Strange relations among CCP, NDF/NPA, and RP government
FROM FAR AND NEAR - Ruben Almendras (The Freeman) - June 23, 2020 - 12:00am

Even in this time of pandemic, there are ongoing geo-political initiatives by China all over the world, including in the South China Sea that affects their communist allies in Vietnam and the Philippines. While these started when China was emerging as a rising economic and political power, the inevitable “Cold War” between the western democratic countries particularly the US, and China, makes it imperative to examine China’s relations with their communist allies in the Philippines.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the founding, ruling, and only political party of the People’s Republic of China. It has 92 million members out of the 1.6 billion mainland Chinese population. Since CCP Congress convenes only once every five years and their Central Committee meets only once a year, the party is controlled and run by a seven-member politburo headed by Xi Jinping. The National Democratic Front/New People’s Army (NDF/NPA), are the communist allies of the CCP in the Philippines. The NDF act as the political wing while the NPA is the military wing.

Ideologically, the CCP adheres to Maoism, a variation of the Marxist communist philosophy of a stateless, classless society where workers control the means of production. Armed insurgency, mass mobilization, and strategic alliances were done to capture state power. These are also the same ideology and initiatives that the NDF/NPA is trying to establish in the Philippines to bring about a “national revolution, freedom and democracy”. These are supposed to bring political power to the proletariat, justice to the masses, equality in a people’s democracy. These all sounds and look good on paper, but China and the world have changed, technology and media have progressed, and ideologies have evolved.

China has now become the second-largest economy in the world and among the biggest military powers. But it has now also become the biggest oppressor of freedom of its minorities like the Uighurs, Tibetans, and Hong Kongers, denying them of liberties and putting them in re-education camps. China has also been encroaching on the territories of their Asian neighbors like Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, unjustly depriving these countries access to natural resources in their territories. It is exercising military powers to oppress lowly fishermen and the powerless. On the other hand, the NDF/NPA in the Philippines have been engaged in a long-protracted political and military engagement with the Philippine government for a national revolution for democracy with support for China, for the same democratic rights that China has been denying their minorities. Except for a small demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy in Manila, the NDF/NPA have not taken a strong position against the anti-people and anti-democratic actions of China against their minorities and their Asian neighbors. Vietnam, which is another communist country, even had to engage the Chinese navy and militia in naval confrontations in the last few years.

Then, we have the present Philippine government, establishing stronger economic, political, and military relations with China while escalating the persecution and military battles against the NDF/NPA. The left-leaning personalities are arrested, and there are always ongoing skirmishes between the Philippine police/army and the NPAs in the hinterlands. The Philippine government has not even contested the Chinese encroachment into its territorial waters lest it offends China, which has promised economic and financial assistance to the country. It is even willing to accept Chinese armaments which will eventually be used to fight the NPAs, who are the allies of the Chinese communists.

These strange relations among them can be resolved if we remove ideology, freedom, and democracy from the equation, and focus on who are really wielding the power in these organizations. The CCP Politburo is the real power in China, the top cadres are the real power in the NDF/NPA, and the Philippine president and Cabinet hold the power. They are all in these to retain and prolong their power. Ideologies, and political and social values do not really matter.

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