The National Democratic Front of the Philippines

celebrates its 35th year

 

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 

April 26, 2008

 

 

 

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines on Saturday observed its 35th anniversary with the theme "Celebrating 35 years of the Filipino people's victories in their struggle for national liberation." The event was held at an old church, the Nassaukerk, in Amsterdam and was attended by overseas Filipinos and foreign comrades from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Ireland, the UK, Turkey, and Indonesia. Read more.

 

NDFP Chief Negotiator Luis Jalandoni and NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison share the achievements and perspectives of the people's revolutionary struggle in the Philippines.

After a choral recitation of Carlos Bulosan's 'If You Want to Know What We Are," the audience joined in singing the 'Internationale' and 'Bayan Ko'

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Photos courtesy of Imanwel Saturay of People's Artists Network

"The NDFP is tasked to further develop the revolutionary united front for armed struggle. In this regard, it employs the basic alliance of workers and peasants, the alliance of the progressive forces, the alliance of patriotic forces and the broad alliance with certain sections of the reactionary classes in order to rally the people in their millions to isolate and destroy the worst reactionary force at every give time and increase the capacity of all the three weapons of the armed revolution to overthrow the ruling system" - Jose Maria Sison.

"The major part of the work of the NDFP allied organizations is in the wide countryside. Mass organizations of peasants and farm workers, workers, women, youth, cultural groups and children are set up. Mass campaigns for land reform, health, education, culture, and self-defense are carried out in response to the peasants' basic needs. Organs of political power or alternative governments on the barrio level are formed, while the New People's Army and the CPP are strengthened." - Louis Jalandoni

           

 

PRESS RELEASE
NDFP International Information Office
28 April 2008

OVERSEAS FILIPINOS, FOREIGN COMRADES
JOIN NDFP CELEBRATE ITS 35TH YEAR

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines on Saturday observed its 35th anniversary with the theme "Celebrating 35 years of the Filipino people's victories in their struggle for national liberation." The event was held at an old church, the Nassaukerk, in Amsterdam and was attended by overseas Filipinos and foreign comrades from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Ireland, the UK, Turkey, and Indonesia.

The event started at 2 p.m. with an exhibit of NDFP memorabilia, revolutionary paintings and posters, film showing, and a sale of various items to raise funds for the victims of the recent calamities in Eastern Visayas and for the campaign to resurface disappeared NDFP peace consultants and staff who have been victims of enforced disappearances.

A forum highlighting the victories and prospects of the Philippine revolution was held next. Featured speakers were Luis G. Jalandoni, chair of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, Professor Jose Maria Sison, NDFP chief political consultant; and Koen Hostyn, a Belgian student who was part of a delegation that visited the Philippines recently.

In his speech, Jalandoni described the work of the NDFP in this way: "The major part of the work of the NDFP allied organizations is in the wide countryside. Mass organizations of peasants and farm workers, workers, women, youth, cultural groups and children are set up. Mass campaigns for land reform, health, education, culture, and self-defense are carried out in response to the peasants' basic needs. Organs of political power or alternative governments on the barrio level are formed, while the New People's Army and the CPP are strengthened."

Strides in the areas of land reform, health service, literacy and cultural programs have been made, said Jalandoni.

With regard to the work in urban areas, Jalandoni explained: "In the urban areas, NDFP allied organizations promote the workers' struggles, the revolutionary mass movement, the struggle for human rights, and political work within reactionary institutions. They join the masses in the campaign to oust the corrupt, illegal and fascist Arroyo regime. They help build alliances to broaden the national united front in support of the overall revolutionary struggle,"

Jalandoni singled out the holding in 1980 of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal (PPT) on the Philippines as one of the revolutionary movement's successes in its international work. The PPT would later declare the NDFP as the legitimate representative of the Filipino people and recognize the status of belligerency of their revolutionary armed struggle.

Jalandoni said that "abroad, the NDFP allied organizations promote the work among overseas Filipinos to defend and uphold their rights and foster their participation in and support for the Filipino people's liberation struggle. It also develops international solidarity with peoples from different countries, fostering mutually beneficial cooperation in the struggle against imperialist globalization and wars of aggression."

He added: "The NDFP likewise carries out proto-diplomatic and diplomatic work to win support and recognition from governmental and intergovernmental institutions abroad. The NDFP Negotiating Panel and its consultants, staff and volunteers are also tasked with undertaking peace negotiations with the reactionary government."

Prof, Sison spoke about the current situation in the Philippines and the prospects in the coming years. He explained that the semifeudal and semicolonial system is in chronic crisis and is ever rife for a national democratic revolution. "The Arroyo regime has aggravated and deepened the crisis by escalating the exploitation and oppression of the people."

Sison lambasted the Arroyo government for being anti-people and for going against the development of the economy through national industrialization and genuine land reform. "She is extremely servile to the US and other imperialist interests and has allowed free rein to plunder of the economy by foreign corporations and by the big compradors and landlords."

Can Arroyo finish her "stolen" term up to 2010? To this question, Sison replied that the fake president being ousted before her term ends remains a "distinct possibility". He said protest actions participated in by a broad alliance of all classes and sectors in Philippine society will continue across the country. He added that the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army and the NDFP are all doing their share to isolate the Arroyo regime by intensifying its revolutionary struggle in the countryside.

"But the most decisive event is still to come, which is the pouring out of hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of the national capital region in order to signal the anti-Arroyo military and police officers and personnel to withdraw support from the Arroyo regime and give way to a new civilian government," Sison said.

Lastly, Sison also emphasized the important role played by the NDFP's international work. This work, he said, includes gathering the support of international friends and mobilizing overseas Filipinos for the Philippine revolutionary movement.

The importance of learning from each other's experience was the message Belgian youth activist Koen Hostyn tried to impart in his message during the forum.

Joining a delegation of Belgian students who in 2007 went to the Philippines for an exposure trip, Koen experienced firsthand how it was to live and struggle with the Filipino masses. The group visited the peasants in Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, the striking workers of Nestlé in Laguna, and also their fellow students at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Visiting a third world country for the first time, Hostyn said the experience concretized for him and the rest of the group the meaning of exploitation and oppression. He said they were also amazed at the militancy of the workers and peasants in continuing their struggle despite the fascist measures employed by the landlords and the capitalists. Hostyn: "We were moved by the courage and determination of the Filipino masses."

International awards, cultural nights

Part of the afternoon program was paying tribute to non-Filipino nationals "who have become "friends, supporters, partners and comrades of the NDFP, the Filipino people, and the revolutionary struggle".

This year's recipients of the NDFP "internationalist awards" are: Bernard Tomlow, the NDFP's Dutch lawyer; husband-and-wife Harsono and Darmini, Amsterdam-based Indonesians who have been supporting the Philippine struggle for years; and posthumous awards to Gerard Raemaekers, a Dutch development volunteer in the Philippines; and Pat Healy and Jack Hynes, two Irish missionary priests assigned in the Philippines who selflessly dedicated their lives to the Philippine revolution.

Cultural night

Capping the celebration was a two-hour cultural night prepared by the NDFP staff in Utrecht, international friends, and the Filipino community in The Netherlands.

Dances from the Philippines, Indonesia and Ireland were showcased, while revolutionary songs were sung not only by the Filipinos but also by Turkish, Dutch and German friends who attended the celebration.

Chorale reading of Carlos Bulosan's poem, "If you want to know who we are", as a tribute to overseas Filipinos and their participation in the revolutionary movement, was also rendered.

The most moving part of the cultural night was the beaming of the names and pictures of the martyrs of the Philippine revolution. #


REFERENCE:
Ruth de Leon
Executive Director
NDFP International Information Office
Tel.+31-30-2310431
Fax +31-84-7589930
Email: ndf@casema.nl

 

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Awards

This year’s recipients of the NDFP “internationalist awards” are: Bernard Tomlow, the NDFP’s Dutch lawyer; husband-and-wife Harsono and Darmini, Amsterdam-based Indonesians who have been supporting the Philippine struggle for years; and posthumous awards to Gerard Raemaekers, a Dutch development volunteer in the Philippines; and Pat Healy and Jack Hynes, two Irish missionary priests assigned in the Philippines who selflessly dedicated their lives to the Philippine revolution.

 

Coni Ledesma, Member, NDFP Negotiating Panel, presents award

 
Ruth de Leon, Executive Director,
NDFP International Information Office
           

 

CURRENT PHILIPPINE SITUATION AND PROSPECTS OF THE NDFP
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
NDFP Negotiating Panel
26 April 2008
 

It is fitting and proper that we are exceedingly jubilant over the 35th anniversary of the founding of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on 24 April 1973 when its 10-point Program was promulgated. Since then, the NDFP has won great victories in the application and development of the policy and tactics of the united front in advancing the people's democratic revolution against foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

The NDFP is the most consolidated and most powerful united front of revolutionary forces in the Philippines. It has succeeded in gathering, harmonizing and coordinating the revolutionary forces and winning over the millions of people to the cause of armed revolution. It has promoted the growth of all its allied organizations, the revolutionary mass movement and the organs of political power. It has served as the base for various types of alliances.

The revolutionary forces, the people's revolutionary government and the broad masses of the people have authorized the NDFP to represent them in peace negotiations with the reactionary government. In this regard, the NDFP has upheld the integrity of the people's revolutionary government and the revolutionary movement. It has worked fruitfully for the unity of compatriots abroad and for international solidarity at the popular and diplomatic levels.

Let me discuss the current situation in the Philippines and the prospects of the NDFP

Current Philippine Situation

The character of the Philippine ruling system has remained semi-colonial and semi-feudal. This system is in chronic crisis. It is ever rife for a national democratic revolution. The Arroyo regime has aggravated and deepened the crisis by escalating the exploitation and oppression of the people under the US-dictated policy of “neoliberal globalization” and “war on terror”.

It is hostile to the national and democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people and to the development of the economy through national industrialization and genuine land reform. It is extremely servile to the US and other imperialist interests. It has allowed free rein to plunder of the economy by foreign corporations and by the big compradors and landlords. It knows no bounds for its bureaucratic corruption, the practice of electoral fraud and rampant human rights violations.

It has kept an agrarian and pre-industrial economy that is dependent on the production of raw materials for export and low value-added semi-manufactures for re-export. The income from these always falls far short of import payments. The regime has engaged in a wanton spree of foreign and local borrowing, in combination with a policy of regressive taxation and the appropriation of the remittances of overseas contract workers. This is to cover the growing trade and budgetary deficits, service the accumulated debt and make false claims of economic growth and poverty alleviation.

The Arroyo regime and preceding regimes have allowed the destruction of Filipino-owned manufacturing enterprises and local food production by adopting the policy of trade liberalization. This policy has allowed the dumping of foreign products on the country even while the income from the export of raw materials and re-export of semi-manufactures has decreased due to the global glut. Now with the unprecedented deep and ever worsening economic and financial crisis of the US and the world capitalist system, the Arroyo regime is at a loss as regards to getting the funds to pay the debt service and the import of food, fuel and other necessary goods.

There is an international credit crunch that has arisen from the prolonged abuse of credit under the policy of “neoliberal globalization”. The US industrial decline, unemployment, the drastic contraction of the US consumer market and the unsustainable national, corporate and household debts further cramp the global financial system. They have resulted from the ever worsening crisis of overproduction and runaway financial speculation. All these adversely impact on the Philippine economy as international credit tightens and orders for its raw material and semi-manufacture exports are drastically reduced. The export of live labor is also decreasing discernibly. The costs of imported food, fuel and other necessities are rising relentlessly.

The dramatic bankruptcies of US households and an increasing number of major US corporations, especially in the financial sector, through the mortgage meltdown have a depressing effect not only on the US economy but also on the entire world economy. They signify the grave loss of demand due to reduced income and suppressed rights of the working people and the failure of neoliberal policy to stimulate the economy with the most irresponsible expansion of the money supply and credit, tax cutbacks for the corporations and wealthy and unbridled military spending.

The worsening of the socio-economic crisis has resulted in the sharpening of the political crisis in the Philippine ruling system. The ground for amicable mutual accommodation among the reactionaries has increasingly become constricted. The Arroyo ruling clique has increasingly monopolized the spoils of power. The rising bitter rivalries within the ruling clique have resulted in the exposure of many outrageous cases of bureaucratic corruption. The intra-systemic political rivals of the ruling clique and the broad range of the opposition, including the patriotic and progressive forces, are inspired by the people's outrage and are emboldened to expose and oppose the regime.

Discontent with the Arroyo regime is ever rising even among the military and police forces. But the regime is trying hard to preoccupy and rally them with bloodthirsty calls for the strategic defeat of the revolutionary forces by 2010 under Oplan Bantay Laya 2. It is deliberately displaying and using brute force in order to maintain the loyalty of the chain of command, obtain increased US military assistance, intimidate the broad range of legal opposition and of course to whip up the psy-war against the revolutionary movement.

At any rate, the ouster of the Arroyo regime before 2010 is a distinct possibility. Despite the brutal efforts of the regime to curtail rights and suppress the opposition, the organized forces of the workers, peasants, urban petty bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie are working hard to enlarge and make more frequent their protest mass actions in the national capital region and in the provinces. They invoke the democratic right to speak and assemble in order to counter the attempts of the regime to preempt, discourage and disrupt the protest mass actions.

Significant sections of the reactionary classes are already vocal and active within the broad united front against the Arroyo regime. But the most decisive event is still to come, which is the pouring out of hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of the national capital region in order to signal the anti-Arroyo military and police officers and personnel to withdraw support from the Arroyo regime and give way to a new civilian government.

While the broad legal united front of opposition forces are working hard to oust the Arroyo regime through mass mobilization in the streets of urban areas, the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines are noticeably striving to further isolate and weaken the Arroyo regime through the intensification of the revolutionary armed struggle in the countryside. The broad masses of the people expect that even as the broad legal united front does not yet succeed in ousting the Arroyo regime, the armed revolutionary movement continues to gain strength and advance against the crisis-ridden ruling system.

Prospects of the NDFP

The rapidly worsening crisis of the ruling system inflicts terrible suffering on the broad masses of the people. But it also incites the people to fight back. It serves as the favorable objective condition for the advance of the subjective forces of the revolution, particularly the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People's Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). These are the three magic weapons of the Filipino people for carrying out the new democratic revolution through protracted people's war against the oppressive and exploitative forces of foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

In its recent message to congratulate all Party cadres and members and celebrate the 39th anniversary of the CPP, the CPP Central Committee summed up the accumulated victories of the CPP in the ideological, political and organizational fields and described these victories as the basis for still greater victories on time for the 40th anniversary of the CPP. Also in its more recent message to congratulate all Red Commanders and fighters celebrate the 39th anniversary of the founding of the NPA, the CPP Central Committee summed up the accumulated political and military victories of the NPA and described these as the basis for still greater victories in the protracted people's war along the line of the new democratic revolution on time for the 40th anniversary of the NPA.

The National Council of the NDFP has summed up the accumulated victories of the NDFP in serving as the people's instrument for developing various types of alliances and for arousing and mobilizing the people in their millions. All the 17 allied organizations of the NDFP are growing in strength and advancing. Thus, the NDFP has a solid basis for winning greater victories in further developing various types of alliances, generating mass campaigns and attracting the broad masses of the people to the revolutionary cause against the Arroyo regime and the entire ruling system. Indeed, the NDFP has bright prospects so long as it carries out the tasks that it has set forth.

The NDFP is tasked to further develop the revolutionary united front for armed struggle. In this regard, it employs the basic alliance of workers and peasants, the alliance of the progressive forces, the alliance of patriotic forces and the broad alliance with certain sections of the reactionary classes in order to rally the people in their millions to isolate and destroy the worst reactionary force at every give time and increase the capacity of all the three weapons of the armed revolution to overthrow the ruling system.

The NDFP is tasked to further develop the revolutionary mass movement in the countryside in order to support directly the armed revolutionary movement and inspire the legal democratic mass movement in the urban areas to develop on their own distinctive account. It is by ensuring, promoting and assisting the building of the revolutionary mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth and other related forces that the NDFP prepares the way for the building of the organs of political power from the village level upwards.

As widely reported, the current joint plan of the CPP, NPA and NDFP is to increase the number of guerrilla fronts from the level of 120-130 to a new level of 173 in order to cover every congressional district in the provinces and to start developing the leadership of regional and provincial Party committees in relatively stable base areas on the basis of the guerrilla fronts. In this regard, the special task of the NPA is to destroy the armed power of the reactionaries and build more fighting units. That of the NDFP is to facilitate, assist and oversee the further development of the revolutionary mass organizations and organs of political power at various levels.

The Arroyo regime is hell-bent on using Oplan Bantay Laya 2 to destroy or inflict strategic defeat on the revolutionary movement by 2010 and is intransigently against the resumption of formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations unless the NDFP capitulates under the guise of an indefinite ceasefire agreement. In response, the CPP, NPA and NDFP declared their determination to intensify the people's war, especially because the broad masses of the people want to overthrow the Arroyo regime and the entire ruling system.
◄◄◄

 

Messages of international solidarity from various counries

     
     
Damini of Indonesia
     
     
     


The unreasonable and hostile position of the Arroyo regime leaves the revolutionary forces and people no choice but to intensify the armed revolution. Conditions are exceedingly favorable to them and unfavorable to the entire ruling system. They encourage and enable revolutionary forces and people to raise the people's war to a new and higher level and to make more effective demands for the resumption of formal talks in the peace negotiations.

The ceaseless worsening of the crisis of the world capitalist system and that of the Philippine ruling system is favorable to the international work of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. This involves political work among the overseas Filipinos in order to defend their rights and promote their welfare. It also involves work to further strengthen and develop solidarity and mutual support between the Filipino people and other peoples through their respective mass formations and coordinating committees. It further involves proto-diplomatic and diplomatic relations with particular governments or inter-governmental agencies.

The success of the all-round international work of the NDFP will depend upon the victories of the revolutionary movement at home and the resolve, militancy and competence of NDFP personnel abroad. In advancing the Philippine revolution, the revolutionary forces and people in the Philippines play the primary role. They need the solidarity and support of the people and progressive forces abroad. The people of the world need to unite and support each other against imperialism and reaction. These are their common enemies in the struggle for national liberation, democracy, social justice, development and peace.###
 

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Cultural night
 

Capping the celebration was a two-hour cultural night prepared by the NDFP staff in Utrecht, international friends, and the Filipino community in The Netherlands.

Dances from the Philippines, Indonesia and Ireland were showcased, while revolutionary songs were sung not only by the Filipinos but also by Turkish, Dutch and German friends who attended the celebration.
 

 Indonesian dance

  Irish dance
Philippine dance
           

PAGBABALIKWAS. Migrant workers in a theatrical presentation about the struggles of the Filipino people.

           

Members of a Netherlands-based cultural collective provide musical background for the event.

 

NDFP's Fidel Agcoaili captures the moments with his camera

           

Brecht :: Filipino community's rendition of Bertolt Brecht's Einheidtsfront (Awit ng Nagkakaisang Hanay) and Solidariteitslied (Awit ng Pagkakaisa)

           

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