‘He will stay in our hearts forever’

I know and realize that Jan played an important role for the Filipino community in the Netherlands. He was touched by your situation and angry with the system in which it is possible for human rights defenders to be treated as criminals and terrorists. The system in which communists are not sure of their lives and have to hide or flee their country. He admired and supported your struggle and the untiring efforts to resume and make the peace talks successful. 

IN CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE, WORKS AND LEGACY OF PROLETARIAN REVOLUTIONARY COMRADE JAN BEENTJES

I had the privilege to get to know Comrade Jan Beentjes in an effort of Filipino comrades to reach the elements that had remained steadfast and militant proletarian revolutionaries from the defunct Communist Party of the Netherlands. We admired how he studied hard and tried to impart Marxism-Leninism to others and how he applied the theory to the concrete circumstances of his country and to international solidarity relations.

On the significance of the Great October Socialist Revolution

Message to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, October 14, 2017
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman
Communist Party of the Philippines

Comrades and friends,

I am highly honored and deeply pleased to convey warmest greetings of solidarity to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization on the occasion of its celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution and to give some brief remarks on the significance of this earth-shaking revolution.

The epochal struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie was first defined by Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto of 1848 in the era of free competition capitalism. The objective conditions of 19th century Europe gave rise to a series of historic events: the workers’ uprisings in 1848, Marxś thoroughgoing critique of capitalism, the International Workingmen´s Association, the Paris Commune of 1871 as prototype of the proletarian dictatorship, the Second International and the rise of Marxism as the main trend in the European working class movement in the last decade of the 19th century.

Lenin extended and developed the theory and practice of Marxism to the stage of Marxism-Leninism in the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution. He made significant contributions to Marxist philosophy, political economy and social science. He upheld, defended and advanced the revolutionary essence of Marxism not only against the overt ideologists of the bourgeoisie but also against the classical revisionists headed by Kautsky in the Second International.

Most important of all, Lenin led the Bolsheviks in the overthrow of Tsarism in Russia in February of 1917 and then in the overthrow of the bourgeois Kerensky government on October 25, 1917 in order to establish the first durable socialist state on one-sixth of the surface of the earth. The most crucial element in socialism is the class dictatorship of the proletariat defeating that of the bourgeoisie and nationalizing the land and strategic industries, despite the vestiges of feudalism and medievalism, the exigencies of civil war and resistance to foreign intervention and transitory measures like “war communism” and the New Economic Policy.

Even while he was preoccupied with the immediate tasks of consolidating the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Lenin paid attention to the prospective stage of socialist construction and the promotion of the world proletarian revolution through the Third International or the Comintern against the rule of the monopoly bourgeoisie in the centers and periphery of imperialism. After the death of Lenin in 1924, Stalin followed up the New Economic Policy with full scale socialist industrialization and the collectivization and mechanization of agriculture and expanded the work of the Third International, especially to the colonies and semi-colonies where the bourgeois democratic and socialist stages of revolution are well defined.

As a pioneering socialist country, the Soviet Union demonstrated how in so short a time through a series of five-year economic and related plans, the proletariat, peasants and other working people could lift themselves up politically, economically, socially and culturally. In the face of the imperialist powers and the rise of fascism, the Soviet Union was able to strengthen itself in an all-round way and build a powerful Red Army under the leadership of the Communist Party. In World War II, the Allied Powers could defeat the Axis powers because of the decisive role of the Soviet Union in defeating the Nazi German invasion and in rolling back the fascists in an epical counteroffensive.

After World War II, the Soviet Union recovered fast from the destruction wrought by the Nazi German invasion to 75 per cent of Soviet industry and death to 27 million Soviet citizens. It continued to be the bulwark of socialism and the national liberation movements in colonies and semicolonies. It was able to develop its own nuclear weapons in order to counter the US nuclear monopoly and blackmail. It stood as an inspiration to the proletariat and oppressed peoples of the world. Within the first half of the 1950s, one third of humankind lived in socialist countries and people´s democracies led by communist and workers´ parties.

But after the death of the Stalin in 1953, the modern revisionists headed by Krushchov were able to split the followers of Stalin and gain power in the Soviet Union in 1956. They instituted capitalist-oriented reforms within the ruling party, the state and the economy and propagated bourgeois populism and pacifism. Brezhnev took power in 1964, continued the restoration of capitalism, recentralized the ministries, plunged into an arms race with the US and engaged in social imperialism. The Soviet Union went into serious economic stagnation and deterioration from the latter half of the 1970s. By the time of Gorbachov, it was ripe for social disorganization and undisguised restoration of capitalism. It collapsed in 1991.

We are still in the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution because the modern revisionists betrayed socialism and succeeded in subverting socialism and restoring capitalism in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, causing a temporary retreat of the socialist cause and preventing socialism from becoming dominant in the world for the time being. However, upon the integration of former socialist countries in the world capitalist system, with Russia and China becoming big capitalist powers themselves, contradictions among the imperialists, between capital and labor, between the imperialists and the oppressed peoples and between the imperialists and countries assertive of independence have intensified more than ever before in what is now a multipolar world.

For a while, from the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, US imperialism appeared to be the sole superpower in a unipolar world in which it could impose its will and brute force on the people of the world. But since then, the US neoliberal economic policy and neoconservative policy of full spectrum dominance have resulted in more frequent and worse crises and wars that have in fact undermined and debilitated US imperialism. The strategic decline of US imperialism has accelerated in the 21st century. The US is upsetting the world capitalist system with further crises and wars by desperately trying to reverse the trend. Its former hubris over Francis Fukuyama´s perpetuity of capitalism has turned into anxiety over Graham Allison´s Thucydides Trap.

The October Revolution remains highly significant and urgently relevant today to the proletariat and peoples of the world. It tells us to develop the subjective forces for winning the revolutionary struggle against imperialism and for socialism. We need to build the Bolshevik-type of revolutionary party of the proletariat that has a mastery of materialist dialectics and struggles against imperialism, revisionism and all reaction. Lenin teaches us that it takes a whole historical epoch for socialism to prevail over capitalism on a world scale and Mao also teaches us that in socialist countries there must be continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship to combat revisionism and consolidate socialism.

Under the leadership of the proletarian party with communist foresight, we need the revolutionary trade unions and the mass organizations of various oppressed classes and sectors of society. We need the Red Guards or the self-defense units of mass organizations and communities and the Red Army or people´s army wherever possible and necessary. We need to build the soviets or the local organs of political power that will become the base of the socialist state. We need the alliances in every country, the anti-imperialist solidarity of peoples and proletarian internationalism. We need to develop all the revolutionary forces and resources for waging all forms of struggle and winning the revolution against imperialism, revisionism and all reaction.###

Warm Greetings of Solidarity to CARC, Italy in its celebration of the Centenary of the October Revolution

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) conveys its warm greetings of solidarity to the Party of the Committees to Support Resistance – for Communism (CARC) – Italy on organiziang an intiative within its National Festival of Peoples’ Revival, on August 12, 2017 in Massa, Italy, a celebration of the Centenary of the October Revolution.

We endorse your objective of drawing from the teachings of the historic October Revolution what is useful for building the socialist revolution, and in particular as regards your revolutionary work in Italy.

We wish you much success in celebrating the Centenary of the October Revolution with revolutionary representatives from other countries such as from Venezuela, Kurdistan and the Philippines.

For us in the Philippines, the Centenary of the October Revolution is a special occasion and opportunity to deepen our integraion and links with the workers, the peasants, the women, youth, the urban poor, the indigenous peoples and other sectors struggling to defeat imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. We have to take up the concrete issues of massive human rights violations by the Duterte regime and the military under martial law declared by Duterte in Mindanao, the intensified oppression and exploitation of the workers, peasants, indigenous peoples, women and youth and urban poor.

We mobilize the masses in broad campaigns to strengthen their organizations and to help build our organs of political power in 71 provinces out of a total 82 provinces. With the broad and strong support of the masses, the revolutionary party, the people’s army and the national democratic front are making significant revolutionary gains.

We also take this occasion of the Centenary of the October Revolution to hold conferences abroad, to strengthen the organization of our Overseas Filipinos and Migrant Workers and our solidarity with international organizations.

We express once again our deep appreciation for the solidarity support you are giving to our Filipino migrant workers in Italy.

Again, we convey our warmest wishes of success in your celebration of the Centenary of the October Revolution. We wish you more victories in deepening your integration with the working masses in Italy and thereby further firming up the growth of your revolutionary forces.

Long live the Party of the Committee to Support Resistance – for Communism, CARC – Italy!

Long live the historical inspiration and legacy of the October Revolution!

Long live the solidarity between the Italian people and the Filipino people!

Long live the international solidarity of peoples striving for socialism!

Luis G. Jalandoni
Chief International Representative
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

The NDFP Stands in Firm Solidarity with the Venezuelan People and the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela led by President Nicolas Maduro

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) reiterates its firm solidarity with the heroic Venezuelan people and His Excellency, President Nicolas Maduro, as the Constitutional and elected President of the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela. The Venezuelan people and government founded on the legacy and inspiration of Comandante and President Hugo Chavez, Simon Bolivar and so many other people’s heroes, have earned the solidarity of freedom-loving peoples and governments in Latin America and the Carribe and other parts of the world.

The united strength of the Venezuelan people and the Bolivarian Government led by President Nicolas Maduro, with the overall international solidarity support of other peoples and governments are firm and strong enough to repel any acts of subversion and attacks by the domestic reactionaries and counter-revolutionary foreign powers.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines vigorously condemns the terrorist attack perpetrated on June 27, 2017 against the headquarters of the Ministry of People’s Power for Interior Relations, Justice and Peace and the Supreme Court of Justice, both in Caracas, as part of a coup plot against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its institutions. We strongly support the valiant efforts of the Bolivarian Government and the Venezuelan people to defeat the domestic and foreign reactionaries behind the coup plot.

We take this occasion to also congratulate the Venezuelan people and their Bolivarian Government in celebrating the 206th Anniversary of the Signing of the Act of Independence. We convey our warmest greetings of solidarity to President Nicolas Maduro and in the Philippines to H.E. Capaya Rodriguez Gonzalez, Ambassador Plenipotentiary of the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela to the Republic of the Philippines.

Long live the heroice Venezuelan people and President Nicolas Maduro!
Long live the solidarity between the Filipino people and the Venezuelan people!

Luis G. Jalandoni

CPP salutes Canadian champion of the working people

CONDOLENCES FROM THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES

The Communist Party of the Philippines just learned of the passing of Charles Boylan, a communist and a comrade. We send our sincerest condolences to his partner Donna Petersen, his family, and to the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada.

The activism of comrade Charles was not divorced from what he did as a teacher, a broadcaster on Vancouver’s Co-Op Radio, a writer, an active union member of Local 21 Education and Training Employees Association (ETEA); he was also a friend to people’s movements and peoples’ struggles (including that of the Philippines, Cuba, Palestine, Venezuela, etc.), a fighter for social justice and human rights, a strong critic against globalization and neo-liberalism, and a solid champion of the working people.

Comrade Charles lent his voice to highlight the issues and struggles of the Filipino people, in their local mass actions, through his radio program and through his friendship with the Filipino community in Vancouver. His work reflected a vision of a society that is humane, free of oppression from imperialism and capitalism, a community where people take control over their lives and ensure that each person enjoys basic human rights.

Whatever Comrade Charles Boylan did, it was always to move society forward for the better. And his being a Marxist-Leninist and a communist informed all that.

Salute to comrade Charles Boylan! Mabuhay ka!

International Department
Communist Party of the Philippines
20 June 2017

NDFP pays tribute to Baltazar ‘Bal’ Pinguel

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) renders full honors to Baltazar “Bal” Pinguel, the firebrand of the First Quarter Storm!

Ka Bal served the people through the national democratic movement as best as he could, in hard struggle and self-sacrifice.

Hailing from a poor family in Samar, he became an activist while studying Political Science at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He was part of the Sandigang Makabansa progressive slate for the UP Student Council elections. That early, he was already making his mark as an intellectual, devouring books and periodicals and frequently engaging in passionate discourse.

He later joined Kabataang Makabayan (KM) and was its designated spokesperson because of his exceptional oratorical skills. Wearing his trademark black jacket and wire-rimmed glasses, he would not only agitate but educate the crowd during rallies, and lead it in spirited marches to the US Embassy or Malacañang where the demonstrators often ended up clashing with anti-riot policemen and Metrocom troopers. He was instrumental in many a nationalist awakening.

As a student leader on campus, he played an important part in rallying and organizing the students against the Marcos fascist invasion of UP in February 1971. Ka Bal was one of the most courageous “communards” of the Diliman Commune, agitating the students from the frontline, literally shooting fireworks at the military helicopters that hovered around the barricaded campus and then broadcasting fiery commentaries on DZUP.

When martial law was declared, he was one of hundreds of activists who went underground or joined the armed struggle in the countryside.

Ka Bal was first assigned to do guerrilla zone building in Southern Tagalog. He was later arrested, tortured and imprisoned at Camp Vicente Lim in Laguna. Shortly after, he took part in a daring escape and rejoined the revolutionary mainstream.

In 1974, he was assigned to Samar where he served as the political officer of one of the first NPA guerrilla units, and became a member of the first District Committee in the island. As such, he directly participated in building the foundations of the armed struggle in Samar. By the end of the 1970s, Samar had the distinction of leading the way in advancing the armed struggle against the US-Marcos dictatorship nationwide.

Arrested again in 1980 in Cebu City, he was detained for five years at Camp Bagong Diwa before being released in 1985. He briefly joined the legal democratic movement, helped found the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) and became its secretary-general after Lean Alejandro’s death in 1987. In 1989, suspected military agents attempted to abduct him. He sought political asylum in the US in 1992, where he became involved in various justice and peace campaigns as program director at the American Friends Service Committee, and as one of the leaders of United for Peace and Justice, a broad US-based coalition against the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ka Bal continued to serve the national democratic movement in various capacities, never losing touch with comrades in the homeland or abroad. An adviser to BAYAN-USA, he last joined his fellow activists in a rally in front of the Philippine consulate in New York City to protest the dictator Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Ka Bal’s untimely death cannot erase his legacy as a fiery agitator and propagandist who scorched the oppressors and exploiters and enlightened and enlivened the masses. ###

NDFP Renders Highest Honors to Prof. Francois Houtart, Champion of People’s Rights and Staunch Friend of the Filipino People

François Houtart

Prof. Francois Houtart, champion of people’s rights internationally and a long time friend of the Filipino people in their struggle for national and social liberation died of illness at the age 91 under the loving care of his Ecuadorian comrades. We convey our most heartfelt condolences to his family and relatives, his colleagues and numerous friends all over the world.

Close friend of Italian Senator and renowned anti-imperialist Lelio Basso, Francois Houtart was a prominent official of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal. He was among the prime movers for the Algiers Declaration of 1976, The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples. This was a landmark declaration. In its preample, it proclaimed, “May all those who, throughout the world, are fighting the great battle, at times with armed struggle, for the freedom of all peoples, find in this Declaration the assurance of the legitimacy of their struggle.”

In 1979, he and the Lelio Basso Foundation encouraged the Filipino people, through the National Democratic Front, to file an application to the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) to hold a Session on the Philippines. With persuasive efforts of the NDF, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) also filed an application and joined the NDF in the PPT Session on the Philippines.

In a landmark decision, the PPT declared the dictator Ferdinand Marcos guilty of grievous crimes against the Filipino and Moro peoples. The PPT recognized the NDF as the legitimate representative of the Filipino people. It further declared their armed struggle as having the conditions of belligerency which requires the application of international humanitarian law.

In 2007, Prof. Houtart, as the President of the Jury of the PPT Second Session on the Phiiippines held in The Hague, issued the verdict declaring the Arroyo regime and the United States of America guilty of grievous crimes against the Filipno people.

Prof. Houtart was also a staunch supporter of the Vietnamese people’s liberation struggle against the US imperialist war of aggression. He received a pair of sandals used by the famous Commnander of the Vietanamese People’s Army, Nguyen vo Giap. He donated these sandals, made from US planes shot down by the people’s army, to the New People’s Army. These were sent to the NPA who made similar sandals for the NPA fighters.

Earlier, Prof. Houtart visited the Philippines several times and gave well-appreciated lectures on Structural Analysis which exposed the structures of exploitation and oppression. On one visit, he was stopped at the airport, declared persona non grata and summarily expelled from the Philippines. This happened during the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos. After the overthrow of the dictator, he would be invited to speak at forums on human rights. He always felt it an honor to meet friends in the common struggle for freedom.

His colleagues in Ecuador, from the Foundation of the Indio People of Ecuador and his friends wrote: “His light grew even more as he closed his eyes which were always open to see the reality of the most impoverished. He was in total peace, not making any noise, with the mission fully completed. He did everything, he gave his all. Just last night, he denounced one more time, together with a friend from Sri Lanka, the genocide against the Tamil and asked us for solidarity with them.”

We render highest honors to Prof. Francois Houtart, staunch champion of people’s rights, dear friend of the Filipino people and other peoples struggling for freedom, national and social liberation.

Long live the noble memory and inspiring legacy of Prof. Francois Houtart!

Highest honors to Bishop Elmer Bolocon

Photo from ArkibongBayan.org

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) renders highest honors to Bishop Elmer Bolocon of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). Bishop Bolocon served as General Secretary of the UCCP from 1996 to 2006 and Executive Secretary of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum since 2009. He died on May 15 after more than a decade of battling cancer. We convey our deepest condolences to his wife Emelita Gomez Bolocon, his daughter Julien, relatives, colleagues in the UCCP, friends and comrades.

Bishop Bolocon’s name easily comes to mind when we speak of church people who have consistently stood up and fought for human rights, for peace based on justice, and for putting an end to social systems of corruption, oppression and exploitation.

As General Secretary of the UCCP and the Chairperson of KASIMBAYAN (Kapatirang Simbahan Para sa Bayan), a formation of progressive and activist church people taking pro-people and patriotic positions on national issues, he was one of the convenors of Pilgrims for Peace when it was organized in 2002, in the second year of the Arroyo regime. He was among several hundred peace advocates from scores of church and multisectoral organizations across the Philippines who affirmed commitment to peace-building in the light of calls for the resumption of peace negotiations between the GRP and NDFP, and the GRP and MILF. He lent his voice to those of peace workers who knew that advocating for a just and lasting peace is inextricably intertwined with the struggle against poverty, inequality, oppression and exploitation. Pilgrims for Peace was also the first and successful attempt at building a broad alliance to oppose the terrorist listing of Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, the CPP and the NPA.

As the Arroyo regime ran its course, human rights violations, including enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings escalated. Bishop Bolocon rose up to condemn the GRP and its master the Bush government by serving as an expert witness at the Second Session on the Philippines of the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) held at The Hague, The Netherlands in March 2007. He particularly raised the issue of at least 17 UCCP ministers, lay leaders and youth killed by Arroyo’s death squads for ministering to the poor. As a result of the testimonies of Bishop Bolocon and others, the PPT found the respondents guilty of crimes against humanity.

Bishop Bolocon’s illness took a turn for the worse soon after the tribunal met, and he had to spend several weeks in hospital. His see-saw battle with cancer failed to deter him from pursuing his solemn commitment to work for peace and justice.

As the Aquino regime was poised to take over the reins of government in 2010, he called for the resumption of the peace negotiations stymied under Arroyo. The peace process miserably failed to make headway under Aquino, however.

Nonetheless, Bishop Bolocon’s voice was heard in every major social issue under Aquino, taking the side of justice. He called for an immediate moratorium on large-scale mining and the scrapping of the Aquino government’s mining policy. He opposed US intervention, saying “If we want to achieve a just and lasting peace in the world, it starts with making the US government accountable for its sins to the world and to humanity.” He demanded truth and accountability from the Aquino government after the death of 44 members of the PNP Special Action Force in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Because of his consistent patriotic and pro-people standpoint and activities, Bishop Bolocon was made a prime target of vicious Red-baiting, stigmatizing and witch hunt by a mix of conservatives and kontras within the UCCP. By then the UCCP Secretary General, he faced his detractors with dignity and firmness, stood his ground and did not waver in his commitment and resolve to pursue the UCCP’s mission as a Church in the service of the people, especially the poor.

But when prospects for the peace talks became brighter under the Duterte administration and it was time to build even broader and stronger alliances to support the advocacy for a just and lasting peace, Bishop Bolocon did not think twice in welcoming and working hand in hand with some of his erstwhile detractors who had admitted their error and asked to be forgiven, putting the common goal of addressing the roots of the armed conflict above any personal consideration.

Bishop Bolocon led church people in expressing support for the incoming Duterte government’s peace intitiatives, joining the growing clamor for the resumption of formal peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP. He called on both parties to undertake an “honest to goodness discussion to address the root causes of the armed conflict” in order to “resolve our age-long situation of bondage.”

In the middle of the impasse last February, Bishop Bolocon urged a return to the negotiation table. He said “we offer our hand in walking the next mile toward peace….The people’s clamor for peace based on justice should give us the courage to continue to build peace in the Philippines.”

We hail Bishop Bolocon for unflinching dedication to the struggle for social justice and a liberating peace, for a world freed from the chains of oppression and exploitation. Through his hard work and his enduring influence and example, we will continue to feel his presence among us, courageously walking the extra mile to achieve peace based on justice.