JULIUS Giron, the Communist Party of the Philippines’ fourth chairman in its 51 years of trying to overthrow by force the country’s democratic system, was killed March 13 in Baguio City, allegedly in a firefight with a team of military intelligence and police operatives.
That Giron, known in party inner circles as “KaNars,” was the CPP chairman and head of its New People’s Army (NPA) had been kept secret both by the Philippine military and the party; the former for some undisclosed reason while the latter hasn’t done so as its leadership has been in disarray. Members of the central committee have abandoned their safehouses, fearing that these may have been revealed in Giron’s computer files. They have been unable to meet or even communicate with each other; thus, there is no unit with the authority to announce its chairman has been killed.
Three months after Giron’s death, the CPP has been unable to designate even an acting chairman. There is no other obvious party leader with the stature to assume the post. This actually reflects the grave crisis in the party’s leadership, which is aging without a new younger core. In the 1970s, it was a party of angry young men with most of its central committee in their 20s or early 30s — founder Jose Maria Sison was just 31 then.(more…)