Communist Party of the Philippines – new interview

 Interview was conducted by Gordan Stošević

 

Is CPP today on same grounds of Sison’s principles of
revolutionary struggle against American imperialism , feudalism and
bureaucratic capitalism or that struggle spreaded towards other forms
of imperialism in the world?

The CPP today is at the forefront of the Filipino people’s democratic
revolution to put an end to the three principal problems of US
imperialism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. It
continues to persevere in advancing the protracted people’s war. The
text of Amado Guerrero’s (Sison) Philippine Society and Revolution
(PSR) continues to form part of the basic documents of the CPP. Over
the past five decades, the crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal
system in the country, as described in PSR, has worsened and further
degenerated. US imperialism remains the most dominant economic and
politico-military force in the Philippines, despite the rise of China
as an international economic and military power, especially in the
Asia-Pacific region. The CPP and the Filipino revolutionary forces are
acutely aware of China’s increasingly aggressive posture and stand
opposed to encroachments on Philippine maritime territory. The bigger
and more aggressive imperialist country remains to be the United
States whose troops remain permanently stationed in various military
bases across the Philippines, enjoying extraterritorial rights,
docking their aircraft carriers and other warships, flying their
jetfighters and operating their drones to conduct surveillance in any
part part of the Philippines.

We know you have military part of party, New People’s Army so how
does military struggle is going in paralel within Filipinies society ,
and what is your strategy of that in the future?

Under the CPP’s leadership, the NPA continues to wage guerrilla
warfare in more or less 100 guerrilla fronts across the country.
Revolutionary armed struggle is waged in the rural areas and combined
with efforts to carry out the minimum and maximum land reform programs
and building mass organizations and the rudiments of the people’s
democratic government.

Tactical armed offensives are mounted by the NPA against the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as well as against paramilitaries and
police units used in the GRP’s counter-revolutionary war. The peasant
masses participate in a big way in armed resistance. In large parts of
the Philippine countryside, dual political power exists.

The
Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), a client-state
under US hegemonic rule, has declared it plans to decimate or cut in
half the NPA’s strength before the end of the year. It is rushing to
increase the number of its armed troops by 15,000, begging for US
funding to upgrade and acquire weapons, replenish its supply of
bullets, bombs, mortars and artillery rounds in the vain hope of
swarming the countryside with its armed presence. They are only
succeeding in rousing people’s resistance by placing civilian
communities under its coercive rule, forcing people to become spies,
conscripting them as paramilitaries, accusing people of being armed
rebels or supporters, forcing them to “surrender” and ordering them
around. Abuses of human rights run rampant. The Philippine government
is succeeding only in rousing ever greater numbers to wage resistance
and carry out revolutionary struggle.

Did the CPP manage to consolidate it’s lines after parties grouping in 90’s?

Yes, the Party was able to consolidate its forces in the 1990s at
the heels of the rectification campaign. From 1992 to 1998, the CPP
succeeded in uniting the greater majority of proletarian revolutionary
cadres and NPA units under the banner of the Second Great
Rectification Movement. The rectification movement was an internal
education or ideological campaign to reaffirm the Party’s adherence to
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and its program for a people’s democratic
revolution to put an end to the semicolonial and semifeudal system.
Ever since the 1990s, the Party and all revolutionary forces have
continued to grow in strength and are steadily carrying forward the
revolutionary struggle.

President Gloria Arroyo on Setember 5th signed Proclamation on
amnesty 1377 members of CPP and NPA with NDF, has this amnesty made in
whole?

Nothing came out of this Arroyo’s Proclamation 1377 in 2007 because
the parliament never acted to enact it into law. It was, thus, an
empty proclamation. Current GRP President Duterte has made similar
promises to issue an amnesty proclamation to facilitate the release of
around 500 political prisoners, mostly activists from the ranks of the
toiling masses of peasants and workers, as a goodwill measure to boost
peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the
Philippines (NDFP). The promise has yet to be fulfilled.

CPP is member of International Conference of Marxist and Leninist
Parties and organizations, so tell us what is the cooperation with
similar organizations like yourself in the world?

As part of the ICMLPO, the CPP aims to encourage ideological and
practical exchanges with like-minded Marxist-Leninist parties around
the world. In the past, various multiparty conferences were held
including that celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of Mao Zedong
in 1993. Through the ICMLPO, the CPP draws lessons from the
experiences in revolutionary struggle waged by other communist and
workers’ parties, and at the same time, impart its own experience in
waging revolutionary struggle in the Philippine context.

US State Department in 2008 declared you and NPA as two of 44
terrorist organizations, your comment?

The US government is using its so-called list of foreign terrorist
organizations (FTO) and its so-called “war on terror” to intervene in
the Philippine’s internal affairs. In 2001, it declared the
Philippines as the “second front” in its “war on terror” and came up
with the so-called Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines to justify
the establishment of the Joint Special Operations Task
Force-Philippines, a 900-strong contingent of American troops, which
established a military base inside Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City.
Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines ceased operations since 2014.
However, in October 2017, the US declared Operation Pacific Eagle to
further strengthen its foothold on the country and increase its
military aid and intervention for counter-guerrilla operations of the
AFP against the NPA.

Is today great writer Joma Sison still active on the field of
revolutional struggle which is last one against capitalism?

Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, founding chair of the CPP, remains active in
revolutionary work serving as Chief Political Consultant of the
National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The NDFP is the united
front organization of at least 17 revolutionary underground
organizations, including the CPP and NPA, which participate in
advancing the people’s war. The NDFP represents the incipient people’s
revolutionary government in peace negotiations with the GRP and in
establishing proto-diplomatic relations with other states. Comrade
Joma helps the NDFP Negotiating Panel in peace talks with the GRP. The
CPP leadership also actively seeks Comrade Joma’s guidance in various
matters in revolutionary work. He remains active in political
struggle, especially, in the current struggle of the Filipino people
against the emerging dictatorship of the fascist Duterte regime.

Please make a paralel between your action in time of Ferdinand
Marcos and his successor Corazon Aquino?

Under the Marcos dictatorship, the worst facets of the ruling
semicolonial and semifeudal system was brought to the fore, as the
Filipino people suffered from grave military abuses, widespread
killings, mass arrests and political imprisonment. Unleashing the full
force of reactionary violence, the Marcos dictatorship incited the
Filipino people to unite and resist and eventually cause its downfall
in 1986. With the force and momentum of the antifascist struggle,
Marcos successor, Corazon Aquino, was obliged to release political
prisoners and preside over the restoration of formal rights as
contained in the 1987 constitution. However, it would not take long
for Aquino to “unleash the sword of war,” carry out the massacre of a
peasant demonstration in early 1987, mount a total war against the
people and the revolutionary armed struggle, support armed vigilantism
and endorse the US doctrine of “low-intensity conflict.” The NPA would
continue to grow and reach peak strength in 1987. It will be drawn
into premature regularization and military adventurism from 1988
towards 1991 resulting in losses and self-constriction up until 1992
before the CPP mounted the rectification movement.

What is your position on populist rethoric of President Rodrigo
Duerte (who also declared NPA as terrorist organization and declared
war to it) or he is just another American player in this part of Asia?

Duterte currently presides over the client-state in the Philippines.
The ruling state under Duterte is dependent on US economic and
military support. Despite his noisy anti-American rhetoric at the
start of his term, Duterte made no actual steps to assert Philippine
national sovereignty. He refused to heed the Filipino people’s demand
to abrogate the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1956, the Visiting Forces
Agreement of 1998, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement of 2014
and other unequal military treaties with the US. He made no formal
protestation against the presence of US military troops and advisers
in the country. In declaring martial law in Mindanao and mounting the
war of destruction against Marawi City, he paved the way for
large-scale US military intervention, where the US military assisted
and combined with the AFP in relentless aerial bombardment and
adapting the tactics applied by the US against Raqqa in Syria and
Mosul in Iraq. A large part of Marawi City is being eyed as a military
reservation by the AFP and the US. At the height of Duterte’s siege
against Marawi in October 2017, the US military declared Operation
Pacific Eagle-Philippines and its continuing “war against terror.” In
November, Duterte declared the CPP and NPA as “terrorists” stating
explicitly that such was in line with US declaration. Under Duterte,
the US military and the AFP mounted joint military exercises in 2017
and 2018, with at least 3,000 US troops deploying several US warships,
jetfighters, amphibious landing vehicles, submarines and other war
materiél in the Philippines.

Duterte is tolerated by the US for
allowing China to establish its foothold in the South China Sea by
constructing airports and other military facilities. Duterte also does
not make statements nor actively opposes US military operations in the
South China Sea which it euphemistically calls “freedom of navigation
operations” (FONOPs) but are nothing but power projection operations
to assert US military might in the area. The US uses its military
exercises in the Philippines, its military facilities under EDCA, its
access to Philippine seaports and airports under the VFA, to support
and boost its FONOPs in the South China Sea. It is, thus, the height
of hypocrisy, that the US declared itself opposed to China’s
militarization of the South China Sea, when it itself has long
militarized the area.

Duterte has adapted the policy of passivity in
relation to US and China saber-rattling and militarization of the
South China Sea and parts of the Philippine maritime territory. This
is in contrast to an active policy of peace which requires one to
demand the imperialist powers to put an end to the policy of war and
racing to establish their military might against one another.

At the
outset of Duterte’s term, it was apparent that China was hopeful that
Duterte will be more pro-China than pro-US, promising Duterte with at
around $20 billion in loans and aid. No substantial portion of these
promises have materialized, however, after it became apparent to China
that Duterte was not about to turn his back against the US which he
has declared an “indispensable partner” and which he thanked profusely
for the military aid extended to his regime’s wars against the
Filipino people.

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