The New People’s Army and affiliated communist groups in the Philippines have no love for the modern-day Chinese Communist Party.
The News Lens
By: Michael Beltran
Filipino communist guerrillas of the New People’s Army (NPA) have been around for five decades, a feat that was marked with the group’s 50th anniversary March 29. The date itself mirrors the founding of the HUKBALAHAP, the old guerrilla army that confronted the Japanese occupation of the country during World War II. The new iteration of freedom fighters have identified an additional enemy: Chinese encroachment.
The NPA is led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), whose ideological standpoint is firmly Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. Maoist China had a more lasting impact on the modern generation of activists from the 1970s. Many had gone to China to see first-hand the socialist practices at work. Edgar Jopson, a key figure of the anti-martial law uprisings of the 1970s, was one such individual enamored with what he saw in Beijing which contributed to him adopting communist ideals and subsequently joining the NPA.
Nowadays, it seems the guerrillas have their guns firmly pointed at China – along with President Rodrigo Duterte’s government whom, they say, is collaborating with Beijing by giving up territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea while allowing a massive influx of Chinese businesses and workers. The rebels say he not only bows down to U.S. imperialist interests but now to Chinese territory grabbing and interventionism.
It may seem hard to imagine how a group founded on something so closely identified with China now bears a desire to repel any Chinese incursions. To them and for many others, China has come a long way from the beacon of working-class socialism it once portrayed itself as to the world. [FULL STORY]