Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the NDF

From the Communist Party of Aotearoa, 24 April 1998

For 25 crucial years the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has proved itself the indubitable core of the revolutionary united front for national democratic revolution in the Philippines and a shining light in the international united front against imperialism.

The militants of the 1970 First Quarter storm, forced underground by Marcos' declaration of martial law, who Under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines created the NDF in 1973, forged deep roots among wide sectors of the people. Revolutionary organisations of the NDF such KM, Makibaka, Christians for National Revolution, Cordillera People's Democratic Front and others organised impressive sectoral organisations on both legal and underground levels.

On the basis of the worker-peasant alliance consolidated by the CPP and its armed wing, the NPA, the NDF worked tirelessly to win over allies from other classes to the side of national democratic revolution. Working among the wide range of democratic forces suppressed by the Marcos regime, the NDF recruited many thousands of urban petty bourgeois activists and a smattering of national bourgeois to the revolutionary forces.

The NDF skillfully exploited divisions among the reactionary classes of the Philippines, even amongst the armed forces of the US-backed bureaucrat capitalist regime, proving the Maoist tactic of uniting the many to defeat the few.

Internationally, the NDFP has been a leading light in the international united front against imperialism, particularly US imperialism. From 1973 when it was standing in arms against the US aggressor alongside our comrades in the national liberation movements in Indochina to the anti-nuclear struggle in the Pacific that saw the US bases kicked out of the Philippines to the current worldwide struggle against imperialist globalisation, the NDFP has been at its heart.

Such are the tasks of a revolutionary united front. The Communist Party of Aotearoa salutes the impressive work of the NDFP in putting the theory of the united front into revolutionary practice in difficult conditions over these 25 years. In the long association of the Communist Party here with the various organisations of the NDFP we have learned immense lessons for our own struggle at home, for which we are deeply appreciative. We have strived to do all we can to make our own contributions to the strategically important revolution in the Philippines. We have struggled hand in hand alongside the NDFP in the international anti-imperialist struggle, particuarly in the struggle for a Nuclear Free Pacific, and in the spirit of proletarian internationalism.

We have also learnt from the mistakes of our comrades of the NDFP. In the 1980s when the international communist movement was deeply confused by imperialist resurgence and right opportunism, the NDF made severe errors.

Confused notions of the united front, derived from Nicaragua and El Salvador, which reduced the leading role of the Communist Party to that of an affiliate under the guise of building alliances with the national bourgeoisie, contributed to the right opportunist trend internationally. In Aotearoa rightists in the Communist Party parroted this line to promote liquidationism, trading on the respect for the NDF and the sacrifices of the Filipino people. Many years were lost from the revolution in Aotearoa because of a resulting over-emphasis on alliances with the middle class and an underemphasis on organising the basic masses on which any useful alliance must be based. Of course these were our own errors, stemming from our own weaknesses, but the lesson is that the impact of errors of revolutionary strategy are not confined to national borders.

The struggle of the NDFP to recover from these errors, the isolation from the masses in the 1980s and the mishandling of the united front when the US dumped Marcos in favour of Aquino, was the source of many lessons for us as well. The importance of summing up experience, criticism and self criticism, distinguishing left and right errors without degenerating into sectarianism or liberalism, and trusting the masses have been proven in the second rectification camapign. The CPP and NDFP have again provided a great fountain of practical experience in the correct handling of contradictions within the party and the mass movements that is of immense value to the international communist movement.

Long Live the Revolutionary United Front!

Long Live the National Democratic Front of the Philippines!

Victory to the Philippines National Democratic Revolution!