Message of the Negros Island Regional Party Committee
on the occasion of the CPP’s 52nd founding anniversary
December 26, 2020
The Negros Island Regional Party Committee (NIRPC) joins the entire revolutionary movement of the people in Negros and across the country in militant celebration of the 52nd founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
We do so with the firm resolve to put an end to the traitorous, plundering and mass-murdering ways of the tyrant and madman Duterte.
We do so with a renewed commitment to raise the banner of the people’s democratic revolution and the socialist cause ever so bravely to new and greater heights.
We reflect on the historic significance of the Party’s reestablishment under the theoretical guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) in 1968 even as we now take stock of the ideological, political and organizational work that we have done in 2020, a year inarguably of unparalleled challenges brought about by Duterte’s runaway reign of fascist and counterrevolutionary terror and by the extraordinary worldwide predicament of a pandemic.
Indeed a great number of Party cadres and members on the Island, Red commanders and fighters of the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command New People’s Army(AGC-NPA), and allied forces and friends of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Negros have exemplified genuine selflessness in serving the immediate and long-term interest of the toiling masses and people amid such extremely trying times.
They have been gallant in their resistance to Duterte’s rule of evil.
They have been unremitting in their efforts to contribute to the nationwide advance of the people’s war for national liberation and democracy.
From among their ranks in fact have come the newest revolutionary martyrs and heroes of the Island whose supreme sacrifice for the anti-imperialist, antifeudal and antifascist struggles we now give our highest tribute.
The memory of their exemplary lives, like those of Apolinario Gatmaitan, Leonardo Panaligan, Roselyn Jean Pelle, Armando Sumayang, Jr., Rachelle Mae Palang, and many others that have come before us, should keep our revolutionary spirit constantly aflame.
We honor Jerry Catalogo, Zara Alvarez, Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan and other unarmed champions of social justice, human rights and true people’s service in Negros who, on account of their courage and dedication, were slain by heartless butchers of the state.
We shall not waver in seeking and serving revolutionary justice for their deaths.
The NIRPC gives its Red salute to CPP Central Committee (CC) cadres Julius “Ka Nars” Giron, Eugenia “Ka Eugene” Magpantay and Agaton Topacio, and long-time NDFP peace consultant Randall Echanis.
They all unswervingly dedicated their lives to the Philippine revolution for almost as many years as the Party itself has so far lived, until Duterte’s fascist mercenaries murdered them in the most dastardly and cold-blooded way.
In their capacity as members of the Executive Committee of the CC, Ka Nars and Ka Eugene had, at one point, been particularly instrumental in guiding the Negros Party leadership in going through the process of forging stronger proletarian unity in the Region.
As it is often said in Negros about those who had lived and died for the exploited and the oppressed, their deaths weigh as heavy as Mt. Kanlaon.
We call on all Party collectives, NPA units and mass organizations in the Region to hold discussions on the 52nd Party anniversary statement of the CC.
It is important that we avail of and are guided accordingly by the Party’s analysis on the current state of the crisis and bankruptcy of the world capitalist system and how this relates to domestic ruling systems especially that of the Philippines.
The Covid-19 pandemic, a tragic consequence itself of imperialist plunder and mayhem, has not only laid bare the ruinous depths of the long-drawn-out crisis but has also caused it to even worsen in such accelerated pace.
Precisely owing to the failure of the imperialist powers and their neo-colonial and dependent states to even at least cushion the impact of the crisis on the working class and peoples of the world, and as they increasingly become unable to rule in the old way, we anticipate in the immediate global horizon the renewed vigour of anti-imperialist struggles and of the world proletarian revolution.
It is important that the revolutionary subjective forces in Negros unite around the urgent fighting tasks that the Party has laid out at this particularly tumultuous juncture of the chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal local ruling system.
Rapacious neoliberal economic policies remain ascendant and govern, among others, the wholesale surrender of national patrimony to both old and new imperialist masters.
In their tens of millions, the long-suffering toiling masses and people are now living through further and far worse deprivation and hunger.
In the midst of the pandemic emergency and a spate of natural calamities, they are shown the monstrous twin heads of patent government neglect and hard core bureaucratic corruption.
Propped up by a new state terror law and by hundreds of billions of pesos in public funds, the full coercive might of the state is being brandished and employed in order to strike fear on the people, keep the conservative opposition in check, and silence those who dare assert their sovereign right to resist.
Duterte and his military bureaucracy, which now includes practically all of the reactionary government’s agencies following the “whole-of-nation” fascist doctrine of suppression, are single-minded in the dirty counterrevolutionary war against the armed revolution and the legal democratic mass movement.
Duterte is obsessed with annihilating the forces of national democracy as they pose the most serious challenge to his plan to stay in power beyond 2022, evade prosecution for his crimes, and secure the fullest possible concentration of bureaucratic loot for his family, favoured oligarchs, rabidly anti-communist military junta, warlords, criminal godfathers, and long-discredited plunderers-in-chief of earlier fascist and puppet regimes.
Yet Duterte’s fascist terror is less a proof of his strength than a telling sign of the growing weakness, political isolation and reckless despair of a tyrant and madman who fears and despises the masses.
So long as the US-Duterte regime is inclined to wield its iron fist against the people, so long as it continues to deprive them each day of even the barest means of living, more and more among the broad masses of the exploited and oppressed are going to be convinced of the justness and need not only of taking to the streets in protest but, more importantly, in taking the path of armed revolution.
The prevailing conditions are indeed fraught and most favourable for the national democratic revolution.
As such, the Party should seize the highest initiative in wielding the weapons of armed struggle and the united front, in rallying and leading the people in their millions in the heroic and arduous fight against Duterte’s tyranny and all-out counterrevolutionary war, and in accumulating all-round strength necessary to bring the protracted people’s war to the mature phase of the strategic defensive stage.
All-round revolutionary advance
amid all-out counterrevolutionary war
The CPP in the Region has remained dauntless in leading the revolutionary movement of the people in the two Negros provinces.
The Party has achieved notable ideological, political and organizational successes on the Island this year even in the face of relentless fascist attacks and a host of new practical challenges attendant to the pandemic and the Duterte government’s militarist Covid response.
Armed with MLM, Party cadres and members strive to constantly draw lessons from revolutionary experience and raise these to revolutionary theory in order to effectively guide the further development of revolutionary practice.
Among this year’s highlights in the Regions’s ideological work has been the marked increase in the number of new graduates of the basic and intermediate Party courses (BKP and IKP) which to some extent could be attributed to the successful holding last March of the first ever regional Party conference on revolutionary education work.
In August alone, for example, 55 members of local Party branches and Red fighters in the Southeast Negros Front took the BKP.
In the Central Negros Front a total of about a hundred Party members spread in several batches finished the IKP in 2020.
Last January, a pilot batch of regional cadres completed the advance Party course.
Formal discussions on the major conclusions from the 25-year regional summing up have already been initiated in some Party units.
These have given a score of intermediate cadres a clearer theoretical picture of the Region’s wealth of revolutionary practice, united them further on basic Party principles, and guided them in recent breakthrough works in the countryside and the cities to outstanding results.
The Party, the NPA and the revolutionary mass activists on the Island are determined to carry out the general political line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war.
The country’s fourth largest island and a long-standing bastion of land monopoly and the hacienda system, Negros remains to this day a most fertile social and physical ground where guerrilla fronts could be built and developed for the purpose of carrying out agrarian revolution and launching extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare based on an ever expanding and deepening mass base.
The 302nd and 303rd army brigades of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) boast that the NPA in Negros is now utterly demoralized and has already been diminished into insignificance in the wake of so-called mass surrenders of Red fighters and arrests of alleged high ranking rebel leaders.
These are worn-out lies that do not of course correspond to the fact that each of the Region’s five guerrilla fronts was able to expand this year in terms of armed fulltime personnel strength, with at least one front reporting a net increase equivalent to one full platoon.
With much irony, it is to the partial credit of the AFP themselves that the People’s Army has been steadily growing in the whole of Negros.
In the daily performance of their “Sauron” duties of red-tagging, arresting, torturing and killing unarmed civilians, these fascist fools subject more and more people to such serious affronts as to drive them to commit to various forms of struggle including that which the NPA itself offers.
Augmented by units of the people’s militia and enjoying extensive mass support, the NPA maintains a relatively significant political armed presence on the Island.
It is for this reason that the AFP has arrayed against the NPA in Negros a preponderant force which now stands at no less than ten field combat battalions, inclusive of army auxiliaries and special and regional units of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
These very same fascist forces, along with their auxiliaries and assets, would suffer a total of 75 fatalities from at least 30 tactical offensives and punitive actions launched by the guerrilla units of the AGC from January to December of 2020.
The armed offensives by the NPA and its acts of enforcing the decisions of the revolutionary people’s courts inspire and militate the masses to rise up in defense of their rights and welfare and link up with the broad anti-Duterte people’s movement.
But the 20 high-powered and low-powered firearms that the AGC had seized from the enemy in 2020 are still quite small and need to be multiplied presently through more tactical offensives in order to adequately arm the rising number of the people’s best sons and daughters who join the NPA.
At various times this year and in cooperation with the different staff units of the Regional Operational Command, the fronts were able to conduct the basic politico-military training course and other training courses such as those for combat medics, medical officers, and intelligence operatives.
In March and April, the AGC observed strict compliance to the provisions of the unilateral ceasefire declared by the CPP-NPA-NDFP in response to the global call of the United Nations to temporarily halt armed conflicts following the outbreak of the pandemic.
They dutifully desisted from giving battle to AFP units even at difficult almost impossible moments when the enemy was aggressively attacking and in clear violation of its own unilateral ceasefire protocols supposedly enforced by Malacanang during the same months.
The armed engagement in April by an AGC platoon with elements of the 94th Infantry Battalion, which caused the death of three AFP soldiers, was well within the allowable performance of active defense by the People’s Army and as such did not constitute any ceasefire violation on its part.
While the successes this year of the AGC far outweigh the setbacks incurred by a few of its units at different times during this period, the guerrilla forces on the Island are serious in learning from such experiences and are taking measures to improve certain key aspects of their military and political work.
Keenly aware of the need to integrate revolutionary armed struggle with genuine land reform and the building of the mass base and organs of political power, the NIRPC issued in January a year-long plan for an island-wide antifeudal mass campaign.
This would, however, see some adjustments in pace and stress given the circumstances that turned up in March with the advent of the pandemic.
At any rate, all the guerrilla fronts in Negros heeded the Party’s nationwide call to concentrate all revolutionary efforts toward helping the people collectively overcome the Covid-19 crisis.
In the North Negros Front very early on, a considerable volume of printed materials on Covid-19 was produced for mass distribution.
Armed propaganda units and leaders of peasant associations gave advice to poor peasant households on how to assert their right to receive amelioration from economic aid programs of government agencies that are, nonetheless, long-delayed, graft-laden, and inadequate.
Peasant organizers in the Southwest Negros Front assisted the families in some clusters of barangays in planning out mass actions to demand food relief from reactionary local governments.
The campaign on collective emergency food production, coupled in some cases with herbal medicine making, were already in operation in several areas in the guerrilla zones long before the Department of Agriculture admitted that a nationwide food shortage was imminent.
There had also been some limited attempts to reach out to traditional groups and institutions and even friends in local governments and national agencies to solicit their cooperation in the people’s campaign on Covid-19 in the countryside.
Mobile people’s clinics led by NPA medical officers and staff did the rounds in all the guerrilla fronts, the most successful of which was the one held in Central Negros in March where no less than two thousand barrio folk were checked up and treated all in just one single afternoon, a feat that earned the praises of many credible health professionals in the cities.
Still, notwithstanding some excellent results, the regional efforts in the people’s collective campaign on the Covid-19 crisis should have had a more extensive reach and more sustained stretches.
It should have been more aligned to the practical aims of the antifeudal and antifascist mass struggles and to the tasks of accelerating and expanding the building of revolutionary mass bases.
Old and new revolutionary forces in Negros now share a deeper knowledge of the Party’s decades of experience in united front work in the Region.
They are now more united and better orientated to work at the forefront of the economic and political struggles of the different patriotic and progressive formations.
In the middle of continued fascist attacks, there have been some noteworthy recent breakthroughs in the legal democratic mass movement particularly in sectoral organizing and multi-sectoral mass mobilizations, in the building of the broad antifascist united front, and in international solidarity work.
These have auspiciously coincided with efforts to overcome conservatism and sectarianism.
Sugar farm workers and other peasant masses, workers, and the urban poor are being aroused, organized and mobilized in campaigns for wage increase, farm lots, land rent and debt holidays, subsidies and relief, free medical service and other just demands at a time of great economic crisis and the pandemic.
Urban intellectual youth and professionals are supportive of these campaigns and have been effective in maximizing social media for antifascist propaganda.
Church sector leaders have become more engaged in calling on the people to unite and seek justice for the growing number of state terror victims.
In the coming months progressive and patriotic forces in the Region are expected increasingly to take part in antifascist, antifeudal and anti-imperialist mass campaigns and struggles, either through open mass actions or by way of clandestine resistance activities especially in light of the US-Duterte regime’s present drive to illegalize open democratic mass organizations, alliances, parties and institutions.
In any case, the national democratic forces in the Region are doing the best it can to bring together the toiling masses of workers and peasants, the urban petty bourgeoisie, the middle forces, and the tactical allies in the opposition in more frequent and progressively bigger mass actions of the broad antifascist people’s movement that is desirous of Duterte’s ouster from power and of his prosecution for numerous heinous crimes.
The Party in Negros upholds and puts to practice the principle of democratic centralism, combats bureaucratism and ultrademocracy, and aspires every time for the most solid organizational unity.
It continues to grow in strength, drawing hundreds of new members from the ranks of Red fighters and advanced activists of the revolutionary mass movement of patriotic and progressive classes and sectors.
More and more cadres are being developed comprehensively so that they may be able to effectively lead the masses in the different fields of revolutionary work that are becoming more numerous and complex as the people’s war progresses.
The Party, the People’s Army and the people
should seize the highest revolutionary initiative.
The ideological, political and organizational strides in the past year bring the revolutionary forces and people in Negros today to a sturdy foothold from which to further carry out the current five-year program of the CC, its particularization in the ongoing three-year program of the NIRPC, as well as any specific fighting tasks that the Party may find immediately necessary at every turn in the course of the people’s war.
The Party should ensure that it fully grasps the important lessons from its very recent experience in the lingering and complex circumstance of the worldwide pandemic as it relates to Duterte’s dictatorial obsessions on the one hand, and to the performance of revolutionary tasks on the other.
It should not succumb to complacency when it seems that the worst of the crisis is over, or to panic and passivity when things become more difficult.
The Party should set the highest example of revolutionary resilience in the face of adversity and sacrifice.
An exceedingly favorable situation for waging armed revolution exists and the Party should seize the highest proletarian initiative in all aspects of its task of leading the people and their Red Army in battling the fascist tyranny and all-out counterrevolutionary war of the US-Duterte regime.
The Party, the NPA and the revolutionary movement of the people should seize the highest political and military initiatives through the integrated carrying out of guerilla warfare, agrarian revolution and mass base building, and through the expert employment of the principles and tactics of the revolutionary united front.
The Party should seize the highest organizational initiative to expand its membership several fold and increase the proletarian leadership capacity of cadres and members at all levels.
The continuous accumulation of all-round revolutionary strength is absolutely necessary to bring the protracted people’s war to the mature phase of the strategic defensive stage, en route to the strategic stalemate stage and beyond.