April 24 marked the 50th anniversary of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. Branded a terrorist organization by the U.S.-backed Marcos regime, the NDFP consists of 18 mass-based organizations ranging from communist guerrillas, to Indigenous rights groups, to scientists and artists.
In Portland, Oregon, a gathering was held on the eve of this anniversary to celebrate half a century of people’s struggle. The evening featured live music sung in Tagalog, and speeches on the struggle for a more just society. The event was hosted by Portland’s People Organizing for Philippine Solidarity (POPS).
The meeting featured recorded interviews with two leaders of the New People’s Army who were brutally murdered in August 2022, Comrade Benito Tiamzon, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Central Committee, and Comrade Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, General Secretary of the Party. (tinyurl.com/4wwjs2cw)
Dana Hutchins, a member of POPS, stated: “They [the government of the Philippines] don’t understand what a genuine people’s movement is. Part of what distinguishes the NDFP and the revolutionary movement from the government of the Republic of the Philippines is that there are no leaders at the top coming up with all the directives and commanding everyone at the bottom on what to do.
They [the government] think they can just kill enough leaders that the revolution will be defeated. They fail to grasp that the NDFP is representing the interests of 99% of Filipinos.
“For 50 years, NDFP has been working towards a just and lasting peace, in which peasants can eat the food that they grow; in which land is not concentrated in the hands of a few rich families but instead is collectively tended to; in which there is genuine democracy; in which no foreign power has military bases on Philippine soil, no foreign corporations extract resources from the land and water, no Filipino ever has to leave the country in search of a job to sustain themselves.
“A peace in which elders, peace advocates, are not tortured and murdered on a regular basis by the government. This is the just peace that the Filipino people want. This is the just peace that Benito and Wilma Tiamzon gave their lives for.”
Hutchins also explained how the NDFP’s 12-point program will benefit the vast majority of the people. “It’s something the masses want, and are literally willing to die for, because they know it’s either a quick death at the hands of the fascist regime or the slow death of poverty, malnourishment, and inhumane exploitation. The U.S.-Marcos II regime doesn’t understand that the Filipino people’s revolution is invincible!”
The U.S. plans to build four more military bases in the Philippines, in addition to the five that already exist, turning the country into a sacrificial pawn for Washington’s desired war against China.