Revolutionary Salute and Greetings to comrades and cadres of the Revolutionary Peoplesâ€™ Army (RPA) and the whole command and ranks to celebrate its 18th founding anniversary of revolutionary service and existence on 18th of March 2013 in time also of the 45thÂ commemoration of the 1968 Jabidah Massacre that triggered importantly the national liberation aspiration among Bangsamoro.
The Revolutionary Workersâ€™ Party â€“ Mindanao (RPW-M/RPM-M) believes that in our context today, there is always a need for an armed component in this revolutionary path that we have (not a separate component but integral in all forms) â€“ to defend the masses and their victories and at the same time to confront the bourgeois and reactionary assaults and policies harmful to our revolutionary socialist project;
RPW-M/RPM-M also believes that at all times revolutionary forces should always be prepared in the time of antagonist confrontations against the bourgeois system to protect the militants, activists and the progressive movements;
In this moment, we would also like to offer tribute and salute to our comrades in the RPA who offered their lives for the masses and the revolution â€“ their revolutionary contributions will not be put in vain and our the victories of the masses shall offer justice for them;
We call on comrades active in the regular guerrilla, partisan and local militia units to hold on with ourÂ Politico-Militar revolutionary framework being the army of the people and the oppressed against the neoliberal and capitalist attacks;
We also would like to give thanks to the masses and allies for continuously showing your supports and constructive critics making us more integrated and grounded;
It is also our call to the tripeople masses and working class to be more consolidated and organized and always be ready for a revolutionary flow that is beneficial to the poor and exploited classes among peoples;
Now, we altogether (the Party and the Army) were able to reflect and realized that revolutionary armies cannot just be armies alone but it can perform also political tasks same with all militants and activists around the world that is not seen as additional burden but appreciated as real revolutionary contribution.
Our comrades are capable of being a political and a military cadre. And yes, we have more works to do and we have done a lot so far.
We are in this together!
Revolutionary Workersâ€™ Party â€“ Mindanao, Philippines
16 March 2013
(18 March 2012)
Last 18 March 1995, the Revolutionary Peoplesâ€™ Army (RPA) was formally founded through the agreement of all the members and the leadership of Peoplesâ€™ Communist Party (PCP), the Pre-Party formation after the split from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). During its plenum conducted to democratically discuss and change the name of its armed wing after the Regional Commandâ€™s decision to break from the Chain of Command from the New Peopleâ€™s Army (NPA). The name RPA was agreed upon because of the composition of the three peoples of Mindanao (Indigenous Peoples, Bangsamoro, and Migrant Settlers). Thus, it is deemed worthy for the name of the army to signify and reflect the representation of the three people on it. Comrades then started the formulation of its rectified military orientation which becomes a guide in the realization of its everyday work that is based on the concrete situation of Mindanao and of the country.
After more than two years of formation, the first Mindanao-wide Military Conference was called upon last 11-18 November 1997. One of the main focus of the discussion during this conference included the summing-up of the experiences of the armed struggle from the period the first unit was formed in the countryside and the partisan works in the urban and cities, the formation of the Moro Revolutionary Army (MRA) of the Bangsamoro and Kuyog Sumfat Mamalu (KSM) of the Indigenous People, finalization of the military orientation and the conduct of work of the armies in the ebb period of revolution, approval of the name of the army and election of its over-all command. It was also in this conference where negative and positive experiences were identified and become learning guide for the continuous realization of the military works in the future.
After the conference, the new military orientation was proven effective and efficient in more than a decade of practical experience. This orientation is based on Politico-Militar framework which balanced the two aspects and didnâ€™t consider one as primary or secondary to the other, which is the basic difference in principle and practice of the old party (CPP) until now. It considers political and military works as equal and considers equal footing with the other arena of struggle which would depend on the concrete situation that may arise in a specific period of time. It didnâ€™t abolish the use of arm and the arm struggle as the most authoritative and controlling form of struggle but it considered the essence of putting such in the right place. In the uneven and mal developed capitalist system like the Philippines, there is always a period where revolution is on its flow or ebb. During its ebb period, it is necessary to intensify Revolutionary Mass Work through the combination of all forms of struggles to ensure the realization of the primary demands and reforms that for a long time has been denied from the masses. The vital role of the military work is to support these actions and to defend their successes against the attack of the ruling class.
Days prior to the 17th Founding Anniversary of RPA, a pre-summing up of the army’s historical account and experiences were conducted. It included the time when the first unit was formed in 1984 up to the period it made split from the old party and its military wing, the period it started on its own and the period when the new party and its military wing was formed. It was in this contextual period where numerous positive and negative experiences and its corresponding learning were identified. It is important to learn from those experiences, enhance its positive aspect, and avoid the weaknesses from the past to be committed again.
During the celebration of its 17th year founding anniversary, comrades, activists and the masses initiated a program with the theme, Continue Embracing the Right Orientation to Intensify Revolution against Oppression. The program had three memorable and important parts which includes (1) the presentation of the armies on their expertise in military work through war games, maneuvering, combat operation in the countryside and the partisan operation in towns and cities, (2) the commemoration and tribute to martyr comrades who sacrificed their lives for revolution, and (3) support messages from different sectors, masses, and other people from different types of work in solidarity with the 17th founding anniversary of RPA. One of the messages given was from the leadership of the Revolutionary Workers Party – Mindanao (RPM-M) which expressed more encouragement and additional challenge for everyone to continue socialist revolution until it is realized.
The anniversary celebration was successful though there was information on adversary and the presence of the Reaffirmist (NPA) elements and the presence of the Philippine Army around the area. The success was made possible because of the cooperation of all comrades (military and political), activist masses, regular local forces, ally forces of the army, and some allies who gave time and support. The National Operational Command of the RPA would want to extend its revolutionary and warm gratitude to those who gave and showed their support for the success of the said celebration. RPA is hoping for a continuous warm support for any type of work of the revolutionary movement.
Long Live the Socialist Revolution!
Long Live the People and the Masses!
Long Live the 17th Founding Anniversary of the Revolutionary Peoplesâ€™ Army!
Long Live the Revolutionary Workers Party – Mindanao!
Long Live the Three People (Indigenous People, Bangsamoro and Migrant Settlers)!
Long Live for everyone!
National Operational Command
Revolutionary Peoples’ Army
By: Dum Dew
In November 2010, the Military Commission of the Revolutionary Woprkers’ Party – Mindanao, Revolutionary Peoples’ Army called for a Military Conference. This resulted to the election of National Operational Command and the adoption of its basic documents affirming its orientation and principles for the masses. As part of its continuous capacitation of its ranks and cadres, a military training was resolved to be launched thru the Politico-Militar Academy..
The Politico-Militar Academy (PMA)
The PMA is a military and political machinery of the Revolutionary Peoples’ Army tasked to capacitate RPA military ranks, political cadres, and members in all necessary trainings, ideologically and militarily.
The planned military training was realized in the second year of 2011. A month-long military training was organized with more than a hundred military comrades from different guerrilla, partisan and military units participating at Camp Cielo, Mindanao.
Meanwhile, responding to the call of strengthening the peoples’ armed forces, the South Central Mindanao Region of the RPW-M and RPA base opened a similar PMA run by the Ancestral Domain Defense Unit (ADDU). The participants of the military training in this area comprised of Bangsamoro, Indigenous People and Migrant Settlers. The military exercise was also in response to the challenge of consolidating, expanding and strengthening the revolutionary military forces among tribes, communities and regions given the challenges posed by the time and objective conditions.
The ADDU-RPA Military Training
Following the success of the military training in Camp Cielo, the ADDU launched its military training at Camp Mingkugu, Mindanao. Trainees came from the different units of ADDU and RPA in South Central Mindanao. The training was not only limited to military orientation and actual combat exercises but as well as theoretical discussions. Prior to the start of the said military training was the formal opening of the Politico-Militar Academy – South Central Mindanao.
The success of the training was mainly attributed to the important role of the masses and local militia that helped in the security and preparations until the end of the exercise. During the discussions, crucial issues came up concerning local landlords, political dynasties and warlords that posed as constant threats to the ancestral domain claims of the Lumad and land security of the peasants. The security situation is also aggravated with the presence of bandits, ‘lost commands’ and other armed groups who loot the properties of the masses.
It ended with military honors and tribute to the graduates, attended by mass supporters and activists including comrades from different lines of work.
After the training were series of consolidation activities which saw more daring comrades joining the revolutionary forces in the regular guerrilla units and partisan and organizer operatives in the urban and rural areas in the Region.
The Ancestral Domain Defence Unit
The Ancestral Domain Defence Unit (ADDU) was founded from a bitter experience of the Indigenous People in Mindanao because of the oppressive assaults by the ruling elite of the society. Its historical existence is rooted tribal communities’ defence force against aggressors. This cultural practice existed even before the Sultanate System and Colonization era. Weapons used also evolved from bow, arrow and bolos to sophisticated ones in its struggle. During the Commonwealth period in 1900s, Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao fought thru the Alangkat Movement which aimed to protect their territories that were being included and or integrated to the Commonwealth government.
At present, even if many Lumad are already assimilated into into the mainstream and those who continue to live by their traditions, more Lumad still remain conscious and continued to fight for the protection and preservation of their ancestral domain and for social liberation in various arenas. This includes the revolutionary (underground) form, like ADDU that have continuously worked with the Revolutionary Workers’ Party- Mindanao – Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPM-M-RPA) for a more comprehensive and inclusive socialist revolutionary framework. ADDU knew that the prevailing ruling system is capitalist and there will never be a society of the oppressed peoples and class, unless they will work and contribute in the dismantling of that oppressive system.
ADDU consistently sow seeds to consistently advance the oppressed peoples struggles. It has to consolidate and strengthen its ranks, cadres and units politically, ideologically and militarily. In the Politico-Militar framework, a peoples’ army should be equipped with political and military capabilities and never prioritize the former or the latter. It is always a combination of both. Armed struggle, meanwhile, should complement with the other forms of struggle in the reform and revolution framework.
The Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPA) successfully concluded its 2nd Military Conference and Combatant Retraining at Camp Ceilo, one of the major camps of the RPA in Central Mindanao. The month-long two successive activities were aimed at strengthening the organizational and military capabilities of the RPA to facilitate smooth and effective functioning of all its commands and to maintain and ensure the Pol-Mil capabilities and readiness of the organization in order to effectively fulfill to the various needs of the different areas and fronts.
The 2nd Military Conference was called upon by the Central Committee of the RPM-M as stated in its second Congress and Mindanao Operational Command (MOC), the leadership body of the RPA in order to, among others, review the framework and basic documents of the RPA, assess its conduct and concrete victories and shortcomings, elect a new leadership, and come up with a strategic plan for the next couple of years. It was attended by 35 cadre-representatives from different RPA fronts in the cities, towns and countryside communities of Mindanao. The representatives were a mixture of Indigenous Peoples, Bangsamoro people and majority nationality.
Right after the military conference, a POL-MIL training followed. The training was organized and managed by the RPA’s Politico-Militar Academy (PMA). Several platoons of units from the regular RPA, local militias and Partisan Units from different fronts and districts participated. These participants are expected to become the instructors when the retraining will be replicated in their respected fronts. Among others, the retraining focused on the discussion and actual conduct of the Revolutionary Mass Movement, RPA’s code of Ethics and Conduct, RPA’s Police Function, Rules of War (Landmine Ban Commitment – continuity of the previous workshop facilitated by Geneva Call a Switzerland based institution, Ceasefire Commitment, etc.) and a review of RPA’s Military Strategy and Tactics and the participants’ Military Skills during the defensive period of the revolutionary camp and during the peace talks period.
These new successes of the RPA are dedicated to the furtherance of the struggles of the peoples in Mindanao. According to Ka Raul, director of the RPA-PMA, despite the ceasefire agreement signed by the GRP and the RPM-M, to which the RPA binds itself, the whole RPA organization should, by every inch and every minute, be ready to take on any obstacle that will hinder the peoples’ democratic and anti-imperialist struggles. This is in the light of the reality that in Mindanao many of the threats against the peoples’ rights and rightful struggles come not just from the state and its formal instruments, but also from such actors as warlords, local capitalists, foreign corporations and their minions, and corrupt government officials – to name only some.
In a message read by Ka Joshua of the Executive Committee of the RPM-M, the leadership and the entire membership of the RPM-M congratulate and salute the graduates of the RPA-PMA batch 2010. He further read that the sharpening of the graduates’ consciousness and skills will be instrumental in our successful struggle for socialism in Mindanao, in the Philippines and the world.
Position Paper of the RPM-M/RPA on the Demobilization, Disarmament, Reintegration/Rehabilitation Framework of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines vis-à-vis Peace Talks
The Press Statement of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita on September 3, 2008 has drawn reactions from various Revolutionary groups and even civil society groups. It was obviously formulated in the midst of the current hostilities in Mindanao that killed innocent civilians, destroyed properties and displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians. Of course, this has to be blamed on some base commanders of the MILF and their irrational reactions on the forestalled signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain or the MOA-AD after the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order. The violent events that followed seemingly justified the arrogant reaction of the Central Government to the armed-opponents, as in the case of the MILF – and especially to its legitimate claim on the right of self-determination.
The Demobilization, Disarmament and Re-integration/Rehabilitation (DDR) as the forefront context of any peace process is tantamount to saying ‘surrender first before we talk or no peace process at all’. For a period, the GRP seemed to act progressively when it basically agreed with the content of the MOA-AD which has transcended the constitutional framework of the present Philippine Constitution. If this was not what it seemed, then the government was merely using the MOA-AD to premise the formulation of the ‘new thrust’ on the peace process which is the DDR for whatever ‘agenda’ that best serves the present dispensation.
Looking back at the content of the Statement on DDR as a new policy, one could find the militarist stand and at the same time effort to take ground in the grassroots communities through the so called ‘authentic dialogues’. There is nothing wrong with the latter if, and only if, the GRP will consider the revolutionary groups as included among the legitimate stakeholders; and, shall not dwell on deceptions to isolate its opponents from their respective mass bases.
We strongly believe that DDR is always an integral part of a peace process – but it should be the last stage of the whole process. In fact, DDR should be the logical result of the whole process in which each stage is a built-up for the next and higher stage, nearer to a comprehensive political settlement.
The RPM-M maintains the following points as paramount vis-à-vis the DDR framework of the GRP:
1. community-based community empowerment and development processes through inclusive consultations;
2. acknowledgement of the legitimacy and validity of the inherent right to self determination as manifested in the MOA-AD of the Bangsamoro through the MILF – without prejudice to the Right of self-determination of other minority nationalities in Mindanao;
3. the peace process shall always transcend the framework of the present Philippine Constitution in both words and deeds since it should be mutually inclusive to the talking parties. Conflict transformation can genuinely start from this viewpoint and;
4. DDR is an integral part of the peace process but it should not start or restart with it as the condition for peace talks.
RPMM Peace Committee
September 6, 2008