Correspondence:
News from working-class communists in the Philippines

(CV #35, March 15, 2005)

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. There are communist activists in the Philippines who are seeking to build up an anti-revisionist proletarian movement. A number of them were at one time in the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines and its New People Army. But they became convinced that the CPP was not basing itself on building up the revolutionary consciousness and class organization of the working masses. So they began work to build up a truly communist movement based upon the independent action and organization of the workers and poor peasants. We, and prior to that, the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA, have had some contact with these activists for some time. The Workers Advocate, voice of the MLP,USA, had carried a report on their work in its issues of Dec 1989 to Feb. 1990. Below we carry a letter concerning the state of their present work for the founding of a genuinely proletarian party in the Philippines.

February 15, 2005

Dear Joseph,

. Best wishes for more revolutionary advances this new year!

. Upon entry of the new year, we held our this year's first meeting. We did an initial discussion of your email message which immediately gave us this new year's first boost. At present, a copy of your letter is with a UP student who is doing the translation. We also assessed last year's efforts.

. Our over-all assessment of last year's is that the proletarian revolutionary movement here began a new wave of vigor and advance. The most outstanding moves were the development of relationship with SUMAPI (Federation of Progressive Workers Unions based in San Pablo City) which resulted in a covenant of unity in a single revolutionary movement, some advances in relationship building with the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas -- Proletaryo (the more than 1000-strong contingent that split from the kulak Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas last year), the steps made in the organizing of the POC collectives in Quezon City, Laguna, Leyte, and Quezon (province), the mass actions on May 1 and November 30, the series of Sunday assemblies held at UP, and the few successes in linking with the student organizations at the UP.

. We resolved to keep up this new wave and push it forward this year. We thus have plans for the ideological, political and organizational development of the PRK (Proletarian Revolutionary Movement]. We will make sure that each member of the POC [Party Organizing Committee] will be equipped with an adequate knowledge and understanding of the basic Philippine and world conditions and problems (capitalism and imperialism), history, revolution, communism and the Marxist-Leninist party and the capacity to explain these to the masses and potential members. Each should also be equipped with the knowledge and understanding of Marxism-Leninism and its enemies including revisionism in general, revisionism of the Seventh Congress of the CI, Stalinism, Maoism, Trotskyism, etc. . The classics, documents of communist conferences, MLP documents and CVO documents will be our main sources. Thanks always for your and CVO's ideological role.

. We will continue with our monthly Sunday educational assemblies of PRK members, potential members and non-members. We will also strive to mount bigger and more expressive mass mobilizations especially for our celebrations such as those of March 18 (Paris Commune), May 1 (International Working Class), August 23 (Philippine Revolution of 1896), November 7 (October Revolution of 1917) and November 30 (Andres Bonifacio's birthday). We have also plans to start two newsletters, one for the awareness of the PRK members and potential members and friendly groups, and another one for the awareness of the friends of our NGO and trade unions, as we continue our Masang Anakpawis publications that we issue and distribute during our celebrations. Immediately, we will push through with our second relief operation for the dislocated masses in Northern Quezon.

. We will strengthen the POC center and area committees. We hope to hold a POC general assembly during the year most probably this summer so as to consolidate the POC collectives in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Antipolo, Teresa, Laguna, San Pablo City, Occidental Mindoro, Northern Quezon, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Capiz, Davao del Sur, Sarangani and North Cotabato. We are always mindful that the POC serves as the transition organization from the previous Katipunan ng mga Proletaryong Rebolusyonaryo ng Pilipinas (Union of Proletarian Revolutionaries of the Philippines) to a full-pledged Marxist-Leninist Party of the Filipino proletariat. We will also consolidate the collective that has been working among the intellectuals, professionals and students, and we hope to establish our first collective among the UP students.

. More on the Northern Quezon tragedy: the chair of the POC area committee of NQ estimated the casualties to have reached more than 400. The tragedy was caused by the flash floods of water, mud and logs from the mountains to the rivers and the sea and to several barangays of Infanta, Real and General Nakar and the poblacion of Infanta. These destroyed several lives, dwellings, means of livelihood, other properties and even entire communities of the poor people. These must have also dislocated the base areas and guerilla fronts of the two warring Maoist factions in those places.

. What or who caused the deaths and other destructions? The peasants and semi-proletarians in those areas pointed their fingers to three groups, namely, the loggers, the government, and the Maoists. They admitted, however, that, landless and jobless as they are, many of them live by cutting down some trees in the forests and mountains and selling them to the lowlanders. Groups of 4 poor people climb up the mountains, stay there among the thick forests for 15 days to a month, fell down some trees, and pull down more or less 5 small to medium-sized logs for sale in the town centers, earning just enough to feed their families and repay their debts. They are known as "carabao loggers" because they use their carabaos to pull the logs down from the mountains to the plain and eventually to the market.

. The national government including the national government agency, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the provincial and municipal governments have anti-logging laws and ordinances but have done nothing to enforce or implement any of them. They could not be strict to the small poor loggers because either they are among the big loggers or they are in cahoots with them. These big loggers include, among others, the three biggest logging concessions in General Nakar. One of these big loggers, the Green Circle, for instance, has been in a lease contract with the government over at least 70 hectares of virgin forest up the mountains of Nakar. It has been cutting and felling down big trees using heavy equipments including bulldozers, cranes, and others and it has done this not only within the parameters of the 70 hectares but even outside and away from such parameters where it not only cuts down the big trees but also destroyed the smaller and younger ones. And it amasses wealth by exporting the logs to Japan.

. The people of northern Quezon and the neighboring sub-province of Aurora to the north which was also hit by the same calamity talk about the opposition leader Senator Edgardo Angara, the aspirant king-maker behind the Fernando Poe Jr. presidential candidacy, and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, an opposition senator who was Marcos' defense secretary and right hand in declaring the infamous 1972 martial law, as among the top loggers, if not the topmost, in Aurora and in the northern Luzon province of Cagayan, respectively.

. Meanwhile, in northern Quezon the municipal governments especially the Maoist-run municipal government of Nakar not only allowed but also provided protection to Green Circle and all the other big loggers, and, for such, the mayors and other top local officials receive their regular shares from the big loggers' huge earnings. The governments get tax payments, while the mayors and other top officials receive bribes. They are partners in the destruction of the environment. Their ultimate financiers and beneficiaries are Japanese monopoly capitalists.

. And their main protector has been the "communist"-led "people's" army, the New People Army of the Maoist CPP. And, for such protection, the CPP receives its regular big share such [as] the payments by the various logging concessions of their "revolutionary tax. " The bigger the concession, the heavier the tax it pays the party. This means the more destruction of the environment, the more money the Maoist party receives and the happier Joma Sison and his lieutenants are. Last November 30, the anniversary of Andres Bonifacio's birthday, they were saddened by the calamitous destruction not because a lot of people died and several communities perished and they realized that they were among the killers and destroyers but because it meant a certain dislocation in the regular flow of the tax money to their bank accounts.

. The logging concessions are interested not only with the trunks of the trees but also with their roots. They thus take also the roots and process them into expensive furniture products. They thus continuously file cut trunks and roots up the mountains while bringing some of them down through the rivers to their stations in the town centers. And so, prior to the grossly painful experience, having been robbed off the big trees including their roots, the mountains were extremely weakened and were then only waiting for the heavy rains to soften the rootless portions and give way to the destructive avalanches of logs, water and mud. On November 29, the avalanches took place and drowned many people and communities.

. Revisionism (Maoism) once again unfolds itself as a partner of the foreign and local capitalism in destroying the environment and the people's lives. Maoism is Marxism-Leninism, communism and revolution in words while it is extortion and money-making at the expense of the environment and the people. The NPA is an army of the revisionists, opportunists and extortionists for the protection of the big logging business and the destruction of the environment and the poor people.

. That was November. A few days after, another tragic incident happened in a certain town of Bulacan, the province immediately after Metro Manila towards the heart of Central Luzon and then Northern Luzon. The people in a grossly flooded area due to the overflow of the Angat dam in the eastern section of the province asked the government for rescuers. Immediately, the government dispatched a military contingent of rescuers and engineers as it does in all situation of natural calamity, the National Disaster Coordinating Center being one managed and run by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). These rescuers and engineers came for the sole purpose of rescuing those in grave dangers due to the flood and eventually rebuilding the devastated infrastructures. But they were not able to do their duty because they were ambushed and ten of them were killed on the spot by the NPA.

. The 10 AFP's rank and file who did valuable service to the poor people badly affected by the floods in other areas lost their lives, while the waiting people suffered the consequences. Thus, the Philippine public through their expressive statements in radio programs and some newspaper articles vehemently condemned the uncalled-for killing. A spokesperson of the CPP had to defend the killing by insisting that the military were doing "surveillance" work in their area. But the people are far more intelligent than what the CPP thinks them to be. In fact, they are far more intelligent than the CPP.

. Everyday, Maoist revisionism through its people's war, its killing of people, is continually creating its own grave. A people's war that is killing people is a sham people's war, is a war against the people and a war against itself. The CPP has been involved in killing its former high-ranking CC members including Popoy Lagman (former chair of the Manila-Rizal Regional Committee), Romulo Kintanar (former chief of staff of the NPA), Arturo Tabara (former chair of the Western Visayas Commission), and others and is continuously plotting to kill Ric Reyes (former General Secretary of the CPP) and a long list of "counterrevolutionaries" recently exposed by one of them who is now a party-list congresswoman, Loretto Ann Rosales; it is digging its own grave, it is killing itself.

. Indeed, the Filipino people like the rest of the peoples of the world need a genuine revolution in order to emancipate themselves from imperialist and capitalist exploitation and oppression and remnants of feudal exploitation and build a genuine socialist society. Such revolution must expose the bankruptcy of the Maoist-led national democratic revolution and people's war as well as the reformism and terrorism of the other Maoist and non-Maoist factions. Such revolution can only be one that is proletarian and communist in character, one that is led by the proletariat and its genuine Marxist-Leninist party and guided by the advanced ideology of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism. Such must relate itself to the revolutionary struggles of the peoples in other countries and throughout the world, be guided by the lessons culled from such struggles, enjoy their support and contribute to their advance.

. To that revolution, PRK commits itself! Onward to the new era of the resurgence of the revolutionary proletarian and people's struggles, of the world's proletarian revolution! Onward to the great future of World Communism!

Your class brother in the Philippines,
Julian Nicolas <>


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