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Sison, with his huge ego, red-tagged his communist fronts long ago

IT is ridiculous for the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) parliamentary cadres like Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate to claim that Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy and other military officials are “red-tagging” their ilk when they publicly point out that they are members of or supporters of that fake revolutionary vanguard.

Zarate and these Reds think Filipinos are so stupid as to believe that old, old line their leader Jose Maria Sison used in the University of the Philippines in the 1960s. Sison had used ad nauseam that “red-tagging” crap to deny that the Kabataan Makabayan (KM) and other organizations he set up were Communist Party fronts, designed to gradually lure young minds into their Maoist conspiracy. Well, KM has been for decades indeed officially one of the so-called members of the National Democratic Front (NDF), a misnomer really as it is not an alliance at all; its member organizations are arms of the CPP for particular sectors.

Why should Zarate and his ilk complain about being “red-tagged” when the military and the national security apparatus for years actually had an “official” list of organizations organized by the CPP, thanks to Sison’s ego. 

In 2001, Sison organized the so-called International League of People’s Struggles (see https://ilps.info/en/). Because of his bloated ego, he wanted to be viewed not just as the supreme leader of the Philippine communist movement, but as the leader — or at least ideologue — of current communist-led struggles in the world.

This was to be done through an international version of his National Democratic Front, the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS), a lesser version of the much-sought-after “Fifth Internationale” that has been the dream for a united global communist movement.

It was also one of Sison’s many ways to fool armchair revolutionaries all around the world to give him money for his upkeep in the Netherlands. Member-organizations were charged a membership of $50 for organizations in developing countries and $150 for those in developed ones.

To launch the ILPS, and justify his leading it, Sison, ordered all of the organizations the CPP had control of to become members of the “league,” excluding the formal members of the NDF. That made the Philippine members the biggest group in the ILPS. That allowed Sison to be its chairman 2001 to 2019, feeding this ego that he was not just the leader of the Philippine Maoist insurgency, but even inspired those in other countries. Perhaps realizing that being chair of the ILPS didn’t bring him the international fame he thought it would, Sison stepped down from that post last year but was designated as chairman emeritus, the same title he holds in the CPP now.

The latest list of ILPS member-organizations are in its official website, which had the accompanying “Important note: The following are the participating organizations in the latest international assembly. It does not list all member organizations of the ILPS.”

The ILPS website where Sison’s list of his communist fronts appears.

ILPS member-organizations in the country which participated in the assembly, its sixth held in Hong Kong in 2019, total 76. This is shown in the accompanying image. (I urge organizations to email me if they had not agreed to be members of the ILPS so I can announce their denial in this column. They should also complain to this international Red front why their names are being used.)

Sison actually listed over 139 organizations, as he included even the chapters of the main organizations. Thus, listed for example are “Bagong Alyansang Makabayan,” “Bayan Panay,” “Bayan Bikol,” “Bayan Gitnang Luson,” “Gabriela Alliance of Filipino Women,” Gabriela Metro Manila” and “Gabriela ST.” Many of the ILPS member-organizations elsewhere in the world are actually chapters of these longtime communist fronts such as “Gabriela Australia,” “Bayan Hong Kong,” “Anakbayan Santa Cruz” and “Migrante Seattle.”

ILPS officials, that is, members “International Coordinating Committee” and “International Coordinating Group,” elected in the 2019 assembly, include the well-known Party cadres in the legal struggle: Anakpawis Rafael Marian, Bayan’s Renato Reyes and Gabriela’s Liza Masa, and IBON International’s head Antonio Tujan.

I don’t think there is any doubt that it is a list of organizations that the CPP controls. The ILPS website unfailingly repeats the main articles in the CPP”s official newspaper Ang Bayan. For instance, the main articles in its current issue are “Condemn the Brutal Murder of Filipino Peasant Leader Randall Echanis!” and “Tribute to Comrade Fidel Agcaoili.”

The list shows how vast is the Communist Party’s propaganda network, that its insurgency is more of a propaganda war operation rather than an armed struggle. With these organizations being really small, their power can be seen only in terms of their propaganda reach.

For instance I had been puzzled that a nongovernment organization, “Children’s Rehabilitation Center,” very regularly emails me statements against government, even one claiming that “Signing of Anti-Terror Act reaffirms Duterte’s as # 1 violator of child rights-CRC.” The answer: “Children’s’ Rehabilitation Center” is an ILPS member.

For every issue thrown against government, there is a particular ILPS (read: communist) organization that would lead the Reds’ propaganda effort. The CPP thinking apparently is that if the state is cut a thousand times with controversies, it would lose credibility and would be easier to topple.

For instance, one NGO Pamalakaya quickly took on the white-sand Manila Bay issue, with such slogans as “Pagkain, hindi buhangin.” Take a look at the list of ILPS members, Pamalayaka is there,

I had goosebumps when I heard Zarate saying — in the halls of Congress, a pillar of democracy — that the “labeling of someone as a communist or terrorist could lead to physical harm and even death of the person being tagged.”

That has actually been the thinly veiled threat of the Communist Party since it was founded. What Zarate and his ilk are really saying is, “If you Red-tag our members and organizations, you risk their lives as targets of the military, which means you are equivalent to a military agent. Which means you are a target for liquidation by the NPA.”

It is actually that threat that has struck fear into the hearts of journalists and even government officials in shirking away from telling the truth that Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Kabataan, Migrante have been fronts — for several decades now in fact — of the Communist Party for what it calls its “parliamentary struggle” that serves its armed struggle.

That’s a romanticized term for the tasks of these party-list organizations. This includes taking advantage of their parliamentary posts — delivered by the mass base and muscle of the NPAs — to siphon money from their government funds into their insurgency, recruit the gullible youth in the cities for eventual conscription as NPA solders, and to use their power in Congress to bully such government offices as the Presidential Communications Operations Office, whose officials, like Badoy, are patriots who boldly expose what these organizations really are.

Only the most gullible journalists — like that nut in Rappler who has a nut for a mother-in-law — still believe that the so-called Makabayan bloc of congressmen aren’t cadres of the CPP.

Don’t call them Makabayan (nationalist or patriotic). Nothing in CPP’s constitution (check it out at cpp.ph) indicates their embrace of the nation-state we call the Philippines. Its principles, their constitution says, are “from Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin Mao, Ho” and other great communist thinkers and leaders. There is no mention at all in that document of Rizal, Bonifacio, Mabini nor any of our heroes that helped define the nation. The CPP flag doesn’t even hint that the Philippines exist: “red with the hammer and sickle in gold in the middle.” Its anthem is not the Philippine Anthem but the communist “Internationale.”

Don’t call them “progressive,” a term which Sison used ad nauseam in the 1960s as of course he didn’t want to use Marxist or communist, as in his first publication The Progressive Review.

Communism is now as regressive as fascism and racism.

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