Message of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines to the Party cadres and members, the Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army, the people’s deputies of the organs of democratic political power and the leaders of the various revolutionary mass organizations.
On the happy occasion of the 46th anniversary of the founding of the New People’s Army (NPA) on March 29, 1969, we the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines give our Red salute to all the Party cadres and members, the Red commanders and fighters of the NPA, the people’s deputies of the organs of democratic political power and the leaders of the various revolutionary mass organizations and to the memory of all our revolutionary martyrs and heroes.
We congratulate you for all your victories in the service to the Filipino people in their revolutionary struggle for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords.
By waging the people’s war, which is the highest form of revolutionary struggle, the NPA has enabled the Filipino people to assert their national sovereignty, establish local organs of democratic political power on a widening scale and strengthen the mass organizations as the backbone of the mass movement to propagate revolutionary consciousness, carry out land reform, raise production, improve health conditions, overcome enemy attacks and natural disasters and promote the people’s revolutionary culture.
The NPA has defeated Oplan Bayanihan in the revolutionary way it defeated previous counterrevolutionary strategic campaign plans from the time of Marcos. It has achieved a resounding victory by adhering to the Party’s program for a people’s democratic revolution, pursuing the strategic line of protracted people’s war, integrating armed struggle with agrarian revolution and mass base building and carrying out extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever expanding and ever deepening mass base.
The NPA is vigorously growing in strength and advancing towards the goal of strategic stalemate. In sharp contrast, the US-directed Aquino regime is in utter disgrace for its puppetry, corruption, incompetence and brutality and is wobbling to an ignominious end. This regime is one more aggravating and passing phase in the downward course of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system that is bound to its doom by the ever growing and ever advancing armed revolution.
The global and domestic crisis conditions are favorable to the advance of the Philippine revolution. The crisis of the world capitalist system continues to worsen, escalate exploitation and oppression and generate state terrorism and wars of aggression. The proletariat and people of the world are steadily waging all forms of resistance. The crisis of the Philippine ruling system is ever worsening and generating armed and other forms of revolutionary resistance, putting the Philippine revolution in the forefront of the world proletarian revolution and anti-imperialist struggles of the people of the world.
I. Protracted crisis and imperialist wars engender resistance
The US continues to impose the neoliberal economic policy on the world capitalist system. The incomes of the working class and even of the middle class have been pressed down to increase profit for the big bourgeoisie. While social services and social benefits for the working people have been eroded, the big bourgeoisie has enjoyed lower tax rates on corporate and personal incomes and all the bounty resulting from the privatization of public assets, the liberalization of investments and trade, the deregulation of social and environmental restrictions and the denationalization of the underdeveloped economies.
The crisis of overproduction has recurred more often and to a worse degree than before. The use of finance capital, particularly the rapid expansion of the money supply and credit, to override the economic crisis and the tendency of the profit rate to fall has served only to aggravate the crisis. Financial bubbles have been generated and burst one after the other, bringing about ever worse economic and financial crises. The people are in the throes of a protracted global crisis and depression, comparable in severity to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Financial bailouts have gone mainly to the financial markets, fattening the finance oligarchy and feeding the military-industrial complex in the imperialist countries. In general, production and employment have fallen or stagnated. The assets of the big bourgeoisie have inflated faster, while austerity measures are adopted at the expense of the working people in a futile attempt to slow down public spending and conserve the value of the assets of the big bourgeoisie. In the world today, inequality is manifested by 1 percent of the population (based mainly in the imperialist countries) owning assets nearly as large as those of the 99 per cent.
The world is running on debt, leaping from USD 57 trillion in 2007 to the current 199 trillion. The public debt in the imperialist countries is leading the way, with deficits running high and increasing the debt at great speed. The public debt crisis is worsening as the European Union takes its turn at quantitative easing (wanton printing of money). The public debt bubble has already become so big and is about to burst in several imperialist countries. When it bursts, the further financial crisis will surpass the previous crisis. There is yet no recovery in sight for the global crisis and depression that has protracted since the mortgage meltdown in 2008. A new bigger and worse financial and economic crisis is developing and is expected to come on top of the current crisis and depression.
In the US, the dominant view among the imperialists is that the production of high tech military weaponry and foreign sales of earlier generations of weapons contribute greatly to the stability of the economy and that the threat to use and actual use of high tech weaponry allow the US to perpetuate its economic and financial dominance and facilitate its access to cheap sources of labor and raw materials, markets and fields of investment. In this regard, the US is involving its NATO allies in making war provocations in Eastern Europe. It is also making Japan, Australia and South Korea complicit in making war provocations in East Asia.
Within the imperialist countries, the big bourgeoisie generates various kinds of reactionary currents and movements in order to deflect the growing social discontent and resistance of the proletariat and obscure the capitalist roots of the economic and social crisis. It is whipping up chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry, Islamophobia, terrorist-baiting and war hysteria. Foreign migrant workers, refugees, asylum-seekers and even second-generation immigrants of color are the convenient targets of scapegoat campaigns to promote the dominance of counterrevolutionary and ultrareactionary parties in the parliamentary elections. The big bourgeoisie generates reactionary currents and movements to support neoliberal, austerity and war policies.
The main instruments of coercion and deception in the imperialist countries keep on pushing the neoliberal line of exploitation, the neoconservative line of “full spectrum” global hegemony in the 21st century, state terrorism and wars of aggression under the pretext of “war on terror” and humanitarian intervention. The economic and social crises intensify the exploitation and oppression of the proletariat and the people and goad them to launch mass protests and strikes. The big bourgeoisie and its political agents overreact to the people’s resistance and adopt even more reactionary and harsher policies and measures. These include outright fascist laws and heavily militarized police actions against civilians under the pretext of combatting terrorism. In a few countries, such as Greece and Spain, mass movements are gaining strength and enabling some progressive parties and coalitions to arise.
The oppressed peoples and nations in the underdeveloped countries suffer the main brunt of the protracted crisis and depression of the world capitalist system. The imperialist countries keep on shifting to them the burden of crisis in order to extract superprofits and maintain relative harmony among themselves. They take advantage of the neocolonial subservience of puppet officials, the abundance of cheap labor, the low value of the raw materials and semimanufactures and the grave foreign indebtedness of the underdeveloped countries. As a result, the people’s suffering and social turmoil are becoming more widespread and acute.
In some countries, rival politicians of the exploiting classes still manage to exploit and oppress the people even as they tend to become violent against each other. In other countries, the workers, peasants and the intelligentsia are already increasingly engaged in protest movements and armed revolutionary movements for national liberation and democracy. The most significant of the revolutionary movements are those waging people’s wars under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, as in the Philippines, India and other South Asian countries.
So far, the imperialist powers headed by the US have been most threatening and aggressive against countries with governments that are anti-imperialist and have avowed socialist policies and aspirations. They are quicker at unleashing wars of aggression against such governments in countries with rich fossil fuel and other strategic raw materials like Iraq and Libya or those countries deemed obstructive to imperialist expansion such as the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Syria.
They have used Zionist Israel as an attack dog not only against the Palestinian and Arab peoples but also against other peoples in the Middle East and Africa. They have threatened, sanctioned and blockaded such countries as Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. However the governments of these countries have mobilized their domestic popular forces and their diplomatic relations to discourage or prevent any war of aggression against them.
In the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rapid and totally undisguised embrace of capitalism by the ruling revisionist cliques in the years from 1989 to 1991, the US gloated over becoming the sole superpower and over what it proclaimed as the total and final triumph of capitalism over socialism. But the entry of Russia and China into the top circle of capitalist powers has aggravated the crisis of the world capitalist system and the inter-imperialist contradictions. The US has significantly declined in economic power as a result of the outsourcing of consumer manufactures, increase of military expenditures and financialization of its economy. Some analysts have even made so-called purchasing power parity to place China prematurely ahead of the US in terms of GDP. But because of its large population China is still way behind in terms of per capita GDP.
Russia, China and other countries have often reminded the US that the world has become multipolar and is steadily no longer under the unipolar hegemony of the US. In fact, as a result of US unilateralism and imperial overstretch in launching prolonged wars of aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan, China and Russia have initiated the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to countervail the aggressiveness of the US singly or in combination with the NATO. They have also been active in developing the BRICS economic bloc and initiating alternative financial structures like the BRICS Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank to counteract the worst economic and financial impositions made by the US directly or through the IMF, World Bank and the WTO.
The US has reacted to the growing alliance of China and Russia. It has launched the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement to exclude China and has made its strategic pivot to East Asia, in order to pressure China and cause certain internal developments in that former socialist country, such as the further privatization of the strategic state owned enterprises and the further rise of bourgeois politics. The US has also instigated the so-called color revolutions in the former Soviet republics in order to further expand the US-NATO and the Western economic dominance in the vicinity of and within the Russian Federation.
In East Asia, the US has been stirring up the disputes of China with Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea as well as with Japan over the East Sea. It has done so in a calibrated way in order to gain advantages on both sides of the disputes. It has in fact announced a neutral position over disputes in the South China Sea and has tolerated China in occupying several islets and shoals in the West Philippine Sea and doing reclamation work to build military bases. However, more recently the US and Japan in a duet have announced their intention to build military bases in the Philippines, with the Philippine defense secretary applauding the insult to national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The US has been even more reckless in making provocations against Russia in the Ukraine by engineering the rise of fascist forces in the western part of Ukraine and using them to overthrow the duly-elected government through the so-called Maidan uprising and then to attack the ethnic Russians in the Donbas region or Novorassiya. In response, the ethnic Russians held referenda to establish people’s republics to defend themselves. The people of Crimea decided to return to Russia of which Crimea had been previously a part.
The US has escalated the provocations by imposing sanctions on Russia, disrupting the economic cooperation of Russia and Germany, blaming Russia for the downing of Malaysian Airlines’ MH-17 by the fascists in Ukraine, supplying the fascists with US military advice and weaponry, the US-Saudi manipulation of oil supply and prices to undermine the Russian economy, and war exercises by US military forces in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. The US imperialists have several times instigated major wars in Europe in recent times, such as those to dismantle Yugoslavia through a series of separatist wars and the civil war in Georgia and now in Ukraine. US armed intervention in the Yemen conflict between the beleaguered Abd Hadi regime and the opposition forces, under the pretext of rescuing a British- born US Journalist Luke Somers from Al Qaeda, aggravated the civil strife and sufferings of the people in Yemen.
The US singly and jointly with its imperialist allies is far ahead of any other force in the world in unleashing state terrorism and wars of aggression. It has victimized the people by causing deaths and injuries to hundreds of thousands, turning millions into refugees and destroying their economies and social infrastructure with the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially various types of bombs (white phosphorous, uranium-tipped and cluster bombs) delivered by planes, cruise missiles and drones. It provides training, war matériel, intelligence and military advice to fascist and ultra-rightist forces in order to overthrow those regimes opposed and obstructing the US regional and geopolitical interests such as in the Arab Spring Uprising it instigated in several countries of North Africa, the contra wars in Latin America and the rightist armed oppositions in Central Asia, Middle-East, South Asia and Southwest Africa.
Unwittingly the US and its worst allies and puppets are alerting the world proletariat and the broad masses of the people to oppose imperialist war and turn it into a revolutionary civil war for national liberation, democracy and socialism. The escalating inter-imperialist contradictions are reminding the people and the revolutionary forces that conditions are becoming more favorable for waging armed revolution.
The rise of people’s resistance and demand for socialism in the imperialist countries are of growing importance. The spread of armed revolutionary resistance in the underdeveloped countries is bound to deprive the imperialist powers of easy sources of superprofits and sap the strength of the overextended aggressors.
II. The US-Aquino regime worsens crisis and inflames the people’s war
The US-dictated neoliberal economic policy has aggravated and deepened the underdeveloped agrarian and semifeudal character of the Philippine economy despite the glistening tower office and residential buildings in a few urban centers and the steady flow of imported equipment and consumer products. The illusion of economic growth in 2013 and 2014 is due to the heavy inflow of portfolio investments to the Philippine financial markets from the US and other foreign hedge funds. This kind of financial flow amounted to more than 60 percent of total inflows. The remittances of overseas contract workers and net inflows from exports amounted to a small part.
The foreign exchange income of call centers and the tax evading export-oriented enterprises in semi-manufacturing, mining, logging and plantations have not significantly offset the interest payments on the accumulated foreign debt, the imported equipment and materials for public and private construction and all sorts of consumer products from abroad, including rice, corn and other food products. The total public debt of the Philippines has risen to more than Php 5.68 trillion or USD 135 billion, including the external debt of more than USD 72 billion as of end-2013. It continues to cover the ever rising government and trade deficits and keeps the Philippine economy afloat on an unsustainable basis.
In connection with the US scheme to destroy the revolutionary movement through the instrumentality of the Aquino regime, the big foreign commercial banks and hedge funds have enlarged the flow of funds to the Philippines in order to support the financial markets, to finance public and private construction and consumption, to bloat the annual growth of the gross domestic product and to increase tax revenues of the government from value-added and indirect taxes, despite the tripling of corruption in the collection of taxes on imports and exports. Thus, the US-manipulated Aquino regime has been able to conjure the illusion of prosperity and good governance for a few years. On this kind of basis, the bourgeois mass media gave the Aquino regime more than four years of honeymoon.
The increase in tax collection has been designed to enlarge the funds for all sorts of community “development” projects and for outright cash dole-outs in large areas of social unrest, and thus intended to undermine the revolutionary movement. But more than Php 1 trillion of an annual budget of more than Php 2 trillion has gone into the pockets of the bureaucrat capitalists headed by the Aquino ruling clique.
The lump sums of public money have been used under the arbitrary discretion of Aquino in violation of the constitutional requirement of congressional approval and under a dizzying number of headings like Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), off-budget accounts (OBA) and so on. It has been stolen by the executive and legislative officials with the use of ghost beneficiaries as well as through graft-ridden construction and supply contracts with companies owned by the campaign financiers and relatives of the president.
As a matter of course, the highest bureaucrats and military officers connive in stealing from the bloated appropriations for the military, police and intelligence agencies. The Conditional Cash Transfer and PAMANA funds, which are intended to enhance the psywar and intelligence aspects of Oplan Bayanihan under the signboard of “peace and development” and to undermine the revolutionary movement, have also been stolen in large chunks by the civil bureaucrats and military officers in charge of the programs.
Fake rebel groups , like the RPA-ABB and CPLA,have been recycled for use by high bureaucrats and military officers associated with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process in stealing public funds. Even the funds and supplies from foreign donors for the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of communities devastated by supertyphoon Haiyan and other natural disasters have been stolen by civil and military officials. In the entire Visayas, the Aquino regime is hated by the people for misappropriating the funds allocated as aid for victims of natural disasters.
The boast that the Aquino regime is responsible for making the Philippines a new economic tiger is a lie. It does not mean achieving land reform and industrialization as in Taiwan and South Korea in the past. The types of profit-making projects put up by the US and other foreign companies in collaboration with the big compradors and landlords in the Philippines involve grabbing large areas of land, either to extract natural resources or to use in tourism and real estate speculation, and raising the level of import-dependent consumption financed by foreign debt and the earnings of the working people.
The gross domestic product is increased and yet the employment rates and income levels of the working people are ever declining, the prices of basic goods and services are ever rising, social services are ever deteriorating, and poverty is ever worsening and spreading in the urban and rural areas. The state of underdevelopment is perpetuated and exacerbated. The evils of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism continue to afflict the Filipino people and are becoming ever more exploitative and oppressive.
The ground for the patriotic and progressive mass movement as well as for the armed revolutionary movement keeps on becoming more fertile than ever. The reaction of the Aquino regime to the mass protests and the people’s war is not to heed the demands for national liberation and democracy and seek national unity, peace and reconciliation with the revolutionary forces and people but to ruthlessly unleash all the barbarities of Oplan Bayanihan in a wide scale of human rights violations, to step up subservience to US imperialism and to preserve the ruling system of big compradors and landlords.
The Aquino regime’s human rights violations include the aerial bombings, artillery and mortar fire, and strafing by trigger-happy fascist troops against communities, forced evacuation and displacement of entire villages for extended periods or for the purpose of permanent landgrabbing, the extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, the arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture of those who resist or are mere suspects, and the brutal demolition and burning of urban poor communities for the benefit of real estate companies.
No military or police officer has been meted just punishment by the Aquino regime for human rights violations. The accused fascist butcher General Palparan has been given tight protection and luxurious accommodation by the military. Even the Ampatuan warlord family and their ilk, who started to build their political power under the wings of the Aquino I regime and now stand accused for the massacre of 54 civilians including lawyers and 32 journalists, are treated by the Aquino II regime with kid gloves and are given leeway to kill, harass and bribe the witnesses against them.
On the other hand, the Aquino regime has retained in prison the hundreds of people illegally detained by the Arroyo regime in violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the Hernandez political offense doctrine as well as the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees in the case of NDFP consultants in the peace negotiations. It has doubled the number of these political prisoners, thus rendering extremely difficult or impossible the resumption of formal talks between the negotiating panels of the Manila government and the NDFP.
The Aquino regime knows no bounds for its puppetry to US imperialism. It has maximized the use of the Visiting Forces Agreement to host US military forces in the guise of rotation under various pretexts, including an overblown war on terror, annual joint military exercises, yearlong inter-operational training, surveillance of the country, civic action, disaster relief and so on. During Aquino’s term, US military intervention has increased by leaps and bounds under the pretext of protecting the Philippines from possible Chinese aggression and encroachments and in the context of the strategic US pivot to East Asia in order to contain and put China under restraint.
The regime has gone further in its craven puppetry, in brazen violation of national sovereignty and territorial integrity, by signing with the US government an executive agreement, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, to allow the establishment of US military bases in as many areas as allowed by the Philippine chief executive, without need of amending the 1987 constitution and securing the ratification of the agreement by the Philippine Senate.
China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea and in effect robs the Philippines 100 percent of its extended continental shelf (ECS) and 80 percent of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It has forcibly occupied Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) and is now doing reclamation work for the construction of Chinese military bases in six different reef areas inside the 200-mile EEZ of the Philippines. These bases could be operational in less than a year from now. But the US and Aquino governments have not shown any effective opposition. In fact, the US has declared in self-contradiction that it is neutral in disputes over the South China Sea. At any rate, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is expected to promulgate its ruling on the suit that the Philippines has filed before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.
In accordance with the Party’s guiding principles governing foreign relations among sovereign nations, the Party and the entire revolutionary movement oppose and fight any form of infringement on the Philippines’ national sovereignty and territorial integrity—be it from the US, China or any foreign power.
The US-directed Aquino regime is now isolated and wobbling as a result of its extreme puppetry to its imperialist masters and its flagrant violation of the constitutional ban on foreign military bases and troops, its gross and systematic corruption in violation of the constitutional power of the purse belonging to Congress, the intolerable economic and social suffering of the people due to increased plunder and crisis, and the rampant human rights violations by its security forces. Aquino will go down in history as having grossly and repeatedly violated the 1987 constitution to serve his own clique’s counterrevolutionary and corrupt purposes.
Aquino has lately become isolated and detested by a growing number among the police and military officers corps. Upon US urging, he gave the go-signal to an operation of a police commando force to enter Mamasapano municipality in Maguindanao province, a territory of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in order to kill a Malaysian overrated as a regional “terrorist” operating in the locality. But he relied on a trusted but suspended general as project commander, outside of the chain of command. He failed to seek the coordination of the MILF, causing the unnecessary death of 44 police commandos trapped in Mamasapano and preventing reinforcement and fire support by nearby Army forces. The congressional approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the peace agreement between the Manila government and the MILF are now imperiled.
The Aquino regime is now so preoccupied with trying to shore itself up from the rising wave of indignation from the people and from its own police and military officers and is so despondent over the bungling of its ceasefire agreement with the MILF that it appears to be unable to pay attention to peace negotiations with the NDFP, despite recent progress in the informal talks between special teams of the regime and NDFP towards the resumption of formal talks in Oslo. With the Manila government stunned by its own chief executive’s criminal ineptitude and unable to hold formal peace talks with the NDFP, the Party and the New People’s Army have all the reason to intensify the people’s war.
A broad mass movement has arisen, demanding the resignation of Aquino. It includes the patriotic and progressive forces that have long demanded the ouster of the Aquino regime and those other forces and spontaneous masses that would have otherwise allowed Aquino to finish his term in 2016. The broad masses of the people are outraged by the grave crimes of Aquino and concerned that he would still commit graver crimes if he stayed in power any longer. The big compradors and high bureaucrats that have benefitted most from his regime are the most vocal in wishing to keep him in office by arguing that his vice president is also corrupt and that the 2016 elections are already close.
Aquino manages to keep the loyalty of a majority in the lower house of Congress because they have been accomplices in grand scale corruption, unconstitutionally and illegally allowing Aquino to invent categories of lump sum appropriations under his discretion for spending and sharing with more than 90 percent of the congressmen and senators. Even potential presidential candidates who can benefit from distancing themselves from Aquino are afraid to offend him because of his well-known control over the Smartmatic-TIM automated electoral system and his influence over the big compradors whom he has favored with public contracts under “public-private partnerships” scheme, and with an assortment of financial and tax privileges, and special military-police protection.
Whatever is the outcome of the broad mass movement to compel the resignation of Aquino, the patriotic and progressive forces and people will become stronger in confronting and fighting the reactionary government of big compradors and landlords and in seeking the overthrow of the entire ruling system. The strengthening of the legal mass movement against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism is conducive to the advance of the people’s war for national liberation and democracy.
III. The New People’s Army grows and advances the people’s war
The New People’s Army is invincible because it follows the correct leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines. It carries out the correct general line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. It combines revolutionary armed struggle with agrarian revolution as the main content of the democratic revolution and with the united front as the way to promote the armed revolution and the legal forms of struggle. In any case, the united front mobilizes the broad masses of the people in order to isolate, weaken and destroy the enemy.
The NPA integrates the armed struggle with the agrarian revolution and building the mass base. It carries out the minimum program of land reform (rent reduction, elimination of usury, raising wages of farm workers, improvement of prices at the farm gate and raising production) and the maximum land reform program (confiscation of land from the landlords and free equitable distribution of land to the poor peasants and lower middle peasants) according to the stage of development and concrete conditions. It builds the organs of political power and the mass organizations of workers, peasants, indigenous people,women, youth, children, cultural activists and others.
The Party within the NPA and in the localities takes the lead in all kinds of work, giving stress to the anti-feudal united front in the countryside within the context of the anti-imperialist and antifeudal national united front. The Party and NPA always take the mass line. They serve the people, especially the toiling masses. They arouse, organize and mobilize the masses to fight for their rights and interests. They trust and rely on the masses for achieving national and social liberation. Revolutionary victories in the people’s war are won on the basis of mass struggles, the correct leadership of the Party and the effective command system of the NPA and fighting skills of the Red commanders and fighters.
Whenever setbacks and stagnation occur, the Party leadership at the concerned level must take responsibility, identify the errors and shortcomings and rectify them. There are errors which can be handled by periodic and special sessions of criticism and self-criticism and there are more serious errors which require more time and attention to rectify. It is important to take into account the difficulties imposed by the enemy and objective conditions but the point is to overcome them and advance the armed revolution.
Since last year, we have observed and proclaimed the resounding defeat of Oplan Bayanihan on a nationwide scale, especially in Mindanao. The reactionary Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the paramilitary forces, and private security agencies involved in counter-revolution continue to suffer defeats in the hands of the NPA. The NPA confiscated close to 500 high-powered firearms and inflicted more than a thousand casualties to the enemy. The NPA in three Mindanao regions―the NEMR, NCMR and SMR―has been most outstanding in fulfilling the requisites of people’s war and in launching successful offensives. Thus, the enemy is concentrating its forces on these regions under Oplan Bayanihan and is boasting that he can defeat the NPA nationwide by defeating it in East Mindanao.
The special attention being given by the enemy to the NPA in East Mindanao is an unwitting recognition of the brilliant victories achieved by the Party, the NPA and the National Democratic Front. The victories have been emphatically brilliant in view of the ceasefire agreements made by the Moro National Liberation Front in 1996 and subsequently by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Our revolutionary comrades in NEMR, NCMR and SMR have provided us the victories that should inspire all other regions to intensify their offensives and advance the people’s war in the face of escalating enemy attacks.
More than 35 combat battalions of the AFP have been deployed against the numerous guerilla fronts of the NPA in Mindanao. It is also estimated that 50 to 60 percent of total AFP combat strength is now concentrated here. These include battalions shifted from Luzon and the Visayas as well as from the areas of the MILF in view of the prolonged GPH-MILF ceasefire and previous expectations that the GPH-MILF peace negotiations would come to a successful end. But now the enemy is confused by the consequences of the Mamasapano fiasco and is trying to make shows of force in the areas of the Moro people.
Aside from the combat forces of the Philippine Army, Navy and Air Force, the Manila government fields PNP combat forces like the nationally directed Special Action Force (SAF) and the regional and provincial public security battalions, and CAFGU/SCAA formations and various paramilitary forces under the control of the army, the police, local government officials, or even big private firms. Most of these forces are deployed against the NPA. Various forms of violence and human rights violations are being used against the people: aerial bombings, artillery and mortar attacks and machine gun fire, massacres, forced evacuations, hamletting, torture, abductions, intimidation, mass arrests, fake mass surrenders, destruction of crops, looting of homes, theft of work animals, and occupation of schools, places of worship, barangay halls, rural health clinics, and homes.
The enemy has less combat forces in the Visayas and Luzon than in Mindanao. There are on the average only six to eight battalions for each region. At any rate, as in Mindanao, the enemy applies the strategic approach of win-hold-win, clear-hold-consolidate-develop, the triad concept of intelligence, psywar and combat, and the deployment of “territorial battalions” that undertakes “peace and development” operations in order to control the villages in the guerrilla front or province, in combination with mobile battalions (subdivided from time to time into companies and platoons) in order to pursue the guerrilla forces. AFP territorial commands, such as CENTCOM in the Visayas and NOLCOM in Northern Luzon, are brazenly touting the “civil society” concept of Bayanihan or counterinsurgency mobilization of so-called stakeholders of Oplan Bayanihan, in conjunction with military operations.
In 46 years of waging protracted people’s war, the NPA has fought and frustrated many strategic “counterinsurgency” campaigns carried out by one puppet regime after another under the direction and with logistical support of US imperialism. It has preserved and increased its strength in many areas even as at times it has suffered serious damage in certain areas due to enemy offensives and serious errors of political leadership and command. Since the rectification of the major errors of premature regularization, insurrectionism and adventurism, the NPA has adhered to the strategic line of strategic defense of extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base and advancing of agrarian revolution.
We have learned to frustrate every military campaign and operation of the enemy every year. We have consolidated our victories and expanded our ranks.
Guerilla fronts have been established in new areas and we have further raised the level of consolidation of our guerilla fronts by developing more guerilla bases as the most consolidated part of the guerilla fronts. These guerilla bases each averaging 7-10 barrios now cover wider areas of the countryside. Revolutionary organs of political power and mass organizations at the grassroots are continuously built and consolidated and those at the municipal level are increasingly arising. Conditions for establishing district and provincial level formations are being developed. Several millions of our peasant mass base in all our regions in the country (outside NCR) are now benefitting from successful campaigns in the minimum and maximum land reform program of the revolution. These generated greater number of recruits for the NPA, enthused the people to carry out combat tasks in the localities and other support functions like intelligence, communication (“pasa bilis”), delivering food and first aid to the NPA during tactical offensives or defensive operations, assisting NPA units in doing expansion work in new areas, and many others.
A considerable number of guerrilla fronts have made advances and developed opportunities for expansion to populous barrios, main lines of transportation and communication, adjacent town centers and even to barrios where the presence of counterrevolutionary private armies, paramilitary and military forces are strong. The guerilla fronts are able to maintain more or less 40-60 number of barrios as scope of operation.
We have learned to recover temporarily abandoned areas and reinvigorate the weakened parts of the armed revolutionary movement. We have strengthened the cooperation of big and strong guerrilla fronts, subregions and regions and enabled them to help the smaller and weak ones by shifting some cadres and arms. All our forces have helped each other to overcome the attacks of the enemy and advance to a higher level. We have achieved such significant victories that we are aiming to reach the threshold of the strategic stalemate in the few years ahead.
Since last year, we have ordered all regional commands of the NPA to accelerate and intensify the tactical offensives for the following objectives: 1) to advance the people’s war from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate; 2) to manifest the outrage of the people over the extreme puppetry, exploitation, corruption and brutality of the US-Aquino regime and support the mass struggles to oust the regime; 3) to nail down and defeat the enemy forces wherever they are in order to prevent or discourage them from being redeployed to Mindanao.
From May to December 2014, all regional commands, including their regional guerrilla units and other formations of the center of gravity (platoons), armed propaganda units, city partisan units at the regional and subregional/provincial levels and guerrilla fronts, were ordered to launch offensives at the minimum of one every two months in ordinary times and more often when enemy forces are on the move and intrude our guerrilla zones and bases. The orders were carried out with varying degrees of success. Units of the people’s militia assisted many of the operations of the full-time units and initiated their own operations according to their capabilities.
In the current year 2015, we are determined to raise the rate of tactical offensives in our campaign of coordinated offensives nationwide on the basis of performance in the previous year as well as on the basis of achieving the ideological, political, organizational and military requisites. In this period, our objective is to establish interregional coordination of tactical offensives and other efforts. Through these we heighten efforts to bring about a ripening of the situation for the ousting of the US-Aquino regime, further strengthen the revolutionary forces and accelerate our advance towards the strategic stalemate of our people’s war.
IV. Urgent tasks of the New People’s Army
The urgent tasks listed hereunder seek to respond to the needs and demands in the current situation. But they are all in accordance with the current stage of people’s democratic revolution and the Program of People’s Democratic Revolution promulgated by the Communist Party of the Philippines.
We must intensify our tactical offensives on a nationwide scale in order to express most strongly the people’s repudiation of the US-Aquino regime for its anti-national and anti-democratic policies and acts, to encourage the ouster of the corrupt, plunderous and brutal puppet regime, to thereby advance the people’s democratic revolution, to move forward to the strategic stalemate and to frustrate the scheme of the regime to concentrate on and defeat the NPA in Eastern Mindanao.
The intensification of tactical offensives requires meticulous planning at all levels of command from the national down to the guerrilla front. Every plan entails an assessment of the enemy situation, an analysis of the nature and objectives of every military offensive in each particular scope and the determination of our strengths and weaknesses as well as those of the enemy. We must make thorough study of the enemy’s tactics and draw up our counter-tactics to defeat them. We must find ways to sabotage and interdict the enemy’s supply routes and advancing columns in order to create favorable situations for tactical offensives, sabotage his communication lines and deny him the use of guides, and the like. We should define targets, ascertain opportunities and issue guidelines for undertaking different types of coordination, initiative and conduct of guerilla operations at all levels.
We must prepare well and use the element of surprise to wage only those offensives that we are sure of winning. We should in the main carry out annihilative offensives in order to seize arms for increasing our own armed strength and to inflict severe losses and serious blows to the morale of the enemy. We must carry out ambushes, raids and other disarming operations. We must disarm and punish despotic elements, violators of human rights, enemy spies, and the chieftains of drug syndicates and criminal gangs. We must disarm the guards of mining and logging firms, plantations and other enterprises that grab the land, deny people of livelihood, and destroy the environment.
Aside from annihilative offensives, we must also undertake actions that cause attrition on the personnel, logistics and morale of the enemy. We must deploy snipers, rockets, grenades and land mines against enemy convoys and supply lines, unless the better option is to conduct an ambush. We must repeatedly harass enemy outposts or detachments with the use of incendiaries, sabotage the motor pools, fuel depots, supply stocks and armories of the enemy. We must destroy certain equipment and facilities of landgrabbing and anti-environment enterprises in order to dismantle them and make more land available for land reform, and to conserve as well our mineral ores for future national industrialization.
We must put the combat units of the NPA in readiness for tactical offensives whenever the enemy encroaches on our territory and carries out intelligence, psywar and combat operations. Even when enemy units misrepresent their intelligence and psywar operations as “peace and development” activities, they are subject to combat operations by the NPA. When the enemy is on the offensive, he is ready to fight any force of the NPA in the way. But a column or a part of his combat force is subject to attacks by snipers and land mines and, if conditions are favorable, subject to ambush by a rifle unit. The NPA can also launch offensives against relatively soft targets outside of an existing or potential encirclement.
When the enemy force occupies any of our guerrilla fronts or guerrilla zones, we must be ready to seize the initiative and avail of the wide gaps between the enemy units deployed in order to counter-encircle a weak enemy unit and annihilate it. We can ambush enemy patrols and supply carriers. It is also possible to harass as many of the enemy units as possible, especially at night, in order to give them no rest. The enemy occupation can be analyzed according to its scale, strength and duration, and dealt with by the levels of command concerned and through tactical offensives and other maneuvers of appropriate scale.
As a matter of course, all levels of command and all guerrilla fronts must intensify their offensives and increase their all-sided strength to be able to perform their other tasks. Thus, we must use all opportunities to make the enemy bleed to death. But if any guerrilla front is under concentrated attack by the enemy, all other guerrilla fronts must become even more determined to intensify their offensives. If any region is under concentrated attack, all other regions in the country must become even more determined to intensify their offensives. The thinning out of the enemy force in one area should be a signal for us to intensify the offensives because the enemy is concentrating elsewhere against our comrades.
The NPA should seek no rest in striving to be among the people who are in the people’s war, in controlling strategic points of rough inland terrain and in covering all routes where the enemy is located. If the rifle formations of the NPA cannot as yet operate in certain areas, like highways, coastal strips, fortified villages, town centers and cities, it must develop the ability to deploy commando units, city partisans and sparrow units (teams of three to five Red fighters) for lightning offensives against specific targets. The operations of such types of units can be facilitated by the comrades organized in clandestine units that provide accurate real time information and other support.
We must continue to expand and consolidate the mass base of the NPA by integrating the revolutionary armed struggle, agrarian revolution and the building of organs of political power and mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth, children and cultural activists. We must carry out extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on an ever expanding and deepening mass base. At the same time, the local organs of political power and the mass organizations must launch mass campaigns on public education, land reform, production, health and sanitation, cultural work, sports, defense, and settlement of disputes among the people.
We must implement the minimum land reform program until it becomes possible to implement the maximum land reform program against the despotic big landlords, at first in the consolidated areas and then on a wider scale. We must dismantle the foreign and big comprador-owned plantations, large-scale mining and logging operations, and other enterprises that grab the land and destroy the people’s livelihood and the environment. The Party must rely mainly on the poor peasants and farm workers, win over the middle peasants, befriend and engage the rich peasants, take advantage of contradictions between the enlightened and evil gentry in order to isolate and destroy the power of the latter. We must pay special attention to the participation of the national minorities because they are extremely oppressed and exploited and they occupy many areas favorable to the people’s war.
Expanding the existing guerrilla fronts and building new ones is a continuing important task of the NPA. In building guerrilla fronts, we must keep in mind the plan of building guerrilla theaters covering three to five contiguous guerrilla fronts. We must avoid a situation nor prolong one wherein lone guerilla fronts are built or situated too far apart orare evenly dispersed without company-strong guerilla fronts serving as centers-of-gravity. Such situations give rise to vulnerabilities favoring the enemy’s design of concentrating attacks on our weak points for an extended period. As conditions permit, guerilla fronts should be developed in close proximity and hasten their link-up to cover wider areas for maneuver and fluidity of guerilla operations of NPA units. Guerilla fronts must be expanded to populated barrios along transportation lines, periphery of town centers and coastal areas. We can draw lessons from our rich experiences and take advantage of favorable opportunities for expansion work.
Building company-sized guerilla fronts remain a priority task that must be pursued in order to attain the comprehensive interplay of our fulltime-forces attending to the tasks of consolidating the mass base, intensifying tactical offensives, advancing agrarian revolution, raising production for the army, and expanding to new areas.
We must build the Party within the NPA and in the localities. The recruitment of Party members within the basic units of the NPA (squads and platoons) can be fast because the Red fighters are waging the highest form of struggle, are always together and carry out revolutionary studies during rest periods. We can continue to base the Party branch in the platoon.
Party committees must be built in the localities with sufficient strength and capacity to pursue revolutionary work even under conditions of intense enemy attacks. We should establish Party section and subsection committees whose cores are based in or are closely linked to the local army units of the NPA. The local Party committees shall assist the NPA in carrying out the tasks and program put forth by the leading Party committee in the guerilla front. To avoid enemy detection, they must maintain sufficient cover and learn to work clandestinely to effectvely perform their tasks in the most difficult times and conditions. Once their safety become precarious, they should not hesitate to join nearby units of the NPA and leave behind an ample force to carry on the work in the area.
We can build the local Party branches among the Party groups and activists of the local mass organizations,of the organs of political power and the people’s militia units at the barrio level.
We should be good at learning. We draw lessons promptly from our positive and negative experiences, as well as lessons from the enemy . We use these lessons to deepen our grasp and understanding of the principles of people’s war, formulate necessary policies and guidelines, improve planning and upgrade our skills in waging guerilla warfare.
Periodic and special work and study meetings must be held promptly. They must be well-prepared with reports and study materials studied well in advance in order to keep meetings short but substantive, logistics are not overstrained, security is ensured and do not call the enemy’s attention even with a big number of participants or volume of supplies are brought to the venue. These must be supplemented as needed by short preparatory or post-meeting consultations to prevent the accumulation of issues and to allow more time for work among the masses. We must not hold meetings which last more than a few days, especially when the enemy is within striking distance.
We must carry out politico-military training courses for fresh recruits to the NPA and for upgrading the knowledge, technical level and skills of commanders and units of the NPA. These must be done in a regular and frequent fashion. The basic training of fresh recruits can be done by the recruiting unit as well as in training courses called by higher-level commands to ensure the needed discipline and skills of the Red fighters. Higher commands up to the level of the National Operational Command can undertake courses for commanders and units for upgrading knowledge and skills.
All Red commanders and fighters must be given basic knowledge on military theory, principles of people’s war, guerilla warfare, the people’s democratic revolution and the rules and regulations of the New People’s Army.
We must improve the entire system of command at every level under the National Operational Command (NOC). Under the direction of the Party, the NOC must issue guidelines for raising the level of people’s war on a national scale, coordinate the regional operational commands (ROCs) and cause the further strengthening of the ROCs, with the stronger ROCs helping the weaker ones with the transfer of cadres and equipment. The ROCs must guide the strengthening and coordination of the subregional (interfront or provincial) commands and the guerrilla front commands.
We must continue to build and strengthen the New People’s Army at all levels.
There must be proper balance between the vertical guerilla forces acting as centers-of-gravity at the regional, subregional or provincial levels ranging from platoon up to company strength, on one hand, and the far more numerous and horizontally spread territorial forces comprising of center-of-gravity and armed propaganda platoons and even semi-legal units at the guerrilla front level, on the othe hand.
The NPA machinery for personnel and training, intelligence, operations, finance and logistics, ordnance, medical and communications staff work must be developed further to provide the requisites needed for various tasks in the NPA.We must give further attention in building and training people’s militia units.
We must always be alert and never be complacent. We have declared the defeat of Oplan Bayanihan but we must guard against all its aspects of psywar, intelligence and combat. After every successful tactical offensive, we must become even more alert because that is the time when the enemy is eager to seek revenge and wants to catch us offguard while celebrating our victory. We must use and master the new technology for education, communications and storing of information. And we must know and overcome the pitfalls in using this new technology. There is a never a tool or weapon that does not have contradictory aspects and possibilities. The point is to master the use of a tool or weapon for the benefit of the revolution and the people by applying dialectics.
Incidents of enemy infiltration in several regions have been uncovered and thwarted. Surrenderees and unreliable elements in the localities are the most likely source of recruits of the AFP and PNP for conversion as enemy spies and deep penetration agents tasked to carry out assassinations of leading cadres of the Party and the NPA to perpetuate the enemy’s “decapitation campaign” or for channeling real time intelligence on the movements and activities of the Party and NPA leadership for pinpoint strike operations. We must remain bold and daring in carrying out our political, organizational and military tasks, be vigilant and prevent any undesirable element in.
Undertake political disintegration of the military, police and paramilitary forces of the enemy at any level. Encourage the formation of patriotic and pro-people groups within their ranks especially during these times of brazen puppetry of the Aquino regime to US imperialism. Encourage the families of rank-and-file military, police and paramilitary forces living in the countryside, especially the non-diehard ones, to join anti-feudal struggles and give them their just share of the benefits. Implement the standing policy of the Party and the NPA on the humane treatment of prisoners-of-war (POW) and wounded enemy combatants who are incapacitated to fight (hor d’ combat). We must do propaganda work among them, raise their political consciousness and encourage them to leave the reactionary military service, provide information, give military materials, stop harming the people and violating their human rights, treat political prisoners well, and do other tasks within their capacity for the benefit of the people and the revolution.
On the other hand due attention must be given to avert and counter the enemy’s so-called ‘social pressure’ campaign enticing Red fighters to abandon or weaken their revolutionary resolve and ward off youths from joining the armed revolution by subjecting their families with threats, bribes and other forms of deception.
US imperialism is already active in military intervention in the Philippines. US military and police officers are guiding, teaching and training officers and enlisted personnel of the AFP and PNP, collecting and providing to them intelligence, giving them equipment and issuing mission orders through no less than the chief puppet Aquino as commander in chief and lower puppet officers. The ground has been laid by the Visiting Forces Agreement for the landing of US military forces and by the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement for their long-term basing in the Philippines. The broad masses of the Filipino people and all revolutionary forces must become well prepared against the increasing military intervention and possible war of aggression by the US.