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Historical and Practical Bases in the Necessity of AS in the Philippine Revolution:

1. We rejected the vulgarized armed struggle - the War Revolution theory of the CPP - the strategic military line which is Protracted People�s War as the military strategy.

2. We no longer advocate the absolute reliance of revolution on the development of the army and armed struggle as the main form or chief method of struggle.

3. We rejected the dogmatic application of the Protracted People�s War in the Philippines, and the vulgarized application of ML as the principle of revolution.

4. In rejecting this PPW, we rejected the Stalinist tradition of Party leadership which is Maoism. We did not abandon armed struggle as a revolutionary form of struggle, as one of the revolutionary forms of struggle in the revolution.

5. In splitting from the CPP, we brought along with us some of their army formations and sections. The army led by them were led by the Regions and by the Visayas Section. We brought along with us almost the whole army of WV, the whole army of CMR and the whole organization of the Alex Boncayao Brigade.  

6. What we need is not the rejection of the armed struggle as form of struggle. However, we must clearly define the theoretical and practical basis of armed struggle, our viewpoint and standpoint on this , in order to situate this in the correct direction in accordance with the strategy and tactics of revolution in the Marxist-Leninist viewpoint.

7. The armed struggle has already been the hallmark of the revolutionary movement and of the Philippine revolution. This is the reality that cannot be ignored. It is also a reality that in a crucial period of revolution we may neutralize, if not win over, some sections of the bourgeoisie and the reactionary class due to the strength and level achieved by our armed struggle.

8. We also take note of the dynamic existence and development of the armed struggle since the rebuilding of the revolutionary movement and the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas in the 1930�s.

9. The oppressive bourgeois state ever since has repressed even the legal activities and legal struggles of the revolutionary movement by means of its laws and its legal processes.

10. Hence it is only correct and necessary that the workers and the people should have  a defense against the repressive violence of the armed forces (AFP-PNP) of the bourgeois state, by means of the armed struggle under the leadership of the revolutionary army and party.



A. Introduction

            After having rejected the Stalinist-Maoist Party of Sison, its Program for a People�s Democratic  Revolution and the vulgarization of the protracted people�s war, the ML opposition (Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa) has set its mind and efforts on the work of reorientation so as to advance the revolutionary movement in accordance with the Marxist-Leninist principles.

            Nevertheless, despite the reorientation and the basic ideological clarifications, some problems and pending questions remain. We are referring to the specially complicated matter of armed struggle. We have inherited big guerilla formations that are waging guerilla warfare.

            Is it still correct for these formations to be tied down to proctracted guerilla warfare as a fixed military tactic, with no prospect of developing into a higher stage of warfare? Is there a basis for intensifying guerilla warfare in only one or two islands, in a situation where the military offensives of other revolutionary forces (NPA,MILF, etc.) have declined?

            The question here is: what shall be the �appropriate military strategy�? Is it sufficient to define the tactical offensives as selective and calculated? Should we not shift AS to the needs of the tactical stage, where mass work and revitalizing the class struggle of the working class is the principal task?

            Besides the problems concerning finance and logistics, the maintenance of several big formations can easily instigate intesified warfare, and invite enemy attacks. How do we face the ensuing intensified militarization? These are some of the many questions that we have to resolve.

B. The Objective Conditions of the Armed Struggle

            We have inherited a vulgarized revolution. Sison�s war-revolution of the wrong type has put us in a problematic situation. At present, there is no civil war, in the sense that one section of the population is warring against another section. No active tactical offensives nationwide by Sison�s guerillas. No peasant war as envisioned by Sison, not even a spontaneous peasant movement, since the peasantry as a class is already divided, continually disintegrating, and in ruin. 

1. After our split from the CPP, in the Visayas and Central Mindanao, where we have maintained an armed force, our guerilla units were fully utilized and mobilized primarily in rebuilding our mass organizations and mass base which have been previously broken up by the reactionary State through militarization. Our military actions were limited to punitive measures against anti-people elements, enemy agents and against selected and isolated targets.  

2. In consequence, our revolutionary mass base in the coutryside was broadened and restored once more, and the open mass organizations grew further. The vitality of the  revolutionary armed force was given an alternative direction, in a situation which does not allow active military offensives 

3. Nevertheless, new problems cropped up as regards the leadership and direction of the tasks in the countryside and of the armed struggle in general. These problems are as follows:

a. Since the officers of the guerilla units were in most cases the ones who were also skilled in and capable of mass work, the work of leading the units and guiding the Red fighters was not sustained.

b. The attempts to maintain the integrity, identity of large formations of the guerilla units as primary organizations and armed force did not resolve, but rather added to the confusion among many members as to the purpose of all this, since these units were not actively planning nor launching military actions.

c. In another places, a guerilla unit formation was reduced to squads and teams, so as to move effectively in the barrios without being detected by the enemy. Such a trend went to such an extent that where before there were full-fledged guerilla units, now there are only armed propaganda units.  

d. The full-fledged guerilla units were placed in a passive defense position in the face of the continuing militarization and enemy armed attacks.

e . The work of organizing the open mass organizations by armed guerilla units placed the security status of these open organizations and mass membership in a risky situation.  

f. There were many cases of demoralization in the ranks of the Red fighters and officers due to the above mentioned problems. There was difficulty in recruitment due to perceived lack of dynamism of the revolutionary armed forces and the intensity of the mass movement.

g. The maintenance and mobilization of large formations of full-fledged guerilla units pose serious problems in finance and logistics.

4. It is clear that the initial attempts of providing new direction to the armed stuggles have fallen short of the Marxist-Leninist theoretical views on armed struggle and revolution. As a basic step in rectifying our past practice in armed struggle, a clear presentation of the Marxist-Leninist propositions related to this question of armed struggle is called for.

C. The Present Objective Situation in the Country

1. The present economic and political crises are not so acute as to bring the country to the brink of civil war, nor to create a revolutionary situation.

            The recent mass demonstrations against the oil price hike, the worker�s frozen wages, the displacement of urban poor communities and other people�s issues have not reached a level where we see spontaneous mass movement in hundreds of thousands of people. The struggles of the working class against capitalist exploitation have not yet become widespread nor have reached to the level of political strike movement.

            There are two possible scenarios: either the national economy will grow or it will decline. In the event that the economic growth will be strengthened due to the rapid development of capitalism in the country, the workers� movement will also grow and become stronger in the cities and in the countryside, and the class warfare will also intensify. Will this strengthening of the capitalist economy and the consequent growth of the workers� movement immediately bring about a revolutionary situation or pass through a period of gradual evolution? This remains to be seen in a future, which we cannot predict.

            On the other hand, the decline of the economy which will be followed by fierce attacks of the reactionary State against the democratic forces, will certainly hasten the ripening of the revolutionary situation and the resurgence of the revolutionary movement.

2. A big problem facing the political leadership is how to advance the revolutionary movement, in a situation where the Maoists, opportunists, and splitists in the revolutionary movement are also pursuing their program and activities.

3. Even the Moro people are forced to confront the real difficulty of sustaining armed struggle, not only as a result of the local situation, but also due to the situation of Muslim communities in other countries. A big section of the Moro people under Misuari�s MNLF have already signed a peace treaty with the reactionary state. The MILF faction has also entered the talks with the State for peace negotiations.

4. The State apparently continues to allow some democratic space so as to create a semblance of political stability. Its primary concern is how to fully implement its economic program, based on IMF dictates. These are the programs of globalization and neo-liberalization that will bring in their wake more intense exploitation and more hunger, and which will also clear the way for more intensified mass struggles.

            The State is giving a freehand to legal and open mass actions and to activities of the progressive forces, while keeping vigilant on anything that may possibly stand in the way of its economic programs.

            Meanwhile, it is relentlessly attacking the revolutionary armed forces wherever they are discovered. Its military attacks go hand in hand with the �reconciliation�campaigns, in order to crush the revolutionary armed forces totally.

            The conflicts among the local ruling classes are still in the level of rivalry of power within the bureaucracy and competition for the spoils of official corruption.

5. It is clear that at present, the launching of guerilla warfare and of  its elements by large guerilla formations is not suited to the current level of class struggle in  our society. There is no basis either for protracted guerillaism nor for a civil war. Given the objective situation, principal stress should be given to the socialist and democratic movement of the working class

D. The Practical Conduct of Our  Armed Struggle at Present  

      It is important that we reject as a whole the Maoist line and practice, and the vulgarized war revolution of Sison. We should redeploy and reposition our accumulated forces to the greatest possible political advantage, and solve the grave problems of our military formations, while pursuing the armed struggle.

            On the basis of our concrete experience in W.V. and Mindanao, it is correct to maintain the present guerilla forces. And it is the concrete conditions that shall determine how and when to shift to another form of warfare. What is important is our flexibility and readiness to reorient and redeploy our armed forces based on our military strategy and tactics in a given situation.

1. The new proletarian army reserves its right to hold on to its arms. The RPM is open to all means of struggle, including the armed struggle, which may take the form either of a combination of guerilla actions and insurrection, or of protracted war, or of civil war if necessary. Whatever definite form it will take shall be determined by the actual dynamics of the worker�s movement and the whole revolutionary movement.

2. We are undertaking the reorganization and redeployment of the Army and reviewing its role in the revolutionary struggle as a whole.

a. At present, the stress is on the reorientation and consolidation of all the forces of the army and its related machineries in accordance with the new framework and its role in the revolutionary struggle in general.

b. The armed struggle shall be a secondary means of advancing our revolutionary task and shall principally serve the advance of mass struggles and parliamentary struggle. It shall serve to advance the interest of the worker�s movement as to defend the political gains in the people�s mass struggles.

            In this regard, the primary purpose of the armed struggle shall be to defend the gains attained in the political struggle. Although there is no civil war prevailing at present, the need for armed struggle as a secondary means is dictated by the political situation in our country. In our country, the existing democratic institutions are still politically weak, and cannot guarantee the protection of civil and political freedoms especially of the toiling masses of the people. Private armed groups are still being employed in conflicts involving the workers� rights and people�s democratic rights in general.

3. The reorganization and deployment of the forces nationwide shall be concentrated in major urban and secondary centers in the Philippines with the important consideration that all controlled and influenced areas shall not be abandoned nor left in a vacuum of morale. Furthermore, depending on their capacity and necessity, this army shall be mobilized for expansion work in the countryside and rural areas.

a. Considering the political power and influence in the countryside that we have accumulated in the past, the armed struggle is necessary for the following reasons:

First, there is our class task of building up an independent force of the rural poor, of maintaining our mass base in the countryside and sustaining the revolutionary support of the masses here.

Secondly, we still need our mass base in the countryside which constitutes the bulk of our mobilizable forces, considering that the mass movement in the cities and plains have yet to develop sufficiently and have not intensified. Our mass base, which also form the core of the revolutionary masses under the leadership of RPM-ML, shall act as our reserve force.

            In the rural areas, particularly in our mass base in the countryside, relatively large units shall be maintained with the following tasks:

1. to perform police functions in the base areas, protecting our forests and environment and against common criminals;

2. to do public service by helping the masses in socio-economic projects and undertake their own production work;

3. to support and assist the rural poor, the rural semiproletariat, in their mass struggles for employment and wage increase, for land reform and in campaigns against militarization;

4. to sustain the revolutionary preparedness of the people through propaganda and education;

5. to provide in our base areas a �rear� for military training and exercises;

6. to assist in Party building; and

7. to do expansion work in the base areas

4.  Our Army shall be mobilized in working for and supporting the worker�s movement, to rebuild revolutionary organizations in the ranks of Industrial and Agricultural workers.

            Its support may be in the form of assasination and police work or public service against individuals or groups who directly prevent the activities and the development of the labor movement.

            Our development and strengthening of the Army and the AS shall be based on the development of the mass movement. We shall consider and base it on the actual situation of the locality and the development of the revolutionary struggle in each place.

            Punitive actions are undertaken against die-hard counter-revolutionaries, who stop or break-up mass activities and mass organizations, and those who commit heinous crimes against the people. The intensity and scale of the possible military actions shall depend on the actual needs and objective conditions.

            In the cities and plains, the tasks of the partisan units are:

1. to perform police functions;

2. to defend the workers� gains, if need be, from the ruthless capitalists, and to blunt the attacks of the capitalist State against workers� organizations;

3. to maintain leverage in any peace talks or political negotiations that would take place with the bourgeois State;

4. to maintain the revolutionary preparedness of the working class through education work, until such time that the empowered working masses may decide to take up the means of  armed struggle in the form of insurrection or in any other form.

            Our armed struggle shall be charaterized by guerilla actions and partisan operations for the punitive actions  against criminals and for the preventive actions in warning them. The conditions are favourable for partisan actions; and the appropriate units, base and network for these shall be set up in the plains and cities.

5. Having considered the theoretical and practical bases of our armed struggle, we shall program and plan our strategy and tactics, which shall depend on the moves and countermoves of the enemy, on his tactics and counter-tactics. On the basis of the enemy�s plans and changes of plans, we may maintain our guerilla formations and actions in the countryside, while combining these with partisan units and actions in the cities and plains.

            We shall plan and build our network for partisan operations in the urban areas, pursue our mass work and build legal machineries in the intermediate areas. At the same time, in the countryside, we shall maintain our base areas in the interior with a relatively big force, pursue our mass work and build legal machineries here.

            It is necessary to build legal mass organizations in the countryside and the corresponding political mass movement here. Without these legal organizations, it would be difficult to build up the reserve of our proletarian army, to recruit those elements who are politically most conscious and advanced, elements who are produced and tempered by experience in the forefront of political mass struggles.

E. Our Strategy and Tactics in Warfare

1. At present, the general stress of our operations shall be the guerilla operations -- the small unit and commando operations. Partisan operations which shall acquire tremendous political impact in the cities and adjacent towns, from team-sized operations upwards, depending on the capacity and need in the form of guerilla operations. We should bear in mind that the important and great consideration in launching the operations shall be their political gains in favor of the workers� movement and the people�s mass movement, and the whole revolutionary movement in general. Whether to launch big or small operations shall depend on the level reached by the mass movement and the demands or need of the situation in the national level and of the localities.  

2. Content and conduct of our warfare and the appropriate Army formations:

             In our tactical offensives, we are giving importance to those targets, produced by the mass movement, targets which have great political impact in helping towards the further strengthening and development of the mass movement. Since the targets are hated by the people, our operation shall result in acquiring more political mass following.

             At present, the stress of our tactical offensives are partisan operations. This is based on the analysis that the mass movement still needs to leap to a higher level, and also on the capability of our machineries at present. Nevertheless, in the actual planning and campaign, we are not tying down our army to one form or type, nor to one pattern of operations and formations. This depends on the needs of the situation, on the level reached by the revolutionary movement, on the capability of our army in launching the operations and its requirements, on the counter-reactions of the enemy against our Army and the whole revolutionary movement.  

            It is still difficult to fix from the present up to victory whether the partisan operations, or the guerilla warfare in the countryside, or the PPW itself, shall be the principal type of operations that we shall be launching. It is wrong to confine the Party and its Army to a pattern or a single mode of operation and formation, for they lose initiative and flexibility.

            Generally, our operations shall be characterized by a combination of different types of operations and formations depending on the advantages to the movement.

            This is a matter of giving stress to  each type of military operation, on our operations and counter reaction of the enemy, depending on the development of a particular campaign, on the development of the revolutionary struggle in general. It is a question of being able to combine the regular with special operations, combining regular and special partisan operations with guerilla actions in the countryside.

            In a military campaign, ordinary operations consists of regular operations, which are given greater stress in a particular given situation, while the extraordinary operations may consist of partisan actions launched by partisan forces and may prove decisive in winning the battle. In another situation, it may be the other way around. The ordinary operations may consist in giving stress to partisan actions, while the extraordinary operations may be those conducted by our regular military forces, which may decide the victory of  a particular campaign.

            There shall be no fixed form or mode of conduct for military operations. The mode of operations which is considered obsolete in another situation may prove effective and decisive in a given situation. Our military strategy and plans shall depend on the enemy�s plans and changes of his plans. Our tactics shall depend on the enemy�s tactics and countertactics.         

            As determined by the present situation and necessity, the partisan work shall be the regular or ordinary type of operation and forces in the army, while the guerilla work in the countryside shall act as special or extraordinary force.

            At present, the balance of forces is favorable to the enemy, much superior than the revolutionary army in terms of numbers and strength. The revolutionary army and its political party should avoid decisive confrontation or engagements with the enemy while developing its own strength. It will concentrate its forces for military operations while applying the principle of fluidity, mobility and relative dispersal for mass work and expansion of its base.

            In essence our warfare is political in character. The revolutionary army could never survive nor develop against enemy  attacks without the support of the masses. The broad masses in the countryside and urban areas is the source of its strength for recruitment, information, finance and logistical support. This can only be sustained through the correct program and slogans of the party and its army that answers and coincides with the needs and aspirations of the masses.      


1. Historical development of our Army in relation to its members and officers

            Basically, our Army organization originally has been the product of the vulgarized ML revolution in a peasant setting, primarily based in the countryside, and carrying the orientation as a people�s army. It has followed the political line of the Party (CPP) and the national democratic line for the national democratic revolution. Mainly, this has served the anti-feudal, anti-fascist and anti-imperialist struggle.

            The strengthening and growth of the Army has been due to the favorable situation of recruitment -- except for the intense hardships and lack of resources in the countryside. Also a big factor in the recruitment was the intensified fascism in the past in the countryside. Besides this, the backward tactics applied by the state and its military arm in the past, on how to defeat the insurrection. In reality, the growth of the NPA in almost all the regions in the country had not been the result of a strong movement of the class in the countryside (the peasantry)

            The majority of our recruits originated almost wholly from the peasantry, if not from the semi-proletariat or poor peasants, as a result of the anti-fascist struggle. While we do not ignore the fact that many were recruited due to the intense struggle for land, against high rent, usury and other forms of exploitation in the countryside, nevertheless their number is small if compared to the number of those recruited due to the anti-fascist movement.

2. Nature of the New Army (RPA-ABB)

a.  The RPA-ABB is a revolutionary political army of the proletariat and the oppressed people, carrying a politico-military orientation. All its members and officers uphold the ML principles of the revolution and firm leadership of the political Party of Proletariat (the RPM). This army accepts socialism as the only alternative system in order to put an end to the oppression and exploitation of the bourgeois class against the proletariat and the people.

            The RPA-ABB also supports the complementary role of AS and of the Army in the workers� movement as basic ML principle of the revolution. It rejects the role of voluntarism of the CPP and its army (NPA) for winning the revolution.

b. The RPA-ABB has a proletarian class imprint. This is the result of its recruitment from the working class and semi-proletariat. It is open to the entry or recruitment on an individual basis from other classes or sections of people (Moro and Lumad including Christian settlers) as long as they are ready to abandon their class interests and to subordinate them to the interests of the proletariat and the revolution. All the former and the new recruits shall undergo this process of reorientation.

c. Since it is a political army of the working class and other oppressed people, the stress of its service is for the interests of the class.


            During the holding of the First Congress of the new Party of the Proletariat, this Party must clearly define its relationship to and political leadership of the Army. It must clearly define all this in accordance with the ML theoretical propositions and with the vigorous and bitter experience in the past:

1. As regards the laying down of the strategy and tactics of the armed struggle, the type of warfare to be launched by our army, shall be appropriate to the situation of the Philippines and of each region, shall be clearly defined. The amendment or changes in this strategy and tactics be made in every Party congress and/or national conferences of the army under the supervision of the national leadership of the Party.

2. The Military Commission (or the Party organ defined and approved by the Party congress) whose members shall be elected by the congress, shall determine the national military campaigns.  

3. As regards the day-to-day work in the Army, the authority and responsibility has been delegated by the Party to the Party members or organs within the Army. The Party cadres within the army shall have the initiative in the implementation of the plans and programs for the armed struggle.

4. In a situation where the revolutionary government has not yet been established in the national level, the Party shall directly guide the organization of the army. Besides this, the Party shall respect the dynamic leadership and administration of the independent and/or local revolutionary governments in other parts of the country. Its political leadership shall be exercised through the local Party organs within these same revolutionary governments and through Party organs within the army under the leadership of the said governments.


            The position of the revolutionary army and Party as regards other revolutionary armed forces as well as to certain progressive forces in the AFP is to view them in a positive way. The RPA-ABB shall also show support for the struggles of other revolutionary armies on the basis of their progressive stand on people�s issues.

            Political commissars shall be sent and assigned to other revolutionary and independent armies so as to influence and guide these armies on the correct path of the revolution and to embrace the political line of the Party -- SOCIALISM. Commissars shall be assigned also to the armed organizations or units of the reactionary AFP.

            On the question of  massive desertion and defection of enemy forces to the revolutionary movement, we must correctly view this upon correct analysis of the prevailing objective situation and the strength of our subjective forces. Under the previous orientation of the Stalinist-Maoist CPP-NPA, there was a lingering expectation for a massive desertion and defection of enemy forces to the  revolutionary movement based on the erroneous analysis that there was a prevailing revolutionary situation. Massive enemy desertion and defection can only be attributed to the intensification of the revolutionary situation, the crisis afflicting the ruling class and its army, and the strength attained by the  working class movement and its armed component.



            Following the policy of multiplicity of tactics, the peace negotiations is another battle arena from which we can achieve positive gains for the revolutionary movement, and draw concrete advantages for the people and for our revolutionary forces. What cannot be achieved from the bourgeois state through military means we may be able to gain over the negotiation table. For it is not a matter of using military force and relying only upon the same that our revolution can prosper. But rather what correct tactics are being used in the course of struggle, and how we use our military force.

            One of the results of peace negotiations may be the institution of democratic reforms, that is, gaining full freedom for the working class and the people in general. Another outcome from peace negotiations may be the opportunity gained to bide our time to (and) consolidate our forces.

            There are parameters in our conduct that may be followed with regards to negotiations with the enemy State:

a. We are not to be carried away with the illusion that social reforms can be obtained through peace negotiations. We must also guard against the machinations of the State to exploit our weaknesses or to undermine our revolutionary will.

b. To achieve democratic reforms from the State, we may not compromise nor surrender our position, nor weaken our resolute stand on the seizure of State political power for the working class movement.

c. We may negotiate when we are weak, not only when we are strong. We may employ peace negotiations during periods when we need to regroup and consolidate our forces.

d. With regards to the negotiations between the GRP and the CPP-NPA-NDF, we positively view whatever favorable outcome or positive results may come from the negotiations of the State with the NDF or MILF, bringing concrete benefits to the people. Again in this aspect we may not agree to any condition that would oblige us to surrender our position, or that would leave the basis and roots of the armed conflict unaddressed and unresolved.