On the occasion of the 51st anniversary celebration of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) joins ranks with the rest of the revolutionary mass organizations and the Filipino people in extending warmest militant greetings to the CPP for its achievements this year against the US-Duterte regime and in the overall advancement of the people’s democratic revolution. Moreover, we extend our collective revolutionary salutation to the martyrs and pioneers of the revolution. Their sacrifices and martyrdom serve as inspiration and a beacon for new revolutionaries to follow. Had it not been for them, the revolution could not have attained its advances and victories.
In the Cordillera region, even while at the incipient period of the reestablishment of the CPP, recruitment of party members commenced among the workers in mining areas and factories and youth-students in the urban and town centers, and among the peasants, elders and peacepact holders in the tribal communities. Under the CPP’s absolute leadership, the New People’s Army (NPA) thrived in different parts of the region amidst the upsurge of the revolutionary mass movement among the national minorities. The heroic armed and unarmed struggles of the Bontoc and Kalinga tribal communities against the imperialist funded Chico River Megadams and the Tinggians of Abra against the Cellophil Resources Corporation highlighted the rapid advance of revolutionary mass movement in the Cordillera in the 1980s. The correct line of the revolutionary movement in leading these campaigns was wholly embraced by the national minorities and subsequently led to their support and active participation in advancing the armed revolution. This resulted in the extensive organizational buildup of the CPDF through the establishment of chapters among communities and tribal elders from the various tribes of the Cordillera. Through the leadership of the CPP, the CPDF has been steadfast in uniting the national minorities struggle for self-determination and democracy in the Cordillera under the program of the people’s democratic revolution. Even during the darkest days of the Balweg-led CPLA’s terrorism against the people, the CPP and CPDF have successfully repudiated the bankrupt indigenist line of the CPLA and exposed its role as a tool of the state in the sell-out of Cordillera struggle, suppression and terrorism of national minorities. Up to present, the CPDF remains at the helm of forging the Cordillera people’s unity in advancing our campaigns and struggles along with the entire Filipino people’s struggle for national freedom and democracy. If not for the courageous and unified struggles of the people of the Cordillera against the onslaught of imperialist plunder since these past decades, the Cordillera would have been long pillaged completely.
After the ouster of the dictator Marcos, the pseudo-democratic regimes that successively took the reins of the puppet government have proven themselves no different. Neoliberal policies and fascism have been continuously implemented in the Cordillera as elsewhere exacerbating national oppression and non-recognition of our right to self-determination, resulting in different forms of plunder of ancestral lands, displacement, destruction of livelihood, culture and traditions of the communities. But the worst of them all is the present US-Duterte regime that has been characterized by brutal fascism and total subservience to US and Chinese imperialism. National minorities’ ancestral lands are increasingly being plundered and pimped out to local ruling class and their imperialist masters as project sites for large dams, geothermal and other energy projects. Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ flagship projects include the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project and the Chevron-Aragorn Geothermal Project, both located in Kalinga. Aside from these major projects, other energy projects are on deck or temporarily stalled either due to actual or perceived opposition from the concerned communities, uncompleted requirements or awaiting entry of focused military operations for their armed escorts. Added to these are the various applications for mining projects, which would cover almost 61% of the land area of the Cordillera. These projects are relentlessly pursued only after militarizing the area and employing tactics of cooptation and machination against the concerned tribe.
Due to his overzealous obsession for tyrannical rule and hatred for any type of opposition, Duterte has vented his all-out rage against the revolutionary movement – the most staunch and formidable nemesis of the whole system. Duterte has signed Executive Order 70, creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and consequently formed the counterparts from the regional down to the barangay levels. With this, Duterte has turned and weaponized the entire civilian bureaucracy into a military junta, wielding it as a weapon for further suppression and fascism against the people. Limited funds of the bankrupt regime that should be allocated for meager social services at the local level are diverted instead to fund the counter-insurgency program, pushing the LGUs and line agencies to bear the burden of accomplishing the mission impossible to end the raging civil war in the countryside. As a result, the Filipino people are further bled dry through the ever increasing tax impositions, deprived furthermore of basic social services while Duterte and his sycophants are enriching themselves.
Despite the regime’s muckraking, it cannot hide the fact that the armed revolutionary movement has been continuously growing and advancing in the face of the worsening crisis of the whole semi-colonial and semifeudal system. The CPP, the revolutionary party of the proletariat persevered in leading the national-democratic revolution with a socialist perspective for 51 years now and continues to reap the support and respect of the oppressed and exploited Filipino people.
The CPDF, as a member organization of the National Democratic Front, is more resolute than ever in advancing our struggle for self-determination and democracy that can only be attained by striving even harder to advance the people’s war to the next higher stage until final victory. As we rally strongly behind, CPDF is confident that through the political leadership of CPP, the people’s war will gain more victories, until total victory is achieved in the entire country.
Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Advance the national-democratic revolution to final victory!
Advance to higher level and build more chapters of the CPDF!
Long live the armed struggle of the people!
Oust the US-Duterte regime!