Communist Party of the Philippines

On its 54th anniversary after Joma Sison’s death, CPP boasts of 110 guerrilla fronts

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On its 54th anniversary after Joma Sison’s death, CPP boasts of 110 guerrilla fronts

IN LINE. Members of the CPP-NPA.

Photo by Edwin Espejo/Rappler

Waging a protracted war for half a century already, communist guerrillas say they are bent on rectifying errors

MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of its 54th founding anniversary on December 26, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leadership on Sunday, December 25, released its annual message that provides a post-script for the end of the year and sets directions for the next.

The party’s anniversary comes against the backdrop of the death of its founder and longtime chairperson, Jose Maria Sison. Here are four highlights of the 24-page document.

1. Joma lives

The CPP central committee opened with a tribute to Sison, who died on December 16, saying that the founder’s spirit lives on in the party. Among its directives was for members to reread internal party documents, most of which were penned by Sison.

“His immortal revolutionary spirit will forever live to guide the next generation of Party cadres to greater heights,” the CPP said. The CPP also gave its members a pat on the back, making special mention of the guerrilla fighters for paying the “ultimate sacrifice” for their cause. (READ: Editorial: Ano ang itsura ng kilusang Kaliwa post-Joma Sison?)

2. Thumbs down to Marcos

The central committee blasted the economic and foreign policies of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, particularly its warmth toward both US and China – superpowers that the CPP have branded as imperialists.

The CPP also noted that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under the Marcos administration continued to be relentless in its offensives, which the CPP said has led to human rights violations and hurt rural communities.

The communist leaders are banking on supposed widespread dissatisfaction with the Marcos administration – as Filipinos continued to be crushed by inflation, among others – for more to join their cause.

3. Is the CPP-NPA over?

Challenging government claims that the New People’s Army (NPA) was down to merely 24 guerrilla fronts, the CPP said its troops continued to thrive.

There are reliable reports that a military operation in Samar killed the CPP’s reported local chair, Benito Tiamzon, and his wife Wilma. Just last month, ranking guerrilla leaders were killed in Sultan Kudarat. Military clashes in Negros Occidental in October also displaced communities in villages suspected to be sympathetic to the communist cause.

“In the course of waging protracted people’s war, the NPA has established more than 110 guerrilla fronts across the country and has built thousands of local mass organizations,” it said. The CPP added: “Guerrilla units of the NPA have shown that they are undaunted by the enemy’s superiority in number and weaponry.”

4. The CPP’s points for improvement, in their own words

The CPP said it was optimistic that it could expand in the coming years by rectifying errors.

“The Central Committee, together with all organs of leadership, is currently at the head of efforts to identify the internal ideological, political and organizational weaknesses, shortcomings and errors that are at the root of these setbacks. The Party is determined to rectify these errors,” the CPP said.

It repeated its usual clarion call for members to organize the masses in the countryside and train them for the long haul. “We must learn from the fact that the NPA has had the most success in guerrilla fronts where the peasant masses have been organized and actively mobilized to wage anti-feudal struggles and carry out agrarian revolution,” the CPP said. –

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