Keynote speech to the video conference to celebrate the 48th anniversary of NDFP

Jose Maria Sison | Chief Political Consultant | National Democratic Front of the Philippines
April 24, 2021
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Dear compatriots and friends,

I wish to thank my Filipino compatriots in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle/ Friends of the NDFP for inviting me to serve as the keynote speaker in the celebration of the NDFP 48th anniversary celebration.

I wish to speak on the important role of the NDFP in the Filipino people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy since its founding on April 24, 1973. In the process, I shall cite the NDFP’s struggles, sacrifices and achievements.

The NDFP’s most important role in the democratic revolution is to arouse, organize and mobilize the broad masses of Filipino people in their tens of millions and to seek international solidarity, support and cooperation. For the purpose, it encompasses 18 allied organizations representing all patriotic and progressive classes and sectors of Philippine society belonging to various political tendencies, ethno-linguistic communities and religious beliefs.

The allied organizations include the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions, Katipunan ng mga Samahang Manggagawa, Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid, Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan, Kabataang Makabayan, Katipunan ng Gurong Makabayan, Makabayang Samahan Pangkalusugan, Liga ng Agham para sa Bayan, Lupon ng Manananggol para sa Bayan, Artista at Manunulat para sa Sambayanan, Makabayang Kawaning Pilipino, Revolutionary Organization of Overseas Filipinos and their Families, Christians for National Liberation, Cordillera People’s Democratic Front , Moro Resistance and Liberation Organization and Revolutionary Organization of Lumads.

The NDFP has been successful at promoting and building the revolutionary organs of political power at the grassroots and higher levels, expanding and consolidating all its allied organizations, broadening the national united front against every unjust regime, carrying out diplomatic and solidarity relations and raising resources for the advance of the people’s democratic revolution.

The NDFP was conceived, born, developed and tempered in the crucible of the struggle against the US-supported Marcos fascist dictatorship. It worked hard to fight, isolate and defeat the dictatorship and made sacrifices, including martyrdom and imprisonment of many of its adherents. Ultimately, it played a decisive role in the overthrow of the fascist dictatorship in 1986.

Thereafter, it has responded positively to every serious expression of every post-Marcos regime to engage in peace negotiations. But always in the interest of a just peace, it has rebuffed and opposed every attempt to make the revolutionary forces capitulate and let the enemies of the people reign without resistance.

During the time of Ramos, the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations succeeded in forging the Hague Joint Declaration of 1992, which set forth the aim and purpose of addressing the roots of the armed conflict through basic economic, social and political reforms and provided the substantive agenda and methods of negotiating and making the necessary agreements.

More than ten important agreements have been made, including the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the first of the four items in the substantive agenda.

The negotiations have been long drawn because every post-Marcos regime has used them for only the first six months or so of their terms of office to consolidate their political positions. Uniformly, they have cited the pro-US and anti-communist military officers of the reactionary armed forces as the obstacle to the progress of the peace negotiations.

In the case of the current regime, Duterte exposed its bad faith in peace negotiations by adopting and stepping up its all-out war policy against the revolutionary movement, by committing atrocities and blaming them on the CPP and NPA and failing to fulfill Duterte’s promise to amnesty and release all political prisoners.

The Duterte regime allowed its pro-US and anti-communist retired and active military officers to sabotage the peace negotiations exactly when these were going relatively fast in the making of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

Following the order of the US President Trump, the puppet Duterte issued Proclamation 360 to terminate the peace negotiations on November 23, 2017 and Proclamation 374 to misrepresent the CPP and NPA as “terrorists” on December 5, 2017. Further, he formed the National Task Force to End Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in 2018.

Worst of all, he signed the Anti-Terror Law of 2020 for the brazen purpose of state terrorism. He has used red-tagging in order to pave the way for the arbitrary arrest, torture and murder of social activists, critics, oppositionists, human rights defenders and even the NDFP peace consultants who are entitled to the protection of the JASIG.

Duterte has terminated the peace negotiations in order to scapegoat the CPP and NPA and cite them as pretext for engaging in state terrorism and perpetuating his traitorous, tyrannical, mass murdering, plundering and swindling rule. He openly worships and emulates the toxic memory of the fascist dictator.

He hopes to do better than Marcos in trying to destroy the revolutionary movement when in fact the chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system has become far worse than during the time of Marcos, due to the catastrophic consequences of neoliberalism, bureaucratic corruption and military overspending. The crisis is further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The revolutionary strength of the CPP, NPA and the NDFP and other revolutionary forces of the people has become greater than ever before. Thus, Duterte and all his armed minions present themselves as fools by threatening every year to destroy the NPA and in effect admitting their failure to do so in the previous year, despite the most terrible forms of brutality and extortion inflicted on the people.

The ground for the people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war will remain fertile so long as foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism persist. These are the root causes of the armed revolution which will persevere until it wins total victory and usher in the socialist revolution.

The Duterte regime is practically in the final year of its legal term. But it is trying to stay in power, with Duterte as fascist dictator or with his handpicked successor who will continue his tyrannical rule. In these circumstances, the NDFP is again playing a major role in bringing about the broadest possible united front to fight, isolate and overthrow the Duterte tyranny.

Upon the advent of a relatively patriotic and democratic government, the NDFP will continue to be open to peace negotiations in accordance with the mandate from its 18 allied organizations. It is but logical to expect that the armed revolution will further intensify if Duterte or his surrogate manages to stay in power or if another rabid anti-communist regime takes over and pursues the same counter-revolutionary policies like those of Duterte.

The NDFP can be relied upon to do whatever it must do in order to advance towards a just peace of national independence, genuine democracy, economic development through land reform and national industrialization, social justice, cultural progress and international solidarity with all peoples of the world. In any case, the NDFP will always need the support of the Filipino people and the peoples of the world.

The Filipino people and the NDFP are confident that the new democratic revolution will ever win greater victories in the Philippines as the crisis of the domestic ruling system worsens and compels them to fight back and as the world capitalist system worsens and the peoples of the world rise up and wage mass struggles against imperialism and all reaction. Thank you.###

Keynote speech to the video conference to celebrate the 48th anniversary of NDFP