Sept. 16, 1991:

Remembering the day a strong anti-bases movement

compelled the Senate to kick out the US bases


Cagayan de Oro city


September 16, 2010


■   People's War in the Philippines lby prof. Jose Maria Sison




The sole youth partylist KABATAAN hold a protest action at 10am today in front of the Mindanao University of Science and Technology - MUST, express worries and fear on the scheduled visit of the US Ambassador in Cagayan de Oro City.

The US Ambassador’s agenda with the Technology Communications Management of MUST to promote JEEP or “Job Enabling English Proficiency” sought further concern from the progressive youths on the looming presence of the US Troops in the country, especially in Mindanao.

--- from Press Statement


Photos courtesy of Kabataan Partylist - Northern Mindanao


 Kabataan Partylist – NORTHERN MINDANAO
September 16, 2010

KABATAAN challenges PNOY and local government officials for peace and justice in Mindanao
Abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement

Cagayan de Oro City - The sole youth partylist KABATAAN hold a protest action at 10am today in front of the Mindanao University of Science and Technology - MUST, express worries and fear on the scheduled visit of the US Ambassador in Cagayan de Oro City.

The US Ambassador’s agenda with the Technology Communications Management of MUST to promote JEEP or “Job Enabling English Proficiency” sought further concern from the progressive youths on the looming presence of the US Troops in the country, especially in Mindanao.

Antonio Pasco Jr., Kabataan Partylist Spokesperson of Cagayan de Oro City, convey that this form of visits of high ranking military officials in the country is a ploy – “the game is persuade the people through their humanitarian aids to draw positive appeal and give basis on their long-term stay in the country.” Seemingly, visits as such signals the strengthening of the unequal US-RP agreements akin to the VFA or Visiting Forces Agreement.

The VFA haul massive condemnation from various groups in the country as well as in the international community because of the US Troops’ participation in actual combat operations and in the recently mysterious death of Gregan Cardeno in US military barracks in Camp Ranao in Marawi City. Cardeno who was supposed to work as interpreter with an elite unit of US Special Forces called Liaison Coordination Elements (LCE) was found dead on February 2 this year. Fact Finding Mission and autopsy report of KAWAGIB, a Moro Human Rights group, presents that there was a foul-play on Cardeno’s death.

Pasco said, “these visits and JEEP promotion in several schools in Mindanao (such were in MSU-IIT and Cotabato City State Polytechnic College) is a covert program of the US military troops to deodorize the rising dissent of various sectors calling justice from the crimes committed by their personnel against the Filipino people. This portrays nothing more but an indication of the continuity of the human rights violations brought about by this unequal pact between the United States and the Philippines.”

Remembering this day, September 16 of 1991, when a strong anti-bases movement compel the Senate to reject the extension of the 24 installations of US Military Bases in the country, KABATAAN demands and challenges President Aquino and the local government officials to make a STRONGER STAND for National Sovereignty and abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement. Demand justice to all victims of human rights violations and militaristic exploitation. Unmask and Expose the real-score of the US Military humanitarian missions and aids. US Troops OUT Now! Bring peace and justice in Mindanao!

The League of Filipino Students (LFS-MSU) – Mindanao State University, Liga ng Kabataang Moro (LKM-MSU) and the US Troops Out Now Coalition will hold a forum today, September 16, 2010, 8:30am -12nn, at the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao Hall, MSU-Marawi with the theme “Towards a World Without Empire: Strengthening Patriotism to Assert Our National Sovereignty and Freedom Against US Imperialism.”

Antonio Pasco Jr.
KABATAAN Partylist – CDO Spokesperson

0905 1358 011,



News Release
September 16, 2010

On annivesary of US bases rejection, Bayan calls on Aquino to heed calls for review and abrogation of VFA

On the 19th anniversary of the historic rejection of the Philippine Senate of a new United States Bases Treaty, cause-oriented groups led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan held a protest near the US embassy in Manila and called on Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to uphold national interest during his upcoming US trip.

Aquino is set to leave for the United State on September 20 in what is to be his first foreign trip as president. He will attend the General Assembly of the United Nations, the US-ASEAN meeting and the signing of the $434 million Compact Agreement with the Millenium Challenge Corporation.

“Recent events have made it abundantly clear that the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement has trampled on our sovereignty as a nation. It is high time that Mr. Aquino fulfill his campaign promise of reviewing the VFA. We stand firm on our position that the VFA is a lopsided agreement that has caused the permanent and continuing presence of US troops on Philppine territory,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“The VFA has systematically reversed the gains of the Philippine Senate’s historic rejection of a new US basing treaty in 1991. For all intents and purposes, US troops are actually based in Mindanao, 24/7, 365 days a year,” Reyes said.



During the presidential campaign, Aquino expressed openness to a reivew of the controversial militayr pact. “The Visiting Forces Agreement should be reviewed…We really need to look at the VFA in its present form and ask: Paano naman yung interes natin? We should review all the agreements that our government enters into and make sure that the interests of the Filipino are prioritized,” says a statement on his website.

“Under the VFA, US troops are given special treatment and are not even placed under Philippine custody, even if they are already convicted. This was what happened in the Subic Rape case. Furthermore, the US forces in Mindanao are already overstaying and are practically enjoying basing rights because they have been there since 2002. They are definitely no longer just ‘visiting’,” Reyes added.

Bayan lamented that with there remains no official action on Aquino’s campaign promise of reviewing the VFA, even as the president approaches his first 100 days in office.
Bayan said that if an Aquino-Obama meeting pushes through, it is the responsibility of the Philippine President to express the need to subject the VFA to a review. Aquino however said that the issue of the VFA would only be raised depending the length of the meeting with Obama.

“Mr. Aquino must show decisiveness and not dilly-dally or evade the issue. This is a rare opportunity for a Philippine president to uphold national interest. Failure to act on the VFA will mean Aquino will simply uphold the old, unequal relations between the Philippines and its neo-colonial master,” Reyes said. ###





(Brief Presentation in Expert Workshop on Escalation Processes in Irregular Warfare, Raadszaal,Achter de St Pieter 200, University of Utrecht, 17 September 2010)

By Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairperson
Communist Party of the Philippines
22 September 2010


The old merger party of the Communist and Socialist Parties founded the People’s Army against Japan (Hukbalahap) in 1942. This army became the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (People’s Liberation Army) in 1948 in order to resist the continued US domination of the Philippines under the US-RP Treaty of General Relations and the Parity Amendment of the Philippine Constitution and the return of the landlords to Central Luzon where the people’s army was based.


The backbone of the HMB was broken in the early 1950s. The semicolonial and semifeudal character of Philippine society seemed to be perpetual and invincible. The exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords blocked every attempt to uphold national sovereignty and carry out genuine and thoroughgoing land reform. In 1957 the reactionary government enacted the Anti-Subversion Law to punish by death officers of the Communist Party or any organization acting as its successor or front.


I. Revival of the National Democratic Revolution


I was among those who revived in the 1960s the mass movements of the workers, peasants and the youth under the leadership of the old merger party of the Socialist and Communist Parties. The ruling system was extremely oppressive and exploitative. We conceived of the national democratic revolution to oppose the system. We were not afraid of the Anti-Subversion Law.


We engaged in mass work to arouse, organize and mobilize the masses. We came under surveillance. We were blacklisted, subjected to propaganda attacks and removed from our jobs. Our mass actions were often disrupted and attacked.


Within the merger party of the Communist and Socialist Parties, the question arose whether to prepare for revolutionary armed struggle or not. The old merger party took the position of carrying out the legal mass movement indefinitely until such time that conditions were supposed to ripen and allow a general uprising.


I was among those who took the position that people’s war must be started on the basis of the already existing mass base in the rural and urban areas. We left the old merger party to re-establish the Communist Party of the Philippines under the theoretical guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism on December 26, 1968. Three months later on March 29, 1969, we founded the New People’s Army to wage people’s war..


II. Fascist Dictatorship of Marcos


In 1969, Marcos spoke of the Philippine society as a social volcano about to explode. In speaking thus, he presented himself as the strong leader to head off the eruption of the volcano. He had plans of using military force to perpetuate himself in power. He expanded the armed forces and was quick to use military force to suppress any manifestation of armed resistance in the countryside. He was responsible for the massacres in Barrios Culatingan, Sta. Lucia and Paraiso.


He launched Oplan Prophylaxis in an attempt to nip in the bud the New People’s Army in 1969. But he failed. The NPA grew from only 65 members with 9 automatic rifles and 26 handguns and single shot rifles to more than 200 automatic rifles from 1969 to early 1970 in Tarlac province. Marcos put together Task Force Lawin, consisting of 5000 troops and policemen, further augmented by so-called barrio self-defense units.


Having anticipated the concentration of enemy forces where we started to build the NPA, we sent expansion cadres to various regions in order to build armed propaganda teams from the mass organizations and deploy them in the villages. When Marcos boasted of having “decimated” the NPA in Central Luzon, the NPA had developed bigger mass bases in Isabela province in another region of the country.


At any rate, Marcos proceeded with his scheme to impose a fascist dictatorship on the people. On August 21, 1971, he suspended the writ of habeas corpus and suppressed all patriotic and progressive legal mass organizations. On September 21, 1972, he declared martial law and concentrated executive, legislative and judicial powers in his hands. In his martial law proclamation he claimed that the NPA had 10,000 rifles. In fact, it had only 300 rifles at the time.


But the 14 years of fascist dictatorship generated conditions favorable to people’s war. The New People’s Army was able to grow to the level of nearly 6000 high powered weapons by the time that Marcos fell in February 1986.


III.Low Intensity Doctrine Under Aquino Regime


Cory Aquino came to power as a consequence of the convergence of contradictory forces against the Marcos fascist regime. The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) representing the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA and other revolutionary forces agreed to hold ceasefire talks with the Aquino regime. A ceasefire agreement was forged on November 25, 1986 to prepare for peace negotiations on substantive issues.


But the peace negotiations came to an end when peasants were massacred while rallying in front of the presidential palace on January 23, 1987. Instead of holding responsible her security guards for the carnage, Aquino blamed the peasants and the entire revolutionary movement and proclaimed the unsheathing of the sword of the state.


With General Fidel Ramos as her defense secretary, she launched a series of national campaign plans Lambat Bitag I, II and III designed to destroy the armed revolutionary movement. The campaign plans were described as the application of the low intensity conflict doctrine. Human rights violations became rampant in both urban and rural areas. Base-denial operations and massacres were often undertaken in the countryside.


For a while, Lambat Bitag appeared to be successful as the armed movement was being weakened by an ultra-Left current which started in the early 1980s and then by a Rightist current which started to pick up strength in 1988. The ultra-Left current damaged the mass base and subsequently the Rightist current called for the liquidation of the Party and the armed revolutionary movement.


IV. Rectification Movement and Peace Negotiations


The ultra-Left current consisted of the premature formation of companies and of unnecessary levels of command and staff which took away Party and NPA personnel from mass work. Due to this erroneous current, the mass base of the revolutionary movement decreased by 15 percent in 1988 and by 60 percent in 1991. This reduced the ability of the NPA to wage tactical offensives although in the main the NPA retained its weapons.


The rectification movement was carried out to criticize and repudiate major errors. It reoriented, reorganized and redeployed the Party and NPA for mass work and for recovering and rebuilding the mass base. It also went against the attempt of the Rightists to liquidate the armed struggle and follow the reformist example of the Soviet leader Gorbachov.


At the same time, the NDFP engaged the Ramos regime in peace negotiations. The Hague Joint Declaration was agreed upon in 1992 to lay the framework for peace negotiations. And several more agreements were forged in order to advance the peace negotiations, which formally opened in 1995.

Some observers think that there was an ebb in the fighting between the NPA and the reactionary forces because of the peace negotiations. But the real cause was the decrease of the mass base and the weakening of the offensive capability of the NPA from 1988 to 1991 and the need for rectification and recovery from 1992 to 1998.


V. Revitalization and Resurgence of People’s War


The rectification movement was successful. The mass base expanded. The NPA could launch tactical offensives in different parts of the Philippines from 1996 onwards. It was able to capture a series of high-ranking military officers, including a general.


The people’s war was revitalized and resurgent in the last two years of the Ramos regime and in the three years of the Estrada regime. Estrada approved the military campaigns of suppression against the NPA and terminated the peace negotiations soon after he signed the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Eventually, he became preoccupied with the campaigns against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mindanao.


VI. Oplan Bantay Laya


The Arroyo regime pretended for a while to continue the peace negotiations with the NDFP in 2001. But it decided to launch Oplan Bantay Laya I and II from 2001 to the end of her rule. International human rights organizations and UN human rights agencies called attention to the gross and systematic violation of human rights and made recommendations to the Arroyo regime to improve the human rights situation in the country. The regime turned a deaf ear to all of them.


Since its inception, Oplan Bantay Laya has perperated the abduction, torture and extrajudicial killing of more than 1000 social activists, including trade unionists, peasant leaders, human rights advocates, religious and journalists. At the same time, the peasant masses and indigenous peoples in the countryside have been subjected to arbitrary arrests and detention, bombings and forced evictions from their land and homes.


The violent attacks on urban based social activists was calculated to demoralize and weaken the legal mass movement and cut it off from the armed revolutionary movement in the countryside. But the people’s war intensified in response to the escalating campaigns of suppression.


VII. Prospects under the Aquino II Regime


The present Aquino regime follows the US Counterinsurgency Guide and is continuing Oplan Bantay Laya up to January 2011. However, there is already a 5-year military plan intended to defeat and destroy the NPA. By cutting the budgets for education, health and other social services, Aquino has increased the budget for the military and made way for a huge amount of debt service.


He has also increased the budget for an agency that is intended to be the civilian arm for facilitating the forced evacuation of peasants and the indigenous people who are victims of displacements due to militarization and wide-scale land grabbing by mining and logging companies.


There are indications that the Aquino regime is not interested in peace negotiations as a way of addressing the roots of the armed conflict and laying the basis for a just and lasting peace. To date, the Manila government has not reciprocated the NDFP’s demand for the resumption and acceleration of formal peace negotiations and has not responded to the NDFP’s proposal for a Concise Agreement to End Civil War and Achieve Immediate Just Peace. This proposal has been relayed to the GRP since August 27, 2005.


The NDFP is patiently waiting for the Aquino regime to dispatch its emissaries and to form the new negotiating panel of the GRP. ###



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