THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) announced it has elected a new leadership in a congress held at a guerrilla zone last October 24 to November 7, electing a new and “younger” Central Committee and Political Bureau.
In a communiqué released today, the 48th founding anniversary of its New People’s Army, the CPP said its second congress was attended by 120 of its key cadres from all over the country.
“For the first time in nearly five decades, key leaders and cadres representing the Party’s close to seventy thousand members, were assembled to strengthen the Party’s unity, amend its program and constitution based on accumulated victories and lessons and elect a new set of leaders,” the CPP said.
The CPP said cadres from five Mindanao regions constituted around 45 per cent of the regional delegates while those from Luzon and the Visayas constituted 40 and 14 per cent respectively in reflection of the number of its regional memberships.
The other delegates represented the CPP’s central leading organs and its commissions, the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist group said.
“Guided by the theme ‘Greater unity, greater victories,’ the Party’s Second Congress took a long view of the Party’s 48 year history, took stock of the current objective and subjective conditions and reaffirmed the Party’s determination to advance the national democratic revolution to greater heights,” the CPP said.
The congress was guarded by a battalion-sized NPA fighters and supported by peasants and indigenous minority groups in the area, it added.
Updating its constitution and general program
The congress amended the 48-year old constitution written by Jose Maria Sison and his CPP co-founders, the communiqué announced.
The preamble containing the Party’s basic principles and analysis of Philippine society, its national democratic line for waging a revolution and socialist construction, the group’s history against revisionism, strategy and tactics for pursuing armed struggle, and establishing a people’s democratic government were amended, the CPP said.
New articles were also introduced to the old Party charter defining the party’s role in united front formations and struggles, enumeration of the economic classes in relation to party membership, as well as permission to allow foreigners to become CPP members.
The CPP now also allows members who have reached the age of 70 to retire from Party work without losing their membership. They are also entitled to subsistence support and medical assistance, the communiqué said.
The Party’s updated general program called on all Filipino communists to “be ready to sacrifice their lives if necessary in the struggle to bring about a new Philippines that is completely independent, democratic, united, just and prosperous.”
To ensure the vigor and vibrancy of the Party, the congress also introduced a provision to its general program to ensure its new Central Committee shall have a balance of young, middle-aged and senior cadres.
‘Younger’ Central Committee
With 60 per cent of the delegates of age 45 to 59 years old, more than half of the newly-elected central committee members are from the young and middle-aged cadres of the Party, the communiqué said.
“(This is) ensuring that the Party leadership will remain vibrant, tightly-linked with the lower levels of leadership and capable of leading the practical work and day-to-day tasks of the Party, especially in waging revolutionary armed struggle against the reactionary state,” the CPP said.
“The combination of senior Party members with the young and junior Party cadres will ensure the ideological, political and organizational training of a new generation of Party leaders who will be at the helm of the Party in the coming years,” it added.
The CPP tasked its senior cadres to transfer knowledge and skills to their younger comrades “to help guide the present work of the younger generation of Party leaders.”
Honoring ‘great communist Joma Sison’, heroes and martyrs
Congress delegates paid tribute to its founder Jose Maria Sison and all its martyrs in its nearly five decades of revolution that grew through the decades in spite of brutal anti-insurgency campaigns against its members and fighters by five Manila governments, including Ferdinand Marcos’ martial rule.
In a resolution, the CPP congress extolled Sison as a “great communist thinker, leader, teacher and guide of the Filipino proletariat and torch bearer of the international communist movement,” and recognized “his immense contribution to the Philippine revolution and the international working class movement.”
The CPP also it is resolved to continue seeking Sison’s counsel and take guidance from his insights on the ideological, political and organizational aspects of the Party’s work, endorsing his writings as basic reference and study material of the Party.
Sison founded the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26, 1968 in the tri-boundary of Alaminos, Bani and Mabini in the province of Pangasinan with 11 others: Monico Atienza, Rey Casipe, Leoncio Co, Manuel Collantes, Arthur Garcia, Herminigildo Garcia, Ruben Guevara, Art Pangilinan, Nilo Tayag, Fernando Tayag, Ibarra Tubianosa. Jose Luneta was recognized as the 13th member who was elected to its first Central Committee in absentia as he was in China on party business.
The congress also honored all CPP heroes and martyrs “who served as models of selfless dedication and served the Party to their last breath.”
It also approved the official Filipino lyrics of the Internationale, the Party’s anthem. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)