BUILD THE BROADEST UNITED FRONT TO STRENGTHEN THE ORGANS OF POLITICAL POWER AND THE PEOPLE´S DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
April 21, 2018
Dear Comrades and Friends,
With boundless joy, we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. Celebrations are held in the Philippines, here in Amsterdam and in other countries where the NDFP or any of its member-organizations has an office.
I am proud to have been one of the founders of the NDF on April 24, 1973, less than a year after Marcos proclaimed martial law to impose fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people. We based ourselves on the work that had been done by the NDF Preparatory Committee since 1969 and on the strength of organizations that had been forced underground by martial law. We drafted and promulgated the NDF 10-Point Guidelines or Program. This document laid the ground for the NDFP elaboration in 1977 and the 12-point Program in 1994.
Since its founding 45 years ago, the NDFP has won great political victories as an indispensble and crucial weapon in coordination with the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People´s Army as the two other main weapons of the Filipino people in carrying out the general line of people´s democratic revolution through protracted people´s war.
To win these victories, great efforts have been exerted to arouse, organize and mobilize the broad masses of the people. Sacrifices have had to be made in the struggle against US imperialism and the local reactionary classes. For these victories, we salute and congratulate all the current 18 organizations comprising the NDFP. We honor their leaders and members for their contributions. We accord the highest honors to the martyrs and heroes.
The theme of this year´s celebration is ¨Build the Broadest United Front to Strengthen the Organs of Political Power and the People´s Democratic Government (PDR)¨. The NDFP has helped to build the local organs of political power at the barangay, municipal or city, district and provincial levels in 73 of the 81 provinces of the Philippines to constitute the people´s democratic government. We are determined to help build more and stronger organs of political power.
The Filipino people have a people´s democratic government confronting and fighting the reactionary government of the big compradors and landlords whose seat of power is in Metro Manila and other urban areas in the interest of US imperialism and local reaction.To build the revolutionary government, the 18 NDFP allied organizations have made various contributions.
In class terms, we have founded the NDFP on the basic alliance of the working class and the peasantry, won over the middle social strata such as the petty bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie, taken advantage of the splits among the reactionary classes and cooperated with temporary allies among them and acted to isolate, fight and defeat the enemy, usually the worst faction of the reactionary class that is in the service of US imperialism and seeks to perpetuate the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.
In the process of building the united front for revolutionary armed struggle, the NDFP has engaged in activities and campaigns to promote and realize full national sovereignty, democracy, social justice, economic development through land reform and national industrialization, cultural progress, peace and harmony among the people and international solidarity. The NDFP has provided guidance and support to the people´s democratic government for reaching the people in their millions and for gaining support from the people of the world.
In connection with the people´s revolutionary struggle against the puppet reactionary government, we have emphatically called for building a broad united front although this is a constant line to bring to the NDFP the broad masses of the people who belong to various ethno-linguistic communities and who are both unorganized or organized in various parties, churches, civil organizations and even in the bureaucracy and armed forces of the reactionary government.
For the first time in the history of the NDFP, we refrained for about a year (2016-17) from denouncing the Duterte regime as a puppet reactionary regime to give it a chance to prove what Duterte meant by proclaiming himself to being ¨Left¨ and ¨socialist¨; being against the US and the oligarchy; and being for reforms and for an independent foreign policy.
He seemed to be desirous of negotiating and making peace with the NDFP and the revolutionary forces and people that the NDFP represents. He also seemed agreeable to the necessary social, economic and political reforms demanded by the people to make a just and lasting peace. And he promised to amnesty and release all political prisoners even before the start of peace negotiations.
But alas, Duterte did not fulfill his promise. In his second year in power, he has turned very hostile to the NDFP and terminated the peace negotiations. We have therefore responded to his actions accordingly. In very recent weeks, however, he has offered to resume the peace negotiations. And we have agreed.
While there is yet no final peace agreement with any regime in the Philippines, the NDFP maintains the policy of waging people´s war along the line of the people´s democratic revolution, despite any kind of ceasefire agreement under certain circumstances. The broad united front with other forces opposed to the regime stays, even if peace negotiations imply the possibility of permanent truce and alliance with the reactionary regime.
We are glad that the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations can probably be resumed soon if certain obstacles and hindrances are removed by the Duterte regime. There is a need for the peace negotiations in the face of the worsening crisis of the Philippine ruling system and the world capitalist system. The broad masses of the people and even the legal opposition parties are for the resumption of the peace negotiations. There can be national unity and reconciliation, peace and development beyond partisan terms and loyalties.
The broadest kind of united front is desirable and possible with the unity of the entire people and all parties to uphold, defend and promote national and democratic rights against US imperialism and its diehard puppets in the Philippines. However, there can be no guarantee for the positive ultimate outcome of the peace negotiations that are expected to resume formally soon in Oslo.
What is important is for the NDFP to always stay on course with its commitment to be in the revolutionary service of the Filipino people and pursue social, economic and political reforms in order to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace.
The crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system in the Philippines and the crisis of the world capitalist system keep on worsening. We are confident that the Filipino people will prevail over the crisis conditions and advance towards total victory along the line of people´s democratic revolution with a socialist perspective.
Long the National Democratic Front of the Philippines!
Long live the Filipino people and the Philippine revolution!
Long live international solidarity and the cause of just peace!