[EARLY EDITION] Frustrate the US-Duterte regime’s brutal counterrevolutionary war! Surmount all obstacles to carry forward the people’s democratic revolution!
Together with the Filipino proletariat and people, the Communist Party of the Philippines today celebrates with joy and militancy the 53rd anniversary of the Party’s establishment. The CPP Central Committee extends its warmest revolutionary greetings to all Party members and cadres, to all Red fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA), to its allies and friends in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), to the Filipino working class and people and all their patriotic, democratic and progressive forces. We extend our militant solidarity as well with communist and revolutionaries around the world who are carrying forward the struggle against imperialism and all forms of oppression and fascist repression.
We pay homage today to all the fallen heroes and martyrs of the Philippine revolution who sacrificed their lives for the cause of national and social liberation. The Central Committee pays special tribute to Ka Oris (Jorge Madlos), Ka Nars (Julius Giron), Ka Manlimbasog (Antonio Cabanatan), Ka Plebe (Eugenia Magpantay) and Ka Boy (Agaton Topacio), Ka Yuni (Rosalino Canubas), Ka Randall Echanis, Ka Fidel Agcaoili and all others who served the Party with utmost proletarian dedication. Their contributions to the Philippine revolution are immeasurable. Their memories will forever inspire proletarian revolutionaries to take up the cudgels of leadership.
The international capitalist system remains in deep crisis. The economies of majority of the countries continue to reel from the global recession last 2020 following supply disruptions due to Covid-19 pandemic-related economic lockdowns and production shutdowns. There is widespread unrest and outbursts of mass struggles as workers and toiling people suffer from widespread joblessness, rising mountains of debt, more burdensome taxes and rising prices.
Aggravated by corruption, national treachery, failed pandemic response and fascist repression of the US-Duterte regime, the socioeconomic and political crisis of the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system in the Philippines continues to worsen. Out and out neoliberal policies have further deepened the backward, agrarian, semifeudal economy that is dependent on imported consumption and capitals goods and oriented towards the export of low-value added semiprocessed goods, raw materials and cheap labor. They lead to ever deeper crisis.
The broad masses of workers, peasants and other oppressed classes and sectors suffer from worsening forms of exploitation and heightening state terrorism. They have no other recourse but to defend their interests and wage legal mass struggles and revolutionary armed resistance.
The Party is ever determined to lead the Filipino people in their fight against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism and in waging people’s democratic revolution to achieve their aspiration for national and social liberation. The national democratic cause and its socialist perspective remain urgent, necessary and viable as the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system and the international capitalist system continue to inflict more oppression and exploitation on the people as it stumbles from one crisis to another.
The diehard fascists are doing their utmost to crush the Party and all revolutionary forces. They have resorted to the most vicious means of defending and preserving their reign of corruption and plunder in collusion with the US imperialists.
The Central Committee calls on all its forces to maintain constant vigilance and the highest alert to resist and frustrate the declared plans of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to carry out a “last push” to end the armed revolution. Guided by the universal theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the Party is ever determined to lead the people’s democratic revolution, shoulder all the difficult tasks and make all the necessary sacrifices in order to surmount all obstacles to frustrate the enemy’s counterrevolutionary war and carry forward the people’s war to ever greater heights.
Deepening imperialist crisis spawns rising conflicts and resistance
The global capitalist system remains deeply mired in crisis and in the clutches of a prolonged recession despite illusions of growth after bouncing at the bottom of a global economic collapse last year. The world economy shrank by 3.1% in 2020 as measured in gross domestic product (GDP) as a result of border closures, supply disruptions, production shutdowns and other lockdown measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic starting the early part of 2020. Economic recovery remains volatile and marked by rising gaps between the advanced capitalist countries and the backward economies.
Advanced capitalist countries registered rapid economic rebound from the start of second half of 2020, tapering off in the first half of 2021, but which ultimately slowed down by the third quarter of the year. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to loom large and threaten manufacturing and commercial activity. The emergence of new variants have resulted in new surges of cases. The easing of restrictions and public health protocols in the US and Europe around the first half of the year have proven premature as they face threats of new surges of infections.
By the end of the year, half of economies are projected to remain below 2019 or prepandemic levels. Recoveries are concentrated in advanced capitalist countries with 90% having recovered and projected to reach prepandemic levels of economic output by 2023 and 2024. More than 75% of direct investments in the first half of 2021 went to “developed economies.” In contrast, only 30% of undeveloped countries will register growth, and economic output of majority are expected to remain 5.5% below prepandemic levels by 2024. Not until 2025 is global economic output expected to reach prepandemic levels.
On the surface, the grossly uneven economic rebound from the 2020 collapse is due to the highly unequal distribution and shortages in the supply of vaccines, allowing for the emergence of new variants. While up to to 70% of people in the US and 62% in Europe have been inoculated, only 4% of people in low-income countries have received vaccinations. In addition to the unequal distribution, vaccine supplies are also insufficient because of the refusal of pharmaceutical companies to open source manufacturing technology in order to monopolize production. From an original target of 2 billion, the World Health Organizations’ Covax Facility was able to provide only 1.4 billion dosages to less developed countries.
The grossly uneven economic rebound, however, is more fundamentally a result of, and has further aggravated, the wide gap between the advanced capitalist countries and the backward, agrarian and non-industrial economies. While centers of capitalism mobilized large amounts of finance capital and monopolized access to vaccines, the already debt-burdened semicolonial and underdeveloped countries were forced to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars and were edged out of the vaccine market. The destruction of forces of production brought about by economic lockdowns is disproportionately worse in the backward countries.
The pandemic provided the excuse for the imperialist governments, banks and financial institutions to pour unprecedented amounts of fiscal and monetary stimulus money on the pretext of reviving economies. Marking a strong shift of imperialist countries led by the US towards relief and recovery spending, at least \$14 trillion in stimulus funds were infused in 2020 and 2021 for subsidies, emergency loans, state-led investments, tax cuts and other fiscal measures. More than 90% of stimulus funds were concentrated in six countries: the US (\$5.9 trillion), Japan (\$2.9 trillion), Germany (\$1.5 trillion), UK (\$956 billion), France (\$722 billion), and China (\$710 billion). Substantial amounts of stimulus funds, although much less compared to the main imperialist countries, were also infused in South Korea (\$263 billion), India (\$215 billion), Brazil (\$206 billion), Russia (\$85 billion) and Indonesia (\$38 billion).
The biggest beneficiaries of these stimulus funds are the monopoly bourgeoisie in finance, technology and pharmaceuticals under the smokescreen of funding vaccination efforts, providing emergency relief for workers, as well as spending for climate change mitigation. Large infusions of state funds are driving debt levels to unprecedented heights. This has amplified the historically largest and fastest increase in debt levels around the world over the past decade. By middle of this year, global debt had risen to \$296 trillion, 13.9% higher since the start of the pandemic. It is anticipated to surpass the \$300 trillion level by the end of the year. The amount of global debt represents 353% of global GDP, more than 26% more massive compared to 280% ratio in 2008. Government borrowing and quantitative easing measures are driving public debt to higher levels, reaching 123% of GDP in advanced capitalist countries in 2021, and 63% of less developed economies.
The Covid-19 pandemic further deepened the global crisis of the capitalist system and heightened its contradictions. Amid heightened capitalist competition and anarchy in production, the giant monopoly bourgeoisie continue to accumulate greater amounts of capital through the intensification of the exploitation of workers with the application of artificial intelligence, robotics, computers and other technologies. The pandemic-induced recession, supply shortage and disruptions in shipping and deliveries have resulted in widespread destruction or idling of productive forces especially in the underdeveloped economies.
The economic crises and widespread destruction of productive forces lead to further concentration of capital, especially in banks, financial institutions and stock markets. This also takes the form of bankruptcies, as well as mergers and acquisitions, where bigger capitalists gobble up the weak and small. The number of bankruptcies since the pandemic were kept low by massive infusion of state funds but is anticipated to surge in the near future. Up to 16% of small and medium-sized enterprises in advanced European and Asia-Pacific countries are anticipated to go bankrupt in the next few years, shedding 20 million jobs. Globally, the number of bankruptcies is anticipated to rise by 15% as state stimulus funds begin to dry up even as economies continue to stagnate or wallow in recession. The first nine months of 2021 saw a record high 44,000 mergers and acquisitions worth \$4.4 trillion, surpassing the previous annual record of \$4.3 trillion in 2015, and anticipated to rise further to \$6 trillion by the end of the year.
By the end of the year, it is estimated that there will be an equivalent of 125 million full-time jobs less than prepandemic levels. Global unemployment rates remain high as more than 220 million workers (or 6.3%) are set to be unemployed by the end of 2021, slightly higher compared to end of 2020. It is anticipated to fall to 5.7% in 2022 which is still above the 5.4% unemployment rate in 2019. Between 119 million to 124 million people across the world are estimated to have sunk deep into extreme poverty since 2020, driving the total to 711 million people. An additional 161 million experienced hunger, raising the number to 811 million people.
On the other hand, the richest billionaires in the world continue to accumulate wealth. The handful of ultra-billionaires have an average wealth of \$147 billion. This year, the wealth of the richest 500 people rose to \$7.6 trillion, up by 31% from the previous year. In the US, the wealth of billionaires surged by more than 70% or \$3 trillion, the highest growth ever. While people suffer from hunger and social deprivation, these super-rich people throw away money in conspicuous, and often, whimsical spending, including travelling by private jets and yachts, and rocketing to space for multibillion dollar joyrides.
The centers of global capitalism remain in recession or continue to stagnate. The US government under Biden is set to embark on a multi-trillion dollar neo-Keynesian spending program in a bid to improve the decrepit infrastructure and revive the American capitalist economy which has been caught in an increasingly frequent cycle of economic crises, recessions and slow growth under the neoliberal policy regime. All in all, the US government plan to spend around \$5.5 trillion to fund its American Rescue Plan, American Jobs Program and American Families Plan, which basically is an expansion of the “America First” policy of the Trump government. The large amounts of state capital infusion can artificially stimulate the US economy, especially in the short term, but also increases the risk of rising public debt and high inflation rates. This year, US federal debt is now nearly 130% of its GDP, higher than its World War II peak of 120%.
These programs are invariably described as “green” and “progressive,” but fundamentally aim to provide the US big bourgeoisie with the economic and social infrastructure to draw in investments and boost capitalist production at the expense of American workers. It aims to put the US economy in a position to reassert global economic dominance in the face of the continued growth of China.
There is markedly slowing growth in China over the past five years as rapid expansion of its capacity as producer of electronic components, steel and other construction material saturated global markets. Efforts of the Chinese government to unload surplus capital and commodities are faltering. Construction and steel output declined in 2021. There is a broad slowdown on government spending as regional and provincial governments opt out of funds allocated by the central government for infrastructure over fears of insufficient returns and accumulating debt. Production slowed down amid state-imposed energy shortages forcing some factories to shutdown in September, as well as repeated lockdowns in a vain attempt to keep Covid-19 cases down to zero. In an attempt to bolster investments, the Chinese government recently ordered the release of \$188 billion from banks.
China is on the throes of a financial crisis in the aftermath of US cutdown of imports and the collapse of China’s real estate market exacerbated by liquidity problems of the giant property company Evergrande Group which recently defaulted repeatedly on its massive \$300 billion debt. In the guise of defending socialist principles, the ruling Chinese government mounted a crackdown against monopoly tech companies, targeting primarily those companies identified with state monopoly capitalists opposing the Xi Jinping ruling clique.
After suffering a 6.1% contraction in 2020, the European Union boasts of having quickly rebounded with economic output returning to prepandemic levels. Growth in EU is expected to reach 5% in 2021, but slow down to 4.3% and 2.5% in 2022 and 2023 respectively. Despite growth rebound, unemployment still high and above prepandemic levels. Consumer spending is repressed by highest inflation rates in 13 years. The EU is particularly affected by even greater over-reliance on overseas manufacturing supply chains than US and China, and on foreign energy sources.
Japan, the third largest capitalist country, continues to muddle through decades-long economic stagnation. The Japanese economy contracted by 28.2% in April-June 2020 which marked 19 months of downturn. Although it rebounded after June 2020, the Japanese economy again contracted in January-March and July-September this year. The economic crisis in Japan is aggravated by the global slump in the demand for Japanese exports of electronic equipment, vehicles and car parts.
The economically backward countries, including the Philippines, are facing ever worsening socioeconomic conditions in the face of the sharp rise in debt levels to finance the purchase of vaccines, tax cuts for big corporations, social subsidies and blatant corruption. Since last year, the backward economies have suffered from massive number of bankruptcies of small and informal enterprises, and historic rates of unemployment, poverty and hunger. The imperialist debt grip has tightened on semicolonial and underdeveloped economies. Further neoliberal austerity measures, additional taxes, and trade and investment liberalization policies are set to be imposed by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in the coming years which are set to cause even greater burden on the people.
Inter-imperialist conflicts continue to intensify amid persistent crisis of the global capitalist system. There is a heating up of economic and trade conflicts, as well as arms race, military preparations, proxy wars and saber-rattling in different parts of the globe.
The US continues to heighten its anti-China policy and actions. It has imposed further sanctions on Chinese companies purportedly engaged in spying and using prison labor, with the aim of boosting domestic production and the demand for American products. The trillions of dollars that the Biden government plans to spend in the coming years seek to develop the infrastructure and workforce to induce domestic investments and cut down on its dependence on imported electronic components. The US, however, must contend with the higher costs of labor in the US either by pressing down on wages or intensifying the exploitation of American workers, especially migrant workers and workers in rural areas. It remains to be seen whether Biden’s neo-Keynesian measures will succeed in decoupling the US from China and its vast oceans of cheap labor and suppliers of components without being shut off from its vast market of consumers of US-branded electronic gadgets and other commodities.
China is also investing billions of dollars to accelerate its research to develop technology for the production of new generation of semiconductors. The US is threatening China’s access to semiconductor technology by further strengthening its military ties with and military presence in Taiwan, which is the world’s largest producer of electronic components.
Oil production and trade remain a flashpoint among the capitalist powers. Monopoly oil producers Saudi Arabia, Russia and the OPEC took advantage of rising demand for fuel when it coordinated to limit crude oil production to push prices to \$85 per barrel in October, the highest levels over the past seven years. Burdened by shortages and rising fuel costs, the US, China, Japan, South Korea and others released their reserves of diesel and gasoline in an attempt to push down prices. Coupled with renewed fears of another global surge of Covid-19 infections, oil prices were pulled to below \$70 per barrel at the start of December.
Leading imperialist countries continue to engage in an increasingly furious arms race. Global military spending rose by 2.6% to \$1,981 billion led by the US, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom. With a \$753 billion military budget for 2022, the US accounts for around 39% of the global military budget. There is a race among the imperialist powers to develop hypersonic missiles, anti-satellite weapons, lasers, nuclear weapons, attack drones, robot soldiers, stealth jet fighters, submarines and other military technologies.
In September, the US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan after the defeat of its 20-year occupation of the country. There are no plans, however, to reduce the strength of its overseas military bases and forces. If any, the US military seeks to further increase its strength as it seeks to build up its presence in both Asia and Europe, while maintaining presence in Africa, West Asia and other global regions. In line with its declaration of China being its “greatest strategic threat,” the US continues to increase its military presence in East Asia by deploying its biggest naval carrier groups to the East China Sea, South China Sea and Taiwan straits in the guise of “freedom of navigation operation,” while stepping up base and military facilities construction in the Philippines, Australia, Guam, and elsewhere. It continues to push new military alliances such as the Quad (with the UK, India and Japan) and the AUKUS (with the UK and Australia). It recently held the farcical Summit of Democracies in its push to draw in support to encircle and isolate China and Russia.
The US is also intensifying military pressure against Russia, conducting aerial sorties near Russia’s eastern borders. On US prodding, the UK sailed its naval carrier in the Black Sea near Crimea, provoking Russia to fire missiles; and Germany blocked the construction of a major Russian gas pipeline. The US continues to extend military assistance to Ukraine which has served as US buffer to counter expanding Russian influence and hegemony towards Europe, even as Russia continues to give military support to the Russian regions in Donbass, Ukraine. Amid threats of Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US has increased deployment of its military forces in its military bases in Germany.
Russia and China have established a de facto military alliance against the US and NATO with agreements for joint military exercises and joint patrols. They have conducted joint naval patrols in the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. China now has the world’s largest navy, although it remains vastly inferior to the US military in terms of aircraft carriers.
The imperialist powers continue to carry out proxy wars in the Middle East, Africa and other parts of the globe. With tacit US support, Israel has repeatedly attacked Palestine with missiles and aerial bombs. It has staged a series of assassinations and is threatening to carry out an outright military attack against Iran. Saudi Arabia continues to pound Yemen with bombs supplied by the US. The Syrian people continue to suffer from aerial bombardments by US forces.
Millions of people have been displaced by US-instigated wars and conflicts in Syria, Kurdistan, Libya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Afghanistan and other countries. In the first half of this year, close to 90,000 people were forced to cross seas to seek refuge in Europe and other countries but are being prevented entry. In violation of international laws protecting refugees, countries are spending large amounts to build border walls and push back refugees resulting in people dying in precarious sea travel.
The global capitalist crisis has unleashed worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation inciting the broad masses of people across the world to wage mass struggles and various forms of resistance. There was a marked rise of workers strikes this year, especially during October in the US, where workers are demanding wage increases and better working conditions. There were also nationwide workers demonstrations and strikes in France denouncing excessively low wages, as well as a major strike by railway workers in Germany, and university staff across the UK.
There is widespread legitimate concern over and opposition to repressive pandemic-related lockdown measures, mandatory vaccination and other discriminatory policies. Progressive and revolutionary forces, however, have been unable to take initiative and leadership to denounce big pharmaceutical companies for monopolizing production, supplies and overpricing, and for refusing to open-source their vaccine formula to allow independent scientists to review the efficacy and safety of vaccines, serve as basis for the promotion of mass vaccination, and to provide people with information to enable them to make an informed judgement. This has allowed right-wing groups to promote anti-scientific and backward ideas and incite protest actions and riots in a number of countries in Europe and other parts of the world.
In India, mammoth demonstrations by several million peasants and farmers demanding an end to neoliberal agricultural measures broke out in November 2020, paving the way for year-long camp-out protests of hundreds of thousands outside the capital, which successfully forced the Narenda Modi regime to repeal the anti-peasant agricultural laws. Major mass protest actions by workers and toiling people have also been mounted in Myanmar, Thailand, Brazil, Palestine, Sudan, El Salvador, Colombia, Uruguay, Russia, Serbia and other countries manifesting people’s grievances against fascist tyranny, neoliberal measures and policies and imperialist intervention, and demanding democratic reforms. Across China, several hundred strikes by workers demanding payment of wages and transport workers protesting unfair labor practices have spontaneously erupted.
A “pink tide” has risen again in Latin America with the election of anti-imperialist governments in Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Dominican Republic Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and Chile, and which are expected to further rise with the strong possibility of anti-US candidates winning in Brazil, and other countries in the region. The anti-imperialist governments of Cuba and Venezuela defeated recent US attempts at subversion and “regime change.” With its advanced public health system, the avowed socialist government of Cuba successfully developed and produced its own Covid-19 vaccine, inoculated almost 100% of its population, and shared its knowledge with other Venezuela, Iran and other countries. Despite punishing US sanctions, Iran and North Korea remain militant in defending their country’s sovereignty.
Revolutionary armed resistance continues to be waged in India, Manipur, West Papua, Turkey, Syria, Kurdistan, Myanmar, Colombia, Peru and other countries to fight fascist oppression and foreign aggression. In India, an epic people’s war being waged by the People’s Liberation Army continues to advance under the leadership of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
Amid severe crisis, hundreds of millions of oppressed and exploited people are seeking communist leadership to help provide direction and inspiration in their fight against imperialism and all forms of reaction in the countries. Standing and new communist groups and parties built on the foundations of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism find themselves in very favorable conditions across the world to carry out the work of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people and waging mass struggles and armed resistance.
Worsening crisis under US-Duterte regime is generating greater resistance
The semicolonial and semifeudal system in the Philippines remains in chronic crisis aggravated by the pandemic-related economic collapse last year and the militarist, debt-driven and neoliberal response to the public health emergency. The rotten core of the ruling political system is more and more exposed as it increasingly sheds it bourgeois democratic trappings with the ruling clique resorting to brazen state terrorism, paving the way for the rising power of the military.
The principal means of production remain backward, agrarian and non-industrial, are geared towards the export of raw materials, cheap labor and semiprocessed commodities, and are dependent on imported capital goods and manufactured products. The prolonged lockdowns leading to the wholesale collapse of production in 2020 thoroughly exposed the moribund state of the economic system and its inability to self-sustain and produce the necessaries for the people. Continuing global capitalist slowdown has caused the sharp decline of domestic export-oriented semi-manufacturing, further bloating the share of agriculture and low productive sectors, and aggravating the unequal exchange of cheap raw materials and low value-added semiprocessed exports and high-value imports. Philippine agriculture is being ruined by large-scale importation of rice and other food products and the stashing away abroad of income from fruit exports.
The long deteriorating socioeconomic conditions of workers, peasants, the semiproletariat, rank-and-file employees and small professionals have worsened sharply since last year. They are in increasingly dire straits amid high rates of unemployment, loss of income, low wages, skyrocketing prices of food, fuel, other basic commodities and medical care, continuing school closures, rural dislocation, overseas travel restrictions, onerous taxes, homelessness and demolition of urban poor communities.
The World Bank-trained technocrats of the Duterte regime are hyping-up the GDP growth in the first months of 2021 when in fact this is just a rebound from the 9.6% economic contraction of 2020, the historic worst for the Philippines, brought about by gross mismanagement of the pandemic situation marked by one of the longest lockdown in the world.
Most economic subsectors remain 2 to 11 years behind in terms of lost economic output, especially hotel and restaurants, transportation and storage, real estate and other services. Manufacturing is still behind by four years. The output of agriculture, forestry and fishing subsectors is two years behind.
The Duterte regime is set to leave a legacy of government bankruptcy brought about by lost revenues due to lockdowns and tax cuts for large corporations, the wasteful and corruption-riddled infrastructure program, massive purchases and upgrade of overpriced war matériel for its armed forces and large-scale bureaucratic and military corruption. It has resorted to huge amounts of borrowing that will be paid for by Filipinos in the coming years in the form of more burdensome taxes.
The Duterte regime borrowed ₱2.75 trillion in the first ten months of 2021, surpassing the ₱2.74 trillion total borrowings in 2020, pushing the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio to 63.1%. Philippine public debt is set to reach ₱13.42 trillion by the end of 2022, more than twice the country’s ₱5.9 trillion debt in June 2016. Claims that government borrowed heavily to finance its pandemic response is false. Funds specifically for Covid-19 response (₱608 billion under Bayanihan 1 and 2 law and ₱100 billion under the 2021 budget) comprise only around 13% of total borrowings since 2020.
Despite achieving “high growth” after the opening the economy starting the third quarter of the year, understated estimates of “official” unemployment remain at 3.5 million in October 2021, which is still 1.1 million more than the number of jobless in January 2020. It is estimated that at least 1.4 million Filipinos lost their full-time jobs, including 621,000 employed in private establishments. Official government statistics claim that 1.3 million more people were employed. But most of these were recorded in agriculture (magnified by sellers of ornamental plants) and wholesale and retail trade (fueled by online selling). This number is bloated by sharp increases in the number self-employed (758,000 increase), those employed in family-operated farm or businesses (354,000 increase) and unpaid family workers (541,000 increase). Employment in manufacturing, accommodation and food services, and transportation and storage remain lower than prepandemic levels.
The unemployment figures of the reactionary government are understated through statistical redefinition and manipulation, by dropping at least 3.5 million from the official “labor force” and considering as “employed” those who are actually unemployed. The false figures of unemployment are based on false base figures and play up periodic fluctuations. As of October, there are at least 15.2 million to 17.7 million unemployed and underemployed Filipinos, out of a real labor force of 48.5 million.
Due to the lockdowns and lack of state subsidies, around 160,000 small to medium-scale enterprises were forced to shut down. There is widespread conversion of agricultural lands to pave the way for the expansion of plantations, and operations of mining companies, and energy, infrastructure and tourism projects. Combined with rising costs of production and low farm-gate prices, this is forcing the bankruptcy and displacement of farmers in their hundreds of thousands.
Widespread corruption involving massive amounts of public funds continue to be uncovered. At the height of the pandemic, Duterte used emergency powers to realign tens of billions of pesos of public funds to line the pockets of his big bureaucrat capitalist officials and favored corporations. Government purchases of vaccines amounting to more than ₱82.5 billion (a large percentage of which were bought from China) were made without public scrutiny. The biggest cases have been exposed as involving Duterte’s closest officials and military officers. One of the most heinous directly involve Duterte himself and his close officials where billions of pesos of public funds meant for pandemic response were used to purchase of overpriced face masks, face shields and other equipment through Duterte’s dummy corporation Pharmally. Billions of pesos are also being mulcted by Duterte’s top security officials in the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac where funds are poured into anomalous infrastructure projects under the guise of counterinsurgency. Reports made public by state auditors indicate anomalies and cases of corruption in almost all government agencies.
Inflation rates have been rising since last year and is already the highest in three years. Prices of food and other basic commodities have been steadily moving up due to manipulation of prices by big bourgeois traders, taxes and incessant increases in fuel prices since the start of the year. Commodity prices today are already at least 20% higher than at the start of the Duterte regime, pressing down on the purchasing power of the peso. With the daily minimum wage having gone up by less than 10% means minimum wage earners are actually 10% poorer today because of inflation.
There is a widening gulf between the ruling classes and the broad masses. Less than 1% of the population own 40% of the country’s total wealth. There are 2,919 peso billionaires who have a combined wealth of ₱8 trillion, 27.5% of which (₱2.2 trillion) is concentrated in the hands of the biggest 17 billionaires. The richest among them are big bourgeois compradors in banks, export-import business, mining, plantations, real estate, utilities (power, water and telecommunications), and private and public construction, who continue to support and benefit from the tyrannical rule of Duterte. They accumulate wealth through political patronage that earn them favorable government contracts in connivance with the bureaucrat capitalists. They squander their money for their mansions, sports cars, private jets, leisure travel, parties, drugs, jewelry, signature wear and bags and gadgets. The broad masses of the people are outraged at the conspicuous spending of people who rarely work while the majority of the people who toil daily have barely anything to serve in their dinner table.
The acute crisis of the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system is making it impossible for the reactionary ruling classes to rule in the old way of power sharing and civilian supremacy over the military. On the one hand, the sharing of power and privilege between the different reactionary cliques is increasingly untenable as economic and state resources are becoming more and more scarce and bureaucrat capitalist have become even more avaricious. On the other hand, the ruling state has resorted to further expanding its military and police in the vain attempt to suppress the rise of mass resistance and seek to end the persevering armed revolutionary challenge through the force of armed superiority.
Under the Duterte regime, the reactionary political system is rapidly shifting towards open tyrannical rule, militarization of civilian functions, and brazen state terrorism. Under Duterte’s tyranny, the trappings of “checks and balance” and parliamentary processes are routinely trampled. Human rights are violated with impunity by state armed forces and police. Active and retired military generals are playing an expanded political role in defining state policies and programs, running the bureaucracy and controlling resources and programs of state agencies. The scheme to effect the full restoration of the Marcoses, now in full swing, marks the further degeneration of the ruling political system, and will pave the way for the relentless abuse of power.
The Duterte tyrannical regime is utterly detested by the Filipino people for its fascism and state terrorism, bureaucrat capitalism, national treachery, and for causing the collapse of the backward and agrarian economy resulting in the sharp deterioration of the socioeconomic conditions of the toiling masses.
Under the Duterte regime, state armed forces have carried out a sustained campaign of vicious attacks against the Filipino people in the form of its sham “war on drugs,” its war against the Moro people and counterrevolutionary war against the democratic, progressive, patriotic and revolutionary forces. Duterte and his minions in congress railroaded the draconian Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL) which blatantly violates basic democratic rights in the guise of “fighting terrorism.” On Duterte’s incitement, the reactionary armed forces, police and armed agents have brutally attacked the national democratic forces. Gross violations of human rights run rampant. Duterte has earned the international disrespute as a blood-thirsty fascist tyrant. His crimes against humanity in connection with his sham drug war are now being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In exchange for promises of loans to finance infrastructure projects involving anomalous government contracts, the Duterte regime has shamelessly surrendered the country’s sovereignty to China by allowing it to reclaim land, build military facilities and deploy its naval and air forces in areas within the Philippines’ territorial waters and exclusive economic zone. It has deliberately refused to assert and defend the country’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS) and under the 2016 judgement of the International Arbitral Tribunal in favor of the Philippines against China. Duterte is a traitor in being complicit with China in its military encroachment and driving away of Filipinos from their own fishing areas resulting in dwindling catch.
While kowtowing to China, Duterte remains the chieftain of the neocolonial client-state under all-round US political, economic, cultural and military domination. The US imperialists perpetuates its hegemony primarily by controlling, continuing indoctrination, training, financing and provision of weapons of the reactionary armed forces. While the Philippines remains under US imperialism, the dominant imperialist power in the Philippines, China has cultivated close relations with segments of the ruling classes using bribery, economic partnership, and infusion of large amounts of funds in an effort to undermine US dominant influence.
Duterte has caused the aggravation of the economic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system and bankruptcy of the government by implementing IMF neoliberal policy-dictates. He further liberalized trade and investment to the detriment of local business, workers and agricultural producers. He ordered the liberalization of rice and pork imports, implemented tax cuts for big corporations, buried the country deep in mountains of debt, entered onerous and anomalous infrastructure contracts, imposed additional taxes on the people, caused the depression of wages and allowed large-scale land-use conversions.
The Duterte regime continues to mismanage the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He assigned military generals instead of medical experts to lead government efforts to respond to the public health emergency. The country was placed under an oppressive lockdown for more than one year and a half, shutting down production, business enterprises, schools and cultural activities. Amid the pandemic, efforts to strengthen the public health system were gravely lacking. Even now, there is no free and mass testing, and no reliable system of contact tracing which allowed infections to spread rampantly over the course of more than one year. The release of benefits and emergency funds for nurses and health workers were delayed by months causing severe distress among the medical frontliners. Over the course of the year-long lockdown, the regime distributed subsidies amounting to less than a month’s wages, which pushed millions of families over the threshold of poverty and hunger.
The country has an insufficient supply of vaccines. Only just above 40% of Filipinos (or 46.95 million as of last week of December) have been vaccinated, leaving out people in rural areas. With only 1.34 million having received booster shots, waning vaccine efficacy in the coming months will pose a problem especially with emerging variants proving to be more infectious. There remains no significant effort to improve the infrastructure of the public health system, even ordering the reduction of the budget for some medical facilities involved in frontline pandemic response work. Government figures show a significant reduction in the number of daily new cases of Covid-19 starting November which can be attributed to vaccinations as well as other factors. With the emergence of new Covid-19 variants, fears of uncontrolled surges of new infections in the Philippines remain due to the government’s lack of efforts to strengthen the public health system. There are no efforts to push for local production of vaccines nor support for Filipino scientists to develop Covid-19 vaccines, making the country dependent on imported vaccines. In violation of basic democratic rights, Duterte’s officials and big business have made vaccination mandatory, even as supplies remain grossly inadequate. Big pharmaceutical companies have kept secret the formula and technology for the production of experimental vaccines. This does not serve well the efforts to convince people of the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and makes mandating them an authoritarian act. It also obscures the fact that there are not enough vaccines, and that there is a lack of effort to persuade and educate people about the vaccines.
The 2022 elections is set to expose the worst aspects of the ruling political system marked by patronage, money politics, fraud and deception. At least seven major political parties are running for key posts indicating the deep fractiousness of the ruling classes. Not any of these parties succeeded in forming a complete slate for the senate.
Duterte aims to perpetuate himself and their political dynasty in power in order to continue amassing wealth through corruption and evade the investigation and prosecution by the ICC. His scheme involves rigging the 2022 elections to manipulate results in favor of his chosen candidates, in the same way that the 2019 elections were rigged to install his minions in the senate and the lower house of congress. Duterte’s cheating machine is in place having appointed majority of the officials of the Commission on Elections and the “automated counting system.” The option to impose an outright fascist dictatorship remains on the table and may be resorted to if he could not manage his political alliance to his favor or if could not stem the rising protests in the coming months leading to the elections.
The Duterte ruling clique has consolidated its alliance with the Arroyos, Marcoses and Estradas, icons of tyranny of the Philippine reactionary system, who represent the most brutal and corrupt cliques of the ruling classes. They have so far managed their conflicts over power arrangements and sharing of government contracts, although Duterte has openly expressed dissatisfaction that his daughter was not chosen to run as president. The most moneyed of these cliques, the Marcoses, now dominate this alliance through the presidential and vice-presidential tandem of Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Sara Duterte-Carpio. Vast amounts of resources plundered through a combined 20 years of tyrannical rule of their fathers are being poured into their electoral campaign. In a show of preference for the most brutal and corrupt reactionary clique, a number of oligarchs, including old martial law cronies, are closing ranks behind Marcos. Other big bourgeois compradors, fearing reprisals in the event of a second Marcos dictatorship, are also pouring funds into the Marcos Jr. campaign.
The biggest opposition challenge to the Marcos-Duterte tandem is being posed by Vice President Leni Robredo, presidential candidate of the Liberal Party. She, however, has chosen to distance herself from the national democratic forces that have a proven electoral base of at least several million votes. She generated further antipathy of the patriotic and democratic forces by endorsing Duterte’s NTF-Elcac in trying to securing the support of the military. She can still win the support of the patriotic and democratic forces by further strengthening her opposition to the Duterte regime and against the return of the Marcoses, and by making a clear stand for free land distribution and national industrialization, to free all political prisoners, put an end to the AFP’s scorched-earth tactics, for wage increases and ending contractualization and seriously pursuing peace negotiations with the NDFP.
The political opposition must endeavor to generate a million-strong mass movement against the Marcos-Duterte tandem to thwart the ruling clique’s scheme to rig the 2022 elections. By doing so, they can clearly expose the manipulation of the results when these are rigged in favor of the Marcoses and Dutertes. The broad mass movement of patriotic and democratic forces must be fully prepared to mount mass protest actions in order to frustrate and defeat the schemes of the Dutertes to rig the elections, and in the event of a Marcos-Duterte steal, prevent it from consolidating power, and challenging its reign from day one until its ouster.
The Duterte regime has carried out a relentless counterrevolutionary war against the patriotic, democratic, progressive and revolutionary forces in its desperation to preserve the rotten ruling system and perpetuate itself in power. Under the doctrine of counterinsurgency and “anti-terrorism”, the fascists have cast a wide net of suppression hitting all directions and targeting broad segments of society. These attacks have intensified since the Covid-19 pandemic where the entire country was placed under police and military control in the guise of managing public health.
The National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac, the Duterte civil-military junta, now serves as the nerve center of the regime’s campaign of state terror. In violation of the principle of distinction under international humanitarian law, it has red-tagged entire communities, legal organizations, progressives, civic groups, journalists, members of the academe, politicians, church people, as well as international organizations.
With the ATL, the NTF-Elcac has blurred the line between armed combatants and civilians. It has subjected leaders and activists of mass organizations and communities to massacres and extrajudicial killings, surveillance, abductions, torture, unlawful arrests and detention, threats and intimidation and other gross violations of human rights. It is forcing workers to disaffiliate their unions from national democratic centers of militant unionism. It has forced peasant organizations to disband and form AFP-initiated fascist organizations that are accommodating to the interests of mining companies and big plantations.
In the countryside, the AFP has been waging a war targeting civilians in the guise of its “community support program” or “barangay development program” where residents are subjected to the worst forms of repression. Goaded by NTF-Elcac’s promise of ₱20 million per “cleared” barangay, combat units of the AFP have gone berserk in its “surrender drive” in rural villages. The AFP imposes martial law on communities and employs terror tactics that instill fear among the civilians. People’s basic civil and political rights are routinely violated. They are subjected to endless intimidation. Soldiers enter and search homes without warrants. Residents are repeatedly summoned to military camps to “clear” their names and subjected to hours-long interrogations. People are coerced to “identify” their neighbors as “NPA supporters.” Operating units of the AFP impose food and economic blockades. Farmers and farm workers are prevented from working in their fields.
The AFP has increasingly employed aerial bombardments to terrorize civilians, and make the people bow to their military superiority, in brazen violation of international humanitarian law. Mountainous areas, farms and areas adjacent to communities have been targets of 500-lb bombs dropped from fighter aircraft, rockets fired from attack helicopters and artillery shelling. Aerial and artillery bombardment and strafing are inherently indiscriminate and endangers the lives of civilians and destroys their property. The AFP’s aerial bombing drive has forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their communities out of terror. Children and old people, especially, are gravely traumatized by the AFP’s bombing drives. A number of civilians have died as a result of panic and terror. Bombs dropped by the AFP have damaged farms and ravaged forests which also serve as sources of food, water, medicine and livelihood of peasants and minority peoples.
The heightened political and military repression indicate the growing desperation of the ruling reactionary regime to stop the growth of the revolutionary armed struggle. Billions upon billions of pesos of people’s money are being squandered for the purchase of jet fighters, attack helicopters, drones, bombs, rockets, cannons, artillery, rifles and bullets, as well as GPS trackers, surveillance cameras and other equipment. The AFP has promised to further intensify its military offensives in the coming months with its oft-repeated declarations of “crushing” the NPA before the end of Duterte’s term.
These declarations are all in vain. Despite some NPA units suffering some losses, the great majority of the guerrilla units of the NPA have rendered the enemy’s superiority ineffective and have successfully grown in strength and expanded their base of support.
The ever worsening social conditions are inciting the broad masses of the Filipino people to fight back with all forms of resistance. By resorting to brazen state terrorist attacks, the Duterte tyrannical regime is rousing more and more people to join the NPA, wage armed struggle and help carry forward the people’s war.
Persevering resistance in the face of heightened repression
The crisis of the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system is generating ever intolerable forms of exploitation and oppression and is driving the Filipino people more and more towards the path of revolutionary struggle. In the face of worsening state terrorism, corruption and national treachery under the Duterte tyranny, the broad masses are ever more determined to defend their national and democratic rights and interests and advance the cause of national democracy.
Despite the Duterte regime’s brutal tactics of counterrevolution, the people’s war continues to move forward and steadily accumulate strength. At the same time, there are sustained mass protests over the failed pandemic response, lack of economic aid, cases of large-scale corruption, large-scale borrowing, skyrocketing prices of food and fuel, import liberalization of rice and pork, tax cuts for big corporations, burdensome taxes on the people, sharp rise in military spending, rising number of cases of human rights violations, increasing incidents of aerial bombing, and so on.
The cadres and activists of the Communist Party of the Philippines are at the core of the ever rising mass resistance against Duterte’s tyranny and the advancing people’s democratic revolution. Underground Party branches and committees continue to be built and strengthened in both cities and rural areas. Party cadres are at the vanguard of the people’s democratic mass struggles and the armed struggle. Together with Red fighters of the NPA and revolutionary forces allied with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, Party cadres continue to valiantly and boldly shoulder the difficult tasks of carrying forward the people’s democratic revolution, even in the face of fascist adversity and brutality.
In the countryside, the New People’s Army continues to wage people’s war across the entire country. The Party’s Central Committee, through its Executive Committee and Military Commission, together with officers of the NPA National Operational Command, provide strategic leadership to the NPA. Tactical leadership is exercised by the Party’s regional committees and the NPA’s regional operational commands in 14 regions and their subregional and front operational commands.
The national and regional operational commands of the NPA remain intact despite the unremitting division- and battalion-sized tactical operations carried out by the AFP. In Mindanao, where the AFP has mounted the most brutal forms of suppression since 2017, NPA units have quickly adapted to the AFP’s large-scale strategic offensive operations and are intensifying mass work and military work. They continue to enjoy the deep support of the peasant masses and Lumad minorities, especially as the AFP’s lies, corruption and collusion with mining companies and plantations are increasingly exposed. In the past year, NPA units have also frustrated major strategic offensives in the provinces of Cagayan, Ilocos Sur, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Masbate, other Bicol provinces, as well as in the islands of Mindoro, Palawan, Samar and Negros.
Across the country, NPA units are masterfully using guerrilla tactics of disperal, shifting and concentration to avoid enemy encirclement and hit the enemy from its rear or flanks. They continue to consolidate, recruit and train new Red fighters, expand its territories and grow in strength. In line with the direction set forth by the Party, NPA units have stepped up efforts to deepen and widen mass work in order to expand its areas of operation and frustrate the enemy’s strategic offensives.
Over the past year, mass work units of the NPA have successfully conducted campaigns to help uplift the masses from their dire conditions, especially in areas which were hit by pests, torrential rains, typhoons and severe floods. Red fighters are being mobilized to serve as production teams to help in rebuilding farms, planting and harvesting of crops. Campaigns to plant vegetables and root crops have been carried out to help secure food supplies and alleviate the effects of lockdowns on communities. Party committees and NPA units are helping the peasant masses to get organized and raise their capacity in cooperative production by pooling together their resources and labor power.
In the face of threats of Covid-19 infections, NPA units, together with local mass organizations and health workers, are conducting education campaigns in rural villages to raise the people’s awareness and understanding of the nature of the pandemic, of public health measures to prevent its spread, and of the use of herbal medicine to help fight its symptoms, and encouraging vaccination in areas where it is available. At the same time, NPA medics have mounted mass clinics to conduct check-ups to diagnose, treat and provide medication for common ailments and provide dental services, minor surgeries and other medical services.
The closure of schools since last year and the “distance learning system” have left out many low-income urban and rural schoolchildren who are without fund or access to telecommunication (internet) services. To address the needs of young children, many Red fighters have served as community teachers who conduct tutorials and lessons for young children to help them continue learning and assist them in their assignments.
In old and new areas, NPA units are organizing the basic mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth and children. These organizations build committees to undertake national democratic education, recruitment, fund generation and other tasks. The NPA recruits and trains Red fighters for its units of people’s militias. Mass organizations build their self-defense corps to help in the maintenance of peace in the communities and coordinate with the militias.
Mobilizing and relying primarily on poor peasants and farmworkers, mass campaigns are staged to seek the lowering of land rent, elimination of usury, higher farm wages, lower prices of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs, fair farmgate prices, and other agrarian reforms comprising the minimum program for land reform. In areas where the NPA and the local Party organizations are strong enough, the maximum program of land distribution is carried out.
Organs of political power are established by convening community assemblies or representatives of local mass organizations in order to elect or appoint officials of the barrio or village revolutionary committee, and build the committees for defense, justice, education, health, culture and others. Cultural organizations are built to promote a patriotic, scientific and mass-oriented culture and raise the people’s militance and determination to fight.
The NPA strengthens wave upon wave by striking the correct balance between expansion and consolidation. Front units of the NPA maintain a company force structure to allow itself to deploy mass work platoons within the proximity of the company center, while periodically shifting the center to avoid enemy encirclement, further expand its areas of operations and stage tactical offensives against weak and isolated units of the enemy.
Even as the NPA expands its areas of operation, it maintains close links with the masses in its consolidated areas, especially with those in areas under intense enemy military operations. The NPA closely coordinates and assists the masses as they fight the repressive measures imposed by the enemy. Units of the NPA are mounting timely tactical offensives to punish the most brutal units of the enemy with the aim of disrupting their operations and driving them away.
The revolutionary masses in the countryside are valiantly opposing the enemy’s military suppression drive. They are being roused to fight back by the fascist abuses and disruption of local peace and order. They are actively and creatively fighting the enemy’s presence in their communities through open and discreet protests. They continue to strengthen their organizations and conduct meetings and study sessions away from the enemy’s surveillance. They continue to maintain links and coordinate with the local units of the NPA. They provide the NPA with timely information about the enemy’s activities and movements. In some communities, they have playacted as “surrenderees” to make the enemy complacent. They make the enemy believe that they are “informants” but are, in fact, in coordination with the NPA. The enemy is fooling only themselves when they claim that the masses are “surrendering” in droves.
In the face of heightened enemy drone and electronic surveillance, NPA units have been directed to adopt policies to enhance guerrilla maneuvers and methods of work. Red fighters have a deep understanding of the principle that “it is people, not things that are decisive,” as propounded by Chairman Mao. The enemy may have the distinct advantage in terms of weaponry and firepower, but it is no match to the NPA’s political superiority. With the deep support of the masses, NPA units have been able to keep the enemy deaf and blind to its movements and operations. With its mastery of local terrain and high level of discipline to maintain itself invisible physically and electronically, the NPA is, for the most part, rendering ineffectual the enemy’s drones and surveillance equipment.
The vast majority of NPA units have succeeded in avoiding the so-called focused military operations or enemy offensives and frustrated the enemy’s aim of mounting decisive battles. The Party and the NPA have drawn important lessons from tactical defeats suffered by some guerrilla units, including those caused by enemy bombing incidents, which resulted in the martyrdom of a number of Red fighters.
The NPA continues to take the initiative in mounting tactical offensives in various parts of the country, aiming especially at units of the AFP which have committed gross violations of human rights and terrorism. Together with the peasants and ethnic minorities, the NPA also continues to serve as guardians of the environment, in fighting mining companies, plantations and other plunderers and economic aggressors.
There is continuing resistance against neoliberal agricultural policies, particularly import liberalization of rice, as well as smuggling of other agricultural products which are driving down farmgate prices and forcing tens of thousands of farmers to bankruptcy. The peasant masses and ethnic minorities are also fighting wanton land-use conversion of agricultural lands, land grabbing and environmental destruction.
The peasant masses, together with the masses of workers and semiproletariat, and other toiling sectors have also mounted protests against rising fuel prices, taxes on petroleum products and other onerous taxes, skyrocket prices of food and other basic commodities and services, liberalization of fish and pork importation, and other policies that worsen their oppression.
Amid the pandemic, struggles to advance the welfare and interests of various sectors have been unremitting across the country. They have come together to demand financial aid and subsidies, and the expansion and strengthening of the public health system. Nurses and health workers demanding salary increases and other benefits have staged successive protest actions.
Workers strikes and protest actions demanding higher wages and job security have erupted. Public school teachers mounted repeated protests to demand salary increases, overtime pay and additional allowances to cover expenses incurred to adapt to the school closures. Students have raised public clamor for the safe opening of classes and expressed their collective grievances under the “blended learning” system. Public transport drivers also mounted protests to demand the return of jeepneys to their routes, rollback of fuel prices, compensation for services rendered to the government and others. Wildcat actions have erupted among gig workers to protest the oppressive working conditions arbitrarily set by service operators.
Mass protest actions are bound to rise especially with the rapid increase in the cost of living resulting in the further deterioration of the people’s socioeconomic conditions. The widening gap between the great majority of the toiling masses, on the one hand, and the high bureaucrats and big capitalists who continue to accumulate wealth through corruption and government favors, on the other hand, is stoking the people’s anger.
In the face of worsening political repression, there is also growing resistance against state terrorism and fascism. Duterte’s draconian Anti-Terror Law prompted a broad range of democratic forces to come together and demand its repeal. There is also widespread opposition against the NTF-Elcac and a strong demand for its defunding and dismantling. Mass actions have been staged to protest red-tagging, extrajudicial killings, arrests, torture and indefinite detention under trumped up charges. A number of activists unlawfully arrested and falsely charged using police-planted evidence have won important legal victories and have been released from prison.
A broad range of forces are now arrayed against the Marcos-Duterte electoral tandem, even if the opposition forces failed to forge a unified slate. Young Filipinos are actively resisting the return of the Marcoses and the perpetuation of the Duterte political dynasty, knowing fully well that it is their future that is at stake. There are very strong prospects for a massive uprising of the people to erupt as in 1986 after Marcos’ electoral fraud was thoroughly exposed.
The revolutionary organizations allied with the NDFP continue to expand and strengthen themselves. Amid heightening fascist repression, the need to strengthen the underground revolutionary movement and armed resistance becomes crystallized in the consciousness of a growing number of people.
Outstanding tasks of the Party
The Party is leading and waging the people’s democratic revolution in the Philippines to achieve national and social liberation. The basic objective is to liberate the Filipino people from the clutches of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, overthrow the neocolonial state and the class rule of the big bourgeois compradors and big landlords and put an end to the semicolonial and semifeudal system. It will establish a people’s democratic government that will carry out land reform and national industrialization, promote people’s democracy in order to prepare the conditions for socialist revolution and construction.
The Party has succeeded in upholding, and assiduously and creatively applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism on the concrete conditions of the Philippines. It has transformed the universal theory of the proletariat into an invincible material force. The Party has built itself as the advance detachment of the Filipino proletariat and has guided the growth and advance of the revolutionary movement over the past five decades.
The Party has built a highly consolidated organization by adhering to the principles of democratic centralism, or democracy guided and unified by centralized leadership, and centralism based on democracy. Collective leadership is exercised through the committee system. Elected by the Party’s Second Congress in 2016, the Party’s Central Committee, Political Bureau and Executive Committee unites and leads the entire Party in its revolutionary undertaking.
The Party has a membership of more than 150,000, and a mass base running to millions of people, both in the cities and countryside. The Party is deeply rooted among the workers and peasants, as well as among the semiproletariat and the urban pettybourgeois intellectuals. All Party members undergo a process of revolutionary remoulding through study and practice of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and criticism and self-criticism. The Party has produced a great number of outstanding communists and revolutionary fighters, a number of whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of the proletariat and oppressed classes. Their memories will live forever. The Party will continue to nurture the fruit of their hard work and sacrifices.
The Party established the New People’s Army from a platoon of Red fighters in 1969 as the germinal force for waging protracted people’s war along the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside. The NPA has built a mass base running to millions of poor peasants and farmworkers by firmly waging agrarian revolution in accordance with the Party’s revolutionary guide to land reform. The NPA has self-reliantly grown into a nationwide guerrilla force, operating in more than 110 guerrilla fronts in 90% of Philippine provinces. The NPA grew by leaps and bounds in 14 years of armed resistance to Marcos’ martial law rule and surmounted the military offensives of six presidents since 1986. The Party and the NPA is set on frustrating Duterte’s futile declarations of crushing the armed resistance before the end of his term next year.
The Central Committee set the aim of completing the requirements of the advanced substage of the strategic defensive and advance to the next stage of the people’s war by waging extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on an ever widening and deepening mass base. The Party must assess the current Five-Year Program. Leading central and regional committees of the Party must sum-up the achievements and point out weaknesses in its implementation. We must draw lessons from advanced experiences, as well as from setbacks.
In the same way that the Party withstood the all-out strategic offensives of the Marcos dictatorship, it has also withstood the most brutal attacks over more than five years under the US-Duterte fascist tyranny. The leading committees of the Party have succeeded in preserving, strengthening and expanding the revolutionary forces under their leadership. We must pay attention to developing the internal factors which allowed the Party, the NPA and the united front to grow in strength in most parts, and overcoming those factors which caused the stagnation or weakening in other parts.
The Party must be prepared to face the arduous political and military battles in the coming months as the enemy carries out full-throttle military offensives and total war against the people in the vain hope of crushing the people’s democratic revolution.
On the one hand, the Party and the revolutionary forces are not intimidated by the enemy’s show of force, knowing fully well that behind this armored shell is the rotten core of the widely despised and repudiated ruling system of oppression and exploitation, corruption, treachery and state terrorism. On the other hand, we must intently study the enemy’s strength and determine the methods of frustrating its objectives. Party cadres and revolutionaries are ready to overcome tendencies to seek comfort and convenience and make big and small sacrifices necessary to advance the people’s revolutionary resistance.
We must resist the increasing brutality of the US-Duterte regime as it employs state terrorism to force the people to bow to its power. The problem of underreporting of military abuses and violations of human rights must decisively be resolved. We must heighten our campaigns to fully expose and denounce every case of intimidation, illegal searches, violations of domicile, unlawful arrests, abductions, forced “surrender,” and extrajudicial killings, especially in villages being hamletted in the guise of the AFP’s “community support programs” or “barangay development program.” There must be a campaign to raise the demand for an end to the AFP’s indiscriminate aerial bombing, strafing and artillery shelling that aim to terrorize the people in brazen violation of international humanitarian law.
The Party must take advantage of the sharpening political crisis of the ruling system and isolation of the US-Duterte regime. This crisis is set to burst open in the coming months with the scheduled presidential elections. The attempts to rig the automated vote counting in favor of the ruling Duterte clique must be fully exposed. The widest possible range of forces against the Duterte regime must be brought together in a broad united front. Duterte’s schemes to perpetuate himself in power, either through rigging the elections or declaring an open fascist dictatorship, must be frustrated through massive street demonstrations.
We must tirelessly arouse, organize and mobilize the people in great numbers in all forms of armed and non-armed resistance. We must firmly take hold of the initiative, prepare the people and advance their struggles in the face of all possible situational shifts brought by convulsions of the ruling system.
In the coming years, the Party must continue to carry out efforts to strengthen itself ideologically, politically and organizationally. The Party must lead in the Filipino people’s struggle to overthrow the US-Duterte fascist regime and carry forward the people’s democratic revolution.
The Party must continue to steel itself ideologically by studying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to strengthen the working class standpoint and viewpoint of all its cadres and members, their grasp of the historical mission of the proletariat and its tasks of leading the new democratic revolution in the Philippines.
The three level Party course must be implemented vigorously and energetically, even as we shoulder urgent political tasks of propaganda and mobilization. Every Party branch and committee must ensure that an officer or committee is assigned to education work. We must make sure that books and articles are made available, in electronic or paper form, for reading and discussion at all levels.
Party cadres and committees must continue to deepen their knowledge and grasp of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism by applying it in conducting social investigation to determine the specific conditions and problems of the masses, in taking stock of their strength and weaknesses, in knowing the enemy and drawing up plans to raise the level of the work within the scope of their leadership. All Party committees must consciously and systematically apply the dialectical materialist methods of analysis of drawing observations and conclusions from facts, and raising the level of revolutionary practice from one level to another.
All Party committees must ensure that regular meetings are held to build the collective will of its cadres and activists. They must conduct assessments and summing-up conferences, and criticism and self-criticism meetings. Work conferences must be held periodically for cadres to share experiences with the aim of raising the level of their work. Leading committees must receive periodical and special reports from the committees under it, and promptly issue guidelines or instructions. All pertinent information must be transmitted to the Party’s Central Committee.
We must continue efforts to strengthen Party branches as key to raising the capacity of the Party to lead the masses in their mass struggles. Recruitment of new cadres from the ranks of the advanced mass activists must be carried out systematically and unremittingly. Every Party branch and leading territorial committees must aim to build several Party branches for every given time period to ensure the constant expansion of the Party.
The Party must continue to establish and strengthen revolutionary mass organizations to build the unity of the people along their class and sectoral interests, as well as along issues of a broad or specific nature. Different forms of associations can be built as a way of adapting to the specific situation in a locality. We must aim to build Party branches in all the biggest labor enclaves and strategic industrial and commercial enterprises, mines and plantations, colleges and university campuses, offices, sectors, institutions, communities and so on. The Party must take advantage of the conditions to generate a major increase in the strength of the workers movement in the national capital and regional urban centers.
The Party must continue to heighten propaganda work to counter the anticommunist lies and disinformation which the fascist reactionary zealots whip-up in media and social media. We must vigorously promote the program for a people’s democratic revolution and the Party’s analysis of outstanding national and local issues. We must continue to propagate Ang Bayan and all revolutionary publications, and produce other forms of propaganda in order to reach the broad masses in their millions to raise their consciousness and militance. All Party cadres and activists must untiringly serve as soldiers of the propaganda army for national democracy.
The Party must build the broadest possible anti-fascist united front as the key to mobilizing the people in their millions to frustrate the US-Duterte regime’s scheme to perpetuate its tyranny, corruption and treachery through state terrorism and deception. The Party and the broad democratic forces must frustrate the plot to rig the 2022 elections to install the Marcos-Duterte tandem or any other reactionary candidate that will do Duterte’s bidding. A movement to block the full restoration of the Marcoses must be developed, especially among the Filipino youth. This must be combined with mass protests to advance their urgent demands for wage increases, jobs, economic subsidies and other social alleviation measures amid the economic crisis.
The Party must continue to develop the people’s anti-imperialist and antifascist struggles in the cities and link these to the antifeudal and antifascist struggles in the countryside. The peasant movement must aim to mobilize the masses in large numbers by putting forward the urgent demands to end import liberalization, land-use conversion, and land grabbing, for fair farmgate prices, production subsidies, cancellation of loans in disaster-stricken areas, and so on.
The Party must continue to lead the New People’s Army in waging extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on an ever widening and deepening mass base. The mass base of the NPA must be expanded and consolidated by carrying forward agrarian revolution on a wide scale to address the long-term and urgent needs of the peasant masses.
We must aim to expand the guerrilla fronts and build new guerrilla fronts and subregional areas to widen the NPA’s areas of operation in order to frustrate the enemy’s blockhouse tactics and campaign of encirclement to isolate NPA units and engage them in decisive battles. Leading committees of the Party and NPA commands must master the ability to balance the deployment of troops for expansion and consolidation, and for mass work and military work. Horizontal expansion of the mass base must be made in proportion to consolidation and strengthening of Party branches and NPA units. We must conduct political and military training of Party cadres and NPA Red fighters and commanders to shoulder the increasingly arduous tasks to boldly advance the revolution.
We must aim to resolve all the internal problems and surmount all the obstacles in advancing the people’s democratic revolution. We must raise the revolutionary spirit and determination of all Party cadres, Red fighters and mass activists in confronting the increasingly brutal and vicious enemy.
The Party must take advantage of favorable conditions to strengthen and expand its ties with the international proletariat and other oppressed peoples, encourage the study of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and its application on the concrete conditions of different countries and further promote anti-imperialist solidarity with the broad democratic, patriotic and progressive forces and governments fighting for national and social liberation. The Party must actively share its experience in waging the Philippine revolution, and learn from the advanced experiences of revolutionary, and other national and social liberation movements around the world.
As the Party commemorates the 53rd anniversary of its establishment, we celebrate our achievements, even as we look forward to surmounting all obstacles in carrying forward the people’s democratic revolution to unprecedented heights.