Workers World Party recently sent a message of sympathy and solidarity to the Communist Party of the Philippines concerning the party’s 10 members who were murdered by the bourgeois Philippine state. Ka Laan (Benito Tiamzon), Ka Bagong-Tao (Wilma Austria-Tiamzon) and eight of their comrades were assassinated Aug. 21, 2022. While the Philippine government claimed they were killed in a boating explosion, the CPP revealed in April that these warriors of the workers and peasants were actually beaten, tortured and killed.
Ka Laan and Ka Bagong-Tao were leading comrades in the CPP. Ka Laan served as the CPP Executive Committee Chairperson, and Ka Bagong-Tao served as CPP General Secretary. Armed with the teachings of CPP founder Jose Maria Canlas Sison and Mao Zedong, Ka Laan and Ka Bagong-Tao were highly active leaders, serving the Philippine revolution for 50 years. They organized the workers and the peasants of the Philippines and conducted research and work among the workers.
Ka Bagong-Tao led the armed struggle in central Luzon in the 1980s, and Ka Laan served as secretary of the Eastern Visayas region. Both led the CPP during the fight against the U.S.-Marcos dictatorship and led the Second Great Rectification Movement in 1992. In 2014, Ka Laan and Ka Bagong-Tao were arrested but released. They served on the negotiating panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – a coalition of revolutionary organizations – in 2016. After then-President Rodrigo Duterte halted the negotiations and declared that NDFP members should be arrested or killed, they resumed the armed struggle.
Along with these two longtime leaders, the eight other members of the Communist Party of the Philippines killed were: Ka Divino (Joel Arceo), Ka Yen, Ka Jaja, Ka Matt, Ka Ash, Ka Delfin, Ka Lupe and Ka Butig. Together with Ka Laan and Ka Bagong-Tao, these martyrs and warriors are called the Catbalogan 10.
This loss served as a blow, with the bourgeois government and press claiming that it was a fatal blow to the CPP. Philippine Army Maj. Gen. Camilo Ligayo said in the press that it was time for the remaining forces of the party to “return to the mainstream of society.”
The U.S. and its counterinsurgency trainers were ultimately responsible for the horrific murders of the key figures of the CPP. Under the alliance between the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr. — son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. — and the U.S., the Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident trained forces under the command of Gen. Edgardo De Leon and Intelligence leader Marceliano Teofilo.
Contrary to the assertions of the joint U.S.-Philippine counterinsurgency soldiers, this massacre has not caused the CPP to lose its fervor and spirit for the revolution. Instead, the loss of these members has only fueled the desire to see a new world, a world without the bourgeois Philippine government and without the arch-imperialist power, the U.S.
Below is the message of condolence from Workers World Party to the Communist Party of the Philippines:
We of Workers World Party only recently learned of the massacre of your leaders and fighters. We, as a revolutionary communist party, see your struggles as a very important and very valuable sacrifice in the fight against U.S. imperialism and the national bourgeoisie in the Philippines. Ka Laan and Ka Bagong-Tao, along with Ka Divino, Ka Yen, Ka Jaja, Ka Matt, Ka Ash, Ka Delfin, Ka Lupe and Ka Butig, lived and died with revolution in their hearts.
We believe that the worldwide proletariat, in the Philippines, in India, in the United States and beyond, will avenge the deaths of everyone who has fallen in service to worldwide revolution.
Since the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines in December 1968, the Party has won great victories and experienced great losses. Every victory deserves celebration, and every loss teaches the Communist Party of the Philippines and the world what the true faces of the imperialists and their lackeys are like.
We mourn the losses of Ka Laan, Ka Bagong-Tao and the other fighters who have been lost to U.S.-instigated violence.
No matter what happens, we know the Communist Party of the Philippines and its organizations will continue its fight against the imperialists and bourgeois collaborators.
Down with U.S. imperialism!
Down with bourgeois collaborators with imperialism!
Long live Ka Laan and Ka Bagong-Tao!
Long Live Ka Divino, Ka Yen, Ka Jaja, Ka Matt, Ka Ash, Ka Delfin, Ka Lupe and Ka Butig!
Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Build a Workers World!