MANILA, Philippines — Apparently anticipating heightened warfare with the government, the Communist Party of the Philippines urged its member to “brace for more difficult struggles ahead” and, at the same time, “aim to win ever greater victories” by building “the broadest united front to overthrow” President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement marking its 49th anniversary on December 26 but released only Thursday night, the CPP said “the Filipino people are confronted with the Duterte regime’s fascist tyranny, all-out war and headlong push toward a fascist dictatorship under the guise of a fake federal setup.”
But “the Party and revolutionary forces are resolved to resist and defeat the worst fascist onslaughts of Duterte through people’s war, all-out mobilization of the exploited and oppressed masses and by building the broadest possible united front of all patriotic, democratic and positive forces and elements.”
“From his earlier declaration of being a socialist and ‘the first Leftist president’ in the country,” the CPP said Duterte “has totally reneged on his promised sweeping reforms and uplifting the lives of the impoverished masses.”
“He is basically no different from previous reactionary puppet rulers, and in some ways, has proven himself much worse especially in terms of brazen use of fascist terror and gross disregard for human rights,” it said.
It called Duterte’s termination of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and his subsequent tagging of the CPP and New People’s Army as terrorist organizations “a futile attempt to discredit and attack the Filipino people’s revolutionary forces and their age-long aspiration for national freedom and social justice” and to “cover-up the state-sponsored terrorism wreaking havoc on the lives and livelihood of the people.”
At the same time, it accused him of setting the stage “for a ruthless clampdown against the legal democratic and progressive forces. It is also an overt threat against all forces who are supportive or sympathetic to the Party and people’s revolutionary government or are deferential to its authority.”
But it said the New People’s Army should exploit the anticipated clampdown on dissent “to recruit more and more Red fighters” as people are left with “no other recourse but to join the armed revolution.”
“We must continue to deploy an increasing number of Party cadres from the working-class and young urban intellectuals to the New People’s Army to serve as Red commanders and political guides of our ever growing number of guerrilla platoons and companies,” it said. “Activists who are being persecuted and hunted down by the military and police can avail of the security of the NPA.”
“The NPA must intensify guerrilla warfare throughout the whole archipelago, launch tactical offensives against units of the AFP, PNP and attached paramilitaries, as well as punitive operations against the worst plunderers and corrupt officials, political and crime associates, and death squads of the Duterte regime,” it added.
It predicted that the government would try to defeat the revolutionary movement by “concentrating its attacks first in the guerrilla fronts in the eastern and other Mindanao regions and then on Luzon and Visayas” but said “we will surely frustrate the counterrevolutionary plan of the US-Duterte regime as we did in the past puppet regimes.”
It said rebel units “from the national down to the guerrilla front” should be able to strike “repeated annihilative and telling blows against fascist forces where and when they least expect them while constantly pushing the enemy to overstretch and expose its weak parts.”
“Every guerrilla unit and area must know and do its part in order to fight and defeat the enemy’s win-hold-win campaign strategy.” it added.
It also encouraged “different types of coordination in order to carry out counter campaigns of annihilation and attrition at the interregional, regional and subregional levels, particularly in wide areas with thousands of barrios and hundreds of thousands of mass support covered by interlocking guerrilla fronts.”
Regions outside Mindanao, said the CPP, should “do their utmost to carry out widespread campaigns of annihilation and attrition based on their strength and capability, build more platoons and companies, expand boldly the number of guerrilla fronts, and grow in strength and get prepared when the enemy decides to bring their focus on them.”
It also urged the formation of partisan and commando units “to conduct sabotage operations against the enemy communications system, military hardware, intelligence system and supplies and punitive actions against specific targets in the urban areas, such as notorious human rights violators, corrupt officials, drug lords and other chiefs of criminal syndicates.”
Partisan units also used to be popularly known as “Sparrows,” squads that carried out assassinations then swiftly disappeared.
“Duterte seeks to use sophisticated weapons provided by the US military. We must study these weapons, their capabilities and limitations, in order to adapt to them defensively and offensively. At the same time, we must plan to destroy or seize these weapons to use against the enemy,” the CPP said.