The biggest story to come out from the underground is the successful holding by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) of its second congress in 2016. The first congress, as we all know was held eons ago, or when the party was founded in 1968. That congress laid down the ideological foundation of the revolution and elected members of the Central Committee, with Jose Ma. Sison (a.k.a. Amado Guerrero) as founding chairman. Consider that the party will be celebrating its 50th year of existence next year and you will realize how long since the first congress was held. In the intervening years, many central committee members either were martyred, arrested or laid low.
While the holding of the second congress is most welcome, I still believe that it should have been held in the late ’80s before the party split into the Reaffirm and Reject factions. That was the time when new ideas from “ideologue-cadres” surfaced, or when a “hundred schools of thought” contended, sort of, after the Marcos regime was toppled and the party failed to capitalize fully on the 1986 Edsa people power uprising. I read the “Communique of the Second Congress of the Communist Party of the Philippines” published in the website Philippine Revolution Web Central and I noticed nothing earth-shaking in its content except for the replenishment of the Central Committee membership with the introduction of the proverbial young blood.
This is because the congress was held around two decades after the Reaffirmists succeeded in fending off the challenge of the Rejectionists and “reaffirmed” its adherence to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the ideological foundation of the revolution. It was not surprising that the congress would reflect that adherence and come up only with peripheral changes to answer minor needs. Even the claim of “presenting a clearer picture” of the revolution’s strategy and tactics can only be a reaffirmation of the old one considering how repetitive CPP’s stand is on many issues. But the congress did consolidate the party’s gains after the tumultuous split and expresses its readiness to continue the struggle in the decades to come up.
The biggest achievement of that congress is, of course, the strengthening of its leadership. The election of new Central Committee members, half of which are “young and middle-aged cadres” means that the days of having the party run either by remnants of the Central Committee elected in 1968 or their appointees is over. That I think is the context of the resolution giving “highest honors” to Sison for his “immense contribution to the Philippine revolution.” While Sison still leads the revolution in spirit, the actual running of the party is now in the hands of the new party Central Committee, Political Bureau and Secretariat. Let us see how the new leadership will fare amidst the challenges of continuing the revolution in a different milieu from the ones prevailing in the late ’60s, under the Marcos dictatorship from 1972 to the 1986 Edsa uprising, and the tumultuous ’90s.–August 14, 2017
PHOTO: from the Philippine Revolution Web Central wbsite