10 Things to Know About the World’s Longest Communist Revolution, written by Mong Palatino.

"1. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was reestablished on December 26, 1968 in Alaminos, Pangasinan. Its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), was formed on March 29, 1969 in Capas, Tarlac. The revolutionary alliance, National Democratic Front (NDF), was founded on April 24, 1973. The CPP-NPA-NDF view armed revolution as the effective and ultimate solution to replace the existing system which they believe is already beyond redemption.…

2. The Maoist military strategy of encircling the cities from the countryside was adopted by the CPP which was unprecedented because no archipelagic nation has ever done this. The NPA preserved its strength and thrived even under the harsh conditions during Martial Law. It waged a nationwide guerrilla war without the geographical advantage of Vietnam whose neighboring states were either communist or anti-American.

3. In the 1980s, most of the communist parties in Southeast Asia have been already defeated or disbanded but the CPP achieved remarkable military strength and political influence during this period. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has even claimed that the NPA reached its peak in 1986 when the number of its fighters was estimated to be about 25,000 across the country. The NPA has denied that it reached this size although a few years ago it made a declaration that it already surpassed its armed strength in the 1980s in terms of number of fighters with high powered rifles.

4. The reestablishment of the CPP was a legacy of the rectification movement initiated by young activists who summed up the bitter experience of the old Communist Party (Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, 1930) which suffered significant political losses in the 1950s. Three decades later, the CPP would launch another rectification campaign to reaffirm its founding principles.

When the Soviet bloc disintegrated, the CPP was among the few communist parties in the world which continued to defend Marxism. It argued that revisionism, not socialism, was discredited when Soviet Russia collapsed in the 1990s.

The CPP became the first Philippine political party to admit that it committed serious political errors in the 1980s. According to the CPP, these grave mistakes led to the substantial reduction of its mass base and mass support most especially in the provinces. It also apologized for the excesses and human rights violations perpetrated by some NPA units.

The rectification campaign lasted throughout the 1990s which the CPP credited for the resurgence of the local mass movement. The Philippine government will be the first to dispute this but what is certain is that the CPP has remained a major political force in the country; and after 45 years, it continues to lead the world’s longest Maoist revolution… .

6. The revolutionary political program of the CPP is its major advantage over the dull, elitist and anti-people agenda of mainstream trapo parties. Land reform continues to be its centerpiece program in the countryside, thus the continuing support of poor farmers for the armed revolution. Then and now, its commitment to end inequality and oppression has attracted the support of many sectors and intellectuals.Women’s rights, gender equality, IP empowerment, environment protection, workers rights, socialized housing, free education, free healthcare – and many other advocacies we hear today have been articulated already by the cadres of the CPP-NPA-NDF in the late 1960s and early 1970s.”

On Feb. 4 2005, the New People’s Army (NPA) conducted the first same-sex marriage in the Philippines. Two guerrilla fighters who have participated in the armed struggle against the pro-U.S. regime in Manila, Ka Andres and Ka Jose, exchanged their vows before their comrades, friends and local villagers.

The ceremony was full of symbolic imagery of the two comrades’ commitment to each other as members of a couple, as well as their commitment to the revolutionary struggle. The two men held each other’s hand throughout the wedding, and a bullet in the other as a representation of their commitment to the armed struggle.

During the ceremony, Ka Andres and Ka Jose were draped in a sequined flag of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which was secured by a long, beaded rope around the couple and their sponsors. The rope and flag, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, symbolized that their marriage would be made stronger with the help of both their comrades and the masses.

In response to the marriage, representatives of the Philippine government have condemned the NPA for lacking religion. A spokesperson for the Air Force generals told reporters, “This proves that they have no god and their morality is very much in question.”

Speaking on gays in the NPA, newlywed Ka Andres said, “Gay cadres adhere to the strong party discipline. They enhance the prestige of gays in the movement. This has gained positive results through the years. Comrades (male and female) and even the masses have learned to respect and recognize gays and their contribution to the revolution.”

Ka Jose said, “What we have to do now—with the help of the party—is to work on our marriage and to be strong while serving the people.”

Thanks to Thomas Van Beersum

MANILA, Philippines (Feb. 20) — More than 100 communist guerrillas stormed one of the world’s largest pineapple plantations in the southern Philippines, killing a guard and torching farm equipment in their biggest attack this year, officials said Wednesday.

At least two other guards and a villager were shot and wounded by the New People’s Army guerrillas, who barged into a residential, recreational and office complex on the vast plantation of Del Monte Philippines Inc. late Tuesday in Manolo Fortich town in Bukidnon province, Army Lt. Col. Eugenio Osias said.

Shortly before the assault, the Maoist guerrillas, who were disguised as army soldiers, blocked a patrol car carrying three police officers at a bridge in Manolo Fortich and seized weapons from them, Osias said.

Reinforcement troops clashed with the rebels for 20 minutes prior to the Del Monte attack, but the guerrillas managed to withdraw and proceed to the plantation, where they shot to death a guard at the gate and later wounded two other guards, regional police chief Catalino Rodriguez said.

The Maoist rebels burned farm equipment and destroyed a number of computers in an office. They ransacked buildings and seized firearms at the plantation’s Camp Phillips, a scenic complex of country homes, a golf course and a clubhouse for farm officers and workers, Del Monte senior manager Ramon Velez said.

Rebel spokesman Jorge Madlos said Wednesday that the assaults were punishment for Del Monte’s refusal to heed a guerrilla demand to stop expanding its already-vast plantations, which they blame for harming the environment.

More government troops deployed to mine sites; NDF reiterates warning KORONADAL CITY—Authorities in several Mindanao provinces, where attacks on mining companies had occurred, have deployed additional troops or placed their men on heightened alert to prevent a repeat of Monday’s raid by the New People’s Army (NPA) on three mining firms in Claver, Surigao del Norte.

National Democratic Front (NDF) spokesperson Jorge Madlos on Wednesday reiterated his earlier warning that more attacks on companies “engaged in destructive mining” were in the offing unless they correct their mistakes.

The NDF is the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) whose armed wing is the NPA.

Also on Wednesday, Mel Rivera, spokesperson of the CPP committee in Southern Mindanao, said the communist movement was reiterating its ban on all enterprises, including big foreign mining and logging firms, “that engage in the large-scale plunder of the natural resources, land-grabbing and destruction of the environment.”

“The people’s democratic government has directed the NPA to carry out punitive actions against these mining companies to put a stop to their operations,” Rivera said in a statement e-mailed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

In Tampakan, South Cotabato, the police have set up roadblocks as part of the tightened security plan for Xstrata-owned Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), according to Superintendent Resti Damaso, spokesperson of the Central Mindanao police.

In 2008, NPA rebels attacked the SMI compound in Tablu village in Tampakan and burned equipment and facilities.

Situation normal

The rebels fled with several communication equipment and firearms seized from company guards.

In Compostela Valley, which hosts two big mining firms that previously came under NPA attack, the situation remained normal, according to Senior Superintendent Timoteo Pacleb, provincial police chief.

Still, Pacleb said, the more than 700-strong Compostela Valley police force was placed on heightened alert, especially in the towns of Maco, where Apex Mines operates, and in Pantukan, where St. Augustine Copper and Gold Inc. is based.

Apex Mines, partly owned by Crew Gold Ltd. of Britain, was attacked by the NPA in late 2008, with several of its vehicles and equipment also burned and its guards disarmed.

In May, communist rebels also stormed the compound of St. Augustine, a joint venture of local firm Nationwide Development Corp. and US-based Russell Mining. One company guard was killed and several employees were briefly held during the attack. The rebels carted off several high-powered firearms.

On alert

Colonel Leopoldo Galon, spokesperson of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City, said soldiers were placed on alert status, especially in areas hosting mines. The command’s operational area includes Caraga, Southern Mindanao, parts of Northern Mindanao and Central Mindanao.

Lieutenant Colonel Lyndon Paniza, spokesperson of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, which has jurisdiction over southern Mindanao, said the military maintained close coordination with security officials of mining companies in the region.

“Immediately after the incidents (in Surigao del Norte) we alerted our troops and implemented necessary security measures,” Paniza told the Inquirer by phone.

But Paniza said the military was not keen on deploying soldiers in mining areas in Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley at this time.

He said the security of mining companies was the primary concern of their security officers.

“We do not deploy troops as security details to mining companies, unless there is really an imminent threat,” he said.

Not needed

In Zamboanga City, Chief Superintendent Elpidio De Asis, police chief for Western Mindanao, said no fresh deployment was needed, especially in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, because the headquarters of the Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion is within the mining area of Toronto Ventures Inc.

In the case of mining companies in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, De Asis said “there is an interagency task force detailed in Balabag village with a platoon each from the police and army.”

Senior Superintendent Jose Bayani Gucela, Zamboanga del Sur police chief, said the local government earlier created Task Force Kalikasan, whose job is to protect mining companies, including small-scale groups. Reports from Jeoffrey Maitem, Frinston Lim, Franklin Caliguid, Danni Adorador and Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao