The Communist Party Of The Philippines/National Democratic Front Network Abroad AUTHOR LtCol. Orlando Buenaventura, Philippine Navy CSC 1989 SUBJECT AREA - General EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Communist Party of the Philippines/National Democratic Front Network Abroad The Communist Party of the Philippines/National Democratic Front (CPP/NDF) networks abroad have effectively influenced the activities of Insurgents in the Philippines. The CPP/NDF started as a small core group in 1971 and reached its zenith in 1980 when it led a successful campaign against the Marcos government. The CPP/NDF conducted rallies and mass actions which created doubt in the citizens' mind concerning the effectiveness of the Marcos government in its counter-insurgency operations. The establishment of the CPP/NDF international network abroad tries to influence the political parties, unions, and churches to assist in carrying out their objective which is to overthrow the Aquino government. Fr. Luis Jalandoni's efforts in establishing a CPP/NDF base in Utrecht, Netherlands marked the beginning of that group's international works. The stylishness of the CPP/NDF network abroad in conducting their overseas revolutionary work, greatly contributes to the struggle In the Philippines against the Aquino government. The aid given by foreign nations greatly influence individual givers. This is because the picture presented by foreign countries makes the world realize the corruption existing in the Philippines. The CPP/NDF has survived internationally through the help of political parties, union and churches who are also fighting for national liberation and democracy. The CPP/NDF doctrine is to overthrow the existing government through revolution. They've exercised an open propaganda to influence overseas Filipinos and the foreign public on the Filipino society. However, due to the popularity of the present government, the Aquino. administration has been able to limit the CPP/NDF activities and force them to abandon some projects abroad. Presently the Aquino government is launching a counter-propaganda against CPP/NDF through its embassies abroad. This will allow the Aquino government to show the true picture of the Philippines fight today against communist insurgency. THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL FRONT NETWORKS ABROAD by Lt. Col. Orlando G. Buenaventura THESIS: To give the reader an understanding of the history, operations, internal organization, external support, and objectives of the Communist Party of the Philippines/National Democratic Front networks abroad. I Historical Background A. Formed in 1971 B. Political and ideological struggle C. Influence of Jalandoni in Europe II Overseas Revolutionary Works A. Central task B. Main/Secondary objectives C. Primary Lines of work III CPP/NDF Internal Machinery A. Structure and organization B. Role/Targets abroad C. Foreign Membership D. Leadership IV. Financial Sources/ Support A. External communist parties B. Filipino workers abroad V Plans and Programs A. The overthrow of the government B. Propaganda abroad VI Conclusion A. Summary B. Control and defeating the threat COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES/ NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT NETWORKS ABROAD Historical Background The fall of the Marcos dictatorship and the ascension of the Aquino Government into power did not stall in any way the resolve of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) to pursue their goals of overthrowing the government and eventually seizing control of the country's leadership. Through the National Democratic Front (NDF), the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) remains determined to wage its revolutionary struggle not only in the Philippines but also abroad by way of extensive agitation. Propaganda, fund raising and campaigning to support its revolutionary struggle in the home front are the objectives of establishing its network abroad. This international effort by the National Democratic Front (NDF) was emphasized by Satur Ocampo, one of its founding fathers, in a well publicized statement: "The NDF will now be seeking political support abroad in anticipation of an escalation of war by the Aquino government." The National Democratic Front (NDF) traces its beginning with the establishment of the NDF Preparatory Committee (PREPCOM) in 1971. However, it was on April 24, 1973 that the National Democratic Front was formally established with the aim of providing an organizational framework and channel for unity of all progressive and revolutionary forces for national freedom and democracy. In the Philippines, the arenas of political-ideological struggle encompasses the entire social spectrum from workers, peasants, cultural minorities, priest, nuns, urban poor, middle strata, to journalist protesting censorship and reactionary literature. Unifying all these sectors is an evolving coalition called the National Democratic Front (NDF). Its point of programs was drafted in 1973 and reaffirmed in 1980. Nationalist Filipinos participated in NDF's formation in order to articulate all the popular democratic forces, to unite the Filipino people against all anti-imperialist forces, and to overthrow the government that is influenced by foreigners. In 1974, a special body called the Committee for International Support was created under the National Democratic Front Preparatory Committee(NDF PREPCOM) which was tasked to carry out a united front effort abroad and prepare propaganda programs for the purpose of gaining broader mass base support and generating support for the revolutionary struggle in the Philippines. In this polarized atmosphere the emergence of the National Democratic Front (NDF) was complicated by an already confused picture of the Philippine society as seen from world opinion. The NDF was already seen as a front organization organized along classic communist lines under the control of the Communist party of the Philippines (CPP). The NDF serves as a coordinating committee for protest activities by sectoral groups (doctors, lawyers, teachers, priest and students). Some of these groups are infiltrated or influenced by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The party tried to hide its hand, but the CPP was readily identified as such because of its openness to those groups sympathetic with its cause. The National Democratic Front is viewed by many people as an independent group, united in the struggle for national freedom and democracy. Noncommunist protest groups found it convenient to operate under the NDF umbrella, particularly during the post-Aquino assassination when large street demonstrations by multiple groups were staged. The CPP moved quickly to take advantage of the popular outrage after the assassination and heightened political interest among the middle and professional classes which gave the NDF an ideal opportunity to broaden its base and improve its acceptability by important groups. With the arrival of Fr. Luis Jalandoni in Europe in late 1976, the NDF began its visible overseas activities. In deference to or opposition to the Marcos regime and strong leftist sentiments in European politics, churches and unions allowed Jalandoni to gain headway in establishing the NDF abroad. In 1981, Jalandoni formed the Filipino People Committee based in Utrecht, Netherlands to seek support for the peoples organization in the Philippines; and to develop active links between Western European political parties, union and churches with appropriate Philippine counterparts; and to campaign against U.S. involvement in the Philippines. The purpose of their last goal is to claim that the majority of the Philippine activities are controlled by the U.S., especially the on going negotiations concerning the U.S. bases in the country. Overseas Revolutionary Works (ORW) The NDF, in its effort to draw a comprehensive approach based from the experiences of several years of international work, established the Overseas Revolutionary Works in 1985. This set the principles, policies and guidelines for the NDF to work internationally. Its central task is to overthrow the present government, the different political parties and their organizations. With the influence of the European allies, NDF will fight any foreign aid given to the government for which the government will use to fight poverty and to help alleviate the living conditions of the Filipinos. NDF tried to establish a means to control foreign aid to the Philippines thus limiting aid to the Aquino government. Additionally, NDF wants to conduct a systematic and comprehensive propaganda campaign DENYING foreign aid to the Philippines. The NDF has already established working cells in places where Filipino laborers have concentrated. They have built a strong, secure, and self-reliant organization on an international scale. Their plan is to attract Filipinos who will use the NDF organization to air grievances concerning their treatment and their working conditions. They try to approach these problems to the leftist parties in the respective countries handle this. As a result, those Filipino laborers who have solved their problems with the NDF now become members or contribute to the overseas revolutionary works. The main objective of this effort by NDF is to develop the broadest and strongest political and material support for the revolutionary struggle in order to strengthen revolutionary forces. The NDF would like to isolate the present administration by reducing the financial support it receives or may receive. They have also established contacts in the U.S., for the U.S. is the primary source of aid being given to the Philippines like food and medicine. The U.S. also provides military aid which is used to conduct of counterinsurgency operations. NDF contacts have also been established in the Middle East as well. Because the Philippines has an active Muslim insurgency, the NDF presents a distorted picture of what is happening to Filipino Muslims. Their secondary objectives is to extend appropriate forms of support to the revolutionary struggles of the proletariate and the people of other countries. This is to gain attention which they will need when they try to seize power. International recognition is necessary in order to gain a semblance of legality when the CPP and the NDF attempts to establish their own government. In attaining these objectives the Overseas Revolutionary Work (ORW) formulated in their program to obtain political and material support for the Philippine revolution from foreign countries and organizations. ORW bases in the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia collects, evaluates, and establishes contacts with leftist parties in Europe and the Middle East which they work through to organize and mobilize overseas Filipinos to participate and support their Philippine revolution they are to launch. However, they are not accomplishing their objectives for the following reasons: Filipinos still adhere to close family ties; if a revolution should occur, Filipinos are unsure as to the disposition of their small, private plots of land; and finally, Filipinos send their earning to families overseas and they questions whether this would still be possible should a revolution occur. The Overseas Revolutionary Works (ORW) should first support the revolutionary progressive positions and struggles of foreign movements, parties and organization in order to establish itself as a sustaining body in the face of other organizations and fronts. ORW should now concentrate on building secure and self- reliant organization capable of carrying out its struggles against imperialism. In their future, ORW should utilizing a comprehensive study and practice of the Marxist Leninist/Mao Ze Dong thinking and placing itself at the core of mass organizations and political activities aimed at carrying out the task of overseas revolutionary works. As the primary lines of work, the ORW should consolidate with the Overseas Filipino Movement (OFM) the Overseas Filipino Movement (OFM), the Solidarity Mass Movement (SMM) and the International Diplomatic Works (IDW). The Overseas Filipino Movement (OFM) is dedicated to promoting the issue and struggle of the Filipinos abroad and prepare them to struggle for national liberation and democracy in the Philippines. The OFM has two main aspects of its political works: namely the establishment of legal institutions which will openly promote the the line of work through the commission for the Filipino Migrant Workers (FMW) and working with the Filipino masses principally to defend and promote their rights in the host country. The purpose of the Solidarity Mass Movement (SMM) is to establish ties with militant groups and labor organizations abroad which sympathize with the NDF cause--that of the overthrow of the Aquino government. In trying to win support for these groups, the National Democratic Front adopts strategies saying "imperialism" dominates the workers of the world. They look for and develop relations with those leaders of such anti-imperialist parties who are willing to support particular aspects of NDF actions. They prove that the Philippine revolution is an active part of the world liberation movement. The International Diplomatic Work (IDW) is tasked to prepare the ground work for the possible official and legal recognition of the Philippine Democratic Coalition government. It is essentially similar in the network link organization and purpose as that of the Overseas Filipino Movement (OFM) and the Solidarity Mass Movement (SMM) although its primary target of operation is the existing political parties and pressure groups abroad. Through the International Diplomatic Work (IDW) the National Democratic Front (NDF) aims to foster, develop and strengthen active linkages between foreign political parties, churches and unions with active participation of its Philippine counterparts. National Democratic Front Internal Machinery The National Democratic Front organization abroad works with the concept of political federation, which is centralized by adhering to a common general program and agreement on major policies that is binding to all member organizations. Its composition is based on the representation of classes, sectors, and forces struggling against a common enemy. Decision making is through consensus or 2/3 majority. Independence and initiative are encouraged among member organizations. Abroad, NDF acts as the political center to lead the general struggle and coordinates political and economical support initiated and led by other progressive and democratic forces. As the political center it serves as the framework for organizing overseas Filipinos. The NDF represents and speaks for the Philippine Revolution in the international arena and acts as the framework of International Work. The structure and organization of the NDF is similar to that of the home front, but it has some differences and variation on the terminologies use. The basic unit of the Overseas Filipino Movement(OFM) and the Solidarity Mass Movement(SMM) is the "NDF core group". This is the same group called "NDF cells" particularly if no underground mass organization has been organized. These "core groups" will be called "organizing groups (OG's) or "Propaganda Organizing Teams" (POT's). These groups are manned by highly advance politicized members selected from various cell members either in the country or abroad. The NDF cell will have the following organization: (a) cell leader/team leader; (b) organization and finance person; and (c) an education work person. As a rule, the NDF cells building is undertaken only among overseas Filipinos for they can solicit the needs of the CPP/NDF locally. The primary targets for NDF cell formation are mass organizations which provides services, resource centers and alliance secretariat. Here organizations are infiltrated particularly those with already existing NDF cells or groups according to their respective lines of works. Three NDF cells will suffice the formation of a committee in any line of NDF work. In the NDF lines of work, the Foreign Relations Work has the utmost importance. It here that the relationship with other communist groups and the liaison between the local communists and overseas communists are made. Therefore, the selection of assigning members to this group are the most capable people in the NDF cells. Its officers has been task to reach out political leaders and important intellectuals on behalf of the NDF or its member organizations. They also develop ties with anti-imperialist and progressive contacts to carry its propaganda works. Although the NDF abroad is dealing with foreign nationals in the pursuit of its objectives, the recruitment of other nationals to participate in their struggle is limited. They recruit only some foreign nationals which are needed to work at service centers as translators and interpreters. In the solidarity line of work both Filipinos and foreign nationals are recruited to form and maintain strong core groups in the key to open formations. The foreign nationals recruited are indoctrinated to the party lines of the CPP/NDF because the Philippine Revolution is the party's concern. Therefore, he should adhere to the NDF's general program and his willingness to accept the availability of performing specific task of the party. He should be willing to attend meetings and study sessions in the pursuit of the party's objective. The CPP/NDF, in selecting the leaders to run their cells abroad, acts as the central committee. These positions are considered highly confidential and candidates considered for appointment are studied and scrutinized by local communist leaders. The selected leaders should be dedicated to the cause of the party. This dedication is twofold: (1) abiding by the decision of the majority and working with a collective and (2) discipline in life-style. The ability to find one's bearing to lead and organize the work is a combination of skills, level of study, level of practice, and experience. He should have a vital link with the masses. Lastly, the selected leader should bear in mind the Philippine Revolution as the main or long political commitment. Financial Sources and Support The overall purpose of the CPP/NDF fund raising activities is to support the Filipino people's struggle in its totality in both the home front or abroad. In principle, all NDF members share the responsibility to make sure the entire struggle is financially self-reliant or supported by reliable sources. Self-reliance means that each NDF area, sector or unit must be able to support financially its own work. However, priority for support are the financial needs for the homefront. Because of the alliances of the CPP/NDF with the communist party abroad, the members are given financial support to pursue their projects abroad. Through coordination they now can get voluntary contribution from countries where the NDF has political influence and doing political work. The members are either given jobs and allowances from which an amount is deducted in order to finance the needs of the local fighters. For the Filipinos working abroad, the CPP/NDF imposes a definite dollar amount on them. The CPP/NDF then capitalizes on current issues and shows abusive action taken by Philippine authorities. With the capital they have accumulated they establish NDF publications or finance some projects essential to the accomplishment of the CPP/NDF goals. They also make some tactical financial campaigns launched for a limited period in response to short or long term political needs. Through mass campaigns and mass mobilization, they try to solicit pledges. They sell pendants, poster cards and even engage in concert/dramas in order to attract Filipino workers in giving their share to the CPP/NDF cause. Plans and Programs As a result of the world-wide known "People Power" revolution in the Philippines, the National Democratic Front (NDF) made a comprehensive analysis on the new situation in the Philippines. The new government was viewed as a fragile coalition of the right and bourgeoise liberals. However, the Aquino government has a broader power base than the Marcos regime. As such, it adopted a critical collaboration stance with the present government fielding some of its members to fill some some post in government. With this style they could penetrate the bureaucracy while waiting for the Aquino government to weaken so the NDF goal can be fulfilled. On the international front, in order to maintain the momentum of their political work abroad, the National Democratic Front (NDF) made some guidelines to counter any move by the present government. They launched an open propaganda campaign designed to guide overseas Filipinos and the foreign public to read the new situation in the Philippines according to the NDF perspective. They also launched a continuing mass undertaking in form of peoples forum, symposia, mass delegations to embassies, symbolic actions depicting the fall of Marcos, petitions, messages, pickets at U.S. embassies and ecumenical masses. They have broaden relations with foreign friends and actively seek concrete support for broad democratic movements and anti-imperialist demands. With their guidelines they made a stricter order given in order for its leaders to assist in their future standing abroad. For the Aquino government enjoys a liberal support on the insurgency in the Philippines. Presently, most foreign governments think the Aquino government could resolve the crises. However, the CPP/NDF takes advantage of the soft approach the Aquino government has taken. The CPP/NDF is taking advantage of this soft approach by lobbying for programs that could take advantage of the present situation while waiting to reorganize their forces and rally behind the leftist government officials. The present government, making reforms to the old Marcos regime, made a turnabout toward the CPP/NDF goals. This affected most of their on-going projects abroad. However, the CPP/NDF is reforming their plans to fit the present thus enabling them to pursue their ultimate goal of the Philippine revolution. Conclusion Since the founding of the CPP/NDF in 1971, the unity for progressive and revolutionary forces fighting for national freedom and democracy was established with the goal of overthrowing the existing government. They have staged demonstrations, strikes, and have attempted to assassinate key political figures. The CPP/NDF made liaisons abroad which establishes sustainment for resistance and political help. When Fr. Luis Jalandoni arrived, he established a liaison unit in Utrecht, Netherlands to help the CPP/NDF in their struggle. He established the Filipino People Committee to develop active links between political parties, unions, and churches. The NDF is now experienced in developing international contacts abroad. They develop a constant dialogue with the Filipinos working abroad and with the foreign community as well. For their main objective is to develop the broadest and strongest political/material support for the revolutionary struggle. The primary lines of work were consolidated to give every committee a chance to explain their views to the respective audiences. Now they have established contact with parties giving them more freedom in carrying out their task. The organizational structure abroad varies a little from the home front. The central committee of the CPP decides whatever issues or policies to be undertaken in its revolutionary work. Even the cells could not act independently without the central committee approval. Foreign nationals joining the NDF cause, should adhere to the NDF standards impose upon him by the party in order not to compromise its objectives. He should devote his time working as a liaison or interpreter to the party. In selecting party leaders abroad, the CPP is to take into account the experience and exposure of the individual as to his capability to act as a liaison with his local counterparts. As far as the financial status of the CPP/NDF abroad is concerned, its party members must be able to produce some material support for the home front. Usually, financial arrangements are made through political parties, unions or churches. Some Filipino workers contribute their voluntary share. Funds are raised by publishing books, selling pennants or organizing plays or concerts. Income derived from these activities is sent to the homefront. With the turnover of events in the Philippines, the Aquino government has received much recognition abroad. The CPP/NDF has made counter-propaganda plans to guide the overseas Filipino workers and the foreign public as to the "real picture" of the Philippines. Since the ascension of the Aquino government to power, it has proposed a ninety day truce with the Communist party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front. The communists took advantage of this by making contacts with foreign governments to openly to build their bases on the homefront. But due to the atrocities of their activities the government closed the deal. The communists continued their thrust through demonstrations, strikes and other forms of protest to regain their advantage. With the popularity of the Aquino government, their dealings abroad where checked and most of their special projects where abandoned. The government made a plea to foreign nations that aid or projects be channeled to the government to check whether they are manipulated by the National Democratic Front. A complete report is submitted by the government to any inquiry made by foreign governments about the aid given to the Philippines. Though their is difficulty finding out the connections of the National Democratic Front abroad, the Aquino government is pursuing its course of action to show to the world that it is reforming itself and giving every Filipino a decent life to live which is one of the goals of the National Democratic Front in their propaganda to attract Filipino workers abroad. Click here to view image SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY PRIMARY SOURCES AFP Documents. Foreign Activities of the NDF, Annual Report of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, 1987. San Juan, E CRISES IN THE PHILIPPINES, Bergin and Garvey Publishers Inc, Mssachussettes, 1986. Bunge, Fredica M, PHILIPPINE A COUNTRY STUDY, Headquarters Department of the Army, 1984. Lachica, Eduardo, THE HUKS: PHILIPPINE AGRARIAN SOCIETY IN REVOLT Praeger Publisher Inc, New York, 1971. Komite Sambayanang Filipino (Filipino Peoples Committee) Health- THE FRUIT OF STRUGGLE, Utrecht, Holland, KSP 1985. SECONDARY SOURCES Rafferty, Kathryn E, FOREIGN POLICY MAKING IN THE PHILIPPINES, DTIC, Techinical Report, Research Analysis Corporation, Mclean, Virginia 1982. Warner, Dennis, MOUNTING TREATS IN THE PHIPPINES No 1 NPA Exploits Social, Economic and Political Injustices, Pacific Defence Reporter, July 1984. Ackerman, Julia, FIDEL V. RAMOS ON THE PHILIPPINE INSURGENCIES, Interview with Philippine Defense Secetary Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, Defence and Foreign Affairs, 16:18 Jun 88. Bilver, S., THE PHIPPINES: HOW MUCH LONGER CAN IT HOLD?, Asian Defense Journal No. 7 July 1985. O' Ballance, Edgar, POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT: COMMUNIST NEW PEOPLES ARMY, Literary Review 11 - 21 Feb 88. Porter, Gareth, THE PHILIPPINE COMMUNISM AFTER MARCOS, Reprinted from Problems of Communism Sept - Oct 1987, Asian Defense Journal No. 5 May 88. Villareal, Ismael, Col , NEGOTIATING WITH THE COMMUNIST IN THE PHILIPPINES Pacific Defense.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|