The CPDF joins today other allied revolutionary mass organizations and the whole Filipino people in joyously celebrating the 52nd Anniversary of the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
We cap this anniversary celebration by declaring that with the perseverance and able leadership of the Party, we were able to continue in frustrating the silly and desperate obsession of the US-Duterte regime and his minions to crush the national democratic revolution in its ever changing timetable. Contrary to the US-Duterte regime’s boastful pronouncements, the revolutionary movement in the Cordillera region as with other regions in the country still continues to persevere in advancing the people’s war to a higher stage. Despite the hardships being endured, the Cordillera people together with the New People’s Army through the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines has launched campaigns in agrarian revolution, health services and relentlessly fighting the regime’s fascism. Through the years, the revolutionary movement has consistently proved the correctness of the people’s war in the face of intensifying imperialist plunder, state terrorism and economic crisis even in the present Covid-19 worldwide pandemic.
Today, we pay highest respects to revolutionary martyrs in the Ilocos-Cordillera region who have heroically laid down their lives this year in carrying out revolutionary tasks. We salute in particular Comrades Julius ‘Ka Nars’ Giron, Dr. Ma. Lourdes ‘Ka Del’ Tangco, Arvie Alarcon Reyes, Julius ‘Ka Goyo’ Marquez, Eniabel ‘Ka Lea’ Balunos-Marquez, Finela ‘Ka Ricky’ Mejia, Pamela “Ka Maymay” Peralta, Mar “Ka Asyong” Capulas, Edgar “Ka Nardo” Justo, Rolando “Ka Eugene” Marvil, and Marxes “Ka Jiggs” Dazon. We also give our salutations to Agaton “Ka Boy” Topacio and Eugenia Magpantay who have served part of their revolutionary lives in the region. Their legacies shall inspire us to carry on the struggle to final victory!
Since the revolutionary movement took root among the national minorities of the Cordillera in the 1970s, it has steadily grown and made historic advances through the guidance of the Communist Party of the Philippines. The vibrant revolutionary movement in the Cordillera peaked in the establishment of the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front. In its first political congress in 1988, it made public its eight-point programme. And in 1989, it held its first organizational congress. The struggle for national democracy and the right to self-determination has steadily advanced up to the present. Together with the New People’s Army, we have withstood numerous counter-insurgency attacks by past and current fascist regimes.
In the Cordillera region, as in other national minority areas in the country, our people have been subjected to graver forms of national oppression, corruption and fascism amidst the Covid 19 health crisis. The US-Duterte regime’s imposition of repressive lockdowns and other fascist anti-Covid-19 measures has further mired farmers, workers and urban poor in hardship and poverty. Even professionals and middle-income families are already feeling the brunt of joblessness, loss of income and rising prices of commodities. In many areas especially in the countryside, the Covid-19 pandemic has only served to expose the dearth and utter lack of health personnel, inadequate medicines and facilities which farmers severely suffered from since time immemorial. Duterte and his minions are accountable for his gross incompetence in addressing this health crisis, which has resulted in almost half a million cases of Covid-19 patients and nearly ten thousand Covid releated deaths in the whole country. While we have long suffered from inadequate health services to confront this pandemic, the military and police forces in the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), now brandishing the recently approved Anti-Terrorism Law, are making daily life doubly hard. Continued psychological warfare cum community support program operations sowing fear and disunity among residents, combat operations and red tagging are without let up under the Oplan Kapanatagan. Quarantines, checkpoints and lockdowns have been used to harshly control the civilian population turning entire communities into virtual hamlets. Fascist measures such as imposing food blockade, enforcing stringent travel restriction, prohibiting freedom of movement even in tending crops and farm animals, hunting, gathering of forest products and fishing, have only worsened the dire economic situation of peasants and other people. Since the first quarter of this year until today, military and police have saturated more than 61 barangays in 18 municipalities.
To feign a picture that the US-Duterte regime and his minions are gaining headway in their desperate obsession to crush the national democratic revolution, the terrorized public is dosed with various gimmickry. On orders of their corrupt officials, the mercenary facscist troops in the field are rudely pushing for the uninterrupted implementation of the Enhanced Community Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) unmindful of the COVID anxiety gripping the entire country. Under the graft-ridden surrender program, they accused, forced, recycled and faked civilians to ‘surrender’ as NPA combatants or supporters. A number of helicopter sorties were flown over some barangays of Mountain Province, Abra and Kalinga dropping plastic-wrapped surrender leaflets and lists of wanted cadres and Red commanders with corresponding bounty for opportunists and bounty hunters to prey upon.
On the other hand, out of the hundreds of billions of people’s money earmarked by the incompetent and corrupt Duterte government for pandemic-affected population, the local residents got only trickles of relief assistance in the form of few kilos of rice, several noodles, canned sardines and hardly any bar of soap. Furthermore, not all families received their share of the ‘social amelioration program’ (SAP).
Despite the many adversities caused by the pandemic, we have prevailed over one difficult year dispensing with our revolutionary tasks creatively. This year, our people guided by the Party posted modest gains in the implementation of the minimum program of land reform. Increased food production campaign in many communities went underway promoting the planting of root crops, tubers, and bananas to supplement rice that can grow and survive continuous rains and calamities.
We were able to launch mass campaigns in different guerrilla fronts geared to address the pandemic that the masses enthusiastically welcomed. The Anti-Covid 19 campaign focused on education drive, prevention, proper sanitation, building immune systems through promotion of healthful food and medicinal herbs, and observance of practical health protocol to avoid infection and contagion. In line with this, medical trainings, medical services and clinics were undertaken in the communities wherever and whenever security situations permit. The campaign spurred the revolutionary fervor of health groups and committees in the mass organizations not only in the fight against COVID 19 but all other common diseases as well.
The farm and crop damage sustained by the masses hit by drought followed by the destructive typhoons and northern monsoon rains in the third quarter of the year, have yet to recover. Since no assistance can be expected from the reactionary government, recovery and rehab work was assumed by the peasants themselves through their organized efforts in repairs of ricefields, irrigation systems, roads, pathways and foot bridges.
Adult literacy and numeracy classes were also conducted on a limited scale in view of the urgent need for these farmer-parents in assisting their children to cope with the regime’s defective blended learning.
Our actual experience in confronting the pandemic and natural calamities has glaringly proved that our people cannot hope to rely on the reactionary government. In fact, the tyrant and his band of crooks are taking advantage of the health crisis to bleed us dry. Against this backdrop, the revolutionary forces in the region is all the more obliged to further strengthen and expand our ranks and advance the people’s war to a higher level. This is our call this new year 2021. Learning lessons from the past year has taught us to more effectively advance our tasks in the midst of the pandemic and in frustrating the regime’s counterrevolutionary war. We stand firm with our revolutionary optimism to overcome more difficult situations ahead. The victory of the people’s democratic revolution with a socialist future is the only solution to end the centuries of historical oppression and exploitation suffered by our people.
Strive and persevere to further advance the national democratic revolution!
Frustrate the regime’s continuing all-out war against the people!
Fight and stop the plunder of our ancestral lands!
Oust the fascist US-Duterte regime!