Dec. 26 this year will be a red-letter day 40 times over as communists, socialists, national democrats and their sympathizers mark the 40th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
One thing that cannot be denied about the CPP is that it offers a comprehensive program on how it wishes to bring changes to the country. Perhaps if we remove several blinders and biases about all things Red (or even pink), we may at least understand, if not accept, why the CPP’s national democratic revolution continued to inspire people from all walks of life — the common folk of laborers and farmers, youth, professionals and the entrepreneurs — and why they still look up to the CPP as their party.
Some tried to destroy it from within — and they almost succeeded. Now, these same persons who once called themselves the “avante garde” are almost always nowhere to be found and if we see them, they are in the warm embrace of the leaders of same Establishment all genuine progressives and revolutionaries hope to punish and banish.
It is highly doubt that CPP members for the past 40 years just allowed themselves to be hoodwinked or terrorized into submission and fealty to the party. Lest we forget, the best and the brightest of an whole generation knowingly and consciously joined it — some even continue to lead it, as far as we all know. I mean, diatribes and mindless anti-leftism aside, there must really be something more, something infinitely greater than the sum total of all the lives given up for the revolution. For in the final analysis, we cannot just say “the CPP and communism are passe”. Some folks have been saying so for the longest time but people continue to join this party and wittingly risk their careers and their lives on the line.
Which now brings us to the following message of CPP founding chair Jose Ma. Sison:
Greetings To The Communist Party of The Philippines on the Occasion of its Fortieth Founding Anniversary
As founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), I convey warmest greetings of comradeship to all CPP cadres and members on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the CPP. I share your joy in celebrating all the struggles waged and all the victories won by the CPP and the Filipino people in the last four decades of the new democratic revolution.
Let me congratulate you for the victories of the CPP, as published in Ang Bayan and reported to the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
I congratulate you for all the victories won in the ideological field. The CPP has successfully integrated the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism with the concrete conditions and concrete practice of the Philippine revolution. It has correctly understood the history and circumstances of the Filipino people and has produced works of high theoretical value.
The CPP has educated well its cadres and members in adopting the Marxist-Leninist stand, viewpoint and method. They have learned materialist dialectics not only through the formal courses of study at the basic, intermediate and advanced levels but more importantly through revolutionary practice and the constant study of its circumstances and development.
The CPP criticizes and repudiates modern revisionism and subjectivism, be it dogmatism or empiricism. It is well known for periodic and timely criticism and self-criticism in order to strengthen its unity and make its work more effective than ever. It has carried out great rectification movements as campaigns of education to clarify basic principles, policies and line, to rectify major errors and to set forth new tasks in order to advance the revolutionary process.
The First Great Rectification Movement paved the way for the founding of the CPP. It criticized and repudiated modern revisionism and the major errors, especially those of the Lavaites, that had marked the previous attempts to develop the party as an advanced detachment of the revolutionary proletariat. The Second Great Rectification Movement saved the CPP from attempts to disorient and to liquidate it from within and to condone serious crimes that followed the major political errors.
The resounding victory of the Second Great Rectification Movement meant the defeat of highly placed deviants with their muddled notions from classical and modern revisionism, bourgeois liberalism, Gorbachovism and Trotskyism. It strengthened the CPP’s adherence to the new democratic and socialist revolutions against the ideological, political, economic and military offensives of imperialism in the wake of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and other revisionist regimes and the social turmoil in China.
I congratulate you for all the victories won in the political field. The CPP has accurately described the Philippine ruling system as semicolonial and semifeudal, directly ruled by the comprador big bougeoisie and landlord class subservient to US imperialism. Correspondent to this fact, the CPP has put forward the general political line of new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war.
The CPP has aroused, organized and mobilized millions of people in the urban and rural areas. It engages in mass education and agitation on a wide scale. Its cadres and members are at the core and leadership of the revolutionary mass movement. They have built mass organizations for workers, peasants, women, youth, professionals, cultural activists and others. The CPP has engaged in broad mass mobilizations, including those for ousting the Marcos and Estrada regimes and those opposing unequal treaties with foreign powers, human rights violations and change of 1987 constitution to make it even more anti-national and anti-democratic.
The CPP has built and led the New People’s Army (NPA) since 1969. This has been the largest revolutionary army since the Philippine revolution of 1896. It has thousands of battle-tested Red fighters with political-military education and training. It moves freely in at least 80 per cent of Philippine territory. It has more than a hundred guerrilla fronts covering large portions of 70 provinces and 800 municipalities. Close to 100 per cent of the weapons in the hands of the NPA have come its enemy through tactical offensives.
The NPA has been carrying out intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of a widening and deepening mass base in the context of the defensive strategic stage of the people’s war and the probability course of strategic stages of defensive, stalemate and offensive. The revolutionary armed struggle is integrated with land reform and mass base building. All three integral components are meant to contribute to the realization of the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside until the people’s army is strong enough to seize the cities and other strongholds of the enemy on a nationwide scale.
With the support of the NPA, the CPP has been able to build in thousands of barangays the organs of political power and mass organizations for workers, peasants, women, youth and cultural activists in the countryside. It has been able to launch mass campaigns for public education, land reform, raising production, health and sanitation, training of the militia and self-defense units, settlement of disputes and cultural activities.
The CPP has adopted and promoted the policy and tactics of the united front as an indispensable weapon of the revolution. The new democratic revolution is based on the alliance of the working class and peasantry. In turn, the toiling masses are allied with the urban petty bourgeoisie in a progressive alliance. This is best embodied by the National Democratic Front, which the CPP and other revolutionary forces have co-founded kn 1973.
Further is the alliance of the patriotic forces, including the middle bourgeoisie. Still further is the broad united front, which involves unstable and temporary alliance with certain reactionaries against the worst of the reactionaries who are narrowed down as the enemy. The CPP has so far targeted as the enemy the ruling reactionary clique because this have been the most reactionary and most servile to US imperialism.
I congratulate you for all the victories in building the Party organization. The CPP is guided by the principle of democratic centralism, which means centralism based on democracy and democracy guided by centralism. This principle opposes bureaucratism as well as ultra-democracy or anarchy. The CPP has struck deep roots among the toiling masses of workers and peasants and has built Party organs and organizations on the scale of the entire Philippines.
The CPP has tens of thousands of members, mainly from the workers and peasants. It has drawn the most advanced elements from the mass movement of workers, peasants, women, youth and cultural activists. It has admitted to its ranks the educated youth, who come mainly from the urban petty bourgeoisie but who are willing to remould themselves into proletarian revolutionaries through revolutionary study and practice in the service of the people.
The CPP has a sound organization of cadres and members. This can be the basis for a well-planned accelerated growth of the CPP organization. Tens of thousands of cadres and hundreds of thousands of members are needed for a new great leap in the advance of the Philippine revolution. There are gigantic tasks ahead for the CPP.
The bankruptcies of the US-instigated policies of “neoliberal globalization” and “war on terror” have resulted in an unprecedentedly rapid worsening of the crisis of the world capitalist system and the Philippine ruling system. The crisis conditions inflict terrible suffering on the people but also incite them to wage revolutionary struggle. They are therefore favorable for the rapid growth of the Communist Party of the Philippines and other organized revolutionary forces of the Filipino people.