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Use all possible and usable arsenals we have to push for the necessary interests of the working class and the oppressed nationalities!

12 March 2018

A Statement from the Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPA) to the 17th World Congress of the Fourth International

The Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPA), the armed-wing of the Revolutionary Workers Party – Mindanao (RPM-M) expressed its warm and red salute to all the delegates of the 17th World Congress of the Fourth International. We wish a successful Congress and help us move towards proactive solidarity movement to face all challenges and tasks aimed to combat global capitalism.

RPA always stands and supports its Party, the RPM-M – a Marxist-Leninist Party that rejected Stalinism and opened to all forms of struggles for Democracy and Nationalism. As an armed force of the oppressed peoples (Indigenous Peoples, Muslim/Moro and Majority Filipino nationality) in Mindanao and the Philippines, it is ready to stand and struggle with the Party in building and strengthening its Revolutionary Socialist project. It is our badge of honor and pride that our Party, the RPM-M is part of this International Revolutionary organization and movement. Our small victories and rooted revolutionary struggles in our country against global capital are our humble contributions to the International.

Since we rejected bureaucratic Maoism and Stalinism and left the old Party and its army, we have been convinced that in the context of our country taking arms remains valid as integral part of our over-all revolutionary strategy to defend the masses and the workers from the oppressive and exploitative dominant capitalist system.

Armed revolution has complimentary roles for the advancement of the Revolutionary Mass Movements in the rural and urban centers. Nowadays, we are in the active defence mode securing the areas of operations, protecting the victories of the democratic mass organizations, implementing the political tasks as revolutionary socialists, securing peace and order in the base areas and take punitive actions against the enemy of the democratic forces.

On the other hand, our Comrades in arms are also helping in reorganizing and strengthening the traditional defence forces of Indigenous Peoples and the Bangsamoro. The Peoples’ and tribal defences are directly under their respective traditional political structures and justice systems or the Council of Elders or Leaders. RPA is also actively doing revolutionary solidarity with the Moro Revolutionary fronts engaging them in political and programmatic discourse in their political assertions towards self-determination. It is a day to day struggle to raise our political consciousness that under the capitalist system there can never be a genuine liberation of the oppressed peoples and nationalities from the national oppression.

Under the Duterte administration, with its blatant fascistic methods and manner of implementation of the dictates of the global capital and its brutal effects on the working class and the oppressed peoples, such realities have reinforced and given us more reasons for holding our arms. Clearly, the new administration is pro-capitalist and serves the elite interests. Its current campaigns against illegal drugs resulted to massive human rights violations and deaths of thousands – summary execution of suspected dealers and users of illegal drugs.

Almost all the victims are coming from the poorest of the poor and the oppressed peoples.

The extension of the Martial Law in Mindanao for one year (whole 2018) is only a proof that he is more than the Marcos dictatorial regime. Critics and oppositions would be easily tagged as supporters of terrorists and involved in illegal drug deals. Martial Law particularly in Mindanao has been used to neutralize and silent critics. Martial Law, anti-illegal drug, anti-crime and anti-terrorism campaigns have been only used to consolidate its political influence down to the local political and economic oligarchs and dynasties.

The series of electoral postponements of the Village and Youth Council (Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan) elections making the proliferation of illegal drugs and influences of drug lords as excuses is only to consolidate more the Duterte administration’s influence at the ground level machineries and followers from below.

An anti-poor and anti-working class tax reform (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion –TRAIN- Law) has been passed and implemented superficially to remove taxes from the income of those who earn below 250,000 pesos annually but on the other hand imposed high taxes on petroleum products and other commodities (consumption taxes) each year until the 2020. Every price increase in the petroleum products has domino effect on the prices of the basic commodities affecting the general consuming public (around 60% of the population spent their income to consumption). This is excluding the prevailing 12% Value Added Tax on commodities and services. We can imagine now how this economic policy would favour the profit-greedy capitalists and added to the heavily-laden minimum and daily wage earners and the informal sectors.

Just like the previous Arroyo and Aquino administrations, the executive and legislative branches of the government are busy prosecuting oppositions at all fronts. But today, the real intention is to neutralize the oppositions to fast track the political and economic agenda to change the 1987 constitution. The super-majority administration law-makers themselves have led in inserting the term extension, amending the sovereignty protective provisions and strengthening the foreign and local capitalists’ control in the Philippine political and economic affairs in the guise of changing the form of government from unilateralism to federalism.

To make it more appealing, it has used the struggle of right to self-determination of the Bangsamoro headed today by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and clearly making this pro-capitalist and elitist federalism appears to be the best option offered by the government to the latter. The executive-led peace negotiation again has to pass through legislative and judiciary scrutinies. Whether Federalism or the passage of the Basic Bangsamoro Law again is faced with constitutional questions and moral ascendancy of the government given that it has created more questions than answers as slowly the plan to change the constitution is only to serve the dominant capitalist and elitist system.

One big concern in the country today more than ever is the continuous destruction of the environment thru government’s destructive, extractive and exploitative mineral and natural resource policies like the open pit mining, the promotion and fast tracking implementation of petro-chemical and agri-business based cash-crop plantations and the massive and widespread building of coal-fired power plants despite of the full potentials for hydro and geo-thermal power sources (renewable energy) we have in the country. Most of these projects are implemented in the ancestral domains of the Indigenous Peoples, Bangsamoro and heart of food and agriculture resource base in the country. Nowadays, these territories were subjected to military offensives and giving the old reasoning of the presence of terrorist organizations and the communist and revolutionary fronts. The earlier destructions the environment has already impacted on the mass populations in the forms of massive widespread and unprecedented flooding, landslides and soil erosions.

In addition, while the Duterte government is speaking against European Union and US interventions to the country, he has been obviously leaning towards and in favour to the emerging global powers of China and Russia. This attitude has blatantly exposed how the Duterte administration played to accommodate interests favourable to these international powers. The current administration keeps on criticising USA but without debunking the Mutual Defence Agreements between USA and the Philippines and at the same time encouraging more Chinese capitalist investments and projects in the country like for instance in building military installations in the Philippine claimed 6 out of 7 territories in the West Philippine Sea. The Duterte administration’s boasting on its so-called independent foreign policy is baseless in fact and in reality.

These are few of the realities in the country today that intertwined with the global economic, political and cultural developments under the capitalist dominance. Despite these realities, we have remained inspired with the Revolutionary Solidarity and of the undying support from the working class and toiling masses.

In line with these, the Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPA) calls out all revolutionary and progressive movements worldwide to strengthen our ranks and fight against all forms of oppression, exploitation, division and repression created and imposed by all reactionary governments under the dictates of the global capital. RPA comrades together with the revolutionary Workers’ Party – Mindanao will continue to perform their political tasks under whatever political climate. Let us use all possible arsenals to push forward the working class and toiling masses’ interests even if this means the use of the armed form if necessary.

Long Live the Fourth International! Long Live the 17th World Congress!

Long Live and Salute to You All Comrades in the Fourth International!

National Operational Command (NOC)

Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPA)

Mindanao, Philippines

25 February 2018

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