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The Huks And The New People's Army: Comparing Two Postwar
Filipino Insurgencies
CSC 1985
         Marine Corps Command and Staff College
     Marine Corps Development and Education Command
                Quantico, Virginia 22134
               Major Rodney S. Azama, U.S. Army
            War Since 1945 Seminar and Symposium
                        1 April 1985               
Author:  Azama, Rodney S., Major, U.S. Army
Title: The Huks and the New People's Army:
           Comparing Two Postwar Filipino Insurgencies
Date:  1 April 1985
        Insurgencies are a popular form of modern warfare, and
the Philippine government's suppression of the Huk rebellion -
between 1946 and 1954 - is often cited as a model of effective
counterinsurgency policies. While that rebellion was defeated,
the Huks came fairly close to achieving success in 1950. In 1969,
the newly-established Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)
joined forces with the remnants of the Huk movement to form a
new military arm - the New People's Army (NPA). Expanding
continuously since its formation, the NPA currently is an
internal security threat to the Philippine Republic.
        While the Marcos administration has downplayed the NPA
threat, this guerrilla army may upset the future stability of the
government. The intent of this paper is to compare and contrast
the NPA with the almost successful Huks in order to test a
hypothesis - that the New People's Army potentially presents a
more significant threat to the existing government than the Huk
movement did to the three presidential administrations it fought.
        Moving from a general overview of the two Communist
movements to specific aspects of these insurgencies, this paper
examines two guerrilla "armies" and related Communist parties.
After an introduction, the study is divided into three sections,
with the first (Chapter 1) briefly describing the Philippine
setting and the wartime Hukbalahap resistance movement - the
predecessor of the Huk guerrillas. A subsequent section
(Chapters 2 and 3) traces the general history of both
insurgencies. The final section analyzes specific aspects of
these guerrilla movements:  the Filipino environment with its
causes and conditions (Chapter 4); the organization, composition,
expansion and strength of the insurgents (Chapter 5); their
strategy, doctrine, and operations (Chapter 6); the movements'
logistics, communications, and external support (Chapter 7).
        The two insurgencies had similar causes and faced
problem-ridden government organizations and forces. However, the
implementation of more rational counterinsurgency policies by
Ramon Magsaysay (He became the defense secretary in 1950) turned
the situation around. Magsaysay instituted significant internal
defense and development programs. By 1954, the Huk rebellion was
essentially suppressed. The current Marcos regime has not pursued
such an effective counterinsurgency program. Although the present
size of the Filipino military organization is much larger than
during the time of the Huks, other government weaknesses persist.
In addition, the recent Aquino assassination has resulted in a
political polarization - moving "moderates" toward the radical
        There are significant differences in the insurgent
organizations:  the CPP-NPA organization is more sophisticated,
having a united front notably stronger than that of the Huks aud
their Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP); the CPP-NPA
leadership is younger, sophisticated, and more radical; the CPP
enjoys a much closer relationship with the NPA; and while both
insurgent groups had large mass bases, the CPP-NPA mass
organization has a more diverse membership. Although the number
of armed NPA guerrillas now approximates the peak strength of the
Huks, the NPA has expanded into almost all areas of the country
while the Huks were essentially limited to Luzon island. In
addition, the NPA appears to have some links with another
Filipino insurgent organization - the Moro National Liberation
        While both the Huks and the NPA followed a Maoist
strategy, the NPA has adapted Communist doctrine to specific
conditions in the Philippines. The Huks overestimated their
military capabilities and sought an "early seizure of power in
1950"; NPA leaders are more patient and pragmatic. Although there
are similarities in both groups' operations - as far as size of
operations, types, target selectivity, training, and discipline -
the NPA employs more sabotage and has displayed a deeper
understanding of urban guerrilla warfare and psychological
operations. Unlike the Huks, the NPA is formally employed as an
organizing and propaganda force - in addition to being a fighting
        Both groups were plagued with logistical difficulties,
but the NPA possesses more firepower and employs more
sophisticated methods of obtaining funds. The NPA also has better
communication systems available. Neither the NPA nor the Huks
received any significant external support, although the CPP-NPA
has planned and organized for this future contingency.
        While it is difficult to compare separate organizations
at different points in time, it appears that the New People's
Army potentially presents a more significant threat to the
existing Philippine government than the Huks did during the 1950
to 1954 period. There is still time, however, for the government
to introduce much-needed reforms and programs to defeat this
ongoing insurgency.
        This study utilized both published and unpublished
sources. While there is no shortage of material on the Huk
rebellion, much less information is available on the New People's
Army. Although many have examined the Huks in retrospective,
there were no detailed studies that drew parallels between the
Huk and NPA insurgencies. Primary sources utilized consisted of
personal interviews, speeches and books by participants,
published memoirs, and other publications. Secondary sources
consisted of research papers, government studies, books,
journals, and other periodicals.
                     "WE ARE PEASANTS"
We are what they call mere peasants;
Who were created by God in sincere love;
We who live by our own toil,
We are those peasants, always in poverty, always sacrificing;
No rest from work, suffer more and more,
While others depend on us.
We are peasants who always wear shorts,
We work in rain or shine without resting;
We are the planters who show no fear,
Who prepare the land with carabao, plow, and rake;
We are those planting with bended bodies,
Mud to our knees on rainy days.
When we peasants quit working,
All will go hungry and the nation will cry;
Those who are selfish and usurpers,
Only pretend they know poor people's feelings;
That is why we peasants and all workers,
All act together to DRAG DOWN THE DEMON!
(A Filipino peasant song sung by Huk rebels)
         *Benedict Kerkvliet, The Huk Rebellion:  A Study of
Peasant Revolt in the Philippines (Berkeley:  University of
California Press, 1977), p. 132.
                               TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES                                              vii
A.  INTRODUCTION                                               1
    1.   The Setting                                           8
    2.   The PKP and the Huk Rebellion                        18
    3.   The CPP and the New People's Army                    26
    4.  The Environment:   Insurgency Causes and Conditions   37
    5.  Organization, Composition, and Strength               59
    6.  Strategy, Doctrine, and Operations                   127
    7.  Logistics, Communications and External Support       184
E.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS                                  199
    A.  Chronology of Key Events                             208
    B.  Glossary of Abbreviations                            215
    C.  Map of the Philippine Provinces                      218
    D.  By-Laws of the Hukbalahap, 1942                      219
    E.  Constitution of the PKP, 1946                        223
    F.  Constitution and By-Laws of the HMB,  1950           227
    G.  Programme for a People's Democratic Revolution       230
    H.  The New People's Army (document)                     240
    I.  Basic Rules of the New People's Army                 248
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY                                       254
                         LIST OF FIGURES
    1.   Philippines in its Asian Setting                        9
    2.   Geographic Setting of the Philippines                  10
    3.   Cultural-Linguistic Groups                             12
    4.   The Central Plain of Luzon                             39
    5.   Percentage of Cultivated Land Farmed by Tenants        40
    6.   National Organization of the PKP                       60
    7.   The Military Organization of the PKP                   62
    8.   Hukbalahap Squadrons and Their General Locations       64
    9.   The Regional Commands of the Huks                      65
   10.   The Organization Department of the PKP                 68
   11.   The Education Department of the PKP                    70
   12.   The Finance Department of the PKP                      71
   13.   Party Control of Finances through  Interconnections    72
   14.   Estimates of Huk Strength, 1942-1970                   82
   15.   Huklandia, 1946                                        83
   16.   Huklandia, 1950                                        85
   17.   CPP-NPA Organizational Structure                       87
   18.   The Party (CPP) and Army (NPA) Relationship            90
   19.   Organization of the Philippine Government              91
   20.   People's Organizing Group                              93
   21.   NPA Guerrilla Formations and Territorial Jurisdiction  96
   22.   Agricultural Activity                                 113
   23.   Guerrilla Activity, 1980                              114
   24.   Guerrilla Activity, 1983                              117
   25.   Estimates of NPA Strength, 1984                       118
   26.   Curriculum for Huk Schools                            145
   27.   Huk Incidences, 1962-1969                             154
   28.   Growth of the New People's Army, 1969-1979            161
   29.   Chart of NPA Strategy                                 165
   30.   NPA Propaganda Themes as Defined by the NPA           172
       I know now from experience that the nationalism of
   the Communists is indeed opportunism, and that they use it
   for their own ends. Any nationalist who makes an ally of
   the Communist is going for a ride on a tiger. We must
   learn from our lessons in the past, and this is one that
   nationalists need to remember today, when once again the
   Communists are trying to use them.
       Former Huk leader Luis Taruc in He Who Rides the
           the Tiger:  The Story of an Asian Guerilla Leader
       You do not kill Communism with the sword and gun alone.
   Communism is an idea. When a man in a rice paddy with a
   hungry belly, working on land which is not his - in debt,
   and his children hungry too - when a man in that position
   hears somebody say:  'The land belongs to the man who
   works it - come with us and we will give it to you!' then
   my friend, something happens. To that man, it is a cool
   wind blowing through a hell on earth.
       Ramon Magsaysay in 1953
Revolutionary Warfare
       Sir Robert Thompson in Revolutionary War in World Strategy,
1945-1969, defines this form of warfare as one "which enables a
small ruthless minority to gain control by force over the people
of a country and thereby to seize power by violent and
unconstitutional means."  He characterizes modern revolutionary
war as being three-phased, consisting of an initial defensive
phase, a second phase that seeks to obtain a point of equilibrium
or stalemate with the government, and a final offensive phase.
Thompson also differentiates revolutionary war from conventional
warfare, partisan warfare, coups d'etat, and other forms of
       The Huk Rebellion of 1946-1954 and the ongoing New People's
Army insurgency in the Philippines could be categorized as two
cases of revolutionary warfare. Both illustrate a form of warfare
that is growing increasingly prevalent in modern times. While
numerous instances of revolutionary warfare have occurred in
southeast Asia, the Philippine insurgencies may be instructive
due to the characteristics of that country.
Unique Characteristics of the Philippines
       As Professor David Rosenberg points out, the Philippines
has long been regarded as an exceptional case in southeast Asia.
It never had a monarchy or any extensive, centralized city-
states. It was not noticeably affected by Hindu or Confucian
ideas. The Philippines were colonized twice - by Spain and the
United States - over three and a half centuries. The Spanish
legacy made the Philippines the only predominately Christian
country in Asia, and American influence left English as a first
national language. Political independence was accepted,
essentially without violence, by an established indigenous elite
that emerged under a paternalistic American rule.2   In addition,
the Philippines is the only independent nation that is a former
American colony.3
       On the other hand, the country shares several basic
characteristics with the rest of southeast Asia. The kinship
group is the basic unit of society and the overwhelming majority
of the population lives in relatively isolated rural areas. The
Philippines remained a diverse collection of ethnolinguistic
regions until colonial rule imposed uniform authority within
territorial boundaries. There was frequent resistance to colonial
rule in the country, and Filipino nationalists were the first in
Asia to declare their independence from Western colonial rule.4
Pertinence of the Filipino Insurgency Experience
       The success of the Philippine government in suppressing
the Huk rebellion - between 1946 and 1954 - is often cited as a
model of effective counterinsurgency policies. While that
rebellion was defeated, the Huks came fairly closely to achieving
success in 1950. In 1969, the newly-established Communist Party
of the Philippines (CPP) joined forces with the remnants of the
Huk movement to form a new military arm - the New People's Army
(NPA). Expanding continuously since its formation, the NPA
currently is an internal security threat to the Philippine
Republic. Because of national security-related links and a
longstanding historical relationship with the Philippines, U.S.
officials are obviously concerned with the recent trend of events
in that country.
       While the Marcos administration has downplayed the NPA
threat, this guerrilla army may upset the future stability of
the Philippine government. The intent of this paper is to compare
and contrast the NPA with the almost successful Huks in order to
test a hypothesis - that the New People's army potentially
presents a more significant threat to the existing government
than the Huk movement did to the three presidential
administrations that it fought. In this context, the term "Huks,"
while originally applied to the World War Two Hukbalahap (Hukbong
Bayan Laban sa Hapon or People's Army against the Japanese)
resistance movement, has evolved as a generic term that is also
applied to the postwar Hukbalahap and HMB movement (In 1948, the
Hukbalahap were renamed the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB)
or People's Liberation Army).
Scope of the Study
       While the purpose of this study is to examine the two
guerrilla armies, it must necessarily also examine their related
Communist parties and mass organizations. Especially with
Communist organizations, one cannot simply examine one organ in
isolation. Although this paper does not focus on Filipino
counterinsurgency operations, the evolution of Filipino
Communism, or political, economic, and social factors in the
Philippines, these will be briefly discussed due to their
       Moving from a general overview of the two Communist
movements to specific aspects of these insurgencies, this study
is divided into three sections. The first (Chapter 1) briefly
describes the Philippine setting and the wartime Hukbalahap
resistance movement - the predecessor of the Huk guerrillas.
A subsequent section (Chapters 2 and 3) traces the general
history of both insurgencies. The final section analyzes specific
aspects of these guerrilla movements:  the Filipino environment
with its causes and conditions (Chapter 4); the organization,
composition, expansion and strength of the insurgents (Chapter
5); their strategy, doctrine and operations (Chapter 6); the
movements' logistics, communications, and external support
(Chapter 7). Lastly, a summary and conclusions are presented.
Sources Used in the Study
       This study utilized both unpublished and published
sources. While there is no shortage of material on the Huk
rebellion, much less information is available on the New People's
Army - a clandestine and security-conscious organization.
Significant information gaps exist on the current, internal
workings of the NPA and its related Communist organizations.
Although many have examined the Huks in retrospective, there were
no detailed studies that drew parallels between the Huk and NPA
insurgencies. Hopefully, this study is a first step in that
       Primary sources used consisted of personal interviews,
speeches by participants, official publications, and published
books and memoirs. Secondary sources consisted of research
papers, government studies, books, periodicals, and journals.
An annotated bibliography is included at the end of this study.
Useful Appendices
       Several appendices are included that may prove valuable to
the reader. A general chronology of significant events is
included as Appendix 1 and may prove useful in placing the
numerous events in chronological perspective. With the
proliferation of Filipino government, Communist, and related
organizations, various abbreviations and acronyms are necessary;
these are listed in Appendix 2. As one examines the significant
expansion of the New People's Army and geographical locations are
referred to, Appendix 3 - a map of the Philippine provinces - may
prove useful. In addition, several Huk, NPA, and party documents
are included as appendices.
        1Robert Thompson, Revolutionary War in World Strategy,
1945-1969 (New York:  Taplinger Publishing Company, 1970), pp. 4,
        2David Rosenberg, ed., Marcos and Martial Law in the
Philippines (Ithaca, New York:  Cornell University Press, 1979),
p. 14.
        3Ross Munro, "Dateline Manila:  Moscow's Next Win?"
Foreign Policy, No. 56 (Fall 1984), 187.
        4Rosenberg, pp. 14-15.
                           CHAPTER 1
                          THE SETTING
       The United States occupation of the Philippines was
   a half century of compromise. It was a compromise between
   claims of jingoistic American imperialism at the turn of
   the century, and the ideals of Filipino nationalism..."
       Onofre D. Corpuz in The Philippines
   Some Huks were recognized despite the official anti-Huk
   attitude of the American Army...In the main, however,
   recognition was never extended as a policy to the Hukbalahap."
       Huk leader Luis Taruc in Born of the People
Geography and Topography
       The Republic of the Philippines comprises some 7,100
islands extending about 1,100 miles from north to south,
separating the South China Sea from the Philippine Sea (see
Figure 1 - Philippines in Its Asian Setting). These islands cover
a total land area of about 16,000 square miles. The two largest
islands - Luzon and Mindanao - comprise about 65 per cent of the
total land area. The large Philippine archipelago embraces some
520,700 square miles of land and sea (see Figure 2 - Geographic
       Over 95 percent of the population is concentrated on 11
larger islands. Seven large islands and over 3,000 islets form
the central Visayan Group - between Luzon and Mindanao - which
comprises 19 percent of the Philippine's total land area.2
Manila, the largest city, is also the capital.
       The topography of the Philippines is largely mountainous,
creating narrow coastal plains and interior valleys and plains.
Major plains include those of central Luzon, the Cagayan valley of
Click here to view image
northeastern Luzon, the Agusan Basin on the southern island of
Mindanao, and the coastal plains of Cebu. These are the most
densely settled regions. Much of the country is covered with lush
tropical forests and jungles that benefit from heavy rains. About
38 percent of the land has been cleared for cultivation and
another 7 percent is used for pasturage.3
       The Philippines lie entirely in the tropics. The tropical
climate is governed by the northeast and the southwest monsoons,
with three main seasons:  the wet, typhoon season from June
through October; the cool,dry season from November through
February; and the hot, dry season from March through May.
Seasonal variations in temperature are relatively minor. The
country's rivers, which are  generally short and shallow, are
prone to seasonal flooding.4
Demographics of the Philippines
       The population of over fifty-three million includes
numerous cultural and linguistic groups (Filipino tribal groups
are depicted in Figure 3)  Filipinos are principally a blend of
Malay, Chinese, Spanish, Negrito, and American stock. Social
cleavages are based mainly on religious (Muslims versus lowland
Christians), sociocultural (upland tribes versus lowlanders), and
urban-rural differences rather than ethnic or racial ones. The
overwhelming majority of Filipinos are descendants of
Malayo-Polynesian peoples who migrated from the southeast Asian
mainland and Indonesia. Christian Malays make up 91.5 percent of
the population, and Muslim Moros comprise the remaining 4.5
percent of ethnic Malayans. Those of Chinese descent make up
Click here to view image
one-third of the non-Malayan minority, and about 20,000
aboriginal Negritos live in the remote interior of the country.5
       Growing at a recent average rate of 2.5 percent a year,
the population has an average density of 421 inhabitants per
square mile. Over 60 percent of the population lives in rural
areas, although migration to the cities continues. More than half
of the population (54.4 percent) is found on the island of Luzon.
Approximately 43 percent of all Filipinos are less than 14 years
       Pilipino, a variant of the Tagalog people of southern
Luzon and Mindoro, is the official language. English, the second
official language, is widely understood. Other diverse languages,
such as Ilocano and Cebuano, are spoken. Among some elements of
the populations, knowledge of Spanish and Arabic is significant.
About 85 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, but a
strong Filipino Muslim minority (Moros) makes Islam important in
the southern part of the archipelago. Literacy is estimated at
over 89 percent.7
Origins of the Huk Rebellion
       Before examining post-World War Two Communist insurgency
movements in the Philippines, it is useful to examine the roots
of insurgency. The events which led to the Huk insurgency can
be traced to activities of Communist organizers in the
Philippines during the 1920s and 1930s. The Communist movement
began during this period as an urban political party inspired by
the Comintern. The Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) was
founded on 7 November 1930 by Crisanto Evangelista. The PKP
focused on organizing Filipino industrial workers, and on 7
November 1938, it merged with the Philippine Socialist Party.
For about thirty years after this merger, the PKP was, virtually,
the only radical party in the country.8  However, this merger was
not a "complete" one. The emphasis was on the formulation of a
united front, and ignored doctrinal and ideological differences.
Both original parties retained some structural integrity, with
the "complete" organizational merger planned to take place
gradually. Two fundamentally different trends of thought would
remain among the leadership, a factor that proved important
       With the onset of World War Two and the almost immediate
Japanese invasion of the Philippines, the PKP joined forces with
an agrarian protest movement in central Luzon to form a military
branch of the PKP. This military organization was formally
launched on 29 March 1942 as the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon
(People's Army Against Japan), whose abbreviation was "Hukbalahap."
The Huks, as they were popularly known, emerged as a large
resistance movement against the Japanese. Luis Taruc was selected
to lead the Huks. Initially organized as five squadrons of 100
men each, the Huks - using mountain bases - operated in rice
paddies and sugarcane fields north of Manila. Successful in
recruiting and in extending operations into other areas of Luzon,
the Huks increased their strength to about 10,000 men by March
of 1943.10
       The Huks' partial success was due to political and
military factors. Politically, the Communists created a
clandestine civil administration in the barrios (hamlets) and
towns of provinces where their forces operated. Its base
structure was the Barrio United Defense Corps (BUDC) with a
membership of 5 to 12 persons in each barrio. The BUDC carried
out recruiting, intelligence, logistics, and civil justice
functions. Initial guerrilla training was conducted at training
camps, known as "Stalin's University," by veterans of the Chinese
Communist 8th Route Army. Later, the Chinese became disenchanted
with the Huks and formed an all-Chinese force of their own,
operating close to Manila. Huk forces attacked Japanese
garrisons, patrols, and convoys, and waged a war of attrition
against the "puppet" Filipino Constabulary. The Japanese Imperial
Army retaliated in the spring of 1943, beseiging the Huk
stronghold of Mount Arayat for ten days, capturing or killing
many of the Huk leaders. The remaining Huks went underground and
reorganized, focusing on political control of main Huk areas.
Many clashes with other Filipino guerrilla forces ensued. It is
estimated that of the 25,000 killed by the Huks during that war,
only about 5,000 were Japanese.11
        1Frederica Bunge, ed., Philippines:  A Country Study
(Washington:  The American University, 1984), p. xiv.
        2"Republic of the Philippines," Journal of Defense and
Diplomacy, February 1984, p. 28.
        3Bunge, p. xiv; "Republic of the Philippines," p.29.
        5Bunge, p. xiv; "Republic of the Philippines," p. 30.
        6Ibid.    7Bunge, p. xiv.
        8U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations,
The Situation in the Philippines, Staff Report by Frederick Brown
and Carl Ford, 98th Cong., 2nd Sess., October, 1984 (Washington:
Government Printing Office, 1984), p. 22; David Rosenberg,
"Communism in the Philippines," Problems of Communism, XXXIII
(September/October 1984), 30.
         9Luis Taruc, He Who Rides the Tiger:  The Story of an
Asian Guerrilla Leader (New York:  Frederick A. Praeger, 1967),
pp. 17-19.
         10Edward Lansdale, In the Midst of Wars:  An American's
Mission to Southeast Asia (New York:  Harper and Row, 1972), pp.
         11Lansdale, pp. 7-8.
                      THE INSURGENCIES
                        CHAPTER 2
       The situation here is critical, it does not at this
   moment seem possible for the Filipino people, ravaged and
   demoralized by the cruellest and most destructive of wars,
   politically split between the loyalists and enemy collabo-
   rators, with several sizeable well-armed dissident groups
   still at large, to cope with the coincidence of political
   independence and the tremendous economic demands of re-
       Paul V. McNutt, U.S. High Commissioner to the
           Philippines, January 1946.
       Any democratic government is neither of necessity
   nor automatically better in the eyes of comman man than
   a Communistic government. In order to stamp out Communism,
   the local government must clean its own house. A status
   quo that has bred virulent Communism cannot remain un-
   changed. Communism seldom flourishes where the people are
   content and prosperous basically."
       Ramon Magsaysay
The Rebellion Begins
       The PKP and the Hukbalahap began the postwar period with
much greater strength than they had possessed in the 1930s. Both
organizations had greatly enlarged memberships and had attained
full legal status. The association of Huk veterans had about
16,000 fully-armed members. The PKP-associated peasant union, the
Pambansang Kaisahan ng Magbubukid (PKM) had local branches in
almost every town and barrio in southern and central Luzon. The
allied Congress of Labor Organiations (CLO) controlled unions in
all the major industries in Panay and Manila, representing most
of the organized labor force in Manila. PKP influence was also
strong in other labor organizations, such as the Philippine
Government Employees Association (PGEA). The PKP-led political
party, the Democratic Alliance, won six congressional seats in
the 1946 elections. One of these seats was won by Luis Taruc,
leader of the Huks. These elected candidates were not allowed to
take office, however, due to evidence of Huk terrorism to
influence the electorate.1
       The Democratic Alliance candidates and the central Luzon
farmers they represented were also partly targets of a campaign
by local landlords to overcome wartime agrarian policies
implemented by the Huks. When many landlords abandoned their
lands physically during the war, their tenants took over the
abandoned farms and defended them. Jose Lava, Secretary of
Organization for the PKP, advocated armed struggle to resist
efforts by the landlords and their armed guards to reimpose the
status quo ante.
       The peasants, who constituted the bulk of the wartime Huk
movement, were organized, well-armed, and experienced in battle.
The new government of the Philippine Republic was weak and
discredited by overblown charges of collaboration with the
Japanese. Pedro Castro, head of the PKP, and most other members
of the PKP's Central Committee publicly favored fighting for
control via a  parliamentary struggle. However, by the time that
the Central Committee had met to resolve this issue, many
peasants and PKP members were taking up arms and disappearing
The Early Huks
       In 1946, the wartime Hukbalahap organization was reacti-
vated. Luis Taruc, the Huk leader, stated later in his memoirs
that most of the Huk rank-and-file initially did not view the
insurgency as a "military rebellion," but as "resistance to the
resurgent reaction" of the government. First to rejoin the fight
were the Hukbalahap veterans and the Huk force soon had 10,000
fully-armed fighters, with 2,000 organizers, activists, and
sympathizers. The insurgent forces were on the defensive
initially, executing limited attacks occasionally to maintain
morale. By 1948, the Huks were getting stronger. A government
amnesty declared by President Quirino that year proved
unsuccessful and the insurgency continued.3
The Peak of the Huk Rebellion
       By 1949, the Huks had an army of 12,000 to 13,000
regulars, with the support of over 100,000 peasants in central
Luzon. While the Huk stronghold was central Luzon, there were Huk
supporters in the Cagayan Valley, and in the Visayas.  The
Filipino government had responded to the Huks with a "mailed
fist" policy of suppression, scorched earth tactics, cordon and
search operations, and heavy reliance on mortars and artillery.
Massacres of peasants, theft, rape, burning and looting by
government forces helped to expand Huk membership during this
period. Government forces were relatively undisclined and inept.
The Communist leadership of the insurgency began to assert the
initiative.4  When the PKP publicly announced its support for the
Huks in 1948, the Huks were renamed the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng
Bayan (HMB) or the People's Liberation Army.
       Government graft and corruption was so widespread that
national elections held in 1949 were declared scandalous and
conceded to be fraudalent. By this time also, a leadership split
became evident between the more ideological "Communists" and some
of their more "socialist" brothers in the PKP. "Nationalism"
versus "Communism" became an issue. The expulsion of Yugoslavia's
President Josef Broz Tito at the this time resulted in the
labelling of Luis Taruc and other "nationalists" as "Titoists."5
       By 1950, PKP leader Jose Lava declared that a
revolutionary situation existed and the PKP should plan for an
"early seizure of power." By this time, the HMB consisted of
three types of forces:  1)mobile striking units operating as a
regular military force; 2)seven regional commands; 3)a local
self-defense corps.
       In January 1950, the PKP adopted a series of policies
based on its overly-optimistic view of the situation. The
Politburo decided to avoid tactical alliances with other groups
opposed to the unpopular government of President Elpidio Quirino,
essentially abandoning its legal mass organizations and efforts
at parliamentary struggle. The PKP also began a very rapid, over-
ambitious membership drive in a "geometric expansion" program.
PKP leader Jose Lava directed all PKP and HMB members to recruit
at least three other members every three months, starting in July
1950 and continuing until September 1951. According to this, the
PKP would increase in size from 3,500 to 50,000 members and the
HMB would increase to over 170,000. As a consequence, the PKP and
HMB were opened to various opportunistic and disgruntled
elements of Philippine society. Poorly-motivated and poorly-
trained recruits entered the organizations and some recruits were
sent to regions where they had few local ties. These developments
weakened PKP and HMB discipline, and caused the organizations to
lose popular support. Some HMB leaders, such as Luis Taruc,
disagreed with Lava's 1950 Politburo Resolutions.7
       As part of the PKP plan for an early seizure of power, the
small, mobile guerrilla units of the HMB were reorganized into
larger units. The HMB thus greatly increased its logistical
requirements and could no longer rely heavily on local peasant
support for material needs. Special food production and
procurement units became necessary. The improved effectiveness of
Philippine Army intelligence, largely due to JUSMAG assistance,
also made it easier for the government to locate HMB units. To
demonstrate HMB power, a number of raids on major cities and
constabulary camps were conducted to commemorate important dates
in the revolutionary movement. Jose Lava, the PKP leader called
these "dress rehearsals of greater things to come."8
The Beginning of the Decline
       By mid-1950, the HMB controlled central and southern
Luzon. It was on the Manila outskirts, anxious for the expected
urban uprising. But the HMB was still not strong enough. Poor
coordination between the HMB and the PKP organizations existed
within the city. This was exacerbated by the leadership schism,
but the PKP Politburo went ahead with plans. However, on 18
October 1950, Jose Lava and several other Politburo members were
arrested in Manila - along with numerous plans and documents -
while planning major "dress rehearsal" raids on the city.9
       Based on American advice, Quirino had appointed on 31
August 1950 a Congressman from Zambales, Ramon Magsaysay, to be
Secretary of National Defense. With the assistance of two U.S.
intelligence advisors, Colonel Edward Lansdale and Major Charles
Bohannan, Magsaysay had implemented numerous intelligence reforms
and had a personal role in the Politburo capture. The two
officers were part of the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group
(JUSMAG). One of President Quirino's earlier acts - following
JUSMAG advice - was a reorganization of the entire armed forces
of the country. The Constabulary was placed under the Defense
Department, with many of its members transferred to the regular
army. Quirino also formed twenty-six battalion combat teams
(BCT's) - totalling about 26,000 men - as the core of the new
counterinsurgency force. Total government fighting strength
(regular army and Constabulary) was about 30,000 men.11
       Magsaysay dismissed incompetent and corrupt army
officers, and made provisions to ensure honest elections.
Resettlement areas for surrendered and captured Huks were
established under the Economic Development Corps (EDCOR) program.
Habeas corpus was suspended in order to detain government
officials suspected of corruption, as well as suspected
Communists and sympathizers. Magsaysay expanded the counter-
insurgency program even further after his election to the
Presidency in 1953. In 1954, Huk leader Luis Taruc surrendered
and the rebellion essentially came to an end.12
The End of the Rebellion
       By 1954, the HMB had suffered defeats on the battlefield
and the erosion of popular support after Magsaysay's successful
counterinsurgency programs. Dr. Jesus Lava, who had succeeded his
brother as PKP Secretary General after his capture in 1950,
finally acknowledged the futility of his plan for an early
seizure of power and proclaimed a strategic return to the format
of parliamentary struggle. At this time, there were very few
party members left for the pursuit of open, legal activities.
Many had abandoned mass organizations in 1950, when Jose Lava
first declared his plan for an early seizure of power. The shift
to parliamentary struggle was blocked, however, by the
Anti-Subversion Law, which declared the communist party and its
affiliates illegal and imposed stiff penalties on party mem-
       The Anti-Subversion Law contained a one-month grace period
during which PKP and HMB members were encouraged to surrender in
exchange for amnesty. Recognizing defeat, Lava urged party
members to "return to civilian life" during the grace period. He
also effectively disbanded the PKP party structure by ending the
collective, or cell-unit, membership requirement. Thereafter,
party members were expected to use their own initiatives. Jesus
Lava was only able to exercise his leadership by issuing
ineffective "political transmissions," occasional statements
analyzing the political situation and prescribing courses of
action. Under the new "single file policy," political
transmissions were passed verbally from one party member to
another, one at a time. Lava's actions ended almost all political
activity by the PKP and party organizations essentially ceased to
function. For all practical purposes, the PKP had succeeded in
         1David Rosenberg, "Communism in the Philippines," Problems
of Communism, XXXIII (September/October 1984), 31; letter from
General Edward Lansdale, formerly of JUSMAG, Philippines, 28 March
         3Luis Taruc, He Who Rides the Tiger:  The Story of an
Asian Guerrilla Leader (New York:  Frederick A. Praeger, 1967),
pp. 27-29.
         4Taruc, pp. 36-38, 43, 45; Eduardo Lachica, The Huks:
Philippine Agrarian Society in Revolt (New York:  Praeger
Publishers, 1971), p. 5.
         5Taruc, pp. 58-60.
         6Adrian Jones and Andrew Molnar, "Internal Defense
Against Insurgency:  Six Cases" (Report prepared by the Center
of Research in Social Systems of The American University for the
Department of the Army, 1966), p. 40.
         7Taruc, p. 73; Rosenberg, p. 31.
         8Rosenberg, p. 31; Lansdale letter.
         9Taruc, p. 67; Rosenberg, p. 31,
         10Rosenberg, p. 32; Lansdale letter.
         11Andrew Molnar and others, "Undergrounds in Insurgent,
Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare" (Report prepared by the
Special Operations Research Office of The American University for
the Department of the Army, 1963), pp. 314-315; Lansdale letter.
         12Molnar and others, p. 315.
         13Rosenberg, p. 32.
                          CHAPTER 3
                  AND THE NEW PEOPLE'S ARMY (NPA)
      We would be far from wise if we thought, as many would
   like to think today, that our Communist problem here had
   ended with the surrender of Taruc or will end with the cap-
   ture, death, or surrender of the other Communist leaders.
   Communists are Communists. They have a way of shifting with
   ease from surface activities to underground movement, depend-
   ing on the exigencies of the situation they are in...They
   will seek to associate with worthy causes. They will adopt
   misleading party names and alliances. They will maintain the
   'hardcore' of membership. They will enhance hatred and promote
   strikes and violence. They will resort to sabotage. They will
   seek to divide us. Above all, they will infiltrate into the
   government, universities, civic organizations, even churches.
   That is the usual Communist pattern..."
       Major General Jesus Vargas, Chief of Staff of
           the Armed Forces of the Philippines
       The people are to the army (guerrillas) what water is
   to fish.
       General Vo Nguyen Giap in People's War, People's Army
The Beginning of the CPP
       By the 1960s, the PKP was largely inactive except for a
few renegade units degenerating into criminal bands. These
practiced extortion and banditry, mainly in the hills of central
Luzon. Most notable among them was the Sumulong Gang, a group of
Huk remnants led by Commander Sumulong. Sumulong broke away from
the PKP and set up prostitution, gambling, and other criminal
activities in Angeles City, nearby Clark Air Base.1
       During the 1960s, many of the HMB members returned to the
central Luzon countryside from whence they had come. By 1968,
most of the original Huk leaders had been captured or made their
own peace with the government. The insurgency, without leader-
ship, seemed on the brink of extinction. Instead, a new genera-
tion of leaders was emerging among the Communists.2  This
movement had roots in Filipino college campuses in the late
1950s, when students supported Senator Claro Recto, an
unsuccessful 1957 Presidential candidate who had espoused a more
militant nationalism criticizing the "subservient" policy of the
Philippines towards the United States. U.S. "imperialism"
continued to be a campus rallying cry in the 1960s, and this was
influenced by other events of the time:  the Cuban revolution;
the assassination of Patrice Lumumba; the escalation of the war
in Vietnam, and the rise of the Sukarno government in Indonesia.
This new generation of Filipinos had little or no recollection of
the painful Japanese occupation nor fond memories of U.S.
assistance during the war or in the immediate postwar period.3
       Indignation in the academic community over an investi-
gation by the Philippine House of Representatives into
accusations of Communist subversion on the campus of the
University of the Philippines led to the establishment of the
Students' Cultural Association of the University of the
Philippines (SCAUP) in the early 1960's. An English literature
instructor at the University of the Philippines, Jose Maria
Sison, was one of the leaders. In November 1964, a new youth
movement, the Kabataan Makabayan (Nationalist Youth) or KM was
organized, with Sison as national chairman. Other organizations
were formed, including some with PKP leadership. These included a
peasant federation (MASAKA), a labor organization (Lapiang
Manggagawa), and a Philippine chapter of the Bertrand Russell
Peace Foundation. In February 1967, the Movement for the
Advancement of Nationalism (MAN) was organized as a coalition of
opposition nationalist groups. Old and new members circulated at
PKP meetings, where sharp generational differences emerged among
the political activists. The older leaders, mostly of peasant
background, had tasted defeat in the 1950s and tended to be more
cautious and bureaucratic. The younger members, primarily
intellectuals and urban workers, were more daring and were
inspired by revolutionary successes in China, Cuba, and Vietnam.4
       Jose Sison was commissioned to prepare a draft PKP study
to guide future policy. He wrote, criticizing Jose Lava for the
"early seizure of power" strategy, and exoriating Jesus Lava for
the "single-file" policy. PKP followers of Lava, suspicious of
Sison and other junior PKP members, expelled them from the PKP in
April 1967. Sison formed his own provisional Politburo and issued
his first public statement on May Day, 1967. On December 26,
1968, Sison formally established the Communist Party of the
Philippines (CPP). Citing the "death" of the PKP in 1957, the CPP
felt that it was necessary to "re-establish" the Communist Party.
Sison naturally became chairman of the CPP.5
       CPP leaders, unlike their pro-Moscow predecessors in the
PKP, looked to China and Mao Tse-tung for a model agrarian
revolution to inspire and guide. A 1969 CPP document entitled,
"Programme of a People's Democratic Revolution" (See Appendix G)
       The Communist Party of the Philippines is now re-estab-
   lished and rebuilt as a party of Mao Tse-tung's thought.
   It is the most advanced detachment of the Filipino working
   class leading the Philippine revolution forward. It strives
   to be a well-disciplined Party armed with the theory of
   Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought, using the methods
   of criticism and self-criticism and linked with the masses of
   the people. It wields the two weapons of armed struggle and
   the national united front to deal death blows to U.S.
   imperialism and feudalism.
These leaders were primarily teachers, students, and other
intellectuals involved in protest activities in and around
metropolitan Manila. Their educational achievements and middle-
class backgrounds differed from the majority of the traditional
Huks from peasant backgrounds in central Luzon.6
The Establishment of the New People's Army
       CPP leaders now faced a fundamental problem - they
advocated a peasant-based revolutionary strategy, but had no
peasant base. While well-schooled in Maoist theory, the
leadership had no experience in guerrilla warfare. Within a few
months, however, the CPP was able to obtain the support of a
group of peasant guerrillas under the command of Bernabe Buscayno
- alias Commander Dante - an HMB cadre who had rebelled from the
increasingly criminal activities of Commander Sumulong. Together
Sison and Dante formed the New People's Army (NPA) on March 29,
       Better educated than most Huks, the ambitious Dante per-
ceived the union as a means of consolidating and expanding his
influence at the expense of older leaders in the HMB. Dante
also appeared to be impressed with the ideological fervor and
persuasiveness of CPP leadership. He accepted NPA subordination
to CPP control and allowed the civilian cadre to dominate the
CPP-NPA Central Committee. Dante and his commanders were
outnumbered on the committee and occupied lesser positions.
Beginning with just several hundred men in 1969, the NPA grew to
several thousand by the early 1970s, and shifted activities from
Tarlac and Pampanga provinces in central Luzon to Isabela
province in northeastern Luzon and remote Quezon province in
southeastern Luzon. NPA efforts in central Luzon had focused
primarily on pursuing agrarian reform.8   Government forces
learned of these operations in mid-1972, upon discovery of a
grounded fishing vessel, the Karagatan, off Quezon province. The
boat, from a still-unknown source abroad, was fully loaded with
arms and ammunition intended for the NPA. The discovery led to a
major counterinsurgency effort in the region, that cost heavy
losses of NPA forces.9
       President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972,
justifying this action by the need to suppress the "state of
rebellion" led by the NPA. By 1972, the NPA was estimated to have
approximately 1,000 to 2,000 armed personnel, 7,000 to 8,000
cadres, and 100,000 sympathizers. Over the 1973-74 period, the
government's counterinsurgency campaigns forced the NPA out of
most villages and into more remote, mountainous regions. After
substantially reducing the size of the NPA support base, the
Filipino government eliminated many front organizations, and
arrested many of the leaders.10
The Expansion of the NPA
       Subsequently, the NPA reorganized into more self-contained
units for security and began to concentrate efforts in remote
rural areas where the government presence was minimal. On the
island of Luzon, NPA activity centered in the Sierra Madre
Mountains and the Cagayan Valley in the northeastern part of
the island. Samar in the Visaya Islands and the southern island
of Mindanao also became major NPA target areas. In each of these
remote, impoverished areas, the NPA supported local residents in
disputes with the central government, local military forces,
civilian officials, or landlords. For example, the NPA in 1976
became involved in the Chico River Dam dispute, siding with
tribal minorities resisting development and desecration of their
land. In many areas, the Communists were able to utilize peasant
unrest over the loss of land to corporate enterprises and embrace
issues related to land reform. During this period of the early
1970s, the government's attention was also turned southward to
Mindanao, where a Moro Muslim insurgency erupted. Large numbers
of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) troops were redeployed
to the threatened areas on Mindanao, and mopping-up of the NPA
became a second priority.11
       Government initiatives did little to check the NPA,
although over a dozen top CPP and NPA leaders were captured or
killed during 1976-77, including CPP Chairman Jose Maria Sison
and the NPA chief Commander Dante. The government also undertook
major anti-NPA campaigns on northern Luzon, Samar, and other
areas during the late 1970's. Assassinations and ambushes
increased, however, and CPP cadres continued to expand the
geographical base of their mass movement. Largely responsible for
NPA success were the NPA's decentralized organization that
allowed local commanders wide autonomy, the rugged and dispersed
Philippine geography, the AFP's preoccupation with the Moro
National Liberation Front (MNLF) insurgency, and popular
discontent and frustration with social, economic, and political
       Beginning about 1975 and continuing after the 1976-77
capture of top CPP and NPA leaders, the NPA focused primarily
on political and organizational activities. The number of NPA
clashes with government troops declined, resulting in a false
impression of NPA weakness. When AFP troops were reassigned to
Mindanao, the NPA gained several years of valuable time to pursue
political and clandestine activities. This included the
establishment of local guerrilla fronts and infrastructures. In
1980, on the 11th anniversary of the NPA, the CPP through its
"Ang Bayan" newspaper declared that conditions were right for
resuming military operations. In this statement, the NPA
proclaimed 26 guerrilla fronts in Luzon, the Visayas, and
       By early 1983, the NPA claimed to have units in the
majority of the nation's provinces. A paper prepared in 1982 by a
private Manila business organization estimated that the NPA "has
penetrated if not controlled 20 percent of the barangays
(hamlets) nationwide and can count on the sympathy if not the
support of some 180,000 civilians." Government figures,
understandably, estimated a lower NPA strength. Notwithstanding
the disagreement over the strength of the NPA and its support
base, the government and most sources agreed that the Communists
were entrenched in the mountainous provinces of northern Luzon,
southern Quezon province, peninsular southeastern Luzon, Samar,
and eastern Mindanao.14
       Despite the NPA's impressive growth, Communist leaders
have admitted that they will not be in a position to topple the
government for many years. The NPA has continued a "strategic
defensive" phase of struggle, working in small units and avoiding
large-scale confrontations with the armed forces. In late 1982,
however, larger NPA units, sometimes 200 or 300 strong, began to
be reported on Mindanao, where a major NPA expansion program
was underway.15
       By the end of 1983, according to CPP figures, party
membership had increased threefold from 10,000 to 30,000, and the
number of NPA soldiers (full or part-time) had increased from
8,000 to 20,000. With this increase in membership, the CPP was
able to expand into new territories. The number of guerrilla
fronts increased to 45. On Mindanao - economically and militarily
important due to its rich resources and deepwater ports - Defense
Minister Juan Ponce Enrile acknowledged that the NPA had most
intensified its efforts with at least 16 guerrilla fronts.16
       In addition to assassination of informers, policemen, and
officials whom the NPA considers corrupt, the NPA has also
conducted hit-and-run ambushes and raids. Many of these attacks
have been to acquire arms, ammunition, and equipment. There have
also been NPA attacks on fixed government installations,
government projects, and short-term occupations of municipalities
in areas where the guerrillas have strong local support. Large-
scale ambushes, involving company and battalion-sized units, have
also become more common. On September 29, 1983, about 70 NPA
ambushed a patrol northwest of Zamboanga on Mindanao. Government
forces suffered 46 KIA, the highest death toll suffered by
government forces since NPA operations began in 1969. Almost
every day in 1983 saw at least one NPA action against government
authority somewhere in the vast country.17
       By 1984, the NPA's forces were operating in 62 of the
Philippines' 73 provinces. Armed NPA units now challenge the AFP
across virtually the entire Philippines archipelago. Estimating
NPA strength is understandably difficult. Until recently, the
Filipino government downplayed the NPA insurgent threat, at
least in part to defend its original rationale for martial law,
which was lifted in 1981. Government officials suggested that a
few thousand NPA guerrillas existed at most, and were constantly
on the run due to the effectiveness of AFP operations.18
       The official government line changed in May 1984, when
President Marcos stated publicly that there were at least 6,800
armed guerrillas. Many observers believe that the true figure is
closer to the NPA claim of 20,000 (part and full-time guerrillas)
at the end of 1983. The NPA probably can now field some 10,000 to
12,500 full-time, armed guerrillas, and an additional 10,000
part-time militia soldiers. Until early 1984, reports of AFP
operations consistently equaled or outnumbered the NPA-inspired
incidents. But during 1984, that trend has changed; the level of
NPA activity now exceeds the number of operations mounted by the
        1David Rosenberg, "Communism in the Philippines,"
Problems of Communism, XXXIII (September/October 1984), 32.
        2U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations,
The Situation in the Philippines, Staff Report prepared by
Frederick Brown and Carl Ford, 98th Cong., 2nd Sess., October,
1984 (Washington:  Government Printing Office, 1984), p. 22.
        3Rosenberg, p. 33.
        4Rosenberg, p. 34.
        6U.S., Congress, Senate, p.22.
        7U.S., Congress, Senate, p.23; Rosenberg, 36.
        8U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 28.
        9Rosenberg, p. 37.
        10Frederica Bunge, ed., Philippines:  A Country Study
(Washington:  The American University, 1984), p. 238.
        11Bunge, p. 239; U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 24.
        12Bunge, p. 239.
        13Rosenberg, p. 38.
        14Bunge, p. 239.
        15Bunge, pp. 41, 239.
        16Rosenberg, p. 38.
        17Rosenberg, pp. 38-39.
        18U.S., Congress, Senate, pp. 24-25.
        19U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 25.
                                 AN ANALYSIS:
                           CHAPTER 4
       The way of the reformer is hard...his problems are
   more difficult than those of the revolutionary...he
   necessarily fights a two-front war against both con-
   servative and revolutionary...The reformer, consequently,
   requires a much higher order of political skill than does
   the revolutionary. Reform is rare if only because the
   political talents necessary to make it a reality are rare.
   A successful revolutionary need not be a master politician;
   a successful reformer always is."
       Samuel P. Huntington in Political Order in Changing
       It is not necessary to wait for the fulfillment of
   of all conditions for a revolution because the focus
   of insurrection can create them.
       Che Guevara
       The next five chapters will attempt to compare and
contrast the postwar Huk rebellion and the ongoing insurgency of
the New People's Army. Chapter five will examine the
organization, composition and strength of the two insurgencies;
chapter six will examine strategy, doctrine, and operations.
Logistics, communications, and support will be the focus of
chapter seven. This chapter will examine the environment of the
two insurgencies, their causes and conditions.
       While the Philippines is the setting for both of these in
surgencies, any environment will obviously not be identical at
different points in time. We will examine the Philippines of the
1940s and 1950s, and contrast a revolution within that country
occuring during the more recent years - 1970s and 1980s. A
comparison of both environments is useful to analyze the two
insurgencies fought against the same backdrop.
The Huk Environment (1945 - 1954)
The Wartime Legacy of the Huks
       The Philippines in the late 1940s was a country of about
20 million people. About 3/4 of these people lived on farms in
rural areas. More than half of these farms were small - less
than 5 acres in size. Manila in 1950 had a population of approxi-
mately 1 million. The agrarian nature of the economy is a
continuing key factor, with much of the best farmland located in
the central plain of Luzon (see Figure 4 - The Central Plain of
Luzon). A large portion of this farmland was farmed by tenants -
about 2/3 of the cultivated land in "Huklandia" (see Figure 5 -
Percentage of Cultivated Land Farmed by Tenants in Central and
Southern Luzon). This fact underscores the agrarian quality of
the Huk rebellion.1
       When the wartime Hukbalahap resistance movement was formed
in March 1942, it drew cadre and organizational bases directly
from existing confederations of peasants and labor such as the
KPMP (National Society of Peasants of the Philippines), PKM
(National Peasants Union), AMT (General Workers' Union), and CLM
(Collective Labor Movement), as well as the PKP (Communist
party). Although predominately a rural-base movement, the
Hukbalahap recruited somewhat beyond the peasantry. Many labor
leaders joined the movement, including Luis Taruc, the Huk
"supremo," who was a leader of Pampangan sugar workers and a
member of the National Commission of Labor. Manila groups
including the PKP,  carried out communications, intelligence, and
support activities.2  It was easy to recruit in Manila, due to
Click here to view image
the large numbers of disillusioned students and intellectuals,
unemployed, discontented, and labor organizations.3
       The Hukbalahap had strong peasant support because it was
viewed in the light of its earlier and favorable resistance to
landlords and constabulary, having successfully protected
civilians from the Japanese invaders with guerrilla tactics, and
having provided a shadow government with local peacekeeping
forces through the infiltration of Japanese-created neighborhood
associations. The stature of the Huks also increased because some
Filipinos, including many absentee or self-exiled landlords and
political figures, were collaborators during the war. In the
absence of the exploiting landlords and thanks to bountiful
harvests, the wartime economic situation of the peasants actually
       The war produced a legacy:  "The Huks fought the Japanese
while at the same time righting some of the economic inequities
of the past. While attacking the enemy, the Huks also put toge-
ther the rudiments of a new social organization with its own
leadership, customs, and institutions based on a rough form of
socialist democracy."5
       After the war ended, the Filipino government and economy
were damaged and disorganized. The Huks appointed civilian
leaders in their strongholds and hoped to use these to increase
their political influence - a start towards their dictatorship of
the proletariat. The Filipino government disallowed these Huk
claims and appointed its own officials to hold office until
elections could be held later, Luis Taruc and some of the other
Hukbalahap leaders were imprisoned briefly, but released later in
       American haste in concluding its Pacific affairs resulted
in poor government administration, corruption, and a failure to
recognize and compensate some Filipino guerrillas. This crea-
ted bitterness that the Huks exploited.
       Professor John Walton in his sociological analysis of the
Huk rebellion emphasized four interrelated circumstances that
were proximate causes of the postwar rebellion. The first,
already alluded to above, was the conflict between Huks on one
side, and U.S. occupation forces and other non-Communist Filipino
groups. Even during the liberation struggle in 1945, this
friction existed and government forces began arresting Hukbalahap
members. Huks were asked to turn in weapons and membership lists,
a request that was met with some resistance. Another minor factor
was the issue of back pay given to the USAFFE (U.S. Armed Forces
in the Far East) guerrillas, but denied to Huks who spent much of
their time fighting other Filipinos. Some known or suspected
collaborators of the Japanese were also elevated to positions in
the new government - an issue that was overblown by the Huks.8
       The Huks in September 1945 submitted numerous personnel
rosters as requested by American administrators. Hukbalahap
forces, although they had resisted the Japanese, had refused to
serve under the complete authority of the USAFFE. The Huks also
had extra-governmental political organizations in the villages
and this also caused considerable resentment. Even during the
resistance, several armed clashes erupted between Huks and USAFFE
units. Many of these USAFFE veterans were integrated into the
postwar Military Police Command (MPC) and this further alienated
the Huks and the government.9
       A second circumstance was the resurgence of popular
democratic forces that the Huks captalized upon. Immediately
after the war, the same popular front forces of the late 1930s
were reorganized.10  As Huk leader Luis Taruc noted, "It was
extremely easy to organize among the people after the work of the
Hukbalahap."11  In the countryside, the PKM inherited the
disbanded Huk followers and grew to half-million people, twice
the size of the various prewar peasant organizations combined. In
the labor movement, a Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO) was
organized in 1945.  It quickly became the dominant labor
federation of the early postwar period, including though not
dominated by the PKP. The CLO used activism to press labor
       In anticipation of the 1946 election that would select the
first government of the new Philippine republic, the PKP, the
Hukbalahap Veterans' League, and various peasant and labor unions
combined forces to form the Democratic Alliance (DA). The DA
was successful in electing six Congressional candidates, all from
central Luzon. Due to the Huk use of terrorism alluded to in
Chapter 2, the DA was prevented from taking lesgislative seats.13
       Thirdly, the Philippine Trade Act of 1946 (or the Bell
Trade Act), a continuance of neocolonial policies, exacerbated
historical conflicts. The act called for a twenty-eight year
extension of free trade relations and parity for American
investors along with Filipino nationals. This meant that the
Philippines would continue to be a completely open, duty-free
market for American goods. The arrangement, strongly backed by
Filipino landlords, perpetuated the old colonial relationship.
The parity agreement virtually prohibited the development of
independent Filipino industries by placing them on the same
footing with U.S. multinationals; it preserved the dominant
position of American investment in the Filipino economy.14  The
Bell Act also had important military arrangements, with
ninety-nine year leases for twenty-three bases, including fertile
agricultural land in central Luzon.15
       Finally, there was some abuse of the Huks. Huk and peasant
organizations were declared illegal, with members or sympathizers
harassed, raided, jailed or killed. For the Huks, the murder of
peasant leader Juan Feleo in August 1946 was a highpoint of this
period. At that time, Huk resistance was reorganized out of
the same constituents as the wartime resistance and was mobilized
allegedly for "self-defense", but ostensibly for the furtherance
of Huk political goals.16
       The landlords had successfully resisted postwar reforms at
a time of general political and economic chaos, leading to a ra-
pid deterioration in the material conditions of the peasantry,
especially when contrasted with the relatively prosperous years
of the Japanese occupation. In the midst of some government abuse
of the Hukbalahaps, and some historical, accelerating economic
and political grievances, the Huk began their rebellion.17
       How did the conditions under which the Huk insurgency
operated affect it? The Huks thrived during the 1946 to 1949
period due to the inability of the Presidents Roxas and Quirino
to effectively mount a counterinsurgency campaign. Just prior to
inde- pendence, the Filipino military had to demobilize from a
strength of 132,000 to about 37,000. This caused severe
organizational problems. 24,000 of the 37,000 were in the
Military Police Command (MPC) under the Department of the
Interior, with the remainder in the armed forces under the
Department of Defense. This large constabulary force was not
suited to dealing with a revolutionary guerrilla force. The
overblown collaborationist issue also complicated officer
recruitment for the army. An officer had to be cleared of charges
before assignment - a controversial, time-consuming, and often
subjective process.18
The Roxas Regime
       In addition to the internal defense problems caused by the
postwar state of government security forces, internal development
was largely neglected. At the time, President-elect Roxas had
promised to restore law and order and to eliminate the Huks
within sixty days after his election. The MPC - though lacking
competent leaders, equipment, and proper training - was given the
mission of eliminating the Huks. To augment the MPC, provincial
governors and landlords organized Civil Guard units and recruited
private and local police to participate in internal defense
operations. These various untrained forces presented
coordination, control, and discipline problems.19   The Civil
Guard units, one of the first paramilitary units, served as
auxiliaries of the military units. Some indiscriminate
destruction, pillaging, and massacres caused further resentment
against government forces.20
       After several months of armed confrontation proved
ineffective, Roxas became convinced that police methods were
insufficient to counter the rebellion. A new approach to Roxas'
"mailed fist" policy of force, that of mediation and negotiation,
was attempted. Roxas arranged a three-month truce and tried to
persuade the rebels to lay down their arms. A new land tenancy
act was proposed, but this failed. The Huks continued their
propaganda efforts and the MPC used the truce period to
reorganize and reequip. Both sides repeatedly violated the
       As the truce period ended, the MPC reinforced the Civil
Guards and local police, and the army began new offensive opera-
tions in central Luzon. The "mailed fist" policy continued even
more indiscriminately than before. Whole barrios (hamlets) and
villages were burned, crops destroyed, and peasants innocent of
Hukbalahap sympathies were sometimes killed or imprisoned.
Popular disaffection increased and government forces failed to
decisively engage the mainbody of Huks. In March 1948 Roxas,
perhaps partly out of frustration, declared the Huks and their
political arm to be illegal and seditious.22
The Quirino Administration
       The following month Roxas died of a heart attack. He was
succeeded by Vice President Elpidio Quirino. Quirino believed
that the Huks could be defeated through a coordinated policy of
amnesty and grievance mediation. Quirino enacted a temporary
amnesty in June 1948 and proposed a program of land reform,
abrogation of the Bell Act, and other concessions attractive to
the Communists. The Huks used the amnesty period for propaganda
purposes and negotiations failed with the termination of the
amnesty period on 15 August 1948.23
       For the next two years, government operations were
essentially ineffective against the growing Huk movement with
Quirino later adopting a "mailed fist" policy like his
predecessor.  The fraudalent elections of 1949 furthered the Huk
cause. Two exceptions to government ineffectiveness were the
success of "Force X" - a pseudo-Huk unit of constabularies used
to deceive and attack Huks, and a successful brigade-sized
pursuit of Huks after the 28 April 1949 murders of the widow and
daughter of ex-President Quezon in a Huk ambush.24
       During the Roxas administration and the first year of Qui-
rino's elected term, the Filipino government continued to be a
government of the privileged few. Farmers were suffering econo-
mically due to high rentals; decisions in the land courts
often favored landlords; and the moneylenders charged peasants
mounting interest on the originally small debts of their
ancestors.25  There was corruption in the government and the
arrogant behavior of the military caused fear and resentment.26
       Things began to improve in 1950. In the spring of that
year, the national police force was moved out of the Department
of the Interior and became a part of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines under the Department of Defense. This increased the
strength of the armed forces to 50,000 men. Battalion Combat
Teams (BCT's) were organized for actively engaging Huk units;
these units had more manpower and firepower than the constabulary
units that were being used.27
       The constabulary forces had not been able to stem the
growth of the Huk movement. Their company-sized units were
inadequately equipped and not capable of conducting sustained
antiguerrilla operations. The constabulary also frequently failed
to obtain the cooperation of the populace. The regular army was
not much better prepared for counterinsurgency. Promotions were
awarded on the basis of political influence and corruption was
prevalent. Morale was low and the army was also not organized
for sustained operations. It consisted mainly of administrative,
service, and training units, with only two infantry battalions
ready for combat.28
The Arrival of Ramon Magsaysay
       On 1 September 1950 Ramon Magsaysay became the Secretary
of National Defense under Quirino. As Edward Lansdale, personal
advisor to Magsaysay in the JUSMAG, details in his memoirs, this
marked the turning point in the insurgency. American advice and
assistance through the JUSMAG was important, although the U.S.
was strapped financially by the Korean War of the early 1950s.
Magsaysay improved morale in the armed forces, organized Scout
Ranger teams, emphasized small unit operations, and reduced
corruption.29   As Filipino journalist Eduardo Lachica points out,
Magsaysay was even more successful in his internal development
programs.30   As the counterinsurgency efforts are not the primary
focus of this paper, these efforts will not be examined in detail
       After 1951, once the government had significantly reduced
military abuses of villagers and had begun agrarian reforms
addressing the objectives of most rebels, the Huk insurgency
withered. The government reforms had removed most of the
revolutionary goale. By this time, many of the people were weary
of fighting. Some decided to resume nonviolent efforts to obtain
further agrarian reforms.31
The Environment of the New People's Army (1969-Present)
The Social, Economic, and Political Legacy
       While demographic factors naturally changed from the mid-
1940's, many of the social, economic, and political factors
changed relatively little. This was especially true in the remote
areas. As mentioned in Chapter 3, at the end of the Huk
rebellion, Huk survivivors simply melted into the countryside,
more intent on survival than in continuing an active rebellion.
After Magsaysay's death in 1957, President Garcia enacted an
Anti-Subversion Law, outlawing the PKP, Huks, and other related
organizations. President Macapagal, who was elected in November
1961, did relatively little toward agrarian reform. Although
Macapagal was from Pampanga province in central Luzon and
recognized that region's problems, he lacked political skills and
his Agricultural Land Reform Code failed due to underfunding.32
       Internal development efforts lagged, and by the 1960s, ex-
ploitable conditions still existed to leverage the Communist
cause. Illiteracy remained high in the remote provinces such as
the mountain provinces, Cagayan, Samar and Mindanao. A wide
social and economic gap still remained between the rich elite and
the poor majority, reinforcing the belief that social justice
belonged to the affluent. The economic growth of the nation could
not cope with the needs of a rapidly increasing population,
creating deficiencies in housing, public utilities, and social
services. These deficiencies were especially acute in urban
areas, such as Manila. The economy was still dependent on
agriculture, but world commodity price fluctuations and
technological advances caused disruptions to the Filipino
economy. The initial stages of industrialization also produced
uneven economic development in the country. Governmental graft,
corruption, and inefficiency still prevailed. The majority of the
people tend to equate economic opportunities with leadership, and
the economic problems decreased government credibility.33
The Marcos Regime
       In contrast with the Huks, the NPA developed and has
existed under the reign of only one administration - that of
President Ferdinand Marcos. Marcos was elected in November 1965
and has retained power since. Initially Marcos' policies had a
modernizing and reformist thrust. Marcos' pre-martial law
administration, from 1965 to 1972, invested heavily in infra-
structure projects - schools, irrigation, roads, bridges. Despite
this improving environment, the Communist movement on Filipino
campuses gained strength in the 196Os, attracting young and
idealistic radicals who were inspired by the revolutionary
experiences in China, Cuba, and Vietnam. The Communist Party of
the Philippines (CPP) was formed in December 1969, and several
months later joined with Huk remnants to form the New People's
Army (NPA). By the early 1970s, Marcos had used his power to
dismantle some provincial fiefdoms of the landholding oligarchy,
enact a limited land reform in the rice and corn-growing regions
of central and northern Luzon, partially modernize the economic
infrastructure and the military, and lessen energy dependency.
Economic growth rates were respectable, in the range of six
percent per year.34
       These successes were, however, overtaken by a combination
of underlying structural problems and a cumulative abuse of
power. There was always a clear bias towards large-scale urban
industrial projects, a failure to integrate manufacturing with
the rest of the economy, and a neglect of the agricultural base.
By the mid-1970s, Marcos had replaced the old elite with a new
system of "Marcos socialism." Through subsidies, credits, and
other supports, the government increased its role in the economy,
distorted the private sector by granting certain monopolies to
Marcos associates, and engaged in often wasteful public projects.
A recent report by the University of the Philippines lists 688
presidential decrees and 283 letters of instruction listed since
1972 that represent various forms of government intervention in
the economy.35
       Furthermore, many of Marcos' development programs were un-
derfunded, like those of his predecessors. National roads, sani-
tation, and employment were often neglected. Government programs,
even more importantly, did not demonstrate government sincerity.
While the development projects provided some economic benefits,
they had little social impact where they were needed the most.
Hospitals, camps, and courts were built in provincial capitals
and in the major towns; the urban dwellers (such as the rich and
middle class) benefited, but not the peasants.36
       Some of Marcos' military reforms during the 1960s were
commendable. A non-combatant Army Civic Action Force (ACAF) was
created out of the Philippine Civic Action Group recalled from
Vietnam, and included engineer, medical and support units. The
ACAF unit was utilized to provide health care, improve roads,
perform flood control work, and build schools, bridges, and
buildings. The Philippine Constabulary (PC) Rangers were created,
and the curriculum at military schools expanded to include more
engineering, social science, and humanities topics. Constabulary
forces were strengthened, and by 1970 the PC was the largest
organization (21,000) in the 50,000 man AFP.37
       Despite its strengthening, the basic failing of the
military in the late 1960s may be that it did not have a clear
idea of its enemy. Situational assessments were made at high
levels and were rarely questioned by tactical units. The military
appeared to have no clear concept of the enemy, except that it
was fighting against "ideologues;" there was little sense of the
social circumstances of the insurgency. The AFP viewed the Huks
as an instrument of a global Communist conspiracy. Although
barrio self-defense units were formed, the AFP was not perceptive
to the distinction between the peasant rebels and the urban
Communists. The insurgency provided the AFP with a reason for a
strong military force and emphasis was placed on the quantitative
aspects of troops and guns. The initial overuse of PSYWAR
techniques also contributed to the government's credibility
       In his export-growth development strategy to emulate the
Japanese, Marcos attempted to create a stratum of aggressive Phi
lippine entrepreneurs heading large holding companies. The
result, however, has been a serious distortion of the Filipino
economy that has exacerbated the unequal distribution of wealth,
created a debt-ridden public sector, and caused economic
problems. From the mid-197Os to 1983, the composition of
government spending shifted, with less going to infrastructure
projects and the majority being spent on corporate equity
investment and other capital outlays.39
       Like the government, the armed forces are affected by much
corruption, mismanagement, and diversion of equipment and funds
from the intended end-user - especially at the higher echelons.
The military is underequipped with some serious morale,
maintenance, and discipline problems like the army of the 1940s.
Due to the economic problems, the army is also woefully
underfunded.40  While the AFP has recently changed its military
equipment procurement priorities to meet the NPA threat, it
remains in dire need of upgrading in many respects.41
       Economic strains, political violence and social frictions
have continued to exist since independence and have deep roots
in the colonial period. Despite these historical roots, many
Filipinos hold the Marcos regime responsible for a political and
economic deterioration that has grown steadily worse. There has
been a profound loss of confidence in Marcos and in his ability
to govern. Marcos' practice of saying one thing and doing the
opposite has damaged his credibility, and there appears to be
little expectation that the leadership will act for the national
good as opposed to its own narrow interests.42
       Marcos has appeared confused and often deliberately
misleading in representing the insurgent threat. He has often
changed strength estimates of the NPA, sometimes dramatizing the
insurgent threat and sometimes claiming that the NPA posed no
threat to state security. Some doubt that the administration
understands or can effectively cope with the NPA threat. This
situation is worsened by growing popular resentment of the
gross corruption and rampant cronyism in the administration. The
corruption by the leadership spawns corruption at other levels -
the diversion of resources at ministerial levels, graft at the
provincial level, bribes and extortion in the barangays by police
and officials. Military involvement in business ventures in the
provinces has increased rapidly in recent years and official
positions are often used for personal gain. While, obviously, not
all officials and officers are corrupt, corruption is pervasive
enough to engender popular resentment.43
       In addition to the corruption, military abuses have caused
further resentment. The Philippine Constabulary (PC) and the Ci-
vilian Home Defense Force (CHDF) are often criticized for deficient
levels of training, lack of discipline, and habitual mistreatment
of the populace. Local police, who are under the unified military
command structure, and regular army units have also been cited
for abuses. The AFP has tended to treat the people as if they
were the enemy and not the object of protection from the
insurgents. Unlike the NPA, the AFP has the reputation among many
villagers for indiscriminately using violence, utilizing
excessive force against suspected NPA sympathizers, and relying
on the use of massive firepower to influence the populace.44
       Until the 1970s, the Catholic Church in the Philippines was
not very active in the political process due to older,
conservative leaders who believed in the separation of church and
state.45   Recently, the church has emerged as a main defender of
the people against military abuses. The church is now a leading
critic of government corruption and an exponent of greater
citizen participation in the political process. There is some
antagonism between the government and the church.46  This
development will be explored in more detail in Chapter 5.
       The government has responded to the NPA threat as it had
in the late 1940's to the Huk rebellion. The AFP concentrated
superior force in the affected regions and conducted conventional
search-and-destroy missions to locate and defeat the NPA. Much
emphasis was placed on capturing or killing the movement's
leadership, with rewards offered for Communist cadre.47
Beneficiaries of the Marcos Regime
       Besides Marcos and his cronies, two groups have increased
power since the declaration of martial law in 1972. One is
the military, which has grown from 60,000 to 155,000 men with a
substantial increase in budget. The AFP, PC, the Presidential
Security Command, the National Intelligence and Security Authori-
ty (NISA), and the various paramilitary units may have become
essential to the continuity of the Marcos govenment. The other
major, but intended, beneficiary has been the CPP-NPA movement.
In addition to the Communist insurgency, the government has also
had to contend with the Moro Muslim insurgency in the southern
Philippines.48   The NPA insurgency's greatest strengths have been
the abuses, inefficiencies, corruption, and complacency of a
self-satisfied nineteen-year old regime. The recent Aquino
assassination has been a further blow to the regime's
credibility. While the Filipino political spectrum is a continuum
that does not divide neatly into "moderates" and "liberals," that
assassination galvanized the political center into active
opposition - evidenced by the strong opposition showing during
the May 1984 parliamentary elections. The "silent majority" of
middle-class professionals, non-crony business elite, and the
Catholic Church has become more vocal. The assassination provided
a rallying point for the Left and deepened the economic crisis by
spurring capital flight abroad.49
       Thus, the Aquino assassination quickly rallied a wide
range of opposition groups and marked an important turning point
from passive compliance to active protest against government
policy. It forced the political polarization of the country
further than it has moved in recent years. The CPP was quick to
align itself with the popular outrage over the assassination. It
remains to be seen whether the "moderate" opposition will be able
to overcome its own divisions and government dominance to build a
coherent political force. If not, the CPP and the NPA will be
ready to take advantage of the political ferment, economic
stagnation, and government mismanagement.50
        1Napoleon Valeriano and Charles Bohannan,
Counterguerrilla Operations:  The Philippine Experience (New
York:  Frederick A. Praeger, 1962), p. 31; Edward Lansdale, In
the Midst of Wars:  An American's Mission to Southeast Asia (New
York:  Harper and Row, 1972), p. 17.
        2John Walton, Reluctant Rebels:  Comparative Studies of
Revolution and Underdevelopment (New York:  Columbia University
Press, 1984), p. 58.
        3Valeriano and Bohannan, p. 33.    4Walton, p. 58.
        5John Larkin, The Pampangans:  Colonial Society in a
Philippine Province (Berkeley, California:  University of
California Press, 1972), p. 311.
        6Alvin Scaff, The Philippine Answer to Communism
(Stanford, California:  Stanford University Press, 1955), pp.
        7Scaff, p. 26.      8Walton, pp. 58-59.
        9Benedict Kerkvliet, The Huk Rebellion:  A Study of
Peasant Revolt in the Philippines (Berkeley, California:
University of California Press, 1977), pp. 114-116.
        10Walton, p. 59.
        11Luis Taruc, Born of the People (New York:
International Publishers, 1953), p. 218.
        12Walton, p. 59.       13Walton, pp. 59-60.
        14Walton, pp. 60-61.    15Walton, p. 61.
        16Walton, pp. 61-62.     17Walton, p. 62.
        18Scaff, p. 27.
        19William Moore, "The Hukbalahap Insurgency, 1948-1954:
An Analysis of the Roles, Missions, and Doctrine of the
Philippine Military Forces" (Report of the Institute of Advanced
Studies, US Army War College, 1971), p. 11.
        20Eduardo Lachica, The Huks:  Philippine Agrarian Society
in Revolt (New York:  Praeger Publishers, 1971), pp. 205-207.
        21Moore, p. 9.    22Moore, pp. 9-11.    23Moore, pp. 11-12.
        24Reginald Swarbrick and James Clark, "The Evolution of
Communist Insurgency in the Philippines" (Report of the U.S.
Marine Corps Command and Staff College, 1983), pp. 16-18.
        25Edward Lansdale, In the Midst of Wars:  An American's
Mission to Southeast Asia (New York:  Harper and Row, 1972), pp.
        26Lansdale, p. 25.            27Lansdale, p. 20.
        28Andrew Molnar and others, "Undergrounds in Insurgent,
Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare" (Report prepared by the
Special Operations Research Office of The American University for
the Department of the Army, 1963), p. 325.
        29Lansdale, pp. 42-48.      30Lachica, p. 250.
        31Kerkvliet, p. xvi.        32Lachica, p. 251.
        33Ramberto Saavedra, "The Role of Civil Affairs in
Counterinsurgency in the Philippines" (Thesis of the U.S. Army
Command and General Staff College, 1982), pp. 43-47.
        34Robert Manning, "The Philippines in Crisis,"Foreign
Affairs, Volume 63, No. 2 (Winter 1984/1985), 394.
        35Ibid.        36Lachica, pp. 252-255.
        37Lachica, pp. 245-248.   38Lachica, pp. 236-238, 241-244.
        39Manning, pp. 393, 395.
        40Statement by William Moore, Major General, U.S. Army,
formerly of JUSMAG, Philippines, in a personal interview,
Arlington, Virginia, 15 February 1985.
        41U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations,
The Situation in the Philippines, Staff Report prepared by
Frederick Brown and Carl Ford, 98th Cong., 2nd Sess., October,
1984 (Washington:  Government Printing Office, 1984), p. 5.
        42U.S., Congress, Senate, pp. 12-13.
        43U.S., Congress, Senate, pp. 13-15.
        44U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 16.
        45Lachica, p. 254.     46 U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 17.
        47U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 24.     48Rosenberg, p. 25.
        49Manning, p. 399; U.S., Congress,  Senate, p. 4.
        50Rosenberg, pp. 25-28.
                                 CHAPTER 5
The Huks
   For ruthlessness and cruelty are alien to Christian thought,
   and when men in the Free World use such methods, they do so
   in defiance of their own morality and ideals. The atheist
   Communist, however, believes that the end justifies the means,
   or in Lenin's words, "Morality is subordinate to the class
   struggle." For this reason, the Communist can pursue a policy
   of terror and cruelty with a clear conscience.
       Former Huk leader Luis Taruc
       In order to examine the organization of the Huks, it is
necessary to examine party, military, and mass organizations. The
Huk organization was similar to the wartime Hukbalahap's; it was
both an underground mass organization and a guerrilla army. The
underground government included villagers responsible for
logistical and intelligence support. The Huk organization was
closely intertwined with that of the party.1
Organization of the PKP
       The organization of the PKP followed the normal Communist
concept. A National Congress of the Partido Komunista ng Pilipi-
nas presumably would have been the top-level organization, but
this body was never formed. Party affairs were directed by a 31-
member Central Committee, which presided over an 11-member Polit-
buro (see Figure 6 - National Organization of the PKP). A 5-mem-
ber Secretariat, consisting of the General Secretary and the
chairmen of the four national departments, conducted the basic
work of the party. The four departments were the National Mili-
Click here to view image
tary Department (the Hukbalahap organization, later renamed the
Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan or HMB), the National Organization
Department, the National Finance Department, and the National
Education Department. A Chinese Bureau (CB) of the Chinese
Communist Party provided liaison with the PKP (the CB is covered
in more detail in Chapter 7).
       While there is general agreement on the composition of
the Central Committee, Politburo, and Secretariat, there are some
inconsistencies as to the number of national departments. Robert
Ross Smith, in The Hukbalahap Insurgency - Economic, Political,
and Military Factors, asserts the existence of a fifth National
Intelligence Department.3  Ostensibly, this department would have
coordinated intelligence activities. Every party member belonged
to a cell of 3 to 5 members.4
Military Organization of the Huks
       The military organization is depicted in Figure 7. This
organization closely resembles the wartime organization of the
Hukbalahap, mentioned in Chapter 1. Field operations were under
the control of Regional Commands (RECOs), military headquarters
directly below the National Military Department (NMD). The RECOs
were further subdivided into Field Commands (FCs); these FCs were
similar to regiments. Below the FCs were battalions and
squadrons; the squadrons resembled companies. In practice,
battalions were almost never formed, and squadrons often reported
directly to the RECO. There was no fixed number of units below
the RECO echelon, although each of these echelons had two or more
subordinate elements. A squadron, the basic Huk combat unit, had
Click here to view image
50 to 100 men and was further divided into platoons and squads (a
partial listing of Huk squadrons is contained in Figure 8 -
Hukbalahap Squadrons and Their General Locations). Many of the
squadron numbers were carried over from the wartime Hukbalahap
days. Occasionally, special platoons were organized to perform
security functions for leaders, production base personnel, and
other noncombatants.5
       The NMD formed a General Headquarters in the field,
supported by a staff of five primary staff sections (similar to
U.S. Army staff organizations). At the height of their power, the
Huks had a total of ten existing or planned RECOs and a Manila
City Command. The geographical orientation of nine of these RECOs
and the Manila Command are depicted in Figure 9. In addition to
these RECOs, the Huks also activated a RECO 10 for further
expansion into Batangas and Cavite provinces in southwestern
Luzon. All but two of these RECOs were on Luzon; RECO 6
encompassed the Visayan Islands and RECO 7 was planned for
Mindanao. The Mindanao RECO was never actually organized.6
       In 1948, the RECO system was set up to improve command and
control as the movement had grown beyond the wartime Hukbalahap
units. Prior to that time, when the movement was more disorga-
nized, the Huks were divided into two "central Luzon" and "south-
ern Luzon" districts. While the RECOs were military organiza-
tions with their own logistical and intelligence systems, these
military area commands were intertwined with political organiza-
tions. Each RECO was complemented by a Regional Committee under
the National Organization Department (to be discussed shortly).7
       Together, the Regional Commands and the Regional
Click here to view image
Committees essentially constituted a "Regional Politburo." Below
the Regional Commands (RECOs), were District Organizing
Committees (DOCs) and Section Organizing Committees (SOCs) which
provided political guidance to the barrio (village) mass
organizaations.8  Each RECO had four to five Field Commands and an
equal number of DOCs. There was at least one SOC for each
squadron. The DOCs and SOCs were located in posts close to the
towns and barrios.9 The RECO commanders were top party leaders 
and each organizational unit down to squadron level had at least
one party menber.10
       Like the squadron, the Field Commands (FCs) had no
regular table of organization. While all FCs had a commander and
deputy, staff organizations varied and only the larger FCs had 
G-3 and G-4 staff officers. The number of men in a Field Command 
varied between 100 and 700 men. The FC headquarters consisted of
five to six officers, with a security force of 10 to 20
guerrillas. The FCs generally stayed in one vicinity and their
headquarters often had had camps in remote areas.11 According to
Huk leader Luis Taruc, the Huks in 1953 attempted to transform
all units and cadre into large organizational brigades.12
The Mass Organization of the Huks
       Below the previously discussed echelon was the mass
organization of the Huks-the Barrio United Defense Corps
(BUDC). The BUDC of Buklod, like some other Huk organizations,
was originally formulated during the Japanese occupation as a 
local government organization and provider of supplies for combat
units. These organizations were run by a counil of 5 to 12
members. While in theory these councils were elected by barrio
residents, they were closely controlled by the SOCs. The
activities of the BUDC were a function of the Huk control over a
given area. In areas where they exercised complete control, the
BUDC council appointed public officials, established courts and
schools, and collected taxes. In other areas, the BUDC limited
itself to intelligence and supply activities.13
       The BUDC was a clandestine civil administration in towns
and barrios where the Huks operated. It also conducted recruit-
ment and civil justice functions.14   The BUDC was the contact or-
ganization for Huk guerrillas in the area, and operated in many
of the same wartime Huikbalahap areas. BUDC personnel were
sometimes referred to as "OD cadre" - shorthand for Organization
Department cadre - or as  barrio organizers."15
Non-Military Departments of the PKP
       The National Organization Department (NOD), National
Education Department (NED), and National Finance Department (NFD)
were also organized by echelons and geographical areas, similar
to the NMD. Each of these departments had its own headquarters,
Regional Committees which corresponded to the RECOs, District
Committees which paralled the military Field Commands, and
Section Committees at the same level as the military Squadrons.16
       The National Organization Department (NOD), being the
political department, had even more overlap (see Figure 10). For
example, the Secretariat of a District Committee consisted of the
district chairmen of the Organization, Education, and Finance
Departments and the Field Commander from the Military Department.
Click here to view image
In addition to overseeing the organization of the mass base, the
NOD governed the activities of front organizations such as the
PKM and CLO. It also operated the courier service and was an
important intelligence collection apparatus.17
       The National Education Department (NED) was mainly
concerned with political indoctrination (see Figure 11). The PKP
had an elaborate educational system. Schools taught the
illiterate to read and write, and also espoused Communist
doctrine and tactics. The NED interfaced closely with the
Military Department, and in many cases, conducted military
training. It ran primary, secondary, and intermediate schools.
The NED also performed research and translation functions, and
was responsible for propaganda and publications. This department
supplied the political commissars for all levels of the military,
further enhancing the horizontal relationship between the two
       The National Finance Department (NFD) was responsible for
fiscal matters such as accounting, disbursements, procurement,
and purchasing (see Figure 12). It also performed some logistical
functions, such as overseeing Huk production bases. As evidenced
by its organization, the NFD controlled finances through
interconnections between finance committees and political
committees at various echelons (see Figure 13).19   PKP-Huk fiscal
activities will be covered in more detail in Chapter 7.
       The entire apparatus was organized to coordinate the work
of the four national departments, while maintaining a close
horizontal relationship between the departments. This enabled the
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leadership to control all aspects of the revolution. Because of
the organizational interconnections, the entire organization had
a paramilitary character. While only the members of the Military
Department were technically HMB or Huks, members of the entire
organization were called Huks.20
The Democratic Alliance
       To ally itself with the peasant movement in central Luzon,
the PKP - composed primarily of the urban left - helped form the
the Democratic Alliance, an attempt at another united front. Dur-
ing the last months of the Japanese occupation, PKP leaders began
to seriously ponder postwar plans. Doubting that the postwar
government could satisfactorily address economic, agrarian,
and reconstruction problems, the PKP decided at a September 1944
conference to focus on organizational efforts and to transform
the anti-Japanese resistance movement into a broad-based politi-
cal movement for political purposes. Several top Hukbalahap
leaders attended this conference. Conference attendees agreed to
form a postwar united front to work toward three overt, major
goals:  1)to prevent Japanese collaborators from taking political
office; 2)to campaign for postwar independence; 3)to push for
economic reforms to benefit lower and middle-class Filipinos.21
       In July 1945 PKP leaders and other anti-Japanese groups
formed a new political party, the Democratic Alliance (DA). The
DA formulated a moderate program for parliamentary reform that
reflected the diversity of the allied groups. The top DA leader-
ship was from the urban left; all six members of the DA's Na-
tional Executive Committee were well-educated and from prominent
families. The PKP's presence was represented on this committee by
Vicente Lava, and Jesus Barrera - who was a Civil Liberties Union
leader before the war - was its president. Among the diverse
groups affiliated with the DA were the PKM, the Hukbalahap's Vet-
erans League, the Philippine Lawyers' Guild, Democratic Youth
League, Congress of Labor Organizations, Fishermen's Union, and
the Rural Transit Employees Union.22
       The DA nominated its own candidates for the parliamentary
elections in April 1946 and assisted PKM and Hukbalahap veterans.
According to Luis Taruc, the DA "was the best channel through
which the people (in central Luzon) could flow away from the par-
ties that were dominated by landlords and compradores." The DA
was an attempt by the PKP/Huks to further their revolutionary
cause. The government's refusal to seat six elected DA
congressmen and subsequent events were covered in Chapter 2. As
government repression intensified, the DA's alliance with the
peasant movement fell apart. The repression caused the PKM to
dissolve its chapters and move underground. PKM members, who had
been the DA's main strength at the polls, were forced to forsake
their DA membership. In addition, the overblown collaboration
issue - a central pillar around which many diverse groups had
rallied - faded, and the Democratic Alliance virtually collapsed
by the time of the November 1947 elections.23   The PKP's overt
emphasis on parliamentary struggle also alienated the more
militant Huk veterans. The initially promising united front
effort of the PKP survived for only a little over two years.
The PKP-HUK Relationship
       Because of the significant interconnections between the
party and military organizations, it is useful to examine the
historical relationship between the PKP and the Huks. Professor
Benedict Kerkvliet shows that while the PKP was intimately
involved in the Huk rebellion, it did not provide effective
control or coordination. The merging of the PKP and the
Philippine Socialist Party in 1938 was mentioned earlier. Luis
Taruc and many of his followers were Socialists and differed
significantly from the PKP hardcore in terms of backgrounds,
goals, and perspectives. Many of these differences would remain
unresolved and cause subsequent party-military problems. The PKP,
as an organization, vaccillated between alliance and nonalliance
with the peasant movement in central Luzon.24
       During much of the Japanese occupation, the PKP was allied
with the Huk resistance. However, in 1944 when the PKP adopted
its "retreat for defense" policy, the party leadership decided
that the PKP and the Hukbalahap should maintain a low visibility.
Most peasants in the Hukbalahap, however, ignored the party
decision and continued to fight. After the occupation, the PKP
aligned itself again with the Huks to form the Democratic
Alliance. When the rebellion erupted in 1946, the PKP - while
supporting Huk goals - publicly opposed an armed struggle and
advocated a parliamentary struggle. The PKP allegedly felt that
the labor movement did not support a rebellion and that the
peasants were fighting for their personal survival.25
       Up until 1948, the PKP leadership emphasized two tasks:
the legal and parliamentary struggle; strengthening of the party
apparatus. To accomplish the first, the PKP focused on united
front efforts symbolized by the Democratic Alliance. For the
second task, the party concentrated on recruitment and on the
organization of a hierarchical apparatus from the Politburo down
to cell level. Because the PKP believed that the urban working
class would provide the leadership for a future revolution, it
emphasized recruitment and organizational efforts among workers
in metropolitan Manila. During this time the PKP was dis-
organized, without unified tactics and strategies, and with no
clear perspective for the future.26
       Because the PKP expanded by pursuing a united front and
emphasized a parliamentary struggle, its membership was not homo-
geneous or disciplined. There were roughly three categories of
PKP members:  rank-and-file members of mass organizations; the
party hardcore who were the top leaders; a cadre whose main in-
terest was agrarian reform. The PKP members most likely to join
the rebellion were those close to the agrarian movement; those
least likely to join the fight were members of the urban labor
       The PKP leadership used criteria they believed were in
keeping with Marxist-Leninist theory to evaluate revolutionary
conditions. However, in 1948 after a leadership change, the PKP
determined that conditions were ripening and openly supported the
rebellion. It decided that it could change the "revolutionary
situation" into a "revolutionary crisis," and push workers into
the revolution by taking charge of the peasant rebellion at all
levels. Although some important Huk leaders were PKP members, the
PKP felt that the "undisciplined" Huks needed party direction and
the party's role was to lead the revolution for which the country
was now ready.28   It was at this time that the Hukbalahap were
renamed the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB) - the People's
Liberation Army.
       Even after 1948, the PKP had only a limited influence on
the rebel movement. The alliance remained tenuous as the PKP
objectives differed from those of many of the Huk rank-and-file.
In general, the party advocated changes that were more radical
than what most peasants supported. The peasants wanted reforms of
the tenancy system; the party wanted a Marxist-Leninist state and
defeat of American "imperialism." This weakness proved
significant later, and caused serious leadership rifts in the PKP
and HMB.29
The PKP and HUK Leadership
       The leadership of the PKP and the Huks differed signifi-
cantly in their backgrounds, contributing to further conflicts.
As mentioned earlier, there were two trends of leadership. Many
of the hardcore PKP Bolsheviks were from "bourgeois" families,
with personal and social ties to the privileged Filipino clas-
ses.30   Like most Huk leaders, many of these Communist party
leaders were from central Luzon. For example, the three Lava
brothers, all of whom served as General Secretaries of the PKP,
were from Bulacan.31  These urban Bolsheviks used the peasant
reformist and nationalist feelings and aspirations as a
revolutionary tactic.32
       The other trend was the peasant leaders for whom Socialism
was the ultimate goal. These Huk leaders, such as Luis Taruc,
hoped to achieve their Socialist state through a united front of
"progressive forces."33   They were predominantly from central Lu-
zon peasant backgrounds. Some had risen to leadership in peasant
organizations, some were labor leaders, and others were educated
men from poor families.34   They were about the same age (in their
thirties at the time of the rebellion), were job-seekers at the
time of the Great Depression, and were economically-motivated.
Many of these HMB leaders were essentially agrarian reformers at
heart, and Communists by circumstances. Luis Taruc, in his
memoirs confesses to an error in associating with the PKP. The
Huk guerrillas obeyed their peasant leaders more than the high
councils of the PKP.35
Composition of the Huks
       As PKP membership was covered above, the composition of
the Huks is worth examining. Many of the Huks and their
sympathizers were not members of the PKP, and it is doubtful if
the majority of Huks had more than a vague understanding of
Communist doctrine. PKP membership overall probably never
exceeded 10,000 and according to William Pomeroy - the American
Communist who joined the Huks - many of the Huk unit commanders
were not party members. The Huks were, however, a fairly
homogeneous group of peasant farmers.36   Many were recruited from
the barrios with little education and could not comprehend
Marxism-Leninism. Luis Taruc reportedly stated, "There is not
even one percent who have Communist mentality in them."37
       The workers and intelligentsia of Manila, even if they
supported the Huk cause, were not inclined to take to the hills
as guerrilla soldiers. As Taruc put it, "They may have just been
waiting to be 'liberated' by someone else."38   The Huk guerrillas,
on the other hand, joined the movement for various reasons. Luis
Taruc summarized some of these:  "People in the barrios, the
nonintellectual type of Huk, joined because they had causes -
like agrarian reform, government reform, anti-repression,
recognition of the Hukbalahap - and, frequently, because they
simply had to defend themselves, their very lives against
repression." Others joined for personal reasons. Some wanted
revenge for the killing or abuses of relatives or friends.39
There were those who were so so deeply in debt that they felt
they had nothing to lose by joining the movement, and there were
criminals who joined to escape punishment.40   Wartime or other
friendships caused some to become active in the movement. It is
also significant that most (69 percent) ex-Huks, surveyed after
the rebellion, were farmers before joining the movement.41  In one
study involving 400 captured Huks, 95 percent claimed that their
main reason for fighting was land reform.42  Another small study
indicated that, in 1952, almost 60 percent of the Huks in combat
units were under 30 years of age, and that only 11 percent were
over 35 years old. Some of these may have also joined to escape
the drudgery and boredom of rural barrio life.43
       Many rebels sought longer-term objectives that were long
common to the peasant movement. The immediate goal of many of the
Huks, however, was to escape government repression.44   Taruc
believes that most of the Huks did not see the insurgency as a
"military rebellion," but as "resistance to the resurgent
       Government assessments of the movement categorized it as
consisting of four layers:  1)the Huk regulars or hardcore. These
were the full-time, armed guerrillas; 2)the combat support group.
These were the "12-hour Huks," civilians by day and Huks by
night. They provided security and executed punitive missions;
3)the service group or legal cadres. This group performed unarmed
missions, and consisted of barrio captains and low-level
officials, couriers, spies, tax collectors, and supply personnel;
and 4)the mass base. These were civilians who materially
supported the movement.46
       The Huk membership can also be categorized by their degree
of support for the HMB. First, some Huks participated directly
in the underground government or the guerrilla army. These direct
participants conducted the day-to-day Huk operations. A second
type of supporter was those villagers who did not particpate di-
rectly in the HMB, but provided assistance through the contribu-
tion of food, supplies, and information. A final category was
people who were unintentionally caught in the middle between the
Huk guerrillas and the government forces. They tried to keep a
balance between the two sides and provided assistance to both
forces. The exact size of each of these categories is unknown.
Huk regulars, combat support personnel, and legal cadres were
obviously part of the first category. The mass base consisted of
the second category. During the years of peak Huk strength, how-
ever, many of the residents of central Luzon belonged to the
first two categories.47
Huk Expansion and Strength
       Finally, this chapter will examine Huk expansion and
strength. First to join the Huk movement in 1946 were the Hukba-
lahap veterans. Taruc claims that the Huks soon had 10,000 fully-
armed veterans, with 2,000 organizers, activists, and sympathi-
zers.48   This is plausible, given that Hukbalahap wartime
strength was in this vicinity (see Figure 14). Note that
estimates vary widely, given the difficulties of categorizing
Huk personnel and supporters, as well as the clandestine, decen-
tralized nature of guerrilla warfare). Philippine officials esti-
mated in 1946 that the Huk army numbered about 10,000.49  Colonel
Napoleon Valeriano, a well-known army officer who successfully
fought against the Huks, perhaps overestimated Huk strength at
this time to be 18,000 to 20,000 full-time armed regulars and
250,000 supporters.50   Huklandia at this time was confined
primarily to the four central Luzon provinces of Pampanga,
Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan (see Figure 15 - "Huklandia"
       In his memoirs, Taruc estimated Huk strength in 1948 to
also be 10,000. Leaders had difficulty estimating the number,
partly because members went back and forth between underground
barrio organizations and armed guerrilla groups.51  Various esti-
mates of the Huk strength at this time generally agree that their
active strength was about 19,000, of which some 10,000 were
armed. The mass base probably did not exceed 55,000.52  Taruc may
have initially overestimated the number of Huks under arms. Re-
gardless, the Huk movement had grown significantly between 1946
and 1948.
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       One estimate of Huk strength in 1949 claimed 12,000 armed
regulars with the support of over 100,000 sympathizers.53   By
1950, Taruc claimed 25,000 full-time armed guerrillas with a mass
base of 2 million.54  In his memoirs, Taruc later revised his fi-
gure to 15,000 full-time, armed regulars.55  This figure is more
realistic, as it coincides with the estimate of Edward Lansdale -
who was Magsaysay's advisor.56   Magsaysay estimated that there
were 1 million Huk supporters at this time.57  These estimates of
1950 probably represent peak Huk or HMB strength. By this time,
Pomeroy claimed that the Huks had bases in 27 provinces.58  While
Pomeroy's claim is probably overoptimistic, at their peak the
Huks encompassed all of central Luzon, most of southern Luzon,
and had enclaves on northeastern Luzon, Panay Island in the
Visayas, and Mindanao (see Figure 16  - "Huklandia" 1950).59  By
far, the strongest Regional Commands were RECOs 1, 2, 3 (central
Luzon), and 4 (southern Luzon). The other RECOs, even at the peak
of the rebellion, had just a few hundred armed guerrillas, many
of whom had traveled to these areas from central Luzon on
"expansion missions." These other RECOs depended on the central
Luzon organizations for supplies and recruits; since the Huks in
the peripheral RECOs were usually not indigenous to these areas,
they never enjoyed strong support from local peasant
organizations or within the barrios.60
       The years 1949 to 1951 represented the peak of the Huk
movement. By 1952, there were about 4,000 armed Huks.61   In May
1954, Huk leader Luis Taruc surrendered, and that year is
generally considered to be the end of the Huk rebellion. While a
few die-hard Huks remained after 1954, the movement essentially
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died. Of the overall 25,000 Filipinos who fought in the Huk ranks
in the 1950 to 1955 period, Philippine Army records show that
6,874 were killed, 4,702 were captured, and 9,458 Huks
surrendered. By 1965, less than 75 so-called Huks remained.62
The New People's Army
       Unified planning, centralized control and a single
   point of responsibility are the very minimum requirements
   for a unity of effort which will offer success against a
   unified revolutionary movement...Unity of effort is however
   extremely difficult to achieve because it represents the
   fusion of civil and military functions to fight battles
   which have primarily political objectives...All the political,
   economic, psychological and military means must be marshalled
   as weapons under centralized co-ordination and direction....
       John McCuen, The Art of Counter-Revolutionary War
Organization of the CPP-NPA
       The organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines
(CPP) provided for in the party constitution, is typical of
Communist party organizations. Like the old PKP, the CPP has a
theoretical National Congress, an existing Central Committee,
Political Bureau (Politburo), Executive Committee, and Secretari-
at (see Figure 17), which depicts the CPP as it existed in 1980,
with 13 Regional Party Committees or RPC's). The party
organizational structure has been modified since the earlier days
of the PKP in order to carry out functions more effectively.63
       The Central (National) Committee, headed by Rodolfo Salas
(alias Commander Bilog), functions for the non-existent National
Congress and is the highest decisionmaking body. This committee
directly supervises the Military Commission (MC) and the National
Commission for Mindanao (NCM). The Executive Committee, probably
smaller in size than the Central Committee, has been empowered to
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decide on major political policies and organizational plans when-
ever the Central Committee is unable to meet as a body. The Poli-
tical Bureau (Politburo) and the Secretariat are under the Execu-
tive Committee. The Secretariat directly supervises five bureaus
and commissions:  National Commission for Organization (NCO); Na-
tional Commission for Education (NCE); National Finance Bureau
(NFB); National Liaison Bureau (NLB); and the International Liai-
son Commission (ILC).64
       These seven commissions and bureaus have some resemblance
to the four or five departments of the PKP. The National
Education Department and National Organization Department of the
PKP have been elevated to CPP commissions. This has probably been
done to distinguish them from regional organs and to project an
image of growth. Two other CPP bodies under the Secretariat are
bureaus:  the National Finance Bureau and the National Liaison
Bureau. The NFB probably has functions similar to the PKP's Na-
tional Finance Department; the NLB may have taken over some of
the functions of the PKP's National Organization Department, pos-
sibly to oversee relations with front organizations or more like-
ly with non-CPP Filipino organizations. The International Liaison
Commission, also under the CPP Secretariat, probably oversees re-
lations with non-Filipino organizations. Thus far, there is no
evidence of significant external support for the New People's Ar-
my (this aspect is detailed in Chapter 7). The ILC may be a
latent body for future relations with foreign organizations.
       The placing of two CPP commissions under the direct con-
trol of the Central Committee probably reflects a desire to more
tightly control both bodies. The Military Commission probab-
ly has functions similar to the PKP's National Military Depart-
ment. The National Commission for Mindanao, a new body, reflects
the importance that the CPP places on this southern island. The
NCM probably oversees operations on Mindanao and relations with
the Moro National Liberation Front.
       In 1980, the CPP had 13 Regional Party Committees (RPCs),
similar to the 10 or so RECOs of the PKP. The following RPCs
are depicted in Figure 17:  Northeast Luzon (NELRPC); Northwest
Luzon (NWLRPC);  Eastern Central Luzon (CELRPC); Western Central
Luzon (CWLRPC); Manila-Rizal (MRRPC); Southern Tagalog (STRPC);
Bicol (BRPC); Eastern Visayas (EVRPC); Western Visayas (WVRPC);
Northern Central Mindanao (NCMRPC); Western Mindanao (WMRPC);
Eastern Mindanao (EMRPC); and Southern Mindanao (SMRPC).65
       In 1977, the CPP-NPA had 8 RPCs and a main base on Lu-
zon.66  Three years later, the number of RPCs increased to 13.67
According to Central Committee figures, the number of RPCs in-
creased from 12 to 17 during the period 1980 to 1983.68
       The 17-member CPP Central Committee, probably located
somewhere on Luzon, directs insurgent efforts throughout the
country.69   A pyramid of hierarchical CPP-NPA organizations
implements its policies. The committee prides itself on
maintaining centralized control without sacrificing flexibility
and local initiative. Captured documents indicate that
subordinate Region, District, Section, and Branch committees
correspond to the government's administrative subdivisions of
Region, Province, Municipality, and Barangay (see Figure 18 - The
Party (CPP) and Army (NPA) Relationship, and Figure 19 -
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Organization of the Philippine Government). A Front, an echelon
between Region and District, is more like an operational military
command and has no government counterpart.70
       The Front, or newest echelon, may reflect the CPPs desire
for better coordinated mass organization activities. From 1980 to
1983, the number of fronts increased from 28 to 45.71  At each
echelon, the real power resides with the party Executive Commit-
tee. The Executive Committee commands all civilian party and
military activities within its area. The corresponding NPA
operational commands implement party decisions and control the
combat units assigned to their area.72   The CPP-NPA
interconnections are even more complex than those of the PKP,
providing more effective party control of the movement.
Mass Organizations of the CPP-NPA
       Other organizations are created when new barangays
(villages) are organized. After the CPP-NPA has surveyed and
targeted a new barangay, it begins a geometric recruitment of new
members, whereby each new member is required to recruit three
more members in a "cell reproduction" process. After more than 20
members have been recruited, a Barrio Organizing Committee (BOC)
is constituted. These BOCs serve as a vehicle for indoctrination.
After about one month of indoctrination, a more formal People's
Organizing Group (POG) evolves and replaces the BOC (see Figure
20 - People's Organizing Group).73
       The POG has four functional branches:  Defense; Education;
Livelihood; and Health. The Defense Branch consists of the arm-
ed regulars and combat elements; the Education Branch oversees
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educational and political activities. Normal subsistance and
daily living functions are overseen by the Livelihood Branch,
which organizes members by vocation - with the exception of me
dical personnel. The medical personnel of the Health Branch ful-
fill the health needs of the barangay.74
       The POG serves as the backbone of the Communist organiza-
tion at the barangay level. It is the infrastructure that
provides food, funds, communications, and intelligence to the
NPA. As an underground mass organization, it seeks to supplant
the local government in the barangay.75
NPA Forces
       The CPP-NPA organizational structure is theoretically
based on the concept of democratic centralism, but communications
between widely-dispersed units is difficult and local leaders
often have considerable discretion. The NPA appears to
distinguish the areas in which it operates according to their
safety. The safest areas, controlled and organized by the NPA,
are called "guerrilla bases." Zones around guerrilla bases are
called "fronts," and less secure areas are called "preparation
       The NPA divides its armed units into two broad categories
- regular forces and local forces. The regular forces normally
operate in larger company and battalion size formations, are
equipped with the NPA's best weapons, and undergo the most
comprehensive training. These forces are controlled by the
Regional and Front Commands. They serve as the commands' maneuver
elements, to be deployed freely throughout their assigned zones.
A Main Regional Guerrilla Unit is assigned to each region for
these missions, while the Fronts have Secondary Guerrilla Units.77
       Local forces, called Local Guerrilla Units, are maintained
by each District and Section. These forces are full-time, armed
units employed primarily for the defense of the locale in which
they are located. They would not normally be employed in opera-
tions outside the boundaries of their administrative areas. The
NPA also classifies the Militia units established by the barangay
(barrio) party branches as local forces, but these personnel
serve only as part-time soldiers (see Figure 21 - Guerrilla
Formations in Relation to Territorial Jurisdiction).78
The CPP-NPA'S United Front
       Although the NPA is the dominant element in the CPP
strategy for promoting revolution, the National Democratic Front
(NDF) is also used as a united front organization for winning
popular support. The NDF is essentially an umbrella organization
with no firm organizational structure. It includes underground
associations of peasants, youths, workers, teachers, and other
       A classic Communist front organization under the control
of the CPP, the NDF is a coordinating committee for protest
activities by the various sectoral groups. Not all of these
groups are led or organized by Communist cadres. Some, however,
are infiltrated and can be influenced by the CPP. The CPP has
attempted, with some success, to conceal some of its activities
within the NDF. As a result, many Filipinos view the NDF
leadership as independent, united only by a common struggle
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against the "U.S.-Marcos dictatorship." Non-Communist protest
groups have found it advantageous to operate under the NDF
umbrella, particularly in recent years when large demonstrations
have been staged by numerous groups. Increased political activity
among the middle and professional classes has provided the NDF
with an opportunity to broaden its mass base and increase
acceptability. The NDF has become an integral part of the
opposition movement and has strengthened CPP legal activities.
This development has complicated government security efforts.80
       The large majority of CPP-NPA cadres are not armed. These
work in barrios, poor urban communities, plantations, factories,
hospitals, churches, schools, and even government agencies. The
NDF coordinates their efforts. In areas where guerrilla fronts
are well-established, such as Isabela and Cagayan provinces in
northeastern Luzon, the NDF operates as a de facto government.
It implements land reform programs, collects taxes, organizes
public works and schools, and administers Communist "justice."
NDF opposition movement activities are concentrated primarily in
urban areas. Even before the Aquino assassination, the NDF was
able to mobilize thousands of Filipinos for strikes and
       The NDF was established by the CPP on 24 April 1973, when
a Preparatory Commission for the NDF announced a 10-Point
Program. Constituent organizations of the NDF include the May
First Movement, Christians for National Liberation, Nationalist
Youth (KM), League of Filipino Students, Association of
Nationalist Teachers, Nationalist Health Association, and Youth
for Nationalism and Democracy. While the first three groups
existed before the NDF and conduct some activities independently
of it, little is known about the other organizations or the
internal decisionmaking process within the NDF.82
       Recently the NDF has modified its 10-Point Program to
establish a broader organizational framework to integrate more
diverse opposition groups. Unifying themes continue to be
resistance to the Marcos government and opposition to American
connection. This broadened united front strategy manifested
itself in a strong boycott of the 1981 presidential elections. In
February of that year, the NDF and other groups formed the
People's Opposition to the Plebiscite-Election (PEOPLE). PEOPLE
quickly joined forces with the United Democratic Opposition
(UNIDO), the main coalition of the moderate, pre-martial law
political opposition. This new grouping, which called itself the
People's Movement for Nationalism and Democracy (MIND), advocated
a boycott of the election, elimination of U.S. bases, and
implementation of tighter controls on multinational corporations.
The boycott greatly reduced voter turnout and revealed that the
NDF could mobilize thousands of Filipinos. More significant were
the working relationships that the NDF achieved with other
anti-Marcos groups. "Liberation," the official NDF publication,
claimed that "almost all moderate groups and personages now
maintain links with the NDF."83
       The NDF also helped organize the boycott against the
National Assembly elections in May 1984. It appears to be
well-positioned to take advantage of the popular disenchantment
with the Marcos regime. Having begun a campaign to capitalize on
the situation, the NDF now claims to have over 50,000 full-time
organizers in two-thirds of the provinces. It purports to have a
membership in constituent mass organizations of 1 million
Filipinos, with a mass base of 10 million Filipinos. While the
NDF lately has placed a greater emphasis on military operations,
it appears to recognize that more preparation is needed before
assuming a strategic offensive. The September 1983 issue of
"Liberation" stated that "it would be foolhardy at this point to
encourage widespread armed confrontations."84
Links with the Moros
       Among the Communist movement's potential allies, the NDF's
founding document gives special attention to Muslim groups in
the southern Philippines. The Communists realize that similar
goals and a common enemy make a good basis for cooperation. There
are also important personal ties betweem the CPP and the Moro
National Liberation Front (MNLF). Nur Misuari, founder and
General Secretary of the MNLF, and Jose Maria Sison, founder of
the CPP, were acquaintances at the University of the Philippines
and were active members of the KM youth organization.85
       There is evidence of some limited cooperation between the
NPA and the MNLF. While Mindanao was a busy Muslim stomping
ground in the 1970's, it has only recently been viewed as an
NPA location. Military sources report some connections between
the two groups, with the Muslim rebels contracting to supply
weapons to the Communists in return for NPA training. In 1972
provincial governors reported NPA agitation of the Muslim
insurgents; NPA documents, literature, and arms were discovered
in Moro training camps in several Mindanao provinces.  On 21 June
1981, a force reportedly made up of both NPA and MNLF guerrillas
fought a day-long battle with government troops near Mount Apo on
Mindanao - the first battlefield evidence of NPA-MNLF links. CPP
chief Sison, when captured, claimed to have established
communications with the MNLF. Philippine Defense Minister Enrile
and President Marcos are more skeptical. They concede that the
NPA has attempted to link up with the Moros and that, in some
cases on Mindanao, some NPA units have operated with the
tolerance if not the participation of the MNLF. The government
believes that beyond a simple exchange of correspondence, there
is little evidence of an understanding or cooperation between
the two guerrilla groups.86
       One of the few opposition groups that MNLF leader Misuari
has identified as supporters of his group's demands is the Na-
tional Democratic Front. For years the NPA has been anxious to
link up with the MNLF. Though the Muslims view Communism as a
godless ideology, the common goals and enemy of the two groups
have enabled some limited cooperation. However, Misuari recently
appears to be worried about growing NPA operations on Mindanao.87
Misuari, speaking at a press conference during the Islamic Con-
ference Organization foreign ministers' meeting in December 1983,
stated that whatever cooperation there had been with the NPA in
the past was now over due to Communist encroachment on MNLF
       The Moro insurgency, which began in the early 1970s, tied
down 70 to 80 percent of the country's armed forces at its peak.
In the mid-1970s the Muslim separatist rebellion on western Min-
danao and Sulu was the only serious security threat to the coun-
try. As many as 50,000 soldiers, rebels, and civilians died dur-
ing that decade of fighting. The armed Muslim rebels, once offi-
cially estimated at 20,000 men, eventually opted for rehabilita-
tion within the government fold.89
       Unofficial estimates now place Moro armed strength at
10,000 men.90   The MNLF recently has been weakened by internal
factionalism, by significant government concessions, and by the
threat of renewed government repression. It has largely been a
dormant force for several years. If hopes for secession dis-
sipate, pressure within the Muslim community could lead to a
working alliance with the NDF and the NPA.91
Links with the Catholic Church
       Perhaps a more likely ally of the NDF and the Communists
are radical elements within the Catholic community. One of the
most important factors behind the rapid growth of the NDF is the
spread of radical views among Filipino clergy. Historically, the
Catholic Church has been a conservative institution. Its
anticommunist views figured prominently in the government's
counterinsurgency campaigns of the 1950s. The PKP in its early
days was correspondingly atheistic and anticlerical. The Huks
sought to organize church clergy and laity, but met some
resistance and were not totally successful. However, significant
departures commenced in the mid-1960s.92   A new Vatican
constitution approved in 1965 stressed a church commitment to
social justice and human rights.93   In the new spirit of
ecumenism, Catholics started dialogues not only with Protestants,
but also with Communists. Young seminarians and students formed
several religious organizations to pursue economic and social
reforms. These included the Young Christian Socialists, the
Christian Social Movement, and the Laymen's Association for
Post-Vatican II Reforms. In the early 1970s, government
crackdowns on demonstrators - which included religious activists
- unified and radicalized the various opposition groups. As a
result, some priests and nuns joined the CPP and fully embraced
Communist thought. Others were willing to work with the
Communists, but were unwilling to accept anti-Christian ideo-
       One of the radical Christian organizations, the Christians
for National Liberation (CNL), was a founding member of the NDF.
The CNL provides important services to the NDF. This includes
care for wounded NPA guerrillas, assistance in the transporta-
tion of cadres, participation in the underground communica-
tions system, and organizational, educational, and propaganda
       Eight members of the "Christian Left" were listed in docu-
ments found when CPP founder Sison was captured in 1977.96   Fa-
ther Conrado Balweg, a Catholic priest who joined the NPA in
1979, has become a folk hero of the Philippine opposition. How-
ever, only a small number of Philippine clergy have followed Bal-
weg. In late 1982, Marcos accused 20 priests and nuns of being
members of subversive organizations like the NDF. He singled
out 97 other clergy members for assisting the CPP and NPA. Even
if accurate, this would represent less than 1 percent of the more
than 13,000 priests and nuns in the country.97
       However, people of many political persuasions agree that
the Catholic Church - especially the younger clergy - is becoming
more radical. This is significant in a country where over 80
percent of the population is Catholic. Some clergy members are
influenced by the Communist-inspired "liberation theology",
devised by Latin American revolutionaries. Interestingly, some
other comparisons are drawn to Latin America. There is the same
mixture of Spanish Catholic and native cultures, a similar
history of large landowners and oppressed peasants, a
parallelism of military abuses, resentment of U.S. influence,
and rebellions growing in the mountains.98
       Despite these similarities, the future course of events
could differ significantly from Latin America. Both conservative
and progressive clergy in the Filipino church are reportedly less
dogmatic than their Latin American counterparts and embrace
social justice more strongly than Communist ideology. The
Philippines also has a tradition of religious dissidence. While
elements of the Filipino church are drifting towards the left, it
can still be an important moderating force in the future. It is
difficult, however, to generalize as the Filipino church is as
varied as Filipino culture and geography.99
       While the Catholic church is not united in its attitude
towards the Marcos regime, there currently exists significant
antagonism between the church and the government. The church has
emerged as the main defender of the people against military
abuses and is a leading critic of Marcos cronyism. It is an
exponent of greater popular participation in the political
process, which the Marco regime interprets as oppositionist
activity. As the church becomes more activist, the government
becomes more hostile. Several priests have been organizing "Basic
Christian Communities," social organizations which emphasize
local authority and individual decisionmaking. To the government,
these communities resemble the communes advocated by the NPA.
These activities are further evidence of the polarization that
seems to characterize the Philippines today.100   The church-NPA
links, while not pervasive, will grow in scope and significance
unless the Filipino political, economic, and military systems are
significantly reformed.
CPP-NPA Membership and Leadership
       In 1970, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. described the Huk
membership as being composed of five groups of people:  1)the un-
employed; 2)the fugitives from the law; 3)those with grievances
against Philippine authorities; 4)relatives of former and present
Huks; 5)Pampangans. A large number of Huks were in the "tradi-
tional" fourth category, following in the footsteps of family and
friends, or in the "emotional-affectual" third category with ven-
geance motives. Very few Huks were members with a full under-
standing and conviction of Communist doctrine.101
       This membership classification probably holds true today
in the countryside and in the remote areas. However, as detailed
earlier in this chapter, the CPP-NPA movement has also grown sig-
nificantly in the urban areas during the late 1970s and early
1980s. As journalist Eduardo Lachica points out, the old Huk
influence has now spread to upper and middle classes.102  A few
priests and nuns are now members of the NPA. Some parish priests
(including foreign priests in the Philippines) and lay workers,
are also considered by the government to be NPA agents.103
Members of various professions, labor union members, government
employees, factory workers, and others are CPP-NPA members or
supporters. These are in addition to tribal members and peasant
farmers, the traditional Filipino insurgents. As General Lansdale
points out, the CPP-NPA, unlike the Huks, are a significant mass
       Today's crop of Communist leaders are younger, more
politicized, and even more singleminded in their determination to
seize power. Rudolfo Salas, alias Commander Bilog - the Chairman
of the CPP Central Committee - is a consistently hardline
dissident who wrested the party's leadership from Rafael
Baylosis, Sison's immediate successor. Vice-Chairman Juanito
Rivera (Commander Juaning) is also chief of the NPA. Baylosis is
the CPP's third ranking official.105    Generals Lansdale and
Moore, both of whom operated against the Huks, emphasize that the
current Communist leadership are better educated and more
ideological than the old PKP-Huk leaders.106
       The Communist leadership has also shown staying power. As
numerous CPP Central Committee members have been captured or
killed, they have been replaced either formally or with unnamed
cadres being assigned to the job vacancies. There are also be-
lieved to be a number of powerful party men not named as Cen-
tral Committee members, but wielding power from the shadows.107
There is no shortage of capable Communist leaders.
Expansion and Strength
       Beginning with its formation in 1969, the New People's
Army has grown significantly. In 1969, the U.S. Chief of Mission
in the Philippines estimated that the various Huk remnant groups
consisted of approximately 400 armed regulars, 500 armed combat
support personnel, between 3,000 and 40,000 unarmed general sup-
port personnel (a wide range), and a mass base as high as 80,000.
As illustrated above, guerrilla strength is difficult to estimate
and mass bases are even harder to appraise. In addition, calcula-
tions of guerrilla strength are deceptive as this strength is
often dormant until activated for given situations.108
Regardless, NPA strength around 1969 was relatively weak.
       Shortly after its formation, the NPA expanded into north-
eastern Luzon. There may have been several reasons for this. As
Lachica points out, the traditional insurgent region of central
Luzon did not meet some of Regis Debray's favorable conditions
for a reenactment of the successful Chinese Communist experience.
In the days of the Huk movement, the inaccessible Candaba Swamp
and mountain ranges of central Luzon provided safe havens for
guerrilla warfare. But, beginning after World War Two, central
Luzon was shrunk by feeder roads to the remote barrios and by
the expansion of the farm population. The Maoist countryside of
central Luzon became too small for the establishment of secure
guerrilla bases. In addition, the rapid migrational growth of
Manila, close to the traditional guerrilla area, decreased the
density of the rural population. Meanwhile, the Philippine
archipelago of over 7,000 islands, offered ample room elsewhere
for guerrilla movement.109
       After suffering some reverses in central Luzon, the NPA in
1971 sprang up in the Cagayan Valley of northeastern Luzon. It
rapidly organized a force capable of executing ambushes and
raids. The region became a major operational area of the NPA,
mainly because of the lush mountain ranges straddling a large
portion of this region. Government attention focused on this new
NPA area and the first AFP unified command against the NPA was
set up in the Cagayan Valley.110   In 1971, President Marcos es-
timated that the NPA had a combat force of 1,000 to 2,000 backed
by 5,000 support personnel and perhaps 50,000 sympathizers.111
       After a major Philippine government drive in this region
and declaration of martial law in September 1972, the NPA
simply withdrew into the vastness of the Sierra Madre mountains.
Military abuses, mass arrests and detentions during the govern-
ment campaign increased popular support for the NPA in this
region.112   Huk chief Commander Dante, after his capture, stated
that before martial law, the NPA was active only in central Luzon
and the Cagayan Valley in northeastern Luzon.113
       In the early 1970s, the NPA began expanding into remoter
areas of the Philippines. Government neglect of these hinterlands
left many of these areas extremely depressed. All featured a
striking income gap between the rich and the poor. Most farmers
in these regions are also tenants, with landowners receiving at
least 50 percent of all crops. With local health facilities rare,
illness was also frequent - driving peasants further into debt
due to high interest rates charged by landlords. The CPP-NPA has
taken advantage of these conditions and used cadre who are
frequently farmers. The cadres have organized peasants against
landlords, administered their own breed of local "justice" for
criminals, and protected the peasants from military abuse. These
efforts have helped the NPA gain local support.114
       During this time, the CPP-NPA also turned its attention to
Samar Island in the eastern Visayas. NPA activity in northern
Samar began in 1970 through a youth organization called the
"Movement for a Democratic Philippines." The movement grew to
include disgruntled local politicians and clergy. After many of
their leaders were imprisoned during Marcos' declared martial
law, dissidents regrouped in the fertile Catubig Valley of
northern Samar - the food basket of Samar. NPA groups in eastern
Samar then crossed the mountain ranges to the north in an effort
to control this food-producing region.115    The NPA guerrillas
found their way to Samar from Cebu Island in the central Visayas,
which the NPA had found unsuitable for guerrilla warfare. Between
1974 and 1975, the NPA penetrated nearly half of Samar. The NPA
conducted teach-ins - the guerrillas called the area their
"university belt" - with a systematic educational process using
audio-visuals, to depict class exploitation.116
       The CPP-NPA found the Samar population to be receptive.
Samar is an island of lush forests and untapped mineral reserves,
with a population of over 1 million people.117    According to a
1975 census, 89 percent of the Samar population live in rural
areas and only 10 to 15 percent have attended high school. The
majority of the population are farmers or fishermen. Economic
and social conditions were ripe for NPA exploitation. Due to a
poor road network, NPA teams were able to move into remote
population areas with impunity, to spread propaganda and obtain
supplies. They could then withdraw into forests and hills - a
perfect guerrilla warfare setting.118
       By 1979, the CPP-NPA controlled 85 percent of eastern
Samar, 40 percent of northern Samar, and 60 percent of western
Samar.119    The NPA had an effective shadow government on Samar by
1982, and about 1,000 armed regulars on the island.120    A
government pacification drive achieved limited success, but Samar
soon was considered to be the NPA's strongest base. The NPA
presence gradually became more acceptable to the people of Samar
than that of the military.121    At the time of a 10 May 1984
opposition rally in western Samar, NPA leaders claimed that they
had enough arms closeby to defend the gathering if government
forces attempted to interfere.122
       The NPA also expanded into the southern island of Mindanao
in the early 1970's. The first NPA presence in the region was
detected in Zamboanga del Sur on western Mindanao in 1973. In the
mid-1970's, the Communists became active in the Davao area of
southern Mindanao. Since late 1982, the NPA has appeared in the
previously quiet areas of northeastern Mindanao. Communist
guerrillas and cadre apparently moved into the area by crossing
the Surigao Strait from their bastion on Samar. This mountainous,
mining region offers good terrain for the guerrillas.123
       Mindanao's hydroelectric potential, thick forests, mineral
wealth, and relatively small population made an attractive target
for the CPP-NPA. The links between Mindanao's Moros and the NPA
were probably also useful. Inequitable economic growth,
lawlessness, and military abuses made the local populace
receptive to NPA propaganda.124   Government relocation programs
further alienated the population. By 1982, NPA strength in
southern Mindanao consisted of 1,400 armed regulars, 1,800 active
support personnel, and a mass base of 18,400  Other estimates of
the mass base have been much higher. Philippine Solicitor-General
Estelito Mendoza stated that the concentration of NPA strength in
the region was greater than that contained in any central Luzon
area of the same size when martial law was proclaimed.125
       In 1984, Filipino military intelligence reported an NPA
presence on Muslim Basilan Island off western Mindanao. Although
the Muslim rebellion has been dormant since about 1980, the NPA
continues to expand on Mindanao. Nearly 80 percent of the AFP
Mindanao garrison - 50 percent of the country's armed forces - is
now based in Christian areas of Mindanao. The government
considers the CPP-NPA problem in Mindanao to have intensified
more than in any other part of the country.126
       There are now at least 16 Communist guerrilla fronts in
Mindanao, although NPA mobility makes it difficult to estimate
their strength. Eight of these fronts are believed to be in
north and northeastern Mindanao, currently the most serious zone
of Communist influence in the country. Under these eight fronts
are approximately 1,000 armed regulars with a support base of
20,000 to 25,000. This region of timber and coconut plantations
has several characteristics that make it a fertile CPP-NPA
recruiting ground:  high unemployment; remoteness of the area;
and high illiteracy.127
       The CPP-NPA has not ignored other regions of Mindanao.
Davao City, one of the country's most prosperous cities and its
third largest port, suffers from almost daily attacks by NPA
"sparrow units" - three-men liquidation squads who attack
security forces even in broad daylight. This southern Mindanao
city, with a vast land area making it physically one of the
largest cities in the world, is extremely difficult for
government forces to secure. The Communist campaign here appears
aimed at disrupting the previously thriving, export-oriented,
plantation economy.128
       The CPP-NPA also expanded into northern Luzon by taking
advantage of friction between the government and the Kalinga
headhunting tribe in Kalinga-Apayao province. A 1974 announcement
by Manila to press forward with its development plans for the
Chico River region intensified opposition by the Kalingas, who
have historically resisted encroachment. The dispute, which
centers around the construction of giant dams in this unspoiled
area, made the Kalingas more amenable to CPP-NPA entreaties than
in the past. NPA cadres and guerrillas began drifting heavily
into this region beginning in 1976.129   Since then, NPA operations
in Kalinga have been expanding rapidly. The NPA penetrated the
closely-knit tribal system and - through a patient process of
persuasion and education - gained the support of many of the
tribespeople. While early efforts here centered on political
mobilization, military operations intensified around 1980.130
       By 1978, the Philippine government was experiencing frequent
armed encounters with NPA guerrillas in central Luzon, the
Cagayan Valley in northeastern Luzon, the eastern Visayas
(especially Samar and Leyte), Panay and Negros in the western
Visayas, and in northern and northeastern Mindanao.131   NPA
guerrillas appeared to number between 2,000 and 3,000 during
this period.132
       In 1979, CPP-NPA recruitment again seemed on the increase,
with some 3,000 guerrillas thought to be engaged in active
operations.133   This upsurge began in the wake of the second oil
shock of 1979. The rise in urban joblessness drove Filipinos back
to the countryside and created serious rural unemployment.
Shortly thereafter, the price of coconuts - on which an estimated
40 percent of rural Filipino families depend for at least a
portion of their livelihood - plunged. The stifling of political
expression during this martial law period, government corruption,
military abuses, and the economic decline combined to fuel the
NPA movement. A map of NPA zones shows that it is strongest in
the coconut-growing areas (see Figure 22 - Agricultural Activity,
1982 and Figure 23 - Guerrilla Activity, 1980). U.S. officials,
however, attribute NPA expansion more to the weakness and
corruption of the Philippine military than to NPA military
       Philippine Defense Minister Enrile in 1979 stated that the
NPA was still strongest, however, in central and northeastern
Luzon, and Samar.136   By 1980, the NPA claimed to be operational
in 46 of the country's 73 provinces and was undoubtedly more
effective organizationally than the Moros in the south.137
Enrile estimated NPA strength in early 1981 at 3,000 to 5,500
regulars, controlling a population of 130,000 to 165,000.138
Click here to view image
Captured NPA leader Commander Dante, in a 1981 interview, noted
NPA expansion into western and southern Mindanao, the Cagayan
Valley of northeastern Luzon, the Ilocos region of northern
Luzon, the Tagalog and Bicol regions of southern Luzon, and in
all of the Visayas.139
       The next year, Philippine Armed Forces Chief of Staff
General Fabian Ver estimated that the NPA had 5,000 armed
regulars.140   By this time, estimates of NPA strength began to
vary widely, even among key Philippine government officials.
During this period, foreign analysts estimated that the NPA had
5,000 to 10,000 armed guerrillas. An NDF official, however,
estimated NPA armed strength at 12,000 to 14,000.141   James A.
Kelly of the U.S. Defense Department, testifying before Congress
that year, stated that the NPA - with an armed strength of about
7,500 - was active to varying degrees in nearly all areas of the
country, with about one-fourth of all villages affected by
guerrilla activity.142
       Philippine government estimates tended to be low, while
CPP-NPA claims were usually high. The low government estimates
are in part due to exaggerated claims of captured NPA prisoners
by army field commanders. In some areas, it has been standard
practice to round up people in areas of known NPA operations,
threaten them, and propagandize these personnel as "surrenderees"
by photographing them taking an oath of allegiance to the
government. In addition, CPP-NPA expansion cannot be noted until
its presence becomes known through limited and cautiously-
launched military operations.143    (Figure 24 is a map of
guerrilla activity in 1983; note the increase since the previous
figure for 1980).
       After remaining static for several years, the Filipino
agricultural work force increased by 34 percent - or by 3 million
people - between 1979 and 1984. Because farm output did not keep
pace with the increase in the rural work force, rutal
unemployment continued to rise and the NPA has taken advantage of
this void.144   U.S. estimates in 1984 place NPA strength at some
10,000 to 12,500 full-time armed guerrillas, with an additional
10,000 part-time militia soldiers and an NPA presence in 62 of
the country's 73 provinces.145   (See Figure 25 - Estimates of New
People's Army Strength, 1984). Besides forming shadow governments
in many of these areas, the NPA has also been able to intimidate
local officials in strongholds such as Bicol province to reach
working arangements with local NPA groups. Allegedly, some of
Bicol's police have sworn oaths of allegiance to the Communists.
Some provincial governors, furthermore, declare that there is no
NPA presence in their areas in hopes of avoiding armed
confrontations between the Communists and the military.146
       The NPA itself claims some 20,000 guerrillas - with 10,000
of them armed - and a mass base of about 1 million.147   According
to CPP Central Committee figures, between 1980 and 1983 party
membership grew threefold - from 10,000 to 30,000. During this
period, the  guerrilla strength grew from a 1980 base of 8,000
guerrillas.148   Philippine government figures continue to vary
widely, but have adjusted upwards recently. In 1984, Marcos
and Defense Minister Enrile estimated NPA armed, regular force
strength at 6,000 to 8,000. Acting Armed Forces Chief of Staff
Click here to view image
Fidel Ramos, respected for integrity and professionalism,
estimated that the NPA armed regular force strength had increased
from 6,000 in 1983 to between 10,000 and 12,000 in late 1984.149
       This year, Philippine officials appear to be revising
their estimates higher, more in line with U.S. estimates. Defense
Minister Enrile now estimates the guerrilla strength at 11,000 to
12,000. Since last year, the rebellion has spread to another
province - a total 63 of the country's 73 provinces.150   Richard
Armitage, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International
Security Affairs, stated in recent testimony before Congress the
the NPA armed strength could be as high as 15,000, with 33
percent of the Philippines' 42,000 villages or barangays "affect-
ed in some measure" by the Communists.151   The Communist mass
base strength is estimated between 500,000 and 1 million.152
       Ex-Huk fighters Generals Lansdale and Moore emphasize
three characteristics of the CPP-NPA growth that distinguish it
from the Huks:  1)the NPA has a much greater geographical base
than the Huks did. The HMB was concentrated on Luzon (primarily
central Luzon) while the NPA has spread throughout the country;
2)the NPA has a much stronger mass movement than the Huks
enjoyed. The CPP-NPA relationship is stronger and united front
activities are more significant; 3)the existence of the Moro
insurgents (although they are currently quiet) and some NPA-MNLF
links increases the revolutionary potential for the country and
complicates government security problems.153   While the CPP-NPA
organization is strong and pervades the country, the movement has
much further to go before it can undertake large-scale offensive
operations against government forces. However, the CPP-NPA is
patiently working towards the  "strategic stalemate" and
"strategic offensive" phases of its struggle. These organizations
are steadily growing stronger.
        1Benedict Kerkvliet, The Huk Rebellion:  A Study of
Peasant Revolt in the Philippines (Berkeley, California:
University of California Press, 1977), p. 165.
         2William Moore, "The Hukbalahap Insurgency, 1948-1954:
An Analysis of the Roles, Missions, and Doctrine of the
Philippine Military Forces" (Report of the Institute of Advanced
Studies, U.S. Army War College, 1971), p. 14.
         3Robert Smith, The Hukbalahap Insurgency:  Economics,
Political. and Military Factors (Washington:  Office of the Chief
of Military History, U.S. Department of the Army, 1963), p. 87.
         4Alvin Scaff, The Philippine Answer to Communism
(Stanford, California:  Stanford University Press, 1955), p. 34.
         5John Jameson, "The Philippine Constabulary as a
Counterinsurgency Force, 1948-1954" (Report of the Institute of
Advanced Studies, U.S. Army War College, 1971), p. 26; Kerkvliet,
p. 175.
         6William Pomeroy, The Forest:  A Personal Record of the
Huk Guerrilla Struggle in the Philippines (New York:
International Publishers, 1963), p. 40.
         7Pomeroy, p. 38.        8Jameson, pp. 27-28.
         9Pomeroy, pp. 39-40; Kerkvliet, p. 212.
         10 Scaff, p. 34.
         11Pomeroy, pp. 40-41; Kerkvliet, pp. 211-212.
         12Luis Taruc, He Who Rides the Tiger: The Story of an
Asian Guerrilla Leader (New York:  Frederick A. Praeger, 1967),
p. 133.
         13Jameson, p. 28.
         14Edward Lansdale, In the Midst of Wars:  An American's
Mission to Southeast Asia (New York:  Harper and Row, 1972), p.
         15Kerkvliet,  p. 212.     16Moore, p. 16.
         17Moore, pp.   16-17.    18Moore, p. 18.    19Moore, p. 19.
         20Moore, pp.   20-21.     21Kerkvliet, pp. 138-139.
         22Kerkvliet,   pp. 140-141.     23Kerkvliet, pp. 141, 178.
         24Kerkvliet, p. 264.     25Kerkvliet, pp  186-187, 264.
         26Kerkvliet, pp. 179-180.     27Kerkvliet, pp. 181-184.
         28Kerkvliet, pp. 218-219, 264-265.
         29Kerkvliet, pp. xvi, 265.     30Taruc, p. 51.
         31Pomeroy, p. 104.     32Taruc, p. 27.     33Ibid.
         34Scaff, p. 5.
         35Eduardo Lachica, The Huks:  Philippine Agrarian Society
in Revolt (New York:  Praeger Publishers, 1971), pp. 21, 171.
         36Jameson, p. 34,      37Lachica, p. 25.      38Taruc, p. 88.
         39Kerkvliet, p. 170.     40Jameson, pp. 34-35.
         41Scaff, pp. 60-61.      42Jameson, p. 35.      43Ibid.
         44Jameson, p. 171.      45Taruc, p. 27.     46Lachica, p. 13.
         47Kerkvliet, pp. 166-167.     48Taruc, p. 27.
         49Kerkvliet, p. 192.
         50Statement by Napoleon Valeriano, Philippine army
officer, in a speech presented to the U.S. Army Special Warfare
Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 2 October 1964, p. 5 of the
speech's text.
         51Kerkvliet, p. 174.     52Moore, p. 14.    53Lachica, p. 5.
         54Valeriano, pp. 8-9.    55Taruc, p. 88.
         56Lansdale, p. 64.       57Lansdale, p. 60.
         58William Pomeroy, An  American Made Tragedy:
Neo-Colonialism and Dictatorship in the Philippines (New York:
International Publishers, 1974), p. 137.
         59Valeriano, p. 9.     60Kerkvliet, p. 213.
         61Lachica, p. 14.
         62Lachica, p. 15; Lansdale, pp. 50-51.
         63Ramberto Saavedra, "The Role of Civil Affairs in
Counterinsurgency in the Philippines" (Thesis of the U.S. Army
Command and General Staff College, 1982), p. 61.
         64Saavedra, pp. 61-63.     65Saavedra, pp. 62-63.
         66Rodney Tasker, "A Lesson for the Teacher," Far Eastern
Economic Review, 2 December 1977, p. 14.
         67"Time to Get Tough," Asiaweek, 11 September 1981, p.
         68Guy Sacerdoti, "Red 'Army' on the March," Far Eastern
'Economic Review, 28 June 1984, p. 40.
         69"Time to Get Tough," p. 33.
         70U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations,
The Situation in the Philippines, Staff Report prepared by
Frederick Brown and Carl Ford, 98th Cong., 2nd Sess., October,
1984 (Washington:  Government Printing Office, 1984), pp. 30-32.
          71Sacerdoti, "Red 'Army' on the March," p. 40.
          72U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 31.
          73Tirso Gador, "Insurgency and Subversion in a Developing
Country:   A Case Study in a Philippine Setting" (Thesis of the
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1970), pp. 29-30.
          74Gador, p. 31.      75Gador, p. 32.
          76Frederica Bunge, ed., Philippines:  A Country Study
(Washington:  The American Univesity, 1984), p. 241.
          77U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 33.     78Ibid.
          79Bunge, p. 241.        80U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 17.
          81David Rosenberg, "Communism in the Philippines,"
Problems of Communism, XXXIII (September/October 1984), 41-42.
          82Rosenberg, p. 42.       83Rosenberg, p. 45.      84Ibid.
          85Rosenberg, p. 42.
          86James Turpin, "A New Society's Challenge in the
Philippines," Conflict Studies No. 122, The Institute for the
Study of Conflict (London:  The Eastern Press, 1980), 8;
"Time to Get Tough," p. 36.
          87S. Kamaluddin and Rodney Tasker, "Pressing the Point,"
Far Eastern Economic Review, 22 December 1983, p. 26.
          88Rodney Tasker, "Elusive Law and Order," Far Eastern
Economic Review  5 July 1984, p. 12.
          89Rodney Tasker, "Calm on the Moro Front,  Far Eastern
Economic Review, 9 August 1984, pp. 29-30.
         90Kamaluddin and Tasker, p. 26.     91Rosenberg, p. 43.
         92Rosenberg, p. 43; Lansdale, p. 80.
         93Ian Buruma, "The Church Militant Takes On a New
Meaning," Far Eastern Economic Review, 28 February 1985, p. 78.
         94Rosenberg, p. 43.    95Rosenberg, p. 44.
         96Tasker, "A Lesson for the Teacher," p. 17.
         97Buruma, p. 77.      98Ibid.     99Ibid.
         100U.S., Congress,   Senate, pp. 17-18.
         101Lachica, p. 24.       102Lachica, p. 29.
         103 U.S., Congress,   Senate, p. 18.
         104Statement by Edward Lansdale, former JUSMAG advisor to
Philippine Defense Secretary Ramon Magsaysay, in a personal
interview, McLean, Virginia, 15 February 1985.
         105"Time to Get Tough," p. 33.
         106Statement by William Moore, Major General, U.S. Army,
and formerly of JUSMAG, Philippines, in a personal interview,
Arlington, Virginia, 15 February 1985; Lansdale, interview.
         107Tasker, "A Lesson for the Teacher," p. 14.
         108Lachica, pp. 15-16.       109Lachica, pp. 194-196.
         110Sheilah Ocampo, "Philippines:  The Seven-Year Itch,"
Far Eastern Economic Review, 29 June 1979, p. 25.
         111"Time to Get Tough," pp. 28, 33.
         112Sheilah Ocampo, "Forcing the Pace of Pacification,"
Far Eastern Economic Review, 27 October 1978, p. 14.
         113"Time to Get Tough," p. 27.
         114Sacerdoti, "Red 'Army' on the March," p. 41.
         115Sheilah Ocampo, "An Island in Death's Shadow," Far
Eastern Economic Review, 27 March 1981, p. 32.
         116Ocampo, "Philippines:  The Seven-Year Itch," p. 26.
         117Ocampo, "An Island in Death's Shadow," p. 33.
         118Rodney Tasker, "Where Guerrillas Call the Tune," p.
         119Ocampo, "Philippines:  The Seven-Year Itch," p. 26.
         120"The NPA at 13:  Bolder and Brighter," Asiaweek, 19
March 1982, p. 17.
         121Sheilah Ocampo, "The Samuroy Killings," Far Eastern
Economic Review, 30 April 1982, p. 12.
         122Guy Sacerdoti, "Marching to the Beat of an Opposition
Drum," Far Eastern Economic Review  24 May 1984, p. 16.
         123Tasker, "Elusive Law and Order," pp. 12-13.
         124Richard Vokey and Sheilah Ocampo, "A Rising Tide of
Violence," Far Eastern Economic Review., 16 March 1979, p. 21.
         125Sheilah Ocampo, "A Little Vietnam," Far Eastern
Economic Review, 12 March 1982, p. 40.
         126Tasker, "Elusive Law and Order," p. 12.
         127Tasker, "Elusive Law and Order," pp. 12-13.     128Ibid.
         129Sheilah Ocampo, "The Battle for Chico River," Far
Eastern Economic Review, 20 October 1978, pp. 32, 34.
         130Sheilah Ocampo, "Breaching a Dam of Despair," Far
Eastern Economic Review, 13 June 1980, p. 23; Richard Vokey,
"Assault on the Peaks of Power," Far Eastern Economic Review,
13 June 1980, p. 27.
         131Sheilah Ocampo, "Decimated - But It Won't Lie Down,"
Far Eastern Economic Review, 15 December 1978, p. 35.
         132Tasker, "Where Guerrillas Call the Tune," p. 23.
         133Turpin, p. 7.
         134Ross Munro, "Dateline Manila:  Moscow's Next Win?"
Foreign Policy, No. 56 (Fall 1984), 181.
         135Robert Manning, "The Philippines in Crisis,"Foreign
Affairs, Volume 63, No. 2 (Winter 1984/1985), 403.
         136Ocampo, "Philippines:  The Seven-Year Itch," p. 25.
         137Turpin, p. 7.       138"Time to Get Tough," p. 27.
         139"Time to Get Tough, p. 36.
         140"The NPA at 13:  Bolder and Brighter," p. 17.
         141David Jenkins, "All the President's Men," Far Eastern
Economic Review, 10 March 1983, p. 18; Sheilah Ocampo, "Eastern
Davao is the Hot Spot as NPA Ambushes Claim More Victims," Far
Eastern Economic Review, 10 March 1983, p. 21.
         142Rosenberg, pp. 39-40.
         143Ocampo, "Decimated - But It Won't Lie Down," p. 35.
         144Munro, p. 180.      145U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 25.
         146Munro, p. 182.
         147U.S., Department of State, "Recent Developments in the
Philippines," Department of State Bulletin, Volume 84, No. 2092
(November, 1984), (Address of Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary
of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, before the
Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, 19 September 1984), 56.
         148Sacerdoti, "Red 'Army' on the March," p. 40.
         149"Generally On Course," Asiaweek, 9 November 1984, p.
         150William Branigan, "Marcos Seen as Increasingly
Isolated," The Washington Post, 9 March 1985, p. A14.
         151Lena Sun, "Philippine Crisis Grows, Top U.S. Officials
Warn," The Washington Post, 13 March 1985, p. A19.
         152"Philippine Insurgency Cited," The Washington Post, 9
February 1985, p. A13.
         153Moore, interview; Lansdale, interview.
                        CHAPTER SIX
The Huks
       The relationship that should exist between the people
   and the troops...The former may be likened to water, and the
   latter to the fish who inhabit it. How may it be said that
   these two cannot exist together.
       Mao Tse-tung in Guerilla Warfare
       The uprising cannot assume the traditional form of a
   single blow, limited to a very short time and a very small
       Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Huk and PKP Objectives
       The circumstances under which the Huk rebellion began in
1946 were covered in detail in Chapters 2 and 4. In the pursuit
of their long-term Communist goals, the Huks and the PKP embraced
longstanding peasant causes such as agrarian reform, political
representation, recognition of the Hukbalahap wartime resistance,
and government reform.1  These rebel concerns were articulated by
Luis Taruc to a journalist in February 1947. Taruc outlined five
"minimum terms of peace":  1)immediate restoration of de-
mocratic rights of the individual; 2)dismissal of all charges
against Huks arising out of 1946 developments; 3)replacement of
officials in the municipal and provincial governments and the
police command in central Luzon; 4)restoration of the six
Democratic Alliance congressmen elected in 1946 to their seats;
5)implementation of land reform, leading to the eventual
abolition of tenancy. In short, the Huks grasped historical
peasant objectives that were similar to the wartime Hukbalahap
goals (see Appendix D - By- Laws of the Hukbalahap, 1942).
However, because of the Philippine government's activities in
1945 and 1946, an armed rebellion erupted with the immediate goal
of stopping the repression.2
       The goals of the Communists went beyond the concerns of
the peasants. The PKP Constitution of 1946 provides evidence of
this; the PKP embraced agrarian reform in order to accomplish
its goals, which included the establishment of a Communist gov-
ernment (see Appendix E - The PKP Constitution of 1946). This
document contains numerous phrases familiar to Communist plat-
forms:  "Marxist-Leninism; workers and peasants; capitalists; the
party as the vanguard of working classes; fight for democratic
rights; struggle against class exploitation and imperialism."
Huk and PKP Strategy and Doctrine
       Communists typically employ a strategy of two struggle
methods - armed struggle and parliamentary struggle. The first
entails protracted guerrilla warfare; the second involves the sys-
tematic infiltration of government organizations.3   At the start
of the Huk rebellion and up until 1948, the PKP officially advo-
cated a legal and parliamentary struggle. During this time, the
PKP sought to infiltrate the various armed forces and government
agencies, especially the executive offices. The press was also an
infiltration target, as the media was generally sympathetic to
them. Some of these attempts were successful, such as the infil-
tration of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The PKP also infil-
trated labor unions, student groups, and civic organizations;
it usually began by disseminating leaflets, and then dispatched
agitators. Agitators within the army emphasized the differences
in the military treatment of officers and enlisted personnel.4
As evidence of its legal struggle emphasis, the PKP's 1946
Constitution (see Appendix E) required that all members belong to
a peasants' or workers' organization, work to strengthen the
party's relationship with the masses, and vote in all public
       Beginning in 1946, Huk leaders agreed that the military
policy of the reconstituted guerrilla army would be defensive
rather than offensive. Taruc later said, "We decided that if
assaults on the people continued, we would reassemble on a purely
defensive basis, avoid encounters and fight only when cornered
and attacked or when the people were being persecuted to the
point where they would ask protection from the squadrons."5
Occasionally, to raise morale, Huk leaders used the principle
that "aggression is the best form of defense." The Huks organized
a few surprise raids on military units preparing for raids or in
the attack.6
       For over two years, the Huks laid low and had a wait-and-
see outlook, primarily seeking their military survival. There was
no overall plan or strategy regarding military action during this
period. The Communists continued to use legal channels. Huk
leaders also continued to query government officials about peace
proposals, and sought to build the movement, to increase its
strength so it could better bargain with the government. Luis
Taruc stated, "We wanted to be on the offense politically, but
also have a military defense in order to protect ourselves while
doing political organizing."7
       During this early period of the rebellion, the Huks
generally confined their operations to small hit-and-run raids
and ambushes directed mainly against small government garrisons,
convoys and patrols. Contact was avoided with large bodies of
government troops. The guerrillas attempted to have their
small-scale operations cover as wide an area of central Luzon as
possible. Later, when the Huks became better organized for
guerrilla warfare, they increased the frequency of these
operations. These tactics improved the guerrilla morale,
impressed the peasantry, demoralized government forces, reduced
Huk combat casualties, and kept their forces intact. The Huk
leaders realized that, at this stage, military survival was a
problem. While small scale guerrilla operations whittled away at
government strength, the guerrillas concentrated on reorganizing,
recruiting, rearming, and training.8   Perhaps, their leaders also
remembered that the 1943 Japanese attack on Mount Arayat was
largely successful because Hukbalahap forces had attempted to
hold terrain.9
The PKP Supports the Rebellion
       Shortly after Taruc returned from negotiations during the
abortive 1948 truce, the PKP leadership issued a public state-
ment that was a call for open, armed revolution. The party now
publicly supported the Huk rebellion and this resulted in the
renaming of the Hukbalahap to the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan
(People's Liberation Army) or HMB. The PKP statement said that
the Filipino people could not hope to secure democracy and peace
through parliamentary struggle alone as long as the country re-
mained under "American imperialism and domestic feudalism."10
       The PKP took advantage of President Quirino's declared
truce and exploited it by reorganizing and shifting tactics
and strategy.11   As it had done during World War Two with the Huk-
balahap, the PKP was conducting an armed campaign to establish
itself in power. In both cases, the cause was designed to appeal
to a wider section of the community, as Communism had little
appeal to the peasants or guerrillas. In 1948, its "army's" name
was more along Communist lines (People's Liberation Army)
although its cause was still presented as agrarian reform.12  The
PKP stated that it should lead the HMB at all levels - national,
provincial, municipal, and village. Its leaders, however,
realized that this was not an easy task as the PKP never had a
strong peasant base.13
       In August 1948, Taruc did not feel that the Huks were
ready for large-scale military operations. He felt that the Huks
needed to expand their support base, convince their potential
supporters that an armed revolution provided the only solutions,
continue to defend themselves against government forces, and
strengthen their military organization through training, arms
procurement, and recruitment.14
       Although the PKP decided that a military struggle pro-
vided the only means to its goals, it intended to wage both po-
litical and military campaigns with equal emphasis. Its leaders
envisioned two stages for the campaign:  1)the military
overthrow of established legal authority in the Philippines; 2)a
period of consolidation during which the Communists would estab-
lish a "people's democracy" that would evolve into a socialist
state. To overthrow the government, the HMB planned to conduct a
three-step "strategic defensive" phase:  retreat or withdrawal;
expansion; a limited offensive leading towards the establishment
of a revolutionary government. The second phase was a "strategic
offensive," an all-out military effort to destroy government
forces and overthrow the government.15    This two-phase strategy
essentially combined the first two stages of Mao's three-stage
guerrilla war (strategic defensive, strategic stalemate,
strategic offensive).
       Although the HMB grew stronger, long-term Huk goals were
not clearly defined until late 1949.16    During the 1949 presi-
dential campaign, the Huks did not strongly support either of the
two opposing political parties.  To the Communists, the Liberal
Party represented the existing regime and the Nacionalista Party
was collaborationist. These elections were overtly corrupt and
provided the Huks with further public support.17
       The PKP's strategy was laid out in a late 1949 memorandum
from the PKP Secretariat to the Central Committee. The memo's
main points were:
Goal:  to establish the "new democracy (people's democratic
       republic) by overthrowing American imperialism.
Direction of the Main Blow:  Isolation of the national bour-
       geoisie and other elements who compromise with imperial-
       ism, and the winning over of the masses.
Main Force:  The proletarians and landless peasants.
Reserves:  The middle class and rice peasants, the Soviet Union,
       and other "new democracies" (other Communist states).
Disposition of the Main Forces and Reserves:  Alliance of the
       working class and peasantry.
Revolution:  1)Period of preparation - the battle for reserves
       or strategic defensive. 2)Seizure of national power -
       the strategic offensive.18
       The PKP strategy was essentially Maoist, although there
was no evidence of direct Chinese Communist involvement. By this
time, however, the HMB was well into the "strategic defensive"
phase. The Huks were well organized, with a recognized cause and
experienced guerrillas.19
The "Early Seizure of Power"
       A PKP and HMB grand strategy was formulated at the
Politburo meeting held in the Sierra Madre mountains from late
December 1949 to mid-January 1950. A list of objectives was
adopted which included intensive preparations for an armed
struggle to seize power within two years. This was the "early
seizure of power" policy referred to in Chapter 2. PKP leader
Jose Lava's policy ended alliances with other oppositionist
groups and called for an overambitious "geometric expansion" of
PKP and HMB membership.20   The 1950 Constitution and By-Laws of
the HMB cited the objective of establishing a new "democratic"
government (see Appendix F - 1950 Constitution and By-Laws of the
       The PKP envisioned a relatively short strategic offensive,
with the seizure of power climaxing a combination of guerrilla,
insurrectionary, and even "regular warfare in which HMB forces
would meet imperialist-puppet forces in positional warfare."21
As part of the plan, the small mobile squads of the HMB would be
re organized into larger units capable of encountering government
troops in positional warfare. By doing this, the HMB sacrificed
mobility and increased its logistical requirements.22
       Perhaps influenced by the recent successes of Mao and Ho
Chi Minh, the PKP and HMB appeared to forget their lessons of the
second workd war. Almost overnight, the character of the
insurgency changed. Although the HMB was only moderately
equipped, it increased its operational tempo and from late 1949
to late 1950 conducted numerous coordinated raids on major
villages, cities, and constabulary camps to commemorate important
dates in the revolutionary movement. In the short run, these
larger operations were successful.23    During this time, some of
the PKP Secretariat were even sent to RECO's in the field. These
included - besides Luis Taruc - Jesus Lava, Casto Alejandrino,
Mateo del Castillo, and Mariano Balgos. Taruc later stated that,
unlike the government, the Huks fought less intelligently as time
went on.24
       HMB military activity during this period increased tenfold
or more. Raids and ambushes throughout the central Luzon plain
were more than daily occurrences. Besides raiding army and con-
stabulary posts, the Huks ambushed convoys and patrols, seeking
to seize equipment and demoralize the government forces. Gov-
ernment officials, plantations, and landowners were targets; the
Huks also increased their use of intimidation to recruit more
members and work towards their "geometric expansion."25
      As 1950 passed and the HMB achieved military successes, the
Huks  became  bolder.  In addition  to  the  attacks  on army and
constabulary bases,   the Huk objectives    soon  included  the
temporary  capture  of  district  and provincial  capitals.  To
complement  the  success  of  their raids,  the Huks  laid  ambushes  on
reinforcing government  troops,  and ambushes  on primary roads
became  commonplace.  Heartened by  these  successes,  the HMB  soon
envisioned  the  seizure of Manila  before  the  end of  1950.  Huk
squadrons  successfully conducted  large-scale raids  in  the Manila
suburbs  and virtually isolated  the  city.  The PKP  Secretariat  then
issued new instructions  entititled  "Strategic Political  and
Military Guidance." This memorandum contained detailed
instructions  for RECO's on conducting  the  final  offensive,
supervising  liberated areas,  and handling  enemy  prisoners  and
defectors.  The  PKP and  the HMB had  their  timetable  for  the  final
phase  of the revolution.26
PKP-HUK Strategy and Doctrine  During  the Decline
       The  capture  of  PKP  Politburo members  by  increasingly
effective government  forces  in October  1950,  however,  disrupted
the  Communists'  plans.  In December,  the  PKP held a  conference  to
determine  future plans  in  the  context  of  the Politburo  capture
and  the  government  counteroffensive.  The  remaining  leaders
decided  to  continue  their  plans  for expansion and  strengthening
of  their military forces  as material  conditions  in  the  country
remained  the  same.  However,  the Huks  decided  to avoid  armed
encounters  and moved  to  the  mountains  for  refuge.27
       The  period  beginning  in  1951  marked  the  decline  of  the
Huks. The Huks' murder of President Quezon's widow in April 1949
and their increased in timidation of the populace caused a
significant decline in popular support. The capture of Politburo
members and documents in 1950 and the significant political,
military, and economic reforms of Defense Minister Ramon
Magsaysay were further setbacks. Leadership rifts were also
weakening the movement. In 1952, Huks were reduced to propaganda
attempts trying to convince the populace that the Huk organization
would survive and remain intact.28
       In October 1954, the popular Huk leader Luis Taruc surren-
dered to government forces. By that time, the HMB had suffered
defeats on the battlefield and a substantial loss of popular sup-
port. Jesus Lava, who had succeeded his brother as PKP general
secretary, finally acknowleged the futility of the plan for an
armed struggle and proclaimed a shift to parliamentary
struggle. Lava disbanded the cellular structure of the organiza-
tion and proclaimed his "single file" policy of individual ini-
tiatives.29    This essentially marked the end of the Huk rebel-
lion. During the insurgency, the PKP vaccillated between non-
alliance and alliance with the Huks and armed struggle. It had
overestimated its popular support base and military capabili-
ties, and underestimated government strength.
Modus Operandi of the Huks
       Huk tactics included raids on army and police bases,
ambushes of government forces, murder and kidnapping of
government officials and landowners, and robberies to secure
money and supplies. In typical guerrilla fashion, they conducted
most of their operations at night and - up until 1949 - sought to
avoid contact with government security forces except on their own
terms. The Huks were especially proficient in small-scale
hit-and-run operations, but sometimes massed as many as 500
troops if the targets were worthwhile. Unlike most guerrilla
units, however, the Huks did not engage in widespread sabotage.30
The HMB was very selective in selecting its targets and
operations, and was relatively careful to avoid alienating its
popular support base. An exception to this was the 1949 murder of
Aurora Quezon, in which the Huks may claim to have mistaken her
convoy for that of an incumbent government official.
       Huk raids generally fell into three categories:  1)attacks
against army and police bases and posts; 2)raids on cities and
villages to liquidate government officials; 3)harassment raids
aimed at impressing or intimidating the local populace. Usually,
the Huks were successful in concealing their raid preparations,
and in timing and planning their raids to achieve the maximum
surprise. Often, these operations were conducted during
holidays and religious fiestas, when security forces were usual-
ly lax. In assembling for their operations, the Huks were often
able to infiltrate into villages and mingle with the local popu-
lace. The guerrillas usually avoided daylight operations, unless
they had a significant military advantage or were provided cover
by natural phenomena such as typhoons and rainstorms.31    Huk
liquidation operations also included unsuccessful attempts to
assassinate Ramon Magsaysay and his advisor Edward Lansdale, as
well as the Armed Forces Chief of Staff.32
       Ambushes were another favorite Huk tactic. The HMB usually
chose favorable hilly terrain with natural cover. Ambushes were
set up along roads and trails habitually used by government for-
ces. While usually ambushing small units and convoys, the guerril-
las were not averse to ambushing larger units if the situation
provided good routes of egress. Some ambushes were aimed at the
destruction of government forces, and others sought the procure-
ment of equipment or money. The latter were by far the most
common. The Huks also operated road checkpoints for
psychological effect on the populace. Hit-and-run techniques were
used for both ambushes and raids, and served to preserve guerrilla
strength and keep government forces off-balance.33
       The Huks' "strategic defensive" strategy dictated that
sabotage was to be avoided unless the sabotaged installation
could be occupied and defended by force - a force not readily
attainable by the guerrillas. In addition, the Huks apparently
lacked trained saboteurs and equipment such as demolitions. Major
public utilities were well-guarded by government security forces,
and transportation systems were not sabotaged due to the danger
of injuring civilians. As communications were a Huk weakness, HMB
tactics also precluded the destruction of telephone or telegraph
lines.34    The Huks, however, did attempt the sabotage of the suc-
cessful EDCOR projects and burned some buildings and fuel dumps
on government installations that they attacked.35
       With good planning and execution, HMB operations empha-
sized deception and surprise. The armed guerrillas frequently
posed as civilians. On occasion, the Huks attacked in Philip-
pine army uniforms - such as the Makabulos attack of August 1950.
Men and women were utilized in operations. Huk withdrawals almost
always demonstrated good order and discipline, and the guerrillas
exhibited special skill at establishing strategically located
roadblocks to delay the advance of army forces.36
      The elusive and mobile Huks usually did not seek to hold
physical objectives; they sought to disrupt, disorganize, or
destroy government forces. The HMB fought a war of detachment and
when trapped by government forces, guerrillas disappeared among
the populace. Operating in squad-sized bands, the Huks performed
combat, foraging, recruitment, and subversion missions. They were
familiar with the terrain, and were generally proficient in
military tactics due to their wartime experience. From their
mountain bases, the guerrillas had good observation.37
The Huk Intelligence System
       During Japanese occupation, the Hukbalahap built up an
elaborate and efficient intelligence organization in the barrios.
Following these past methods, the HMB established procedures to
gather, report, and disseminate intelligence information. Barrio
and municipality organizations collected information on govern-
ment forces and civilian guards through channels that sometimes
reached into the offices of mayors and police chiefs. Some offi-
cials and security personnel who were not Huk sympathizers were,
nonetheless, susceptible to either bribery or female flirtation.
However, the peasants themselves provided the best information
regarding troop movement. The courier and supply systems were
used to pass intelligence information.39
       Until Magsaysay became the Defense Minister in 1954, Huk
agent recruitment efforts were directed at government officials
who had access to pertinent information. Especially in Huk-con-
trolled areas, municipal officials were often in the service of
the Huks.40   Using captured military radios, the Huks also moni-
tored communications. For example, the ambush of Aurora Quezon in
1949 was executed with route and arrival information gained
through radio-monitoring.41
       Huk intelligence up till 1950, while good, was not as
extraordinary as it sometimes seemed to government forces.
Government operations security was poor, and movements of units
and officials often received advance publicity in newspapers. In
addition, army and police morale was so low that many of these
individuals became Huk sympathizers, passing information
voluntarily. The Huks also had numerous sympathizers among the
peasantry. These advantages, however, were reduced by the
significant reforms instituted by Magsaysay beginning in 1950.42
Huk Security
       For security, the Huks had "enforcing units" which
undertook violent reprisals against local government informers.
Among the guerrillas themselves, treason or desertion could lead
to execution. To obtain safer locations, the Huks also used the
offices of infiltrated labor unions and student groups for
meeting places and document storage areas. Guerrillas were
usually instructed not to operate militarily in zones where
underground headquarters were located.43
       Huk headquarters and committees were usually in remote,
mountainous areas when the terrain and situation permitted.
Squadron and lower level units were usually quite mobile, and
even higher echelons were forced to move periodically. The most
important Huk leaders often operated out of remote areas such as
Mount Arayat or the nearby Candaba Swamp.44   At Huk base camps,
security huts covered approaches, and blocking positions were es-
tablished at camp entrances. An inner network of trails connected
camps and production bases in the mountains, while an outer set
of trails closer to the villages were used by armed Huk guer-
       The guerrilla forces that remained in or circulated to the
barrios were also responsible for policing their mass base areas
and protecting residents as best they could against government
and civilian guard units. These forces were distinct from the
"regular forces" that were used in expansion activities.46 Huk
couriers also only knew point-to-point destinations, and incon-
spicuous women and children were used as couriers.47   In addi-
tion, Huk leaders used aliases and codenames.48   In general, Huk
operations security was good.
Psychological Operations
       Up until the arrival of Ramon Magsaysay, the Huks clearly
outmatched the government in the use of psychological operations
(PSYOPS). The HMB and PKP recognized the value of psychological
warfare (PSYWAR) and made it a major weapon. Their predecessors -
the Hukbalahaps of the second world war realized the importance
of PSYWAR and even had a "Fundamental Spirit" manual which
served as a public relations guide. They followed the Communist
practice of building their PSYOPS campaigns around slogans, which
were produced by the Politburo after lengthy deliberation. Since
the Huk movement's earliest recruiting efforts were among the
peasants, its main slogan in the early years was "Land for the
Landless." When the 1949 presidential election evoked accusations
of fraud among the electorate, the Huks took up the slogan of
"Bullets, not Ballots." There were lesser slogans used as well
for tactical purposes.49
       Other slogans used were "Equal Justice for All," and "Yan-
kee, Go Home." Huk propaganda decried "feudal landlordism" and
"government inefficiency and corruption."50   Huk leaflets, pam-
phlets, and posters followed the party line, as expected. The
JUSMAG-government relationship after 1950 was labeled as "Jus-
magsaysay," and EDCOR settlements were characterized as concen-
tration camps. The Huks attempted to portray their organization
as stable and efficient, and tried to involve citizens in
decisions affecting popular welfare. The guerrillas also took
credit for government-sponsored projects in the barrios.51
       Although each individual had responsibilities for psycho-
logical work, the PKP and HMB had a detailed organizational
PSYOPS structure. Each HMB military unit had a political of-
ficer who was in charge of PSYOPS and unit morale. The Huks also
had civilian agitation-and-propaganda units, called "agitprop
cells", which operated clandestinely among the populace by
producing and disseminating propaganda material.52
       The key agitprop organization was the PEIRA (Political,
Economic, Intelligence, and Research Association), the body
respon- sible for the dissemination of Huk propaganda. Huk
literature was widely  distributed thoughout central Luzon by
PEIRA courier agents.53   Regular Huk publications included:
"Titus (Spark)," a biweekly newspaper; "Mapagpalaya
(Liberation)," a lengthy, monthly dealing with some major aspect
of the struggle; "Kalayaan (Freedom)," a periodic cultural
magazine with stories, poems, and essays; and "Ang Kommunista," a
monthly theoretical magazine primarily for movement cadres. Two
self-study booklets - one for Huk soldiers and one for political
workers - were also written each month.54
       Huk and PKP propaganda, while attacking the national
government, did not criticize municipal employees as this group
was potentially useful to the movement. Except for the
anti-U.S. themes, Communist propaganda was fairly effective.55
Huk Recruitment Operations
       Chapters 4 and 5 illustrated that reasons and circum-
stances for joining the Communist movement varied greatly. Huk
recruitment efforts during the early portion of the rebellion
were facilitated by the existence of numerous wartime Hukbalahap
veterans. These veterans were the nucleus of the Huk organiza-
tion.56   Huk recruitment of new members ideally followed an
established sequence:  motivation, content, and indoctrina-
tion.57    After determining feasible motives, the Huks formulated
their approach method, and attempted to indoctrinate the
potential recruit. Using a flexible recruitment strategy, the HMB
sometimes promised salaries and free land, and often did not even
mention fighting.58    Huks operating in remote mountainous areas
made contact with native tribes (such as the Dumagots of central
and southern Luzon) and had limited success in recruiting natives
as guides, couriers, and supply carriers. As the Communist
movement grew, some criminals and malcontents were inevitably
brought into the organization and Huk leaders later attempted to
recruit more selectively.60    Recruit selectivity, however,
deteriorated after 1949 during the movement's decline, as the
Huks increased coercive recruitment and desperately accepted
The Huk Training Program
       The overall picture of the Huk training program is
sketchy. In his memoirs, Huk leader Taruc spoke of recruit basic
training and "schools for intelligence officers and medical
workers."  William Pomeroy, on the other hand, indicated that the
recruits had little or no basic training and learned military
skills during "on-the-job training."61
       Theoretically, the Huks had an elaborate educational
system. Short courses were established for illiterates, and
curriculum were established for primary, intermediate, high
school, and more advanced schools. All curriculum was approved by
the PKP's National Educational Department.62    Some of the
subjects taught included Philippine history, political economy,
strategy and tactics, and Communist doctrine (see Figure 26 -
Curriculum for Huk Schools). Taruc also claimed that the Huks
conducted daily physical training and organized athletics
sessions. Theoretically, after recruits were trained, new units
were formed and equipped, and then sent out to operational
areas.63    A lot of emphasis was placed on the indoctrination of
recruits, and the Communists appeared to have a well-developed
indoctrination program.64    However, many of these schools -
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such as the Stalin University - appeared to be located in the
Sierra Madres near the HMB General Headquarters.65
       While the HMB training and educational system was theore-
tically good, the Huks appeared to have some training problems.
Former Huk leaders and documents cited weaknesses in military
training. In part, this was due to insufficient funds, equipment,
and supplies. Commanders had to convene training sessions that
were smaller than desired, and had problems obtaining weapons for
new recruits. There were shortages of skilled personnel, such as
trained couriers. One former Huk commander felt that the Huks
were always weak in military training, due to operational diffi-
culties and deficient leadership attitudes.66    Political training
was sometimes overemphasized and military training not taken
seriously enough.
Huk Discipline
       Finally, it is useful to examine Huk discipline. The
By-Laws of the wartime Hukbalahaps (Appendix D) gave soldiers
equal political rights as their officers, and mentioned three
"fundamental disciplines":  1)obey orders; 2)obey the war of
resistance; 3)love and protect the people. Members were to
respect their political Communist leaders, and torture and bodily
punishment were prohibited except for "specific cases in
regulations." The PKP's 1946 Constitution (Appendix E) warned
against "financial opportunism," "harmful attitudes and actions,"
and "violations of the Party Constitution and decisions," which
would result in warnings, punishment, or removal.
       The Communists had a strict moral code. However, it is
important to emphasize, that this "code" was based on their
Communist perspective. What is "freedom fighting" to some is
often "terrorism" to others. In the eyes of the Huks and their
supporters, their acts were viewed as "moral", as violence
against the "state" was viewed as a political - and not a
criminal - act.67    The individual was submissive to the party,
and this policy was strictly enforced. For example, Military
Commission member Felipa Culala was executed in 1943 for pursuing
her personal enrichment and power.68
       Deserters who betrayed the Huks were killed immediately.
Those who surrendered but did not betray Huk secrets were later
tried by court-martial; if they rejoined the movement, they were
sentenced to hard labor. If they did not, they were executed.
Rape was a capital offense and also alienated the populace.69
       To maintain discipline and also win popular support, the
Huks caught, tried, and punished common thieves, rapists, and
murderers. The HMB also liquidated local officials, landlords,
and civilian guards. By administering their own brand of just-
ice, the Huks gained an image of being just protectors of the
people.71   With a judicial backlog of agrarian cases and cor-
ruption rampant in the government, Huk justice was faster and
more efficient.72
      Because of military abuses, there were also numerous atroci-
ties and counteratrocities. One example is the 25 November 1950
Aglao village massacre in Zambales province. About 100 Huks at-
tacked this barrio, which the guerrillas believed to harbor an
armed, anti-Huk unit, and massacred many civilians. The HMB dis-
armed the leaders of the attack and sentenced them to hard labor.73
Some abuses were attributed to the HMB as some Filipino crimi-
nals passed themselves off as Huks.74   However, although there
were some Huk abuses, Taruc felt that the HMB was "a well-discip-
lined fighting force."75   This is probably an accurate statement
as the Huks did not want to alienate their mass base and were
very selective in choosing their operations and targets.
The New People's Army
       The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement
   of the issue by war, is the central task and the highest
   form of revolution.
       Mao Tse-tung
       If Communism as a political or economic solution has
   little appeal, it is likely that united front tactics
   and subversion will be used to promote and exploit in-
   ternal conflicts and contradictions as the opportunity
       Sir Robert Thompson in Revolutionary War in World
          Strategy, 1945-1969
Objectives of the CPP-NPA
       In 1968, shortly after the CPP was established, its
propaganda stated that the party's primary mission was the
destruction of feudal oppression and of U.S. imperialism in the
Philippines. This statement was almost verbatimly lifted from the
Chinese Communist Party's "General Line of the International
Communist Movement" published in 1963. A Mao-directed
internationalism, not the "narrow nationalism" of the past, was
the key to the whole movement. The CPP sought the "great unity of
all nationalist people" under the "invincible thought of Mao
Tse-tung."76   These statements conformed with CPP-founder Jose
Maria Sison's identification, in his 1967 Struggle for National
Democracy work, of "American imperialism and landlord feudalism"
as the main obstacles to national "freedom" and development. In
this treatise, Sison emphasized the importance of a united front
       Also in 1968, the CPP released its "Programme for a 
Democratic Revolution" (see Appendix G). In this platform
document, the CPP identified American "imperialists," the
"bourgeoisie," "bureaucratic capitlists," and landlords as its
enemies. The CPP called for a new type of "national democratic
revolution" - with the revolutionary leadership of the working
class, instead of the "bourgeoisie" - for liberation from "U.S.
imperialism and domestic feudalism.
        This "programme" contained ten guideline: 1)destruction
of U.S. "imperialism and feudal oppression" in the Philippines:
2)establishment of a "people's democratice state" and a
"coalition" or united front government; 3)a fight for "national
unity and democratic rights"; 4)use of the principle of
"democratic centralism"; 5)establishment of a "people's
libertion army"; 6)agrarian reform; 7)growth of national
industry; 8)educational reforms; 9)the involvement of national
minorities such as the Moros, mountain tribes, and those of
Chinese ancestry; 10)foreign policy reform. Within these ten
guidelines, the "programme" also listed ten specific objectives
each for the political, economic, military, cultural, and foreign
policy fields. The current conditions for revolution were 
appraised as "excellent," and the CPP's central task was to seize
political power through armed revolution. Sison's Philippine
Society and Revolution - a primer for CPP activities written in
1970 under Sison's pen name of Amado Guerrero - reaffirmed the
above objectives and declared the purpose of the new party to be
"the overthrow of U.S. imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucratic 
capitalism, the seizure of political power and its
       When the CPP "programme" is examined in detail it shows
some accomodation with the more popular and not particularly 
ideological desire to "provied every citizen with a decent
livelihood." This program is more "liberal" than a strictly Maoist
doctrine would allow, a concession to a short-range program that
would also appeal to "liberals" and "progressives".79
       The objecives of the New People's Army, according to its
basic 1969 document (see Appendix H), are to engage in party
building to carry out an agrarian revolution, build rural bases,
help construct the united front, and to advance the armed
struggle. Unlike the PKP-HMB relationship, the CPP designed the
NPA to be an organizing and propaganda force as well as a
fighting force.80
       Another 1969 document, "The Basic Rules of the New
People's Army," (see Appendix I) listed ten functions for the
NPA: 1)wage a protracted people's war; 2)help organize
revolutionary barrio committees; 3)serve the polulace in ways
besides combat duties; 4)engage in propaganda and mass
mobilization; 5)help local party organizations: 6)engage in
constructions, productive and economic work for itself, the party,
and the people; 7)help keep public order; 8)conduct staff,
training, intelligence, communications, medical care, and
logistical activities; 9)use short rest periods to recuperate,
indoctrinate and train. The NPA was clearly founded with the 
Chinese People's Liberation Army as a model.
Strategy and Doctrine of the CPP-NPA
       When CPP founder Sison wrote "Rectify Errors and Rebuild
the Party" in 1968, he advocated an armed struggle but criticized
past PKP strategy. PKP and HMB leaders had relied on U.S. Army
field manuals and more or less conventional tactics to defeat
government forces. According to Sison, the PKP and HMB failed to
combine political struggle with armed struggle. They did not see
the armed struggle as a "protracted people's war in which the
revolutionary forces would gradually strangle the enemy-
controlled cities from stable bases in the countryside."  This 
founding CPP document also criticised the PKP leadership for
concentrating its efforts in central and southern Luzon, ignoring
the rural mass base. The document divided two traditions in
Philippine Communism.81
       The 1968 "Programme for a People's Democratice Revolution"
(Appendix G) re-established the CPP as a party of Maoism. The
armed revolution would be led by the working class, using the
peasantry as the "main force" with some support from elements
of the "bourgeoisie." Using a Maoist strategy of encircling the
cities from the countryside, the CPP would use land reform as
the main "content" of the revolution. A strategy of patience
would emphasize united front efforts. The immediate program was
a "people's democratic revolution"; the long-term program was
the establishment of a socialist state. While CPP founder Sison
was a PKP member in the early 1960's, he had traveled gone to 
Indonesia to learn from the Communist party there. As this party
changed its ideology from pro-Moscow to pro-Peking, so did Sison.
The Maoist model had more relevance to the Philippines in Sison's
      The 1969 founding document of the NPA (Appendix H) 
emphasized "learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones." It
stressed the NPA's heritage from the World War Two Hukbalahap,
the armed struggle as the main form of struggle, and  the NPA as
the main organization in the "people's democratic revolution."
The NPA's main tasks were party rebuilding, the building of rural
bases and advancement of armed struggle, and the building of a
national united front. The revolution would follow Chinese and
Vietnamese models, and be based on the theory of a people's war.
A Three-Phased Strategy
       The "Basic Rules of the New People's Army" (Appendix I)
proclaimed a revolution that would follow Mao's three phases:
1)strategic defensive - with the aim of maintaining the tactical
initiative; 2)strategic stalemate - to obtain parity with
government forces; 3)strategic offensive - to attack the isolated
"enemy" forces. Unlike the Huk revolution whose leaders deviated
from people's war theory and conducted a "strategic
counteroffensive" after 1949, the CPP-NPA revolution woould
closely follow Maoist theory.
       The early NPA focused its energy on establishing and
consolidating sparsely-populated areas where its members could
move with relative safety and secure food and shelter.  These
hinterland areas were distinguished less by relative poverty
than by the lack of any viable government presence. At the center
of this vacuum was a lack of law and order, which the NPA
exploited through its own brand of local justice.83 However, the
newly-established NPA did not neglect its military operations as
Figure 27 shows.
       The CPP-NPA wasted no time in executing its strategy. In
January 1970, the "First Quarter Storm" of street demonstrations
was organized to protest broken campaign promises of the 
recently re-elected President Marcos. These demonstrations became
increasingly violent as the CPP was able to mobilize party
members, workers, students, and Christian Left militants.84 When
CPP chief Sison evaluated the situation in December 1971, he
stated, "The problem is no longer how to start a revolution. It
is how to extend and intensify it."85
        After the 1971 suspension of the writ of habeas corpus by
Marcos, many CPP members made plans to go underground. When
martial law was declared the following year, the CPP was
relatively well-prepared. Although many opposition members were
detained at the onset of martial law, almost all CPP cadres in
Manila managed to escape. In October 1972, the CPP Central
Committee made its first major post-martial law statement viewing
"the present situation as far more favorable to the revolutionary
movement than ever before...."86 While some CPP cadre remained in
urban areas, others were sent to work with NPA units forming in
rural regions. The CPP continued to orgainze militant protest
actions based on political and economic issues, but used more
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Modification of the Strategy
       In 1973, the CPP established the National Democratic
Front. The NDF's "Ten-Point Program" closely resembled the ten
"guidelines" of the CPP's "Programme for a People's Democratic
Revolution."88   The 1972 Karagatan affair and the imposition of
martial law forced the CPP to re-examine the relevance of the
Maoist model to the Philippine case. The result was Sison's 1974
work, "Specific Characteristics of Our People's War." In this
treatise, Sison modified Mao's principles to fit the specific
conditions in the Philippines.89
       Sison stated that party strategy would have to be guided
by three geographic conditions:  "First, our countryside is
shredded into so many islands. Second, our biggest islands, Luzon
and Mindanao, are separated by such a clutter of islands as the
Visayas. Third, our small country is separated by seas from other
countries."90   In the scattered islands of the Philippines, it
was not possible to establish a large liberated base as the
Chinese Communists had done at Yenan. Instead, Sison argued, the
CPP should create guerrilla fronts in a few major islands first,
and then in the other islands. Well-trained cadres would be
developed first, and then sent into remote areas using
decentralized operations.91
       Sison emphasized the conversion of geographic constraints
into advantages, the use of mountain ranges to exercise political
and military influence simultaneously on a number of lowland
areas, the organizational principle of "decentralized operations
under centralized political leadership," and the establishment of
numerous self-reliant guerilla fronts to disperse the AFP.92
In addition, the urban resistance movement would continue.93
       The best cadres were often sent to the regional committees
and guerrilla fronts, rather than concentrated at party
headquarters. The CPP Central Committee limited its role to the
formulation of general policies and guidelines. This new strategy
allowed party flexibility. The smaller units were better able to
tailor their operations to the local environment, and had the
autonomy and initiative to experiment with different tactics.94
In areas such as Samar, for example, the CPP-NPA adopted a creed
that was more economic than ideological - one that was more
attractive to the depressed people of this region.95
       Although this strategy was tested during 1976-1977 when
Sison and other top leaders were captured, the CPP-NPA continued
to increase in strength. Although the decentralized operations
strategy carries the risk of deteriorating into separate
fiefdoms, there has been no evidence of such a trend. During this
period, the CPP-NPA focused on political work, taking advantage
of the government's preoccupation with the Moro insurgency. The
number of clashes with government forces decreased, giving the
false impression of an CPP-NPA decline.96
       By 1978, the CPP-NPA had progressed to more advanced
stages of the "strategic defensive" phase. This meant that
the NPA had moved into a more conventional type of warfare. While
the emphasis was still on armed propaganda units, the number of
armed regulars had stepped up. Although these armed regulars were
used only when necessary in the past, they were now seeking
engagements to obtain weapons and to keep government forces
off-balance. Once wide areas in the countryside were controlled,
the CPP-NPA would then be in its "strategic stalemate" situation
with the government. Around this time, the NPA also introduced
the "tiklos" system, an mutual-aid arrangement in which peasants
were encouraged to look for their own fields to farm rather than
work for landlords. Besides gaining popular support, this also
provided food and supplies for the NPA. The Communists also
continued their united front activities in urban areas, gaining
further support and working toward their goal of a coalition
government - to include the Christian Left and liberal
politicians.97  To infiltrate student and labor organizations,
the CPP initially focused on "legitimate" issues such as student
fees and the sponsoring of strikes - and then gradually increased
its influence.98
A Broader United Front
       In 1980, on the eleventh anniversary of the NPA, the CPP
declared that conditions were right for the NPA to resume
offensive military operations.99   Also around this time, the
National Democratic Front revised its "Ten-Point Program."  This
revised strategy sought to establish a broader organizational
framework to intregrate more diverse opposition groups, using the
unifying themes of resistance to the Marcos government and its
American connections. This broadened united front strategy
manifested itself in a successful 1981 election boycott that
used newly-established opposition groups.100   This new strategy
was apparently part of a three-year plan for the CPP-NPA to
expand its mass base.101
       Taking advantage of the lifting of martial law in 1981,
the CPP-NPA continued its organizational and operational base
expansion. Limited guerrilla and terroristic actions were also
conducted to secure firearms and as a show of force.
Organizational efforts were reportedly active along the
boundaries of party regional and provincial borders, apparently
to establish nationwide links to facilitate control and
       A captured NPA leader revealed the following plans and
programs for 1981:  1)preparation for movement into the "advanced
sub-stage" of the strategic defensive; 2)inclusion of all
opposition elements in the National Democratic Front;
3)establishment of a political-military school and intensified
training for party cadres; 4)publication of an "army magazine" to
project the NPA image; 5)expansion of mass organizations;
6)maintenance of fraternal relations with the Chinese Communist
Party and the exploration of relationships with other Communist
movements in Vietnam, Europe, and the Mideast; 7)implementation
of the CPP's three-year expansion program and use of the Basic
and Intermediate Party Courses to improve political education.103
A New Sub-Stage of the Strategy
       On its thirteenth anniversary in 1981, the CPP declared
that its people's war had entered the "advanced sub-stage of the
strategic defensive." Despite its expansion, the CPP-NPA
continues to be patient. The September 1983 isue of the CPP's
"Liberation" magazine, stated,
       While there is a need for anti-dictatorship forces to
   persevere in militant struggle in Metro-Manila, it would be
   foolhardy at this point to encourage widespread armed
   confrontation...Not until the people's armed forces in the
   countryside have gained enough strength to lay a siege around
   the capital, and the city's population is sufficiently prepared,
   will the outbreak of an armed uprising lead to a decisive
   victory for the people.105
       In 1983, a U.S. Defense Department official testifying
before Congress, stated that "the upsurge of the NPA is not a
result of the Aquino assassination, which apparently had not
caused Communist leaders to alter their basic anti-government
strategy. Political developments remain secondary to the pursuit
of rural-based armed struggle...."106
       A captured NPA leader in 1984 revealed that the Communists
were still active in their united front efforts. The CPP-NPA
allegedly infiltrated numerous student and opposition organizations
and planned to stir labor strikes and rallies.107   Pro-NPA posters
also proliferated on urban walls for the first time. In December
1984, about 200 insurgents in commandeered logging trucks
attacked an army company's base on Mindanao. Defense Minister
Enrile called this attack "their first effort at conventional-
type warfare," instead of the usual ambushes. Acting Armed Forces
Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Fidel Ramos, estimated that for
the first ten months of 1984, the NPA had killed 2,650 persons
- including 800 troops and 65 civilian officials - and caused
about $10 million of property damage during 3,500 ambushes,
raids, and other operations. 895 guerrillas were killed during
this period.108
A New Strategy of Urban Violence and External Support?
       The political, economic, and military situation in the
Philippines continued to deteriorate so rapidly that CPP leaders
are allegedly debating whether or not to adopt aggressive new
tactics to hasten the system's collapse. Recent NPA decisions to
form larger fighting units and to attack high-visibility targets
suggest that some of these tactics have already been adopted. In
the spring of 1984, a CPP publication revealed that the party has
decided to lessen its emphasis on its rural warfare and launch a
campaign of urban violence. The only remaining controversy is
over the timing of the urban campaign. CPP publications have also
dropped their pro-Chinese stance and seem to be supporting some
Soviet positions. There are suspicions that the CPP may change
its policy of self-reliance and seek Soviet bloc help. The CPP
has allegedly established contacts with Soviet bloc parties and
at least one shipment of arms from Eastern Europe was made
through South Yemen to the NPA.109
       Should the CPP-NPA receive significant external support or
undertake an armed urban campaign, these would be in contrast
to the PKP and the Huks. The PKP-HMB never received any
significant external support and did not surface into an urban
A Successful Strategy, So Far
       The NPA has applied Sison's principles in almost textbook
fashion. The movement has expanded from the two largest islands
in the archipelago - Luzon and Mindanao - to others such as
Samar, Negros, and Leyte (see Figure 28 - Expansion of the New
People's Army). The population and the terrain suitable for
guerrilla warfare appear to have been the primary consideration
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There are reports that Cebu - one of the islands that Sison
recommended be put off until last - is a primary NPA target for
1985. As it has progressed, the NPA has somehow solved
the problem that limited the growth of previous Filipino
insurgencies - divisive linguistic and regional loyalties.110
       The Communists have been successful for several reasons,
some of which were outlined above. Captured NPA leader Commander
Dante, when interviewed in 1981, stated that, "We are not
Maoists. If ever we would have Communism, it must be a Filipino
Communist system. Although we can learn from the experiences of
China, Russia, and other socialist countries, we must consider
only those specifics which apply to us."111  In rural areas, most
of the people could not understand the intricacies of Communist
ideology; the NPA did not focus on ideology but on "injustices"
of the Filipino system. The NPA's laws were also easy to
understand and obey; "justice" was carried out against local
criminals and informers.112   Pragmatism was a key and successful
element in the Communist strategy. Intimidation has also played
an important role in the process.113   Armed NPA action has often
been aimed at drawing attention away from other peaceful areas
where political work is in the early stages. The Communists have
also been flexible; when the government has the initiative in
certain areas, the NPA leaders feel that it is no defeat to move
regular units to other regions.114
       As the Philippine government searches for a successful
counterinsurgency strategy, the NPA has been very careful to
avoid getting caught as the HMB did. The guerrillas have remained
in the countryside in areas where they are more insured of
popular support. The NPA has maintained mobility with small,
self-sufficient units, avoiding positional combat. While unable
to claim major military victories, the guerrillas have been able
to avoid defeat. This "no win, no lose" military strategy may
help the Communist movement gain as a whole. As Professor David
Rosenberg states,
       All the NPA has to do is to survive, and to maintain
   its credibility as a fighting force with occasional
   ambushes, in order to keep its revolutionary prospects alive,
   while causing considerable harm to the public image of the
   regime. Progress in this kind of conflict is measured not in
   terms of the military balance, but, more important, in terms
   of the impact on mobilization of a mass opposition throughout
   the country. This is the task of the political coalition
   organized by the CPP, the National Democratic Front.115
A Different Model?
       This possible inapplicability of the three-phase Maoist
model is a theme emphasized by Major General Moore, a former
Huk-fighter. Perhaps, a two-stage model (strategic defensive,
strategic stalemate and eventual government collapse) may be all
that is needed. In this case, the insurgency may be even further
along than currently envisioned.116   In any case, Richard
Armitage, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for
International Security Affairs recently stated that the
insurgents could reach a  strategic stalemate within three to
four years" in that they "will have attained enough military
muscle to prevent their defeat on the battlefield."117
The CPP-NPA'S Long-term Strategy
       The key element in the NPA's strategy of protracted
people's war is time. The insurgents need time to expand and
strengthen their forces; time for party building; time for
organizing a broad united front to isolate the government; time
for establishing, expanding, and consolidating nation-wide bases;
and time for politicizing and mobilizing mass support.118   The
CPP-NPA long-term strategy is illustrated in Figure 29. The
longer an insurgency exists, the greater the effort required by
the government to quell it; the NPA insurgency has been growing
since 1969.
Modus Operandi of the CPP-NPA
       NPA operations are committed to the "long march," whereby
rural areas will be secured and the cities encircled before the
seizure of power.119   Like its predecessor the HMB, the NPA has
conducted numerous raids and ambushes, especially ambushes of
government convoys or ambuscades. These military operations
are in addition to the Communist activities of subversion,
demonstrations, and strikes in the cities.120  Other political
activities of the NPA have included supporting operations for
election boycotts, such as the snatching of ballot boxes during
the 1984 elections.121  The NPA probably also used intimidation
to deter voters and to support opposition candidates.122
       The NPA has displayed a solid knowledge of tactical
principles and effective planning in its military operations. For
example, blocking positions have been utilized during or after
ambush operations to deter reinforcing troops or to inflict
casualties on patrols sent to retrieve bodies from the scenes of
ambushes.123  The NPA has also straddled AFP boundaries, allowing
it the flexibility to move quickly while preventing government
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troops from pursuing beyond their areas of jurisdiction.
NPA Target Selection
       Local Civilian Home Defense Force (CHDF) or paramilitary
units patrolling isolated villages have been popular targets.125
These units are not particularly well-trained and are sources of
weapons and ammunition. The NPA targets are very carefully
selected, however, in order to minimize collateral damage. The
NPA, like the HMB, tries to avoid any indiscriminate damage that
might alienate the populace. This selective use of violence is
reminiscent of the Giap strategy, and is a similarity between
the two insurgent groups that General Moore emphasized.126
       In addition to hit-and-run ambushes and raids, there have
been NPA attacks on fixed government installations and short-term
takeovers and occupations of municipalities in areas where the
guerrillas have strong local support. These operations, besides
providing arms and demoralizing government forces, are a show-of-
force and provide psychological benefits on the populace.
Recently, larger-scale operations have become more commonplace.127
Larger-Sized NPA Operations
       In the early 1970s, the typical NPA armed unit was squad
or platoon-sized, with some ten to twenty men. As late as 1980,
reports of clashes with company-sized units of eighty to
one-hundred men were still rare and confined mainly to
northeastern Luzon.128   On 29 September 1983, about 70 NPA
guerrillas ambushed and killed thirty-nine soldiers and seven
civilians on an armored patrol. This was the highest death toll
suffered by government forces since NPA operations began in 1969.
Almost every day in 1983 saw at least one NPA action against
government authority somewhere in the country.129
       Today, company-sized units operate throughout the country
in the major NPA areas, and the AFP occasionly has confronted
three-hundred man NPA battalions with more firepower than the
government troops. NPA activity has increased to the point where
it exceeds the number of government search-and-destroy missions.
The more aggressive NPA tactics have caused led the often-
demoralized government troops to abandon remote outposts and
consolidate in larger garrisons.130
       Some of the recent NPA operations display ingenuity in
overcoming some of their logistical limitations. A December
1984 attack by a company-sized NPA unit utilized dump trucks and
guerrillas wearing fatigue uniforms. A battalion-sized NPA attack
a month earlier used commandeered logging trucks, and the rebels
cut nearby bridges to prevent reinforcements.131  In some
instances, these battalion-sized units are formed by joining
together several local companies for a particular operations,
indicating good coordination by the NPA command.132   The NPA also
dons constabulary and army uniforms occasionally during attacks
in an attempt to deceive government forces.133
       There are also limitations on NPA operations, but the NPA
has displayed its flexibility in working around these. In some
areas such as on Samar where there is an inability of the local
populace to support company-sized NPA units, these formations
have been reduced to squad-size. When local support expanded in
these areas, the units were upgraded to company size.134   Some
of the NPA firefights are also of short duration - even when the
NPA enjoys numerical superiority - presumably due to a shortage
of ammunition.135   Some of the larger battalion-sized operations
have also displayed coordination problems.136
NPA Liquidation and Sabotage Operations
       The NPA, like the HMB, engages in liquidation operations.
"Sparrow units" - well-trained urban guerrilla groups of three to
four people - have attacked local police, and current CCP policy
is to increase the frequency of these killings.137  The problem
is so serious that many traffic policemen refuse to go on duty;
this also has a destabilizing effect on city residents.138    In
addition to police forces, the NPA also liquidates informers and
local criminals - as the Huks did earlier.139    Unfortunately,
these criminals are executed without benefit of a fair and legal
trial. Many of the NPA's civilian casualties are informers. NPA
units often make use of letters to issue warnings to civilians,
soldiers, and government officials that they accuse of "crimes
against the people." These warnings are used to persuade these
individuals to stop their "crimes."140
       Unlike the HMB, the NPA has undertaken numerous sabotage
operations. These operations have targeted government development
projects and factories, especially those identified with the
Marcos regime. The NPA demolitions capability facilitates these
operations.141   In May 1984, the NPA destroyed a multimillion-
dollar experimental coconut and cacao plantation in the south,
and in northern Luzon attacked facilities operated by the
Cagayan Valley Development Authority, a pet project of Defense
Minister Enrile - a native of that area.142  In cases such as
the Cagayan Valley operation, the NPA also expands its
support base among natives opposed to the development project.
       In its sabotage operations, the NPA's selection of targets
reflects its efforts to use calculated violence for maximum
political effect. Plantations, timber concessions, and public
works projects - holdings of Marcos' "crony capitalists" - have
been attacked and millions of dollars worth of buildings and
equipment have been destroyed nationwide.143
NPA Intelligence and Security
       Due to their clandestine organizational and united front
efforts, the CPP and NPA have a significant, potential
intelligence apparatus. The effectiveness of this intelligence
network displayed itself in NPA efforts to ferret out informers.
The constabulary has reportedly been surprised at the NPA ability
to penetrate confidential files on constabulary operatives in the
countryside. The NPA also allegedly was able to obtain
information on the movements of government officials and the
activities of government forces.144    Part of this success may be
due to the free and prolific Filipino press.
       The NPA also monitors AFP radio communications with
captured equipment.145  Although the NPA has a good underground
intelligence and communications network, it has placed more
emphasis on security and counterintelligence.146   For this
reason, there is relatively little information available on the
inner workings of the Communist movement. The relative success of
the Communist operations and expansion is further evidence of the
security emphasis.
CPP-NPA Psychological Operations
       While the ultimate objective of CPP-NPA psychological
operations (PSYOPS) is to influence political behavior, the
Communist use of propaganda appears to have three proximate
objectives:  1)morale-building within the insurgent organization;
2)advertising of the Communist movement; 3)disorienting the
populace by demonstrating the inability of the government to
maintain stability.147
       To accomplish these objectives, the CPP-NPA has pursued
numerous PSYOP activities. Successes have been publicized. Since
its inception, the NPA has carefully and effectively cultivated
a "Robin Hood" image. Its assassination, sabotage, and other
violent operations have been planned for maximum psychological
impact on the people.148
       The CPP-NPA has also concentrated its subversion
activities on the conduct of agitation-propaganda. In urban
centers, the front organizations have been used to promote
political consciousness and mass mobilization. Teach-ins have
been conducted in different sectors of the society. Urban and
rural-based insurgents normally stay with target groups to
ensure continuous contact.149
       The CPP-NPA doctrine emphasizes that guerrillas also
double as political agents. Mimeograph machines - some captured -
are used to print leaflets. Front organizations are also used to
print and distribute newspapers and periodicals. Thus far, there
has been no CPP-NPA use of radio broadcasts. The NPA, however,
has infiltrated government organizations to obtain supplies such
as medicine, and distributed these illegally-obtained materials
to obtain more popular support. It has also taken credit for
government civic action projects.150   NPA personnel have also
donned constabulary uniforms, stolen livestock at gunpoint, and
then - without the uniforms - returned the stolen animals while
claiming to have punished the government "offenders."151
       CPP-NPP PSYOPS are also facilitated by the free and lively
Filipino press. Opposition papers criticize the Marcos regime and
run front-page interviews with underground Communist guerrilla
leaders.152    During the 1984 election campaign, the NPA began a
propaganda blitz that allowed Philippine-based foreign
journalists to visit its mountain camps and used urban contacts
to reach visiting media representatives.153
       Some of the PSYOPS themes used by the CPP-NPA include
military abuses, the inability of the government to deliver
basic services in remote areas, and controversial development
projects.154   Other propaganda themes and issues are depicted
in Figure 30. Unfortunately, the government has not mounted
much of a counter-PSYOP effort. Treating the insurgency as a
military problem, the AFP resembles the army of the late 1940s
- with similar maintenance, morale, equipment, and discipline
CPP-NPA Recruitment Activities
       The NPA predicates Communist expansion on its ability to
move out of remote, mountainous areas to the lowlands in
successive waves of activity. From its secure bases, the NPA
Click here to view image
sends out an advance party to a nearby barangay to make initial
contact. The villages that are more remote from established
government centers and services are usually the first ones
penetrated. The NPA attempts to befriend village members by
assisting with chores and farmwork alongside the peasants.
Usually, the NPA cadres stay in the home of a local family and
pay for everything they need.156   This first stage of initial
contact is the most critical and dangerous for the cadres.157
       Once the advance party penetrates a village, it seeks to
recruit locals to the cause by exploiting grievances -
particularly military abuses. At some point, an NPA armed unit
visits to demonstrate the movement's strength and to expel any
CHDF forces that may be present. Local criminals and any corrupt
officials, if they are still present, are captured and given
quick "people's trials."158    However, in many cases, the advance
party may focus on solving community problems for as long as a
year before trying to enlist new members.159
       As the movement gains recruits, party branches are formed
and a revolutionary council established. During this phase, the
CPP emphasizes the organizing of mass groups of peasants, youth,
and women. Once these groups are operational, other mass
organizations - such as committees for defense, economy, and
health - are formed. If sufficient weapons are available, the
NPA establishes a local armed unit. The process culminates when
the party revolutionary council replaces the legitimate barangay
council as the political organ of the village.160
       Once a village falls under NPA control, a new advance
party is dispatched to the next targeted area and the process
begins again. Each success widens the area of NPA influence and
brings the waves of Communist activity closer to the cities. The
NPA also couples its expansion with consolidation activities. CPP
and NPA cadre regularly visit NPA areas to inspect progress and
add intensive classes on Communist doctrine and theory. Although
only a small number of the movement are hard-core Communists,
these teach-ins are given high priority and appear to be fairly
       In addition to this process of indoctrination and
persuasion, the NPA also sometimes obtains recruits through
coercion, intimidation, and kidnapping.162   CPP-NPA strategies
differ greatly from region to region. Knowledge of local customs
and language is considered important. Cadre members participate
in local birthdays, funerals, weddings, and fiestas; they attend
local village meetings and functions. Although Communist cadre
are often assigned to their "home" areas, the AFP usually avoids
sending too many combat troops to their own ethnic or linguistic
areas, so they are more apt to be firm with the local populace.163
NPA Training
       Not much is known about the CPP-NPA training system. Both
organizations obviously have training systems and schools, such
as the CPP courses referred to earlier in this chapter. Most
camps have training activities and the NPA reportedly has formal
training areas established in the countryside. The NPA allegedly
has no formal, intensive training program for recruits, and
conducts most of its training through actual operations. Recruits
are sent on initiation missions and learn through experience.164
This training system is similar to that used by the Huks in the
1940s and 1950s.
NPA Discipline
       The "Basic Rules of the New People's Army" (see Appendix
I), largely copied from the Chinese People's Liberation Army,
contain three "main rules of discipline":  1)obey orders in all
your actions; 2)do not take a single needle or thread from the
masses; 3)turn in everything captured. They also contain "eight
points of attention": 1)speak politely; 2)pay fairly for what you
buy; 3)return everything you borrow; 4)pay for anything you
damage; 5)do not hit or swear at people; 6)do not damage crops;
7)do not take liberties with women; 8)do not ill-treat captives.
       The CPP "programme" (see Appendix G) states that the
economic and political rights of individuals will be protected
and small private enterprise will be "respected, encouraged and
assisted." The constitutional freedoms of religion, speech and
assembly also will not be tampered with. However, all of these
CPP and NPA guidelines are based on these organizations
perspectives and are also adhered to "so long as it does not
obstruct the revolution."165
       This puritanical discipline appears to be enforced because
the NPA has been rarely known to kill, injure, or rob civilians
without "cause." The death penalty was imposed for the
malversation of funds, adultery, rape, and other serious
offenses. When Commander Dante headed the NPA in its early days,
he had to personally approve any killings or executions.166
The NPA appears to be careful not to harm civilians when it
carries out its pre-researched attacks on military forces.167
This discipline is similar to that of the Huks.
        1Benedict Kerkvliet, The Huk Rebellion:  A Study of
Peasant Revolt in the Philippines (Berkeley, California:
University of California Press, 1977), p. 164.
        2Kerkvliet, p. 171.
        3Statement by Napoleon Valeriano, Philippine army
officer, in a speech presented to the U.S. Army Special Warfare
Center, Fort Bragg, North California, 2 October 1964, p. 4 of the
speech's text.
        4A. H. Peterson, ed., "Symposium on the Role of Airpower
in Counterinsurgency and Unconventional Warfare:  The Philippines
Huk Campaign" (RAND Corporation Report for the U.S. Air Force,
1963), p. 9.
        5Kerkvliet, p. 172.
        6Luis Taruc, He Who Rides the Tiger:  The Story of an
Asian Guerrilla Leader (New York:  Harper and Row, 1972), p. 27.
        7Kerkvliet, p. 172.
        8Robert Smith, The Hukbalahap Insurgency:  Economic,
Political, and Military Factors (Washington:  Office of the Chief
of Military History, U.S. Department of the Army, 1963), pp.
        9Napoleon Valeriano and Charles Bohannan,
Counterguerrilla Operations:  The Philippine Experience (New
York:  Frederick A. Praeger, 1962), p. 23.
        10Smith, pp. 79-80.       11Smith, p. 15.
        12Frank Kitson, Low Intensity Operations:  Subversion,
Insurgency, Peacekeeping (Harrisburg, Penn.:  Stackpole Books,
1971), pp. 30-31.
        13Kerkvliet, p. 218.     14Smith, p. 80.
        15Smith, pp.  90-91.
        16John Jameson, "The Philippine Constabulary as a
Counterinsurgency Force, 1948-1954" (Report of the Institute of
Advanced Studies, U.S. Army War College, 1971), p. 32.
         17Smith, pp. 82-84.
         18William Moore, "The Hukbalahap Insurgency, 1948-1954:
An Analysis of the Roles, Missions, and Doctrine of the
Philippine Military Forces" (Report of the Institute of Advanced
Studies, U.S. Army War College, 1971), pp. 21-22.
         19Moore, p. 23.     20Jameson, p. 33.
         21Kerkvliet, p. 220.
         22David Rosenberg, "Communism in the Philippines,"
Problems of Communism, XXXIII (September/October 1984), 31.
         23Ibid.    24Taruc, pp. 52,75.     25Smith, pp  84-85.
         26Moore, pp. 28-29.
         27William Pomeroy, The Forest:  A Personal Record of the
Huk Guerrilla Struggle in the Philippines (New York:
International Publishers, 1963), p. 105.
         28Peterson, p. 46.     29Rosenberg, p. 32.
         30Jameson, p. 33.     31Smith, pp. 91-92.
         32Edward Lansdale, In the Midst of Wars:  An American's
Mission to Southeast Asia (New York:  Harper and Row, 1972), p.
46; Peterson, p. 19.
         33Valeriano and Bohannan, p. 193; Smith, pp. 92-93.
         34Smith, pp. 93-94.
         35Alvin Scaff, The Philippine Answer to Communism
(Stanford, California:  Stanford University Press, 1955), p. 81;
Uldarico Baclagon, Lessons from the Huk Campaign in the
Philippines (Manila:  M. Colcol and Company, 1956), p. 101.
         36Luis Villa-Real, "Huk-Hunting," "Guerrilla Warfare
Readings," ed. Franklin Osanka (Research memorandum of the Human
Resources Research Office, George Washington University, prepared
for the U.S. Department of the Army, 1962), p. 105; Baclagon, pp.
55, 101.
         37Baclagon, pp. 55, 67, 133.    38Taruc, p. 54.
         39Jameson, p. 31; Kerkvliet, pp. 174-175.
         40Andrew Molnar and others, "Undergrounds in Insurgent,
Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare" (Report prepaed by the
Special Operations Research Office of The American University for
the U.S. Department of the Army, 1963), p. 324.
         41Baclagon, p. 104.       42Smith, pp. 94-95.
         43Molnar and others, p. 322.      44Smith, p. 96.
         45Baclagon, p. 81; Pomeroy, pp.  15, 74.
         46Kerkvliet, p. 176.
         47Scaff, p. 33; Pomeroy, p. 56.    48Pomeroy, p. 45.
         49Alfredo Saulo, Communism in the Philippines:  An
Introduction (Manila:  Ateneo Publications Office, 1969), p. 40;
Lansdale, p. 69.
         50Valeriano and Bohannan, p. 47.
         51Eduardo Lachica, The Huks:  Philippine Agrarian Society
in Revolt (New York:  Praeger Publishers, 1971), pp. 133-134;
Scaff, pp. 110-112.
         52Lansdale, pp. 69-70.
         53Molnar and others, pp.  322-323.
         54Lachica, p. 184; Molnar and others, p. 323; Pomeroy,
pp. 145-146.
         55Molnar and others, p. 323.
         56Molnar and others, p. 321.     57Scaff, p. 120.
         58Scaff, p. 109.
         59Antonio Nale, "Employment of Natives in
Counterinsurgency Operations in the Philippines" (Thesis of the
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1983), pp. 59-60.
          60Kerkvliet, p. 176.      61Jameson, pp. 31-32.
          62Scaff, pp. 31-32.
          63Taruc, p. 47; Pomeroy, pp. 16, 24.
          64Molnar and others, p. 323.
          65Lansdale, p. 98; Taruc, p. 47.
          66Kerkvliet, pp. 177, 216-217.      67Scaff, p. 117.
          68Smith, p. 27.     69Scaff, p. 34.     70Taruc, p. 30.
          71Kerkvliet, p. 162.      72Lachica, p. 31.
          73Taruc, p. 25.        74Taruc, p. 89.   75Kerkvliet, p. 177.
          76Lachica, p. 184.
          77Amado Guerrero, [Jose Maria Sison], Philippine Society
and Revolution (Oakland, California:  International Association
of Filipino Patriots, 1979), pp. ii-iii.
         78Rosenberg, p. 34.         79Lachica, p. 184.
         80Rosenberg, p. 36.         81Rosenberg, p. 34.
         82 Rodney Tasker, "A Lesson for the Teacher," Far Eastern,
Economic Review, 2 December 1977, p. 17.
         83Ross Munro, "Dateline Manila:  Moscow's Next Win?"
Foreign Policy, No. 56 (Fall 1984), 180.
         84Rosenberg, p. 34.       85Guerrero, p. ix.
         86Rosenberg, p. 35.       87Ibid.      88Rosenberg, p. 42.
         89Rosenberg, p. 37.       90Guerrero, pp: 185-186.
         91Robert Manning, "The  Philippines in Crisis," Foreign
Affairs, Volume 63, No. 2 (Winter 1984/1985), 401.
         92U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations,
The Situation in the Philippines, Staff Report prepared by
Frederick Brown and Carl Ford, 98th Cong., 2nd Sess., October,
1984 (Washington:  Government Printing Office, 1984), p. 29.
         93Guerrero, p. xii.      94Rosenberg, p. 37.
         95Rodney Tasker, "Where Guerrillas Call the Tune," Far
Eastern Economic Review, 11 August 1978, p. 24.
         96Rosenberg, p. 37-38.
         97Sheilah Ocampo, "Philippines:  The Seven-Year Itch,"
Far Eastern Economic Review, 29 June 1979, pp. 24-26.
         98Statement by Narciso Abaya, Lieutenant Colonel, Armed
Forces of the Philippines, Assistant Army Attache to the U.S., in
a personal interview, Alexandria, Virginia, 15 February 1985.
         99Rosenberg, p. 38.       100Rosenberg, p. 45.
         101Sheilah Ocampo, "Hearts, Minds, and Guns," Far Eastern
Economic Review, 24 April 1981, p. 20.
         102Ramberto Saavedra, "The Role of Civil Affairs in
Counterinsurgency in the Philippines: (Thesis of the U.S. Army
Command and General Staff College, 1982), pp. 58-59.
         103Saavedra, pp. 60-61.
         104"The NPA at 13:  Bolder and Brighter," Asiaweek, 19
March 1982, p. 17.
         105Rosenberg, p. 45.       106Rosenberg, p. 40.
         107"The Army Accuses," Asiaweek, 27 July 1984.
         108William Branigan, "Rebel Filipinos Widen Scope of
Drive on Army," The Washington Post, 3 December 1984, pp. Al,
         109Munro, pp. 185-186.
         110U.S., Congress, Senate, pp. 29-30.
         111"Time to Get Tough," Asiaweek, 11 September 1981, p.
         112Ocampo, "Philippines:  The Seven-Year Itch," p. 29.
         113U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 21.
         114Richard Vokey, "Assault on the Peaks of Power," Far
Eastern Economic Review, 13 June 1980, p. 27.
         115Rosenberg, p. 41.
         116Statement by William Moore, Major General, U.S. Army,
and formerly of JUSMAG, Philippines, in a personal interview,
Arlington, Virginia, 15 February 1985.
         117Lena Sun, "Philippine Crisis Grows, Top U.S. Officials
Warn," The Washington Post, 13 March 1985, p. A19.
         118U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 35.
         119James Turpin, "A New Society's Challenge in the
Philippines," Conflict Studies No. 122, The Institute for the
Study of Conflict (London:  The Eastern Press, 1980), 7.
         120Abaya, interview.
         121Guy Sacerdoti, "Marching to the Beat of an Opposition
Drum," Far Eastern Economic Review, 24 May 1984, pp. 16-17.
         122U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 8.
         123Tasker, "Where Guerrillas Call the Tune," p. 23.
         124Sheilah Ocampo,  "A Little Vietnam," Far Eastern
Economic Review, 12 March 1982, p. 39.
         125Ocampo, "Hearts, Minds, and Guns," p. 20.
         126Moore, interview.      127Rosenberg, p. 38.
         128U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 25.
         129Rosenberg, pp. 38-39.      130Manning, pp. 402-403.
         131Branigin,  "Rebel Filipinos Widen Scope of Drive on
Army,"  p.  A28.
         132U.S.,  Congress,  Senate,  p.  25.
         133Tasker,  "Where Guerrillas Call the Tune,"  p.  23.
         134Guy Sacerdoti,  "Red  'Army'  on the March,"  Far Eastern
Economic Review,  28 June  1984,  p.  41.
         135Rodney Tasker,  "Elusive Law and Order,"  Far Eastern
Economic Review,  5 July  1984,  p.  14.
         136Abaya,  interview.
         137Sacerdoti,  "Red  'Army'  on the March," p. 41.
         138Tasker, "Elusive Law and Order," p. 13.
         139Lachica, p. 168.      140Vokey, p. 27.
         141Abaya, interview.     142 Munro, p. 181.
         143U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 28.
         144Lachica, pp. 168-169.
         145U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 27.    146Abaya, interview.
         147Tirso Gador, "Insurgency and Subversion in a
Developing Country:  A Case Study in a Philippine Setting"
(Thesis of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College,
1970), pp. 62-64.
         148U.S., Congress, Senate,  pp. 27-28.
         149Saavedra, pp. 59-60.      150Abaya, interview.
         151Tasker, "Where Guerrillas Call the Tune," p. 24.
         152Munro, p. 177.
         153Sacerdoti, "Marching to the Beat of an Opposition
Drum,"  p. 16.
         154Abaya, interview.     155Moore, interview.
         156U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 38.       157Vokey, p. 24.
         158U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 38.
         159Steve Lohr, "Twilight of the Marcoe Era," New York
Times Magazine, 6 January 1985, p. 36.
         160U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 38.
         161U.S., Congress, Senate, pp. 38, 40.
         162Lachica, p. 167.       163Vokey, p. 26.
         164Abaya, interview.      165Lachica, pp. 184-185.
         166Lachica, p. 168.
         167Tasker, "Where Guerrillas Call the Tune," p. 24.
                          CHAPTER 7
        All guiding principles in military operations pro-
   ceed without exception from one basic principle, that is
   to strive as far as possible to preserve one's own strength
   and annihilate that of the enemy.
        Che Guevara
       No political front which is basically a deliberate
   body can assume leadership of a people's war; only a
   technically capable executive group, centralized and united
   on the basis of identifiable class interest can do so; in
   brief, only a revolutionary general staff.
       Regis Debray in Revolution in the Revolution?
Supporting the Huks
Huk Procurement and Supply
       The channeling of funds for the Huk movement was the
responsibility of the National Finance Committee of the PKP
"Politburo-in" located in Manila. The Huk high command levied
"taxes" in rebel-controlled areas of central Luzon, while in
other areas Communists presented themselves as government tax
collectors. There were also cases of outright confiscation, which
including raids, holdups, and train robberies.1
       The Huks formed Economic Struggle (ES) units to obtain
funds for their movement. These men were selected for their
bravery and trustworthiness and wore uniforms similar to the
Philippine Rangers. They executed robberies, extorted businessmen
and manned checkpoints for the confiscation of bypassing
vehicles. ES teams in civilian clothing were also used to levy
taxes, especially on foreign enterprises in the Huk areas.2
       Confiscation or coercive procurement produced the most
dependable supplies of funds. Raids and robberies also provided
large sums of money. For example, an October 1950 holdup of the
Manila Railroad Company by an ES unit netted 76,000 pesos (about
$19,000). Half of the money went to the HMB-PKP's national head-
quarters which distributed it among the REC0s; the other half
stayed within the procuring RECO.3  Per capita "tax" levies provi-
ded some funds; peasants were "taxed" at harvest time and other
workers were "taxed" at low daily rates.4
       Voluntary contributions also provided some funds. Although
there is no direct evidence that union funds were used to finance
the movement, it is highly probable that members of CLO-control-
led unions were solicited for donations. The PKM placed its fi-
nancial resources at the disposal of the Huks. Many gifts were
also received from the 20,000 Chinese in Manila, and the Huks
apparently received some financial support from the 3,000 member
Chinese Communist Party of the Philippines.5
       Cash was only a portion of the Huks' needs. The Field Com-
mands (FCs) survived on contributions of rice, clothing and ciga-
rettes. At the FC level, there were few cash contributions -
perhaps 1,000 pesos ($250) a year for an entire FC. Of this cash,
only about twenty percent stayed with the FC (less than at the
higher echelons) and the rest was sent up to the RECO.6  The
RECOs, had bigger needs. For example, the cash account book of
RECO Two for July 1951 (near the peak of Huk strength) had
expenses of 10,047.25 pesos and 5,100 pesos in cash on hand.7
The Huks also obtained free services from the few professionals
(doctors, lawyers, etc.) in their mass base.8
       In areas under complete Huk control, food was supplied by
the local populace and it was common Huk practice to take a
certain percentage of the annual crop. In other areas, the BUDC
was responsible far supplying the Huk combat units. Each combat
squadron had a "balutan" or porter squad which had the mission of
transporting the food collected by the BUDC to the squadron camp.
The balutan squads supporting squadrons operating in the
mountains or swamps often required several days to make the
       Beginning around 1948, the Huks also began using
production bases in the mountains of central Luzon that were
manned by non-combatant Huk supporters. Production base personnel
grew sweet potatoes, cassava, squash, and other crops, retaining
for themselves a small share of the crop. This food was
supplemented by hunting wild animals. The production bases
provided subsistence to Huks who were in the mountains or passing
through to other areas. However, due to the mobile nature of Huk
operations, production bases were often of limited logistical
value. The guerrillas also operated a rationing system to
conserve resources. As the Huks had to purchase some supplies
(ammunition was purchased from corrupt government suppliers)
through their supply units, the production bases helped alleviate
financial strain.10
       Most of the Huk weapons were obtained during World War
Two. Weapons were small arms, consisting primarily of M1 Garands,
with a few Browning automatic rifles. A few machineguns and 60mm
mortars were captured from government forces, but were not used
due to a lack of ammunition. The guerrillas had no artillery or
anti-armor weapons. Hand grenades were used occasionally. The
rebels had no land-mines, and lacked the knowledge or training to
effectively use their few explosives.11
       Besides having small arms acquired during the Japanese
occupation, the Huks collected and repaired any available
weapons. Civilian guards were another source of weapons. As
landlords and local officials often underpaid their civilian
guards, these guards sometimes defected with their weapons or
sold them to the rebels. The rebels also obtained weapons and
supplies from corrupt or sympathizing civilians and servicemen on
military bases in central Luzon.12
       The Huks mainly used human transportation systems, sup-
plemented by a few captured vehicles. Stolen vehicles were
used for raids or other special operations. The guerrillas
maintained no vehicles for normal use, and did not extensively
use animals for transport. When government forces approached Huk
camps, heavy and bulky equipment was moved a short distance to
hidden locations, and retrieved later.13
       Huk financial and logistical situations provide an in-
dication of the guerrillas' strength. Understandably, rebel
leaders never felt that they had enough cash and supplies. Taruc,
the Huk supremo, recalled that "we were financially better off
between about the time amnesty collapsed (August 1948) and the
(November) 1951 elections than we had been before then or when I
came down to Manila (his surrender in May 1954)." Those Huk
groups who were better-off shared with their weaker counterparts.
RECOs 1 and 2 (in the heart of Huklandia) - considered self-
sufficient - sent supplies and money to the PKP's National Fi-
nance Department, which redistributed these to RECOs 3 and 4 and
expansion forces. Insufficient funds and supplies were major
problems of the rebellion and limited many Huk operations.14
       The Huks' greatest logistical problems were with the
expansion missions. Advance forces that travelled from central
Luzon frequently had problems getting food and supplies from
villagers in new, unorganized areas. Underground supply lines
back to central Luzon bases were too long and tenuous. According
to Taruc, the main problems afflicting the expansion forces in
the 1946 to 1947 period were too little food and medicine - along
with a deficient political understanding among the rank-and-
file.15   Medicine was always in short supply because, unlike food,
it could not be acquired from farmers or rural merchants.16
       The Huks had such logistical and fiscal problems even with
the minimal logistical requirements of the Huk soldier - a model
for deriving maximum combat power from a minimal investment. The
rebel normally carried everything that he owned on his back and
performed with what he had. If he was lucky, the guerrilla had a
poncho and shoes. His only continual requirement was for food.
Even though this requirement was meager by most standards, a
considerable portion of Huk energies went for the procurement of
Huk Communications
       The Huks had serious communications problems. They
attempted to employ shortwave radio communications between Huk
headquarters and guerrilla units, between the guerrillas and
barrio-supported groups, and between the Manila-based PKP
headquarters and the Huk headquarters on Mount Arayat. These
radio nets, used more heavily during the initial stage of the
insurgency, appeared to be largely unsuccessful. Within each
RECO, communications were the re- sponsibility of a "Director of
Communications," who maintained contact with Huk headquarters.
Additional communications were provided by a courier system under
the direction of a Courier Division established within the
Organizational Bureau of the PKP. Couriers operated under orders
from the national headquarters or the RECO, and executed their
missions alone or through a system of relays.18   The Huks had no
field telephones, and female couriers were used extensively
because they aroused less suspicion. The courier system worked
well as long as the guerrillas remained amongst a supportive
populace. When they were forced into the mountains or lost
popular support in an area, the courier system and other
signalling methods deteriorated.19
       The Huks relied principally on the courier system for
communications, and subdivided this system into "legal" and
"illegal" systems. In the legal system, the couriers - usually
young innocent-looking men and women - avoided roads and highways
and moved cross-country on foot; in the illegal system, the
couiers used the highways and public conveyances. The terms
perhaps illustrate the Huk emphasis on security. The couriers
generally knew only the location of two posts, their own and one
other. Routes between Huk headquarters in the mountains and the
nearest courier post in the lowlands were usually patrolled by
Huk forces.20
       Various, ingenious signalling methods were used for
communications. Flags and flashlights were used for messages. In
rural areas, Huks sometimes signaled by imitating animal calls
and by banging two bamboo poles together.21  Although the Huk
communications network was an impressive web of couriers and
secret messages, it never had sufficient personnel to make it
work as well as leaders wished. The Huks appeared to make no
significant use of radios due to a shortage caused by funding
problems. "Wireless communications equipment" purchased in Manila
in 1948 and sent to the field, was either lost or captured by
government forces before it could be effectively used.22
External Support for the Huks
       The topic of external support to the Huks, like other as-
pects of the rebellion, is subject to many points of view. There
was some Chinese participation in the Hukbalahap movement during
World War Two, when an all-Chinese squadron was activated and
assigned the number 48 - in honor of the Chinese Eighth Route and
New Fourth Armies. There is no evidence that Squadron 48 was
reactivated after that war, although Chinese were active in the
PKP. The PKP Politburo had a special organization, called the
"Chinese Bureau" (CB), to coordinate the activities of Chinese
members. Luis Taruc, in his memoirs, indicated that the CB was
rather independent of Politburo control.23                                      
       While the Huks were influenced by the struggle of Chinese
guerrillas and used Edgar Snow's Red Star Over China as a text-
book, Taruc claimed that they had no direct organizational
links with either China or Russia. In the 1930s the PKP had a
separate Chinese branch in Manila. This branch, however, existed
independently and only vaguely informed the PKP of any connections
with the Chinese Communist Party. During the 1930s and 1940s,
the PKP received some periodic guidance from the American Commu-
nist Party and had a few direct connections with the Comintern
and the Soviet Communist Party. A few Chinese officials joined
the Hukbalahap in the field during World War Two, and were
attached to the PKP Politburo as advisors. Their advice was often
self-serving and was largely ignored by the Hukbalahap. After
liberation, these advisors returned to China and were never
       In 1951, the U.S. House Special Committee on Un-Filipino
Activities found evidence indicating that the PKP was regularly
receiving funds from abroad till as late as 1946 - the year the
Huk rebellion started. Although the committee also found
indications of some correspondence between the PKP and the U.S.
Communist Party as late as 1950, there was no evidence of
funding. There were also some reports that Chinese were involved
in supplying and funding the Huks, but these may not be
especially significant as Chinese are widely engaged in Filipino
commerce and banking. Some Chinese probably contributed to the
Huk cause under duress, as did many Filipinos.25
       Some scholars have reported that China provided funds,
a limited number of weapons, propaganda material, a few advisors,
and some training abroad. Most of these agree, however, that most
of this limited external support was in the form of money, and
no significant amount of military equipment was provided.26
       It seems doubtful that either China or Russia provided any
significant external support to the Huks. The guerrillas with war
experience - did not need advisors, and the transportation of
significant amounts of supplies would have exceeded Huk
logistical capabilities. Furthermore, the Communist Chinese were
occupied with their own struggle till 1949, and Communists were
concerned with the Korean conflict in the early 1950s.
Supporting the New People's Army
NPA Procurement, Logistics, and Communications
       Much less information is available on the New People's
Army. The NPA is believed to obtain the majority of its funds
through the levying of taxes and extortion. For this, it has a
fairly sophisticated apparatus, obtaining payments from local
mining and logging firms in remote areas, and from local
businesses - such as traders and cottage industries - in areas
where NPA influence is substantial. Representatives of these
enterprises have commented that it was necessary to "come to
terms with the NPA" if one wished to pursue his business in
peace. U.S. officials estimate that the NPA has strong influence
or de facto control in about 20 percent of the barrios in the
rural Philippines.28
       Most of the businesses taxed and extorted by the NPA are
plantations in remote areas. These operations are harder to
conceal in urban areas, and the NPA is strongest in the outlying
areas. The NPA may also be involved in smuggling operations,
especially in areas such as Isabela province in northeastern
Luzon (where the Karagatan smuggling incident of Chapter 3 took
place). There have also been reports that the NPA is involved in
the profitable sale of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, grown in
remote areas.29
       The NPA, like its Huk predecessors, obtains food through
"taxes", intimidation, purchase, and foraging. There is no evi-
dence of production bases like those of the Huks, although the
NPA may have these in remote areas.30   The bulk of NPA weapons
has been captured in clashes with the military, attacks on wea-
pons depots, or from the Civil Home Defense Forces (CHDF) - the
poorly-trained and sometimes carelessly selected local govern-
ment militia. Some weapons are purchased on the open market, and
others are reportedly purchased clandestinely from army sol-
       The NPA has reportedly purchased weapons from Moro
insurgents and may have bought a small quantity of arms in the
Middle East.32   Weapons have also been obtained via desertions -
the most famous being the Lieutenant Victor Corpus incident at
the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City in December 1970.
This single incident provided a large amount of arms and
       In procurement raids, the NPA has targeted small AFP
detachments and isolated units. Typical incidents involve NPA
units surrounding a local garrison, demanding its surrender and
often making off with all its weapons and ammunition without
firing a shot. Medical supplies, office equipment and radios are
also high-priority items on the NPA shopping list. M-16s and M-1s
are relatively easily obtained from the vulnerable CHDF and
private guard forces.34
       Estimates of the number of weapons in the NPA inventory
vary from 10,000 to 20,000 weapons. The guerrillas have captured
several M-60 machineguns and a considerable number of M-79
grenade-launchers that are used effectively in encounters with
the AFP. Its weapons include M-16s, World War Two rifles (M-1's,
Browning automatic rifles), and homemade shotguns. There is no
evidence that the NPA has any artillery, antiarmor or air defense
weapons, or aircraft. The NPA armory has grown and there have
been several recent firefights, where the guerrillas had
firepower parity with or superiority over government forces. The
heavy reliance on government supply sources, however, restricts
the level and frequency of NPA-initiated incidents. The NPA
apparently captures sufficient arms, ammunition, and equipment to
sustain its current level of activity, but would probably be
hardpressed to mount a sustained, major offensive.35
       NPA transportation, while not elaborate, is sufficient.
Cars, trucks, and boats are utilized. Like the Huks, the NPA has
gone outside its normal transportation means for raids and speci-
al operations - logging trucks, motorcycles, and cabs have
been used in its raids.36
       Like the Huks, the NPA relies heavily on messengers and
couriers. Within the cities, telephone systems are probably used
by the underground.37   The NPA also monitors AFP radio communica-
tions with captured military radios.38
External Support for the NPA
       Significantly, the CPP and the NPA have developed with
very little assistance from foreign supporters. The basic issues
which led to the split of the CPP from the PKP were local; only
afterwards did the CPP and the PKP become involved with the
ideological struggle between the Soviets and the Chinese. China's
Xinhua News Agency and Radio Beijing later carried the first
statement of the provisional CPP Politburo, endorsing the
breakaway group. The PKP, in contrast, openly attacked Mao and
the CPP in 1970 and endorsed the Soviet line.39
       In the early 1970s, China provided a little ideological
and material support. PKP leaders traveled to China during this
time and allegedly received some training in sabotage, guerrilla
warfare, mass action techniques, and urban terrorism.40   Two
original members of the CPP Central Committee still live in
China, but no longer appear to play a role in directing party
activities. China currently denies any association with the CPP
or NPA, and informally advocates a policy of peaceful transition
and stability based on a reform of the Philippine system.41
       The CPP's last reported contact with China was in 1974.
When the Philippine government established diplomatic ties with
China in June 1975, the CPP and China apparently broke all ties.
The rift was widened by subsequent ideological shifts away from
Maoism in Beijing. The two communist entities are now operating
at cross-purposes on a number of issues. For example, the CPP
works for the removal of U.S. bases, while China supports their
maintenance as a counterweight to Soviet expansion.42
       As far as it is known, the Soviet Union provides no
support for the CPP. Like China, it has pursued stronger
bilateral ties with the Philippine government. The Soviet Union
provides some support for the PKP leadership, which now operates
with the official approval of the Marcos government. Perhaps the
most important sources of external support for the CPP are the
expatriate Filipino groups opposed to the Marcos government, such
as the Union of Democratic Filipinos in the United States.43
       Outside of the minor support from China in the early
1970s, the CPP-NPA has received no significant external support.
Current CPP publications are critical of both China and the
Soviet Union, but appear to straddle the Sino-Soviet split. The
real focus of the CPP-NPA is internal.44  However, as explained in
Chapters 5 and 6, the CPP-NPA alread has the apparatus for
international liaison and may be contemplating a move towards the
expansion of external sources of support.
         1Andrew Molnar and others, "Undergrounds in Insurgent,
Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare" (Report prepared by the
Special Operations Research Office of The American University for
the Department of the Army, 1963), p. 321.
         2William Pomeroy, The Forest:  A Personal Record of the
Huk Guerrilla Struggle in the Philippines (New York:
International Publishers, 1963), p. 163.
         3Benedict Kerkvliet,  The Huk Rebellion:  A Study of
Peasant Revolt in the Phillipines (Berkeley, California:
University of California Press, 1977), p. 215.
         4Eduardo Lachica, The Huks:   Philippine Agrarian Society
in Revolt (New York:  Praeger Publishers, 1971), p. 29.
         5Molnar and others, pp. 321-322.   6Kerkvliet, p. 215.
         7Alvin Scaff, The Philippine Answer to Communism
(Stanford, California:  Stanford University Press, 1955), p. 34.
         8Lachica, p. 29.
         9John Jameson, "The Philippine Constabulary as a
Counterinsurgency Force, 1948-1954" (Report of the Institute of
Advanced Studies, U.S. Army War College, 1971), p. 29; Molnar and
others, p. 322.
         10Jameson, p. 30; Pomeroy, p. 24-26.
         11Pomeroy, pp. 100, 159; Jameson, p. 30.
         12Kerkvliet, p. 176.     13Jameson, p. 30; Pomeroy, p. 57.
         14Kerkvliet, pp. 214, 216.      15Kerkvliet, p. 177.
         16Jameson, p. 30.      17Jameson, p. 29.
         18Napoleon Valeriano and Charles Bohannan,
Counterguerrilla Operations:  The Philippine Experience (New
York:  Frederick A. Praeger, 1962), p. 151; Molnar and others, p.
         19Jameson, pp. 30-31; Pomeroy, p. 17.
         20Luis Villa-Real, "Huk-Hunting," "Guerrilla Warfare
Readings," ed. Franklin Osanka (Research Memorandum of the Human
Resources Research Office, George Washington University, prepared
for the U.S. Department of the Army, 1962), p. 105.
        21Molnar and others, p. 320.       22Kerkvliet, p. 216.
        23Jameson, p. 55.
        24 Luis Taruc, He Who Rides the  Tiger:  The Story of an
Asian Guerrilla Leader (New York:  Frederick A. Praeger, 1967),
pp. 21, 33-34.
        25Jameson, pp. 55-56.     26Jameson, p. 56.
        27Jameson, p. 57.
        28Robert Manning, "The Philippines in Crisis," Foreign
Affairs, Volume 63, No. 2 (Winter 1984/1985), 403; Frederica
Bunge, Philippines:  A Country Study (Washington:  The American
University, 1984), p. 242.
        29Statement by Narciso Abaya, Lieutenant Colonel, Armed
Forces of the Philippines, Assistant Army Attache to the U.S., in
a personal interview, Alexandria, Virginia, 15 February 1985.
        30Ibid.     31Manning, p. 403.      32Bunge, p. 242.
        33 William Scott, "The Philippines:  A Matter of Concern"
(Report of the U.S. Air War College, 1972), p. 33.
        34U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations,
The Situation in the Philippines, Staff Report prepared by
Frederick Brown and Carl Ford, 98th Cong., 2nd Sess., October,
1984 (Washington:  Government Printing Office, 1984), p. 27.
        35Abaya, interview; U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 27.
        36Abaya, interview.      37Ibid.
        38U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 27.
        39David Rosenberg, "Communism in the Philippines,"
Problems of Communism, XXXIII (September/October 1984), 35.
        40Lachica, pp. 181-182.
        41U.S., Congress, Senate, p. 23.
        42Rosenberg, pp. 35-36.     43Rosenberg, p. 36.
        44Manning, pp. 401-402.
                       SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
        Campaigns of this kind (subversion and insurgency)
   are the more likely to continue because it is the only
   kind of war that fits the conditions of the modern age,
   while being at the same time well suited to take advantage
   of social discontent, racial ferment and nationalist
        B.H. Liddell Hart
        If we do not reform our society, if we do not make
   government more responsive to the needs of our people, if
   we do not narrow the cleavage between rich and poor, there
   will be no need for the Communists to mount a rebellion.
   They will just take over.
       Ferdinand Marcos, President of the Republic of
           the Philippines, April, 1971.
The Environment:  Causes and Conditions
       The underlying causes of the Huk and the New People's Army
insurgencies are similar. Both movements sought to overthrow the
existing government in order to establish their own Communist
system. To accomplish this, the two groups exploited the
following "causes":  the land tenancy system and a peasant desire
for agrarian reform; unemployment and economic conditions,
including an extremely inequitable income distribution; and a
lack of government credibility due to corruption and military
       Both insurgency movements faced distracted governments
and inept military forces. The Huks attempted to portray the
pre-Magsaysay administrations with a collaborationist and corrupt
image. The Marcos administration - the only regime the NPA has
confronted - has an image of cronyism. The pre-Magsaysay and the
Marcos regimes were unable to pursue effective counterinsurgency
operations and were unable to implement effective internal
development programs. Marcos faces additional problems caused
recently by the increasing political polarization of Filipino
society - resulting in significant "moderate" support for the
Communists - in the aftermath of the Aquino assassination.
       Military forces under Marcos suffer from many of the same
weaknesses of the pre-1950 government forces that the Huks faced
- underfunding, corruption, and discipline and morale problems
resulting in continuing military abuses of the populace. The size
of the military establishment under Marcos, however, is about
five times as large as the approximately 30,000 troops and
constabulary that the Huks encountered.
Organization, Composition, and Strength
       While the PKP are similarly organized - with party
echelons stretching from the national to the barrio level - the
CPP organization has been modified to include a new "Front"
echelon, designed to serve as an operational military command
immediately subordinate to the Region. The national-level
departments have also been expanded to reflect CPP emphasis on
liaison with non-CPP organizations, including the Moro National
Liberation Front.
       The HMB and NPA military arms have a common heritage and
their flexible organizations below the regional level reflect
this. Both military bodies utilize full-time armed regulars,
combat personnel, and cadres. In both cases, the numerous
interconnections between the party and military organizations
give the Communist organizations a paramilitary character.
      The PKP played a smaller role in the formation of the
postwar Huks and did not publicly support an armed struggle until
two years after the initiation of the Huk rebellion. On the other
hand, the CPP had a pivotal role in the NPA's formation and has
always supported armed revolution. Because of this and the
CCP's deep involvement in NPA field activities, the CPP has a
closer relationship with, and provides more effective leadership
to its military arm than the PKP did.
       While both Communist parties sought a strong united front,
they met with differing success. The PKP's Democratic Alliance
collapsed a few years after its formation; the CPP's National
Democratic Front has grown significantly since its formation in
1973. The NDF has a more diverse membership and the CPP has
attained the Philippine's first strong urban Communist
infrastructure. Although both parties had large mass movements
engaged in similar activities - shadow governments, supply,
intelligence, and recruiting - the CPP uses a new People's
Organizing Group operating below the barrio level.
       Both the PKP and the CPP are led by urban intelligentsia
who got their subversive initiation while on university campuses.
The CPP-NPA leadership, however, is younger, more sophisticated
and more radical than the PKP-HMB leadership. The CPP-NPA
leadership also appears to be more cohesive, unlike the PKP and
Huks who suffered numerous leadership rifts.
       These two Communist movements started in central Luzon,
but the growth of the CPP-NPA is far more impressive. The Huks
grew from a much larger initial "base" - about 10,000 Hukbalahap
veterans - while the NPA has grown from an initial membership of
about 400. While HMB expansion was primarily limited to Luzon,
the NPA has spread into all areas of the country (63 of 77
provinces). The CPP-NPA emphasis on local customs and use of
local personnel in operation areas has been most successful. The
CPP-NPA has also established links with the Moros and has been
able to recruit some clergy members into the movement. Current
NPA armed strength approximates the peak Huk strength, but the
NPA and CPP appear to have a larger mass base.
Strategy, Doctrine, and Operations
       Both parties sought to overthrow "U.S. imperialism and
domestic feudalism" and to establish a "democratic" government.
Following the revolutionary models of China, Vietnam, and Cuba,
these parties sought to conduct a protracted people's war using
a strategy of encircling the cities from the countryside. The
PKP essentially had a Soviet orientation; the CPP has adapted
Marxism-Leninism and Maoism to the specific conditions of the
country. Also, the CPP formally employs the NPA as an organizing
and propaganda force - in addition to being a fighting arm -
unlike the Huks. The CPP-NPA also appears fully prepared for
a long struggle, unlike the architects of the PKP-HMB 1950
decision who opted for "early seizure of power." Besides its
tactical flexibility, the CPP-NPA has also demonstrated a deeper
knowledge of urban warfare than the PKP-HMB. The PKP-HMB
essentially entered the "strategic offensive" in 1950 with its
plan to seize total power in two years, while the CPP-NPA has
acknowledged that it is in the "advanced sub-stage of the
strategic defensive."
       Both Communist organizations have used battalion-sized
units in similar operations - raids, ambushes, assassinations -
and both have featured PSYOPS emphasizing current Filipino
problems over Communist indoctrination. They have also
demonstrated sensitivity to the effects of their operations on
the populace with careful selection of targets, operations, and
methods. CPP-NPA PSYOPS are more sophisticated, however, and the
NPA used more sabotage than the Huks.
       Emphasizing security and counterintelligence, both the Huk
and NPA organizations had good human intelligence networks. The
NPA, however, has a far superior communications intelligence
capability due to the capture of AFP radios. Both organizations
maintain relatively strict discipline among members, and
emphasize on-the-job training over formal schooling.
Logistics, Communications, and External Support
      In the areas of finance and logistics, there are numerous
similarities between the Huks and the NPA:  1)both had financial
and logistic limitations; 2)both used extortion, robberies, and
"taxation" to obtain funds; 3)raids, purchases, confiscation, an
taxes  were used to obtain weapons and supplies. The NPA,
however, has more sophisticated weapons - more machineguns and
grenade launchers - and uses more sophisticated methods for
raising funds such as marijuana farms and the "taxation" of
multinational firms.
       Both insurgent organizations have a shortage of
communications gear, depend heavily on courier networks, and
emphasize communications security. While neither has received
any significant external support, the CPP has planned and
organized for this contingency. It has a department dedicated
to international liaison for future use.
       There are numerous reasons for the failure of the Huk
rebellion:  effective counterinsurgency policies and reforms
under Magsaysay; PKP and Huk leadership rifts; strategy and
analysis failures by the Communists; and sound U.S. advice
coupled with active support.
       Professor Alvin Scaff in The Philippine Answer to
Communism (pages 122-123) showcases some of the reasons given by
Huks who surrendered:  1)the hardship of guerrilla life on the
insurgent and his or her family; 2)failures of the Huk
organization to accelerate the progress of the revolution and
disciplinary problems during the decline of the Huks;
3)opportunities offered by the government such as amnesty, and
promises of land and employment. However, the main reason for the
Huk decline is the effective internal defense and development
program initiated by Ramon Magsaysay; by living up to its
democratic principles, the government - at least temporarily -
eliminated the "causes" that the Huks emploited.
       Despite these shortcomings, the Huks were almost
successful in seizing national power in 1950. For the numerous
reasons outlined previously, the original hypothesis holds true -
the New People's Army potentially presents a more significant
threat to the existing government than the Huk movement did to
the three presidential administrations it fought.
Outlook for the Future
       The CPP-NPA has acknowledged that it is not capable of
toppling Marcos in the immediate future. The Philippine society
has strong democratic values, but there are uncertainties over
Marcos' succession. Professor David Rosenberg in his Problems
of Communism article, summarizes this situation well:
   This combination of radical and popular insurgency
   comes at a particularly perilous time in Philippine
   politics. Few opportunities remain for moderate oppos-
   ition groups to play a major role in national politics.
   Marcos has dominated Philippine politics for so long
   that no single person or party has the stature to form
   an alternative, legitimate government. In the economic
   sphere, the austerity measures adopted in mid-1984 have
   not yet taken full effect. It is likely that economic
   growth will continue to be sluggish or even negative,
   leading to rising unemployment, greater hardship among
   the poor, declining living standards for the middle
   class, and bankruptcies and expatriation of resources
   by the wealthy. According to many economic analysts,
   the worst is yet to come. Therefore, when President
   Marcos does leave power, most likely in the next few
   years, it can be expected that the conflicts already
   evident will intensify. In that case, the major bene-
   ficiaries are likely to be the newly politicized mili-
   tary on the right and the newly strengthene CPP-NPA-
   NDF on the left. This could bring a sharp polarization
   of Philippine politics and, quite possibly, an escalat-
   ing spiral of political violence, with no clear solu-
   tion anywhere on the horizon.
       Problems of Communism, September/October 1984, pg.46.
       Economic issues, political and social reform will
determine the future course of events. While the Philippine army
has a legacy of successful counterinsurgency actions against the
Huks, it must yet deal with severe structural and morale
problems. The true strength of the NPA and its supporters will
not be known until they are suppressed or win the final
offensive. Regardless, the CPP and the NPA will afflict the
future of the Philippines. Does the Filipino national anthem
describe the "land of the morning, child of the sun returning,"
with prescience or hope?
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                      ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
                       A. PRIMARY SOURCES
Abaya, Narciso, Lieutenant Colonel, Armed Forces of the
    Philippines, Assistant Army Attache to the United States.
    Personal interview. Arlington, Virginia, 15 February 1985.
Baclagon, Uldarico S. Lessons from the Huk Campaign in the
    Philippines. Manila:  M. Colcol and Company, 1956.
        An analysis by the faculty and students of the Philippine
    Army's Infantry School of counterinsurgency operations
    against the Huks.
Guerrero, Amado, [Jose Maria Sison]. Philippine Society and
    Revolution. Oakland, California:  International Association
    of Filipino Patriots, 1979.
       Third edition of Jose Maria Sison's views, written using
    his alias, of the Filipino "revolution" from the CPP
    Chairman's perspective in 1970. Also included is "Guerrero's"
    1974 document, "Specific Characteristics of Our People's
Lansdale, Edward G. In the Midst of Wars:  An American's Mission
    to Southeast Asia. New York:  Harper and Row, 1972.
       A soldier-statesman's memoirs of his experiences in
    Southeast Asia, including his role as a military advisor in
    the Philippines during the Huk insurgency.
         Major General, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), former JUSMAG
    advisor to Philippine Defense Secretary Ramon Magsaysay.
    Personal interview. McLean, Virginia, 15 February 1985.
         Personal correspondence between General Lansdale and
    the writer. 28 March 1985.
Moore, William C., Major General, U.S. Army, currently Director
    of Operations, Readiness, and Mobilization, and formerly of
    JUSMAG, Philippines. Personal interview. Arlington, Virginia,
    15 February 1985.
Osanka, Franklin M., ed. "Guerrilla Warfare Readings." Research
    memorandum of the Human Resources Research Office, George
    Washington University, prepared for the U.S. Department of
    the Army, 1962.
       A compendium of guerrilla warfare readings, containing an
   article on combatting the Huk insurgency by Luis A.
Pomeroy, William J. An American Made Tragedy:  Neo-Colonialism
    and Dictatorship in the Philippines. New York:  International
    Publishers, 1974.
         The former Huk, whose views are evident by the wording
    of the title, describes the communist liberation movement
    in the "neo-colonial settings in which a dictatorship has
    emerged in the Philippines."
         The Forest:  A Personal Record of the Huk Guerrilla
    Struggle in the Philippines. New York:  International
    Publishers, 1963.
         An American Communist who joined the Huks writes of his
    experiences with the movement from 1950-1952.
Saulo, Alfredo B. Communism in the Philippines:  An Introduction.
    Manila:  Ateneo Publications Office, 1969.
         A primer on Communism in the Philippines written by a
    former labor union leader who joined the Huks from 1950 to
Taruc, Luis. Born of the People. New York:  International
   Publishers, 1953.
         Thoughts of the Huk leader during the insurgency.
    Generously edited by the Communist leadership with
    ideological insertions, this work is considered to be less
    representative of Taruc's true feelings than the following
         He Who Rides the Tiger:  The Story of an Asian Guerrilla
    Leader. New York:  Frederick A. Praeger, 1967.
         The autobiography of the leader of the Huk movement that
    describes the dynamics, organization and tactics of the Huks'
    guerrilla warfare and the factionalization among rebel
    leaders that contributed to the movement's downfall.
Valeriano, Napoleon D. Text of a speech presented to the U.S.
    Army Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina,
    2 October 1964.
         Interesting summary of the AFP experience against the
         and Charles T. R. Bohannan. Counterguerrilla Operations:
    The Philippine Experience. New York:  Frederick A. Praeger,
        A comprehensive analysis of counterguerrilla operations
    based on personal experiences in the Philippines.
Willoughby, Charles A. The Guerrilla Resistance Movement in the
    Philippines:  1941-1945. New York:  Vantage Press, 1972.
         First of ten volumes in the Southwest Pacific Area
    Intelligence Services series by MacArthur's G-2. Detailed
    information on the wartime guerrilla movements.
                         B.  SECONDARY SOURCES
"The Army Accuses," Asiaweek, 27 July 1984.
        The AFP claims that the Communists have infiltrated
   student and opposition organizations.
Barrens, Clarence G. "I Promise:  Magsaysay's Unique PSYOP
    'Defeats' Huks." Thesis of the US Army Command & General
    Staff College, 1982.
        Examines Magsaysay's PSYWAR campaign against the Huks and
   asserts that this was the key to the counterinsurgency's
Branigin, William. "Marcos Seen as Increasingly Isolated." The
    Washington Post, 9 March 1985.
        Marcos' current political crisis with the New People's
   Army and the Aquino assassination are this article's focus.
        "Rebel Filipinos Widen Scope of Drive on Army." The
    Washington Post, 3 December 1984.
         Looks at the increased New People's Army activity.
Bunge, Frederica M., ed. Philippines:  A Country Study.
    Washington:   The American University, 1984.
         Area handbook on the Philippines, prepared under the
    Country Studies/Area Handbook Program. Contains useful
    background information on the Philippines and the insurgency.
Buruma, Ian. "The Church Militant Takes On a New Meaning."Far
   Eastern Economic Review, 28 February 1985, pp. 77-79.
         A look at the growing radicalization of the Catholic
    Church in the Philippines.
Chanda, Nayan. "A Gloomy View of Reform and Rebellion from the
    U.S." Far Eastern Economic Review, 30 August 1984, pp. 28-30.
         Article examining U.S. concern over the growth of the NPA
Comish, Leo S. Jr. "The United States and the Philippine
    Hukbalahap Insurgency:  1946-1954." Research paper of the
    U.S. Army War College, 1971.
         A review of U.S. policies and programs towards the
    Philippines during the Huk insurgency.
Gador, Tirso H. "Insurgency and Subversion in a Developing
    Country:  A Case Study in a Philippine Setting." Thesis of
    the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College, 1970.
         Surveys historical and present conditions in the
    Philippines to determine factors which gave rise to the
    Communist insurgency.
"Generally On Course." Asiaweek, 9 November 1984, pp. 30-38.
         An approving view of recent political and military
      actions by the Philippine government.
Gurr, Ted R. Why Men Rebel. Princeton, New Jersey:  Princeton
    University Press, 1970.
        A historical study of the causes of rebellion.
Jameson, John G. Jr. "The Philippine Constabulary as a
    Counterinsurgency Force, 1948-1954." Report of the Institute
    of Advanced Studies, U.S. Army War College, 1971.
        A study of the effectiveness of the Philippine
    Constabulary as a counterinsurgency force.
Jenkins, David. "All the President's Men." Far Eastern Economic
    Review, 10 March 1983, pp. 15-21.
        Article examining the state of the Armed Forces of the
Jones, Adrian H. and Andrew R. Molnar. "Internal Defense Against
    Insurgency:  Six Cases." Report prepared by the Center of
    Research in Social Systems, The American University, for the
    U.S. Department of the Army, 1966.
        A review of the use of internal security forces (police,
   paramilitary, and military) in six counterinsurgency cases,
   including the Philippines.
Kamaluddin, S. and Rodney Tasker. "Pressing the Point." Far
    Eastern Economic Review, 22 December 1983, p. 26.
        Article on the Moro insurgents that touches on the NPA.
Kerkvliet, Benedict J. The Huk Rebellion:  A Study of Peasant
    Revolt in the Philippines. Berkeley, California:  University
    of California Press, 1977.
        A study of the Huk rebellion that seeks to understand the
   movement from the perspective of its participants and
Kitson, Frank. Low Intensity Operations:  Subversion, Insurgency,
    Peacekeeping. Harrisburg, Penn.:  Stackpole Books, 1971.
        A military professional provides a framework for
    reviewing counterinsurgency operations.
Lachica, Eduardo. The Huks:  Philippine Agrarian Society in
    Revolt. New York:  Praeger Publishers, 1971.
        A journalist's investigation of the formation of the New
   People's Army in the Philippines in the late 1960's.
Laqueur, Walter. Guerrilla:  A Historical and Critical Study.
    Boston:  Little, Brown, and Company, 1976.
        A respected scholar's critical interpretation of
   guerrilla theory and practice.
Larkin, John A. The Pampangans:  Colonial Society in a Philippine
    Province. Berkeley, California:  University of California
    Press, 1972.
        A historical and sociological examination of the
   Philippine province of Pampanga.
Lohr, Steve. "Twilight of the Marcos Era." New York Times
    Magazine, 6 January 1985, pp. 30-53.
        A Manila-based journalist's pessimistic view of the
   current economic and political crisis in the Philippines.
Manning, Robert A. "The Philippines in Crisis." Foreign Affairs,
    Volume 63, No. 2 (Winter 1984/1985), 392-410.
        A journalist on international affairs, who visited the
   Philippines in April and May 1984, examines the economic,
   internal security, and political aspects of the Philippine
Molnar, Andrew R., and others. "Undergrounds in Insurgent,
    Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare.  Report prepared by
    the Special Operations Research Office, The American
    University, for the U.S. Department of the Army, 1963.
        An examination of the roles, functions, and techniques
    of the underground in the Philippines and in other historical
Moore, William C. "The Hukbalahap Insurgency, 1948-1954:  An
    Analysis of the Roles, Missions, and Doctrine of the
    Philippine Military Forces." Report of the Institute of
    Advanced Studies, U.S. Army War College, 1971.
        A study of the actions of the adversaries to determine
   their strategies, doctrine, policies, and programs which
   contributed significantly to the outcome of the insurgency.
Munro, Ross H. "Dateline Manila:  Moscow's Next Win?" Foreign
    Policy, No. 56 (Fall 1984), 173-190.
         Pessimistic view of the current Philippine crisis by a
    frequent visitor to that country.
"The NPA at 13:  Bolder and Brighter." Asiaweek, 19 March 1982,
    p.  17.
         Short article examining the growth of the NPA.
Nale, Antonio S. "Employment of Natives in Counterinsurgency
    Operations in the Philippines."  Thesis of the U.S. Army
    Command and General Staff College, 1983.
         An investigation of the use of native forces in
    counterinsurgency operations in the Philippines in order to
    determine effective and ineffective employment roles.
Nations, Richard. "The Consul's File." Far Eastern Economic
    Review, 13 August 1982, pp. 10-11.
         Alleged contents of a U.S. State Department assessment of
    the insurgency on Mindanao.
Ocampo, Sheilah. "Angels of Death." Far Eastern Economic Review,
    19 March 1982, pp. 21-22.
         Article on an unofficial, paramilitary unit conducting
    its own counterinsurgency effort against the Communists.
        "The Battle for Chico River." Far Eastern Economic
    Review, 20 October 1978, pp. 32-34.
         A government development project alienates locals, whom
    the New People's Army is attempting to recruit.
        "Breaching a Dam of Despair." Far Eastern Economic
    Review, 13 June 1980, pp. 23-24.
         Violence caused by the Philippine government's Chico
    River Dam project is the topic of this article.
        "Decimated - But It Won't Lie Down." Far Eastern
    Economic Review, 15 December 1978, p. 35.
         The New People's Army continues to spread its influence.
        "Eastern Davao is the Hot Spot as NPA Ambushes Claim
    More Victims." Far Eastern Economic Review, 10 March 1983,
    pp. 20-22.
         A region of Mindanao heats up with NPA activity.
        "Forcing the Pace of Pacification." Far Eastern Economic
    Review, 27 October 1978, pp. 14-15.
         Government forces focus on the New People's Army in the
    mountains of northeastern Luzon.
        "The Gun and the Crucifix." Far Eastern Economic Review
    10 December 1982, pp. 38-39.
         Article on dissident clergy with insurgent connections.
        "Hearts, Minds, and Guns." Far Eastern Economic Review,
    24 April 1981, pp. 20-23.
         The battle between government forces and the New People's
    Army continues on Mindanao.
       "An Island in Death's Shadow." Far Eastern Economic
    Review, 27 March 1981, pp. 30-33.
         The conflict between the NPA and government forces on
    Samar island is the subject of this article.
       "A Little Vietnam." Far Eastern Economic Review, 12
    March 1982, pp. 38-40.
         Manila's efforts at combatting the NPA insurgency on
       "A New Role for the Forces." Far Eastern Economic
    Review, 13 October 1978, pp. 37-38.
         Marcos looks at changing the image of the armed forces.
       "Philippines:  The Seven-Year Itch." Far Eastern
    Economic Review, 29 June 1979, pp. 24-27.
         A look at NPA expansion, especially on Samar.
        "Renewed Opposition." Far Eastern Economic Review, 7
    May 1982, pp. 11-12.
         Marcos faces headaches, including the NPA insurgency.
        "The Samuroy Killings." Far Eastern Economic Review,
    30 April 1982, p. 12.
         Article on the AFP shelling of a Samar village mistaken
    for an NPA camp.
Peterson, A. H., ed. "Symposium on the Role of Airpower in
    Counterinsurgency and Unconventional Warfare:  The
    Philippines Huk Campaign." RAND Corporation Report for the
    U.S. Air Force, 1963.
         A condensation of a RAND symposium on  the role of
    airpower in counterinsurgency and unconventional warfare,"
    conducted 16-18 January 1963. Discussion was led by Colonel
    Napoleon Valeriano, Philippine Army veteran of the Huk
"Philippines Insurgency Cited."  The Washington Post, 9 February
         An unidentified U.S. official comments on the NPA
"Republic of the Philippines."  Journal of Defense and Diplomacy,
    February 1984, pp. 28-37.
        Profiles Philippine geography, history, demographics,
    government, internal security, armed forces, and economy.
Rosenberg, David A., ed. Marcos and Martial Law in the
    Philippines. Ithaca, New York:  Cornell University Press,
         A collection of essays that examine the decline of
    constitutional democracy and the rise of authoritarian
    government in the Philippines under the martial law
    administration of President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
        "Communism in the Philippines."  Problems of Communism,
    XXXIII (September/October 1984), 24-46.
        An informative article by a Philippine-follower that
    traces the Communist movement in the Philippines. Focuses on
    the avowedly Communist parties, insurgent groups, and front
Saavedra, Ramberto B. "The Role of Civil Affairs in
    Counterinsurgency in the Philippines." Thesis of the U.S.
    Army Command and General Staff College, 1982.
         Study of the dangers posed by a Communist insurgency to
    the stability of the Philippines.
Sacerdoti, Guy. "Marching to the Beat of an Opposition Drum."Far
    Eastern Economic Review, 24 May 1984, pp. 16-17.
         NPA activities at the time of the May 1984 elections.
        "Red 'Army' on the March." Far Eastern Economic Review,
    28 June 1984, pp. 40-41.
         The New People's Army steps up its guerrilla war.
Scaff, Alvin H. The Philippine Answer to Communism. Stanford,
    California:  Stanford University Press, 1955.
         Using interviews with ex-Huks, a description of how the
    young Philippine republic used "friendship and force" to
    defeat the Hukbalahap rebellion. Special emphasis on the
    army's EDCOR (Economic Development Corps) project.
Scott, William H., III. "The Philippines:  A Matter of Concern."
    Report of the U.S. Air War College, 1972.
        Examines the Philippine experience in dealing with the
    Huk insurgency and the renewal of a Communist insurgency in
    the 1960's and the early 1970's.
Sens, Andrew D. "A Summary of the U.S. Role in Insurgency
    Situations in the Philippine Islands, 1899-1955." Report of
    the Special Operations Research Office, The American
    University, 1964.
         A contract report, in outline form, of US objectives,
    military experience, and lessons learned from Philippine
    insurgencies during 1899 to 1955. Prepared with the
    assistance of Charles Bohannan, who was an advisor to
    Philippine Defense Secretary Magsaysay.
Smith, Robert A. Philippine Freedom:  1946-1958. New York:
    Columbia University Press, 1958.
         An examination of the first decade of Philippine
    independence, focusing on the origins of the Filipino
    concepts of independence and freedom and subsequent attempts
    to attain and maintain these concepts.
  Smith, Robert R. The Hukbalahap Insurgency:  Economic,
    Political, and Military Factors. Washington:  Office of the
    Chief of Military History, U.S. Department of the Army, 1963.
        A detailed look at the counterinsurgency campaign against
    the Huks.
Sun, Lena H. "Philippine Crisis Grows, Top U.S. Officials Warn."
    The Washington Post, 13 March 1985.
        Comments of U.S. officials before a foreign affairs
    subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Swarbrick, Reginald J. and James L  Clark  "The Evolution of
    Communist Insurgency in the Philippines." Report of the U.S.
    Marine Corps Command and Staff College, 1983.
         Traces the evolution of the Communist insurgencies in the
    Philippines from the 1920's to 1983.
Tan, Abby. "Philippine Rebels Raise 'Taxes' on Business." The
    Washington Post, 9 March 1985.
         Recent fundraising efforts by the NPA intensify.
Tasker, Rodney. "Calm on the Moro Front." Far Eastern Economic
    Review, 9 August 1984, pp. 29-30.
         Muslim insurgents, active in the mid-1970's, are now
        "Elusive Law and Order." Far Eastern Economic Review,
    5 July 1984, pp. 12-14.
         Article examining the expansion of the New People's Army
    on Mindanao.
        "A Lesson for the Teacher." Far Eastern Economic Review,
    2 December 1977, pp. 14-17.
         Jose Maria Sison, Communist party chairman and former
    teacher, is captured by government forces.
        "Where Guerrillas Call the Tune." Far Eastern Economic
    Review, 11 August 1978, pp. 22-24.
         Communist insurgent gains on Mindanao are examined.
        "Words of Peace 'Futile.'" Far Eastern Economic Review,
    25 November 1977, pp. 27-29.
         Short article on possible New People's Army-Moro National
    Liberation Front efforts at cooperation.
Thompson, Robert. Revolutionary War in World Strategy. 1945-1969.
    New York:  Taplinger Publishing Company, 1970.
         Final volume in Thompson's trilogy, that examines the use
    of revolutionary war as an instrument of policy in the world
    strategy of the USSR and China during the period of 1945-
"Time to Get Tough." Asiaweek, 11 September 1981, pp. 26-37.
         Examines the growth of Philippine Communism, and includes
    an interview with captured NPA leader Commander Dante.
Turpin, James A. "New Society's Challenge in the Philippines."
    Conflict Studies No. 122, The Institute for the Study of
    Conflict. London:  The Eastern Press, 1980.
         The British Ambassador to the Philippines from 1972 to
    1976 examines challenges to the Marcos regime, including the
    New People's Army and the Moros.
U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. The
    Situation in the Philippines. Staff report prepared by
    Frederick Z. Brown and Carl Ford, 98th Cong., 2nd Sess.,
    October, 1984. Washington:  Government Printing Office, 1984.
        Staff study prepared from 19 days of extensive interviews
    and travel in the Philippines during May-July 1984.
    Informative study, focusing on the current political crisis
    and the Communist insurgency.
U.S. Department of State. "Recent Developments in the
    Philippines." Address of Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary
    of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, before the
    Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Senate
    Foreign Relations Committee, 18 September 1984. Department of
    State Bulletin, Volume 84, No. 2092 (November 1984), 54-56.
         A diplomat's assessment of recent developments in the
Van Praagh, David. "After Marcos:  Why the Military Could March
    In."  Business Week, 17 January 1985, p. 48.
        The political problems of Marcos and the potential for
    a military succession.
Vokey, Richard. "Assault on the Peaks of Power." Far Eastern
    Economic Review, 13 June 1980, pp. 24-29.
       The NPA's effective use of political education,
    integration, and guerrilla operations in pursuing its goals.
       "The People Who Said 'No.'" Far Eastern Economic Review,
    24 April 1981, p. 24.
       The small, young Mindanao Alliance emerges against
       and Sheilah Ocampo. "A Rising Tide of Violence."Far
    Eastern Economic Review, 16 March 1979, pp. 21-28.
       The NPA expands in northern Mindanao.
Walton, John. Reluctant Rebels:  Comparative Studies of
    Revolution and Underdevelopment. New York:  Columbia
    University Press, 1984.
       A sociologist's historical analysis of the relationship
    between rebellion and underdevelopment in the Philippines,
    Colombia, and Kenya.
Wurfel, David. "Martial Law in the Philippines:  The Methods of
    Regime Survival." Pacific Affairs, Volume 50, No. 1 (Spring
    1977), 5-30.
       Examines Marcos' efforts at maintaining regime stability
    since declaring martial law in 1972.

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