Communist Party of the Philippines
Satur Ocampo, Bayan Muna president, interviewed by Reihana Mohideen
August 11, 2010 -- Some 1205 extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, largely political activists and journalists, took place under the government of former Philippines president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, according to the human rights organisation Karapatan. In the few weeks since the June 30 inauguration of the new president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, six extrajudicial killings have taken place, three being members of organisations aligned with the Bayan Muna (Country First) party.
Bayan Muna is an electoral formation and Satur Ocampo is its president. Ocampo is a former member of the Philippines Congress representing Bayan Muna, when Bayan Muna topped the 2001 and 2004 party list elections (the system of proportional representation for the marginalised sectors). Ocampo headed the peace negotiations panel of the National Democratic Front, allied with the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), after the collapse of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.
By Reihana Mohideen
[The first two in a series of commentaries in the lead-up to the May 10, 2010 elections in the Philippines.]
On February 24, 2006, a Friday, the Philippine media reported an aborted coup d’etat allegedly launched by rebel military forces against the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was supposed to be headed by young officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) led by a former senator and colonel, Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan. He is said to command a group of junior officers and soldiers that has formed an alliance with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army. A few days later, the government announced a bounty of five million pesos for the arrest of Honasan, who had gone into hiding since that Friday. The government also released a list of more than fifty alleged co-conspirators in the coup attempt, although the prize money was reserved for Honasan, who topped the list.
Former movie actor Joseph Estrada was elected president of the Philippines in a landslide vote in June 1998. This electoral mandate, however, paled in comparison with the people’s mandate that brought Corazon Aquino to power in 1986. The latter was a product, not of an election, but of the people’s power uprising known as EDSA.
This comparison is significant in that Estrada’s landslide represents a lowered expectation of the masses in the government that they voted into office. The people’s euphoria during the initial period of the Aquino administration was subsequently damped by the regime’s incapacity to alleviate the destitution of the people during its six-year existence. The succeeding administration of Fidel Ramos was a continuation of this suffering.
- Vietnam's Pol-Mil
- The Philippine pol-mil
- Terrorism and terror as tactics
- When terror is admissible
- Pol-Mil versus mass struggle strategy
A number of party formations in the Philippines, such as the PMP (Workers Party of the Philippines), RPM (Revolutionary Workers Party), PMLP (Party of Marxists-Leninists in the Philippines), adopt the politico-military ("pol-mil") strategy as a reaction to the protracted people's war strategy of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). It is defined as a combination of political and military struggles, with the military struggle playing a secondary or subordinate role to the political struggle.