By Max Lane
Important sections of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) have joined the break from the Stalinist politics of the CPP's past. The regional committee of the Negros CPP, the democratic bloc of the Panay regional party organisation and the new regional party organisation of Central Visayas all made declarations of autonomy during the first two weeks of October.
The statements all rejected what they termed the feudalist and Stalinist leadership of the current chair (Jose Maria Sison alias Armando Liwanag) and National Executive and the forcing through of Liwanag's policies without discussion within the party.
The Panay democratic bloc also criticised moves to "arrest" CPP leaders who have opposed the positions put by Liwanag. The Central Visayas statement attacked the practice of members being "summarily kicked out" without any due process. It criticised the supporters of the official position for burning volumes of documents covering the history of the movement in the region.
The Panay bloc also rejected the "dogmatisation of the Chinese strategy of People's War and its mechanical application to the Philippine situation".
The Panay bloc called for a national congress of the CPP to sum up experiences, to update and amend the party constitution and program and to elect a new Central Committee. If efforts to hold a second congress did not succeed, then the democratic bloc would "partake in the efforts to build a new" party.
The bloc described itself as composed of "50% of the duly elected Regional Committee members; the Southern Front, which comprises 2/3 of the whole party organisation in the region; a significant chunk of the Party organisations in the urban and rural plains and a sizeable majority of New Peoples Army formations". The statement claims that this represents 80% of the total party membership and organised masses in the island.
The new breakaway groupings represents around 5000 active party members and many more mass activists. Overall the Visayas democratic forces are led by the Visayas Commission, declared dissolved by the national leadership. The commission leadership is still supported by the majority of the membership.
The Visayas branch of the underground alliance of mass activists, the National Democratic Front (NDF), issued a statement that, despite its disagreements with the formal leadership of the NDF, it would not allow the Ramos government to use the divisions to weaken the movement. The Visayas NDF would not agree to local peace negotiations.
At the same time the Visayas NDF stated that it reserved its right to be consulted regarding any agreements reached.