BAYAN-USA Honors the CPP’s Continuing Legacy of the Katipunan
50 Years of Philippine Revolution
Historically, Filipinos have fought against their colonizers to obtain genuine freedom, from Spain, Japan, and the United States. The Katipunan, an underground revolutionary organization, led the 1896 Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonization and won their freedom. Soon after, the U.S. quickly snatched away that same freedom and the Philippine-American War started soon after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1898. More than 122 years later, as U.S. imperialism continues to exploit and thrive in the semi-feudal, semi-colonial society of the Philippines, the Filipino people also persist in waging war for genuine national independence. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), re-established on December 26, 1968, vowed to continue the unfinished revolution of the Katipunan and to fight for national liberation and genuine democracy against U.S. imperialism and the local reactionary classes of big compradors, landlords, and bureaucrat capitalists. As the CPP celebrates its 50 years of revolutionary struggle this year, BAYAN-USA honors the Filipino people’s continuing struggles and achievements waging revolution for a better Philippine society.
Recently, Duterte ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to destroy the CPP and New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP, in complete disregard of the CPP’s announcement of a unilateral ceasefire for the holiday season and its 50th Anniversary. Duterte follows in the footsteps of every puppet presidency of the Philippines, which has claimed that it would crush and destroy the revolutionary movement. Instead, the revolutionary movement has grown larger in numbers and spread across the whole Philippine nation.
For the CPP to exist for 50 years, there must be mass support.
Indeed, counter to his intentions, Duterte himself promotes and furthers the social basis for this mass support. The people loathe his war on drugs which has killed over 23,000 victims, his extension of martial law in Mindanao which has already displaced hundreds of thousands of people, his blatant corruption reflected in his partnerships with the Marcoses and Arroyos, and his brazen selling out of Philippine sovereignty to the U.S. and China. The armed revolution is winning over the hearts and minds of the people because it is the people who have benefited from advancing the CPP’s people-centered programs including providing services to improve the health, education, and overall well-being of the masses. At the same time, the violence and terror of Duterte’s anti-people policies and programs keep the majority of the Filipino people mired in poverty. Peasants still compose 75% of the Philippine population, a majority of which are landless peasants facing the oppression of big landlords and foreign corporations. The CPP and the NPA have been able to organize peasants in ever-larger numbers and build local organs of political power nationwide. These organs of political power implement minimum and maximum aspects of genuine land reform, from reduction of land rent and elimination of usury all the way to the dismantling of land monopolies and free distribution of land to the peasants and farmers.
At the same time, the chronic economic crisis which gave rise to the neoliberal Labor Export Policy persists to this day and contributes to the growth of the national democratic movement among Filipinos overseas. Under Duterte, the Labor Export Program now forces more than 6,000 Filipinos to leave their homes and families each day in search of work abroad. Currently, 12 million Filipinos live outside the Philippines—a majority of whom are Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who face exploitation and violence while receiving inadequate support from the Philippine government.
Unless there is fundamental change in Philippine society to ensure that the majority of the people can meet their basic needs, Duterte can expect even more resistance from the people in the coming year. Both the open mass movement and the CPP led underground armed revolutionary movement will intensify their demands for durable national industries, land reform, social benefits, and true democracy. This broad movement will continue to grow and succeed—not only in ousting the fascist U.S.-Duterte regime, but in waging revolution to achieve lasting, genuine freedom and democracy in the Philippines.
[Photo featured by: Rappler]
Watch Bulatlat’s “Week in History: Re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines”: