Philippine Communist Party (PKP-1930)
by Pedro P. Baguisa
THE PRESENT SITUATION OF THE LABOR
MOVEMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES
The Philippine Communist Party (PKP-1930) would like to
extend our revolutionary salute to all the comrades who are
able to attend the 3rd Annual International Meeting of
Communist and Workers Parties hosted by the Communist Party
of Greece. We are sending this document with deep regret
for not being able to directly participate in the said
The Philippine Communist Party (PKP-1930) fully believes
that despite setbacks, our present historical epoch is an
epoch of transition from capitalism to socialism. The
deepening capitalist crisis can not be solved within
capitalism itself. It is only socialism that could ensure
the fair distribution of wealth, equity based on work done
and finally lead to abolishment of exploitation of man by
man and of nation by another nation.
But to pursue a socialist revolution or even a national
democratic revolution, like what communists in the
Philippines have to carry out, one has to objectively see
the labor situation in the country.
The total labor force has now reached 31.684 million.
Labor force in January 2001 increased by 1.05 million or
3.4 % compared to the same period last year.
Employed persons increased by 354 thousand, or 1.3 percent,
from 27.7 million in January last year to 28.1 million this
year. In agriculture, employment in January 2001 was short
by 370 thousand (3.5%) of the January 2000 level. In
industry, employment increased by 277 thousand or 6.3 %.
In services, the increase was 450 thousand or 3.5%.
Unemployment rate moved up to 3.597 million or 11.4 percent
from 9.5 percent last year. The number of unemployed went
up by 698 thousand in January 2001 or 24 percent due to the
combined effect of the additional 1.05 million persons who
entered the labor force and the decline in agricultural
employment of 370 thousand.
Underemployment rate however decreased by 4.1 percentage
points, from 21.0 percent to 16.9 percent or a total of
As the government religiously subscribes to the
prescriptions of WB-IMF-WTO, Filipino workers are
confronted with the problems of downsizing and
contractualization. These problems put the workers out of
job and the �labor-only-contracting� policy of the
government outcast the workers on the right to unions and
right to collectively bargain with the private
entrepreneurs. In areas declared as industrial export
processing zones, joining a union or forming a union is not
In the National Capital Region, the minimum wage is
P253/day or barely $5/8 hours, which is very difficult to
keep up with the present high cost of living. Still, many
workers, who do not have unions, could not enjoy such
relatively low wage.
In different regions, minimum wage is determined by
Regional Wage Board of the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE). Most regions have lower wages compared
Philippine Labor Movement
Despite the deteriorating condition of the workers, only 10
percent or 2.81 million of the total employed, are
organized into unions. With such already small percentage
of organized workers, trade unions were organized by
different individuals or groups with different interests
and motives. There are company unions, organized by the
capitalists themselves; trade unions organized by yellow
leaders collaborating with the capitalists and making
business out of trade unions; and the trade unions
organized by the progressive and democratic left parties.
In order to understand the situation and the direction of
labor struggle, it is of prime importance to see the
continuing process of the division or fragmentation of
communist and workers parties in the Philippines; and to
see their unity and difference in waging the working class
The Philippine Communist Party (PKP-1930)
Since the PKP-1930 was formally organized on August 26,
1930, it upholds the 1896 Revolution's noblest traditions
--- its devotion to and love of country, its spirit of
sacrifice and selflessness, its undying determination to
liberate the Philippines from any and all forms of foreign
domination, whatever this may cost. Neither was it a mere
coincidence that the PKP-1930 was formally launched on
November 7, 1930, the anniversary of the Great October
Socialist Revolution which created the first socialist
state. Therefore, the PKP-1930 was the logical
outcome of local events influenced in no small measure by
Adhering to Marxism-Leninism, the PKP-1930 led the struggle
of peasants towards abolition of feudal production
relations, led the working class struggle against bourgeois
exploitation, heroically led the masses against the
Japanese invaders and vehemently fought against
neo-colonial rule of the USA and its Western Allies and its
puppet (past and present) administrations.
The Communist Party of the Philippines Mao Tse Tung Thought
In 1967, the PKP-1930 expelled Jose Ma. Sison basically for
ideological reason (for his Maoist leanings), for careerism
(asserting that the composition of the Central Committee
should only come from intellectuals, who could make thesis)
and factionalism. Some writers, sympathetic to them, were
erroneously saying that Sison broke away from the party
because of the Party's abandonment of armed struggle and
shift to nonviolent legal and parliamentary struggle. It
must be clarified that during that time, the PKP-1930 had
still armed component --- the People's Liberation Army
(HMB). It was only in 1973, that the PKP-1930 shifted to
legal and parliamentary form of struggle.
On December 26, 1968 (Mao's birthday), Jose Ma. Sison
organized the Communist Party of the Philippines Mao Tse
Tung Thought (CPP-MTT), followed by the formation of its
armed component, the New People's Army (NPA) at Hacienda
Luisita, owned by Benigno Aquino Jr. (husband of former
president Corazon Aquino). On the mass level, they first
joined BANDILA, led by Butz Aquino, brother of Ninoy.
Later, they broke away and formed a multisectoral
organization, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) and a
labor center, the Kilusang Mayo 1.
Since 1992, the CPP-MTT is haunted by seemingly
interminable splits. Out of it have emerged eight at least
fragments. The fragmentation of the CPP was the result of
the disappointments of its members on the following: for
not organizing the party congress nor central committee
plenum since its founding congress in 1968; for holding the
CC plenum only in 1992 but without the proper quorum
(inviting only those who are in favor of Joma's
leadership); adherence to the principles laid down in 1968,
basically, that means upholding the theory and practice of
Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought in his issued document
�Reaffirm our Basic Principles and Rectify Errors.�
That is to say: maintaining the view that Philippine
society is �semi-feudal� and �semi-colonial�; pursuing the
general line of new democratic revolution by maintaining
armed struggle as main form of struggle, following Mao's
diktum that `political power glows from the barrel of a
gun'; claiming the CPP as the vanguard force of the
proletariat or the working class; waging the protracted
people's war (PPW) strategy of �encircling the cities from
the countryside,� among others.
Those who abide by the Sison's document are the
�reaffirmists� (RAs), while those who disagree are
Lagman's Komiteng Rehiyon ng Metro Manila Rizal (KRMR)
The rejectionists was divided into two main groups: the
Felimon �Popoy� Lagman's KRMR (Komiteng Rehiyon ng Metro
Manila-Rizal) and the so-called Third Force.
The Komiteng Rehiyon ng Metro Manila-Rizal (KRMR) led by
Lagman, organized a multisectoral mass organization called
the SANLAKAS, its mass trade union federation the Bukluran
ng Manggaga-wang Pilipino (BMP) and later formed the
Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Filipino Workers Party).
Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa (RPM)
In 1994, the Visayas Commission chief Arturo Tabara made a
surprise shift to KRMR and thus splitting the VisCom in the
process. But, later, the Visayas Commission and the Central
Mindanao Regional Committee formed the Rebolusyonaryong
Partido ng Manggagawa (RPM).
In 1998, Lagman's KRMR suffered two bitter factions: one
faction, led by chief Nilo de la Cruz of the underground
cadres including the Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB),
occasionally referred to as `Bloke'; and the other faction
was headed by Sonny Melencio, who formed the Liga
Sosyalista in 1998 and later formed the Sosyalistang
Partido ng Paggawa (SPP), with Trotskyites leanings.
Sosyalistang Partido ng Paggawa (SPP)
The SPP was composed by all the breakaway group from
different parties: such as from PKP-1930, from Partido
Demokratiko-Sosyalista ng 5
Pilipinas (PDSP), left-wing faction of the Cordillera
People's Liberation Army; and from Lagman's KRMR.
Third Force Bloc
The position of the other group of rejectionists was
expressed through Ricardo Reyes (formerly the General
Secretary of CPP-MTT) formulation. Reyes did not find
fault in the national-democratic framework of the
revolution, its class analysis, the armed struggle and the
working class-peasant alliance. But he considers the
protracted people's war strategy as inappropriate and must
shift to a political-military combination strategy. It's
combination of an insurrectional approach in the urban
areas and armed struggle for the countryside.
Reyes pursued a united front type of organization within
the Third Force bloc, composed by the following: Western
Mindanao and Visayas Commission, National United Front
Commission (NUFC), Home Bureau of the International Liaison
Department and the National Peasant Secretariat (NPS).
a) Padayon - an open mass movement endeavoring to wage
democratic struggles like land reform and expanding these
to empower the people.
AKBAYAN a multisectoral organization formed in 1995 by the
Bukluran para sa Ikauunlad ng Sosyalistang Isip at Gawa
(BISIG), one of whose leaders broke away from PKP-1930; by
the Pandayan, the breakaway group from Partido Demokratiko
Sosyalista sa Pilipinas (PDSP); and by the Padayon.
Marxist-Leninist Party of the Philippines (MLPP)
Meanwhile, in 1997, the majority of the Central Luzon
regional party organizations bolted out of the CPP and
formed the Marxist-Leninist Party of the Philippines (MLPP)
with its open legal organization named Kilusan para sa
Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD).
The Tiamson group
It is now an open secret that there are two centers in the
CPP: one headed by Sison, based in The Netherland and the
other by the
Tiamsons, based in the country. The ideological battles
have, in isolated cases, reached the level of physical
The different ideological leanings of each group could
clearly be seen in the analysis of the existing
socio-economic system, in the strategy and tactics of each
group or parties, and in particular in practical issues as
in the attitude to US imperialism and its Western Allies
and to those in the administration.
Attitude of different labor groups and movements to the
Many leftist groups and progressive personalities who
supported ERAP's presidential bid on the basis of his
previous anti-US based positions, were promptly dejected by
his continuation of the policies of the previous Ramos
regime --- particularly his support for Visiting Forces
Agreement (VFA) and Ramos charter change program which
would have further opened up our economy to imperialist
control and ownership. Erap's continuation of the Ramos
policies of economic liberalization, privatization and
deregulation received the support of Gloria as then
Vice-President. Gloria was the main proponent of
Philippine accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO),
and of the granting to foreign capitalists of the right of
and ownership of condominiums and of the long-term leasing
While majority of the people supported the constitutional
process of Erap's impeachment, many were reluctant to
support oust-Erap movement precisely because of the
realization that Erap's replacement would be Gloria.
Of the left forces, it was the 2 main ultra-leftist groups
which were prominent in the oust-Erap fray --- the
�reaffirmists� BAYAN and the �rejectionists� SANLAKAS.
However, while BAYAN gave its support to Gloria as Erap's
constitutional successor, SANLAKAS called for the immediate
resignations of both ERAP and Gloria, and of all senators
and congressmen, and for the holding of a �snap� election
to determine their successors.
A third leftist group, the Akbayan went for outright
collaboration with Gloria.
It was only the Philippine Communist Party (PKP-1930)
not participate in the so-called EDSA II recognizing the
fact that it was the Catholic church, the elite Makati
Business Club, the ultra right wing of the military that
instigated such kind of people power. The PKP-1930
conducted its own mass campaigns explaining the root cause
of the economic and political crisis as a result of the
domination of the international monopoly capital and that
the people were being used by the two groups of local
bourgeoisie, both vying to be the caretaker of the
international monopoly capital.
As U. S. neo-colonialism intensifies in the Philippines
with a new name, �neo-liberal globalization,' most economic
provisions in the Philippine constitution are being
violated. The main contradiction between the foreign
monopoly-capital and the Filipino masses becomes sharper
and sharper. Therefore, the struggle for national
independence is in the forefront of the battle alongside
with the struggle for workers rights: to unionize, to
strike and to collectively bargain against all forms of
anti-labor policies and actions of the government favoring
The Philippine Communist Party on its struggles for
national independence and socialism, upholds its
internationalist convictions in support of Cuba against U.
S. decadent imposition of economic and financial blockade,
intensified and aggravated by the enactment of the
Helms-Burton Law, Torrecelli Act and Cuban Adjustment Act.
The rightist Bush administration shamelessly exerting
pressure to developing neo-colonial nations to isolate
Cuba, just like what it did during the conference of UN
Commission on Human Rights last April in Geneva.
The PCP strongly condemns the U. S. violation of Chinese
air space by its spy plane colliding with Chinese fighter
jet plane, that cause the death of the latter's pilot.
The PCP supports the South African people and its
government asserting its sovereignty against the greedy
transnational corporations, exerting pressures to the
government for huge profit.
U. S. bombings of Iraq which cause the death of numerous
innocent civilians including women and children aside from
blockade imposed by USA is deplorable.
Escalation of tension in the Korean Peninsula, in the
Middle East, in Yugoslavia are perpetrated by the forces
backed by the U. S. A.
As a sole world superpower, the US New Missile Defense
Shield Program undermine the Anti-Ballistic Missiles Treaty
of 1972 by USA and former USSR, endangers world peace.
The PCP congratulates the Communist Party of Greece in
hosting this important III Meeting of Communist and Workers
Long live the struggles for national independence of all
peoples in neo-colonial countries!
Long live the struggles for socialism and progress!
Long live International Solidarity!
Comrade Pedro P. Baguisa
Philippine Communist Party