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Communist insurgency in the philippines history essay

Communist Party of the Philippines–New People

The Huk Rebellion The Philippines is socially and geographically fragmented, its terrain is nearly all mountainous and it is made up of 7,100 islands, within which live more than one hundred tribal groups who speak seventy different languages. These Factors and a history of peasant revolts are important in understanding the problem of insurgency which has faced many Filipino governments. The rebels lived in central Luzon, the largest and most populated island of the Philippines.

  1. The government should understand and realize that revolutionary actions exist not as a result of the desire to make disturbances but because something is wrong with the society.
  2. The decision of coming up with a new military group transpired from the need of an armed force that will pursue the proletariat battle in the Philippines Cusi, 1996. Beginning in the late 2000s, Sison showed greater inclination for allowing the CPP-NPA to engage in peace negotiations and electoral politics as temporary support-building measures within the context of armed struggle.
  3. One more lapse that the get together has suffered may be the weakness of its corporation.

They were mainly peasant farmers known as Kasama who divided their harvest with their landlord. After the Second World War the relationship between tenant and landlord started to shift from a paternalistic one to a more business like and exploitative one. American farming methods started to make the local agriculture more commercialised and farmers started to use expensive insecticides and fertilizers which in turn lead them to become dependant on money lenders.

When the Japanese invaded in 1941 most of the wealthy landowners became pro Japanese, while the resistance the Hukbalahap was mainly main up of peasants. When the Americans liberated the Islands they turned against the Hukbalahap, disarming them and victimising them. The Huk rebellion reached its peak in 1951, and then it waned and faded.

Under the Marcos regime the Filipino army which was renown as one of the most incompetent in the world, had resorted to systematic violations of human rights, killing were often carried out by government sanctioned vigilante groups. In 1967 the communists spilt with the old PKP still remaining Marxist-Leninist and the new faction the CPP being Maoist and coming to represent the aspirations of those at the bottom of the social pile, with the Communist insurgency in the philippines history essay doctrines heavily altered to fit the Philippines.

This spilt happened at the height of the Sino-Soviet split and was influenced by it. After 1971 the CPP openly aligned with Moscow while the CPP aligned with the Chinese but got little from the Chinese and by the late 1970s it was not even receiving verbal support. The Russians did little for there faction neither of the big powers was bothered with the Philippines with other more urgent areas to support. The CPP formed its military wing the NPA in 1968 which was popular at first among the poor as it not only fought but taught new skills such as herbal medicine, irrigation and introduced some land reform into areas they strongly held.

By 1990 the PKP had renounced insurrection and had become a quasi-legal political party with about 5,000 members. The outlawed CPP meanwhile pursed its guerrilla war; in 1990 they were estimated to have 18,000-23,000 full time insurgents.

Communist insurgency in the philippines record essay

Politically they see the Philippines as a semi colonial society ruthlessly exploited by the US. On the military front they were firm believers in the Maoist principle of a protracted war. They claim that the Huk rebellion failed because it failed to spread beyond Luzon, which they have done with bases in the Bicol Peninsula, Samar Island and Mindanao.

They have recognised that the concept of having one liberated area from which their army could expand and seize the cities was impractical in the Philippines, so they based their strategy on the idea of a simultaneous insurrection in all the major islands.

Communist insurgency in the philippines record essay

They have supported peasants in disputes with the government, such as the prevention of the government dam building project in the Cordillera Mountains, which would have made thousands of Kalunga tribesmen homeless in 1974.

The Armies preoccupation with the Moro insurgency has also helped. But with President Marcos gone the communists lost their main recruiter, the CPP called for a boycott of the 1986 election, many local groups refused and the CPP drifted into collaboration with the Aquino government. This fell apart in 1987 and the struggle was renewed. With a popular President in power support in urban areas fell, and by 1991 they had 18,000 insurgents and falling. Two Chinese arms shipments in 1972 and 1974 were intercepted and Chinese aid stopped in 1975.

Political manoeuvring, Moro factionalism and decreased foreign support have reduced the chances of an open Muslim rebellion. The Moros have a long history of insurgency dating back to Spanish rule, particularly among the Muslim population of southern Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.

This was due to immigration of Christians from the north putting greater pressure on resources causing the Moros to fear becoming a minority in their own land.

  1. Although it clashed with government forces, the CPP-NPA initially concentrated on its own growth and strengthening its support among the peasantry, with party activists working to rally peasants to its cause.
  2. This means that the party was not able to expand thoroughly in quantity.
  3. Money and weapons came form Libya and Malaysia with some training done in Libya. Only one conclusion could be determined-that Communist insurgency would continually be present unless the federal government will implement legitimate reforms to combat the semi-colonial and semi-feudal state of this society.

The Moros traditionally carry weapons and when in 1972 the government tried to disarm them they became suspicious of the Marcos government and this lead to open revolt in 1972. They were inspired by Muslim nationalism in Indonesia and Malaysia. Money and weapons came form Libya and Malaysia with some training done in Libya.

Philippines’ communist rebellion: a new generation

The Arab states frequently threatened Marcos with oil embargoes. Fighting was fierce and more conventional than operations against the communist and left 50,000 dead. The government used political and economic concessions to cause factionalism within the Moros and Malaysia was persuaded to reduce arms shipments.

By 1976 the movement had started to decline and this lead to the Tripoli Agreement in 1977 which promised autonomy but this was a token and soon broken. After this period the rebellion never regained its full force as traditional rivalries between tribal leaders weakened the Moros. In 1987 the MNLF gave up its aim of independence but talks soon became deadlocked and 1988 saw some fighting. On 6th November 1990 the Aquino government announced the creation of a four province autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao.

This was done without consulting the Moros and spilt the resistance into 3 factions. Clan warfare is rife and this has allowed the Army to reduce it s presence. US withdrawal from the Philippines had no effect on the situation; the chances of full-scale hostilities are slim.

Conclusions Peasant revolt is historically endemic to the Philippines despite the differing nature of the insurrections it is the relationship between the peasants, the elite and the military that remains the main cause of unrest.

Luckily for the Philippines governments the nation has remained low on the list for any countries wishing to supply arms to the rebels and luckily for the rebels the US was frightened of any further involvement following Vietnam. Despite the end of the Marcos regime the insurgencies still rumble on and seem to do so unless the social and economic and political structure of the Philippines changes radically.

Kessler, Yale, 1989 240 pages. How to cite this article: