Friday, February 1, 2019

Joma Sison interviewed by Harsh Thakor on 50th Anniversary of Communist Party of the Philippines - New Revised Interview

Democracy and Class Struggle is publishing a revised and corrected interview with Comrade Joma Sison - it has been corrected by Comrade Joma Sison personally to ensure its accuracy and correct reflection of his views

We apologize that the first version of this interview did not undergo the scrutiny that is required for such as important interview and contained some errors.

Harsh Thakor has apologized to Joma Sison and he accepts his apology and we hope Harsh Thakor learns from this experience as recording and reporting comrades accurately is important for revolutionaries and mistakes can have serious consequences..




For half a century since it's reestablishment on December 26th 1968 the Communist Party of Philippines has displayed the tenacity of a rock, withstanding every hurdle. It has fought a protracted people’s war for a duration of 50 years, longer than any Communist party ever. It has turned a red spark into a prairie fire.  

Such is the power of the torch of Marxism-Leninism -Maoism. It convinced me that no Communist party practiced mass line so penetratingly, deeply or correctly as the CPP after the reversal of socialism in China.  

No party has with such fortitude and clinical analysis and practice thwarted Right and "Left" opportunism within its ranks. It made the boldest of self-criticisms at many junctures in consonance with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It may have some flaws in theoretical plane on international questions but in practice true champions.

Being 50, the body of the CPP may be old or aged but it's soul blazes or extinguishes its spirit double that of quarter of a century ago.  In spite of being engulfed with enemies all around to sabotage it, the CPP shimmers its torch like an inextinguishable light. 

Without doubt its Founding Chairman Joma Sison is one of the greatest Marxist theoreticians and leaders of recent times and the CPP is a torch bearer of the world revolution.

Of great importance were the efforts of the rectification campaigns which were major stepping stones in the carving out of the revolutionary mass line. 

In many ways the rectification line of 1992 was the turning point of the Philippine revolution with it's upholding the GPCR and recognizing the revisionist character of Dengist China. 

Most timely that it took place when Soviet social imperialism and revisionist states collapsed in 1991. Equal emphasis was placed on combating "Left" and Right opportunism which represented urban putschist actions and withdrawal of mass movements on one scale and totally reformist and parliamentary work on the other. The struggle for combating deviations and striving for mass line was similar to blood running through the veins of a body.

Revisionism was combated through revolutionary practice itself and not mere talk. I was most impressed how they handled times of crisis in several junctures and fought back with their backs to the wall. It depicted great dialectical approach like a surgeon performing continuous operations on the most serious patients.

Great planning was involved in every stage with the CPP traversing the most turbulent of waters. Above all, it did not impose itself on the masses but channelized every effort to establish itself as the true vanguard of the people. Brilliantly blended Marxist-Leninist methodology with creativity like an architect and artist blended into one. Genuine revolutionary organs of political power have been created similar to what the Chinese Communist Party did in the 1940's. I was astounded with how they blended political mastery with creativity. 

The New People’s Army demonstrated phenomenal mobility and flexibility and was fully integrated in the lives of the broad masses. Above all it proved the authenticity of Maoism being invincible and correctness of theory of protracted people's war. It brilliantly blended centralisation and de-centralisation of party work and dispersal and concentration in the New People's Army work. Brilliantly blended Marxist-Leninist methodology with creativity.

With dialectical precision in practice and theory in several stages it controlled 'military' approach or left sectarian armed actions as well as 'legalistic' work and Rightist parliamentary work. It did not mechanically apply Mao's military theories but innovated them to the concrete Philippine conditions. It placed emphasis on higher party committees learning from the lower ones and activating them. It also struggled against trends that used pretext of mass movement to blunt armed offensives. 

Meticulous efforts were made to educate party cadres on the essence of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It published writings in accordance with level of the consciousness of different sections of the people. It always solidified the base when building the superstructure. Through the building of the National Democratic Front, it promoted the concept of united front.

With great diligence, land reform was initiated with the NPA directly involved in production. With most flexibility the Party has built bastions in the urban areas in trade unions. The NPA displayed great fluidity moving like a fish in water. It is also significant that the party membership was created from the mass activists of mass organizations which were like nurseries for schooling them.

What was most important is that it sowed the roots to create political bastions of power in the countryside solidifying the base with clinical precision to intensify the armed struggle. The alliance of the landless and poor peasantry with the middle and rich peasantry has been knit with meticulous application of Maoist ideology and similar to days of the 1940's in China an independent form of government has been formed which is a thorn in the flesh to the ruling regime.

The main reasons for it's setback from the 1980's was its incorrect evaluation of the GPCR and neutrality towards Dengist China which made certain sections even vacillate towards supporting social imperialism. I also am somewhat skeptical as to the reason it reached a state that it had to negotiate with ruler Duterte. 

Also marginal theoretical flaws on international questions like supporting Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Freedom Road Socialist Organisation in America or even rightist groups in India. Still an outstandingly positive assessment of Chairman Mao's contribution and Maoism giving it the same meaning as CPC did in era of Mao. [Note: I do not agree with this paragraph.  But you can retain it because it is your statement JS]

In recent times what was most encouraging was its sporadic and timely armed actions challenging fascism of Duterte. Today it may not be directly encircling the cities but through building liberated base ares prepared the fuel or the roots of creating such a possibility. It has not reached the level of political power or intensity as Chinese Communist Party did by the 1940's or as strong revolutionary base but we must consider that we are in an era where no socialist country exists and where imperialist forces are twice as strong now than they were in the 1940's with the current impositions of neocolonialism and neoliberalism.

In many ways the rectification line of 1992 was the turning point of the Philippine revolution with it's upholding the GPCR and criticizing the revisionist character of Dengist China. Most timely that it took place when Soviet social Imperialism and  revisionist states collapsed in 1991. Of great significance towards the mass line after 1980 was their main rectification document of 1992, "Reaffirm our Basic Principles and Rectify Errors, ",  “General Review of Important Events and Decisions from 1980-1991”  and “Stand for Socialism against Modern revisionism."  

In the 1970's the most important works to study were “Rectify errors and Rebuild the Party” and “Constitution of the Communist Party of the Philippines,”the “Program for a People's Democratic Revolution (PPDR),"  the "Rules for Establishing the People's Government” and the “Revolutionary Guide to Land Reform". Also of great value was the communique of the Inter-regional conference of cadres of the CPP in Northern Luzon and Manila-Rizal.

In recent times what was most encouraging was its sporadic and timely armed actions challenging fascism of Duterte. Today it may not be directly encircling the cities but through building liberated base areas prepares the fuel or the roots of creating such a possibility.

Below I have recorded my Interview with Founding Chairman Joma Sison in Utrecht on December 27th and Dec 31st. I personally interviewed the great Comrade in the National Democratic Front Office in Utrecht,  which was an experience in a lifetime. 

I had gone to attend the commemoration event of the 50th anniversary in Utrecht attended by around 400 people and 20 different nations. 

Before the interview I had written a brief summary. Also added notes which were sent later by Comrade Joma and from past literature of CPP (mainly Rebolusyon on rectification history.)

HT: What led to the re-organization of the Communist Party of Philippines in 1969?

JMS: The general secretary Jesus Lava was completely isolated from any mass movement. He adopted policies that first liquidated the remnants of the old people's army by calling on the armed units to turn themselves into organizational brigades, and subsequently also the party by adopting in 1957 what he called the single file policy of dissolving every party collective and ordering party members to form single files to which he sent his political transmissions from his Manila hideout. He had no significant connections with any mass movement nor with the remnants of the people's army which continued to exist as roving rebel bands in the plains of some provinces of Central Luzon.

The single event that broke the long period of reaction was the demonstration of 5000 students mostly from the state university, to oppose and stop the anti-communist witchhunt in 1961. 

The young proletarian revolutionaries initiated the mass protest action, without direction from the underground remnant of the old merger party of Socialist Party and the Communist Party.  Following their success, they expanded their study and organizing activities from the University of Philippines to other universities and gained leadership over students governments and campus publications. The young proletarian revolutionaries linked up with veteran cadres and masses in progressive trade unions and peasant associations. The mass movement of the youth, the workers and peasants grew steadily. 

The Kabataang Makabayan was formed in 1964 as a comprehensive mass organization of students, workers, young peasants and young professionals. They became most active in promoting the study of the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, and in creating Party groups within the mass organizations and party branches in localities to serve as the revolutionary core of the mass movement. They were also the most militant in launching workers strikes and mass actions to expose the anti national and anti democratic policies of the reactionary government.

The Lava revisionist renegades wished to impose their line of indefinite parliamentary struggles on the proletarian revolutionaries and the people. Their line was engendered by their own bourgeois subjectivist and opportunist world outlook and encouraged by the line of Soviet revisionist renegades. The two-line struggle between the Lava revisionist renegades and the proletarian revolutionaries became so intense that the former wished to inflict physical harm on the latter. 

The task of demarcating from the counter revolutionary revisionists and to wage a relentless campaign against them was the order of the day. Preparations began with consolidation meetings of the proletarian revolutionaries and mass activists and drafting the documents of re-establishment "Rectify Errors and Rebuild the Party " and the CPP Constitution and Programs for a people's Democratic Revolution. The Congress of Re-establishment had only 12 delegates representing only a few scores of party members and candidate members in the trade unions and youth movement. Soon after the re-establishment of the party in 1968 the proletarian revolutionaries linked up with the majority of the remnants of the people’s army, with a rural mass base of 80,000 peasants, in the second district of Tarlac in Central Luzon.

In the urban and rural areas, the reestablished party inherited the fine revolutionary tradition of the proletariat as well as the senior and middle aged cadres of long drawn workers and peasants movement. The mass organizations of workers, peasants and youth condemned both the Lava revisionist group and the Sumulong gangster clique. The Lava revisionist renegades prated about parliamentary struggle as the main form of struggle but it was the proletarian revolutionaries who actually continued to lead the legal democratic movement.

The proletarian revolutionaries wished to create a nationwide party organization with a cadre and mass character, deeply rooted among the working people, and building a people’s army waging protracted people’s war. They realised they had to expand the party base from region of Central Luzon. They also saw the necessity of creating guerrilla zones. Thus from the very outset members of the Party Central Committee were deployed in particular regions to facilitate nationwide expansion. They understood the importance of building guerrilla zones in different regions at various strategic areas.

The mass organizations were virtually nurseries for developing party members in significant numbers. Party members were recruited from people's organisations in line with mass line.

All types of mass organizations were built among workers, peasants, youth, women and cultural activists. In April 1969 the party led a legal peasant demonstration of 15,000 in Manila and another of of 50,000 in Tarlac. Great mass demonstrations were led against US occupation of Vietnam.

The urban based Kabataang Makabayan acted as the nationwide seeding machine of the national democratic revolution. It became the most important source of cadres who were immediately responsible for urban work. It encouraged the rise of progressive unions and federations such as KASAMA and PAKMAP and the transformation of reactionary into progressive unions.

A most crucial base was laid after the first rectification campaign from 1969 itself.  It laid the basis for challenging the fascist rule of the dictator Marcos and firmly upheld that Philippines was an underdeveloped semicolonial and semifeudal state, with only comprador type of industrialization, dependent on imported equipment. 

It  criticized and repudiated the Right opportunist line and also the "Left" opportunist line that prematurely adopted the path of strategic counter offensive which was ineffective and confusing.

The revisionist trend even denied correctness of Mao's theory, the need for the united front and mass activists. The forces of movement from 1972-77 laid the base in Mindanao. From 1979,  new members of the Central Committee were selected mainly from the regional leaders.  Struggles in the form of mass strikes developed in urban areas. The New People's Army was regularized, with 16 companies formed rapidly in Mindanao.  The Preparatory Commission for the National Democratic Front was established in 1974 in accordance with the united front policy of the CPP. 

In breaking out of the Merger Party of the Communist and Socialist Parties (MPCSP), the young proletarian revolutionaries launched the First Great Rectification Movement in 1966. This criticized and rectified the subjectivist and the ¨Left¨ and Right opportunist errors from 1942 to 1966, the year when a scion of the Lava family imposed his revisionist line and grabbed leadership in the MPCSP. 

The proletarian leaders who developed from the workers and youth mass organizations pursued the rectification movement and prepared the way for the re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines from 1966 to 1968.

The CPP waged rectification movements to overcome major errors in ideology, politics and organization. It successfully waged the Second Great Rectification Movement from 1992 to 1998 as an education movement in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to criticize and repudiate major subjectivist and” Left” and Right opportunist errors in the period of 1981 to 1992.

It debunked the subjectivist notion that the Marcos fascist dictatorship had made the Philippine economy industrial-capitalist. This subjectivist error gave rise to Right and “Left” opportunist errors. The Right opportunists advocated a united front without the leadership of the revolutionary proletariat and kowtowing to the anti-Marcos reactionaries. The” Left” opportunists rejected Mao´s strategic line of protracted people´s war and promoted adventurism and the premature regularization of the NPA at the expense of mass work.

HT: What was the cause or significance the second rectification campaign?

JMS: From 1988 onward, the mass base was eroded by 40% and then by another 20% and Right opportunism was ascendant. Some party cadres had shifted to Right or  “Left” opportunism. They even rejected Mao. Thus the party literally had to be reinvigorated to be saved from death.  NPA units were re-deployed for mass work.

The Party successfully waged the Second Great Rectification Movement from 1992 to 1998 as an education movement in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to criticize and repudiate major subjectivist and “Left” and Right opportunist errors in the period of 1981 to 1992.

The Second Great Rectification Movement criticized, repudiated and rectified the Right opportunist error of taking out the leadership of the communist party and the working class from the national united front supposedly to attract more people and make the united front the main weapon of the struggle; and several trends of ¨Left¨ opportunism, the most damaging of which overstressed the verticalization of the NPA at the expense of horizontal deployment of the NPA for mass work and which upon failure resulted in blaming those tagged as deep penetration agents as causing the failure and subjecting them to punishment without due process.

As a whole, the CPP has learned well from the Second Great Rectification Movement by developing the balance between armed struggle and mass work and the center of gravity in a relatively concentrated force (e.g., command platoon of a company or the command squad of a platoon) and the relatively dispersed force for mass work (two-thirds of a formation deployed on a wider scale). 

The line for the NPA is to wage intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. But the erroneous currents of conservatism and roving rebel bands, which neglect the waging of guerrilla tactical offensives by overemphasizing mass work by armed propaganda teams, has afflicted some regions for extended periods, especially in Luzon and the Visayas.

The 1981 plenum of the Central Committee encouraged the exponents of "Left " and Right opportunism to espouse urban insurrectionism and parliamentarism, respectively, by allowing both opportunists to spread doubts about the strategic line of protracted people's war. The Politburo meeting favored both types of opportunism. The “Left” and Right opportunists  came together and confused the line and lumped both the liberal democrats and the anti-Marcos reactionaries  as bourgeois reformists. They adopted the line of monopolizing victory in the antifascist struggle which was anticipated as forthcoming.

The line of strategic counter offensive and regularization encouraged the more blatant militarist line of combining urban insurrectionism with military adventurism in Mindanao from 1982 to 1985. Mass organizing was totally abandoned and underground cadres exposed themselves to the enemy in small provincial cities. There was also the trend of  seeking military and financial assistance from the Soviet Union and importing heavy military weapons. Couriers were already dispatched to contact parties close to the CPSU.

In common with Left opportunists,  the Right opportunists gave utmost importance to legal struggles,-not revolutionary armed struggle. As early as 1978-79 one group of Right opportunists in the Manila-Rizai Party Committee provoked a struggle with the central leadership by insisting on the participation of the Communist Party of Philippines in the farcical elections held by the Marcos regime. The debate was erroneously formulated as one of choosing between participation or boycott in the elections. It led to disruptions in the Manila-Rizai Party Committee. The disruptive elements were meted out with disciplinary actions.

In 1981 ,the Right opportunists were already advocating replacement of the proletarian vanguard party with a so-called vanguard front called 'New Katipunan. However the Party thwarted this liquidationist proposal. The Right opportunist line ran so deep that so-called national democrats from the ranks of the masses were enrolled into the party without any Marxist-Leninist education. The Right opportunists proceeded to realize their concept of strategic alliance , which meant denying the role of the Party in the anti-fascist alliance.  They reversed the trend of drawing cadres from the cities to the countryside.

Following the overthrow of Marcos dictatorship, the Political Bureau of the Party decided that the boycott policy was a major tactical error and forced the Party Chairman to resign. However the Right opportunists insisted that the error was a strategic one connected to the strategic line of protracted people's war.

From 1986 onward, the Right opportunists who advocated parliamentarism as well as those who combined parliamentarism with urban insurrection within the Party to collaborate with those outside the party, such as Christian democrats and bourgeois populists. Right opportunists openly supported Gorbachev revisionism and attempted to get rid of working class leadership, advocating that the Communist Party function openly. By 1988 the Right opportunists had virtually sabotaged the legal mass movement by colluding with the supporters of urban insurrectionism.

Right opportunists had misdirected personnel towards building foreign funded NGOs and building coalitions out of the same legal organizations towards parliamentarism. Similarly the “Left” opportunists concentrated on forming small groups of armed city partisans and ordered them to launch indiscriminate killings,  which provoked the enemy to assassinate mass activists and suppress the militant mass organizations. They virtually abandoned mass organizing.

From 1988, the bankruptcy of the Left opportunist line of combining urban insurrrectionism with military adventurism by the conspiratorial and splittist faction supported Gorbachev's line in certain central staff organs, institutions and organizations. In 1990 they tried to usurp the authority of the central leadership and liquidate the party. They tried to replace the party as the center of the revolution with their version of National Democratic Front. They also attempted to amend the NDF program for a people’s democratic revolution with a program of bourgeois nationalism.  They wished to convert the NDF from a united front into an alliance with a hodge-podge of member organizations and individual members. A concept of an anti-imperialist democratic front was propagated combining the Left, Middle and Right against the US.-Aquno regime supposedly to reach the objective of urban insurrection.

From 1986 onward, several inter-regional or regional party committees pushed to build absolutely concentrated companies and adopt some putschist or insurrectionist plan. However most of them complained about the unreasonable targets imposed upon them by the Left opportunists with regard to formation of companies and launching offensives
The 1988 anniversary statement summed up the 20 year history of the Party and criticized the imbalances in revolutionary work. In 1989 conferences on mass work were held at regional and inter regional levels and cadres were re-deployed for mass wor.,especially for recovery and expansion 1988 party anniversary statement called for rectification,,the further strengthening of the party, and the intensification of people's revolutionary struggles. 

The 1990 party anniversary statement was critical of the errors of regularization and verticalization of the forces at the expense of developing the horizontal forces in stages and called for extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of ever widening and deepening mass base. The acute struggle between the proletarian revolutionary line and the bourgeois opportunist line intensified within the central organ of the party.

By 1990-91 the “Left” and Right opportunists  were forced to retreat Earlier they made a concerted effort in disrupting the mass line . They tried to exploit the crisis faced by the central leadership by trying to usurp power and promote the counterrevolutionary rightist line.

Later in 1990, the Political Bureau nullified the erroneous concept of "strategic counter-offensive" and  stopped it's implementation. The Military Commission  of the Central Committee and the NPA Political Departmen held the National Central Conference on Political work in March-April 1990 supporting the proletarian revolutionary line.

A major campaign for educating cadres on Marxism-Leninism-MaoZedong was launched with many classic works reprinted for educating cadres.

HT What has been the role of the New People's Army?

JMS The CPP founded the New People’s Army on March 29, 1969. It started with only 9 automatic rifles and 26 other inferior firearms for the initial 60 Red fighters in the second district of Tarlac province.

The NPA is the main weapon of the people for defeating the enemy and winning the revolution. Without it, the people have nothing. It carries out three integral tasks: revolutionary armed struggle, agrarian revolution and mass base building. 

It carries out a war of fluid movement and avails of the tactics of concentration, dispersal and shifting as circumstances require. It follows the strategy of protracted people´s war, with three probable strategic stages: defensive, stalemate and counteroffensive.

The NPA applies the principle of centralized ideological and political leadership and decentralized operations, which is very appropriate to the archipelagic character of the Philippines even as the Party central leadership issues operational guidelines for the national, regional and lower levels to implement. 

Currently, the NPA is victoriously carrying out extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base in order to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate.

Now, the Red fighters run into thousands and their units operate nationwide in 110 guerrilla fronts in 73 out of 81 provinces. The full time Red fighters are augmented by tens of thousands of members of the people’s militia and hundreds of thousands of members of the self-defense units of the mass organizations. These are active auxiliaries as well as reserve force for the NPA.

The NPA has surpassed the number, strength and scale of all previous revolutionary armies in Philippine history. Most importantly, it has grown in strength and advanced since 1969 by carrying out the strategic line of protracted people’s war, using the countryside to accumulate strength and create the conditions for the strategic offensive to seize the cities.

At the moment, the NPA is striving to advance from the middle phase to the advanced phase of the strategic defensive in order to enter the stage of the strategic stalemate. It has a sound basis for the rapid advance of the revolution because of the tempering and accumulated experience of the revolutionary forces and the desire of the people for revolutionary change because of the worsening crisis of the ruling system and the escalating oppression and exploitation.

It  strives to arouse, organize and mobilize the masses of the people in literacy and health campaigns, implementing land reform, and other campaigns, aside from military warfare. It  regularly carries out training in self-defense and combat for guerrilla warfare and builds organs of political power. The Party gives free play to the autonomy of  the mass organizations by working as Party groups within but not imposing the party line in a commandist or bureaucratic way.  

It stresses learning from the masses and not imposing Marxism on them. Today the New People's Army has thousands of Red fighters. 

One hundred ten companies exist. 

The movement today is in the stage of the strategic defensive.

The NPA has mastered the art of capturing weapons from the enemy camp and also the art of winning over members of the reactionary army through the military academy since the 1960’s.  It also treats captured enemy soldiers leniently.

In early years, meticulous mass work was done by the Kabataang Makabayan, youth wing, particularly in cities.

In the White Areas, the revolutionaries do not expose themselves to the enemy. In Red areas, already under the people's government, they  lead the masses and conduct their activities openly, with security provisions against unreliable elements and possible enemy agents. 

If the Party does not trust the masses and is afraid of facing them, it cannot lead them in the revolutionary process and will wither away or disintegrate as a mere conspiratorial cabal.

The Party does not blindly eliminate all landlords.  The tyrants among them are differentiated from the englightened ones who are won over on a minimum platform.  Instead of just eliminating the tyrannical landlords, they could be tactically asked to acquire weapons for the revolution on the pretext of fighting the NPA.

HT:  What is the policy of building united front and the basis of formation of the National Democratic Front?

In developing the alliance of the working class with the peasantry in the antifeudal untied front, the CPP has correctly taken the line of relying mainly on the poor peasants, winning over the middle peasants, and neutralizing the rich peasants in order to isolate and destroy the power of the landlord class. 

The CPP and NPA have taken the key role in carrying out agrarian revolution as the main content of the democratic revolution.

As it now stands, the people´s democratic government has millions of people under its governance and influence. 

It is mindful of the class line in the national united front and in the anti-feudal united front in being able to govern the revolutionary mass organizations and the broad masses of the people. 

The policy of the united front guides the people’s war as well as the various forms of legal struggle in the urban areas in order to promote the armed revolution and attract the support of the people in their millions.

The CPP has built the united front as a weapon of the people for armed as well as for legal struggle. The united front is embodied in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines as the largest and most consolidated united front organization. 

The NDFP consists of 18 allied organizations bound together by patriotic and progressive principles and policies. And it has the flexibility to become the base for an even broader united front that takes advantage of the contradictions among the reactionaries in order to isolate and defeat the current enemy, which is the most reactionary clique in the country.

HT:  What are the political achievements of the CPP?

JMS: Depending on the circumstances, they have carried out the minimum and maximum land reform programs. The minimum program involves rent reduction, elimination of usury, setting of fair farm-gate prices and promotion of agricultural production and sideline occupation through independent households and rudimentary cooperation. The maximum program involves the confiscation of land from the landlords and land grabbers and free land distribution and agricultural cooperation in stages.

Because of the people´s army and advance of the people´s war, the CPP has been able to build the local organs of political power nationwide, from the barangay level upwards. At the barangay level, the barangay organizing committees are appointed and then eventually the barangay revolutionary committees are elected. The local organs of political power constitute the people´s democratic government of workers and peasants in opposition to the reactionary government of big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists.

They are composed of the representatives of the Party cadres, the masses and technically capable persons. They oversee and supervise mass organizing, public education, production, finance, self-defense, health and sanitation, cultural affairs, environmental protection, disaster relief and rehabilitation and the settlement of disputes. They are in charge of the people´s militia and the people´s court at the pertinent level.

Two conflicting governments exist in the Philippines. The reactionaries are talking nonsense whenever they say that the revolutionaries have not accomplished anything in 50 years by not being able to seize the presidential palace in Manila. They are even more absurd when they attempt to deny the existence and belligerent status of the people´s democratic government and dismiss it as a mere nonstate actor.

In fact, this government, duly constituted by the workers and peasants, is growing and advancing wave upon wave until it shall be able to overthrow every level of the reactionary government. At certain levels and in many areas in the Philippines, the reactionary government cannot function without its enlightened local officials obtaining the permission or cooperation of the revolutionary government.

As it now stands, the people´s democratic government has millions of people under its governance and influence. It is mindful of the class line in the national united front and in the anti-feudal united front in being able to govern the revolutionary mass organizations and the broad masses of the people. The policy of the united front guides the people’s war as well as the various forms of legal struggle in the urban areas in order to promote the armed revolution and attract the support of the people in their millions.

HT:  How did the CPP carry out ideological education?

JMS: The CPP has educated tens of thousands of Party cadres and members in the theory and practice of MLM by providing them with three levels of Party study courses: basic, intermediate and advanced. These cadres are the ever growing hard core of the revolutionary mass movement, institutions of various kinds and specialized fields of work. Party education is meant to enlighten and inspire the Party cadres and members among the toiling masses of workers and peasants as well as among the middle social strata of the bourgeoisie.

The basic Party course provides Party cadres and members with a knowledge of Philippine history, the basic problems of the Filipino people and the people´s democratic revolution.  The intermediate Party course is on building the Party, the people´s army and the united front, including  a comparative study of successful revolutions led by the proletariat.  

The advanced Party course is devoted to gaining a comprehensive knowledge of materialist philosophy, political economy, scientific socialism, the strategy and tactics of proletarian revolution and the international communist movement.

The CPP has contributed greatly to the world treasury of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism by issuing ideological and political documents and bylined works  by CPP leading organs and cadres on the position of the Party on theoretical and practical issues, on  building and developing the Party, the people´ army and the united front,  criticizing and rectifying errors and shortcomings and  analyzing and opposing imperialism and reaction in the Philippines and abroad.

HT: JMS, Why are you negotiating with Duterte whom you claim is a dictator?

JMS: Yes, he is autocratic but he did earlier cooperate with the movement in Mindanao and supported progressive reforms. He made positive proposals in 2014. We thought that  even if he had defects as a bureaucrat capitalist, we could utilize the contradictions among the  reactionaries to split and defeat the ruling system.  Duterte was the less reactionary and wished to cooperate five years ago. The policy of the united front was being applied to advance the revolution.

The Chinese Communist Party engaged in peace negotiations with the Guomindang and even had two great alliances with it first, against the northern warlords and next against the Japanese invaders.  Mao himself engaged in peace negotiations in Chungking  in an attempt to prevent civil war with the Guomindang.

It is foolish and self-defeating for the Duterte regime to wage an all out war and commit barbarous acts of state terrorism against the people and all democratic forces, whether these are engaged in armed struggle or not. The people’s war in the countryside is advancing while the broad united front and democratic mass movement in the urban areas are rising up to oust the Duterte regime.

The Duterte regime needs the peace negotiations more than the NDFP does, even if the regime does it only as a futile tactic to confound the opposition and confuse the public. But the NDFP is highly principled and competent to stand firmly for the national and democratic rights and interests of the people in the exploration of peace negotiations, actual peace negotiations and otherwise.

it is the consistent policy of the NDFP to be open to peace negotiations with the Duterte regime despite its determination  to seek the ouster of this regime.It is for the benefit of the people that the peace negotiations resume and stop the Duterte regime from proclaiming martial law nationwide, from calling off or rigging the May 2019 elections and from pursuing the scheme to impose a fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people via charter change for a bogus kind of federalism.

The NDFP presumes that, when peace negotiations resume, the way is open to the forging of agreements on social, economic and political reforms that are desired and needed by the people.

HT: What are your views on the criticism of sections of parties that claim that CPP has veered towards rightist path in International line?

JMS:  Let me make one thing clear.  Infantile “communists” cannot distinguish issues and relations in ideology from those in politics.  

A communist party can have fraternal relations with other communist parties on a MLM ideological basis and friendly anti-imperialist relations with all sorts of parties.  

In mass work, which is ;political, a Maoist deals with all sorts of people who have different thoughts and beliefs.  There is no such thing as discovering  and dealing only with ready-made Maoists among the masses.  

Also, a Maoist party does not prohibit the united front organizaion or the people from having proto diplomatic and diplomatic relations with non-Maoist governments.
Cooperating politically with a revisionist communist party does not mean supporting it's ideological line or totally supporting  its political line or practice.  In the 1980's ther “Left” in the CPP advocated establishing CPP relations with the CPSU.  

Instead the CPP allowed  the NDF to act like the PLO and seek protodiplomatic relations with certain revisionist countries like USSR or Eastern Europe on the basis of opposing US imperialism. The CPP never agreed with Dengist revisionism and capitalist restoration.  

It also never agreed with Soviet revisionism and social imperialism.  

The CPP analyzed and recognized the revisionist character of the Dengist CCP. In continuing relations with the revisionist CCP up to 1989, the basis was political rather than ideological.  

By the early 1990's,  the CPP  took an even more clear cut and elaborate stand against Soviet and Chinese revisionism.

The CPP has opposed the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) seeking to impose the principle of democratic centralism on communist parties in violation of the principle of equality and independence among them.  

At the same time, RIM exaggerated the status and role of the RCPUSA.  Since the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943, communist and workers’ parties have become equal to each other and independent from each other.  

There has been no Comintern Executive Committee to treat them as national sections of a world party.

The CPP has supported progressive and anti-imperialist non-Maoists like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Fidel Castro of Cuba and Kim Il Sung in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  

Politically they are more worthy than infantile “communists” who cannot distinguish ideological from political issues and ideological relations from political relations.

The "Left" opportunists in the CPP were the ones who hoped for military assistance from the Soviet Union or pro-Soviet parties from 1982 to 1988. 

They were accommodated by the CC of the CPP by letting the NDF to explore the possibility of such assistance. 

By 1988 the Maoists in the CPP started to oppose the "Left" opportunists for major  errors of line and crimes in violation of due process. 

By 1992, the Second Great Rectification Movement was launched, targeting mainly the "Left" opportunists.  Stand for Socialism Against Modern Revisionism was issued.

HT: Do you think Mao's military line of protracted people's war is universal?

JMS: Mao made clear that because of the chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal country, protracted people's war is possible, starting from small and weak, the people's army can develop into one that is big and strong.  It acccumulates armed and political strength in the countryside until conditions are ripe for the seizure of the cities. 

Like Marx, he warned against playing with insurrection in the well-developed and highly centralized capitalist countries. So far in history guerrilla partisan warfare can arise successfully under conditions of inter-imperialist war in capitalist countries like France and Italy in WW II.

Are there conditions of inter-imperialist war to divide the attention of the monopoly capitalist ruling class and military? Whether the war is carried out in the hinterlands or in the cities, can there be a people's army immediately to give battle to the highly organized security forces of the imperialist state? 

A number of those who advocate people's war in industrial capitalist countries  presume that the ruling system is extremely rotten and that the people are already ready to rise up and it is only a matter of igniting the situation to rally the people to march on the centers of power. That is more like literary imagination than military science and tactics under the command of the Party based on materialist dialectics.

Mao was absolutely clear that protracted people's war, especially building a people's army from small and weak to big and strong over time, is possible only in semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries because of their chronic crisis and their wide physical and social terrain (countryside and peasantry) for guerrilla warfare to develop into a regular mobile warfare.

While there is yet no inter-imperialist war, genuine Communists can do what the Bolsheviks did like penetrating the reactionary army with cadres.  The main thing is to do however is to form self-defense units among the workers and youth as the hard core of the proletarian masses.  They can exist as self-defense groups during strikes or as athletic groups. 

For more than 75 years, the imperialist powers have avoided a direct war among themselves because they fear the probability of mutual destruction in a nuclear war.  

But it is also probable that the crisis and disintegration of the imperialist countries can be so grave and rapid that the masses can take power in cities through uprisings and not through a protracted people’s war.  

The nuclear weapons of Soviet social imperialism became useless when the masses rose up to overthrow it. 

HT: How do you view  the Maoist Movement since capitalism was restored in China?

JMS:  In China itself, the Maoist movement was defeated after the death of Mao and the coup engineered by Deng Xiaoping and his collaborators was successful.  

The GPCR was denounced, the communes were dismantled and capitalist reforms and opening up to the capitalist world were promoted.  

Analysis is needed to understand , draw lessons and overcome the defeat of Maoism in China from 1976 onward.  The Chinese communists are trying hard to bring back the socialist revolution under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

The CPP admires the Maoist parties that have waged people’s war  in such countries  as India, Nepal, Peru, Turkey and the like.  

In the 1980’s the people’s war in Peru was very promising.  However, Comrade Gonzalo in Peru made a mistake in assessing that people’s war was already  in the stage of strategic equilibrium and in expecting urban insurrection as a shortcut to victory. 

He also underestimated the aspect of the united front.  After his arrest, he put forward the line of stopping the people’s war to give way to peace negotiations that are  supposed to lead to the resumption of people’s war.   

I admire the Communist Party of India (Maoist).  It adheres to the theory of Marxism-Leninism- Maoism as guide to revolutionary action. 

It practices the mass line and pursues protracted people's war with resilience and understanding.

After being subjected to concentrated attack in North Telengana, it has reinvigorated itself in Dandkaranya to uphold the torch of Maoism.  

It has skillfully countered the attacks of the reactionary Indian paramilitary forces. Without mass support it could never have succeeded.

It is starting to overcome weaknesses and shortcomings in urban areas and in building urban-based  mass organizations. 

Being the  proletarian revolutionary party in such a big population, the CPI (Maoist) can play a major role  in the world proletarian revolution, like the Bolsheviks in the former Soviet Union  and the Communist Party of China under the leadership of Mao. 

The CPP stands to benefit greatly from from the advances achieved by the CPI (Maoist).

HT: What is your view of the state of the world today?

JMS:  US imperialism is on the strategic decline.  Acute contradictions are intensifying among the imperialist powers. 

The contention of the imperialist China with the US is of great political significance by way of challenging US global hegemony.  

Revolutionary forces can take advantage of the Inter-imperialist contradictions. Today fascism  is rising worldwide, taking different shapes.  

Maoists can cooperate with non-Marxist but progressive Left sections of the people to combat fascism in Europe and elsewhere.  

A major feature in third world countries is the reign of neocolonialism and neoliberalism.  

They breed fascism. Neoliberalism and the so-called war on terror combine to promote the rise of authoritarian regimes and state terrorism.  Duterte is already on the path of imposing a fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people.  

He has labeled the CPP and other revolutionary forces as terrorist.  He is using all kinds of barbarities against the CPP and other revolutionary forces.  

He is also targeting all non-communist forces that are critical of his tyrannical regime.  He has targeted for repression even the Catholic Church to discourage it from criticizing the criminal acts of his regime.

HT:  How do you see future of revolution in CPP?

JMS: The CPP is very determined to defeat the tyranny of Duterte and the entire ruling system of big compradors, landlords and bureaucrats servile to US imperialism. 

Today the CPP has 75,000 members and leads a mass movement of people in the millions.  It is in all spheres of society.  It is marching from victory to victory because of its adherence to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as guide to action and because of its application of the mass line in pursuing the people’s democratic revolution.  

It upholds and defends the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and understands Mao’s theory and practice of continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship through cultural revolution.  This ushers in the third stage in the development of Marxism.

The CPP has excelled in leading the armed revolution that is among the longest running, strongest, and continuously growing armed revolutions for national liberation, democracy and socialism in the world. This armed revolution has proven correct Mao´s theory and practice of protracted people´s war. 

The CPP has developed this theory and practice in accordance with the specific characteristics of the Philippines in terms of social and physical terrain, with the peasant population as the most numerous class in the mountainous archipelago.

What makes the Philippine revolution most outstanding currently is that it has overcome a long running fascist dictatorship like that of Marcos and a long series of strategic operational campaign plans of US-lining pseudo-democratic regimes to destroy it. 

The revolutionary forces and people have become strong precisely by fighting all the series of strategic operational plans that have been undertaken by the US and its Filipino puppet regimes. 

They have also combated and prevented all attempts of modern revisionism, reformism and opportunism to undermine and weaken the armed revolution.

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