Friday, February 9, 2024

Philippines gunning for fast and massive military build-up

 Posted to the Asia Times (Feb 9, 2024): Philippines gunning for fast and massive military build-up (By RICHARD JAVAD HEYDARIAN)

Top brass angling for $36 billion defense spending package to include multiple submarines and other modern assets to point at China

The Philippines is looking to spend more on its armed forces. Image: Facebook Screengrab

MANILA – “We are not satisfied with minimum [deterrence capability alone]…movement is life, stagnation is death,” Colonel Micheal Logico, a top strategist at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), recently told this reporter when asked about the country’s evolving defense strategy. “We [need] to elevate ourselves into a world-class armed forces,” he added.

Confronting a mighty China, the Philippines is undergoing a once-in-a-century defense buildup that if all goes to plan could transform it into a formidable military “middle power.” This year, top Philippine defense officials have announced their decision to pursue the acquisition of multiple submarines as part of a massive US$36 billion defense spending package.

“We do not only [need] one submarine, we need two or three [at least],” Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, spokesperson of the Philippine Navy for the West Philippines, recently told media. Under “Horizon Three”, the third phase of a 15-year-old defense modernization plan that began in 2012, the Philippines is also set to acquire modern fighter jets, warships and missile systems.

Next month, the Philippines is also set to receive India’s much-vaunted Brahmos supersonic missile system, which is seen as a likely precursor to even more sophisticated acquisitions in the future.

“It is a real game-changer because it brings the Philippines to the supersonic age. For the first time in our history, the Philippines will have three batteries of supersonic cruise missiles that have a speed of (Mach 2.8) or almost 3x (times) the speed of sound,” said National Security Council spokesman Jonathan Malaya.

The Southeast Asian nation wants to develop its conventional and asymmetric military capabilities as it prepares for multiple contingencies in the region vis-à-vis China, including in both the hotly-contested South China Sea as well as over nearby Taiwan, which is only separated by the narrow Bashi Channel from northern Philippine provinces.

Now boasting Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economy, the Philippines finally has more financial resources to invest in its long-neglected armed forces, which half a century ago were the envy of the region with state-of-the-art American weapons and fighter jets.

Well into the 1970s, the Philippines intimidated its smaller neighbors and unilaterally built military facilities in the Spratly group of islands.

At one point, the Richard Nixon administration worried that it could get dragged into conflict with other claimant states due to its mutual defense treaty with a self-aggrandizing ally, thus Washington’s long-term policy of strategic ambiguity on the South China Sea disputes.

At the height of hubris, the Philippines even contemplated the invasion of Malaysia in order to wrest back control of Sabah, an oil-rich island that once belonged to the Sultanate of Sulu, now part of the Philippine Republic. But chronic corruption, political instability and decades-long insurgencies in the restive island of Mindanao steadily corroded and spent the Philippines’ military capabilities.

A Philippine Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) during a landing exercise in Subic Freeport in Subic town, north of Manila on September 21, 2019. Photo: Asia Times Files / AFP / Ted Aljibe

By the end of the 20th century, the Southeast Asian nation, among the world’s largest archipelagos, had among the smallest and most antiquated navies in the region. The Philippine Army, battling decades-long Muslim and communist insurgencies, gobbled up much of the AFP’s resources. For years, the Philippines didn’t even possess a single supersonic fighter jet.

Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, the Philippines served as a “second front” for the George W Bush administration’s “Global War on Terror”, further reinforcing gaps in Philippine military capabilities. But things began to change under President Benigno Aquino III (2010-2016), who implemented the Revised AFP Modernization Act, which sought to rapidly modernize the Philippine Navy and Air Force.

Within a few years, the Philippines had acquired modern fighters from South Korea under a $415.7 million package. The Philippine Navy (PN), meanwhile, acquired increasingly modern warships, most notably the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF16), Hamilton and Hero-class cutters worth up to $400 million.

Defense spending increased by 36% between 2004 and 2013, with the year 2015 seeing close to a 30% year-on-year increase.

To boost its ally’s defense modernization, Washington increased its Foreign Military Financing to the Philippines over the years. Other key partners such as Japan, meanwhile, provided multi-role patrol vessels to the Philippine Coast Guard while South Korea donated a Pohang-class corvette to PN.

Beyond minimum deterrence

Initially, the Philippines was hoping to simply achieve a “minimum credible defense” capability vis-a-vis rivals such as China.

Despite many hurdles and delays, however, the Southeast Asian nation’s military modernization campaign now aims at building a 21st-century armed forces en route to becoming a full-fledged “middle power.”

Last year, the Philippines overtook Vietnam to become the swiftest-growing economy in Southeast Asia, a trend that some expect to continue well into the future.

This places the Philippines on a path to becoming among the biggest economies in the region, thus generating more economic resources for a defense build-up.

Accordingly, the Philippines has pressed ahead with a revised 10-year modernization plan worth 2 trillion pesos ($35.62 billion) to finance the acquisition of state-of-the-art weapons including submarines.

“[W]e are embarking into what we call the ‘ReHorizoned 3’ capability enhancement and modernization program where the President recently approved an array of capabilities,” Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr said.

Gilberto Teodoro Jr sees new horizons for Philippine defense spending. Image: X Screengrab

“The Armed Forces will transition initially to enable itself to guarantee, as much as possible, Philippine corporations and those authorized by the Philippine environment the unimpeded and peaceful exploration and exploitation of all natural resources within our exclusive economic zone and other areas where we have jurisdiction,” he added.

With that signaling, several countries are jockeying to win multi-billion dollar defense contracts with the Philippines. The French, who are also exploring a visiting forces agreement-style deal with Manila, seem to be ahead in the line.

France’s Naval Group is offering two diesel-electric Scorpene-class submarines, similar to those operated by neighboring Malaysia.

Navantia, a Spanish government-affiliated company, Navantia, is also in the running and has offered two S80-class Isaac Peral submarines with an estimated value of $1.7 billion. The Spanish have also offered to build a submarine base and other necessary logistics for the boats.

South Korea, already a major defense supplier to Manila, is also jostling for the sub deal. Hanwha Ocean (formerly known as DSME) is offering its Jang Bogo-III submarines, which boast guided-missile systems, advanced propulsion and lithium-ion battery technology that makes them particularly stealthy.

South Korea has already supplied the Philippines’ with its most advanced warships and fighter jets, making it a trusted partner amid the rival big-ticket bidding.

“For so long, the Philippine military has also been considered the weakest in our region. With the acquisition of [submarines], we will no longer be called the weakest,” National Security Council spokesman Jonathan Malaya said in a mixture of English and Filipino when asked about the strategic implications of the submarine acquisition plans.

“We will now become a middle power in terms of our armed capabilities and that is a game-changer because that will increase our defense posture,” he added.

[Follow Richard Javad Heydarian on X, formerly Twitter, at @Richeydarian]

Opinion: Sailing the troubled waters of peace: Gov’t exploratory talks with CPP-NPA-NDFP

Opinion piece posted to the Manila Bulletin (Feb 4, 2024): Sailing the troubled waters of peace: Gov’t exploratory talks with CPP-NPA-NDFP (By Lt. Gen. Aurelio B. Baladad (Ret))

A violent history of strife describes the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) representing the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People's Army (NPA). After the declaration of the exploratory talks, a raging wave of comments was immediately raised. The exploratory talks provide a chance for enduring peace despite the condemnations and criticisms. Charting the choppy waters for these talks will increase the chance for dialogue and understanding that will lead to a prosperous future.

In the past, the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations seemed to be fixed in their respective positions, the peace talks have been suspended repeatedly. Perhaps the deep scars of past conflicts block the acceptance of fresh perspectives to resolve these conflicting positions.

A set of previously agreed accords have often been interpreted by some sectors as cunning weapons employed by the CPP-NPA-NDFP such as the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG), The Hague Joint Declaration (THJD), and Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Why not redefine and reassess these accords’ objectives rather than dismissing these criticisms? Can we reform these into genuine agreements?

On Nov. 23, 2023, the GRP-NDFP signed a joint statement in Oslo, Norway. The statement agreed that “Resolving the roots of the armed conflict and ending the armed struggle shall pave the way for the transformation of the CPP-NPA-NDFP.”

With the signing of the joint statement, the GRP was observed refusing to bend to the NDFP demands. Rebuffing the preconditions desired by the NDFP such as a ceasefire during the talks, the release of imprisoned NPAs, and the disbanding of the NTF-ELCAC showed its position of strength at the negotiating table.

The National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) achieved significant operational and tactical victories. However, to attain total victory in defeating the NPA requires strategic-level political and diplomatic initiatives to safeguard long-term stability. Therefore, for a sustainable political and diplomatic resolution, a holistic approach is crucial.

Also being raised is the sincerity of the CPP-NPA-NDFP in the talks as they have been accused of using the talks as a camouflage for their politico-military recovery efforts. The exploratory talks should be seen as an opportunity to reevaluate, reassess, and possibly find mutual areas for a genuine path to peace to be navigated. Can the errors of the long ago evolve into a path toward advancement? It is a course worth to be charted.

These challenges require consultation and active participation of the public at large, particularly by the active and retired security forces who have the loudest voices of dissent. The GRP responsibly responded to these by explaining the rationale of the talks reflecting a positive attitude towards criticisms and feedback. The Filipinos merit to have a voice in their future and to be actively involved in the peace process. Our democracy mandates that the people’s voices should be heard. The receptiveness to dissonant voices guarantees a responsive peace process.

Lastly, as a historical precedent, the GRP-Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) inked the Final Peace Agreement (FPA) in 1996. Later, the GRP-Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) on March 27, 2014. In both these accords, a significant reduction in violent activities was observed immediately after the signing paving the way for development to prosper in these areas.

Amidst the storm, there is a glimmer of hope. As we go on board this exploratory journey, let us not forget the lessons of long ago but let them guide us toward a brighter future. Exploratory talks offer the chance to test the troubled waters, to determine if we can chart the stormy weather for peace, and arise from the windy glooms of distrust. It is a risk worth taking, for in the quest for peace, even the smallest glimpse of good weather in the stormy seas can lead the way forward. Yes, sailing in troubled waters is perilous, but the destination – a nation free of strife, laying a strong foundation for development – is worth the struggle. Let us navigate on this journey with zeal, with open minds, and with the steadfast commitment to explore the chance for lasting peace.

(Lt. Gen. Aurelio B. Baladad (Ret) served as the 8th commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, the 32nd commander of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, and the former deputy chief of staff for Operations, J3 of the AFP. He is now the VP for cooperative planning and marketing of PAFCPIC, a cooperative serving the active and retired AFP personnel.)

4 communist rebels surrender in Isabela

From the Manila Bulletin (Feb 4, 2024): 4 communist rebels surrender in Isabela (By LIEZLE BASA IÑIGO)

SAN MARIANO, Isabela – A member of the Militia ng Bayan and three New People’s Army rebels surrendered to the police here recently.

Police identified the surrenderers as Pogi, 39; Rose, 45; Chris, 48, and Zette, 45, all residents of this town.

Their surrender was facilitated by the 1st Isabela Provincial Mobile Force Company, Provincial Intelligence Unit, San Mariano police, Criminal Investigation Detection Group-Isabela, and the Philippine Army.

Police encouraged communist rebels to surrender and live a normal life with their family.

Lawmen have asked rebel returnees to help the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict convince their comrades to return to the fold of the law.

Army's 3rd Infantry Division Targets Stable Internal Peace and Security for Negros Island

From BNN (Feb 4, 2024): Army's 3rd Infantry Division Targets Stable Internal Peace and Security for Negros Island

The Army's 3rd Infantry Division aims to declare Negros Island in a state of Stable Internal Peace and Security within Q1 of 2024, following successful operations against the NPA and the implementation of the Barangay Development Program.

The 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) of the Army has set its sights on elevating Negros Island to a state of Stable Internal Peace and Security (SIPS) within the first quarter of this year. This ambitious goal springs from the successful dissolution of all guerrilla fronts of the Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (KR-NCBS) and the notable absence of major violent incidents instigated by the New People's Army (NPA) for over a year.

Significant Achievements and Collaborative Efforts

Several guerrilla fronts have been dismantled to date, including Central Negros 1 and 2, South East Front, Northern Negros Front, and South West Front. The latter is currently awaiting a joint resolution. The Army attributes these achievements to the collaborative efforts of government agencies, local government units, the private sector, and the stalwart citizens of Negros.

Clearing Barangays and Implementing the BDP

Since 2023, the 3ID has cleared a total of 219 barangays from the insidious influence of the NPA, with 145 of these located in Negros Island. The Barangay Development Program (BDP) has been rolled out in 121 of these barangays. This program is designed to usher in development and deliver necessary government services to areas previously held under the sway of the NPA.

The Outcome of Army's Operations

The Army's operations have spurred 96 engagements, 54 of which occurred on Negros Island, including seven major encounters. These led to the surrender of 167 individuals and the seizure of 185 firearms.

Major General Marion Sison of the 3ID underscored the significance of the SIPS declaration in solidifying local governance and catalyzing lasting peace and progress for Negros Island. He maintains that this declaration will further empower local government units, as well as local government agencies, in the execution of their respective mandates in the pursuit of a just and enduring peace.

Prospects shaky for Philippines’ government and communist peace talks

From Al Jazeera (Feb 6, 2024): Prospects shaky for Philippines’ government and communist peace talks (By Nick Aspinwall)

The two sides agreed to start talks this month, but continued fighting and mutual distrust have thrown process into doubt.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict with the NPA [File: Alecs Ongcal/EPA]

Manila, Philippines – Fighting continues between the Philippine military and communist rebels despite an agreement to resume peace talks this month in an effort to end the world’s longest-running communist armed rebellion.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr surprised many when, in November, his government announced an agreement with the National Democratic Front (NDF), the rebels’ political wing, to restart peace talks that his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte had ended shortly after taking office.

In the agreement, signed in Oslo after months of secret negotiations facilitated by the Norwegian government, both parties acknowledged “the deep-rooted socioeconomic and political grievances” at the heart of the conflict and agreed to seek reforms.

Since then, however, contradictory statements, public bickering and continued armed clashes between the military and the New People’s Army (NPA), the communist party’s armed wing, have tarnished hopes of an agreement.

Many in the military apparatus – and especially within the government’s controversial anti-communist task force – still want to “finish off the armed conflict by physically wiping out the [NPA] forces,” Satur Ocampo, founder of the leftist
Bayan Muna party-list group, told Al Jazeera.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said late last year it remained focused on “waging extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare” and rebuilding NPA forces.

The NPA has been fighting the government for more than 50 years in one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies [File: Erik de Castro/Reuters]

The Philippine government was “very perplexed and disappointed” by the statement, National Security Council spokesman Jonathan Malaya told reporters last month.

However, the military has also continued armed operations against the NPA, including December air strikes on the southern island of Mindanao that killed nine alleged rebels.
Roadblocks to peace

The Philippine government and NPA have been engaged for more than 50 years in a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people. It peaked in the 1980s, during the martial law rule of Marcos’s father, the dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Over the years, there have been repeated announcements of peace talks, which have then collapsed.

Marcos Jr’s surprise move to reopen negotiations dovetails with the military’s stated ambition to switch its focus from domestic conflict to “external or territorial defence”, military chief Romeo Brawner Jr told reporters in November.

The Philippines has shifted closer to the United States due to a series of conflicts with Chinese vessels in the disputed South China Sea, which is claimed almost in its entirety by Beijing despite an international tribunal ruling against it in 2016.

Marcos initially opposed peace talks when he took office in June 2022. However, he may be growing weary after witnessing a “resurgence in armed fighting” in areas the military has claimed to have cleared, Ocampo said.

“[Marcos] may be doubting the assurance of security forces that they can finish off the CPP-NPA within his term,” which ends in 2028, Ocampo said. “He’s opening up the option of seeking a negotiated settlement.” Under Philippine law, presidents can serve only one term in office.

The November communique drew optimism partly because of its use of explicit language committing both parties to seek “socioeconomic and political reforms towards a just and lasting peace”.

Numerous attempts at agrarian land reform in the Philippines have failed since the 1980s, leaving many rural farmers destitute and landless while families retain oligarchic control of land passed down from the colonial rule of Spain and the US.

However, disagreement quickly emerged on how to institute reforms.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr walks past honour guards during the arrival ceremony at Western Command, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines, August 10, 2023 [Eloisa Lopez/Reuters]

The NDF wanted to reintroduce an agreement to distribute land forged during Duterte-era talks.

But the office of presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr, which is leading negotiations, insisted the talks were “new” and a “restart”, raising concern within the NDF that he wanted to toss aside past agreements.

Instead, Galvez has pitched “specific programmes that can be handled by the government and big business”, Ocampo said. “There’s nothing that touches on deep socioeconomic reforms.”

National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano has also opposed removing the CPP-NPA from the country’s list of “terrorist” organisations, along with freeing currently jailed peace negotiators – positions which appear to be nonstarters for the communist side.

“It is critical that Marcos rescind earlier proclamations … designating the NDF as terrorists,” a CPP spokesperson told Al Jazeera. “However, Marcos’s officials … have repeatedly expressed resistance to these measures.”

Julie de Lima, interim chairperson of the NDF negotiating panel, told Al Jazeera her group was negotiating for the release of consultants needed to forge [promised] agreements on socioeconomic reforms.

“It will be very difficult without that,” she said. “We still have this guarded optimism that these talks may proceed, [but] there are issues that must be resolved.”
Continued conflict

Last month, Marcos claimed there were no remaining active NPA fronts as of December. The government says fewer than 1,500 NPA rebels remain, although the CPP and NPA say the number is higher.

The CPP spokesperson told Al Jazeera that neither side was currently seeking a joint ceasefire.

De Lima, the NDF negotiator, said her panel has not been approached by the government since the November communique, and that it is “disheartening” that the peace office led by Galvez had chosen to “negotiate publicly”, referencing the secretary’s plans to collaborate with major businesses to provide socioeconomic reforms.

Galvez did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

“Both sides are still not trusting each other,” said Georgi Engelbrecht, senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, who noted that many observers are “cautious” rather than optimistic.

“But the fact we are at this stage is already progress,” he said. “Now, both sides need to show their commitment and genuine intentions.”

The first step is setting an agenda, and finding realistic goals to work towards, before any talk of a ceasefire or of freeing the NDF’s negotiators, said Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, a peace negotiator who led the government’s efforts to sign a peace accord with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front a decade ago.

There is still plenty of motivation on both sides. Communist forces have been affected by worsening climate disasters, such as typhoons that have pummelled the northern province of Cagayan in recent years and led to record floods.

Coronel-Ferrer believes the NPA has started to realise disasters make it harder to continue operations and gain local support in rural mountain strongholds. “You’re up in the mountains, there’s a landslide, there’s nothing to eat for the whole community,” she said.

The government also must assuage fears that its controversial Anti-Terrorism Act, passed in 2020, might still be used to target current or former communist rebels, Coronel-Ferrer added.

In recent months, its anti-communist task force has allegedly collaborated with the Philippine military to kidnap activists Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro, who told Al Jazeera they were forced to falsely surrender as communist rebels.

It may come down to which voices in government and the military are most persistent. Marcos “might be more swayed by the louder voices” who are currently those calling for an end to the conflict, Coronel-Ferrer said. “He doesn’t want to be another Marcos killer or Marcos fascist.”

After decades of conflict, however, the more hawkish might still be chasing that elusive military victory.

Di-Maute weapons seized in Lanao del Sur

From the Sun Star-Cagayan de Oro (Feb 7, 2024): Di-Maute weapons seized in Lanao del Sur (By Jo Ann Sablad)

LANAO. A cache of war materiel from the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) was seized by the troops of the 103rd Infantry Brigade (103rd IB) in Balindong, Lanao del Sur on February 4, 2024. Photo from 1st Infantry Division

A CACHE of war materiel from the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) was seized by the troops of the 103rd Infantry Brigade (103rd IB) in Balindong, Lanao del Sur on February 4, 2024.

According to the report from the Philippine Army's 1st Infantry Division, a joint army and police task force was launched to raid three suspected hideouts of the DI-MG, as a response to the intelligence provided by concerned citizens. Despite the group's escape and evading capture, the operation discovered and confiscated a haul of weaponry and equipment left behind.

The confiscated items include high-caliber rifles, ammunition, communication devices and personal effects.

Brigadier General Yegor Rey Barroquillo Jr., commander of the 103rd IB, commended the troops for their professionalism and dedication, emphasizing the significance of the disruption inflicted upon the capabilities of the DI-MG.

Major General Gabriel Viray III, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, on the other hand, underscored the vital role in maintaining peace and security in the area.

“The 103rd Infantry Brigade has been at the forefront of the government’s effort to address the security and stop the insurgency in the area. I commend the quick response of the different units on the ground for the successful conduct of operations to ensure the safety and security of our area of responsibility,” Viray said. (SunStar Philippines)

3 terrorist hideouts captured in Lanao del Sur

From the Philippine Star (Feb 6, 2024): 3 terrorist hideouts captured in Lanao del Sur (Roel Pareño)

The Army and police tracked down the hideouts after civilian informants tipped them off about the possible whereabouts of terrorists who escaped an encounter that occurred over a week ago in Barangay Taporog, Piagapo town.  STAR / File

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Government security forces captured three suspected hideouts of terrorist group Dawlah Islamiyah following a series of raids in the hinterlands of Balindong, Lanao del Sur on Sunday.

The Army and police tracked down the hideouts after civilian informants tipped them off about the possible whereabouts of terrorists who escaped an encounter that occurred over a week ago in Barangay Taporog, Piagapo town.

The skirmishes on Jan. 25 and 26 resulted in the death of nine terrorists and wounding of four Army troopers.

During the operation on Sunday, the terrorists could have sensed the arrival of the raiding team, prompting them to abandon their hideouts, the military said.

The team recovered a rifle, ammunition and cell phone at the hideouts, according to Brig. Gen. Yegor Rey Barroguillo Jr., chief of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade.

“The recovery of these assets is a major blow to the terrorists’ operations and strengthened the government’s counterterrorism efforts in the region,” Barroquillo said in his report.

DSWD officials meet with ex-Abu Sayyaf members to improve peace, dev't programs

From GMA News Online (Feb 7, 2024): DSWD officials meet with ex-Abu Sayyaf members to improve peace, dev't programs

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officials met with community leaders and former members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Patikul, Sulu, to gather insights aimed at enhancing the government’s peace and development programs.

The DSWD conducted focus group discussions (FGDs) and interviews with the rebel returnees on January 30 under the “Balik-Barangay Program," which helps families displaced by armed conflict return to their respective homes.

“Following the instruction of Secretary Rex Gatchalian, we conducted the dialogue that centered on understanding the unique challenges faced by the community and identifying collaborative strategies to address them, anchored on the experiences of the former ASG members and the community leaders,” said DSWD Undersecretary Alan Tanjusay.

"The guide would aid the formulation and implementation of more defined and focused programs and activities for former members of non-state armed groups, aiding their transition back to becoming productive citizens of our country," he said.

The data gathered from the briefing, FGDs, and community visits will serve as input for the enhancement of the current Case Management Guide for Peace and Development Programs by the DSWD.

“The remarkable experience of these community members will provide us with a good overview of how they returned home despite the armed conflict. These will surely help us improve our case management guide to facilitate our clients' eventual healing and mainstreaming for sustained peace and development outcomes,” said Tanjusay.

Apart from the dialogue, the DSWD also visited two former conflict-affected barangays in Patikul that have benefited from the ''Balik-Barangay Program.'' —Sundy Locus/VBL, GMA Integrated News

Czech Republic eyes more defense interactions with PH

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 9, 2024): Czech Republic eyes more defense interactions with PH (By Priam Nepomuceno)

BOOSTING COOPERATION. Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Irineo Espino (right) and Czech Ambassador to Manila Karel Hejč pose for a photo opportunity on the sidelines of their meeting at the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Feb. 6, 2024. The two officials discussed common security challenges and areas of long-term defense cooperation between Manila and Prague. (Photo courtesy of DND)

MANILA – The Czech Republic is looking to have more interactions with the Department of National Defense (DND), expressing support for the ongoing modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, in a statement Thursday night, said this was the highlight of the meeting between a delegation from the Czech Republic, Czech Ambassador to Manila Karel Hejč, and DND Undersecretary Irineo Espino at the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Feb. 6.

"The Czech delegation's courtesy call served as a follow-up to Ambassador Hejč's introductory call on Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. in December 2023," he said.

Andolong said both countries discussed common security challenges, upholding international law, especially focusing on international maritime law, and prospects for long-term defense cooperation under the 2017 agreement on defense cooperation and 2021 memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning cooperation in the area of defense industry and logistics between the DND and the Czech Defense Ministry.

"The Czech delegation reiterated their country’s support to the modernization of the AFP, highlighting their defense products, ranging from small arms to various defense platforms. Ambassador Hejč also expressed keenness to pursue government-to-government cooperation, explore joint manufacturing arrangements, and offer financing options for potential projects," he added.

Andolong noted that both sides are looking forward to the 5th Asia Defense and Security, Crisis & Disaster Management Exhibition and Conference (ADAS) in September and the DND's hosting of the 2nd Joint Defense Committee (JDC) Meeting on a mutually agreeable date this year.

Philippines, US conduct 3rd maritime cooperative activity in WPS

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 9, 2024): Philippines, US conduct 3rd maritime cooperative activity in WPS

MARITIME COOPERATION. BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (left) and USS Gabrielle Giffords sail within the Philippine exclusive economic zone during the third Maritime Cooperative Activity at West Philippine Sea on Friday (Feb. 9, 2024). The activity underscored both nations' commitment to reinforce security and stability across the Indo-Pacific region. (Photo courtesy of Western Command)

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) successfully conducted the 3rd Maritime Cooperative Activity (MCA) in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) on Friday.

The latest bilateral activity underscored both nations' firm commitment to reinforce security and stability across the Indo-Pacific region.

The MCA is part of a series of operations designed to foster enhanced interoperability between the two allied forces, with a concentrated focus on advancing maritime security and heightening maritime domain awareness.

Participating units included the Philippine Navy’s BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS 15) with an embarked AW109 Naval Helicopter and the US Navy’s USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) with an MH-60S Seahawk Helicopter onboard.

During the MCA, a series of exercises were conducted, including a passing exercise, communication exercise, photo exercise, division tactics, and officer of the watch maneuvers, all designed to improve the coordination and cooperation between the two forces in various maritime scenarios.

Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, commander of the Western Command (Wescom), lauded the completion of the latest MCA.

“These cooperative ventures serve not just as training for our forces at sea but as a clear signal of our shared resolve to maintain regional peace and security,” he said in a news release. (Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)

CPP/NDF-Southern Tagalog: Ipagtanggol ang kalayaan at karapatan! Buwagin ang NTF-ELCAC!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 7, 2024): Ipagtanggol ang kalayaan at karapatan! Buwagin ang NTF-ELCAC! (Defend freedom and rights! Disband NTF-ELCAC!)

Patnubay de Guia
NDF-Southern Tagalog
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

February 07, 2024

Ikinagagalak ng NDFP-ST ang rekomendasyon ni UN Special Rapporteur (SR) on Free Expression and Opinion Irene Khan na pagbuwag sa NTF-ELCAC at pagbubuo ng patakaran kontra red-tagging matapos ang kanyang 10-araw na bisita sa bansa.

Higit nitong palalakasin ang lehitimong panawagan mula sa mga progresibo at mga organisasyong nagtatanggol sa karapatan at kalayaan ng mamamayang Pilipino. Sampal naman ito sa mukha ng ilehitimong rehimeng US-Marcos II na nagpapanggap na gumagalang sa karapatang tao ngunit patuloy pa rin ang pang-aatake sa mga progresibo’t nakikibakang mamamayan gamit ang Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), NTF-ELCAC at ang mismong AFP-PNP. Patunay din itong nararapat singilin at pagbayarin ang nakalipas na tiranikong rehimeng Duterte sa mga krimen nito laban sa bayan.

Batay sa pagsisiyasat ni Khan, malinaw na may papel ang red-tagging o terror/terrorist-tagging sa estratehiyang “kontra-terorismo” ng mga pwersang panseguridad ng bansa. Nakasalamuha at nakausap ni Khan ang iba’t ibang organisasyon at mga biktima ng red-tagging at panghaharas ng NTF-ELCAC, gayundin ang mga piling opisina at opisyal ng reaksyunaryong gubyerno. Kabilang sa personal na kinausap ni Khan ang tatlong mamamahayag sa Tacloban, Leyte na dinakip at iligal na inaresto sa panahon ni Rodrigo Duterte subalit patuloy na nakakulong at pinagkakaitan ng hustisya ng kasalukuyang rehimen. Tulad ng marami sa daan-daang bilanggong pulitikal, nananatili silang nakapiit dahil sa mga gawa-gawang kasong isinampa sa bisa ng ATA at malisyosyong pag-uugnay sa kanila sa armadong rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Tinukoy din ni Ms. Khan na wala sa kapasidad ang mekanismo ng reaksyunaryong gubyerno na proteksyunan ang mga mamamahayag katulad na lamang ng Presidential Task Force for Media Security (PTFMC) dahil wala silang alam sa patakaran kung paano hahawakan ang seguridad ng midya na pangunahin nilang tungkulin. Ikinadismaya din niya ang napag-alamang “blocking” ng website sa mga alternative news organizations matapos ang mga itong i-redtag at sinabi na isa itong direktang censorship na kailangang matamang suriin.

Hindi man direktang ipinahahayag, sinasang-ayunan ng posisyon ni Khan laban sa NTF-ELCAC ang masahol na pasistang panunupil sa anyo ng pamamaslang, pagdukot, pagtortyur, panganganyon at pambobomba sa kanayunan, iligal na pang-aaresto at detensyon at talamak na red-tagging sa ilalim ng administrasyon ni Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Bago si Khan, nauna nang nagbigay ng opinyon si UN SR on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Context of Climate Change Ian Fry noong 2023 hinggil sa ugnayan ng pasistang panunupil at pakikibaka ng mamamayan para sa kanilang demokratikong karapatan. Tinatarget ng mga pwersa ng estado ang mga aktibista, lider-magsasaka, unyonista, lider-manggagawa, pambansang minorya at kahit mga sikat na personahe basta’t sumusuporta at lumalaban para sa katarungan at karapatang tao, tunay na reporma sa lupa, makatarungang sahod at makataong kalagayan sa paggawa, at inklusibong pag-unlad na nakabatay sa pagtatanggol sa pambansang soberanya at pagsusulong ng tunay na industriyalisasyon. Pati mga drayber na mawawalan ng hanapbuhay dahil sa mandatory franchise consolidation ng Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program ay nire-redtag at pinalalabas na kalaban ng estado.

Walang ibang layunin ang mga pang-aatake kundi patahimikin at takutin ang nakikibakang mamamayan hanggang magupo ang kanilang determinasyon at mapanlabang diwa. Tulad ng tinuran ng mga eksperto ng UN, hindi maikakaila ang pananagutan ng NTF-ELCAC sa malaganap na paniniil ng estado sa mamamayan. Pasimuno ito ng paninirang-puri at pagbabansag na `terorista’ sa mga progresibong organisasyon at indibidwal. Ipinapakita sa aktwal na karanasan na ito ay paunang kundisyon para direktang atakehin ng mga pwersa ng estado sa pamamagitan ng AFP-PNP ang kanilang mga sibilyang target.

Dito sa TK, malagim na halimbawa ng krimen ng NTF-ELCAC at ibinunga ng red-tagging ang kaso ng Bloody Sunday Massacre noong Marso 7, 2021 kung saan siyam na aktibista ang pinatay sa singkronisadong operasyon ng mga pulis at militar. Matapos maging batas ang ATA, lalong naging palasak ang pagbabanta’t intimidasyon sa anyo ng pagsasampa ng kaso. Biktima nito ang 14 na aktibista at lider masa ng rehiyon na sumama sa pambansang protesta noong ikalawang SONA ni Marcos Jr. Nakagagalit din ang pagsasampa ng mga elemento ng 59th IBPA ng kaso laban sa mga kabataang aktibista at tagapagtanggol ng karapatang tao na lumahok sa pag-iimbestiga sa pagpatay ng militar sa batang si Kyllene Casao at magsasakang may kapansanan sa isip na si Maximino Digno noong Hulyo 2022. Inaakusahan ang mga biktima na `terorista’ o di kaya’y `nagbibigay ng materyal na suporta sa NPA. Ilan sa mga kasong isinampa ay ibinasura na ng mga reasksyunaryong korte dahil sa garapalang kawalan ng batayan.

Gaano man kapasista ang estado ay hindi nito kayang gapiin ang nag-aalab na hangarin ng mamamayan para sa hustisya, kalayaan, demokrasya at karapatan. Ito ang dahilan kaya’t nagpapatuloy at sumusulong ang pambansa demokratikong pakikibaka sa harap ng puting lagim at kontra-rebolusyonaryong gera. Kahanga-hanga at dapat pagpugayan ang pagpupursige ng mga demokratikong pwersa lalo ng mga tagapagtanggol ng karapatang tao na hindi inalintana ang takot sa pagsuong sa panganib para isulong ang tunay na hustisya at karapatan ng mamamayan. Dapat na ibayo pang palakasin ang kanilang hanay at ibunsod ang malawak na kilusang masa para idepensa ang mamamayan mula sa mga imbing pakana ng bulok na estadong tuta ng US.

Positibong bagay, ngunit higit pa sa pagsita ng mga dayong eksperto ang kinakailangan upang manaig ang hustisya at wakasan ang pasismo sa bansa. Hindi kailanman bibitawan ng reaksyunaryong gubyerno ang sarili nitong mga instrumento para supilin ang mga lumalaban sa bulok nitong mga programa at patakaran. Kailangan ang patuloy na marubdob na pakikibaka ng mamamayan sa landas ng pambansa demokratikong rebolusyon upang tunay na manaig ang paggalang sa karapatang tao at katarungan sa lipunang Pilipino. Magiging ganap na malaya ang bayan na magpahayag ng kanilang saloobin sa panahong hawak na ng mamamayan ang pampulitikang kapangyarihan sa pamamagitan ng Demokratikong Estadong Bayan.###

CPP/CIO: Continuing relevance of Jose Ma. Sison and validity of the struggle for national democracy

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 8, 2024): Continuing relevance of Jose Ma. Sison and validity of the struggle for national democracy

Marco Valbuena
Chief Information Officer
Communist Party of the Philippines

February 08, 2024

Today we mark the 85th birth anniversary of Ka Jose Ma. Sison, founding chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines. We remember his invaluable contributions to the revolutionary resistance of the Filipino proletariat and people, both as an ideological leader and a practical organizer of their struggle for national and social liberation and socialism.

The volumes of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist writings which Ka Joma tirelessly produced through more than fifty years of revolutionary work, now bequeathed to the Filipino proletariat, remain profoundly relevant today. He promoted, defended and developed Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, not only during the height of world socialist revolution and construction, but especially during the most crucial period of reversals and defeats of the international proletariat, both in the Philippines and around the world.

He made contributions to the ideological trove of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist classics. These are being assiduously studied today by Filipino communists, revolutionaries and activists and continue to serve as their guide, as they shoulder the heavy task of waging the people’s democratic revolution and traverse the current difficult path of resistance, rectification, rebuilding and resurgence.

By applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism on the concrete conditions of the Philippines, Ka Joma presented an incisive analysis of classes in Philippine society and exposed how US imperialism shaped the semicolonial and semifeudal system in the Philippines in collusion with the local ruling classes of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords. He identified the Filipino working class in alliance with the peasantry, in further progressive alliance with the petty bourgeoisie, and in positive alliance with the middle or national bourgeoisie, as the motive forces of the national democratic revolution.

By characterizing the different class forces, Ka Joma showed how the national democratic revolution in the Philippines can be led only by the working class through its political party—the communist party. The national democratic revolution in the Philippines, led by the proletariat, is a bourgeois democratic revolution of a new type. While seeking to cast away the decrepit comprador, feudal and bureaucrat capitalist fetters that have long prevented the development of the productive forces for industrial growth and vibrant agriculture, the proletarian-led democratic revolution aims to develop a progressive economy and democratic political system and thus create the conditions for modern socialist revolution and transformation of society.

Through further analysis of Philippine society, Ka Joma pointed to the necessity of waging protracted people’s war as means of carrying out the national democratic revolution, in order to build up the armed and political strength necessary to overthrow the reactionary classes, smash the neocolonial state, and establish the people’s democratic government.

Ka Joma elaborated on the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside, identified the specific characteristics of the people’s war, and outlined the phases of strategic defensive, strategic stalemate and strategic offensive, as the probable course and dialectical process of development of the people’s war. He showed that in order for the Party to build the revolutionary armed forces in the countryside, it must rely on and mobilize the peasant masses by addressing their demand for genuine land reform and waging antifeudal struggles for such purpose.

Through painstaking revolutionary work initiated by Ka Joma, which continue to be carried forward by tens of thousands of communist revolutionaries and mass activists, the ideas first elaborated in Amado Guerrero’s Philippine Society and Revolution were transformed into a material revolutionary force. Today, it continues to gather strength and steadily advance towards the goal of complete victory.

Despite the adverse situation borne out of the setbacks and defeats of the international proletariat since the late 1970s leading to the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and China, the national democratic revolution in the Philippines persevered and scored great achievements throughout the past five decades and more. It has availed itself of the conditions generated by the crisis of imperialism and local ruling system, in order to rouse the people to fight the worsening forms of oppression and exploitation and wage revolutionary resistance as means to attain their aspiration for national and social liberation.

Ka Joma’s basic class analysis of the semicolonial and semifeudal conditions of Philippine society remains valid today, as when he first put forward this analysis more than five decades ago. This is in the same vein that the analysis of the nature of capitalist exploitation and dialectics of the capitalist system remains valid today as when Marx first exposed the basic contradiction of the capitalist system more than 175 years ago. This is also similar to how Lenin’s analysis of monopoly capitalism or imperialism at the turn of the 20th century remain valid and relevant today when we are well into the 21st century.

From the late 1970s to the present, detractors of Ka Joma and the national democratic movement have sprouted at one time or another to criticize the analysis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system. For around four decades now, they have disparaged Ka Joma and rehashed the claim he and the national democratic movement are “outmoded” in a desperate attempt to dress themselves as alternatives. Although they remain irrelevant and detached from the broad masses of the people, they should be exposed and repudiated for their incorrect ideas and attempt to draw people away from the revolutionary path.

The continuing relevance of Ka Joma’s ideas and analysis and validity of the struggle for national democracy stem from the historical fact that the country remains dominated and oppressed by US imperialism—the singular force that has condemned the Philippines to its present backward, agrarian, non-industrial state, and mere supplier of cheap raw materials and cheap labor.

The US imperialists, in collusion with the local ruling classes of big bourgeois compradors (who act basically as financial and commercial agents of foreign monopoly capitalists) and big landlords (who control vast tracks of lands and make it serve the export market), continue to prevent the country from carrying out land reform and national industrialization as this would enable the country to develop its independent capacity, make it less reliant on foreign loans and investments, less prone to unequal trade, and make it truly sovereign and capable of exercising a truly independent foreign policy.

Under the semicolonial and semifeudal system, the Philippines has had no capacity to produce steel, chemicals and other means of production in order to develop the capacity to manufacture capital goods, basic tools, machinery for agricultural modernization and food processing, and other essential commodities. The lack of capacity to produce and increasing reliance on imports results in the steady rise in prices of domestic commodities. Foreign monopoly capital and local bourgeois compradors and big landlords are not interested in raising production, but merely want to amass superprofits through the exploitation of cheap labor (including semiprocessing and menial technology or service jobs) and extraction of raw minerals and other land and marine resources, and make fast money by exporting surplus capital to infrastructure projects, dump surplus commodities by financing trade, all to the detriment of local production.

The past several decades have seen the widespread destruction of the country’s forces of production resulting in the steady decline of local manufacturing and agriculture. The reactionaries obscure this fact by dignifying the “expansion” of the “service sector,” as somewhat of a “post-industrial” phenomenon. In reality, the absurd share of the “service sector” in the local economy merely masks chronic mass unemployment in both cities and rural areas, where people engage in a multitude forms of eking out a living, in which combined with the number of call center workers, are large numbers of people serving as domestic helpers, unpaid farm work, delivery personnel, vendors, and an endless stream of odd jobbers.

The broad masses of workers and peasants are subjected to worsening forms of exploitation and oppression. They suffer from extremely low wages (as a means of enticing foreign investors), landlessness and land grabbing resulting in large-scale rural economic dislocation, chronic and high rates of unemployment, underemployment and informal work.

The relevance of Jose Ma. Sison’s writings and the validity of the struggle for national democracy with a socialist perspective becomes even more stark amid the deteriorating conditions of the semicolonial and semifeudal system under the US-Marcos regime, the aggravating socioeconomic conditions of the broad masses of the Filipino people, intensifying fascist repression, and worsening national oppression amid the protracted crisis of the global capitalist system and rising inter-imperialist contradictions leading to wars.

This is now being proven by the steady accumulation of strength of the people’s revolutionary mass struggles across the country, and resurgence of armed resistance in the countryside.

CPP/NDF-KM-Manila: Kabataan, tutulan ang charter change! digmang bayan para sa tunay na kalayaan at demokrasya!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 8, 2024): Kabataan, tutulan ang charter change! digmang bayan para sa tunay na kalayaan at demokrasya! (Youth, oppose the charter change! People's war for true freedom and democracy!)

Kabataang Makabayan-Metro Manila (Luzille Gypsy Zabala Brigade)
NDF-Metro Manila
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

February 08, 2024

Tinutulak ng Imperyalismong US, kasama ang mga kinatawan na papet sa pamahalaan na muling buhayin at isulong ang Charter Change. Magbibigay ito ng tulay sa mga dayuhang kapitalista na makapag may-ari at mangasiwa ng ating mga kagamitang pampubliko, ekonomya, at sa ating kultura at higit sa lahat ang term extension at political dynasty ng isa o iilang pamilya o pangkatin.

Panloloko ang paglalako ng pirma para sa “People’s Initative” pagbibigay ng isang-daang piso o mga ayuda kapalit ang lagda para sa petisyon upang amyendahan ang Saligang Batas. Malinaw na hindi ito ang esensya ng “People’s Initiative.” Sa kabilang banda rin, gamit ang telebisyon, mapapanood ang patalastas tungkol sa panlilinlang na uunlad ang ating bansa kung aalisin ang mga restriksyon sa mga dayuhang kapitalista na makapag may-ari ng kagamitang pampubliko, lupa, at iba pang bahagi sa ekonomya. Magiging tulay ito upang dambungin ang ating mga likas na yaman at murang lakas paggawa.

Papanatilihin din ng Charter Change ang kasalukuyang sistema ng edukasyon na nanatiling Kolonyal, Komersyalisado, at Represibo dahil ang mangangasiwa ng edukasyon ay ang mga dayuhang kapitalista. Lalo rin itong magtutulak sa mga kabataan na mangibang bansa upang tugunan ang mga pangangailangan. Mananatili sa mga kabataan ang kaisipang kolonyal at patuloy na tumangkilik sa mga produkto na gawa ng mga dayuhan—pagpatay sa diwang makabayan ng mga kabataan.

Pinapaboran ng Chacha ang mga dayuhang malalaking kapitalista at mga kasosyo nilang panginoong maylupa at malaking burgesya kumprador. Kumakatawan ito sa lalong pagpapahirap at pagpatay sa mamamayan. Minamadali ng rehimeng Marcos Jr at pinsan nitong si Martin Romualdez ang ChaCha upang bigyang daan ang sampung-taon na pananatili ng mga opisyal ng gobyerno sa poder. Pagpapanatili na maging atrasado at di industriyalisado ang ating bansa na paghahakutan lamang ng dambuhalang ganansya ng imperyalista.

Mula kay Ramos hanggang kay Marcos Jr walang ibang prayoridad ang lahat ng rehimen kundi baguhin ang Saligang Batas para sa interes ng kanilang imperyalistang amo at ang kanilang pansariling interes na tumagal at makapanatili sa kapangyarihan. Matagal nang hinahangad ng mga imperyalista at dayuhang kapitalista na lubusang buksan ang Pilipinas at bigyang-daan ang isandaang porsyentong dayuhang pagmamay-ari at kontrol sa lupa, walang pagpigil sa pagpasok ng dayuhang mamumuhunan, at pangangamkam ng likas na yaman.

Nagluluwal ng maraming kontradiksyon ang rehimeng Marcos Jr, nalilikha ang paborableng kondisyon upang sunggaban at buklurin ang malawak na hanay ng kabataan kasama ang ibang sektor ng ating lipunan para ipaglaban ang ating pambansa-demokratikong interes. Lalong nagiging desperado ang naghaharing-uring mag-apuhap ng mga paraan upang isalba ang sarili. Dapat patuloy na magkaisa ang lahat ng aping uri sa isang malawak na laban para sa kanyang laban sa kanyang ilehitimong rehimen.

Tutulan at labanan ang Charter Change na naglalayong patagalin ang kapangyarihan ng mga Marcos at ang pagbebenta ng ating likas na yaman sa mga dayuhang kapitalista. Pagnanakaw ng iilan sa pondo ng bayan. Pagpapabor sa mga kroni at kaibigan sa negosyo at mga sindikatong kriminal. Sobra-sobrang gastos sa kagamitang militar. Pagwawaldas ng pondo sa mga proyektong hindi papakinabangan.

Sa gitna ng lumalalang krisis, pumapatinding inter-imperyalistang digmaan sa anyo ng mas malawak na mga gerang proxy, banta sa ating demokratikong karapatan, panahon na upang buhayin ang diwa ng sigwa ng unang kwarto. Higit kailanman, ang pinakamahalagang tungkulin ng mga kabataan at estudyante sa harap ng nabubulok na ilehitimong rehimeng US-Marcos Jr ay ang pagsusulong ng rebolusyonaryong pakikibaka.

Panghawakan na walang ibang magpapahina sa rehimen kundi ang armadong pakikibaka. Palakasin ang armadong pakikibaka. Suportahan ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapasampa ng mga anak ng bayan. Itaas ang pampulitikang kamulatan ng mga kabataan at ibang sektor upang pamunuan ang kanilang hanay sa pagsusulong ng digmang bayan.

Kabataan, tanganan ang landas ng rebolusyonaryong pakikibaka!
Tumangan ng armas para ipaglaban ang pambansang kalayaan at demokrasya!
Sumapi sa Bagong Hukbo Bayan!
Sagot sa Kahirapan, Digmang Bayan!

CPP/NDF-Rizal: Pagpupugay sa ika-85 na Kaarawan ni Ka Jose Maria Sison, Dakilang Lider at Tanglaw ng Rebolusyong Pilipino!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (Feb 9, 2024): Pagpupugay sa ika-85 na Kaarawan ni Ka Jose Maria Sison, Dakilang Lider at Tanglaw ng Rebolusyong Pilipino! (Tribute to the 85th Birthday of Ka Jose Maria Sison, Great Leader and Light of the Philippine Revolution!)

Arman Guerrero
NDF-Southern Tagalog
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

February 09, 2024

Pulang pagpupugay at pagsaludo kay Kasamang Jose Maria Sison sa kanyang ika-85 na kaaraawan, siya ang Tagapangulong Tagapagtatag ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas-MLM, ang ating dakilang lider, tanglaw at gabay sa Rebolusyong Pilipino.

Nanatiling buhay at nag-aalab ang rebolusyonaryong kapasyahan at optimiso ng mga manggagawa, magsasaka, maralita, kabataan, kababaihan, mga panggitnang pwersa at mga katutubo sa lalawigan ng Rizal at sa buong kapuluan. Taglay ang mataas na diwang isulong ang kilusang pagwawasto upang kamtin ang dramatikong pagsulong hanggang sa tagumpay.

Lalu lamang pinatunayan ang kawastuhan ng mga turo at aral ni Ka Joma na walang iba kundi ang pundamental na mga prinsipyo ng Marxismo-Leninismo-Maoismo na inilapat sa partikular na katangian at obhetibong kalagayan ng malakolonyal at malapyudal na lipunang Pilipino. Sa paglubha ng pandaigidigang krisis ng monopolyo kapitalismo na nanunuot sa ating lipunan, lalung nagiging mapanibasib at marahas ang pagsasamantala ng mga naghaharing uri, lalung higit na napatutunayan ang kawastushan ng Demokratikong Rebousyong Bayan na may Sosyalitang Persperktiba bilang natatanging paraan sa pagwawakas ng pagsasamamantala sa pinakabatayang mga ugat nito na Imperyalismo, Pyudalismo at Burukrata Kapitalismo.

Ang buhay na iniaalay ni Ka Joma para sa rebolusyon at sambayanang Pilipino ay magsisilbing sulo ng pagpapatuloy ng mga bagong henerasyon ng mga komunista, rebolusyonaryo at mga aktibistang masa. Taliwas sa nais mangyari ng reaksyunaryong estado ng rehimeng US-Marcos II, AFP at NTF-ELCAC na sa pagkamatay ni Ka Joma noong Disyembre 16, 2022 ay magtatapos na rin ang armadong pakikibaka sa bansa na isinusulong ng CPP-NPA-NDF. Hindi na sila natututo sa kasaysayan, na anumang gawin nila at sukdulang umabot sa karahasan at pagpataw ng batas militar noon panahon ni Marcos Sr, hanggang’t hindi nasusolusyonan ang ugat ng kahirapan, kahit nagkakailan na ang kanilang pinapaslang at mga namamatay ay may uusbong at uusbong pa rin na mga bagong sibol na mga rebolusyonaryong magpapatuloy ng dakilang pamana ni Ka Joma at lahat ng mga dakilang martir na patuloy na nagdidilig ng matabang lupa para sa rebolusyon. Malalim na nakaugat sa masa ang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas-MLM na itinatag nina Ka Joma, isang partidong matapat na naglilingkod sa masang inaaapi at matapat na nagpupuna sa kanyang mga kamalian at kahinaan, solido at nagkakaisa sa organisayon sa prinsipyo ng demokratikong sentralismo at siyentipikong nag-aaral ng obhetibong kalagayan batay sa materyalismong diyalektiko at istoriko upang wastong maipatupad ang kanyang pampulitikang tungkulin na ipagtagumpay ang Demokratikong Rebolusyong Bayan hanggang sa Sosyalismo.

Sa paggunita at pagdiriwang ng kaarawan ni Kasamang Joma, muli nating kilalanin ang kanyang dakilang ambag sa rebolusyong Pilipino at sa internasyunal na kilusang komunista. Ibayong magpalakas, magpatatag at magpalawak! Biguin ang maitim na balak ng rehimeng US-Marcos II na tapusin ang 55 taong magiting na pakikibaka ng mamamayang inaapi sa pamumuno ng PKP!

Mabuhay ang dakilang alaala at pamana ni Ka Jose Maria Sison!
Ipagtagumpay ang Kilusang Pagwawasto!
Palawakin, Konsolidahin at Palakasin ang CPP-NPA-NDFP!