Communist Party of the Philippines

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Communist Party of the Philippines


(CPP, Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas), founded Nov. 7, 1930. C. Evangelista played a prominent role in organizing the party. Its formation was prepared organizationally by the Labor Party (founded in 1924). The CPP was admitted to the Comintern in 1935. In 1938 the CPP merged with the Socialist Party, which had been established in 1932 as a legal Marxist party after the 1932 ban on the CPP. (It operated underground in 1932–37 and 1942–44.) Participating in municipal elections in 1940 as part of the Popular Front, the CPP scored an important victory on the island of Luzon, where six Communists were elected as mayors.

During World War II, the CPP was the initiator of the popular struggle against the Japanese aggressors. The Hukbalahap people’s army, created in 1942 under the leadership of the CPP, waged a struggle against the Japanese occupiers for three years. After the country was liberated from the Japanese occupation, the CPP considerably strengthened its position in the workers’ and peasants’ movement. In 1945 the Congress of Workers’ Organizations and in 1946 the National Peasants Union were established under its leadership. In 1946 the CPP took part in the presidential elections as part of the Democratic Alliance. The growth of the CPP’s influence in the country’s democratic movement and its struggle for complete national independence and against the dominance of American capital prompted US-oriented reactionary forces to resort to repression against the CPP and the mass workers’ and peasants’ organizations. The CPP was banned again in 1948. In 1950 the entire Secretariat of the Central Committee of the CPP, led by general secretary José Lava, was arrested. (He was imprisoned until January 1970.)

In 1948 the CPP led an armed struggle against the government. In 1950 the CPP created the People’s Liberation Army (Hukbo ng), which had about 10,000 soldiers in its ranks. The CPP suffered great losses in the course of the armed struggle. Many leaders of the CPP and the People’s Liberation Army perished. In 1956 the CPP adopted a policy of ending armed actions and using peaceful legal and illegal means of struggle. The CPP leadership expanded work to reestablish party organizations underground. In 1967 a pro-Maoist grouping was expelled from the CPP. In December 1968 this grouping established the so-called Mao Tse-tung Thought Communist Party of the Philippines and established the New People’s Army, which stepped up its armed struggle against the government. Taking advantage of this, the authorities launched an offensive against the CPP and mass progressive organizations. The adventurist line of the Maoist CPP struck a powerful blow against the anti-imperialist movement in the Philippines.

The Sixth Congress of the CPP, held in February 1973, adopted a new party program aimed at peaceful development of the Philippine revolution. In 1974 the CPP reached an agreement with the government concerning the party’s legal activity. Having emerged from the underground, the CPP ceased the armed struggle and extended support to progressive reforms launched by President Marcos, including the agrarian reform.

The CPP approved the general line of the international communist movement worked out by the international Conferences of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Moscow in 1957, 1960, and 1969. Felicísimo Macapagal is secretary general of the CPP Central Committee. (See Table 1 for a list of the congresses of the CPP.)

Table 1. Congresses of the Communist Party of the Philippines
First ............... 1931
Second ............... 1935
Third ...............Manila1938
Fourth ............... 1940
Fifth ...............Manila1946
Sixth ............... 1973

A. F. MALOV [12–1675–1; updated]

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