligence and reconnaissance against enemy positions, assessments, summing-ups and planning through regular and timely military conferences.
The Party must ensure that policies with regard to the correct force structure of the NPA are implemented. It must ensure the proper disposition of NPA units to avoid overdispersal of small units which are vulnerable to enemy encirclement. The NPA must combine and balance its work in guerrilla zones and base areas. It must ensure the development and strengthening of guerrilla bases determined by the social and political terrain, typically in front and subregional border areas to serve as rear where NPA units can be concentrated when necessary both for strategic planning and tactical coordination. We must ensure that the NPA strictly comply with security policies, in maintaining the secrecy of sensitive information and avoiding unnecessary exposures.
The Party must ensure that NPA commands plan and carry out annihilative tactical offensives (for the purpose of wiping out enemy units and seizing its weapons) as the principal form of tactical offensives while carrying out widespread attrition to harass, weaken, demoralize and disrupt the enemy’s plans. The primary aim of mounting tactical offensives is to to disarm the enemy and seize its weapons. We must conduct propaganda and political work within the ranks of the enemy to cause its disintegration.
The Party and NPA must strive to have a defense plan from the regional down to the section level, studying close the enemy’s plans, deployment, operations and tactics. We must ensure that NPA commands at every level are able to direct and coordinate all NPA units within their scope. We must ensure that all NPA units perform their role, coordinate and cooperate with other NPA units and help each other overcome problems in supply, logistics, communication, intelligence and others. Mobilize the masses to perform various tasks in guerrilla warfare, including joining tactical offensives, carrying out operations in the enemy’s rear, intelligence and others. Boldly recruit new Red fighters following basic requirements.
The Party calls on all revolutionary forces to intensify antifeudal struggles and other mass struggles in the countryside. Amid worsening conditions and worsening forms of exploitation and oppression, the broad masses of peasants must intensify the land reform movement across the country and raise the demand for free distribution of land to the tiller. Mobilize the peasant masses in their millions.
In the guerrilla zones, we must ardently carry out the Party’s minimum land reform program of rent reduction, elimination of usury and demanding fair prices of farm products. We must launch campaigns to raise rural income and improve the lot of the peasant masses, and encourage more support for the NPA. We must always pay attention to the outstanding problems of the masses and plan to resolve or address their concerns through mass campaigns and mobilization. We must launch campaigns and programs for literacy and education, health and sanitation, peace and order and others. We must launch cultural and propaganda campaigns to raise the people’s courage and militancy and rouse them to struggle against fascism.
The Party urges the peasant masses to intensify their struggle against fascist abuses by the AFP, its paramilitaries, police forces and other armed agents of the reactionary state. They must rise in protest against the entry of so-called “peace and development operations” of the AFP, and assert the democratic rights and rights as civilians, and oppose the AFP’s campaign to witchhunt or Red-tag and illegalize them. They must draw broad support for their cause by uniting with other forces in an anti-fascist united front.
The Party calls on the broad masses of workers, students and other democratic sectors in the cities to intensify their anti-fascist and anti-imperialist struggles and support for anti-feudal struggles. They must carry out mass struggles to advance their rights and welfare amid worsening socio-economic conditions as a result of Duterte’s heavy taxation, inflation, corruption, misuse of public funds and other anti-people policies.
Boldly expand the anti-fascist united front to resist the tyranny and terrorism of the US-Duterte regime. Unite all democratic forces and sectors such as the academe, church people, journalists, professionals, business and others. Defend the people’s legal democratic rights and resist Duterte’s de facto martial law.
At the same time, the revolutionary forces in the cities must persevere in building their underground organizations and network to frustrate and defeat the Duterte regime’s surveillance, arrests, extrajudicial killings and other forms of attack against the legal democratic forces. Activists and mass leaders who are being targets of liquidation or abduction can avail of the security of the guerrilla base areas of the NPA.
The Party enjoins its cadres in the urban areas, especially among the young workers and young intellectuals, to go to the countryside to help the peasant antifeudal struggles or join the New People’s Army in waging revolutionary armed struggle.
The Party and all revolutionary forces must wage relentless propaganda to expose the lies of Duterte and the AFP. Reach out to all rural villages, factories, schools, offices, urban communities, as well as to Filipino workers overseas.
As the Filipino people wage all-out resistance against the US-Duterte fascist regime, the Party continues to grow in strength, drawing thousands of new members from the ranks of Red fighters and advanced elements and activists of the revolutionary mass movement of peasants, workers, urban poor, students and youth, women, professionals, migrant workers and other oppressed sectors. It has thousands of Party branches which lead the people in their mass struggles. It aims to breach one hundred thousand members in the coming years.
The Party continues to uphold and put into practice the principle of democratic centralism from the central leadership to the basic Party branches. The Central Committee decides and sets the principles, policies and line to guide the entire Party. Lower organs of the Party are subordinate to higher organs. But all Party organs and organizations must gather and lay the factual basis for decision-making and decision-making must be democratic, with the issues fully discussed and differences of views settled by majority vote. The Party combats bureaucratism and commandism and ultrademocracy and liberalism.
As we mark and celebrate the Party’s 50th anniversary, we look forward to accomplishing ever bigger achievements and revolutionary victories.
The Party and all revolutionary forces must persevere in carrying out and further developing extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare based on an ever widening and deepening mass base in order to bring the people’s war to the advanced stage of the strategic defensive, and thus lay the ground for further advancing to the strategic stalemate. In line with the strategy of protracted people’s war, we continue to wage revolutionary armed struggle, carry out land reform and build political power in the countryside, until it is capable of seizing political power in the cities and national capital.
The Party looks forward to attaining complete victory in the foreseeable future even as it is prepared to lead the people in waging revolutionary struggle for as long as it takes to put an end to the reign of the oppressors and exploiters.
The Party anticipates further worsening of the crisis of the ruling system in the Philippines as well as the global crisis of capitalism. This will create much more favorable conditions for the accelerated advance of the people’s democratic revolution in the Philippines, anti-imperialist struggles across the world and the resurgence of the international communist movement at a higher plane.
All Party cadres at every level of leadership must perform duties with total proletarian revolutionary determination and carry out the arduous tasks in line with the communist spirit of selfless sacrifice.
Long live the Filipino and international proletariat and all oppressed and exploited people! Raise high the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!
Long live the people’s democratic revolution! Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!