THE PHILIPPINES: The 19 Martyrs of Dolores Are Immortal

Photo: New People’s Army fighters paying homage to the fallen martyrs.


On the 16th of August, 2021, the genocidal Armed Forces of the Philippines directed by the fascist and country-selling U.S.-China-Duterte regime killed 19 New People‘s Army fighters in Dolores, Eastern Samar. The Communist Party of the Philippines has stated:

They were among the best sons and daughters of the people who dedicated their lives to the cause of national freedom and democracy. Their deaths bear hard upon the hearts of the workers and peasants across the country and all the oppressed peoples in the entire world. The masses grieve the loss of their warriors and servants. But at the same time, their martyrdom inspires us to fight with even greater fortitude and dedication to serve the people and their revolutionary cause. The Martyrs of Dolores will forever be remembered.

[…]

Without a doubt, the deaths of the Dolores martyrs is a big loss. It is, however, a temporary setback and does not negate the overall forward direction of the people’s war. Indeed, in Eastern Visayas and the rest of the country, the NPA continues to make strides in recruiting new Red fighters, building more units, expanding its areas of operations, building new guerrilla fronts, defending the people against the AFP’s armed suppression and mounting tactical offensives to strike blows against the fascist monsters. In due time, the embattled guerrilla unit of the NPA in Dolores will be reorganized with new recruits to continue the work left by their fallen heroes.“1

We reproduce the entire statement below.

For more than 50 years, the New People‘s Army led by the Communist Party of the Philippines has been waging war on the old society and the old Philippine State which protects it. Philippine society is thoroughly rotten and backward. In the countryside, millions of peasants are subjected to a medieval semi-feudal system of brutal exploitation by a few big landlord families, like the Duterte, Marcos and Aquino clans; indigenous communities like the Lumad are continuously being displaced by big international corporations, such as the Swiss mining monopoly Glencore, which aim to usurp their land and destroy the Philippine environment in the desperate search for profits; in the cities, the workers labor in sweatshops belonging to monopoly companies from the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, Switzerland and other imperialist countries, with no labor rights except what they conquer themselves; and the State and „national“ companies are nothing but landlord clans with foreign dollar investments allowing them to conduct their „own“ industry — meaning a capitalism that is late-born and entirely dependant on its abusive father: imperialism. This shows that Philippine society is semi-colonial, semi-feudal and bureaucratic capitalist. This system creates endless misery for the Philippine people. That is what the New People‘s Army is fighting against.

We recommend as further reference material the news website of the Information Bureau of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the book „Philippine Society and Revolution“ and the documentary „Inside the New People‘s Army“ (parts one and two).

The murder of 19 people‘s fighters by the fascist State is only a reaction to the justified struggle of the people to end imperialism, semi-feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism — that is, a reaction against the new democratic revolution which will lead the Philippines to a socialist society. But no genocidal action of war against the people and its fighters can stop the people‘s war for even a moment. For more than 50 years, the people‘s war on the Philippines has been a shining beacon for the international working class and the peoples of Oceania, Asia and the entire world. The people‘s war advances unstoppably under the Party‘s leadership.

This act of war by the fascist, country-selling and genocidal Duterte regime is a response to the growing strength of the people‘s war, which is taking concrete steps to develop the new people‘s power — the people‘s committees — and is rapidly approaching the strategic stalemate of the war. In a recent interview, José Maria Sison, the founder of the Party, pointed out:

As of now, the more than 110 NPA guerrilla fronts are on a nationwide scale and can serve as the base for building wider revolutionary base areas and for develop the strength to defeat the reactionary armed forces totally in the future.“2

In December, 2020, Sison also pointed out:

The people can never accept suffering forever the worsening chronic crisis of the ruling system and the escalating conditions of oppression and exploitation. The armed revolutionary movement has been tempered by thousands of battles and has already spread nationwide and taken deep roots among the people, especially the workers and peasants. The reactionary armed forces have admitted that the New People’s Army has wiped out more than 13,000 of their troops, while they have killed more than 40,000 civilians in blind actions of reprisal since 1969.

According to the publications of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the point now is to develop the guerrilla fronts in every region to become revolutionary base areas, bring about the maturation of the strategic defensive and enter the stage of the strategic stalemate in due course. The frequent tactical offensives by NPA platoons and companies in the strategic defensive will pass to frequent tactical offensives by NPA companies and battalions in the strategic stalemate. The time will will surely come when NPA battalions and regiments will accomplish the strategic offensive on a nationwide scale.

In every guerrilla front today, the Communist Party, the New People’s Army, the revolutionary mass organizations, alliances, the National Democratic Front and the people’s democratic government are thriving. There is no way that the brutal and corrupt Duterte regime and its armed minions can destroy the armed revolution for so long as the people condemn them as instruments of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

Under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the universal theory of the revolutionary proletariat, the CPP has correctly set the program and general line of the people’s democratic revolution through the strategic line of protracted people’s war. It started with only some 80 Party members and candidate-members on December 26, 1968 with an urban mass following of some 10,000 workers and youth with political education in the new democratic revolution with a socialist perspective. Now, it has tens of thousands of Party members and a mass following in the millions.

[…] The NPA has grown self-reliantly through tactical offensives from a force of only 60 Red fighters with only 9 automatic rifles and 26 inferior firearms to nearly 10,000, augmented by tens of thousands of members of the people’s militia and hundreds of thousands of self-defense units of mass organizations.

The CPP leads millions of people in the countryside because the revolutionary armed struggle is integrated with agrarian revolution and with mass base-building through the mass organizations and the local organs of political power which constitute the people’s democratic government. There are more than 110 guerrilla fronts in the rural areas of 17 regions and in 73 provinces. The peoples democratic government being developed in the countryside aims to overthrow the reactionary state in due time in the strategic offensive.“3

The people‘s war on the Philippines is advancing from the strategic defensive (the longest period of a people‘s war) to the strategic defensive. Mao Tse-tung explained:

The second stage may be termed one of strategic stalemate. At the tail end of the first stage, the enemy will be forced to fix certain terminal points to his strategic offensive owing to his shortage of troops and our firm resistance, and upon reaching them he will stop his strategic offensive and enter the stage of safeguarding his occupied areas. In the second stage, the enemy will attempt to safeguard the occupied areas and to make them his own by the fraudulent method of setting up puppet governments, while plundering the Chinese people to the limit; but again he will be confronted with stubborn guerrilla warfare. Taking advantage of the fact that the enemy’s rear is unguarded, our guerrilla warfare will develop extensively in the first stage, and many base areas will be established, seriously threatening the enemy‘s consolidation of the occupied areas, and so in the second stage there will still be widespread fighting. In this stage, our form of fighting will be primarily guerrilla warfare, supplemented by mobile warfare. China will still retain a large regular army, but she will find it difficult to launch the strategic counter-offensive immediately because, on the one hand, the enemy will adopt a strategically defensive position in the big cities and along the main lines of communication under his occupation and, on the other hand, China will not yet be adequately equipped technically. Except for the troops engaged in frontal defence against the enemy, our forces will be switched in large numbers to the enemy‘s rear in comparatively dispersed dispositions, and, basing themselves on all the areas not actually occupied by the enemy and co-ordinating with the people‘s local armed forces, they will launch extensive, fierce guerrilla warfare against enemy-occupied areas, keeping the enemy on the move as far as possible in order to destroy him in mobile warfare, as is now being done in Shansi Province. The fighting in the second stage will be ruthless, and the country will suffer serious devastation. But the guerrilla warfare will be successful, and if it is well conducted the enemy may be able to retain only about one-third of his occupied territory, with the remaining two-thirds in our hands, and this will constitute a great defeat for the enemy and a great victory for China. By then the enemy-occupied territory as a whole will fall into three categories: first, the enemy support bases; second, our support bases for guerrilla warfare; and, third, the guerrilla areas contested by both sides. The duration of this stage will depend on the degree of change in the balance of forces between us and the enemy and on the changes in the international situation; generally speaking, we should be prepared to see this stage last a comparatively long time and to weather its hardships. It will be a very painful period for China; the two big problems will be economic difficulties and the disruptive activities of the traitors. The enemy will go all out to wreck China‘s united front, and the traitor organizations in all the occupied areas will merge into a so-called ‚unified government‘. Owing to the loss of big cities and the hardships of war, vacillating elements within our ranks will clamour for compromise, and pessimism will grow to a serious extent. Our tasks will then be to mobilize the whole people to unite as one man and carry on the war with unflinching perseverance, to broaden and consolidate the united front, sweep away all pessimism and ideas of compromise, promote the will to hard struggle and apply new wartime policies, and so to weather the hardships. In the second stage, we will have to call upon the whole country resolutely to maintain a united government, we will have to oppose splits and systematically improve fighting techniques, reform the armed forces, mobilize the entire people and prepare for the counter-offensive. The international situation will become still more unfavourable to Japan and the main international forces will incline towards giving more help to China, even though there may be talk of ‚realism‘ of the Chamberlain type which accommodates itself to faits accomplis. Japan‘s threat to Southeast Asia and Siberia will become greater, and there may even be another war. As regards Japan, scores of her divisions will be inextricably bogged down in China. Widespread guerrilla warfare and the people‘s anti-Japanese movement will wear down this big Japanese force, greatly reducing it and also disintegrating its morale by stimulating the growth of homesickness, war-weariness and even anti-war sentiment. Though it would be wrong to say that Japan will achieve no results at all in her plunder of China, yet, being short of capital and harassed by guerrilla warfare, she cannot possibly achieve rapid or substantial results. This second stage will be the transitional stage of the entire war; it will be the most trying period but also the pivotal one. Whether China becomes an independent country or is reduced to a colony will be determined not by the retention or loss of the big cities in the first stage but by the extent to which the whole nation exerts itself in the second. If we can persevere in the War of Resistance, in the united front and in the protracted war, China will in that stage gain the power to change from weakness to strength. It will be the second act in the three-act drama of China’s War of Resistance. And through the efforts of the entire cast it will become possible to perform a most brilliant last act.“4

Here, of course, Japan should be understood to mean the foreign imperialists exploiting the Philippine people and their local Philippine lackeys, like the U.S.-China-Duterte fascist regime.

The road taken by the Philippine people toward liberation is that of people‘s war. A war led by the working class through its communist party and people‘s army and waged by the masses and the people, developing from guerrilla warfare to mobile and positional warfare, the people‘s war is an invincible military strategy developed by Mao Tse-tung and the Communist Party of China. Its application to the Philippines was prepared in the 1960s by José Maria Sison as he was refounding the Communist Party of the Philippines, theorizing it in books such as „Philippine Society and Revolution“ and „Specific Characteristics of Our People‘s War“. If waged correctly, people‘s war is an utterly undefeatable strategy. The Chinese comrades explained:

Chairman Mao Tse-tung has provided a masterly summary of the strategy and tactics of people’s war: You fight in your way and we fight in ours; we fight when we can win and move away when we can’t.

In other words, you rely on modern weapons and we rely on highly conscious revolutionary people; you give full play to your superiority and we give full play to ours; you have your way of fighting and we have ours. When you want to fight us, we don’t let you and you can’t even find us. But when we want to fight you, we make sure that you can’t get away and we hit you squarely on the chin and wipe you out. When we are able to wipe you out, we do so with a vengeance; when we can’t, we see to it that you don’t wipe us out. It is opportunism if one won’t fight when one can win. It is adventurism if one insists on fighting when one can’t win. Fighting is the pivot of al our strategy and tactics. It is because of the necessity of fighting that we admit the necessity of moving away. The sole purpose of moving away is to fight and bring about the final and complete destruction of the enemy. This strategy and these tactics can be applied only when one relies on the broad masses of the people, and such application brings the superiority of people’s war into full play. However superior he may be in technical equipment and whatever tricks he may resort to, the enemy will find himself in the passive position of having to receive blows, and the initiative will always be in our hands.“5

Sison explained in 1970:

Chairman Mao’s strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside should be assiduously implemented. It is in the countryside where the enemy can be compelled to spread his forcesthinly and lured into areas where the initiative is completely in our hands. Though in the beginning the enemy encircles us strategically ten to one, we can in turn encircle him tactically ten to one. In the long run, the tide of the war will be surely turned against him as his actual forces dwindle and it becomes politically difficult to replenish them.“6

This is precisely what is taking place on the Philippines today.

All communists and revolutionaries in the world should greet the developments of the people‘s war on the Philippines. No act of genocide, no amount of fascist repression can stop the people‘s war. As it approaches the strategic stalemate, it is unavoidable that the old State will commit increasingly brutal crimes against the people. But this is not and can never be a signal that the people‘s war is being defeated, what corresponds is not to negotiate peace or to capitulate, but for the people to answer with more war against the exploitative and oppressive regime of the landowners and bureaucratic capitalists. This is merelz, as Chairman Mao said, the darkness before the dawn:

Historically, all reactionary forces on the verge of extinction invariably conduct a last desperate struggle against the revolutionary forces, and some revolutionaries are apt to be deluded for a time by this phenomenon of outward strength but inner weakness failing to grasp the essential fact that the enemy is nearing extinction while they themselves are approaching victory.“7

HONOR AND GLORY TO THE 19 MARTYRS OF DOLORES!

SUPPORT THE PEOPLE‘S WAR ON THE PHILIPPINES!

THE PHILIPPINE PEOPLE WILL NOT REGRET THE PRICE THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR LIBERATION!

TAKE THE LEAP FROM STRATEGIC DEFENSIVE TO STRATEGIC STALEMATE BY BUILDING UP THE NEW STATE!


GREATER NUMBERS ARE READY TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE MARTYRS OF DOLORES

Communist Party of the Philippines
24.08.2021

Philippine Revolution Web CentralReproduced by
The Red Flag

GREATER NUMBERS ARE READY TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE MARTYRS OF DOLORES

We call on the Filipino people and all revolutionary forces to raise their fists and hail the 19 martyrs of Dolores, Red fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) who perished in an aerial strike conducted by the US-supported fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) last August 16 in Barangay Osmeña, Dolores town, Eastern Samar.

They were among the best sons and daughters of the people who dedicated their lives to the cause of national freedom and democracy. Their deaths bear hard upon the hearts of the workers and peasants across the country and all the oppressed peoples in the entire world. The masses grieve the loss of their warriors and servants. But at the same time, their martyrdom inspires us to fight with even greater fortitude and dedication to serve the people and their revolutionary cause. The Martyrs of Dolores will forever be remembered.

The fallen Red fighters were part of a 50-man unit of the NPA who were in the area to conduct political, military, economic, education, cultural and medical work among the peasant masses. They were conducting an investigation into the socioeconomic conditions of the peasant masses in the area with the aim of addressing their needs and problems.

As with other NPA units in the region, they were conducting a continuing campaign to raise the people’s awareness of the Covid-19 pandemic to prevent infections from reaching their hinterland communities where there are no medical facilities. There was also a team of medics in the group who were set to conduct a surgery in the camp for a patient suffering from hernia and other medical procedures. The peasant masses in the area, long neglected by the reactionary state, could have benefited from medical and dental services, literacy and other services that the NPA unit was ready to provide.

Without a doubt, the deaths of the Dolores martyrs is a big loss. It is, however, a temporary setback and does not negate the overall forward direction of the people’s war. Indeed, in Eastern Visayas and the rest of the country, the NPA continues to make strides in recruiting new Red fighters, building more units, expanding its areas of operations, building new guerrilla fronts, defending the people against the AFP’s armed suppression and mounting tactical offensives to strike blows against the fascist monsters. In due time, the embattled guerrilla unit of the NPA in Dolores will be reorganized with new recruits to continue the work left by their fallen heroes.

The NPA is set to frustrate Duterte’s declared aim of crushing the armed revolution before his term ends. The NPA will not only outlast Duterte, but will surely emerge more consolidated and ever determined to fight for the Filipino people and advance the struggle against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

We must condemn the AFP for employing aerial bombs, aerial strafing and artillery shelling. These weapons are superfluous, the deployment of which constitutes a disproportionate use of force. The AFP’s US-supplied “smart bombs” are, in fact, stupid and could not distinguish the armed from the unarmed, the combatants from the civilians. Aerial bombs are widely condemned for having caused massive civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Palestine, Syria and other places where these have been used by the US imperialists. In the case of the Dolores bombing, the AFP’s bombs failed to distinguish the medics and the patients, and other unarmed personnel who were not in a position to battle.

Coward terrorist brutes of the US-Duterte regime resort to aerial bombing and strafing in the face of their inability to encircle and defeat on the ground the guerrilla forces of the NPA who enjoy the boundless support of the masses. These terrorist weapons should be banned as these cause massive loss of lives among unarmed people, endanger the lives of civilians, traumatize thousands of people, especially children, and damage and ravage the environment and property.

Units of the NPA must continue to draw lessons, improve guerrilla tactics, raise the political and military capacity of Red fighters, heighten their discipline and further deepen and widen the support to keep the enemy deaf and blind to defeat and render useless their use of massive weaponry. The enemy’s military superiority will ultimately prove ineffective against the NPA’s political superiority and mastery of guerrilla warfare and the physical and social terrain.

The Filipino people, the Party and revolutionary forces will eternally value the sacrifices of the Dolores martyrs. Their martyrdom will always serve to inspire the masses and Red fighters to resist the fascist terrorists, fight against their oppressors and exploiters, defend their rights and advance the cause of national liberation and social justice.

We may have lost a number of fine people’s warriors, but even greater numbers are sure to emerge to take their place as new Red fighters of the heroic people’s army.

August 2021

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES

1https://cpp.ph/statements/greater-numbers-are-ready-to-take-the-place-of-the-martyrs-of-dolores/

2https://josemariasison.org/specific-characteristics-of-peoples-war-in-the-philippines/

3https://josemariasison.org/the-armed-revolution-will-continue-to-grow-in-strengthas-imperialism-feudalism-and-bureaucrat-capitalism-persist/

4Mao Tse-tung: „On Protracted War“, May 1938.

5Lin Piao: „Long Live the Victory of People‘s War!“, 03.09.1965.

6http://www.bannedthought.net/Philippines/CPP/1970s/PhilippineSocietyAndRevolution-4ed.pdf

7Mao Tse-tung: „The Turning Point in the 2nd World War“, 12.10.1942.