Wednesday, April 2, 2008

On the 39th Year of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the People’s War in the Philippines

In the Philippines today, the New People's Army (NPA) is commemorating its 39th year anniversary. Nearly four decades ago, on March 29, 1969, the NPA was founded in a district in Tarlac, Central Luzon, Philippines and resumed the armed struggle to liberate the Filipino people from the clutches of US imperialism, domestic feudalism and the puppet reactionary state.
On the 39th Year of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the People’s War in the Philippines

By the AJLPP Political Secretariat

March 29, 2008

In the Philippines today, the New People's Army (NPA) is commemorating its 39th year anniversary. Nearly four decades ago, on March 29, 1969, the NPA was founded in a district in Tarlac, Central Luzon, Philippines and resumed the armed struggle to liberate the Filipino people from the clutches of US imperialism, domestic feudalism and the puppet reactionary state.

Since then, despite the overwhelming military superiority of the Philippine state, the NPA has not only surmounted every counter-insurgency operation launched against it by every Philippine president from Marcos to Aquino to Ramos to Estrada and finally to Macapagal-Arroyo.

Despite US money, arms and advisers to the Philippine military, the NPA has managed to establish itself in every major region and nearly every province throughout the archipelago. Its mass base and influence has indeed grown in significant size and strength.

After four decades of waging a protracted people’s war, the revolutionary movement of which the NPA is a part has established deep roots among the millions of landless peasantry in the countryside. It has set up organs of political power in the areas under its control. It is said that it now influences up to a third of all barangays (villages) in the countryside.

Because of the Philippine reactionary state’s inability to crush the revolutionary movement militarily, the Ramos regime in 1995 begrudgingly engaged it in peace talks. Over time, these peace negotiations resulted in about ten major agreements between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) representing the revolutionary movement.

However, with the ascendancy of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime, the peace process began to falter. With the stepping up of greater militarization in the countryside against the revolutionary movement, these negotiations were suspended indefinitely.

The Arroyo regime subserviently fell behind Bush’s “war on terror” in the aftermath of 9/11/01. Recognizing that the growing revolutionary movement posed a threat to imperialist interests, the US and European Union governments labeled the “CPP/NPA as foreign terrorist groups” in 2002.

The Role of the NPA in the Peace Process

The AJLPP recognizes the fact that the NPA strives to serve the national and democratic rights and interests of the people and it therefore enjoys the active participation and support of millions of people in the revolutionary movement against the extremely oppressive and exploitative system of the comprador big bourgeoisie and the landlord class.

If the Filipino people are to realize a lasting peace and social justice, then the NPA must be a party to the peace negotiations and its process. It has an indispensable role to play as much as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) does in Mindanao.

The NPA has fought the US-Marcos dictatorship and historians and political analysts must recognize the fact that the NPA was one of the factors that overthrew the much-hated dictatorship.

In fact, the people’s war waged by the NPA and the MILF for fourteen years against the US-Marcos dictatorship wore down the AFP and caused the breakdown of the puppet army that led to the EDSA people power revolution of 1986.
The US-Arroyo Regime

Like all US-sponsored regimes before it, the US-directed Arroyo regime is engaged in wishful thinking by repeatedly announcing its intention to destroy or "reduce to inconsequence" the people's armed revolution before 2010.

History has shown that the Marcos regime failed to destroy the newly resurgent revolutionary movement from 1969 to 1986, including 14 years of fascist dictatorship from 1972 onwards. It merely succeeded in generating conditions for the growth in strength and advance of the NPA and all other revolutionary forces.

Despite bourgeois-democratic pretenses to sugarcoat the armed counter-revolution, the post-Marcos regimes, from Aquino to the Arroyo regime, have likewise failed to destroy the NPA and the entire revolutionary movement. The NPA has been battle-tested and tempered like steel in the crucible of revolutionary armed struggle for nearly forty years. It has an inexhaustible source of strength in the broad masses of the people.

Oplan Bantay-Laya Will Fail Completely

The Oplan Bantay Laya 2 failed miserably in its objective in 2007, as OBL 1 failed in 2001-2006. The military and police forces could hardly occupy 300 barangays at every given time and have failed to destroy a single guerrilla front of the NPA.

Oplan Bantay Laya has perpetuated gross human rights violations. It has carried out mass intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detention, massacres, assassinations and torture, enforced disappearances, rape, arson, food blockades and forced evacuation of rural and indigenous communities to serve the landgrabbing interests of foreign corporations, mining companies, high bureaucrats and local tyrants.

Oplan Bantay Laya has gained global notoriety for the killing of legal mass activists of workers, peasants, youth, women, religious leaders, journalists, lawyers and judges, human rights activists and NDFP consultants.

The victims are first maligned by the military as "communists" and "enemies of the states" before they are murdered or disappeared. After murdering or disappearing them, the political, military and police authorities of the Arroyo regime blame the NPA for the criminal deed and further malign the victims as having been victimized by their own comrades for supposedly malversing funds or being enemy spies. The murderous and deceptive scheme of the criminals in power cannot hoodwink even the UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings.

The New People's Army and the people's war have developed in the countryside over a protracted period of time because of the support of the peasant masses. The fact that the NPA is celebrating its 39th year is a testament to its resiliency and strength. The people join and support the people's war because they are interested in agrarian revolution. The peasants are the majority of the people. The fulfillment of their outcry for land is the main content of the democratic revolution.

The minimum land reform program has been implemented on a national scale. In many areas, the land in the hands of brutal agri-corporations, despotic landlords and landgrabbers have been recovered and redistributed to the peasants, farm workers and national minorities.

Next Phase of the People’s War

The revolutionaries see that the time has come to extend, in a big way, the main land reform program. This is becoming possible through the success of the minimum land reform program as well as the growing strength of the revolutionary peasant movement and the people's army.

The growing strength of the peasant movement and that of the people's army interacts and supports each other to advance genuine land reform and destroy the power of the land-based exploiters and oppressors of the people.

All basic factors for building relatively stable base areas are present. These can grow from the existing guerrilla fronts which cover 9,000 barangays in 70 provinces and 800 municipalities. The most advanced guerrilla fronts can merge to form the relatively stable base areas.

The revolutionaries are raising the minimum land reform program to the level of the maximum program whenever the latter is already possible due to the success of the minimum land reform program, the sufficient strength of the peasant mass movement and the NPA, and the weakness, paralysis or flight of the class enemy.

In the countrysides, they are also raising production in agriculture and other lines of economic activity. The peasant movement is firmly and vigorously applying the anti-feudal united front policy of relying mainly on the poor peasants and workers, winning over the middle peasants, neutralizing the rich peasants, taking advantage of the splits in the landlord class and isolating and destroying the political power of the despotic landlords.

At the same time, the revolutionary movement is exerting efforts to increase the number of guerrilla fronts in each one of the 173 congressional districts in the provinces. The NPA will play a decisive role in building the guerrilla fronts as well as developing them to become stable base areas at the provincial level. These serve as stronger political, military, economic and cultural bastions of a truly free people of the Philippines

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