Saturday, November 28, 2020

Soldiers train on cyber defense

From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 28, 2020): Soldiers train on cyber defense (By Martin Sadongdong)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is continuously enhancing its cyber defense capabilities as threat groups and hostile forces take advantage of cyber space, a military official said Saturday.

Major Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, said scores of soldiers took part in a Cyber Defense Exercise (CYDEX) which was conducted as part of the ongoing AFP Joint Exercise (AJEX) “DAGIT-PA” in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

“The CYDEX is part of our efforts to fully capacitate our personnel because battles are being fought not only on the ground but on cyberspace as well,” said Arevalo, exercise director in this year’s DAGIT-PA drills.

Earlier this month, AFP chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay said that the online activities of international and domestic threats, particularly terrorist groups, have become more prevalent because of the COVID-19 pandemic where almost all activities shifted online.

Due to the pandemic, the CYDEX was also done virtually as the AFP partnered with cybersecurity firms Nexusguard and Kaspersky to train their personnel.

Six AFP units competed against each other to protect their systems against simulated cyber attacks using the appropriate cyber hygiene, Arevalo said.

He said the CYDEX aimed to build an AFP cyber security and defense infrastructure that can protect, detect, respond, and recover from various kinds of cyber threats.

“CYDEX is geared towards the assessment and strengthening of our cyber preparedness, examining incident response processes, and enhancing information sharing among AFP cyber units,” he noted.

The soldiers also participated in the execution of the Capture the Flag (CTF) concept where participants were given a specific website or IP address to check for vulnerabilities.

The Philippine Navy Naval Information and Communications Technology Center (NICTC) dominated the drills and was ranked first place.

It was followed by the AFP Communications, Electronics, and Information System Service (AFP-CEISS) at second place while the Cyber Battalion of the Philippine Army Signal Regiment took the third spot.

Completing the roster of participants were the AFP Cyber Group (fourth place); the Philippine Air Force 950th Communications Electronics and Information Systems Group (fifth place); and the Philippine Marine Corps’ Information Office (sixth place).

Cyber security awareness topics were also tackled in a series of lectures and practical exercises.

The AJEX DAGIT-PA is an AFP-wide unilateral exercise that aims to further enhance the joint force inter-operability and cohesiveness of all military units.

DAGIT-PA refers to “dagat, langit, at lupa” which stands for the capability of the military to conduct land, sea, and air operations.

Around 1,100 soldiers joined in the fourth iteration of the AJEX DAGIT-PA which started on Nov. 23 and will end on Dec. 4.

Philippines Looking to Reverse Course on Scrapping US Military Pact

From Voice of America (Nov 27, 2020): Philippines Looking to Reverse Course on Scrapping US Military Pact (By Ralph Jennings)

FILE - A Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicle is pictured during the amphibious landing exercises of the U.S.-Philippines war games promoting bilateral ties at a military camp in Zambales province, Philippines, April 11, 2019.

The Philippines, an old American ally in Asia, is changing its view on whether to scrap a key U.S. military pact, as it explores new ways of benefiting from U.S. defense aid without isolating its newer superpower friend, China, analysts and officials say.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte this month announced that cancelling the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) would be suspended for another six months, which lets U.S. troops access Philippine soil for military exercises aimed at regional security as well as local humanitarian work. Philippine presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Thursday that in six more months “we will know” the president’s decision.

The first suspension was announced in June, four months after Manila said it would fully withdraw from the 21-year-old pact.

Duterte hopes the suspensions will prompt the United States – which wants to keep the agreement so its military personnel can easily reach Asia – renegotiate the two-way defense relationship with a focus not just on warding off China but also on quelling armed rebels at home, analysts believe.

FILE - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his address to a Filipino business sector in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines, Oct. 13, 2016.

Shortly after taking office in 2016, the leader surprised his citizens by seeking a friendship with China despite a maritime sovereignty dispute that shook the two sides from 2012 to 2016. That year, a world court said Chinese claims in the contested waterway, the South China Sea, were illegal.

The Philippines president has expressed anti-American views while in office, but domestic opinion polls show that much of the public still favors close ties with Washington. Duterte’s government has acknowledged this year that China remains a threat at sea despite Chinese economic aid offered since 2016.

“For the Duterte government’s perspective, there’s too much focus from the United States on U.S.-China great power competition and arming the Philippines to deal with China, rather than arming the Philippines so that the Philippines can do other missions as well,” said Derek Grossman, senior analyst with the U.S.-based Rand Corp. research institution.

“By delaying the VFA further, they are keeping the agreement intact but also putting some pressure on negotiators to come up with a better deal,” he said.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. sent in February a "notice of termination" of the Visiting Forces Agreement to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, following through on an order from Duterte. He hinted later that the president was having a rethink.

“Why did he change his mind? A man who does not change his mind cannot change anything,” Locsin tweeted June 3 in announcing the first suspension. “And he ran on the slogan: Change is coming.”

Washington and Manila separately signed a Mutual Defense Treaty in 1951. The Visiting Forces Agreement is seen as a way to execute the 1951 deal through arms sales, exchanges of intelligence and new discussions on military cooperation.

Duterte probably hopes the government of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will renegotiate military ties so the Philippines can tone down maritime defenses against China and instead focus on anti-terrorism campaigns around the restive southern Philippine island Mindanao, experts say. Expect more suspensions of the VFA cancellation, they add.

“It’s going to be like this until the two sides really find an agreement to better the alliance based on mutually acceptable terms,” said Aaron Rabena, research fellow at the Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation in Metro Manila.

About 20 Muslim rebel groups operate in Mindanao and the adjacent Sulu Sea. Mindanao is a stronghold too for the Philippine communist party’s armed front.

Duterte ultimately wants a superpower-neutral foreign policy like those crafted by Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, some experts say.

The United States had governed the Philippines for more than five decades before granting it independence after World War II. For Washington today, the Philippines represents one in a Western Pacific chain of political allies that work together as needed to stop Chinese maritime expansion.

Beijing resents U.S. military activity near the resource-laden, 3.5 million-square-kilometer South China Sea. China, better armed than any other country in East Asia, calls 90% of the sea its own despite protests from the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

“The Philippines will be friends with both sides, but it will not be taken for a ride and I think the six-month, short-term leash is also seen in the context that the Philippines and the U.S. [are] still discussing revisions of the Mutual Defense Treaty,” said Eduardo Araral, associate professor at the National University of Singapore's public policy school.

Duterte’s government values its U.S. ties as well as others, Jose Manuel Romualdez, Philippines ambassador to the United States, said November 18 in a videoconference with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall.

“It’s not fair to say Duterte is really just cozying up to China and it’s a zero-sum game,” the ambassador said. “We would like to have relations with all countries. We feel that our interests will be best protected by reaching out to major countries like China and even Russia to do what is best for our country.”

31 NPAs yield in Surigao del Norte’s Lasicam Complex

From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 27, 2020): 31 NPAs yield in Surigao del Norte’s Lasicam Complex (By Mike Crismundo)

Thirty-one members of the New People’s Army (NPA) recently surrendered to the government in Surigao del Norte, the military reported on Wednesday.

Shown in photo is the official of the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion assuring the former New People’s Army (NPA) of support through the government’s livelihood, peace and development program during grand pulong-pulong in LASICAM Complex in Gigaquit, Surigao del Sur.
(30th IB-CMO via Mike U. Crismundo/Manila Bulletin)

According to 30th Infantry Battalion (30th IB) Civil Military Operations (CMO) Officer Second Lt. Benjamin Elisand De Dios, nine NPA regulars and 22 Milisya ng Bayan (MB) of Sandatahang Pampropaganda sa Platun 16-C (SPP 16-C) of Guerilla Front Committee 16 (GFC 16) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Party Committee (NEMRC) turned themselves in last Sunday, November 22, to the 30th IB’s Community Support Program (CSP) team.

Lasicam Complex is considered as one of the bastions of the Communist terrorist group,
the 30th IB CMO officer said.

A formal surrender ceremony was held during the Grand Pulong-Pulong (GPP) that was presided by Gigaquit town Mayor Chandru T. Bonite, and attended by about 200 members of the Mamanwa tribe from the hinterlands of Lasicam Complex.

Bonite welcomed the surrenderers, and promised them the municipal government of Gigaquit will provide them support, and take every effort in seeking for them further assistance from other government agencies.

“Isip injo Mayor, Nalipay ko kay inyo gidawat ang programa sa atong gobyerno alang sa kalinaw. Manghinaut ko nga sugod karon, magtinabangay ta aron makab-ot nato ang atong gipangandoy nga kalinaw ug kalamboan dire sa Lasicam (Being your mayor, I am very glad that you truly accepted the program of the government towards attaining a lasting peace. Henceforth, let us help each other to achieve lasting peace and progress here in Lasicam),” said Bonite.

According to one of the surrenderers identified only as Jones, he was recruited in 2016, and expressed disappointment and frustration over the leadership of the NPA organization.

“Puro kabakakan, igo ra me sologoon sa suyod wla jud kaugmaon, nag ingon sila nga naay suporta nga ila ihatag sa amo pamilya pero suyod sa tuyo tulo ka tuig nako sa organisasyun, bisan sentimo wayay nadawat among pamilya (Nothing but all lies, we were used just like slaves inside, no future, they said they will support our family but for the past three years in the organization, not even a single centavo was given to our family),” alias Jones said.

Meanwhile, 30th IB commander Lt. Col. Ryan Charles G. Callanta told the rebel returnees that the government will help them in their new way of life.

“We will ensure that these surrenderers made the right decision, that they will avail of the E-CLIP benefits not only to help them start their new and peaceful lives but to show them how serious the government in its quest for peaceful reconciliation,” he said.

‘Popoy’ Lagman: A Stalinist rival of the Communist Party of the Philippines

 Posted to the World Socialist Web Site (Nov 26, 2020): ‘Popoy’ Lagman: A Stalinist rival of the Communist Party of the Philippines (By John Malvar)

In the course of its campaign defending the scholarship of Joseph Scalice against Stalinist slanders from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its ideological leader, Jose Maria Sison, the World Socialist Web Site has corresponded with a good many workers and young people in the Philippines. A recurring question is about the political program of Filemon ‘Popoy’ Lagman, a former leader of the CPP, who broke from the organisation in the early 1990s to found a new party opposed to its perspective of “protracted people’s war” in the countryside.

Lagman, in a set of three counter-theses written in 1994, sharply criticized the program of Sison and the CPP, for its claims that the Philippine economy was semi-feudal, that the party should pursue a strategy of “protracted people’s war,” and for its failure to explicitly include concrete references to socialist revolution in the party program. Lagman called for an urban movement of an “independent party” of the Filipino working class.

‘Popoy’ Lagman

On the basis of these criticisms, Lagman went on to organize a breakaway trade union federation, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) or Movement of Filipino Workers, and a political party, Sanlakas, in the mid-1990s. Lagman was assassinated by four gunmen in 2001, under circumstances that have never been explained. The BMP broke up into a number of rival organizations at around this time, but none of the political offshoots has ever provided a public accounting for the split.

Did Lagman’s perspective, and the political organizations he led, constitute a revolutionary, working-class alternative to the CPP?

The CPP was founded in 1968 on the program of Maoism—the Chinese variant of Stalinism, which argued that in countries of a belated capitalist development, such as the Philippines, the tasks of the revolution were not yet socialist in character but national and democratic only. A section of the capitalist class, they claimed, would necessarily play a progressive role in this first revolutionary stage. A key task of the party was to find and ally with this progressive section, and the CPP sought to use the strategy of armed struggle in the countryside as a means of securing the support of workers and peasants for the formation of an alliance with the so-called national bourgeoisie in the struggle for national democracy.

Lagman came from an influential political family. He was the son of a judge, and his brother is now a multi-term congressman. Popoy Lagman was a journalism student at the University of the Philippines (UP) in 1971, and like an entire social layer, he was radicalized by the unrest of the times and after a year went underground with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), when then President Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law on the country.

The CPP formed an alliance with the bourgeois opposition to Marcos in the early 1970s. When the president imposed military dictatorship in 1972, the majority of the capitalist class, including Marcos’ opponents, embraced the dictatorship, which protected their profit interests against social unrest. It was not until the late 1970s, when they felt conditions had been adequately stabilized, that the bourgeois opposition began to organize itself again.

Lagman was secretary of the Manila-Rizal Regional Committee (MRRC) of the CPP at the time. Because he led the urban sections of the party to participate in the 1978 Interim Batasang Pambansa elections, on a common platform with the bourgeois opposition to Marcos, the CPP leadership removed Lagman as secretary of the MRRC. With Sison in prison, Rodolfo Salas was leading the party and advocating a boycott and an exclusive focus on the armed struggle in the countryside. The function of the Manila committee, Salas and the majority argued, was to raise funds for the armed struggle and channel workers to the countryside.

Lagman did not oppose the majority of the CPP leadership from the perspective of the independence of the working class, but from the conception that the time for an open alliance with a section of the elite in electoral politics had returned. He correctly sensed that the bourgeoisie was beginning to turn against Marcos and that an alliance with the ruling class opposition was now possible.

The perspective of boycott, however, continued to dominate the central committee. This policy led the CPP to boycott the 1986 snap election, a strategy that they rapidly came to regret, as the People Power movement ousted Marcos in February of that year. Because of its boycott decision the party did not directly participate in the overthrow of Marcos, and was initially excluded from the political largesse of the incoming Aquino administration.

Lagman was seen as vindicated within the party and restored as head of the MRRC.

The period from 1986 to 1991 was one of upheaval in the party. It expressed the crisis of global Stalinism, which in the face of the globalization of production, led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and capitalist restoration in China. Sison, released from prison in 1986, went into political exile and sought to restore his control over the party from the Netherlands. He attempted to establish relations with Gorbachev and abandoned all of the Maoist criticisms of “modern revisionism” that he had once directed at the Soviet Union. He hailed Gorbachev’s policies just as Gorbachev was in the act of dissolving the Soviet Union. The party in the Philippines, meanwhile, published a statement praising the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime for its brutal crackdown on the Chinese working class and youth in Tiananmen Square.

The disorientation that gripped the party led to acrimonious debates. In what would emerge as a pattern over the next decades, layers of the party, which, as a result of the party’s support for Aquino, had tied themselves closely to her administration, broke away from the party when, in 1987, it reluctantly denounced Aquino as reactionary after she oversaw a massacre of peasant protesters.

Lagman emerged as the leading voice in the party advocating a shift from the armed struggle in the countryside to a more urban movement based in the working class as a means of participating more directly in establishment politics. The party imploded in 1991 and one of the fragments retained the name. This fragment was tied to the restored leadership of Joma Sison, who denounced his opponents as “Gorbachevites”—having buried his own recent praise of the Stalinist leader—and “Trotskyites.”

Lagman broke from the CPP in 1991 and founded Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and the political party, Sanlakas. As a result of Lagman’s political ties to the urban working class and the opposition which he expressed to the protracted people’s war of Sison and company, his perspective has long been depicted as representing an orthodox or genuinely Marxist conception in opposition to the Maoism of the CPP. What precisely did Lagman argue?

A variant of Stalinism

Lagman’s most important writings are his 1994 Counter-Theses, a set of three documents criticizing the political platform of Sison and the CPP. In these documents, Lagman presented himself as a “Leninist,” and used passages drawn from the writings of Lenin, without any reference to their historical context or the development of Lenin’s thought, as a means of refuting Sison.

Lagman approached Sison and his politics in the same manner that Sison had approached his own Stalinist rivals in the 1960s—as the great misleaders of the movement, rather than as representatives of Stalinism. Despite all of his criticisms, Lagman shared the core tenets of Stalinism with Sison. Their disagreements were over how best to implement this program.

Lagman, long engaged in political work that put him in direct contact with working class of Metro Manila, sought to elaborate a strategy that would retain the support of this class and mobilize it behind the Stalinist first stage and its necessary alliance with the national bourgeoisie.

While Lagman himself might have denied it, his criticisms amounted to an attempt to turn the CPP away from the Maoist variant of Stalinism which it upheld, back toward the Soviet Stalinist perspective: a two-stage revolution and an alliance with the capitalist class, but a party based predominantly in the urban working class and with a program that made explicit references to socialism.

Drawing on Lenin’s 1899 work The Development of Capitalism in Russia, Lagman attacked Sison’s argument that the Philippine economy was semi-feudal. The Philippine economy, however distorted, was a capitalist economy. It was for this reason, he argued, that the strategy of protracted people’s war and its orientation to the countryside and the peasantry was fundamentally incorrect.

In one of his three documents, PPDR: Class Line vs. Mass Line, Lagman criticized Sison’s Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution (PPDR), for not articulating the class perspective of the proletariat. It was necessary, he insisted, to speak openly of socialism, the supposed second stage of the revolution. Only in this way could workers be won to the so-called national democratic struggle.

“How does Sison intend to arouse the working class, not only to join the people’s revolution but to play a leading role, when he does not even talk about the workers’ own revolution—the socialist revolution—and all he talks about is the peoples’ revolution!” he wrote.

In a similar vein, Lagman criticized Sison for never denouncing the evils of capitalism, but only of feudalism and imperialism. If the party did not denounce capitalist exploitation, it would not secure the support of workers, he stated.

Attacking Lagman, Sison wrote: “It is dishonest, demagogic and utopian to insist that socialism is the immediate goal under conditions that [sic] the people are still dominated and exploited by US imperialism and domestic feudalism.”

In a very revealing response, Lagman exclaimed: “But who is insisting?” Certainly Lagman was not. Like Sison, he told workers that the tasks of the revolution were not yet socialist, but he sought to secure their support by denouncing capitalism and dangling the promise of socialism before them as a future goal.

Lagman likewise agreed with Sison that in the first stage of the revolution an alliance with a section of the capitalist class was essential. “True, the character of the democratic revolution is, that it is a struggle of the ‘whole people,’” he wrote.

In his second document, “PSR [Philippine Society and Revolution]: The Semifeudal Alibi for Protracted People’s War,” Lagman insistently concluded:

“After bringing into the forefront and emphasizing more strongly the bourgeois, capitalist basic economic process in the socio-economic evolution of Philippine society, does it mean that the necessity for a people’s democratic revolution is henceforth undermined, bypassed and sublimated, and a socialist revolution proposed as the immediate historical task? Nothing of this sort.”

In his final document from the 1994 Counter-Theses, “PPW [Protracted People’s War]: A New Type of Revolution of the Wrong Type,” Lagman was so determined to uphold the Stalinist two-stage theory that he attacked Sison for supposedly combining these stages. Sison and the CPP, he claimed, were being deceptive—they were attempting to seize power under the banner of national democracy but they intended to secretly use this to immediately implement the socialist stage. Lagman maintained that a protracted period of capitalist development was necessary before a socialist revolution was possible.

The majority of Lagman’s quotations from Lenin are drawn from the earliest stages of Lenin’s political development, in particular his writings in 1899. The two-stage theory and the progressive role of the national bourgeoisie, the perspective shared by Lagman and Sison, was the program of Plekhanov and the Mensheviks. In his examination of the suppressed 1905 revolution in Russia, Lenin put forward the perspective of the Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the Peasantry. While Lenin at this point still argued that a first stage was necessary, he explicitly repudiated the notion that the capitalist class could play any progressive role. It had become a counter-revolutionary class.

Leon Trotsky agreed with Lenin that the bourgeoisie could play no progressive role. However, in his program of Permanent Revolution, elaborated at the same time, he argued that the working class in carrying out national and democratic tasks of the revolution would be compelled to take socialist measures. The revolution could not be divided into first and second stages. The task of the party was to organize workers for the seizure of power on the basis of a socialist and internationalist program.

Lenin returned to Russia in 1917 and issued his April Theses, rejecting any support for the bourgeois provisional government and calling for all power to be transferred to the Soviets, which signified the seizure of power by the working class with the support of the peasantry. Lenin abandoned his earlier perspective of the Democratic Dictatorship. Trotsky’s program of Permanent Revolution became the guiding principle of the October Revolution. Lenin strongly opposed Stalin and Kamenev who had given “critical support” to the provisional government.

For all Lagman’s talk of an “independent party of the working class,” his program was not that of Lenin but of the Mensheviks. His explicit call for an alliance with a section of the capitalism class, meant the political subordination of the working class to the bourgeoisie and the rejection of any fight for its political independence. Where Sison sought to secure the support workers of with reference to a protracted people’s war, Lagman sought to do so by abstract denunciations of capitalism and pie-in-the-sky promises of socialism in some political future. Both were Stalinists; their differences were purely tactical.

Political Legacy

Sanlakas, the political party founded under the leadership of Lagman, threw itself into electoral politics and in 1996 secured a seat in the House of Representatives. The speeches delivered by Renato Magtubo, the Sanlakas congressman, reveal the class character of Lagman’s party. On November 8, 1999, Magtubo delivered a privilege speech in which he told the assembled legislature:

I appeal to your sense of justness and fairness: not for a just wage or a fair price for the labor of an ordinary workingman which, I grant, is a luxury our country cannot afford. All I am asking is to pay the average worker the value of his labor power and redeem for all workers the lost value of their wages eroded by price increases … I am aware that I have antagonized the sensibilities of many of you in my prior privilege speeches. I extend my sincere apologies. But I pray and I plead.… [A]mid the complexity of economics, one simple truth stands out: A happy worker is a hard worker. This is the key to economic progress and social justice. Let us give our workers a Merry Christmas, and they will work hard for our country in the coming millennium. Mabuhay ang Uring Manggagawa! [Long live the working class!] Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Sanlakas and the BMP engaged in precisely the same class collaborationist politics as the CPP. Sanlakas came to national prominence for its radical rhetoric demanding the removal of President Joseph Estrada in 2000. Alongside the CPP and its various front organizations, Sanlakas facilitated the constitutional coup carried out by the military brass that replaced Estrada with Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. When relations with Arroyo soured, Sanlakas along with the various groups that broke away from Lagman’s BMP all took part in the plotting to remove her from office. In 2010, Sanlakas buried all of its anti-Estrada rhetoric and ran for office on Estrada’s presidential slate. A leading member of Sanlakas served as Estrada’s spokesperson.

While Lagman’s political organization fragmented into a number of rival political tendencies, all of the offshoots shared his Stalinist program of nationalism and orientation to a section of the capitalist class. All shared Lagman’s orientation: using references to the working class, to capitalist exploitation, and to the need for socialism as a means of once again chaining the working class to their capitalist oppressors.

This is the program of Stalinism and it is political poison.

Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution remains as relevant today in the Philippines as it did in 1917 in Russia when it became the basis for the seizure of power by the working class, leading the peasantry and urban poor. In opposition to the nationalist class collaboration of Stalinism, Permanent Revolution argues for the genuine independence of the working class and the repudiation of every form of nationalism.

The national and democratic tasks, above all the solution to the agrarian problem, in countries of belated capitalist development such as the Philippines require an assault on the capitalist property relations. The capitalist class has demonstrated over the course of a century, precisely as Trotsky argued that it would, that it is incapable of these democratic tasks. It is not a separate class from the landowners, but emerges out of, and is tied to, the landed elite; nor are its interests hostile to imperialist monopoly capital, but are inextricably bound up with it by finance, the world market and production supply chains. They will suppress, with military might and authoritarian rule, any serious revolutionary stirrings from the working class in the Philippines. The history of the last hundred years bears this out in spades.

The allies of the Filipino working class are not the so-called national bourgeoisie, but the international working class and the Filipino peasantry. The majority of the peasantry is deeply impoverished but seeks to resolve their economic straits through the expansion of property ownership. They cannot articulate an independent political program, but will either follow the leadership of the working class to put an end to their poverty through the overthrow of capitalism, or remain tied to the capitalist class in the vain hope that it will secure and expand their property rights. The working class wins over the peasantry, not through an armed struggle in the countryside in alliance with capitalist interests, but by taking up the fight for socialism that will end the oppressive domination of the countryside by landlords and usurers.

The success of a socialist revolution in the Philippines, as in any country, depends on the expansion of the revolution into other countries. The Stalinist perspective of “socialism in one country” is a reactionary utopia. As Trotsky famously wrote in Permanent Revolution, “the socialist revolution begins on the national arena, it unfolds on the international arena, and is completed on the world arena.” To build a revolutionary movement in the Philippines, workers must turn to their class brothers and sisters around the globe. This does not mean empty phrase-mongering about international solidarity that is the stock-in-trade of Stalinist demagogues. The international perspective of Trotskyism is the bedrock principle for the formulation of the political program and tasks of the Filipino working class.

Only on the basis of an internationalist and socialist perspective can the Filipino working class defend its interests. This is the program of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). All those who are looking for a genuine political alternative should study this program, contact the World Socialist Web Site and take up the fight to build a section of the ICFI in the Philippines.

MILF says it is ready to help arrest Maguindanao massacre suspects

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 28, 2020): MILF says it is ready to help arrest Maguindanao massacre suspects (By: Taher G. Solaiman)

File photos show MILF combatants in formation at Camp Darapanan, MILF’s biggest camp, in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. BONG SARMIENTO

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said it is ready to assist law enforcers in arresting suspects tagged in the Maguindanao massacre in 2009 where 58 individuals were killed, including 32 media workers.

Von al-Haq, spokesperson of the MILF’s armed wing, the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), explained that the revolutionary group has a standing agreement with the government on the interdiction of criminals and crime suspects in rebel strongholds since 2002.

The ad hoc joint action group (AHJAG) was established as a mechanism to make any law enforcement operation by government forces possible in these areas.

The mechanism was employed several times in the past in going after suspected al-Qaeda-linked terrorists lurking in Central Mindanao, without creating unnecessary provocation towards BIAF fighters.

Al-Haq said that there were no joint efforts hatched between government troops and the BIAF to arrest massacre suspects in Maguindanao.

“It is therefore unfair that the MILF be painted as a coddler of suspected criminals,” al-Haq lamented.

Al-Haq also found it suspicious that the issue was brought up only now.

At the height of the martial law declared over Maguindanao by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2009 to hasten the pursuit of the suspects, the BIAF repositioned its forces to give way to the operation of Army troops.

In an online forum last Monday, lawyer Nena Santos, counsel for Maguindanao Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu and other families of massacre victims, accused the MILF of protecting the remaining 76 suspects who remain at large.

Santos even said that the suspects are paying money in exchange for MILF protection.

“We never coddle criminals. It is a major violation of the ceasefire agreement between the MILF and the government,” al-Haq said.

Earlier, al-Haq said it is possible that individual MILF members may be coddling their relatives who were implicated in the massacre, but the act should not be attributed to the revolutionary group.

In keeping with the 2014 peace deal between the MILF and the government, the BIAF is due for decommissioning.

As of September this year, 30 percent of its 40,000 regular forces have completed the process.

Ex-NDF peace consultant now government employee is arrested

From the Davao Today (Nov 27, 2020): Ex-NDF peace consultant now government employee is arrested (By JIGGER J. JERUSALEM)

Photo from Alfred Mapano’s Facebook account

A former National Democratic Front (NDF) peace consultant who had surrendered to President Duterte few years ago was arrested as he was leading a new life as a government employee in Tagoloan on Friday.

Alfredo Mapano, who is known as “Ka Paris”, is now an employee of the government-managed Phividec Industrial Authority, was arrested by police operatives from Bayugan, Agusan del Sur. He was arrested two days after his 67th birthday.

Mapano was served a warrant released by Judge Hector Salise of the Regional Trial Court Branch 7, 10th Judicial Region in Bayugan on a robbery in band case, recorded as criminal case 2968.

The arrest surprised everyone including Mapano’s wife, employer and local police chief.

Mapano’s wife, Chona, is concerned that her husband is indeed now in detention in Bayugan.

“Our family is trying to locate him and ensure that he is safe,” Chona said in a phone interview.“It [arrest] was unexpected. He is now living a normal life.”

Talogoan Police Chief Captain Mark Dungca said that the operatives of Bayugan informed him that they will be serving an arrest warrant but did not specify who.

Chona has questioned the motive for Mapano’s arrest saying that Mapano has surrendered to Duterte following the collapse of the peace talks between the government and the NDF late in 2017.

She revealed that it was former Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, a former political prisoner in the Marcos dictatorship, who helped Mapano surrender to the government and recommended him to Phividec afterwards

Mapano began work at Phividec as its corporate social responsibility officer and lately as a security officer.

Mapano was reportedly a ranking leader of the National Democratic Front in Northern Mindanao and was detained in 2009 in the Misamis Oriental provincial jail facing various charges. He was released on bail in 2016 to take part of the peace talks in Norway.

Huey heli crashes, another malfunctions while rescuing 4 wounded soldiers

From MindaNews (Nov 28, 2020): Huey heli crashes, another malfunctions while rescuing 4 wounded soldiers (By FROILAN GALLARDO)

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews / 28 November) — Two Philippine Air Force (PAF) Vietnam War vintage Huey helicopters figured in two separate accidents while trying to airlift wounded soldiers during operations in Lanao del Sur against the Dawlah Islamiyah militants, locally known as Maute Group, on Thursday and Friday.

Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio, commander of the 1st Infantry Division said a pilot and a crewmember of a Huey UH-1H helicopter that crashed Friday morning were injured and safely evacuated.

A Philippine Air Force AW 109 helicopter lands on the grassy field of the Army’s 103 Infantry Brigade headquarters in Marawi City on Friday, 27 November 2020, after they supported recovery operations of two downed Huey helicopters in Madalum town, Lanao del Sur. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

The downed helicopter was the second that met an accident while trying to airlift four Army soldiers wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Madalum town, Lanao del Sur on Thursday. One of the soldiers died that evening.

The first chopper, a Huey 1D, tried to airlift the wounded soldiers last Thursday but the pilot decided not to take off back to the 103rd Infantry Brigade’s Kampo Ranaw when he felt the aircraft did not have enough lift to fly.

“The pilot felt he did not have the power to take off,” Ponio said.

The helicopter reportedly spent Thursday night at the improvised landing zone on a mountaintop in Madalum town.

On Friday morning, two more helicopters were sent to pick up the wounded and provide support to the downed helicopter.

“The operation went smoothly until the second UH1H chopper met inclement weather as it tried to take off,” a military official privy to the operation told reporters.

He said the second UH1H figured in a “rough” landing, wounding the pilot and a crewmember. The other helicopter managed to take off successfully bringing the Armys’ medical team.

Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo, commander of the Army 103rd Infantry Brigade, said one of the four soldiers died Thursday night while the three others arrived by military trucks in Kampo Ranao in Marawi Friday afternoon.

He said the military operation on Thursday targeted a band of 20 Dawlah Islamiyah militants led by its new leader, Faharudin Hadji Satar alias Abu Bakar or Abu Zacaria.

Cuerpo said the soldiers were about to attack the camp of the militants when an IED exploded, wounding the four soldiers. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

Young female NPA fighter killed in Leyte clash

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 28, 2020): Young female NPA fighter killed in Leyte clash (By Sarwell Meniano)

BATTLE CASUALTY. The remains of a 21-year-old female fighter killed in a gun battle between government troops and the New People's Army in Kananga, Leyte on Friday (Nov. 28, 2020). The newly recruited fighter was one of the armed rebels who attempted to ambush patrolling soldiers. (Photo courtesy of Philippine 802nd Infantry Brigade)

A young female fighter of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in an encounter with government troops on the outskirts of Kananga, Leyte on Friday afternoon.

The Kananga town police
identified the fatality as Rochelle Mae Bacalso, alias Ruth, 21, a newly recruited member of the remnants of Sub-Regional Committee Levox, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee, of the Communist Party of Philippines(CPP).

The gunfight took place in the upland village of Mahawan at about 3:35 p.m. on Friday when a band of armed rebels attempted to ambush a team of patrolling soldiers, the Philippine Army reported early Saturday.

The Philippine Army’s 93rd Infantry Battalion deployed soldiers in the area acting on reports from residents on the presence of members of the communist-terrorist group.

Seized after the 15-minute clash were an Austrian-made Glock pistol, a bandolier for M16 magazines, a magazine for an M16 rifle with 29 pieces of caliber 5.56 ammunition, a backpack with personal belongings, a mobile phone, four hammocks, four poncho tents, and documents with high intelligence value.

The fallen young NPA fighter is the same woman identified by the Philippine Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade after a clash with rebels in mid-September as a recruit who joined the NPA band led by a certain Juanito Selleza, alias Tibor.

The army brigade then appealed to the public for help in locating her family in Samar Island or elsewhere in the region to rescue her from the NPA leaders who persuaded her to join the armed struggle.

Facial photos taken from the remains matched Bacalso’s photos, which were downloaded from her Facebook account bearing the pseudo name of “Kenlyn Mark”.

Three unmistakable moles under her lower lip confirmed her identity.

“Again, I am reiterating my appeal to the local communist-terrorist group members to abandon the armed struggle and return to the mainstream of the society and become productive citizens,” said Brig. Gen. Zosimo A. Oliveros, commander of the Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade based in Ormoc City, Leyte.

The NPA, the armed wing of the CPP, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Ex-NDF consultant turned gov’t employee nabbed in MisOr

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 28, 2020): Ex-NDF consultant turned gov’t employee nabbed in MisOr (By Jigger Jerusalem)

Google map of Tagoloan town, Misamis Oriental.

Authorities on Friday arrested a former peace consultant of the National Democratic Front (NDF) who is now a government employee in the Misamis Oriental town of Tagoloan, police said.

Operatives of the municipal police of Bayugan, Agusan del Sur arrested 67-year-old Alfredo Mapano inside his workplace at the Phividec Industrial Authority, a government-owned and -controlled corporation that manages an economic zone in Misamis Oriental.

Mapano, also known as “Ka Paris”, was imprisoned for seven years at the Misamis Oriental provincial jail on various charges.

He posted bail in 2016.

A suspected communist New People’s Army leader, he was a representative of the National Democratic Front (NDF) who took part in the peace talks between the government and Communist rebels before President Rodrigo Duterte canceled the negotiations in 2017.

A report by the Tagoloan municipal police said the arresting team from Bayugan City arrived at about 7:48 a.m. and served the warrant of arrest issued by a regional court in Agusan del Sur for robbery-in-band.

Capt. Mark Dungca, Tagoloan municipal police chief, said the Bayugan police informed him that they would be serving an arrest warrant, although they did not specify who the suspect was.

In a statement, Vicente Rubin, Phividec security chief, said, “We will not question the authority with the arrest of Alfredo Mapano. However, Mapano being an employee of Phividec, who was hired during the administration of Franklin Quijano, we see to it that his arrest was in accordance with the law and if he was being taken good care of by the arresting authority.”

Mapano’s wife, Chona, shared the same concern.

“Our family is trying to locate him and ensure that he is safe,” Chona said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.

She said they were also looking for a lawyer who could travel to Mapano’s location and facilitate his release.

“It (arrest) was unexpected. He is now living a normal life,” Chona said, adding that the Mapano family should have been informed first by the police before serving the arrest warrant.

She questioned the motive for Mapano’s arrest, considering he surrendered to the government following the collapse of the peace talks in Europe.

According to Chona, it was Leoncio Evasco Jr., a known Duterte ally, who facilitated Mapano's surrender to the government and recommended Mapano a job at Phividec sometime in 2017.

He began working at Phividec’s corporate social responsibility office and was detailed recently as a security officer.

Army seizes high-powered firearms, explosives in N. Samar

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 28, 2020): Army seizes high-powered firearms, explosives in N. Samar (By Gerico Sabalza)

CLASH. The map of Catarman, Northern Samar where soldiers and rebels clashed on Friday (Nov. 27, 2020). The Philippine Army recovered high-powered firearms and explosives during the brief encounter. (Google image)

The Philippine Army has discovered high-powered firearms and explosives after a brief encounter with the New People's Army (NPA) in Catarman, Northern Samar on Friday.

A military report on Saturday afternoon said operating troops of the Army's 43rd Infantry Battalion (IB) engaged in a 15-minute firefight with around 25 rebels in Mabini village as they are confirming information on the presence of an armed group.

Seized in the clash site were an M16 rifle, a shotgun, a hand grenade, detonator with detonator cord, six M16 magazines, 91 rounds of ammunition, a bandolier, a laptop, cell phones, 22 backpacks with personal belongings, five CNT flags, medical supplies, and subversive documents.

The military said no one was hurt on the government side while an undetermined number of wounded rebels were reported based on the bloodstains found at the encounter site.

Col. Lowell Tan, commander of the Philippine Army's 803rd Infantry Brigade, lauded the efforts of the responding troopers and thanked the residents for reporting information on the NPA movement and activity in the community.

"Let us continue engaging the community from the barangays (villages) down to sitios (sub-villages), to build a strong rapport with the communities and help them cooperate with the government and the armed forces. We are also willing to extend our hand for the wounded members of the NPA," Tan said in a statement.

Earlier, the Army also recovered an AK47, two improvised grenades, a bandolier, three long magazines, 27 rounds of ammunition, mobile phones, and subversive documents, after a 10-minute clash with five armed rebels in upland Sto. Niño village in Paranas, Samar.

The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

2 ex-NPAs from Agusan win houses in Davao

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 28, 2020): 2 ex-NPAs from Agusan win houses in Davao (By Alexander Lopez)

AWARDED. Alias Roy, a former NPA combatant who surrendered to 23rd IB, was among the 47 former rebels awarded with housing units during the Raffle Draw of Lot Assignments and Awarding of Certificate of Entitlement conducted by the NHA-11 held last Nov. 25 in Tagum City. (Photo courtesy of 23rd IB)

BUTUAN CITY – Two lucky former combatants of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Agusan del Norte recently won housing units, courtesy of the National Housing Authority (NHA).

The two former rebels surrendered to the Army’s 23rd Infantry Battalion in 2016 and 2018 in response to the government’s call and assurance of programs and services that will help them win back their lives.

“Roy” and “Derek” (not real names) were among the 47 former rebels who won houses during the "Raffle Draw of Lot Assignments and Awarding of Certificate of Entitlement" activity of the NH-Davao del Norte on November 25 in Tagum City.

“I’m a lucky man. I’ve cheated death several times when I was there in the mountains of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur fighting the government. Luck also came when I decided to go back into the fold of the law. Under the guidance and support of the 23IB, I received assistance from the government through the ECLIP program and gained advanced skills and knowledge through series of training given by TESDAn[the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority],” Roy, speaking in the local dialect, told the Philippine News Agency on Saturday.

ECLIP is the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

Roy, 40, is a former squad leader of the Sentro De Grabidad (SDG) of Guerrilla Front (GF) 16, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) of the NPA.

After more than three years of fighting against the government, Roy decided to leave the communist movement and surrendered to the 23rd IB on Mar. 6, 2018.

“I was misled by the NPA and enticed to join the armed movement to free the poor Filipinos, especially those in the countryside. After more than a year, I realized we are not fighting for the poor and the hopeless. We instilled fear among them and oftentimes endanger their lives. We even take the meager food and supplies they possess, in the name of the revolution,” Roy said.

Disillusionment, privations, and the longing to reunite with family members pushed Roy to heed the government's call to surrender.

Derek, meanwhile, once served as a squad leader of the NPA's GF 88. He yielded to the 23IB on April 6, 2018.

“I have no regrets in deciding to abandon the NPA movement and return to my family. I am happy with the support the government has given to me. The government is sincere in its quest to win peace and development in our country,” Derek said.

NEW HOUSE OWNER. Derek (not real name), a former communist New People's Army combatant, thanks the government for the housing unit he received during the Raffle Draw of Lot Assignments and Awarding of Certificate of Entitlement of the National Housing Authority on Nov. 25, 2020 in Tagum City. The former rebel surrendered to the government in 2018. (Photo courtesy of 23rd IB)

With the new house, Derek said he can now peacefully live with his family, whom he abandoned for more than two years while inside the NPA movement.

“They said there’s no place like home. It’s true. I’ve been longing for this kind of life. The NPA leaders who recruited me said the armed revolution would provide us a good life. I realized later they were wrong. Death was the path I was leading to when I was fighting the government,” Derek said.

1st Lt. Roel Maglalang, 23IB civil-military operations officer, said both Roy and Derek received their livelihood assistance and firearms remuneration via the ECLIP.

“They are also skilled workers now after receiving a series of training from TESDA. When they went home to their respective families, I was certain that they can survive. I heard that they are now working in some companies in their respective places,” Maglalang said.

Lt. Col. Julius Cesar Paulo, 23IB commander, said he was elated with Roy and Derek getting their new homes.

“We are so glad that you finally have your own house. It is difficult to build a house nowadays given the different circumstances and the pandemic the nation is facing,” Paulo said.

“We hope that your triumphs in life will be seen by the remnants of the communist NPA terrorists, and they will also heed to our call for peace to end the insurgency,” the Army official added.

CPP/News: AFP Nolcom bombs rural village in Pangasinan

Propaganda news story posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 27, 2020): AFP Nolcom bombs rural village in Pangasinan

NOVEMBER 27, 2020

The North Luzon Command (Nolcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) indiscriminately bombed and strafed farmlands in Barangay Lawak Langka, Mangatarem, Pangasinan on November 24 at around 6 a.m. under the guise of counterinsurgency operations. Three bombs were dropped in the area using aerial assets.

The New People’s Army (NPA)-West Central Luzon on Thursday belied Nolcom’s claim that an armed encounter took place in the area to justify this atrocity. It clarified that there was no NPA unit in the area during the AFP offensive. The attack traumatized barriofolk of Lawak Langka and adjacent barangays. Fearing for their lives, farmers and farm workers were forced to forego farmwork, disrupting their livelihoods.

Residents in lowland areas in the said town, as well as in San Clemente, Tarlac, have long been subjected to military abuses. Residents report regular harassment from state forces who have arbitrarily criminalized the practice of slash-and-burn farming. Ironically, their farms and produce are either burned or confiscated by soldiers and agents of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Residents have also been prohibited from farming and harvesting rattan.

In connivance with the AFP, the DENR is aggressively implementing its fake environment program dubbed the Enhanced National Greening Program to encroach in, and grab ancestral and agricultural lands in the towns that have long been tilled by peasants and Aeta minorities. A portion of Mangatarem is also covered by the newly-opened “Daang Kalikasan” ecotourism project. Earlier this year, the Duterte regime announced its plan to put up a dam as well as other infrastructure along the said road network. This will displace more residents and damage the environment.

CPP/CIO: On the murder of NDFP consultants Eugenia Magpantay and Agaton Topacio

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 28, 2020): On the murder of NDFP consultants Eugenia Magpantay and Agaton Topacio


NOVEMBER 28, 2020

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns in the strongest terms the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the cold-blooded murder of NDFP peace consultants Eugenia Magpantay and Agaton Topacio last Wednesday in Angono, Rizal.

Magpantay and Topacio who are in their late 60s, have recently retired from active service in the revolutionary movement due to infirmities of old age. Magpantay suffers from diabetes and severe arthritis.

The police liquidation of the couple is the most recent in the string of killings and legal persecution against peace consultants of the NDFP in violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

We reject the claims of the police that the couple resisted arrest and were killed in a firefight. In their physical state, the couple would not have been able to manage the sheer number of weapons said to be found in the scene, much less put up a rigorous gun battle.

The police operation was treacherously carried out at 3 in the morning while victims were surely fast asleep. Police claims they were fired on their approach is absurd. Reports indicating recovered firearms are patent lies.

The mafia-style execution of Magpantay and Topacio is reminiscent and linked to the recent murder of NDFP peace consultants Randall Echanis and Julius Giron and the killing last year of Randy Malayao.

We hold Duterte, his National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and PNP Chief Debold Sinas as the masterminds behind the killing of Magpantay and Topacio.

The CPP pays tribute to Magpantay and Topacio for their decades of service to the revolutionary cause and service to the oppressed and exploited masses. Both were former members of the CPP Central Committee. Magpantay was also a former member of the Party Political Bureau.

Their contributions to building the Party and the New People’s Army (NPA), especially in Central Luzon, are invaluable and will never be forgotten.

We extend our deepest condolences to the children, grandchildren and family of Magpantay and Topacio.

CPP: The proletariat treasures Friedrich Engels

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 28, 2020): The proletariat treasures Friedrich Engels

NOVEMBER 28, 2020

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the international proletariat in marking today the 200th birth anniversary of the great proletarian teacher and fighter Friedrich Engels. As lifelong friend and comrade-in-arms of Karl Marx, Engels made indubitable and indelible contributions to the development of Marxism as the ideology of the working class. We treasure the wealth of theory and practice that Engels bequeathed to the proletariat.

Marking Engels’ birth anniversary at this time cannot be more significant and relevant as the global capitalist system faces an unprecedented crisis. This is giving rise to intolerable conditions and untold sufferings on workers and toiling masses. Around the world, the exploited and oppressed classes are rising up in numbers against low wages, joblessness, social spending cuts, rising foreign debt and other measures under the neoliberal policy regime.

Let us use this occasion to promote the work that Engels did for the working class. Workers and class adherents of the proletariat must study the works of Engels alongside those of Marx to arm themselves ideologically in order to gain a profound understanding of the roots of the current crisis and the class solution for ending the insufferable conditions of the proletariat and toiling masses.

Together with Marx, Engels devoted a lifetime developing Marxism. As intellectual brothers, Engels and Marx wrote volumes of history-making books, essays and correspondence. The collection of their work, filling at least 50 thick volumes, have served as a veritable encyclopedia for the working class in their struggle across different continents to shape history and transform society. Their work has helped guide all the epochal struggles of the working class since the late 19th century.

The proletariat owes Engels and Marx the standpoint and system of thought which point them to the path towards their emancipation. For the first time in history, it was shown that liberation from all forms of oppression comes not as a result of the idealism of good-hearted people, but rather as a conscious historical act of class struggle by the proletariat. Tracing mankind’s history, they revealed how capitalism gave birth to the class who will not only dig the grave of the bourgeoisie, but will establish a society that will end the history of classes and class exploitation.

Engels was born in 1820 in Barmen, Rhine Province in the kingdom of Prussia (Wuppertal, Germany). His father was a manufacturer who compelled him to quit secondary school in order to work in the family corporation. This, however, did not prevent him to pursue philosophical, scientific and political studies, as well as participate in revolutionary struggles.M

Engels and Marx were brought together by their common adherence to the then dominant philosophical teachings of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a professor at Berlin University. Hegel asserted the then revolutionary idea that everything in the universe is in a constant process of change and development. He gained radical adherents who were seeking a change in the situation under the autocracy. Hegel, however, was an idealist, who spoke of the development of the mind and ideas from which one deduces changes in nature and human society. Marx and Engels were materialists who understood that human society, as nature, is conditioned by the development of material forces.

Engels and Marx collaborated in the writing of philosophical and political treatises. They jointly wrote The German Ideology which developed the kernel of the historical materialist philosophy and their commitment to the working class. They also published The Holy Family, or Critique of the Critical Critique. This laid the ground for materialist socialism as distinct from the idealist or utopian socialism propounded by some philosophers or well-intentioned quarters seeking a change to the prevailing social conditions. Marx and Engels saw the proletariat as the material force that will bring about a new social order through struggle.

Moving to Manchester, England to work in a commercial firm, Engels deepened his understanding of the working class. Besides working with the English labor movement, he devoted time to studying the concrete conditions of workers in the industrial cities. He produced the volume Conditions of the Working Class in England where he described in detail the gross state of living of workers, their sleeping quarters, dwellings and crowded slums, their clothing, diet and their state of health. More importantly, Engels elucidated how the miserable conditions of the proletariat are pushing them forward to resist with the aim of ending their situation and how their emancipation rests on their participation in the political struggle for socialism.

Engels deepened his involvement in the German workers movement upon his return to Germany in 1845. It was during this time that he and Marx strengthened their ideological and political collaboration. In 1848, they were commissioned by the German Communist League to elucidate on the main principles of socialism and communism. That year, they wrote the Manifesto of the Communist Party the publication of which shook the ramparts of the capitalist system. Since then, the Communist Manifesto would serve as the general declaration of principles of all communist parties. The exhortation “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.” has inspired generations of revolutionaries.

Their writings and participation in revolutionary struggles made Engels a target of state suppression forcing him to flee Germany and escape eventually to England, where he made his way back to Manchester. Marx, stripped of his Prussian citizenship, was forced to go on exile. He eventually resided in London with his family. In England, Engels and Marx continued their theoretical and practical work. While Marx devoted himself to the study of political economy and producing the world-shattering work Das Kapital, Engels continued to elaborate Marxist philosophy and its application in the study of natural sciences, anthropology, history, political economy and socialism.

In addition to the above, among the important works produced by Engels are Dialectics of Nature, Herr Eugen Dühring’s Revolution in Science or Anti-Dühring), Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, and The Peasant War in Germany. He also wrote Synopsis of Capital and scores of others essays and small books in an effort to popularize Marxism to the working class. Lenin pointed out that Engels is, like Marx, “one of those rarest of authors whose every sentence in every one of their fundamental works contains a remarkably profound content.”

Engels also assisted Marx in getting the manuscripts prepared for publication of the first volume of Das Kapital before Marx died in 1883. He undertook the difficult task of organizing and publishing Das Kapital’s Volume II in 1885 and Volume III in 1894.

Engels played an active part in the International Workingmen’s Association which Marx founded in 1864 and led for ten years in an effort to plant the seeds of proletarian revolution in several countries. In his old age, Engels continued to serve as counsel of proletarian revolutionaries in their work.

The body of work of Engels and Marx comprising Marxism is a treasure of the international proletariat. More than a century hence, their writings remain valid and crucial element in the struggle of the working class to end capitalist exploitation and build the communist future.

Over the following decades, Marxism developed into a powerful material force in the form of victorious democratic and socialist revolutions led by the proletariat in Russia, China and scores of other countries. For some period of time, a fourth of humanity were free from the oppressive claws of imperialism.

Under proletarian dictatorship and inspired by the communist spirit, hundreds of millions of peoples moved mountains and transformed the face of the earth. They put an end to capitalist wage slavery. The proletariat took control of the forces of production and carried out the revolutionary transformation of the superstructure. There was full employment where workers owned and controlled production and enjoyed the fruits of their labor. Production developed with unprecedented speed. They ended misery and poverty. Schools and public health were provided by the state for everyone. Women were emancipated.For over seven decades, socialist revolution and construction advanced across the entire globe, bringing society from one level to a higher level of progress and emancipating humanity from want.

Marxism developed into Marxism-Leninism-Maoism integrating historical developments in theory and practice, including analysis of monopoly capitalism or imperialism, waging proletarian revolution in backward capitalist countries, waging people’s democratic revolutions in semicolonial and semifeudal countries, carrying out socialist revolution and construction, and waging continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship to fight modern revisionism, prevent the restoration of capitalism and bring socialism to higher levels.

Modern revisionism, however, gained the upper hand and eventually caused the defeat and retreat of socialist forces in the Soviet Union (since 1956) and China (since 1978). A new bourgeoisie emerged from within the bureaucracy and the Party. They seized political power from the proletariat and cast away the policies for socialist construction. To pave the way for the restoration of capitalism, they promoted modern revisionism by prematurely declaring the end of class struggle and asserting that building socialism entails primarily technical innovation or the development of productive forces. It brought down the militant guard of the proletariat and paved the way for the dismantling of the socialist superstructure. Power was taken from workers and petty ownership and production was restored leading to accumulation of privilege and wealth among managers and bureaucrats and accumulation of land by rich peasants and landlords.

Decades after the restoration of capitalism and dominance of neoliberal policies, the proletariat and toiling masses of China and the former Soviet Union now suffer from widespread economic dispossession, joblessness, high levels of exploitation, low wages, corruption of state bureaucrats, lack of access to health and education, homelessness, poverty and overall misery. Proletarian revolutionaries are suppressed. Fascism and ultra-right politics pervade to divide-and-rule the oppressed people and prevent them from forging class unity.

The grievous socio-economic conditions and political repression being suffered by the toiling people after the restoration of capitalism in the former socialist countries, as well as in the rest of the global capitalist system, are in direct contrast to the progress and freedom which the workers and broad masses enjoyed under the proletarian dictatorship. It validates the correctness and necessity of carrying out socialist revolution and construction.

Across the world, workers and toiling people are rising up in rebellion against increasingly ruthless forms of oppression and exploitation and against state repression. Suffering from the evils of restored capitalism, millions of workers and toiling people in Russia and China aspire to return to the path of socialist revolution and construction. In the centers of world capitalism, people are seeking more radical alternatives after decades upon decades of political rotation of bourgeois parties. In semicolonial and semifeudal countries, workers, peasants and toiling masses are waging all forms of resistance including armed resistance through people’s war.

In the face of widespread social restiveness and political unrest, there is great urgency for the proletarian revolutionaries to take up the cudgels of leadership to rouse the broad masses of toiling people and mobilize them under the red banner of revolution. To do so, it is of crucial importance for proletarian cadres in all countries to firmly grasp Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as guide in forging their own specific programs of action and in planning practical revolutionary activities.

As we mark Engels’ 200th birth anniversary, proletarian revolutionaries draw inspiration from his hard work and dedication to the working class and oppressed peoples. They are ever determined to study Engels’ works alongside those of Marx, Lenin, Mao and other great communist teachers in order to more firmly grasp the ideology of the proletariat, deepen their commitment to the workers and oppressed and exploited classes, more determinedly lead the struggles against imperialism and all forms of reaction and march along the road of democracy and socialist revolution.

Treasure the proletarian theory and revolutionary politics of Friedrich Engels!

Uphold Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!

Long live the proletariat and the proletarian revolution!

Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!

March forward along the path of new democratic and socialist revolutions!

CPP/NDF: Baseless conviction of Tiamzon and Austria: An act of persecution

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 28, 2020): Baseless conviction of Tiamzon and Austria: An act of persecution


NOVEMBER 28, 2020

The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) protests the recent conviction of Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria of “kidnapping with serious illegal detention” by a court of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on fundamental factual, legal and political grounds.

While we leave it to their defense lawyers to traverse the factual and legal justification of the GRP court and undertake the necessary legal remedies that they may avail of under the circumstances, there are outstanding points that militate against this decision.

Foremost among these is the credibility of the lone testimony of the prosecution witness (then Philippine Army Lt. and now retired Brigadier General Abraham Claro Casis) who, with unbelievable magical throwback powers, can vividly remember minute details, names, faces, places and events that happened in 1988 or a good three decades ago in a case long archived and dismissed against many other accused but just recently politically excavated by the militarist hawks of the Duterte regime.

Another is the sweeping and conclusory inferences of conspiracy by mere alleged presence. Still another is the preconceived out-of-court autosuggestion on identification of the Tiamzons who were already then in custody at the time of trial and prominently exposed in public.

Still another is the effective denial of due process by their involuntary inability to personally present their own defense due to the real and imminent threat on their lives conducted under the baton of no less the GRP Principal, President Rodrigo Duterte.

More fundamentally, the charge, even on the basis of the alleged facts, is erroneous because it is in violation of the time-honored doctrine universally recognized and even laid down in the GRP’s own People v. Hernandez 1956 ruling as acknowledged further in the binding 1998 GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). This doctrine mandates that all alleged acts in pursuit of one’s political beliefs are absorbed, subsumed or integrated in one political crime of rebellion and cannot be mutated into several common crimes as what they were convicted of.

Besides, assuming the facts to be true as alleged and supposedly proven during the trial, the act of taking into custody by one belligerent force under a responsible political authority to an armed conflict of armed combatants of the other party is legitimate in the laws of war.

Thus, they are either “persons deprived of their liberty for reasons related to the armed conflict” or “prisoners of war” in accordance with international humanitarian law, particularly the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Protocols and as bilaterally acknowledged in the CARHRIHL.

This in fact put into applicability the protections of the laws of armed conflict, including humane treatment, of which extant records show is consistently abided by the New People’s Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines to persons in such a situation and circumstance.

Considering that Benny and Wilma are both publicly-known political consultants of the NDFP, they are moreover entitled to the protection of the subsisting 1995 GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) which remains effective and demandable despite its questionable termination by the GRP and regardless of the status of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. And this is precisely the raison d’ etre for it, i.e. to encourage participation by ensuring subsequent protection.

Furthermore, the spouses Tiamzon and Austria are active and key participants in the peace process, with Benny as member of the NDFP Panel while Wilma as Chair of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on the fourth and last substantive agenda in the peace negotiations, the End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces.

Viewed then in the context of the extrajudicial killings of NDFP political consultants Randy Malayao, Julius Giron and Randall Echanis; the illegal arrests and filing of false or contrived non-bailable criminal cases against several other still detained NDFP political consultants like Vicente Ladlad, Rey Casambre, Adelberto Silva, Ferdinand Castillo, Frank Fernandez, Renante Gamara, Esterlita Suaybaguio and their alleged staff and companions; tied up with the false misrepresentation that the CPP and NPA are designated as terrorists in the pertinent UN Security Council in addition to the continuing listing by the US, European Union and New Zealand and by the GRP Executive Branch itself; and the obvious plan to proscribe the CPP-NPA and even NDFP under the 2020 GRP so-called Anti-Terrorism Law, this latest persecutory conviction of the Tiamzons not only mocks all the foregoing principles, standards and agreements but also tightens the monkey wrench on the resolution of the ongoing armed conflict rooted on very real issues that gave it birth and continues to flourish notwithstanding the futile attempts to bamboozle the revolutionary forces into unprincipled submission and unacceptable capitulation.

The baseless and persecutory conviction of Benny Tiamzon and Wilma Austria is against the principles and the democratic rights guaranteed by any liberal-democratic constitution and international law on human rights and humanitarian conduct; and runs counter to the demands of the Filipino people and the peace advocates for the tyrannical Duterte regime to reverse its current course of state terrorism and fascism; and to remove all roadblocks to serious peace negotiations.

The regime’s policy to terrorize the people by invoking anticommunism and terrorism and by redtagging and arbitrary listing of target organizations and personalities , arresting and detaining people without judicial warrant, confiscating bank accounts and properties, torturing and killing people extrajudicially is bound to fail as during the time of the Marcos fascist dictatorship and would certainly incite more people to take the road of armed revolution.##

CPP/CIO: On unjust conviction of Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 27, 2020): On unjust conviction of Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria


NOVEMBER 27, 2020

We denounce unjust conviction of NDFP peace consultants Benito and Wilma Austria on trumped up criminal charges of kidnapping.

The conviction forms part of political persecution that violates the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP. That the case was pursued by DOJ show bad faith on part of GRP. Walang palabra de honor.

The charges of kidnapping are unjust and without basis. Disarming and detention of Army personnel as prisoners-of-war are legitimate and humane acts of war. They were released without ransom contrary to criminal act of kidnapping.

The criminal case itself is spurious arising from an incident more than 30 years ago. The decision was suddenly railroaded and was based en toto on obviously concocted testimonies of Army soldiers.

Parts of the Quezon RTC ruling reads like a poorly written military intelligence report based on bad movie scripts. It was released at a time that judges and lawyers are under intense pressure from the military to cooperate in counterinsurgency.

CPP/CIO: Children claimed as NPA fighters are victims of AFP fake “surrenders”

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 27, 2020): Children claimed as NPA fighters are victims of AFP fake “surrenders”


NOVEMBER 27, 2020

The claims of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of more than 500 children recruited as NPA combatants are completely false.

This is as false as the AFP’s claims of thousands of NPA “surrenderees” which has surpassed even its own estimate of the number of NPA members.

As we have emphasized in the past, the NPA prohibits the recruitment of combatants below 18 years old.

In contrast, the AFP has repeatedly violated children’s rights in the course of its dirty counterinsurgency war. It has become a common occurrence that children are forced to line up with their parents to be listed as “NPA surrenderees.”

Children who have been made to “surrender” are being kept as captives and used in the AFP’s propaganda drive, portraying them in the media as “child warriors” or worse as victims of “sex slavery.” Many are forced to serve as guides in AFP combat operations and perform other tasks under pain of military’s reprisal.

Children have not been spared from the AFP’s armed attacks against communities and aerial bombardment drives.

We cite the recent incident of a 10-year old child who was hit on the foot when soldiers belonging to the 88th Infantry Battalion opened fire at residents harvesting corn last October 16 in Barangay Indalasa, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

Another incident occurred last October 28 when two children were almost hit by bullets when troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion strafed their homes of residents of Barangay Buhisan, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur.

We challenge the AFP to submit this so-called “verifiable report” to the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) instituted by the GRP and the NDFP to receive complaints of violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

In addition, we challenge the AFP to submit its report to an international body such as the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) who can probe into these claims independently. We can work with the UNCRC if need be to counter-verify these claims.

Kalinaw News: 2 Former Rebels from 23rd Infantry Battalion Receive Housing Units in Davao del Norte

Posted to Kalinaw News (Nov 28, 2020): 2 Former Rebels from 23rd Infantry Battalion Receive Housing Units in Davao del Norte

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – Two (2) former regular members of the Communist New People’s Army (NPA) Terrorist (CNT) who temporarily stay at the 23rd Infantry “Masigasig” Battalion Headquarters won a housing unit through the Raffle Draw of Lot Assignments and Awarding of Certificate of Entitlement conducted by the National Housing Authority Davao del Norte (NHA-Davao del Norte) at the covered of the Court of Freedom Residences in Barangay Cuambogan, Tagum City, Davao del Norte last November 25, 2020.

The activity was conducted by NHA-Davao del Norte for the forty-seven (47) qualified former rebels (FRs) who are beneficiaries under the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). Two of the 47 FRs were from the 23rd IB identified as Alias Roy, 40, former Squad Leader of SDG16, GFC16, NCMRC who surrendered to the unit on 06 March 2018 and Alias Derek, 25, former squad leader 1, Platoon 1, SDG DOVE, GFC 88, NCMRC and surrendered to the unit on 06 April 2018.

Both Roy and Derek are now reintegrated into their respective communities after receiving their livelihood assistance, firearms remuneration and after undergoing different skills training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Derek expressed happiness upon winning his housing unit and thanked the different line agencies of the government who provided him support.

“Dako kaayo ang akong pasalamat sa tanang nitabang nako aron maka sugod ko pag usab sa akong kinabuhi labi na sa mga programa ug proyekto ni Pangulong Duterte nga iyang gituman. Sukad pagbalik nako sa sabakan sa gobyerno daghan kaayong ayuda ang akong nadawat ug nakatabang kini kanako ug sa akong pamilya aron nga magkabaton ug normal nga pagpuyo. Daghan kaayong salamat kay nakasabot mo sa among kahimtang ug mihatag sa among mga kinahanglanon kay dili mi maka patukod ug balay kung kami-kami lang. Wala gyod mi gikalimtan sa gobyerno sukad sa una hangtod karon. Hinaot nga makita usab sa uban namong mga kauban kung unsa ang mga pagpaningkamot sa gobyerno aron nga ila nang byaan ang armadong kaihukan nga maoy nag guba sa ilang kinabuhi ug kaugmaon,” Derek said.

Sarah Gardose of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of Davao Del Norte who was among those who supervised the awarding program for the FRs expressed her gratitude towards the said activity and further encouraged the recipients to become responsible citizens for their families.

“We are so lucky because this was the third time that we conduct this raffle draw. House is one of our basic needs and once we owned a house, we also have a home to live with our families and loved ones wherein we can easily start living a new life. We are so much thankful to the NHA for addressing the needs of our fellow Filipinos who are now starting over their new life and badly needing a house to live with. We hope that these new 47 FRs can start living their normal lives as normal civilians with the help of this housing project. Once you will transfer here, please also be responsible for finding a good source of livelihood because this will be your new residency and you are expected to live here so that your housing unit will not just be wasted. Although our government agencies are always willing to help and provide for your needs, we still encourage you to find a livelihood to provide your daily basic needs and be an independent individual. This is not for us, but for you and your family as a whole,” Gardose said.

Engr. Zenaida M. Cabiles, the regional director of NHA in Davao Region also expressed gladness upon seeing the jubilation of the FRs after receiving their housing units.

“Before we award these housing units, we had an agreement first with the beneficiaries that they should live here permanently and that they will not leave their housing unit in the near future. Once you opted for our housing assistance here, you should wholeheartedly accept the reality that you will be living and occupy it,” Cabiles said.

She pointed out that housing assistance is part of the comprehensive program of the government under the implementation of EO 70.

“Before, you haven’t seen the efforts of the government that’s why you entered in the armed group believing that they will provide all your needs, but then, later you realized that it was just a mere deception for you to enter in their organization. Now that you come back to the folds of the law, the government has poured out all the assistance you need. We hope that you will be happy with all the assistance that was given to you and we hope that the continuous collaboration and partnership with all the government agencies will become stronger. We will combat insurgency to end the local communist armed conflict in the Philippines and make our FRs be part of our society again,” Cabiles said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the acting commanding officer of 23rd IB extended his congratulations to the two FRs from the unit.

“We are so glad that you finally have your own house through the E-CLIP program of the government.

He noted the difficulties in building a house nowadays given the difficult situation the country is facing, among them the pandemic that the government is fighting to contain.

“We have to consider the availability of a housing lot and money to buy the needed materials. But because our government promised to help the members of the CNTs once they lay down their arms, leave armed struggle and go back to the folds of the law, the government will address all their needs to help them start a new life,” Paulo said.

He emphasized the government’s concern for its people through the implementation of various programs and services aimed to achieve lasting peace and genuine development.

“We hope that your triumphs in life will be seen by the remnants of the CNTs and they will also heed to our call for peace to end the insurgency,” Paulo said.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us:]

Kalinaw News: Army troops seized high-powered firearm, explosives in Northern Samar clash

Posted to Kalinaw News (Nov 28, 2020): Army troops seized high-powered firearm, explosives in Northern Samar clash

Catarman, Northern Samar – the troops of the 43rd Infantry Battalion engaged in an encounter with more or less 25 Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) after a concerned citizen reported the presence of an armed group in the vicinity of Barangay Mabini, Catarman, Northern Samar on November 27, 2020.

Gunfight lasted for about 15 minutes. No casualty on the operating troops while an undetermined number of wounded NPA terrorists were reported based on the bloodstains found in the encounter site.

Seized during the clash were one M16 rifle, one shotgun, a hand grenade, detonator with detonator cord, six M16-magazines, 91 rounds of ammunition, bandolier, laptop, cellphones, 22 backpacks with personal belongings, five CNT flags, medical supplies and subversive documents.

The Commander of the 803rd Infantry Brigade, Colonel Lowell R Tan, lauded the troops of 43IB for their efforts in protecting the community of Barangay Mabini. He also thanked the residents who gave the information.

“Let us continue engaging the community from the Barangay down to Sitios, to build a strong rapport with the communities and help them cooperate with the government and the armed forces. The government troops are also willing to extend our hand for the wounded members of the NPA,” Tan said.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us:]