This year is a celebration of the 50th golden anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) that is guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). This is a celebration of the five decades of relentless struggle of the Filipino proletariat and the people for genuine freedom, democracy and justice.
In five decades, the CPP has achieved great victories including the building and proliferation of organs of revolutionary political power nationwide. Because of this, the Party has successfully led the people’s war mainly of the peasant masses in unity with the working class. The surge of revolutionary struggle had reached the highest peaks of the Cordillera mountains. In 1970s, at the height of the Marcos dictatorship, the first Igorot cadres were recruited to the CPP and were tasked to return to their respective tribes and ili to start on arousing and organizing the national minority in Cordillera.
The CPP efficiently studied the theory of MLM, analyzed the concrete conditions of Philippine society being semi-colonial and semi-feudal, and pointed out the friends and enemies of the revolution that laid the basis for the Party to determine the people’s democratic revolution as the only solution to the sufferings of the Filipino masses. The CPP clarified that the current people’s democratic revolution is of a new type because it is led by the proletarian class through the Communist Party of the Philippines and that it has a socialist perspective.
This correct line served as a weapon for the national minority of Cordillera, the cadres and members of the CPP to effectively refute and repudiate the divisive and deceiving indigenist line of Conrado Balweg and the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA). Balweg and the CPLA deny that the semi-feudal and semi-colonial character of the Philippine society reflects in the Cordillera region. They insist that Igorot communities have a semi-communal and semi- colonial character and that class struggle does not exist amongst the Igorots. They argue that the exploitation of lowlanders to the national minority of Cordillera is the root of the sufferings of the Igorots. The anti-revolutionary and opportunist motives of their faction was eventually disclosed when they declared that they would build a “Cordillera Nation” that they would lead. Currently, the remnants of the CPLA are wholly integrated to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its current recruitment immediately aims to serve as machinery for the upcoming 2019 elections and to present itself as the security armed force of the US-Duterte Regime’s current campaign for a bogus regional autonomy or federal state in Cordillera in the future, and for them to be to be able to get a share of the public funds intended for that another layer of the bureaucracy.
And now, the analysis of the CPP that Cordillera is fully assimilated in the semi-feudal and semi-colonial Philippine society is undoubtedly correct. The Igorots are suffering from extreme exploitation primarily from the three basic problems of Philippine society – imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. National oppression which is also caused by the three basic problems adds to their sufferings. The Filipino masses including the Igorots, have a common enemy.
By upholding MLM, the CPP is able to pinpoint its own mistakes and shortcomings, and is able to conduct criticisms and self-criticisms and carry out rectification movements to improve its revolutionary practice. With this, the Party is able to rectify different forms of empiricism, conservatism and bureaucratism within the entire revolutionary movement.
The ongoing people’s war is gaining greater victories because the New People’s Army is under the absolute leadership of the CPP. Ever since the struggle of the people of Bontoc, Sadanga and Kalinga against the Chico Dam and that of the Tingguians against Cellophil, the Party and the NPA has worked hand in hand with the Igorots to attain greater unity to defeat a common enemy. Through these struggles, the people realized the correctness of taking up arms against the greedy, and that only through the national democratic armed struggle can the Igorots truly defend their ancestral land and fight for their right to self-determination. In the following decades, exploitation, oppression and militarization has intensified in Cordillera under different puppet regimes, pushing the people to take part in the armed revolution. This year only, units of the NPA under the Chadli Molintas Command has launched tactical offensives that frustrate the delusion of the US-Duterte regime to wipe out the NPA by 2018.
The founding of the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) in 1989 is one great achievement of the CPP and the Cordillera masses. The CPDF is a concrete expression of the revolutionary struggle of the Igorots. This is an alliance of all democratic classes and sectors in the region. The CPDF also helps the Igorot masses in building their revolutionary government in their tribes and communities. By next year, the CPDF will be celebrating its 30th founding anniversary.
Up to the present, the CPP is at the forefront guiding and implementing agrarian revolution to solve the multiple forms of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation of the peasant masses who comprise the majority of the Filipino people. Through collective action, the masses are able to fight the increasing number of destructive and rapacious companies attempting to conduct operations in the region which include mining, dams and geothermal energy projects. The people are fighting the continuing denial of the state to their access and use of the natural resources through oppressive laws such as PD 705 or the Revised Forestry Code, Mining Act of 1995, EPIRA, Renewable Energy Act and Small Scale Mining Act among others. The Igorots are more united to develop and increase their production. With the onslaught of super typhoon Ompong followed by Rosita, a vast area of agricultural land, infrastructures and properties are heavily damaged. The complete rehabilitation of these damages can only be attained through the collective action of the masses to fight for due services from the reactionary government.
The victories achieved by the CPP in the last 50 years is immeasurable. The Party has proven the correctness of the revolutionary theory of Marxism- Leninism- Maoism. It exhibited how the armed struggle through people’s war is dignified, just and inevitable in achieving genuine freedom, democracy and justice. The CPP is at the forefront of the world proletarian revolution raising the flag of socialism as still the best path of the struggling oppressed masses. Presently, the CPP serves both as example and inspiration for other nations aspiring for freedom, democracy and justice.
The CPDF enjoins the people of Cordillera to be one with the Filipino people in celebrating the 50 years of our relentless struggle and shining victory. Let us celebrate the victory of the CPP in leading the Filipino people to the road towards genuine freedom, lasting peace and justice, including us Igorots in our struggle for self- determination and democracy. In this 50th year of our Party, let us strengthen our resolve in advancing the national democratic revolution towards victory and onwards to socialist revolution.