Message of the Central Committee, Communist Party of the Philippines
on the 44th Founding Anniversary of the New People’s Army
We salute the Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army on the occasion of its 44th founding anniversary. We congratulate you for winning significant victories in the previous year and for accumulating more strength. We admire the entire people’s army for fighting firmly and fiercely the US-Aquino regime and defeating the objective of Oplan Bayanihan to weaken and destroy the revolutionary movement through deception and brute force.
We commend you for upholding the leadership of the Party and the glorious tradition and revolutionary principles of the people’s army and for carrying forward the people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. As always, we render the highest honor to our revolutionary martyrs and heroes. We are inspired by their struggle, sacrifices, and achievements.
It is our resolve to develop fully the political and military strength of the people’s army in the middle and advanced phases of the strategic defensive and reach the threshold of the strategic stalemate in the few years ahead. For this purpose, we must intensify our tactical offensives to seize more weapons and create more units of the people’s army. Necessarily, we must expand and consolidate the revolutionary mass base.
The objective conditions in the world and in the Philippines are favorable for our armed struggle and for realizing our objective. The imperialist powers continue to fail in overcoming the crisis of their own making. The US-Aquino regime is in dire straits because the worsening crisis of the world capitalist system aggravates the chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system.
I. The imperialist powers aggravate the global crisis
The monopoly bourgeoisie and the finance oligarchy in the imperialist countries continue to stick to the neoliberal economic policy of “free market” globalization. Despite the conditions of global depression, they persist in accelerating superprofit-taking and the concentration of capital in their hands, suppressing trade union rights and other democratic rights; and maximizing the extraction of surplus value from the labor power of the working class.
They try in vain to hasten the flow of investments and trade in the real economy but succeed only in speeding up the flow of speculative capital in the financial markets. They continue to privatize public assets, and grab large contracts and subsidies from the state for civil and military projects. They continue to extract advantages from deregulation against labor, women and children, the economy, and the environment. They also extract advantages from the denationalization of economies of semicolonies and dependent countries.
The economic and financial crisis has turned into an epidemic of public debt. The imperialist powers and their multilateral agencies (IMF, World Bank and WTO) react to the ever worsening crisis by further shifting the burden of crisis to the working people of the world through a series of austerity measures. These involve further reduction of wages, employment, social benefits and social services. They aggravate the crisis of overproduction and the overconcentration of capital in the hands of the big bourgeoisie.
Even the middle social strata are being impoverished. While cutting down on social services (education, health and low-income housing), the imperialist powers are deploying more financial resources in speculation, war production and wars of aggression. They misrepresent the military expenditures as helpful to economic recovery and as a way of expanding economic territory abroad (sources of cheap fuel and other natural resources, markets, fields of investment and spheres of influence).
In the imperialist countries, the workers, youth, women and migrant workers are manifesting their resistance against the deterioration of wage and living conditions. They are shaking off the previous decades of trade union repression, consumerism, reformism, revisionism and all sorts of reactionary petty-bourgeois currents. Strikes and protest rallies have been most militant and widespread in such capitalist countries as Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, that are most overburdened by debts from the dominant countries.
Resistance of the people is most evident in the depressed underdeveloped countries because they are the most exploited and oppressed in the world. Popular wars of national liberation are intensifying and expanding. These include the long running national liberation movements such as those in the Philippines, Colombia, Kurdistan, India and other South Asian countries, and those where recently the US and NATO have carried out blatant wars of aggression as in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as thinly veiled wars of aggression as in Libya and Syria. Imperialist proxy wars are also raging in several African countries.
The imperialist powers are being opposed more than ever by countries that assert independence, such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Iran and others. They make provocations, engage in interferences and economic and military blockades, and launch wars of aggression. In countries where they have overthrown governments, more deep-seated people’s struggles for national liberation and democracy are arising.
The imperialist powers themselves and their multilateral agencies have been unable to overcome the crisis and depression that have swept the world. Inter-imperialist contradictions over economic, financial, trade and security matters are surfacing. It is pushing for the further dismantling of state enterprises in China to allow the foreign monopoly capitalists full freedom to exploit China’s working class and penetrate its vast market. At the same time, the US is exerting effort to forge new economic agreements to serve the renewed push for the further liberalization of underdeveloped countries.
The worsening economic and social crisis generates such ultra-reactionary currents as chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry, sexism and fascism but at the same time propels such progressive currents of resistance as those arising from the workers, migrants, youth, women and other oppressed and exploited classes and sectors.
All major contradictions in the world are steadily heating up. They include the following: between the imperialist powers and the oppressed peoples and nations; between the imperialist powers and the countries assertive of independence; among the imperialist powers; and between capital and labor in the imperialist countries. Social turmoil is growing in all types of countries dominated by imperialism. People’s resistance is growing. The revolutionary trend is emerging.
The people’s war in the Philippines is favored by the growing social and political turbulence all over the world. The wars of aggression and interferences that the US and NATO have carried out in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, and Africa have far reaching effects insofar as they arouse people’s resistance for an indefinitely long time and tie down and eat up the personnel and resources of the imperialist powers, especially the US.
But even while the US and NATO are still bogged down elsewhere, the US has announced its policy to refocus on the Asia-Pacific region and has made war provocations and stirred up disputes here in order to lay the ground for military intervention and aggression. It is conspicuously exerting pressures on China, making war provocations on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and stirring up troubles in both Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.
The US is now determined to entrench itself militarily in the Philippines. It has whipped up the territorial disputes of the Philippines and other countries with China over parts of the China Sea. It has no intention of defending the Philippines against China but is using the territorial dispute in order to establish forward stations and possibly bases from which to oversee and influence the direction of Chinese policy and events in its favor.
The US-Aquino regime has the illusion that increasing US military presence in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region would serve to protect the rotten ruling system in the Philippines. But the very military presence of the US can easily rouse the people’s hatred for its military intervention and for propping up the exploitative and oppressive ruling system.
Not too long ago, the US had military bases in the Philippines and poured large amounts of economic and military assistance to the Marcos fascist dictatorship. Despite all these, the revolutionary movement grew in strength and caused the downfall of Marcos and the eventual removal of the US military bases.
The increasing US military presence in the East Asia region and in the Philippines cannot stop but can only stimulate the growth of people’s war in the Philippines. The Filipino people and their revolutionary forces are well aware of the US imperial overstretch being further strained by the US economic crisis and the many troubles that the US has stirred up all over the world.
II. Crisis continues to worsen in the Philippines
The economic and social crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system is worsening. The underdevelopment of the economy is deepening. Unemployment is running high. The workers and peasants are suffering intolerable conditions of exploitation and poverty. The middle social strata are being dragged down.
The US-Aquino regime is a fanatical follower of the neoliberal economic dogma. It has not adopted a single policy to promote national industrialization and land reform. It is averse to manufacturing in general. It only favors agricultural programs, tourism and infrastructure projects under auspices of foreign investors and big compradors. It continues to maintain the economic policy of dependence on superexploitative foreign investment and the export of cheap labor, raw materials and semimanufactures. To cover trade deficits and imports of food and consumer manufactures, the economy has to avail of more foreign loans at increasingly onerous terms. The foreign debt continues to accumulate.
The regime boasts of an economic growth of 6.6%. This is mere illusion conjured by speculative money (portfolio funds) coming on top of the remittances of overseas contract workers and by the growth of conspicuous luxury consumption rather than by any growth in industrial and agricultural production. The enterprises most favored by the regime are business call centers, construction of condominiums and office buildings, and export-oriented mining, logging and plantations.
Private construction is overdependent on foreign loans and is now overheated and on the brink of a collapse, reminiscent of 1997. Public infrastructure-building is likewise dependent on foreign loans and is afflicted by bureaucratic corruption. Projects previously approved by the Arroyo regime have been subjected to review and further extortion by the Aquino ruling clique.
It has increasingly come to light that the Aquino ruling clique is allowing presidential relatives and cronies to engage in technical smuggling that has resulted in the loss of at least PhP 58 billion in customs revenues for the government since 2010. This is now the most exposed type of corruption under the regime that boasts of being clean and honest; and of treading the righteous path. People are now reminded of the corruption under the Cory regime and wish to smash the Aquino mystique that has served as capital for the Aquinos and Cojuangcos to further benefit their political dynasty and business empire.
The US-Aquino regime has been carrying out an undeclared policy of austerity in a futile effort to reduce public deficit. It has cut back government funding for social services (education, health and low-cost housing). It has reduced public sector employment. It is bent on further privatizing public hospitals. At the same time, it has increased funding for military personnel and equipment and such programs as conditional cash transfer, PAMANA, and the like to complement Oplan Bayanihan and to serve as slush fund for bureaucratic corruption and electioneering.
The economic and social crisis fuels the political crisis of the ruling system. The broad masses of the people, especially the toiling masses are in deep discontent and are indignant over the deteriorating economic and social conditions. Thus, the people’s war is raging. Strikes and protest demonstrations are increasing. The rivalry of the political factions of the exploiting classes is sharpening as they compete for power and spoils.
Despite the attempts of the cousins Eduardo and Jose Cojuangco to harmonize the Aquino regime and the shadow regime of Vice President Binay, the rivalry of Mar Roxas and Binay for the presidency is escalating. As a consequence, the competition of senatorial candidates under the Team PNoy (Liberal Party-led coalition with the Nationalist People’s Coalition, Nacionalista Party and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino) and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Binay has sharpened.
The latter is accusing the former of using government facilities and funds to favor itself. It has also exposed the scheme of the regime to program the automated electoral system to produce at least an 8-4 or even a 12-0 outcome in the senatorial elections in favor of the Team PNoy. The scheme is a repeat of the method which elected Aquino to the presidency through the same foreign electronic outfit, Smartmatic.
The contest for local executive positions (governors and mayors) is conspicuously becoming more corrupt and more violent. Local dynasties are preserving their fiefdoms by using money and armed thugs to beat challengers. The stakes are big enough to drive rival factions to engage in electoral fraud and terrorism. They include opportunities for acquiring more power and wealth by stealing from public funds, favoring one’s own family business, influence peddling and taking bribes from investors, contractors of infrastructure projects, all types of smugglers and criminal syndicates engaged in the numbers game (jueteng) illegal logging or mining, drugs, gambling and prostitution, kidnapping, carnapping and the like.
Criminal syndicates are either run or protected by officers of the reactionary armed forces and police. They have different political patrons and engage in turf wars. The violence is well demonstrated by the Atimonan massacre in which a group of police who belong to a criminal syndicate ambushed the convoy of another criminal syndicate, which also included police officers. The criminal syndicates collaborate with the politicians in a wide range of lucrative criminal activities.
The Aquino regime is gloating over the fact that it has obtained in principle and in ample documentation from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front its capitulation to the Manila government by giving up its previous objective of secession. While the regime keeps on blaring to the press that the final peace agreement shall be signed before 2016, it demands something that the MILF might not be able to accept, the dismantling of its army prior to any significant social and economic benefits to the Bangsamoro.
For so long as the Bangsamoro right to self-determination and ancestral domain is not respected, armed resistance will arise again and again. The US-Aquino regime cannot be too sure that it will be able to rule the Bangsamoro and plunder their resources; and that it will have more armed forces available to fight the armed revolutionary movement of the Filipino people.
Quite unexpected by the Aquino regime, the Sulu sultanate made a dramatic move to assert its authority and property rights over Sabah under Philippine sovereignty. The act of the sultanate in sending a small political expedition to Sabah has been supported by the Moro National Liberation Front. Aquino has openly speculated that there is a conspiracy to upset Malaysia and the GPH-MILF peace deal that Malaysia has directly brokered.
Obsequiously, Aquino has played the role of spokesman for Malaysia and cheered on its massacre of the group of Tausugs that sailed to Sabah; and has thus exposed his utter lack of concern for the sovereignty of the Philippines over Sabah and the welfare of Filipinos (Bajaus, Suluks, Tausugs, Iranons, Ilocanos, Bisayans, Tagalogs and others) who now comprise the biggest bloc of the Sabah population. It has come to light that in 1983, the late Benigno S. Aquino pledged a sell out to Malaysia of the Philippine sovereignty over Sabah and that the Cojuangcos have huge business interests in Malaysia.
The peace negotiations between the reactionary government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines have been paralyzed by Aquino and his minions. They have assailed The Hague Joint Declaration as a “document of perpetual division”. They have also declared the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) as inoperative. They have refused to release from prison the JASIG-protected NDFP consultants and personnel and blocked the NDFP reconstruction of its list of JASIG-protected consultants, security officers and staff.
They have avoided any discussion on the necessity of addressing the roots of the armed conflict through basic social, economic and political reforms. At every turn in every meeting of the negotiating panels and special delegations, they have demanded directly and in effect the capitulation and pacification of the people’s revolutionary movement. At all times, the NDFP have rebuffed them. Aquino has practically killed the peace negotiations.
It is obvious that the Aquino regime is not interested in peace negotiations to address the roots of the armed conflict and forge agreements on basic social, economic and political reforms. It is hell bent on waging war and carrying out the US-instigated Oplan Bayanihan. The Party and the NPA are therefore alerted and compelled to intensify the tactical offensives nationwide and carry out the plan to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate.
III. The NPA grows in strength and advances
From Oplan Bantay Laya of the US-Arroyo regime to Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Aquino regime, the pipe dream of the reactionary state’s highest civil and military officials has been to reduce to inconsequentiality or irrelevance and eventually destroy the New People’s Army. They are always frustrated.
Soon after they declare that a whole province or region is “insurgency-free”, the people’s army launches a tactical offensive to debunk the false claim and embarrass the liars. Certainly, they cannot proclaim success at reducing the NPA to irrelevance this year and turn over mopping up operations to the police, contrary to the presumptuous objective of Oplan Bayanihan that 2011 to 2013 would be the period for debilitating or defeating the NPA and 2014 to 2016 would be the period for the police to mop up the remnants of the NPA.
In fact, the reactionary armed forces, the police and paramilitary units with varied names (CAFGU, CAA, CVO, IDF, etc.) have always collaborated and will continue to do so in futile campaigns and operations against the NPA. They constantly seek comfort from the lie that in the mid-1980s the NPA had 25,000 Red fighters and now has only 4,000. They deny the fact that the NPA had only 6,100 high-powered rifles in 1986.
The NPA continues to accumulate strength in terms of fighting experience and skills, armed strength and mass base. It has people’s militia units with personnel in the tens of thousands and self-defense units with personnel in the hundreds of thousands. It enjoys the inexhaustible support of the people in their millions. The Second Great Rectification Movement has corrected the major errors that undermined the revolutionary movement in the entire 1980s until the early 1990s.
The New People’s Army is indestructible and enjoys the ever support of the oppressed and exploited Filipino people. It has acquired the critical mass for accelerating the people’s war to an extent that it can shake the ruling system from ground to rafters. At various levels of command, it has strike forces capable of wiping out enemy units and waging battles while other NPA units carry out mass work, production and other kinds of work for the benefit of the people.
The NPA is led by the revolutionary party of the proletariat, the Communist Party of the Philippines, which sets the general line of new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. This line serves the national and democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants, and carries forward the revolutionary cause of fighting for national liberation and democracy against the exploitative and oppressive semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system of big compradors and landlords that are servile to the US imperialists.
The NPA is the instrument of the people for overthrowing the reactionary ruling system and for establishing the people’s democratic government. On the other hand, the reactionary armed forces, the police and the paramilitary are hated by the people because they serve the interests of exploiters and oppressors, the US and local exploiting classes.
The people see through the pretenses of Oplan Bayanihan, which tries to masquerade as a plan for so-called community organizing for peace and development. Its psywar operations are meant to obscure the basic problems of the people, vilify the revolutionary forces, disinform and sow intrigue among the people, and gather intelligence for intimidating and attacking the people.
The counterrevolutionary character of the state and its coercive forces is thoroughly exposed. The reactionary armed forces, police and paramilitary violently oppose the people’s demand for national industrialization and land reform as the main content of the democratic revolution. They have a brutal antipeople character and are prone to commit a wide range of human rights violations, including murder, rape, kidnapping, illegal detention, forced evacuation, torture and grabbing what the people own.
The NPA carries out extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. It integrates its revolutionary armed struggle with revolutionary land reform and mass base building. It has a clear strategy and tactics of people’s war and conducts politico-military training in order to gain the necessary revolutionary knowledge and fighting skills. But most importantly, it carries out agrarian revolution in stages and builds the mass base.
Despite all their braggadocio, the enemy regime and its armed forces can concentrate on, and control only, limited parts of the Philippine territory at every given time. It is still true that at the strategic level the reactionary armed forces have several times more armed strength than the people’s army but at the tactical level the NPA can launch offensives to annihilate enemy units and accumulate victories to change the balance of forces.
The NPA has more than 110 guerrilla fronts throughout the archipelago. Each of these has a center of gravity in order to secure the leadership, ensure command and organize an ever-ready strike force for attacking the enemy. At the same time, there are relatively dispersed local NPA units coordinating with the local organs of political power, the mass organizations, the people’s militia and self-defense units and ensuring that mass work is being done and the mass base is being expanded and consolidated while undertaking tactical offensives within their capability. For delivering head blows to the enemy in urban areas, the NPA employs commando teams and armed city partisans.
The Party leads the operational command of the NPA at every territorial level (guerrilla front, interfront or subregional, regional and national level) and likewise of every unit formation (squad, platoon, company and so on). The Party is above as well as inside every command level and every unit of the NPA. Every squad has a Party group and every platoon has a Party branch. The unit commander and the political officer exercise co-leadership of the unit and are responsible for command and administration; and political matters, respectively.
All the NPA territorial commands are the sources of planning and initiative within their respective scope in launching offensives against the Oplan Bayanihan scheme of unleashing eight to 12 battalions against three principal target areas and six to ten battalions against secondary objectives. The enemy forces tend to stay for six months or longer in areas of concentration. But intensified NPA offensives elsewhere can force them to shift their area of concentration.
Every guerrilla front under attack can use the rough terrain and the big gaps in enemy deployment to maneuver and launch tactical offensives against the weakest points of the enemy. At the regional and interfront or subregional levels, the command can deploy units to attack the weak points of the enemy forces encircling any guerrilla front or intensify attacks on the enemy in other guerrilla fronts or areas where the enemy is weak.
When all or most guerrilla fronts of a whole region are under enemy attack, coordination and cooperation with adjacent regions become even more important for intensifying coordinated tactical offensives, better use of border and other accessible areas for maneuver and other needs of guerrilla forces, and joint efforts in propaganda and political campaigns. Direct link and regular joint assessment and planning between adjacent regional NPA commands can strengthen exchanges of information and experiences, foster mutual help in training, logistics and other needs, and speed up the development of guerrilla fronts in border areas.
To help regions under heavy enemy attack, the NPA national operational command can also direct the intensification of tactical offensives in other regions and find ways of extending more direct assistance to them. It can also take the initiative of directing nationally coordinated offensives in a concerted effort to accelerate the accumulation of more arms and the building of new NPA units, put in disarray the enemy plans, inspire the open democratic mass movement, further expose the rotten system and weaken the enemy.
The NPA forces in various regions in Mindanao, in Negros and in Samar-Leyte have come under concentrated enemy attacks. But they have become stronger as a result of fighting the enemy. They have excelled at seizing initiatives and inflicting casualties and material damage on, and seizing arms from, enemy forces. Regions such as Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Ilocos-Cordillera and other regions are now targets of escalating enemy attacks. They can learn from the regions where the NPA has not been weakened but strengthened by repelling enemy attacks and seizing every opportunity for launching offensives.
The armed struggle in a few regions has at various times declined from their peaks of revolutionary struggle at various periods in the past. But it is steadily being reinvigorated as the revolutionary forces there learn lessons and are assisted with cadres and weapons from other regions through the Party Central Committee. The regional Party cadres and NPA commanders concerned look back to their previous victories and major contributions to the people’s democratic revolution. They are determined to overcome previous errors and shortcomings and are enthusiastic to develop the revolutionary forces, expand the mass base and fulfill the plan to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate.
Advancing wave upon wave from existing guerrilla fronts is still the principal method for increasing the guerrilla fronts. It is wrong to fragment the existing armed strength and dissolve or weaken the center of gravity in any regional or subregional level of command. There has to be a center from which to coordinate and direct the existing forces in the region and to deploy the strike forces against the enemy. Time and again, experience has shown that dividing the NPA armed strength into small units and dispersing them to cover too many congressional districts only leads to passivity, conservatism and an even slower rate of expansion and growth.
The Party can deploy cadres and mass activists to prepare guerrilla zones in new areas through Party building and mass organizing. If the line of the Party is correct, a unit of the people’s army arises where there is none either because the local Party members and mass activists are determined to form the NPA from their ranks or welcome the introduction of NPA seed elements from elsewhere in the district, province or region.
The NPA has been able to strengthen itself and weaken the enemy by launching tactical offensives of annihilation and seizing arms from the enemy. Ambuscades, raids and arrest operations have been conducted. Enemy weak points include isolated elements or small detachments of the reactionary armed forces, local police stations, paramilitary units and private security forces of private enterprises.
At the same time, attritive actions against the enemy have been undertaken to inflict casualties, destroy facilities and effect demoralization in enemy ranks. They involve sniping, land mines, grenade attacks and use of inflammables; the destruction of facilities; and the sabotage of military and military-related facilities. The capture of enemy armories, the destruction of enemy vehicles and the interdiction of supply lines and depots are prime NPA objectives.
Mining, plantation and logging enterprises owned by foreign and big comprador firms have been successfully attacked in various parts of the country, with the revolutionary forces of Mindanao undertaking the biggest actions and showing the way to other NPA commands nationwide. Such enterprises are legitimate targets because they extract and bring out superprofits, export raw materials and undermine national economic development, ruin the environment, destroy agriculture and lessen the land available for land reform and frustrate the people’s aspiration for national industrialization and land reform.
The NPA has arrested and taken criminals and local tyrants to account for their crimes before the people’s court. Punishing those found guilty and stopping criminality have been an effective way for the NPA to assert people’s democratic power. It is the effective way to do away with the worst counter-revolutionary elements and to strengthen Red political power in the guerrilla fronts. The worst counterrevolutionary enemy units and elements that are based in urban areas and that engage in physical assaults against the people and progressive forces are subject to punitive operations by NPA commandos and armed city partisans.
To make the NPA an effective fighting force, the NPA command at various levels develop personnel for departments or staffs in charge of planning, recruitment and politico-military training, intelligence and reconnaissance, logistics, medical services, production, cultural work and other major functions. The Party pays close attention to these functions in connection with the intensification of tactical offensives and the plan to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate.
The broad masses of the people cherish and support the NPA Red commanders and fighters because they do not only fight the people’s enemies but they also engage in work that help the people in their daily lives and involve close relations with them. They engage in propaganda and agitation, encourage mass organizing and campaigns of various types, extend medical services, stage cultural performances, undertake production for the people’s army and the families of Red fighters and martyrs and carry out relief work in times of disaster.
The organs of political power and the mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth and cultural activists constitute the solid revolutionary mass base. Under the leadership of the Party within the NPA units and in the locality, they have expanded and consolidated themselves and they have carried out campaigns for land reform and other purposes for the social benefit of the people.
They pursue the antifeudal united front in order to gain the broad support of the people in the rural areas. This involves relying mainly on the poor peasants and farm workers, winning over the middle peasants, neutralizing the rich peasants and taking advantage of the contradictions between the enlightened landlords and the despotic landlords in order to isolate the despotic landlords and destroy their power. The antifeudal united front is at the base of the national united front against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes. It has resulted in a powerful mass movement in the rural areas and is a crucial part of the national democratic mass movement.
Under the leadership of the Party, the NPA has been able to inspire the formation of various types of mass organizations and to generate the rural-based mass movement along the line of the antifeudal united front. It enjoys the wide and deepgoing participation and support of the people in the process of armed revolution. It is therefore confident of winning greater victories and advancing in the people’s war until the total victory of the new democratic revolution.
IV. Fighting tasks of the New People’s Army
The NPA is fighting for the just cause of national liberation and democracy, while the enemy seeks to preserve the oppressive and exploitative system. It can therefore take full advantage of the support of the people, especially the workers and peasants. It can maneuver easily in more than 90% of the country, while the enemy can concentrate only in limited parts of the country.
The NPA is invincible as long as it fights for the Filipino people and is led by the Communist Party of the Philippines. It combines revolutionary armed struggle with agrarian revolution and building the mass base. Though the enemy is superior in the number of trained troops and military equipment at the strategic level, the NPA is superior at the tactical level by seizing the initiative and intensifying the offensives.
The New People’s Army must continuously seize the initiative and intensify the tactical offensives in order to defeat Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Aquino regime and to realize the revolutionary plan to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate. The various levels of command must have strike forces for wiping out enemy units, seizing arms and inspiring the Filipino people to fight against the rotten ruling system.
Carry forward the people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war!
The NPA must grasp the general line and carry forward the people’s democratic revolution. It must be conscious that it is waging the people’s democratic revolution in order to overthrow the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system of big compradors and landlords servile to US imperialism. The only way for the NPA to overthrow the ruling system is to pursue the strategic line of protracted people’s war.
This entails the NPA encircling the cities from the countryside, making the enemy bleed from many wounds and accumulating military strength until it gains the capability of seizing the cities nationwide. The countryside offers the NPA ground for maneuver and the advantages of launching offensives and developing strength in stages against a militarily superior enemy.
Within the current stage of strategic defensive, we are determined to build and strengthen several guerrilla theaters in every region in accordance with the operational art of people’s war in order to raise the level of armed struggle nationwide. In building guerrila theaters, we aim to bring together the power of three to four guerrila fronts that can reach brigade strength with 2-3 platoons or undersize companies as centers of gravity amidst company strength local guerrillas forces per front complemented by squad to platoon size militia units in several hundred barrios. With raised level of strength, planning, coordination and maneuverability of the NPA, it can wage rapid tactical offensives to change the balance of forces and advance towards a higher stage of the people’s war.
The NPA must pursue the general line by following the leadership of the Party, carrying out mass work, undertaking politico-military training and actually seizing the initiative and intensifying the tactical offensives.
Fight the US-Aquino regime and defeat Oplan Bayanihan!
The NPA must fight the US-directed Aquino regime as the enemy. This regime is now the chief representative of the exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. It is a brutal defender of the ruling system and rabid running dog of US imperialism.
The NPA must defeat Oplan Bayanihan. This enemy plan involves both brutal campaigns of suppression and campaigns of deception and intelligence gathering. It concentrates forces on selected regions and guerrilla fronts in order to encircle the NPA forces by deploying combat, psywar and intelligence units in these target areas. The NPA must combat all these enemy units as armed units even when these pretend to be noncombatants but are nonetheless armed as they pursue the objectives of Oplan Bayanihan.
The way to defeat the enemy forces is for the NPA forces in guerrilla fronts and regions to avail of the wide gaps between enemy units and wipe out the enemy units that they can wipe out. At the same time, the NPA forces elsewhere can seize the initiative in launching tactical offensives upon the direction of the commands at the guerrilla front, interfront or subregional, regional and national levels of the NPA.
The US-Aquino regime and its Oplan Bayanihan must be exposed and isolated in order to weaken and ultimately defeat them. Tit-for-tat propaganda struggle must be waged at all levels to combat the regime’s deception and lay bare its anti-people schemes and crimes. The economic and political struggles of the masses and progressive forces must be invigorated and expanded in direct and indirect coordination with the armed struggle.
Intensify the tactical offensives to seize more arms and create more NPA units!
The NPA must field strike forces to intensify the tactical offensives in order to seize more arms and create more NPA units. The strike forces must carry out ambushes, raids and other disarming operations at an accelerated rate and with short rest periods. They must wage only the battles that they are capable of winning. They must target the stationary and moving weak points of the enemy.
The enemy weak points include the small army detachments, police units, paramilitary units and private security guards. Large enemy camps and fortified positions are not at all awesome because these are vulnerable to various forms of attack. Enemy units emerge from them to conduct patrols, run supply errands and perform other functions, thus exposing their vulnerability.
The NPA must exercise flexibility in using a wide range of tactics to induce or lure in enemy forces and turn them into supply and transport officers unwittingly delivering arms to the NPA. Incidents of harassment of enemy units or punishment of enemy elements can draw reinforcements and investigating units, which can be ambushed while on their way. Successful NPA offensives or feints can also draw enemy forces to one area but can allow the NPA units to ambush the enemy rescue or reaction units or to launch offensives against more vulnerable enemy points elsewhere.
While annihilation of enemy units is the main NPA tactic, attritive operations to inflict serious damage on the enemy must also be undertaken by deploying teams to lay mines on the path of enemy units, to snipe at them, assault them with grenades or mortar fire; and by attacking enemy supply lines, depots, motor pools, fuel stocks and the like. Such operations done widely and frequently seriously damage not only the material resources but also, and more importantly, the morale of enemy personnel.
Upon the intensification of the people’s war, the NPA territorial commands must attend to the need for planning, recruitment, politico-military training, intelligence and reconnaissance, combat operations, logistics, medical service, production, cultural work and other necessary services.
While combat is the main function that distinguishes the NPA from other mass formations, it must carry out functions that can make it an even more effective fighting force. The Red fighters must take turns at engaging in politico-military training, mass work, production, tax enforcement, cultural work, production, and disaster relief and rehabilitation work. Recruitment campaigns and the expansion and development of the people’s militia must be constantly looked after to ensure that there are sufficient recruits for forming new units and replacing losses.
Carry out agrarian revolution and dismantle enterprises that grab and ruin the land!
The NPA must ensure that the minimum land reform program is carried out as the first step in the agrarian revolution. It involves land rent reduction, elimination of usury, raising wages of farm workers, fair prices at the farm gate and promotion of agricultural and sideline occupation through rudimentary forms of cooperation. The NPA must also engage in production to support itself and assist in providing for the needs of families of Red fighters and martyrs.
Maximum land reform, essentially the free distribution of land to the tillers, becomes practicable upon the success in widescale implementation of the minimum land reform program. It also encompasses the restitution of land previously grabbed from the peasants, the distribution of idle land, the dismantling of landlord power and control over the land and the break up of plantations owned and operated by foreign agricorporations and big comprador landlords for the production of bio-fuels and fruit and other crops for export.
The NPA must break up the aforesaid export-oriented plantations in order to make land available for land reform for the benefit of farm workers and other landless tillers. It must also break up the export-oriented logging and mining enterprises because they ruin the environment, cause soil erosion and floods, poison the rivers and streams, damage agriculture and prejudice national industrial development.
Expand and consolidate the mass base by building and activating the organs of political power and mass organizations!
The NPA mass base must always be expanded and consolidated by building and activating the organs of political power and the mass organizations of workers, peasants, youth, women, children, cultural activists and others. Mass campaigns for land reform, mass education, production, health and sanitation, cultural work and settlement of disputes must be carried out.
The revolutionary organs of political power must supplant the councils established by the reactionary government, unless it is necessary for reasons of united front tactics, security, and other considerations to keep said councils. They must be established at the level of the barangays and at higher levels where possible. The mass organizations must support the organs of political power under the direction of the Party.
Consolidation of the mass base spells the difference between the guerrilla base and guerrilla zones. It produces the competent cadres for helping the guerrilla zones elsewhere to rise to the level of guerrilla bases and to link up the guerrilla fronts in the process of building eventually the relatively stable areas.
Suppression of criminal elements and enforcement of revolutionary justice are essential to the consolidation of the mass base and the strengthening of revolutionary political power. Upon the instruction of the pertinent NPA authority or the people’s authority in charge of prosecution, the NPA must arrest for trial and prosecution and judgment by the people’s court persons liable for serious crimes against the people. Complaints shall be received and investigated by the people’s army or people’s militia for submission to the people’s prosecutors.
Suspects are encouraged to surrender themselves peaceably for investigation. The NPA unit assigned to arrest a suspect is prepared to counter armed resistance, especially if the suspect is armed and dangerous, protected by bodyguards, is actively engaged in armed counterrevolution or makes any show of armed resistance.
As a law enforcement agency, the NPA is bound by the laws, rules and regulations under the criminal justice system of the people’s democratic government, by the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and by the international instruments of human rights and international humanitarian law. The organs for the arrest, investigation, prosecution and trial by jury of suspects are differentiated and well defined. Suspects have the right to legal counsel, subject to security precautions.
Provide politico-military training to the Red commanders and fighters and to the reserves and auxiliaries!
The NPA must provide politico-military training for Red commanders and fighters at the level of the existing formations and in the process of building a higher formation. The political part of the course should involve Party and mass education and the military side should involve the further development of command, communications, coordination and combat technique and tactics.
The Party and the NPA instructors must also provide basic politico-military training to the people’s militia for the purpose of police or internal security work and for coordinating with NPA units in cases of joint offensive operations. The mass organizations must be instructed and provided with a simple manual for the purpose of providing politico-military training to self-defense units of the mass organizations.
The effective functioning of the people’s militia and self-defense units assure the NPA of well-motivated reserves and immediate support; and allows it to have more time for combat as well as for mass work in new areas. The NPA should not be tied down by police work where the people’s militia can be established and administered by the organs of political power and led by the local Party branch.
Strengthen Party leadership and political work within the NPA!
The NPA cannot fight well, expand and grow strong without correct, vigorous and militant Party leadership and political work within. The NPA must steadily be supplied with select and proven young cadres and activists from the worker, student and peasant movements so that there are enough quality commanders and cadres at the core of the NPA. Party committees, branches and groups must be established, strengthened and consolidated.
The Party within the NPA makes sure that ideological and political education among the officers and fighters is well taken care of, that tasking is correct and clear and effectively mobilizes all available personnel, and that timely check-ups and assessments and criticism and self-criticism are conducted. Vigorous political work within the NPA should raise political awareness and fighting will, strengthen unity between the people’s army and the masses and between the officers and fighters, and foster democracy in the three fields.
Commandism, bureaucratism and other harmful feudal and bourgeois influences and practices must be combatted promptly and tirelessly. Passivity, complacency and lack of discipline must not be allowed to take hold and wreck havoc on the morale and fighting will of the guerrilla units.
Advance wave upon wave from existing guerrilla fronts to create new guerrilla fronts!
In the plan to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate, the NPA must advance wave upon wave from the existing guerrilla fronts. It must not fragment its armed strength just to cover all the rural congressional districts immediately. It must take into account the need for having a center of gravity, for countering enemy attacks and for avoiding the unnecessary overstretch of NPA armed strength.
The basis for establishing a new guerrilla front can be laid by the Party and the mass organizations running ahead of NPA units. The Party goes ahead in expanding the mass organizations to the rural areas and doing social investigation. Subsequently, a team of seed cadres or an initial squad unit from the NPA is deployed to the new area.
The middle and advanced phases of the strategic defensive must be developed through successful tactical offensives, the creation of more fighting units, expansion of mass work, and establishment of new guerrilla fronts. Consequently, the NPA can move closer to the threshold of the strategic stalemate.
Strengthen the antifeudal united front at the base of the national united front!
In carrying out the people’s war, the NPA pursues the antifeudal united front, with the Party relying mainly on the poor peasants and farm workers, winning over the middle peasants, neutralizing the rich peasants and taking advantage of the contradictions between the enlightened landlords and the despotic landlords in order to isolate the despotic landlords and destroy their power. The antifeudal united front is at the base of the national united front.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines integrates the basic worker-peasant alliance, the progressive alliance of the toiling masses and the urban petty bourgeoisie, the patriotic alliance of the progressive forces and the middle bourgeoisie; and the temporary and unstable alliance with certain sections of the reactionary classes of big compradors and landlords for the purpose of isolating the worst among the reactionaries, which acts as the most rabid running dog of US imperialism. The US-Aquino ruling clique is now the enemy of the people and main target of this broad united front.
Further gain the solidarity and support of compatriots and friendly forces and peoples abroad!
The NPA must further gain the solidarity and support of the more than 10% of the Filipino people who now work and reside abroad as a consequence of the underdevelopment and impoverishment of the country. It can do so by persevering in and advancing the general line of the people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy and developing ever closer relations with the families and communities left behind by our overseas compatriots.
The NPA must also gain further the solidarity and support of all friendly forces and peoples abroad. It can do so by availing of the international work of the Party, the NDFP and various Filipino mass organizations abroad. Such forces can and must inform the people of the world, the working class parties and the movements for national liberation, democracy and socialism about the NPA’s role in the struggle for national liberation and democracy and seek international solidarity and moral and material support for the NPA and the Filipino people.
Long live the New People’s Army!
Carry out the people’s democratic revolution!
Defeat the US-Aquino regime and its Oplan Bayanihan!
Advance the protracted people’s war from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate!
Long live the Filipino people!