Facebook, Twitter  and the Internet

and the CPP, NPA and NDFP

 

 

April 10, 2011

 

■     Asiaweek interview with the NDFP webmaster, Oct. 1998

 

■     View the NDFP website first posted in 1996

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The NDFP first posted its website on Geocities in 1996 when the top speed of the internet modem was only 56 kbpps and the popular browser was Netscape Navigator. Microsoft introduced that year a lame version of its Internet Explorer. There were no Google, Youtube, Twitter and Facebbok then.

 

But the NDFP early on saw the need to have a website where its statements and news photos could be posted. It carried nedws on the CPP and NPA and other allied organizations.

 

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TWO VIEWS

 

Indeed, the internet has served as an effective means of communication and an outlet for dissent. The CPP and the NDFP have long taken advantage of the internet since the late 1990s. Revolutionary forces have employed internet tools such as Twitter, Facebook, blog websites and others to undertake education, information propagation, organizing and networking. Through the internet, the CPP and the revolutionary and progressive organizations are able to reach out to greater numbers of people than ever before. Everyday, the CPP and NDF receive emails asking how to join the New People’s Army (NPA) and to participate in or support the revolutionary cause.
 

--- from a statement of the CPP

 

 

   Padilla (Chair, GPH negotiating panel)  claimed that the youth’s rising fascination with the Internet and its social networking sites has cut into possible youth forays into Maoist doctrine.
    "I think Facebook has played a role because I think the interests of the youth now are far different from (those of) 30 years ago, when there were less avenues for engaging other people."
    Left on its own, spurned by youth preoccupied with cyber-pursuits, and shunted aside by continued national economic growth, the 42-year-old rebellion will eventually die a natural death, Padilla said in an Armed Forces of the Philippines press release.

 --- from GMA news
 

     
           

 

The Provocative Statements of Alexander Padilla
Fidel V. Agcaoili
Vice-Chair and Spokesperson
Negotiating Panel
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
April 12, 2011
 

In a recent interview, Atty. Alexander (Alex) A. Padilla, Chairperson of the Negotiating Panel of the Government of the Philippines (GPH formerly designated as GRP), made several provocative statements that have no place in the ongoing peace negotiations between the GPH and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

His claim that Facebook and the internet are "pushing Filipino rebels into oblivion" is totally out of touch with reality and only exposes himself as a mere disinformation mouthpiece of the Benigno (Noynoy) Aquino III regime.

Seemingly, Alex is ignorant of the numerous Facebook accounts, blogs and websites of people and organizations that espouse the national democratic aspirations of the Filipino people, such as the Philippine Revolution Web Central, the Paaralang Jose Maria Sison, the Facebook accounts of Marco Valbuena and Ang Bayan Community Page, the You Tube postings of allied organizations of the NDFP, and others.

For the information of Alex, these are manned by those whom he calls the "educated youth" who have not only shown proficiency in these medium but are also steeped in revolutionary theory and practice. One or two of them have become martyrs of the national democratic movement under the Noynoy Aquino regime.

Facebook and other social networks are some of the venues to bring the call for a genuine social change in the country. The efficient use of the internet and Facebook by the Philippine revolutionary movement as a means to propagate the national democratic revolution has even been reported on by local and international media.

Moreoever, the progressive youth leaders in the legal democratic movement such as Kabataan Party List Representative Raymond "Mong" Palatino, Renato Reyes of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), Dr. Giovanni Tapang of AGHAM, and many more would really be insulted by Alex's mendacious claim.

Alex and Noynoy may not be as old as some members of the NDFP Negotiating Panel but the two GPH officials represent the old and reactionary semi- colonial and semi-feudal social system that is ruled by the few big landlords and comprador capitalists with the full support of foreign monopoly capitalists, specially the US.

Alex seems to be suffering from the same arrogant sickness as some of those who left the national democratic movement to join the GPH bureaucracy. Like them he thinks that the movement has stopped growing and recruiting from the ranks of the educated youth since he left 25 years ago!

25 years is such a long time for Alex to make speculations about the movement's current strength or weaknesses. But having been with the movement for a time, he should have learned that the main issues before the peace negotiations now are genuine land reform and national industrialization and not communism!

Should the peace negotiations not end within his given time frame of three years, Alex should be asking his principal, Noynoy Aquino, why Hacienda Luisita cannot be subjected to genuine land reform instead of putting the blame on the NDFP!

It does not speak well of the GPH negotiating panel chairperson to declare publicly that the use of Facebook determines the course of the revolutionary movement of the Filipino people. The people's war will continue and advance for so long as imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism exploit and oppress the people and prevent the development of the Philippines.#

 

 

Facebook activism means fewer rebels - govt negotiator
2011-04-09 17:54:59
AYA YUSON, GMA News

Philippine leftist rebels find themselves painted into a corner of dwindling recruitment as youths in search of identity now choose to vent online rather than take up arms against the state, according to the government's chief peace negotiator Alex Padilla.

Padilla credits the Internet with helping to steer university students away from the insurgents, claiming that the insurgents are now forced to fill their ranks with unschooled dropouts.

Convinced that the rebels would sign a peace settlement within 18 months, President Benigno Aquino resumed peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Norway this year.

"There has been a dearth of youthful ideologues actually being brought up. They have been unable to harness their proteges among the younger groups," Padilla said, noting that most rebels leaders are over 70.

"They are now recruiting not students from the university as before but out-of-school youth," said Padilla, who put the rebels' popular support at no more than three million out of the national population of about 94 million.

Padilla claimed that the youth’s rising fascination with the Internet and its social networking sites has cut into possible youth forays into Maoist doctrine.

"I think Facebook has played a role because I think the interests of the youth now are far different from (those of) 30 years ago, when there were less avenues for engaging other people."

Left on its own, spurned by youth preoccupied with cyber-pursuits, and shunted aside by continued national economic growth, the 42-year-old rebellion will eventually die a natural death, Padilla said in an Armed Forces of the Philippines press release.

With an eye towards the prevention of further bloodletting, the government believes that the process is best served by redoubled efforts at negotiating lasting peace.

Military statistics show that the insurgency still claims hundreds of lives every year.

"There is reason to hope for a possible end, but at the same time we are realistic," Padilla said.

After 24 years of on-again-off-again peace talks, Padilla said that they are giving themselves three years to sign a peace agreement with the recalcitrant rebels.

"If we are unable to meet this time frame we don't want to negotiate for another 24 years," he said. — HS/TJD, GMA News
 

           

Asiaweek, Oct. 2, 1998 issue

on the political uses of the internet

 

Revolutionary movement will remain youthful and vibrant
April 13, 2011
Communist Party of the Philippines

 

Alex Padilla, head of the Aquino government’s peace panel, does not know what he’s talking about when he claimed that the Filipino youth are pre-occupied with so-called “cyber-pursuits” and are no longer interested in engaging in social activism, and that the revolutionary movement will eventually die a natural death because it can no longer attract young people to its ranks.
 

It makes us wonder why Padilla, as head of the negotiating panel, dishes out such claptrap, which do not at all help push forward peace negotiations. Worse, he is showing himself completely out of touch with reality and out of sync with the Filipino youth. Indeed, he is not yet too old, yet the ideas he is espousing are antiquated and reflect the interests of the decrepit social and political system.
 

The Filipino people’s revolutionary movement remains youthful and vibrant as ever. It continues to take root among the students in colleges and universities, as well as among young workers and peasants and persevere in fighting to put an end to the old oppressive and exploitative system.
 

On a daily basis, young Filipinos, both from the minority who are educated and the vast majority who are out of school, are repulsed by the corruption, rottenness, fascist brutality and puppetry of the ruling reactionary state. The current reactionary leadership which defends the old semicolonial and semifeudal is seen as representative of what is old and decrepit. Young Filipinos do not trust their future to the class leadership of big landlords, big bourgeois compradors and big beaurucrat capitalists.
 

As much as they are repulsed by the ruling system, young Filipinos are drawn to the revolutionary cause which represents a modern, forward-looking and progressive system. They are militated by the cause of national liberation and social emancipation.
 

They study revolutionary ideas from a multitude of sources including the internet, books, lectures and seminars, educational discussions, statements and various other materials produced by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the Kabataang Makabayan (KM or Patriotic Youth) as well as other revolutionary, progressive and democratic organizations.
 

Indeed, the internet has served as an effective means of communication and an outlet for dissent. The CPP and the NDFP have long taken advantage of the internet since the late 1990s. Revolutionary forces have employed internet tools such as Twitter, Facebook, blog websites and others to undertake education, information propagation, organizing and networking. Through the internet, the CPP and the revolutionary and progressive organizations are able to reach out to greater numbers of people than ever before. Everyday, the CPP and NDF receive emails asking how to join the New People’s Army (NPA) and to participate in or support the revolutionary cause.
 

The CPP is a dynamic and vibrant organization composed of both experienced cadres and youthful revolutionaries. It benefits from the insights and energy of young adult recruits and the guidance of its senior cadres. The vast majority of the CPP’s membership are young activists who are daily recruited among the fighters of the NPA, as well as from peasant organizations, workers’ unions, associations of toiling people and student and youth organizations in the urban areas.
 

The ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system is old and moribund. It is debilitated with incurable social diseases. In contrast, the CPP and the revolutionary cause are ever young and vibrant.

 

     
     

 

"The National Democratic Front, the political arm of the banned Communist Party of the Philippines, has a website stored on the server of US-based Geocities and maintained from NDF offices in the Netherlands."

 

-- Asiaweek, October 2, 1998, pp. 47, 49

 

The NDFP website was first posted on Nov. 30, 1996

 

           
           
           
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Text of the Interview by the Technology Editor of Asiaweek

 with the Webmaster of the NDFP website in September 1998

 

JE: Historical Background of the NDF website. How was it started? When was

the exact date it went online?

 

RKH: The website of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) was opened to the public on November 30, 1996, on the 133rd birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan. Comrades involved in international work started the website.

 

Work on the website actually started a month earlier with the HTML pages uploaded to our Geocities host as they were completed.

 

 

Who are you trying to reach, in what part of the planet?

 

At that time we already took note of the growing  number of internet users in the Philippines and observed  too that there was a trend in the establishment of internet cafés where the public (mostly students and professionals) could go in and surf. Since the NDF would like its press statements and commentaries on current Philippine situation  to be accessible to as many people in the country as possible, and  since the intelligentsia (to which students and professionals belong) are making use of the internet for accessing various information, we thought that an NDFP website would also help achieve the purpose.

 

We also noted the growing number of internet users in other countries. Through the years the NDF has  cultivated and maintained links with various progressive organizations in many countries and there have been exchanges of messages and documents of mutual interests related to some joint work or activities. The internet and the NDFP website  allow such activities, especially the communication aspect,  to be done more easily and more efficiently.

 

 

Did you find it an advantage that Internet costs are fairly low? How much

roughly did you spend to put a page up on geocities?

 

The actual internet costs are indeed relatively low. As you have correctly noted from our URL, our website is hosted by the Geocities. We started  by availing of the free hosting; however, when our total disk space requirement ballooned to more than the  free 12 Mbytes we switched to the Geoplus hosting  which costs $5 monthly. 

 

The cost for the purchase and maintenance of necessary hardware like PCs, modems, scanners and internet subscription  costs are contributed by supporters and allies of the NDFP  in many countries. All work related to making the HTML pages are rendered freely by volunteers with technical background. The entire NDFP website staff is composed of activist volunteers.

 

What kind of response have you received, do you feel your message is coming

across?

 

Our experience  during the almost 2-year operation of the NDFP website validates our original observation. We have received notes  from friends, allies and comrades from all over the world  thanking us for making it very easy for them to read current press statements and commentaries of the NDFP on various issues. Website visitors also appreciate the fact that NDF documents are archived, posted and made available to researchers doing various, mostly political studies,  on the Philippines. We have also noted that the Philippine and foreign media regularly check out our website for news; because of this, we email an advisory to media every time an update is made on the NDF website. (We will add your email address to our mailing list if you wish so you will receive the regular advisory).

 

 

Are you worried about censorship? Any examples of the site being blocked? Do you

find ways around that? How?

 

Even before the advent of the internet technology, our comrades doing publicity work for the NDF have exhibited a high level of creativity in reaching out to as large a number of the Philippine and foreign audience as possible. In fact, in times of extreme difficulties our comrades are even more creative as attested to by their successful work  during the long years of martial rule of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos from 1972 to 1986. We have talented members of the Liga ng Agham Para sa Bayan (LAB, or League of Science for the People),  an allied organization of the NDFP composed of scientists and technologists, who can hack through attempts at censorship. That is why we are not worried about censorship at all.

 

 

Is the Internet a help in organizing? In communicating with other members around

the world? Examples of how difficult it was before?

 

We have already explained how the internet has facilitated the exchange of messages and articles of mutual interests among comrades and  friends and fraternal parties and how coordination of activities have been made a lot easier. Before the internet, there was the snail mail. Sending a message from one end of the Philippines (say Baguio City) to somebody in the south like Davao City takes several days by snail mail. With the internet it is just a few clicks away. However, it is important to observe all security measures to insure the integrity of the messages.

 

 

Is it an advantage to have the site based in a country where censorship laws in

the Philippines don't apply?

 

Yes. In fact, no internet service provider in the Philippine will host the NDFP website  because  according to Philippine laws the NDFP is not a legal organization in the country. The only reason that the NDFP negotiating panel officers like Luis Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma were able to travel to the Philippines from April to August this year is because they are covered by the security provisions of an agreement forged during the on-going peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the NDFP. 

 

By NDFP Website Staff

 

Roger K. Holmes

NDFP Website Staff

URL:  http://www.geocities.com/~cpp-ndf   or

         http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2078/index.html

Email addresses: 

        ndfp@hkstar.com     

        cpp-ndf@geocities.com

Telephones: 

       31-30-2310431  Fax:  31-30-2322989

Mailing address: 

        Amsterdamsestraatweg 50, NL-3513 AG Utrecht, Netherlands

 

09/22/98

     
     
           
     

 

 

Thios is the splashpage of the NDFP website in 2000, a good 4 years  after the website was first posted on November 30, 1996.

 

Click here to view the old NDFP website as downloaded at that time and archived for future reference.

 

 

           
           
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