Message of the New People’s Army on the 52nd anniversary of the  re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines

The Filipino people’s revolutionary forces are holding celebrations across the country and worldwide today to mark the 52nd anniversary of the re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). On behalf of all Red commanders and Red fighters, including the People’s Militia, the New People’s Army-National Operational Command (NPA-NOC) extends its warmest revolutionary greetings to the CPP, all Party cadres and members. We also take this occasion to bestow our highest honors to all our revolutionary martyrs – Red fighters and their officers, activists, local revolutionary leaders and masses who fell in combat, were summarily executed or died due to illness – for selflessly offering their lives for the revolution and the Filipino people.

Under the absolute leadership of the CPP, the NPA has persevered in waging the people’s war and has proven itself a resilient force amid and despite the brutal and intensified counter-revolutionary campaigns of the US-Duterte regime. We remain closely linked with the toiling masses and committed to serve the people. We are now more than ever prepared and resolute to wage the people’s war across the country in order to defend the Filipino people against the attacks of the fascist and tyrannical US-Duterte regime.

With the Party’s correct and timely guidance, we have constantly strengthened our ranks ideologically, politically and organizationally. By strictly adhering to the principles of the Party, we have sustained and preserved our forces to complete the requisites needed to carry forward the people’s war from the middle phase to the advanced sub-stage of the strategic defensive.

The people’s war will continue to advance towards victory. With heightened fervor, we are more than ever determined to perform our main historic task defined by the Party of smashing the main armed apparatus of the reactionary state as the prerequisite in accomplishing national liberation and democracy and paving the way for a bright socialist future.

The Party, the people’s army and the Filipino people have frustrated the US-Duterte regime’s aim of “crushing” the revolutionary movement for the nth time. This has been our main achievement and significant victory against the US-Duterte regime thus far.

Duterte and his top military officials have issued deadlines to “annihilate” the NPA and the revolutionary movement, only to repeatedly extend or postpone their self-imposed targets. First, within six months in 2017, then to mid-2018 later extended to the end of 2018, then mid-2019 to the end of 2019, and most recently until the end of 2022, this time downgrading their objective of “crushing” to merely “weakening” the NPA – an indirect but otherwise total admission of defeat.

In desperation to achieve this aim, Duterte increased his armed troop’s strength by more than 20 percent within a span of four years, or an additional 23 battalions for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Marines alone, exclusive of the increase in Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel mobilized for direct “counter-insurgency” campaigns and operations. The military continues to boast of acquiring new attack helicopters, surveillance and strike drones and other modern armaments from the US military and other imperialist countries. They also annually enjoy the biggest chunk in the national budget, surreptitiously inserted in items and agencies. In the 2021 national budget, these were inserted into the Office of the President’s confidential and intelligence funds (Php8.3 billion), National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (Php19 billion) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (Php539 billion), aside from funds intended solely for the AFP (Php215 billion) and AFP Modernization (Php58 billion). These funds do not yet include the increase in budget allocation for the PNP and other projects of the NTF-ELCAC channeled through various civilian government agencies.

Through Executive Order 70 that established the NTF-ELCAC, the state’s armed force now has the use of the entire government machinery for its TRIAD operations, focused and sustained military operations patterned after the US’ infamous hamletting program and Oplan Phoenix that resulted in the mass murder of suspected Party cadres and local leaders in Vietnam, and the similar murder of millions of suspected communists in Indonesia that led to the fascist dictatorship of the Suharto regime. The US-Duterte regime has also been using the Covid-19 crisis as a pretext to attack and clamp down on the revolutionary movement, opposition groups and the general public. Now, with the enactment and implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act, the military and police are certain to further repress and suppress rising protests and all forms of resistance against the regime.

With the political leadership of the Party at its core, the NPA refused to be intimidated. It braced itself for Duterte’s intensified war of suppression characterized by aerial bombings and cannon shellings, mass murder and destruction and all-out state terrorism since Duterte traitorously sabotaged the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in 2017. Through mastery of guerrilla warfare, the combination of new with old tactics, employment of tactical adjustments with regards the enemy’s newly-acquired advanced war technology, and reliance on the deep and widespread support of the masses, the NPA and the Filipino people have successfully frustrated and will ultimately defeat the vicious objective of Duterte’s full-scale war of terror.

NPA units maintained a forward-looking and offensive posture in facing the military’s suppression campaign that had gone berserk. Daring NPA units were able to sanction notorious mining corporations and plantations that exploit and oppress workers, peasants and lumad and destroy the environment, set up ambuscades and launch attritive and annihilative actions against operating enemy troops, and arrest state armed elements and accord them the proper treatment as prisoners-of-war. On the other hand, the enemy had suffered significant casualties, averaging to an equivalent of two battalions each year, from the NPA’s sustained tactical offensives.

The NPA made certain to be ready for battles, using every defensive encounter with the enemy as object lessons to conduct basic and intermediate politico-military trainings and improve on strategy, tactics and techniques both for defensive and offensive military actions to engage the most rabid killers and fascists of the US-Duterte regime. With the Party’s strict guidance, guerrilla units of the NPA are always reminded to keep a fluid movement so that it can engage in counter-encirclements and counter-offensives against the enemy, and that it can only do so with the strong support of the masses.

After its re-establishment on December 26, 1968, the Party’s greatest achievements are the building and strengthening of the NPA and the waging of the people’s war from scratch in a small district in Tarlac to become the biggest revolutionary army in Philippine history operating nationwide. Through the years, the people’s army had successfully expanded and consolidated its forces all over the country owing to the CPP’s firm grasp of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, correct analysis of Philippine history and society, the revolutionary leadership of the working class, the program and line of the people’s democratic revolution and the strategy and tactics of the people’s war. Hence, the reactionary regime’s armed forces are being forced to divide and stretch their strength in the countryside as a result of the advance of the people’s army.

In line with this, the NPA strictly implemented the program of the Second Congress of the CPP and has narrowed down the imbalance in the disposition of its forces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. As a result, the fascist regime was forced to re-deploy a number of battalions back to their mother units to engage NPA units in Luzon and Visayas, while still maintaining 60 percent of the total AFP forces in Mindanao to pursue their unachievable target in said island. But despite the enemy’s excessive and frenzied use of airstrikes, armed drones and prolonged focused operations, not one single NPA platoon was wiped out nationwide. In spite of the constant black propaganda, bogus peace caravans and the incessant parade of fake or recycled surrenderees, Red commanders and fighters never faltered but are instead ever willing to sacrifice their lives for the revolution and the people than surrender and be servile to the fascist US-Duterte regime.

We have triumphed in exposing Duterte and his military junta’s lies, fake news, empty boasts and #Duterterrorism. The NTF-ELCAC and the military’s PR machinery have been working double-time to mount a grand propaganda offensive to portray the NPA as a “weakened” force. It had been making more frequent and blatant claims of so-called “NPA surrenderees” and “NPA front organizations” as part of its psywar and anti-communist offensives.

Indeed, the surrender of a few individuals are part of the realities of war. This, however, does not represent a trend, or a “phenomenon” as the AFP likes to call it. While there were a few Red fighters who wavered and surrendered in the face of insurmountable sacrifices, the AFP’s bloated number of so-called “rebel surrenderees”, usually local residents falsely accused or forced to admit to being NPA members or supporters, mainly sums up the regime’s propaganda of illusory victory. The surrender of a handful of former Red fighters and commanders who failed to withstand the struggles and hardships of the people’s war does not negate in any way the reasons that drive more and more Filipinos to rise up and resist in various forms of struggle, particularly the armed struggle.

What Duterte and his minions fail or stubbornly refuse to accept is that the revolution can never be extinguished for as long as the root causes of the armed struggle remain – and the people’s army can never be annihilated for as long as it continues to be under the absolute leadership and direct guidance of the Party.

Moreover, the military had also been on a PR spree to showcase so-called “persona non grata” declarations by local government units and officials. The people now correctly view these claims with skepticism. These pronouncements are ironic, to say the least, because the NPA, composed mainly of peasants and local folk endemic to their areas of responsibility, has remained deeply rooted in the masses. Nonetheless, we completely understand why some local government and barangay officials have been forced to issue pro-forma declarations under threat of being red-tagged, persecuted or accused of being “NPA supporters or sympathizers”. It is in fact the AFP, PNP and their paramilitary who are the real persona non grata in villages and communities for their brutal, brazen and barbaric attacks on innocent residents and civilians.

It is also a well-known fact that the multi-billion peso Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and other such programs of the AFP are more of money-making rackets and stepping stones for promotions for military officials. These do not in any way seriously threaten the commitment and very existence of the people’s army. Field and division commanders milk their stout profits from these programs by recycling “surrendered weapons”, fabricating lists of ghost “NPA surrenderees” and from the few who actually surrendered.

The NTF-ELCAC now boasts of having “cleared” some 850 barangays nationwide as a result of these programs and operations. Even if for the sake of argument this were true, 850 is but a slight pinch in the total 42,000 barangays all over the country, approximately 70 percent of which are in the rural areas. It should also be pointed out that the military’s so-called “clearing” operations actually mean “clear for the land-grabbing and plunder of foreign businesses and multinational corporations” as a result of the rape of villages and communities, massive hamletting, forcible evacuation of thousands of residents, intensified militarization and the unleashing of state terror upon these barangays. Moreover, these barangays have been deviously allotted Php20 million each in the 2021 national budget supposedly for “consolidation and development” but will only certainly be another lucrative milking cow for Duterte’s military junta.

In fact, while the US-Duterte regime continues to launch its brutal suppression campaign against the NPA and revolutionary forces, his burdensome economic policies, crackdown on protests and dissent, state terrorism and desperate drive to cling to power and install a fascist dictatorship, have further compelled more and more people to join the NPA.

Duterte’s terror campaign, almost five years into his term, still remains the No.1 recruiter of the NPA.

By implementing the Party’s program for the people’s war, the NPA continues to be cherished widely and deeply by the masses. It is a voluntary armed force motivated principally by the staunch commitment to serve the people and rely on them and their wholehearted participation and support in the armed struggle. It differentiates itself from the enemy’s mercenary armed forces who are paid by the reactionary state and the local exploiting classes to suppress and terrorize the masses. Unlike the AFP and PNP who are detested by the people, the NPA continues to enjoy the broad support of the masses because it adheres by its own strict rules of discipline as well as in accordance with international humanitarian laws.

NPA commanders and Red fighters are regularly reminded not to take even a strand of thread or needle from the masses, to always be polite in speech and action, to respect women at all times, not to damage crops and farmlands and to treat prisoners-of-war humanely. They are taught by the Party to place the interests of the masses above personal interests and without reserve, to conduct criticism and self-criticism in order to address and correct weaknesses and errors, and to be models of discipline, hard work, modesty and simple living in the people’s army, mass organizations and among the people. The Party’s guidance and leadership in these duties are ensured in the people’s army through the assignment of Party cadres and political officers in the NPA’s organizational structure.

The NPA has persevered mainly because it is not only a purely military formation. Aside from being the people’s fighting force, it is also tasked by the Party to ensure political work within the people’s army, among the masses and even among the ranks of the enemy. Through the Party’s program for national democratic revolution, the NPA has successfully integrated the armed struggle with base building and agrarian revolution. Its political work includes building of organs of political power and mass organizations in the countryside and launching other mass campaigns such as cultural, production, health and education, among others.

As we celebrate and commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the CPP’s re-establishment, the NPA-NOC calls upon all Red officers and Red fighters to uphold the absolute leadership of the CPP and strictly adhere to the Party’s principle of politics-in-command in all our undertakings.

We renew our commitment to consolidate, strengthen and expand our ranks and mass base across the country, mobilize the masses for the agrarian revolution, rouse the people to fight their oppressors, and mount widespread tactical offensives in order to further frustrate the US-Duterte regime’s all-out war against the revolutionary movement and the Filipino people. Together with the Filipino people, we shall ever be determined to unite and wage struggles amid increasingly intolerable conditions of socio-economic crisis, blatant state terror and fascism to oust the US-Duterte regime.

The NPA-NOC directs all Red officers and fighters to brace for more difficulties and sacrifices ahead to carry forward the people’s war to greater heights. As Duterte enters into his term’s twilight years, we anticipate that the regime’s war of suppression will become more brutal and challenging as Duterte desperately clings to power by employing the most despicable forms of armed and unarmed attacks against the people.

However, the US-Duterte regime is fast becoming more isolated from the people and is bound to fail. The worsening socio-political and economic crisis of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system continues to beget all forms of resistance against the regime’s fascism and tyranny and for the struggle for national liberation and democracy. ###

Hail the 52nd anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Carry forward the people’s war to victory!
Long live the Philippine revolution!

Message of the New People’s Army on the 52nd anniversary of the  re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines