The Communist Party Of The Philippines/National Democratic Front Network Abroad
AUTHOR LtCol. Orlando Buenaventura, Philippine Navy
SUBJECT AREA - General
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
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
THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES/DEMOCRATIC
NATIONAL FRONT NETWORKS ABROAD
by Lt. Col. Orlando G. Buenaventura
THESIS: To give the reader an understanding of the history,
operations, internal organization, external support, and
objectives of the Communist Party of the
Philippines/National Democratic Front networks abroad.
I Historical Background
A. Formed in 1971
B. Political and ideological struggle
C. Influence of Jalandoni in Europe
II Overseas Revolutionary Works
A. Central task
B. Main/Secondary objectives
C. Primary Lines of work
III CPP/NDF Internal Machinery
A. Structure and organization
B. Role/Targets abroad
C. Foreign Membership
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
B. Control and defeating the threat
COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES/
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT NETWORKS ABROAD
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Click here to view image
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