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