Rectify errors and strengthen the Party! Unite and lead the broad masses of the Filipino people in fighting the US-Marcos regime! Advance the people’s democratic revolution!
Filled with boundless revolutionary vigor, optimism and joy, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines extends its warmest militant greetings to the entire membership of the Party on the occasion of its 55th anniversary. Today, let us celebrate the achievements of the Party and all revolutionary forces during the past year in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people in anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and antifascist struggles and advancing the people’s democratic revolution. At the same time, let us self-critically point out our weaknesses, shortcomings and errors in order to rectify and overcome them, and make even greater strides in the coming year.
Let us pay tribute to Ka Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the CPP Central Committee, whose first death anniversary we commemorated last December 16. Let us pay homage to Benito Tiamzon, Wilma Austria, Julius Giron, Mariano Adlao, Jorge Madlos, Menandro Villanueva, Antonio Cabanatan, Dionisio Micabalo, Eugenia Magpantay, Alfredo Merilos, Dennis Rodina, Agaton Topacio, Randall Echanis, Rosalino Canubas, Sandra Reyes, Ezequiel Daguman, Emmanuel Fernandez, Rolando Leyson Jr, Helenita Pardalis, Rogelio Posadas, Jude Fernandez, Josephine Mendoza and all the many heroes and martyrs of the Filipino people and the Philippine revolution. During their lifetime, they made great sacrifices and made invaluable contributions to the Filipino people’s cause of national and social liberation.
The Party will forever treasure the legacy of Ka Joma. For more than five decades, Ka Joma was an indefatigable worker of the Philippine revolution and served as its inexhaustible beacon. He further enriched the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism through its application on the concrete conditions of Philippine society and by setting out the strategy, tactics and tasks of the Philippine revolution. Ka Joma’s body of work will remain a crucial guide for the revolutionary and democratic forces in carrying forward the national democratic revolution to complete victory.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines recognizes the sacrifice of all proletarian cadres and members of the Party who continue to selflessly serve the Filipino people’s cause for national democracy and its socialist perspective. Imbued with the communist spirit of giving everything they can to the cause of the working class and all toiling people, they shoulder all the mountainous tasks for advancing the revolution in their fields of responsibilities.
We extend our revolutionary greetings to the thousands of young cadres who joined the ranks of the Party during the past few years, and who are injecting immense energy to our protracted struggle. Many of you are now performing important tasks of leadership as members of the Party’s central organs, as commanders and political officers of the New People’s Army, and leaders of the revolutionary mass movement in both the cities and countryside. Deeply rooted among the broad masses of workers and peasants, the young generation of Filipino communists are displaying infinite determination to bring the Philippine revolution forward into the future.
On this occasion of commemorating our founding anniversary, the Central Committee extends its solidarity with all anti-imperialist, progressive and democratic forces around the globe who are waging militant resistance against national oppression and wars of aggression. We extend fraternal greetings to all our proletarian class sisters and brothers across the world who are promoting and applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism on the concrete conditions of their countries and leading the workers and toiling people in their struggle for liberation and socialism.
Amid the continuing crisis of the global capitalist system, monopoly capitalism or imperialism continues to engage in ever worsening forms of oppression and exploitation of millions of workers and toiling people, and plunder of the environment to maximize profit. It engenders worsening socioeconomic conditions for the majority of workers and toiling masses in both the centers of industrial capitalism and in the backward, semicolonial and semifeudal countries. The monopoly capitalists are provoking wars and armed conflict. They continue to promote fascism to preempt or push back the rise of the proletarian-led revolutionary resistance. The past years have seen widespread social unrest and rising levels of resistance of workers and other toiling people.
As the global capitalist system continues to wallow in crisis, the moribund state of the semicolonial and semifeudal system in the Philippines continues to worsen. The domestic economic and political crisis bring untold suffering to the Filipino people, especially workers, peasants and other toiling people whose standard of living are rapidly deteriorating, under intensified imperialist oppression and plunder. State terrorism and political repression continue to intensify with the outright support of the US imperialists. Grave conditions are pushing more and more people to militantly and collectively fight for their political and economic rights, and to wage revolutionary resistance to attain their national democratic aspirations.
The Communist Party of the Philippines is determined to lead the workers and broad masses of the Filipino people. While the Party builds on all the revolutionary accomplishments of the past 55 years, it also recognizes that subjectivism primarily in the form of empiricism has resulted in critical errors and tendencies, weaknesses and shortcomings in the ideological, political and organizational fields which impeded its growth and the further advance of the people’s democratic revolution over the past several years. To overcome and repudiate these errors, the Central Committee calls on the entire Party to wage a rectification movement on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the Party’s basic principles as enunciated by Ka Joma.
The aim of the rectification movement is to further strengthen the Party by raising the theoretical knowledge and revolutionary practice of Party cadres; strengthening their grasp of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in order to critically sum-up past experiences and draw lessons and further enrich the theory of people’s war in the Philippines; repudiating subjectivism and erroneous policies and practices; engaging in self-criticism to raise the determination of Party cadres and revolutionaries to fight and make sacrifices for the revolutionary cause.
The Party continues to strike deep and wide roots among the masses. It is determined to expand its ranks by several fold in the coming years in order to shoulder the great task of leading the Filipino people in their millions in the course of advancing the people’s war and the national democratic revolution toward complete victory.
I. Imperialist crisis leading to deteriorating conditions and wars
The world capitalist system is in turmoil. It is exacerbating the four major contradictions of the world—that between monopoly capital and the proletariat in capitalist countries; between rival imperialist powers; between the imperialist powers and oppressed peoples and nations; and between imperialist powers and countries assertive of national sovereignty and socialist aspirations. It continues to falter after the global lockdown of 2020.
Despite sputterings of growth last year, it has returned to the path of protracted stagnation and decline as the entire world wallow in debt and economic distress. Economic crisis conditions are begetting political conflicts and wars. Led by the US, imperialist powers continue to wage hot wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, while threatening to spark more wars in other parts of the world. In different countries, there is widespread social unrest among the oppressed and exploited classes which have led to explosions of people’s armed and non-armed resistance to worsening conditions of exploitation and imperialist oppression.
The global monopoly capitalist system is in a constant spiral descent into crisis. For more than a decade and a half now, the world economy has been in a state of generalized and protracted stagnation.
The financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009, which saw the collapse of giant banks and entire economies, marked the exhaustion of a previous period (which started with the opening of the former Soviet Union following its collapse in 1991, and the full integration of China into the world capitalist system in 2001) of monopoly capitalist efforts to constantly increase its profits from the exploitation of labor and plunder of natural resources, wanton financial speculation (dotcom, real estate, housing) and massive debt spending. The massive amounts of money (so-called quantitative easing funds amounting to several trillion dollars) injected by leading capitalist governments have since failed to sustain the expansion of monopoly capitalist profits. The economies of the US and other leading industrial capitalist countries have failed to return to previous levels of growth.
The economic pandemic lockdown of 2020 saw massive interruptions in the supply, production and commercial chains of transnational corporations, which resulted in hundreds of millions of workers and toiling people being thrown into a state of socioeconomic distress. The situation was used to justify the spending of large amounts of state funds to boost consumption, support corporate profit and fuel financial markets. This kept economies afloat in 2020, and resulted in economic growth rebounds in 2021-2022, but also resulted in a giant explosion of debt and high inflation that weighed down on the global economy over the past year. Global debt stood at $397 trillion in the 1st quarter of 2023, 349% greater than the amount of global GDP.
The US economy has wobbled through protracted slow growth over the past 15 years. From an average of 3.62% during the 1961-1990 period, US annual economic growth fell to 2.99% between 1991 and 2008, and has since fell to 1.69%. After contracting by 2.3% in 2020, the US economy rebounded by 5.8% but slid back to 2.1% last year. The US federal debt stands at more than $33 trillion and is anticipated to further shoot up after the Biden government suspended the debt ceiling law until 2025.
The German economy (the largest in Europe) slumped into recession in the last quarter of 2022 up to first quarter of 2023 (0.3% contraction). It fell back to recession in May, and is expected to be in recession again next year. The UK and France are near recession with similar projections of slow economic growth rates of 0.6% for this year. Japan remains in prolonged stagnation. Since 2008, Japanese growth has averaged a mere 0.27%, from average of 7.29% during the 1961-1979 period, 2.91% in 1980-2000, and 1.45% between 2001 and 2007. It grew by a mere 2.14% and 1.03% in 2021 and 2022 respectively, after collapsing by 4.28% in 2020. It is expected to expand by a mere 0.4% this year.
China expanded by a mere 2.99% last year, far from its previous average of 9% growth in 2000-2019. It is presently being weighed down by threats of an explosion of the real estate bubble. The Evergrande Group, one of China’s biggest property developer declared bankruptcy after defaulting on its $300 billion debt, followed by similar bankruptcies of other major companies such as Kasia, Fantasia and the Shimao Group. It also faces threats of massive debt defaults by countries that owe China hundreds of billions of dollars.
In the US and other capitalist countries, workers and toiling people suffer from mass unemployment and low wages, as well as other social ills such as homelessness, hunger, high costs of health care, student indebtedness and more. Millions of people of color and migrant workers suffer from racism, as well as religious bigotry and fascism. Mass shootings daily threaten the lives of people.
Economically backward and semicolonial and semifeudal countries make up the majority of countries in the world, especially in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. Public debt continues to rise as governments seek to service trade deficits resulting from higher import costs. In so-called developing countries, an average of 20% of government revenue go to debt servicing. Up to 60% of these countries are on the brink of defaulting on debt payments, similar to the Sri Lanka debacle of 2022.
Workers, peasants and toiling people in backward economies face similar social problems such as chronic mass unemployment, slave-like wages, landlessness, homelessness, high costs of healthcare and social services, as well as political repression.
Social inequality continues to worsen as wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few multibillionaires. There are 2,640 billionaires with a combined worth of $12.2 trillion, with 75% in only five countries (US, China, India, Germany and Russia). The US has 724 billionaires, the biggest 400 of whom have a combined worth of $4.5 trillion. The top 20 further grew their wealth by 20-30% last year.
The world capitalist economy continues to be pulled back by the irresoluble crisis of capitalist overproduction and falling rates of profit. There is surplus production of major commodities including oil, electronics (semiconductors), grains, and other commodities. Capitalist competition and anarchy in production continue to lead to the unbridled plunder of the earth’s resources, capitalist pollution, destruction of the environment, climate crisis, and loss of biodiversity highlighted by the increasing frequency of climate disasters (fires and floods) that ravage large parts of the world. Monopoly capitalism means heightened economic competition and political conflict among capitalist powers. While imposing liberalization on the rest of the world, the US has become increasingly protectionist with trade and industrial policies favoring US manufacturers and direct state investments to promote semiconductors, green energy industry and others.
Threats of war between major imperialist powers continue to rise resulting mainly from aggressive US assertion of its global dominance in the face of challenges to its hegemony. A great amount of resources are being funneled to military spending. Last year, defense expenditures rose to a record $2.24 trillion (3.37% increase over the previous year). The US, China and Russia accounted for more than 56% of all expenditures, and 61% of all exports.
For more than 20 months now, a proxy war between the US and Russia has been raging in Ukraine, which is being used as pawn by the US-NATO military alliance. Russia spent $81.7 billion in 2022, and is set to spend up to $120 billion in 2023 and $132 billion in 2024 boosting production in its military factories. The US has provided Ukraine with $75 billion in assistance, including $44.2 billion in military assistance, which has prolonged the armed conflict. American weapons manufacturers led by Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop and Boeing have made the greatest windfall from the war in Ukraine.
At the same time, the US is set to extend a $14.5 billion military aid package for Israel to support the Zionist bombardment and occupation of the Gaza strip, which has killed close to 19,000 since October 7. The US heightened support for Israel form part of its push to control oil sources against Iran and other countries in the Middle East which are assertive of their independence. The US refusal to support the global clamor for a ceasefire in Gaza in support of continuous Israeli bombardment has isolated it from the rest of the world.
The US is also heightening its drive to assert hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region, in line with its strategy to contain the expansion of its imperialist rival China. The US has deployed two carrier strike groups, one (USS Nimitz) in the South China Sea another (USS Ronald Reagan) in Japan. It is stoking Taiwan independence, Philippine maritime rights under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS), and conflicts in the Korean peninsula in order to provoke China to commit acts of aggression which can lead to direct military confrontation.
The US drive to assert hegemony has been met by a response of its rivals to bring themselves together in military and economic alliances. China and Russia continue to strengthen the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security alliance that also includes India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. China and Russia have also led efforts to establish economic, trade and financial ties that are independent of the US dollar. North Korea also continues to strengthen its military and economic ties with Russia and China.
Imperialist crisis and conflict are generating conditions favorable for the steady rise and advance of workers struggle and anti-imperialist movements in capitalist countries, democratic mass struggles and revolutionary resistance for national and social liberation from imperialist control and domination in semicolonies, and for socialist revolution.
Major workers strikes have erupted in the United States including the United Auto Workers strike and the Hollywood Writers and Actors strike. In Europe, transportation workers mounted strikes in Italy, Spain and the UK. Major strikes were also mounted by health workers in the UK, train workers and public employees in Germany, and others. Historic mass demonstrations and marches involving several million people were carried out across the world against the US-Israel genocide against Palestinians.
Revolutionary armed struggles continue to rage across the different parts of the world. Palestinian revolutionary forces are presently waging vigorous armed resistance through guerrilla warfare in their homeland against the brutal bombardment and genocide in Gaza by US-supported Zionist Israel. In Myanmar, ethnic armies are fighting the fascist Tatmadaw junta and have carried out guerrilla offensives during the past few months. There are also revolutionary armed struggles led by communist parties in India, Turkey, Kurdistan, Colombia, the Philippines and other countries.
II. Acute crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system continues to generate steadily rising resistance
The crisis of the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system in the Philippines continues to grow more severe leading to even greater burden on the people. This crisis is marked by continuing economic downturn intrinsically linked to the crisis of the global capitalist system, and the rapid sharpening of the political crisis marked by internal squabbles within the ruling clique, isolation of the US-Marcos regime just more than one year into power, and the steady gathering of strength of the democratic and patriotic forces.
There is widespread destruction of local productive forces leading to a slowdown in production (both manufacturing and agriculture). This is resulting in widespread unemployment, further dependence on imported commodities for consumption, and spiraling prices.
The country still lacks independent national industries and the capacity to produce the basic necessities of the people. Local production remains ever dependent on imports, and continues to be mainly geared towards the export of semiprocessed goods as part of the monopoly capitalist international assembly line, a.k.a. “global value chains,” raw agricultural products and mineral ores. Export-processing zones serve primarily as hubs for semiprocessing (mainly assembly or manual inspection) of previously imported components which are reexported with very little value added.
This import-dependent and export-oriented system being promoted by past regimes and the current Marcos regime is now bound to suffer the severe consequences of the global economic downturn. The Philippine economic crisis is set to accelerate and deepen in the next year. There has been a steady decline in the volume of trade over the past two years reflecting the slowdown of global trade amid oversupply and manufacturing slowdown. Exports of electronic components, which form the main bulk of Philippine semiprocessing, has been on a steady decline since the start of the year.
Grand declarations by Marcos and his economic managers of multibillion-dollar “pledges” of foreign investments cannot obscure the fact that foreign direct investments in the Philippine steadily declined from $11.9 billion in 2021 to $9.2 billion in 2022, and continued to fall by 15.3% in the first three quarters of 2023. Some foreign companies have shifted their operations from the Philippines to other countries where labor costs are even lower.
With the absence of genuine land reform, local agricultural production for domestic food supply remains small-scale and backward. The cost of production continues to rise as a result of high prices of fertilizers, pesticides and fuel. High costs of land rent and other feudal and semifeudal forms of extraction cut down on peasant income resulting in widespread rural poverty and hunger. Unmitigated importation and smuggling of rice, onions, garlic and other agricultural products add to the burden of the peasant masses, and the rest of the Filipino people.
Even worse, large swathes of productive agricultural land are being converted by big bourgeois compradors using foreign capital for real estate and other purposes. Conservative government estimates show that at least 620 thousand hectares of irrigated agricultural land were converted over the past decade. This has resulted in widespread economic dislocation of millions of peasant families and worsening immiseration in the countryside.
The country is even more dependent on debt to pay for trade and government spending. Public debt stood at ₱14.48 trillion in October, and is expected to further balloon to ₱15.84 by next year. Public debt servicing is continually rising. In 2024, this will amount to ₱1.91 trillion, comprised of ₱1.24 trillion in principal payments; plus ₱670.5 billion interest payments which form 11.6% of the national budget (higher compared to 9.7% in 2020).
With the lack of basic industries, the Filipino people suffer from chronic mass unemployment. Government data on unemployment always understate the true rate of mass joblessness through deceitful statistical magic. The declared 4.2% unemployment rate in October 2023, supposedly the lowest in over 18 years, must be critically rejected. In fact, approximately 39.46 million people (or 79.1% of the labor force of 49.89 million) are either outrightly unemployed (2.1 million) or barely employed as domestics (2 million), self-employed (13.3 million), employer in family-operated farms (1.3 million), family workers (3.1 million without pay, and 120,000 with pay), and workers in informal establishments.
Because of the acute problem of joblessness, millions of Filipinos line up to seek work overseas as domestic workers, caregivers, nurses, construction workers, and crewmen for international shipping companies. They are vulnerable targets of criminal recruitment agencies and government bureaucrats who defraud them of their income and savings. Many suffer from inhumane working conditions and burdensome government fees in addition to the social costs of separation from their families.
The large army of the unemployed workers pull wages down. Filipino workers suffer from slave-like wages. Wages across the country ranging from ₱341 to ₱610 are grossly insufficient to cover the daily needs of a family of five that are estimated to be at ₱1,188 (as of November) resulting from spiralling prices of fuel, food and other basic commodities and services.
Filipino workers and the masses of toiling people have yet to fully recover from the sharp decline in their living standards since the Covid-19 lockdown. Their socioeconomic conditions continue to deteriorate sharply amid low wages, unemployment, lack of income or savings, and rising prices. Majority of Filipinos live below the poverty threshold. Millions are being dispossessed of land and their sources of livelihood by foreign capitalists who seek to penetrate the remaining corners of the Philippine economy.
Amid widespread poverty and hunger, the Filipino people’s hatred of the ruling Marcos-Duterte clique continues to rise. Marcos Jr is isolated from the broad masses of the Filipino people who detest him for having benefited from and inherited the estimated $10 billion plus of plundered wealth accumulated by his dictator father, Marcos Sr, during the 1972-1986 martial law rule. He is inciting more outrage over his jet-setting and high living, and brazen corruption. Through the Maharlika Fund, as much as ₱550 billion in public funds will be placed under Marcos’ control and diverted to private investments, raising crony capitalism to unprecedented levels. The broad masses of the Filipino people abhor Marcos more for the regular catered parties at the Malacañang grounds and the plan to squander ₱1.1 billion for his foreign trips in 2024.
The Marcos regime is also sharply isolated from the Filipino people because of its subservience to US imperialism and kowtowing to China. Marcos has allowed his government to be used as pawn in the aggressive push of the US to consolidate its hegemony in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region, in order to counter the military and economic growth of its imperialist rival China.
Under Marcos, the Philippines is increasingly being dragged into the vortex of the rising military conflict between the US and China. In just over a year since assuming power, Marcos has allowed the US to construct at least four more military facilities (in addition to previous five) in “agreed locations” within the camps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as provided by the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). These facilities can be used to build launching systems for US missiles and to stockpile and forward deploy weapons, in line with the US strategy of surrounding China with its military forces in the “first island chain.”
Military interventionism by the US in the Philippines heightened over the past year with a frenzy of US military activities and war exercises. Next year, the US is set to conduct more than 500 wargames and military exercises in the country. Prodded by the US, the Philippines is set to forge “visiting forces agreements” with Japan and France, to allow these US military allies to increase their presence in the country and in the region.
Goaded by US military advisers, the AFP and the Philippine Coast Guard have conducted repeated “supply missions” to the Philippine outpost in the Kalayaan Group of Islands, supported with overflights of US surveillance planes and drones. China has shown increasingly aggressive behavior with the use of water cannons and ramming of small Filipino boats within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, in outright violation of Philippine sovereignty and maritime rights.
Following US dictates, the Marcos government canceled Chinese-funded government loans and contracts for such projects as the Philippine National Railways South Long Haul, the Subic-Clark Railway and the Mindanao Railway, to favor loans from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. There is also a push to cancel other Chinese-funded projects such as the Samal Island-Davao City Connector project, the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, the New Centennial Water Source (Kaliwa Dam Project), and closed-circuit television (CCTV) projects in Marikina, Parañaque, Pasig, San Juan and Valenzuela, most of which were contracted under the previous Duterte regime.
The US drive to undermine China is a reversal of the long period of collusion between the two imperialist powers to impose a neoliberal policy regime in the Philippines since the 1990s, during which Chinese financial oligarchy were able to expand its commercial and financial operations in the Philippines, alongside that of US and Japanese banks, and build its own base among the big bourgeois compradors and bureaucrat capitalists. By blocking access to Chinese capital, the US imperialism has caused a drastic reduction in the size of financial spoils shared among the ruling classes, and heightened factional strife among the rival cliques.
In just more than a year since the much touted “unity team” between the Marcoses and Dutertes rigged the 2022 elections to generate a “landslide victory” through automated fraud, rifts between the ruling class factions have come out into the open and are becoming virulent. The Marcoses are consolidating economic and political power, while the Dutertes (as well as the Arroyo clique) are rapidly losing economic and political power. The cancellation of large infrastructure contracts signed by Duterte with China cuts them out from billions of pesos worth of kickback money. The business of Duterte’s biggest crony, Dennis Uy, is now fast being divested, in favor of Marcos cronies. Although the Dutertes are believed to retain a sizable influence within the AFP and PNP, a number of Duterte-appointed generals are now retired. Over the past few months, the Marcos-Romualdez clique has stepped up its pointed attacks against the Dutertes by taking away the ₱550 million “confidential and intelligence funds” of Vice President Sara Duterte, pushing to revoke the franchise of the pro-Duterte SMNI broadcast station, and opening the doors to allow the International Criminal Court to proceed with its investigation against Rodrigo Duterte for charges of crimes against humanity committed in the course of the sham drug war.
The internecine conflict between the Marcos and Duterte cliques is increasingly leading to a violent confrontation. They are openly criticizing Marcos over plans to revive peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. Recently-retired military generals loyal to Duterte have been going rounds soliciting support of the military and big business to incite a coup d’état to topple Marcos and establish a civilian-military junta. The AFP chief-of-staff has knowledge but is maintaining silence about the activities of the coup plotters.
To consolidate political power, the Marcos regime is tightening control of the military with US support. It has continued and stepped up Duterte’s policy of state terrorism and carried out fascist attacks against national democratic forces in the cities and countryside, especially members and organizers of unions and community organizations. De facto martial law prevails across the country. A number of urban poor communities are placed under heavy military presence and monitoring. The AFP subjects rural villages to military control, restricting the economic and social activities of the community through curfews and prohibitions, and controlling the movement of the population in the name of “counterinsurgency.”
Extrajudicial killings and other violations of human rights and international humanitarian law perpetrated by the reactionary armed forces, police and paramilitary forces continue unabated in the countryside. People are subjected to heightened surveillance and abductions, torture, interrogation and slapping of trumped up charges using the so-called Anti-Terrorism Law. Massacres in rural areas are routinely carried out by operating troops of AFP combat battalions. In the course of combat operations, communities are subjected to aerial bombings and artillery shelling.
With US support, these attacks have further intensified in the past year in line with the declaration of the AFP of its “final push” against what it claims are “remnants” of the New People’s Army. More or less 150 battalions of military, police and paramilitary combat forces are deployed against NPA guerrilla fronts across the country. The US imperialists want the Marcos government to end the revolutionary armed movement so that it can fully utilize the AFP in its war preparations against China. The US is keenly aware how the revolutionary movement remains in a position to take advantage of the possibility of an inter-imperialist war to make steady advances in the people’s war.
While waging a brutal war of suppression against the people and their revolutionary forces, the US-Marcos regime is now dangling its “amnesty proclamation” and preliminary efforts of reviving peace negotiations to inveigle the Red fighters of the New People’s Army to capitulate. While the Party and revolutionary forces, through the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, welcome the opportunity to engage in peace negotiations as an additional battlefield to advance the national democratic cause as the basis for a just and lasting peace, they have also firmly rejected the reactionary schemes to employ the talks to cause the capitulation of the revolutionary movement. The NDFP Negotiating Panel will continue to strive to push the resumption of peace negotiations on the basis of previous agreements.
Amid the economic and political crisis of the ruling system, the Filipino people are ever desirous to wage mass struggles to defend their socioeconomic and democratic rights against the anti-people and oppressive economic programs, corruption and political repression under the US-Marcos regime. It is becoming exceedingly clear that—by serving the class interests of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords, by its subservience to foreign economic interests, by its large-scale corruption through kickback, cronyism, and by its high-style living—the Marcos regime is responsible for the widespread impoverishment and oppression of the broad masses of the Filipino people.
The ruling Marcos-Duterte clique is rapidly being isolated from the Filipino people. The broad united front composed of basic classes, middle forces, and tactical allies continues to grow in strength against the ruling regime over its anti-people and anti-national policies, its corruption and economic crisis. The ruling regime is being confronted with broad resistance.
There is mounting indignation among workers over the refusal of the Marcos regime to heed their demands for substantial wage increase. They are gravely insulted by the measly wage hikes ordered by Marcos through the regional wage boards. A number of strikes have broken out in what is likely a precursor to a bigger mass movement of workers to organize unions and wage collective struggles in the coming period. Drivers and operators of jeepneys and other public transport have risen up in successive transport strikes to protest the anti-poor and anti-people “franchise consolidation” to phase out jeepneys in line with the “transport modernization” projects of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
Protests are also being mounted by public school teachers, health workers and government employees to demand salary increases and resist political repression. Students are joining mass actions to oppose the further commercialization of education, state abandonment of education and campus repression. In various parts of the country, mass protests are erupting in rural communities to oppose the encroachment of destructive mining operations, land grabbing and land-use conversion, as well as to fight for the antifeudal demands of the peasant masses.
There are also protest actions against moves to establish more US military bases and facilities, and against wargames and increasing US military presence in the country. These are being linked to the international struggle against imperialism and imperialist wars. A significant number of people have also joined protests in solidarity with the Palestinian people in denouncing Zionist Israel for its genocide in Gaza.
In the countryside, units of the NPA continue to wage revolutionary armed struggle in guerrilla fronts across 14 regions in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. They continue to persevere along the path of revolutionary armed struggle, determined to frustrate the enemy’s strategic offensive. Heeding the Central Committe’s call to “stir up and spread the flames of the people’s war,” the NPA continues to expand its mass base by carrying out and combining mass work and military work.
Many units of the NPA have raised their capacity at keeping the enemy blind and deaf, while carrying out social investigation, building peasant associations, and other revolutionary mass organizations, building the people’s militias, helping the peasant masses wage antifeudal struggles to demand lower land rent, lower interest rates, fair prices for farm produce, lower costs of agricultural input and so on. The NPA continues to perform its duties to help the masses in production, carry out literacy, education and cultural campaigns. They carry out big and small tactical offensives to seize firearms and annihilate enemy units, in order to strengthen itself as the Party’s main weapon for fighting the enemy.
III. The Party’s achievements and current self-critical assessment
The Party celebrates its 55th anniversary filled with youthful energy, and the stamina of a seasoned fighter. Imbued with a deep sense of the historical mission of the proletariat to wage class struggle until communism, the Party remains tireless and ever ready to make all the necessary sacrifice to carry forward the Filipino people’s national democratic revolution until complete victory, as preparation for the next stage of socialist revolution and construction.
The sharpening crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system under the US-Marcos regime is generating ever more favorable conditions for waging revolution. To the millions of Filipino working class and toiling people who have suffered generations of social injustice and class tyranny, the Party and revolution represents their infinite hope for a bright future. Indeed, wherever the seeds of the Party are sown, they invariably sprout quickly and prosper, proof of the inexhaustible determination of the broad masses of the oppressed and exploited people to wage revolution.
The Party remains strong and solid. The leadership and entire membership of the Party are firmly united under the Red banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the Party’s Constitution and its Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution. The Party is firmly united in waging protracted people’s war along the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside.
The Party has accumulated great achievements over the past 55 years by firmly upholding Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and assiduously applying it on the concrete conditions of the Philippines. It succeeded in analyzing and exposing the rotten semicolonial and semifeudal system and the basic problems of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism that beset the Filipino people. It forged the program for a people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war, the correctness of which is shown by how the people continue to embrace it as their own.
The Party has built itself both as a cadre and mass organization. It established itself on the foundations of Leninist tenets of a Bolshevik Party. It is firmly consolidated under the principles of democratic centralism. It is comprised of tens of thousands of dedicated cadres and fighters who strike deep and wide roots among the oppressed and exploited classes of workers, peasants, the semiproletariat and pettybourgeoisie.
To defeat the ruling classes and overthrow the reactionary state, the Party wields resolutely the two weapons of armed struggle and the national united front. The Party wages the armed struggle as the main form of struggle that aims to accomplish the central task of seizing political power. The legal forms of struggle are secondary but indispensable in waging the national democratic revolution in order to arouse, organize and mobilize the people in their millions, and to generate widespread political support for the armed struggle. The Party builds the underground core of the mass movement.
The Party resumed revolutionary armed struggle by establishing the New People’s Army on March 29, 1969 virtually from scratch. It identified the specific characteristics for waging people’s war in the Philippines, drawing lessons from successful revolutionary wars abroad, as well as from its own practical experience of waging revolution in an archipelagic and mountainous country. It has now led the NPA through five and a half decades of extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare with an ever deepening and widening mass base.
The NPA has surpassed the revolutionary armies of the Katipunan in the late 19th century and the Hukbalahap (1942-1945). However, the NPA remains small and weak relative to the big and powerful AFP which is armed and funded by the US imperialists. Still, the NPA is determined to wage guerrilla warfare to annihilate the enemy part by part, and accumulate enough strength to move from the current middle phase of the strategic defensive to the next phase, further towards the next strategic stage, and towards total victory.
The Party built the NDFP as the most consolidated underground united front organization composed of basic revolutionary forces which are united under the Party’s leadership, and supportive of the revolutionary armed struggle and the national democratic revolution. The NDFP is the core of the entire range of the national united front. It helps build the national unity of the Filipino people against imperialism. Until the people’s democratic government is proclaimed on the eve of national victory, the NDFP represents the entirety of all organs of political power that are established in the guerrilla zones and base areas.
The Party draws strength and inspiration from past victories achieved through the armed struggle, the revolutionary mass movement, and the united front. At the same time, it humbly learns from past errors and shortcomings, conducts criticism and self-criticism and rectification as means of maintaining its fidelity to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. The reestablishment of the Party in 1968 itself is the positive outcome of a rectification movement against Lava revisionism and Taruc-Sumulong gangsterism. In 1992, the Party carried out the second great rectification movement to steer it back to the correct line of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in repudiating modern revisionism and the erroneous line of insurrectionism and military adventurism which brought great harm to the people and their revolution.
Even as we celebrate our achievements, we are critically aware of the crucial errors, weaknesses and shortcomings in the ideological, political and organizational fields which have persisted through many years. We must point these out in order that we can firmly rectify them and pull out their subjectivist roots.
Since we issued the call last year to consolidate and further strengthen the Party and comprehensively advance the people’s democratic revolution, leading Party committees and cadres have been undertaking revolutionary study, assessments, summings-up and self-criticism to pinpoint, rectify and overcome various forms of subjectivism, and Right and “Left” errors, and opportunist tendencies.
Studies and discussions point to the low level of theoretical knowledge and ideological weaknesses among many of our leading and lower committees characterized by an infirm grasp of the proletarian revolutionary theory, in general, and in particular, of the theory of the Philippine revolution, its laws of development, and their practical application on concrete conditions within the scope of their work.
Subjectivism has afflicted a large part of the Party which allow bourgeois and pettybourgeois class views and mentality to seep through and spread at different levels of leadership of the Party, resulting in various Right and “Left” errors and tendencies in politics, and bureaucratism and ultrademocracy in organization. Empiricism and dogmatism are subjectivist errors arising from the failure to combine theory and practice leading to erroneous ideas and practice. Empiricism is practice without theory, redounding to waging revolution blindly; while dogmatism is theory detached from practice, redounding to preaching without revolution. Empiricism is currently the main subjectivist error in the Party which has resulted mainly in Right errors and tendencies.
There is widespread complacency in the study and application of revolutionary theory to serve as guide to practice, and timidity as well in drawing theory from practice. Without firmly grasping Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory to guide our practice, and without drawing theory from practice, revolutionary practice will not advance to a higher stage, and will start to stagnate or revert to previous levels. The latter situation is made worse by pettybourgeois contentment with previous knowledge, methods, practices and plans, or laziness to study and sum-up practice. This leads to failure to develop theory and to adopt new methods and plans that correspond with changed conditions, and to an overall failure to raise practice to a higher level.
In ideological work, we have observed problems of unsustained efforts in education work, despite the breakthroughs we have made in launching the Advanced Party Course from 2017 onward. Many cadres in leading positions lack efforts at reading and studying classic Marxist-Leninist-Maoist writings and Party documents to serve as reference for practical problem solving. Some Party cadres have become self-satisfied and arrogant with their previous knowledge and lack humble efforts at raising their theoretical knowledge and applying theory to sum-up their experiences and revolutionary practice at various levels and fields of work.
There is also lack of systematic efforts to carry out social investigation and class analysis to keep our analysis and policies in consonance with constant changes in objective conditions. Responsible leading committees lack plans or efforts to do research or conduct surveys to collect information and draw theory from perceptual knowledge of conditions in the scope of their work, leading at times to shallow analysis of issues, and lack of firm grasp of the concrete conditions of the masses and the key issues and methods of arousing, organizing and mobilizing them.
Without a firm grasp of dialectical and historical materialist viewpoint and method, comrades afflicted with empiricism tend to see only what is immediately in front of them, and fail to see the process of development. In times of victories and advances, they grow complacent and cocksure and fail to see the path for pushing forward revolutionary practice to achieve greater victories, which ultimately lead to stagnation and reversals. In times of difficulties and losses, they become overwhelmed by problems and start to lose determination, and slide into pessimism or passivity. Many fail to overcome their fear of sacrifice and often are pulled back by their desire for ease and comfort, and faced with adversity, turn to flight.
This swing from being cocksure and complacent, to pessimism and passivity, fear and flight is typical of bourgeois and pettybourgeois or middle peasant mentality that is directly the opposite of proletarian industry, humility, steadfastness, militance, optimism and courage.
Many parts of our revolutionary machine are corroding with the rust of pettybourgeois mentality preventing the smooth operation of the engine. A few broken parts, in fact, have already fallen off, amid great adversity in the struggle against the enemy’s strategic offensive of the past five years. Like any other machine, we must chip away the rust, and replace broken parts with new, in order for the revolution to whir and accelerate forward.
Over the past years, subjectivism has resulted mainly in Right, and secondarily in “Left” errors, shortcomings, weaknesses and tendencies, in all fields of revolutionary work.
We observe a broad range of problems resulting from ideological subjectivism in the field of revolutionary armed struggle. Failing to grasp the path of development of the people’s war, particularly from the early to the middle phase, and from the middle phase to the next, not a few guerrilla fronts of the NPA stagnated and got stuck for a long time at the old level. Some Party leaders relied on their previous level of experience and could not clearly see the path to steadily advance the revolution wave upon wave, or from one level to the next, of the need to reach the entire breadth of the guerrilla front from the mountainous terrain, to the rolling hills, plains, riverine, coastal areas and town centers.
They self-constricted the NPA to its reliable guerrilla base areas and mountain encampments, limiting the scope or range of military and political initiative of the Party and NPA. Self-constriction goes against the need for guerrilla units to constantly move forward and advance, and to be always on offensive footing. Reliable guerrilla base areas were eventually reduced to a few “favorite” or “comfort zone” barrios, communities or mountain encampments with easy access to mass support, supply lines or communication facilities.
Self-constriction and loss of initiative leads to military conservatism, as points from which the NPA can hit the enemy became limited or inaccessible. Other concomitant problems that arise include gathering intelligence, sources of supply, communications, and so on. The NPA could not readily carry out an ambush at the highway because its main forces are encamped in the interior areas. Mounting raids, ambushes, and other basic tactical offensives became increasingly cumbersome and time-consuming. They became content with attritive tactical offensives (harassments, sanctions and so on) and lost sight of the need to mount sustained annihilative or basic tactical offensives as the principal component of our strategy to weaken the enemy part by part and steadily strengthen the people’s army.
In a significant number of guerrilla fronts which had company-sized or multiple-platoon-sized forces, some Party leaders became complacent and self-assured. There were cases of overconcentration of forces in some regions or subregions, where two or more guerrilla companies are brought together in a mountain encampment over extended periods of several months, to conduct trainings, education courses, prolonged meetings or to await execution of an ill-planned offensive, leaving less forces and less time for mass work. These prolonged encampments caused a heavy strain on the organized masses and militia forces who have to work hard to keep the supply lines running. These also cause guerrilla discipline to slacken and “civilianize” guerrilla forces. Some NPA units have encountered problems of drinking among guerrilla fighters.
During phases of advances in armed struggle, those in error of subjectivism tend to underestimate the enemy’s capacity and see only their tactical victories. They lose sight of the fact that the enemy is still on the strategic offensive, remains strategically superior, and is constantly raising its capacity to conduct intelligence and plan to carry out strategic offensive campaigns. There is a failure of mindset in not dividing one into two—seeing only their positive side, but not their negative side, celebrating their victories but not preparing for greater struggles. They start to lose grasp of basic guerrilla operational principles of concentration, dispersal and shifting, leading to such problems as absolute concentration for extended periods of vertical guerrilla units and over-dispersal of horizontal mass work units, and lack of secrecy in movement and maneuvers, such as day-time movement in open areas which give the enemy a clear vantage for surveillance and monitoring. Not a few become haughty and arrogant, and some became militaristic and heavy-handed, not only in relation to the enemy, but worse, in relation to the masses.
In many parts of the country, Party committees and NPA commands failed to keep a firm grip on the task of waging agrarian revolution as key to mobilizing the masses, building the mass base and establishing the organs of political power. In these areas, we have failed to carry out the crucial task of social investigation and class analysis to determine the plan for uniting the masses and leading their struggles. Some units have become heavy on their feet and fail to go among the masses in their villages to conduct political work. Some Party cadres have become content with “texting” the local Party branches instead of holding meetings with them.
Some committees realized late that the mass base cannot be built and consolidated solely by relying on traditional village leaders and by merely providing the masses with material services without raising their class consciousness, building and strengthening their mass organizations and heightening their militance through agrarian revolutionary struggles. The enemy took advantage of the weak foundations of the mass base by subjecting the masses to brutal terror and deceiving the people with promises of large amounts of money to drive a wedge between them and their revolutionary fighters and between one village or clan leader against another. Without collective resistance, the fascists are now taking away their land and handing these over to mining operations and plantations.
In times of retreat, those in subjectivist error tended to overestimate the strength and size of the enemy. They lost their dialectical bearings to think hard, observe closely and determine the enemy’s forces, objectives, and plans and discover its points of weaknesses, and plan out the methods to divide the enemy’s forces and open opportunities to hit at its detached or isolated units. They became overwhelmed by bourgeois fear. This too is a failure of mindset. They turn to flightism. Defense becomes one sided retreat and purely passive defense, in the form of retreating to the imagined mountain stronghold or unplanned shifting to new areas without mass support. Worse, they abandon the mass base and leave them defenseless and without plan to fight back. In doing so, they isolated themselves and slid into a purely military situation, playing into the hands of the enemy.
In the past years, these errors and shortcomings have resulted in the failure of many NPA units to steadfastly expand the guerrilla fronts wave upon wave in accordance with the line of extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on an ever widening and deepening mass base. This problem of self-constriction and the failure to constantly expand and raise the level of revolutionary practice, left the NPA without the capacity to force the enemy to spread its forces thin, and instead enabled the enemy to carry out campaigns of gradual constriction and focused military operations. This placed the guerrilla forces into a purely military situation and military passivity, detached from the political support of its mass base, while the mass base was subjected to brutal armed suppression. There have been substantial losses suffered by the NPA and the revolutionary masses as a result of these internal errors.
While it is correct for leading committees to give principal attention to the task of waging armed struggle as the principal form of struggle, we have observed the error of some regional Party committees of neglecting or failing to effectively lead the revolutionary mass movement in both the cities and countryside. In many cases, this is reflected in restricting the Party’s structure, strength and operations to the command structure and scope of the NPA, thus, restricting the initiative of the Party to that of the NPA. This error has been criticized as early as 2015 but persists in many regions.
In the field of the revolutionary mass movement, we have observed mainly the Right opportunist tendencies of conservatism, tailism, legalism, economism, reformism, and NGOism. We have seen problems in combining dialectically legal and illegal forms of struggle, and the tendency to put all eggs in the legal basket, where political work is coursed primarily or exclusively through legal means while neglecting to develop revolutionary underground work. We have observed the tendency to put one-sided emphasis on the struggle for reforms under the ruling reactionary government, while neglecting the task of exposing the class nature of the ruling state, comprehensively developing the underground movement in the cities and the countryside, and linking up with and supporting the revolutionary armed struggle as the main form of struggle. This tends to make mass actions serve as part of bourgeois “pressure politics,” instead of serving as a means of expressing the collective outrage of the masses against the anti-people policies of the reactionary state, and as weapons to be honed and wielded by the masses for militant political struggle alongside the revolutionary armed struggle. This has the counter-effect of weakening the democratic mass movement.
We have observed the tendency to analyze or respond to issues from the narrow pettybourgeois viewpoint and misrepresent this to be the interest of the working class. In a number of instances, mass actions have been conducted within the confines of middle class limitations which have the effect of pulling down the level of the people’s militance.
Worse, there is also the tendency of the legal democratic forces to overly demarcate themselves from the armed struggle in response to enemy propaganda, instead of asserting the justness of waging armed resistance against tyranny. This had the effect of undermining political support for the revolutionary armed struggle.
There is also the Right opportunist tendency of conservatism in terms of developing united front support for armed struggle. Strengthening the sectoral underground mass organizations are given poor attention, if at all. The mobilization of cadres, activists and material support from the ranks of pettybourgeois intellectuals and professionals for the New People’s Army have not been carried out vigorously, systematically and sustainedly. There is lack of efforts to build alliances with the national bourgeoisie to draw support for the revolutionary armed struggle.
In the organizational field, empiricist subjectivism leads to liberalism, ultra-democracy and bureaucratism. This has resulted in the weakening of the committee system and collective leadership.
There are numerous cases when members of the committee secretariat or standing committees are dispersed and without communication, and could not decide collectively on urgent matters, leaving decision making to the secretary. There are cases when front committee cadres detach themselves from the platoon for prolonged periods of time, and issue orders without collective decision.
There is lack of militance and professionalism in the methods of work among some Party cadres. Meetings become prolonged due to lack of preparations, or because of unresolved conflicts within committees. Lower committees fail to regularly submit reports to the higher committees, while leading committees fail to issue timely instructions and policies, resulting in lack of unity and coordination between various organs. Some committees failed to conduct regular or special meetings and work conferences to draw lessons from experiences and formulate policies. All these are manifestations of empiricism in the organizational field.
We must give special attention to the problem of bureaucratization among leading Party committees in the mass movement in the cities. Many have become more attached to offices and detached from the broad masses, and do not take part in painstaking mass work in factories and communities, or do so only perfunctorily. There is the tendency towards liberalism among key Party cadres and full-time organizers to be “civilianized” and “domesticated,” or be afflicted with an “employee” (9-5 office hours) mentality. In some parts of the organization, Party rules of discipline are wantonly violated. Questions that undermine these policies are not decisively addressed and have been allowed to persist.
Some key cadres of the Party fail to develop systems of underground operations to keep the enemy deaf and blind. They have allowed themselves to become vulnerable to repeated attacks and entrapment by the enemy. They entertain the subjectivist notion that they are free from enemy surveillance, merely on the basis of what they perceive in their proximity, without actually cutting ties with their fixed points. They fail to see the interconnection of security incidents and treat these as isolated cases, failing to grasp the enemy’s intent and long term plan to systematically destroy the underground network of the Party.
We have stated above some of the crucial ideological, political and organizational problems that have been identified by leading Party committees in their scope of work. Party cadres and Party committees are being consolidated to overcome these various forms of subjectivism and long-running Right errors, tendencies, or shortcomings, in order to strengthen the revolutionary forces and carry forward the revolution with greater energy.
We continue to strengthen the collective leadership of the Central Committee, together with the second and third lines of leadership, to lead the steady growth of the revolutionary forces across the country. The passing away of Ka Joma and the death of some of our key leaders are a profound loss to the Party’s central leadership. The Party, however, is fully conscious of how it was established with the great task of leading the Filipino people’s democratic revolution and future socialist revolution that goes beyond the lifetime of any one person, and way beyond the capacity of a few people to perform.
Presently, younger cadres of the Party at all levels are assuming greater responsibilities and infusing the different fields of revolutionary work with vim and vigor. We are striving to build synergy between veteran and new cadres and fighters to lead the Party, the NPA and the Filipino people to greater heights of armed and all other forms of resistance.
Leading cadres and committees are militantly standing up to the challenge of further strengthening the Party ideologically, politically and organizationally. The Party is determined as ever to uphold Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the teachings of Ka Joma, uphold the leadership of the Central Committee, rectify all errors and shortcomings, surmount all obstacles and carry the people’s democratic revolution forward to its future victory.
IV. Urgent and critical tasks for strengthening the Party and advancing the people’s democratic revolution
Amid the worsening crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system under the US-Marcos regime and rapid deterioration of the conditions of the Filipino people, there is urgent need for the entire Party to exert all effort to arouse, organize and mobilize the broad masses of the Filipino people for revolutionary action. This is by way of taking advantage of favorable conditions in order to comprehensively and vigorously carry forward the people’s democratic revolution of the new type.
In line with this overall objective, we must strengthen the Party in an all-rounded way as the vanguard of the Filipino proletariat and leader of the people’s democratic revolution, strengthen the New People’s Army and carry forward the revolutionary armed struggle, advance the revolutionary mass movement in both the cities and countryside, further broaden and strengthen the united front, and lead the Filipino masses in the anti-fascist, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggles against the US-Marcos regime.
Carry out the rectification movement to strengthen the Party
Of all these tasks, the most crucial and urgent is that of further strengthening the Party. To accomplish this task, the Central Committee calls on all the Party’s cadres and committees, to decisively and vigorously carry forward a comprehensive rectification movement to wage a crucial struggle to repudiate the pernicious effect and influences of various strains of bourgeois or pettybourgeois subjectivism which have weakened the Party and inflicted grave setbacks to the revolutionary movement as a consequence of various forms of Right and “Left” errors, weaknesses, and tendencies during the past few years. Only by carrying out this rectification movement, can we overcome the setbacks and losses, re-accelerate the growth of the Party, and steadfastly carry forward our work in all fields of revolutionary undertaking.
The leadership and the entire membership of the Party will carry out this rectification movement firmly united under the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, as well as along the Party’s line and analysis of Philippine society, and program for waging people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war along the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside. In carrying out the rectification movement, we aim to deepen our understanding and strengthen our grasp of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the Party’s line and program with the strategic view of further raising the level of our revolutionary practice on the basis of our accumulated victories and summed-up experiences.
The rectification movement is mainly a movement to study and reaffirm our adherence to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and to the basic principles, line, constitution and program of the Party, in order to sum-up past experiences and to carry out criticism and self-criticism. The principal aim is to raise our understanding and strengthen our grasp of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the principles and line of the Party by relating these with our revolutionary practice over the past several years and self-critically evaluating our work and our cadres, to qualitatively raise and sharpen our militant style of work.
In carrying out the rectification movement, we aim to address and resolve the long-running weaknesses and errors in Party building, in waging revolutionary armed struggle along the line of extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on an ever widening and deepening mass base, and in carrying forward the revolutionary mass movement in the cities and countryside.
The decision to launch a rectification movement comes at the heels of efforts of various Party regional committees and other leading committees over the past year or two in correcting past errors and weaknesses which have impeded and stunted their growth. The rectification movement seeks to consolidate and raise these efforts to the level of the entire Party, from the central leadership to all leading committees and Party branches in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and overseas.
We recall that in mid-2016, the Political Bureau called on Party forces to rectify critical ideological, political and organizational problems. This was by way of addressing the downtrend in the years prior in terms of the revolutionary mass movement and the revolutionary armed struggle. The call was further bolstered by the holding of the 2nd Congress that year.
This had the immediate effect of reversing the negative trend. Substantial gains in armed struggle and mass base building were immediately observed from 2017 to 2019. We, however, failed to resolutely and thoroughly carry forward the rectification movement. Initial gains were unsustained as the underlying problems came to the fore in the face of the enemy’s heightened counterrevolutionary war and brutal armed suppression.
In the previous (first and second) rectification movements, the Party confronted and fought the systematic effort of certain revisionist renegades who undermined the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and attacked the Party’s analysis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system, its line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war, its strategy of encircling the cities from the countryside, and its anti-revisionist line.
Today we are fighting pervasive empiricism and the various strains of bourgeois and pettybourgeois subjectivism leading to Right and “Left” opportunist tendencies. To carry out this struggle, we must conduct our study movement in a militant fashion. To be militant is to self-critically study, assess and sum-up our past revolutionary practice, in order to identify and repudiate errors and weaknesses that may not be self-evident, but which are as pernicious, debilitating and corrosive, as outright revisionism.
The rectification movement seeks to give concentrated form to the ever present struggle within the Party between the proletarian revolutionary line and the bourgeois and pettybourgeois line and mode of thinking. We need to raise the capability of Party cadres in using dialectical and historical materialism, in order to thoroughly expose and fight the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideas that have permeated in the Party, repudiate subjectivism, and correct and overcome the long-running errors and weaknesses of conservatism, tailism, commandism, liberalism, ultrademocracy and bureaucratism. We must shed all pettybourgeois baggages, overcome pessimism, deepen our trust on the Party and the masses, prepare ourselves for all the necessary sacrifice and strive to accomplish greater victories than ever before.
The rectification movement will have the following components:
a) A study campaign to thoroughly study and review the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism using the Primer on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism by Ka Joma and review of classic writings of great communist leaders through collective discussions and individual reading.
b) A study campaign to thoroughly review the Party’s Constitution and the Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution.
c) A study campaign to review the documents of the First and Second Great Rectification Movement, Our Urgent Tasks and Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War, and documents of the Party’s history.
d) A campaign to sum-up experiences and review previous summings-up to identify the Right and “Left” opportunist tendencies and errors which have caused grave damage to the Party and armed revolutionary movement. These summings-up will be in written form and submitted to the Central Committee. Select articles will be published in Ang Rebolusyon, the Party’s theoretical journal.
e. A social investigation and class analysis (SICA) campaign at all levels to deepen our grasp of the concrete conditions of the masses under the worsening crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system, with the aim of improving our plans and methods of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses.
f) A campaign of criticism and self-criticism must be carried out at all levels to unite the Party, all revolutionary forces and the masses.
g) A campaign to evaluate the performances of all Party cadres to identify strengths and weaknesses, and form resolutions to further strengthen their proletarian discipline, revolutionary standpoint and commitment.
h) A continuing campaign to ensure full implementation of the Three Level Party Course to ensure that backlogs are eliminated.
To help push forward the rectification study movement, all references should be made available in print or digital form, including classic Marxist-Leninist-Maoist writings, all basic documents of the Party, books and key articles by Ka Joma, and others. Popularization should be ensured through translations and other means.
The rectification movement will be an ideological crucible. In the next year or two, it should be carried out thoroughly and completed at all levels from the Central Committee of the Party to all Party branches. We are confident that the vast majority of the Party’s membership will welcome the rectification movement and are ready to boldly advance, like the big strides of the revolutionary movement after the First and Second rectifaction movements.
While we carry out the rectification movement, the Party must continue to strengthen itself by striking deep and wide roots among the masses. Regional committees of the Party must take the initiative in building territorial committees of the Party to cover provinces, districts, cities and towns that are outside the scope or areas of operation of NPA guerrilla fronts.
Expand the Party’s membership by severalfold following the principle of boldly expanding the Party without letting a single undesirable in, mainly by recruiting the most advanced elements who have proven their dedication as mass activists in the revolutionary mass movement and as Red fighters of the New People’s Army.
Strengthen democratic centralism and the Party’s committee system. We must ensure the balance of senior, middle-aged and junior cadres in leading committees of the Party by boldly promoting younger cadres from the ranks of workers, peasants and urban pettybourgeoisie. We must expand and strengthen the underground network of the Party and the revolutionary movement in the urban and rural areas to keep the enemy deaf and blind.
Ensure the printing and widespread circulation of Ang Bayan among all Party members and revolutionary forces.
Comprehensively carry forward the revolution
Even as we strengthen the Party through the rectification movement, we must comprehensively carry forward the people’s democratic revolution as concretization of the rectification movement and as barometer of its success. Let us perform the following tasks in line with the overall aim of carrying forward the revolution in an all-round manner:
a) Lead the antifascist, anti-imperialist and antifeudal struggles of the broad masses of the Filipino people against the US-Marcos regime.
The US-Marcos regime is currently the most concentrated expression of reactionary fascist rule in the country. We must expose its anti-people policies that serve the interests of monopoly capitalist banks and companies, the geopolitical interests of US imperialism, the class interests of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords, and aggrandizement of corrupt bureaucrats. The national and democratic struggles of the Filipino people is currently expressed in most concentrated form in the struggle against the oppressive, fascist and US-puppet Marcos regime.
We must link and raise the daily life-and-death struggles of various democratic classes and sectors to the struggle against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. We must expose, isolate and fight the Marcos regime and direct the people’s anger against it. While we lead the people in their struggle for urgent measures (wage increases, lower prices, lower land rent, subsidies for education and health, and so on) we must expose the reactionary class character of the ruling state, and link the struggle for reforms to the overall revolutionary struggle, mainly through armed struggle, to overthrow the ruling system.
Next year, we must focus on exposing and fighting the economic policies and programs being promoted by US imperialism through the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and their allied financial institutions such as Japan’s Asian Development Bank, which invariably trample on the socioeconomic rights, cause widespread dispossession, loss of income and livelihood and economic dislocation.
We must expose and oppose US military intervention and increasing US military presence in the Philippines, construction of more US military facilities, which the US is using as launching pad for its push to strengthen US hegemony in the region by containing the rising economic and military strength of China, and heightening provocations against its imperialist rivals, thus increasing the risk of the Philippines being dragged into an inter-imperialist war.
b) Strengthen the New People’s Army, recover from losses and rebuild the mass base.
The Party must strengthen its leadership of the NPA in waging extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. It must combine the task of waging armed struggle with carrying out agrarian revolution and antifeudal mass campaigns as means of building its mass base and establishing organs of political power of the people for revolutionary struggle and self-governance.
The Party must carry out intensive training among Red commanders and fighters in order to raise their fighting capability, knowledge of military science and tactics, political consciousness, discipline, physical strength and mental stiffness and determination to fight and make the necessary sacrifices to advance the people’s war. Continue to strengthen the capability and iron discipline of the NPA in launching battles of quick decision, employing wisely the guerrilla tactics of shifting, concentration and dispersal as well as in quick maneuvers and movement combined with high levels of secrecy and methods of work to keep the enemy deaf and blind. Smash the enemy’s intelligence network and render useless its surveillance, or use it against him.
Build company-sized guerrilla fronts and advance wave upon wave, establishing guerrilla zones and base areas in mountainous areas, rolling hills, plains, riverine, coastal areas and towards the main lines of transportation and communication. Untiringly carry out economic, cultural, education, medical and production work to reach the biggest number of people. Force the enemy to spread its forces thin and take away its capability to mount focused military operations.
Recover from previous losses and rebuild the mass base. Carry out revolutionary armed struggle combined with waging widespread antifeudal and antifascist mass movement of the peasant masses. Where needed, hold grievance assemblies between the masses and the NPA to pinpoint and self-criticize weaknesses and shortcomings of the past and rebuild their bond and raise their determination to fight together.
Launch basic or annihilative tactical offensives that we can win on the basis of our current strength along the wide area of maneuver created by the expansion of the guerrilla fronts. Strike at the isolated and detached units of the enemy. Wage active defense warfare and guerrilla campaigns. Mobilize the regular guerrilla forces of the NPA and people’s militias. Undertake widespread attritive warfare to cause the enemy to lose balance and to cover the real intent of our main force. Carry out special partisan operations to hit the enemy at its rear. Punish the worst of the fascist criminals and the rabid traitors who have the people’s blood on their hands. Acquire weapons for Red fighters by seizing these from the enemy through tactical offensives or by other means.
Continue to strengthen the platoon as the basic unit of the NPA, and build the command structure at all levels, from the regional operations command to the front. Strengthen the Party branches and committees in the people’s army and its political organ within the NPA at all levels to continuously heighten the political and class consciousness of its Red fighters.
Further strengthen, train and activate the people’s militia units, combined with the self-defense corps of the revolutionary mass organizations, and heighten guerrilla warfare of the masses.
c) Strengthen and expand the revolutionary mass movement in the countryside.
The Party and revolutionary forces must develop a widespread antifeudal and antifascist mass movement in the countryside. We must mobilize the peasant masses in great numbers and smash the regime of white terror imposed on them through the fascist AFP and the NTF-Elcac.
Develop and lead a widespread antifeudal mass movement in line with the Party’s minimum program for land reform. We must lead and carry out mass struggles for reducing land rent, elimination of usury, higher wages for farm-workers, lower prices of farm input, and fair prices of farm produce, across the entire country. Carry out a campaign of social investigation and class analysis to identify the most urgent problems of the peasant masses and to improve our methods in arousing, organizing and mobilizing them.
Mobilize the masses to fight the schemes of land conversion, destruction of livelihood and dispossession of peasants by mining operations, expansion of plantations, ecotourism, energy and infrastructure projects and other foreign and local big business operations. Defend the economic interests and rights of the peasants and national minorities, combined with the struggle against environmental plunder and destruction by foreign monopolies and bourgeois corporations.
Within and outside the guerrilla fronts of the NPA, we must establish the biggest number of peasant associations to include not only the men, but also the peasant women and youth, even as we also build youth and women organizations, as well as cultural and other types of associations. Expand and strengthen the broad organizations of national minorities to defend their ancestral land and pursue their struggle for autonomy and self-determination.
Heighten the antifascist struggles in the countryside. The antifascist struggle is firmly linked with the antifeudal movement. Expose and condemn rampant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law perpetrated by fascist state forces. Mobilize the masses to resist militarization of their communities and “surrender drive” against the people in the guise of so-called Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) and the Enhanced Community Livelihood and Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Intensify propaganda efforts to counter enemy psywar and raise the people’s militance to fight fascist suppression, and to support the revolutionary armed struggle. Oppose and expose the fake amnesty program of the Marcos regime which aim to split the ranks and weaken the revolutionary resolve of the armed revolutionary movement and the masses to fight the puppet state of the big comprador and landlord class. Systematically carry out recruitment campaigns among the peasant masses, especially the youth, to join the New People’s Army.
d) Strengthen the revolutionary mass movement in the cities.
We must strengthen the revolutionary movement in the cities, overcome long-running problems and aim to mobilize the masses in increasingly big numbers. We must mobilize our forces to carry out widespread and painstaking propaganda and organizing work to reach the broad masses in their millions. At all times, uphold the mass line of trusting and relying on the masses. We must firmly unite with and mobilize the advanced elements among the masses, and rely on them to raise the level of the intermediate elements, and win over the backward elements.
We must develop primarily a strong, militant and widespread union and strike movement among workers, to struggle for fair wages amid rising cost of living, fight for better working conditions against worsening forms of exploitation, and resist fascist repression. At the same time, we must build an army of class-conscious workers by raising their political and revolutionary consciousness, relate their economic and union struggles to the national and democratic demands of the Filipino people and the overall revolutionary struggle.
We must also strengthen the revolutionary mass movement among the semiproletariat and mobilize them in their numbers on the basis of their outstanding issues.
We must also strengthen the national democratic movement among the students to mobilize them in their numbers to militantly fight for their rights and welfare, carry out widespread national democratic propaganda among them, and link them to the struggles of the broad masses of workers and peasants.
Strengthen and further invigorate the mass movement of various democratic sectors.
We must strengthen the revolutionary underground. Raise the capacity, discipline and determination of Party cadres and revolutionary organizers to make the necessary sacrifices to secure themselves and ensure the security of their collectives and the organized masses against enemy surveillance and fascist violence by cutting their links from fixed points and long lines of surveillance. They must raise their vigilance in implementing the rules and methods of the underground movement. They must raise their consciousness on security policies and standard operating procedures and on the informed use of modern electronic communication gadgets, always mindful of their security vulnerabilities.
Carry out widespread propaganda in support of the revolutionary armed struggle, as the main form of struggle to advance the people’s democratic revolution. Collect all possible material and financial support for NPA Red fighters. Carry out recruitment campaigns especially among workers, youth and urban intelligentsia.
e) Build the broadest antifascist, anti-imperialist and antifeudal united front against the US-Marcos regime.
We must continue to strengthen and broaden the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and all its allied organizations under the leadership of the Party. Gather the broadest political and material support of the people for the revolutionary armed struggle.
We must build the broadest united front to isolate and fight the US-Marcos regime. We must continue to expose the 2022 electoral fraud through automated elections and the counterfeit Marcos-Duterte “landslide victory.” We must continue to draw in the broad anti-Marcos-Duterte forces who opposed Marcos’ 2022 election run and who took to the streets in their millions.
We must build different forms and levels of long-term or short-term alliances against charter change, the Maharlika Investment Fund, debilitating neoliberal economic policies, US military facilities, and other key issues that are linked to the national and democratic aspirations of the Filipino people. Continue to strengthen our ties with the Moro people and their revolutionary forces to pursue their struggle for genuine autonomy and national self-determination.
We must take advantage of the splits within the ruling Marcos and Duterte cliques, by pushing the demand for accounting and punishment of Duterte and his cohorts for the crimes they perpetrated during their time in power. We must prepare to mobilize the people against the possibility of Marcos-Duterte schism turning bloody either by coup or martial law.
Strengthen the NDFP’s representation of the democratic people’s government in peace negotiations along the principles of a just and lasting peace. Expose and oppose the scheme of the US-Marcos regime to impose the framework of capitulation on peace negotiations. Push for the recognition of all previous agreements including the The Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
f) Strengthen our international revolutionary work.
We must continue to link the Philippine revolution with the global anti-imperialist movement and the world proletarian revolution.
We must raise the level of our campaign to draw international support for the Philippine revolutionary movement, while extending all possible forms of support to working class, democratic and anti-imperialist struggles in various parts of the world.
We must carry out a vigorous propaganda and organizing movement to reach out to, arouse, organize and mobilize the overseas Filipino workers and compatriots across various countries and global regions and link their struggles to defend their rights and welfare to the struggle against the anti-people US-Marcos regime and its labor export policy. Enjoin our Filipino compatriots to actively carry out a propaganda movement to expose the anti-people, puppet and fascist Marcos regime. Raise the revolutionary consciousness of Filipino migrants and enjoin them to wage revolutionary struggle for and in the homefront.
We must continue to strengthen fraternal communist relations with Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations, strengthen international communist dialogue and cooperation. Wage active ideological struggle to expose modern revisionism, and repudiate Trotskyism, Gonzaloism and other revisionist currents that misrepresent Marxism, Leninism and Maoism.
Unite and fight the oppressive and fascist US-Marcos regime!
Lead the Filipino people’s struggle against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism!
Carry forward the people’s democratic revolution until complete victory!
Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!
Long live the legacy of Ka Joma!
Long live the Filipino proletariat and people!
Long live the New People’s Army!
Long live the National Democratic Front of the Philippines!
Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!