35th anniversary celebration of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Last month, representatives of the CPGB-ML attended international celebrations surrounding the 35th Anniversary of the founding of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which took place in Amsterdam on 26 April 2008.

This spirited occasion, a celebration of the victories of the Filipino people, featured an exhibition of revolutionary Filipino art and craft, an informative forum and a lively, accomplished cultural programme.

The organisations in the NDFP have for three-and-a-half decades confronted the comprador Filipino regime and its rapacious imperialist backers. Some of their recent victories and the crisis facing the comprador government were reported earlier this year in issue 22 of Proletarian.

The celebration was addressed by Comrade Jose Maria Sison, founding Chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines and now the NDFP’s Chief Political Consultant. He said that the NDFP “has succeeded in gathering, harmonising and coordinating the revolutionary forces and winning over the millions of people to the cause of armed revolution.”

Comrade Luis Jalandoni, the Chief International Representative of the NDFP and Chairperson of its Negotiating Panel, pointed out how all its 17 constituent organisations were growing in strength. The major part of the work was in the vast Philippine countryside, he said.

“Organs of political power or alternative governments are formed from the village level upwards, while the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) are strengthened at every level for the eventual seizure of national political power.”

Many organisations from around the world that could not send representatives had sent written messages of solidarity, and brief messages were delivered to the meeting by representatives present. Godfrey Cremer gave the following message on behalf of our party:

CPGB-ML solidarity message

Comrades of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, I am happy to bring greetings and express solidarity from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist). Congratulations on your 35th birthday.

I also bring greetings to the Communist Party of the Philippines and personal greetings to Comrade Jose Maria Sison from Harpal Brar, our Chairman. They have met many times and he is sorry that he cannot be here today, as is Ella Rule, our International Secretary and Vice-Chair.

It is important to say that our solidarity is not only based on friendship. It is the internationalist duty of the working class in the heartlands of imperialism to stand in resolute solidarity with the anti-imperialist struggles of the peoples of the oppressed countries. Your struggle is our struggle – each blow you deliver to imperialism brings closer not only your freedom but also the emancipation of the working class in the imperialist countries.

Your blows are having good effect. This is not just a birthday; it is a celebration of 35 years of the Filipino people’s victories in their struggle against local reaction and for freedom from imperialist domination.

Whatever lies the bourgeois media tell us, the truth is that anti-imperialist forces around the world, not least the resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan, are winning victories over imperialism. Such is the case in the Philippines, and we are grateful for the information that we get from you, which we are able to publicise in Britain, including in our paper, Proletarian.

The forces of reaction can harass as much as they like, they can be as brutal and appear as fearsome as possible, but we are dialecticians and we look at things in their change and progress. Imperialism is old and dying away; it is the working class and oppressed peoples of the world that are the future. We look forward to the next birthday in December – the 40th of the CPP.

Even more, we look forward to the liberation of the Philippines from imperialist domination and its progress towards socialism.