The War Rages On

Indeed, the essay “The War is Over” rehashes the old yarn that the Philippine Maoist-inspired Left is anachronistic, dogmatic, and exhausted and conjures all sorts of erroneous data and misconceptions in order to give this impression. Yet at the same time the writer seems awestruck at this radical movement’s vitality and continuing ability to mobilize and lead hundreds of thousands. Alex de Jong’s hatchet piece ultimately speaks more of the writer’s ideological blinders than an accurate portrayal of the revolutionary movement in the Philippines . . .

Kapirasong Kritika


As a Filipino activist committed to radical social change, I like, the magazine that introduces itself as one “of culture and polemic.” Well, despite the lapse in judgment that spurred this missive (which we’ll get to shortly), I still do. I like the fact that its articles are short, direct-to-the-point, and relatively free of jargon. Its articles on the struggle of the workers and people of Greece against austerity, for example, are enlightening.

Jacobin’s publication of “The War Is Over” by one Alex de Jong, however, is a low point for the website. Despite its attempt to feign even-handedness, de Jong’s article clearly demonizes the underground Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the open national-democratic umbrella organization Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan, which means “nation” in Filipino) before an international audience.

While admitting that the CPP and Bayan constitute “the strongest current on the Philippine Left,” the article…

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1 Comment

  1. Some of the incorrect facts presented in Alex de Jong’s article as enumerated by Dzhugashvili Enrile:

    1. The capacity to mobilize of NDs and the anti-ND groups is not comparable. Documentation of the size of their respective mobilizations is widely available.

    2. The party did not dismiss “the possibility that the ruling class of the Philippines could stay in power other than through a dictatorship.” As early as 1970, the party chairman Amado Guerrero instructed cadres and comrades, through the document Our Urgent Task, to deepen the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle to effectively strike at the very essence and main body of the reactionary state.

    To quote: “The alliance of the Macapagal, Aquino, Lopez and Manglapus groups is not idle. Though U.S. imperialism continues to get what it wants from the Marcos fascist dictatorship, it has already assured this alliance that it should do what it can to stand in reserve in the face of Marcos’ gross unpopularity. U.S. public opinion and certain U.S. business interests recognize the fact that even as the Marcos fascist dictatorship is a short-term asset for U.S. imperialism, it is a long-term liability.”

    3. Joma Sison could not have possibly resumed the position of party chairman because that’s against the protocol of the party re: captured members. After JMS was released from prison, he went public and he could not take on clandestine work as party chairman. He went abroad for speaking engagements and lectures in universities. After the Aquino government cancelled his passport, he went on exile to NL. The constitution of the party clearly stated that leaders of the party need to be home-based.

    4. The simplistic and reductive formulation that Sison “tied the crimes of these witch hunts together with political objections to the Maoist strategy as symptoms of a “petty-bourgeois” mindset.” This is obviously written in a manner that downplays the rather profound analysis of the party that the anti-deep penetration agent purge hysteria was the result of the premature regularization of cadres, wresting them away from political mass work, in preparation for the insurrectionist leap to strategic counter offensive (SCO). Due to the isolation of the people’s army from the masses and wrong estimation of the strength of the enemy, it became more and more vulnerable to military defeats.

    5. The CPP, as an illegal party, does not participate in elections, so there is no reason for it to be placed in an uneasy position or dilemma whether or not partylist participation will compromise its stance re: elections as sham.

    6. Bayan is a national alliance of mass organizations of various tendencies and advocacy, incl. but not limited to socialists. And I thought the writer was complaining about the lack of diversity in the NDs consitutency. Furthermore, Bayan does not participate in elections which brings me to point number…

    7. Bayan Muna is the partylist. Bayan and Bayan Muna are not the same.

    8. There is no “tradition” in the CPP that reduces political education to “emphasizing virtues such as willingness to sacrifice, bravery, and putting the collective first.” See my earlier comment for clarification.

    9. Theoretical study is not limited to the publication of the journal Rebolusyon. Ang Bayan is a newspaper for mass consumption not theoretical discourses.

    10. The NPA does not target counterparts because they hold a different line. The RJs paranaoi that they are being targeted by the NPA for physical elimination is baseless. Ringleaders of the RJs like Kintanar and Tabara were legitimate targets of the revolution because they operated special paramilitary units engaged in criminal activities such as kidnapping, robbery and killing of leaders of farmers and workers’ unions. The assassination of Filemon Popoy Lagman was not the responsibility of the NPA, but his fellow rejectionist comrades Tabara. lagman’s assassination was a spinoff of the bigger (folied) attempt to assasinate Sison in 1999, after Lagman was suspected by Tabara’s group of having leaked the plot.

    11. The slander that the CPP regards urban working class as “petty bourgeois.”

    12. Oh, yes the Philippine ruling classes are losing much sleep over the insurgency. In fact, the last year it has scaled its operations to capture leaders of the movement and deployed half of the armed forces to counter the accelerating growth of the NPA in the Mindanao region.

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