Filipino people’s struggle, a teacher and an inspiration

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Professor Jose Maria Sison’s books On People’s War and Imperialism in Turmoil, Socialism in Prospect were successfully launched on March 27, 2022 in an online zoom event organized by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines International Information Office and the International Network of Philippine Studies. On People’s War is the 7th book in the Sison Reader Series, while Imperialism in Turmoil, Socialism in Prospect is a selection of his writings in 2021 edited by Julieta de Lima.

The launching of the books is also in celebration of the 53rd anniversary of the founding of the New People’s Army (NPA) tomorrow, March 29th.

The first book, On People’s War, is a collection of Prof. Sison’s writingsfocusing on the people’s war being waged by the NPA and the Filipino people. Jacob Bodden from the Revolutionaire Eenheid (RE-Revolutionary Unity) shared his insights in his review of the book.

“The Filipino struggle is one of the best teachers that we have,” he said. “While reading the book, it explains the relationship of people’s war and the mass base. The people’s war is not just guns blazing in the jungle. It is engaging in a cultural, economic, social revolution, building mass base, teaching people how to read and write, providing health care, land reform, and much more. It builds together with the masses.”

“The book also discusses the mistakes that happened in the history of the NPA, and teaches us the importance of learning from errors.”

“These lessons are also learning points for us organizing in the Netherlands,” he added.

The second book, Imperialism in Turmoil, Socialism in Prospect, is a collection of Prof. Jose Sison’s writings in 2021, describing the crisis of imperialism, zooming into the struggle in the Philippines and reaffirming the perspective of socialism in the national democratic revolution in the country.

Fred Engst, who grew up in China during the revolution and presently teaching economics in a university in Beijing, presented his review of the book. “We can see a tremendous wealth of experience in leading the Filipino struggle during the last 50 years expressed in this volume. It has strategies in conducting underground guerilla warfare, conducting above ground mass movements, works in the united front, and more.”

“The spirit of a revolutionary that is determined to change this world that we suffer under is very clear and inspiring in this book.”

The author himself, Prof. Sison, also offered some insights. According to him, “We must acknowledge and celebrate the fact that the people’s war in the Philippines has developed without the cross-border advantages akin to those when the Chinese revolution received support from the Soviet Union from 1924-1927 against the northern warlords, and again from 1937 to 1945 against the Japanese aggression, or when the Indo-Chinese revolution also benefitted from the cross-border relations with the Chinese revolutionaries. What makes the success of the Philippine revolution even more remarkable is that it has not received any significant amount of direct material support from any foreign fraternal party and has been overtaken by one more gigantic betrayal of socialism and proletarian internationalism that followed revisionism and capitalist restoration.

He ended by saying, “Anti-fascist and anti-imperialist and democratic mass struggles are arising and will certainly intensify in the coming decades. They will lead to the resurgence of the world proletarian revolution.”

The presentations were followed by questions from the audience directed at the author and the reviewers.

The book launch was filled with cultural contributions. It was opened by a dance interpretation of Inang Laya’s song Babae by the Rode Lelies (Red Lilies). A film that sums up the people’s war in the Philippines was shown.

Another video presentation shared people’s insights when people around the globe were asked what comes to their mind when they hear about the people’s war being waged in the Philippines. Here are some of their thoughts:

“The people’s war in the Philippines is an expression of democracy. An imperative of survival and an expression of hope.”

“I think the people’s war in the Philippines is such a strong and integral part of the global anti-imperialist struggle. And that the New People’s Army serves as an inspiration to so many people around the world who are fighting exploitation and oppression.”

“When I think of people’s war, I think of justice. The manifest expression of the people to live a dignified life, free of exploitation and oppressions. I think of the peace it makes possible.”

The book launch ended in high spirits with the song Papuri sa Sosyalismo (In Praise of Socialism). (NDFP International Information Office)

AB: Filipino people's struggle, a teacher and an inspiration