PHILIPPINE SOCIETYANDREVOLUTION ” Integrating Marxist-Leninist theory with Philippine practice is a two-way process. We do not merely take advantage of the victories achieved abroad so that we may succeed in our own revolution. But we also hope to add our own victory to those of others and make some worthwhile contribution to the advancement of Marxism-Leninism and the world proletarian revolution so that in the end mankind will be freed from the scourge of imperialism and enter the era of communism. Amado Guerrero PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION This edition of Amado Guerrero’s Philippine Society and Revolution includes, in addition to his Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War, the long essay entitled Our Urgent Tasks which was prepared by him for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Our Urgent Tasks first appeared in the first issue of the Party’s theoretical publication, Rebolusyon (Revolution), on July 1, 1976. If Philippine Society and Revolution, with its class analysis of Philippine history, provided the foundations for a Marxist-Leninist interpretation of Philippine society and its basis in the past; and if Specific Characteristics of our People’s War is a brilliant contribution to the understanding of the particularities of the Philippine revolution and therefore of great significance in the development of the strategy and tactics suited to the waging of a revolutionary war in an archipelagic country like the Philippines, Our Urgent Tasks identifies the specific tasks of Filipino revolutionaries in overthrowing the US-Marcos dictatorship — the most violent expression of neo-colonial rule — towards the realization of the people’s democratic revolution and the achievement of socialism.
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These three works, being the most clearly indicative of the Philippine revolutionary leadership’s continuing efforts to grasp the particularities of the Philippine revolution, therefore belong together. Our Urgent Tasks sums up the vital lessons of the Philippine revolutionary experience under conditions of fascist repression by the US-Marcos dictatorship, and identifies seven imperatives to win the life and death struggle against it. These are: 1. To carry forward the anti-fascist, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist movement by directing the main blow against the US-Marcos dictatorship as the main force of the armed counterrevolution against the Filipino people; 2.
To further strengthen the Party and to rectify errors so that it may continue to lead the Philippine revolution and keep it on the correct course; 3. To build the revolutionary mass movement in the countryside by arousing and organizing the peasant masses and carrying out the agrarian revolution; 4. To strengthen the people’s army and carry forward the armed struggle as the main form of the Filipino people’s struggle against reaction; 5. To build the anti-fascist and anti-imperialist revolutionary mass movement in the cities in support of the anti-feudal movement in the countryside; 6.
To realize a broad anti-fascist, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist united front which will win over the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie to the ranks of the basic alliance of workers and peasants; and 7. To relate the Philippine revolution to the world revolution in recognition of the internationalist character of the struggle of the Filipino people and proletariat. These tasks have been carried out by Party members since Our Urgent Tasks was issued. They have been carried out with success primarily because Party members have taken to heart the need to study the fluid situation in Philippine society, the particularities of the needs, tendencies, and objective standpoints of its various classes and sectors, the appropriate strategy and tactics called for in city and countryside, in each community, district and village, and among different sectors and classes. Indeed the most striking thing about Our Urgent Tasks is its detailed specificity, its being a brilliant example — as practice has borne out in the last eight years — of the need to constantly undertake concrete analyses of concrete conditions. This Marxist-Leninist principle is at the heart of the survival and growth of the Filipino revolutionary forces even in conditions of the most brutal repression.
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It is a principle already well-understood and practised — and it is a principle Our Urgent Tasks firmly establishes as fundamental to the waging of revolution. PREFACE It is with great pride that the International Association of Filipino Patriots offers this third edition of Amado Guerrero’s Philippine Society and Revolution and the first edition of his Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War. Without doubt, these are two towering theoretical works to emerge from the current revolutionary struggle in the Philippines. Since the significance of these two works may not be immediately evident to the reader it would be worthwhile to situate them in the political and intellectual history of the ongoing national-democratic movement.
Hopefully, these introductory notes will serve this purpose. The last decade has witnessed the swift transformation of the Philippine political arena. On the one side, U. S. imperialism and the local ruling class, in response to sharpening social contradictions, have banished any pretense of democratic rule and foisted direct fascist control on the restive masses in the form of the Marcos martial-law dictatorship. On the other side, a national democratic people’s movement has rapidly and steadily grown in strength, so that today, at the very height of the Filipino people’s oppression by U.
S. -backed repression, they are also closer to national liberation than at any other point in their recent history. The contemporary national-democratic movement is successfully mobilizing the latent revolutionary energy of the Filipino masses, and a major part of the explanation is undoubtedly that it rests on a firm foundation of theory. Thus, while the movement arose on the material basis of class exploitation, of the masses’s pontaneously felt experiences of oppression, it was also guided from the beginning by the conviction that in order to succeed, it had to get beyond spontaneity. For Philippine history is marked by hundreds of spontaneous revolts against oppressive classes and authorities by uprisings of the people against foreign invaders, peasants against landlords, workers against capitalists.
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But no matter how heroic, these insurrections often ended tragically, in bloody massacres by vengeful imperialists and counterrevolutionaries. The first break with spontaneity came with the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines in 1930. But it was neither complete nor thoroughgoing. For the old Party proved incapable of charting the strategic direction of the Philippine Revolution. This poverty of theory reduced the mass movement to making merely tactical responses to the strategic counterrevolutionary moves of the imperialists and the local ruling class.” Without revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement.” This Leninist dictum was the painful lesson absorbed by the leaders of the present day national-democratic movement who grew up literally groping for a revolutionary alternative in the fifties and early sixties — the dark age of the Philippine Left, when a combination of strategic confusion, organizational degeneration, and counterrevolutionary repression had practically dismantled the people’s movement.
The fundamental strategic line of fighting for national democracy as the first stage in the longer-term struggle for socialism had still to be firmly grasped by the Philippine Left, almost fifteen years after the 1949 victory of the Chinese Revolution led by Mao had overwhelmingly reaffirmed the universal validity of Lenin’s revolutionary strategy for semi colonial, semi feudal societies. The forging of the strategic line in the mid-sixties was not accomplished in an academic setting but in the thick of day-to-day political struggle, not only against the reactionary classes and the U. S. Embassy but also opportunists of every shape and color — reformist, Christian Socialist, Social Democratic, and, of course, revisionist — who were scrambling to exploit the irrepressible mass discontent cracking the McCarthy ite political and cultural superstructure in the early sixties. Political and theoretical contention was, moreover, accompanied by mass organizing. With the founding of Kabataang Makabayan (KM, or Nationalist Youth) in November 1964 by Jose Maria Sison, national democracy began for the first time to be translated into a material, organized force.
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Launching a wide range of agitation al activities, from university teach-ins to militant demonstrations at the presidential palace and U. S. Embassy, KM spearheaded the radicalization of thousands of students and youth in the mid-sixties and provided a fertile training ground for people who would later be the mature leading cadres of the National Democratic Front and the anti-fascist resistance. Struggle for National Democracy The first major theoretical document to issue from the national-democratic movement, Jose Maria Sison’s Struggle for National Democracy (1967), belonged to this phase of the revolutionary movement — the period of mass struggle to forge the fundamental political line of the Philippine Revolution.
Sison, a young revolutionary intellectual, led its struggle for political clarification. He brought to the task a firm grasp of class analysis, an appreciation of the lessons of the Chinese Revolution, a deep sense of the particularities of the Philippine historical development, and an unshakeable faith in the ability of the Filipino masses to take hold of and shape their history. The struggle for national democracy, Sison asserted, is the fight to achieve “a necessary stage in the struggle of our people for social justice, whereby the freedom of the entire nation is first secured so that the nation-state that has been secured would allow within its framework the masses of the Filipino people to enjoy the democratic rights to achieve their social emancipation.” 1 In Sison’s view, the principal fetters on national freedom and development are the domination over the entire country exercised by U. S. imperialism and the semi feudal control of the countryside by the landlord class. Departing from this basic contradiction, one of the key elements in the strategy of the revolutionary movement must be the creation of a broad national alliance drawing together all classes and strata with an objective interest in overthrowing the reactionary alliance of imperialists and landlords.
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This had not been grasped by the old Communist Party, and its failure to base its political strategy on this fundamental contradiction had seriously limited the breadth of the popular movement in the thirties and forties and rendered the revolutionary forces confused: disunited on a number of occasions to the maneuvers of imperialism and the reactionary state. “The [old] leadership was well-versed in the contradiction between the proletariat and the capitalist class in general,” Sison noted,” but it failed all the time to stress the fact that the main contradiction within Philippine society then was between U. S. imperialism and feudalism, on the one hand, and the Filipino people, mainly workers and peasants, on the other. While all workers, Marxist or not, demanded Philippine independence from U. S.
imperialism, the matter of national liberation was obscured by the slogans of class struggle between the capitalist class and the working class. 2 Being a semi feudal country where 70 per cent of the people belong to the peasantry, the key to revolutionary victory is the mobilization of the vast masses of Filipino peasants. Agrarian revolution, aimed at satisfying the peasant demand for land, is therefore the main content of the national-democratic revolution. The Filipino peasantry, oppressed by centuries of feudal and semi feudal exploitation and driven by land hunger, is the force which will tip the social balance in favor of the revolution.
As a struggle for national sovereignty, the present national-democratic struggle continues the Revolution of 1896, the war for independence against Spain which was brutally aborted by the guns of a rising imperialist power, the United States. Yet the present struggle, in Sison’s view, is also “a new type of national-democratic revolution, a continuation of the Philippine Revolution of 1896 and yet a renewal of strength in a more advanced way. “3 For unlike the 1896 Revolution, which was led and ultimately betrayed by the, the Filipino liberal bourgeoisie, the present movement for national democracy must be led by the most advanced class in the era of imperialist and capitalist decline, the Filipino working class. “Only the working class can win the most conscious, the most dedicated, and most lasting support of the peasant masses for the national-democratic struggle.” 4 This class leadership, in turn, could only be effectively won through the agency of a proletarian party which “must have the firm and single objective of developing and acquiring political power for the masses.” 5 Sison concluded: “Without a proletarian party to provide leadership, the struggle for national democracy cannot be won.” 6 Rectify Errors and Rebuild the Party Though less visible and public, the effort to build a proletarian revolutionary party was unfolding side by side with the mass struggles of the sixties. The need to reestablish a revolutionary vanguard had become critical by the mid-sixties. For not only had the entrenched leadership of the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (Communist Party of the Philippines) failed for more than 30 years to provide strategic theoretical and political guidance, it had degenerated as a revolutionary party.
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This was marked by its sharp swing to the right after its disastrous failure to seize power in a swift armed uprising in the late forties. In 1955, the Party begun to preach “the parliamentary road to socialism.” This abandonment of fundamental Leninist principles on the inevitability of violence in the destruction of the bourgeois state machine by the leadership of Jesus Lava was paralleled organizationally by the degeneration of democratic centralism in Party ranks and the disintegration of the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan or Huks, the former people’s army, into a number of roving rebel bands specializing in extortion and protection rackets in the red-light districts surrounding U. S. military bases in Luzon. Seldom in the history of Marxist-Leninist parties had a revolutionary organization decayed so rapidly and completely. Rectification was initially launched as a struggle within the Party.
However, the process became antagonistic as the entrenched leadership a tight nepotistic clique of Lava kinsmen and close friends systematically tried to kill democratic discussion of its shortcomings. By 1968, there remained no other way to assert the revolutionary alternative than by forging a new Party. This process culminated on Dec. 26, 1968, the anniversary of the birth of Mao Tsetung, when the revolutionary wing headed by Amado Guerrero reestablished the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Serving as the foundation stone of the reestablished Party was a detailed summation document, Rectify Errors and Rebuild the Party, which could now be considered the second major work to spring from the national-democratic movement. By all counts, Rectify is a remarkable document. It synthesizes a process which, though protracted and bitter, thoroughly and systematically examined the 38-year experience of the Communist Party of the purpose of re cementing its weakening proletarian foundations. Representing one of the few successful attempts to retrieve a proletarian party by means of a thoroughgoing ideological rectification in the history of communist movements, Rectify dwells on the ideological, political and organizational dimensions of Party degeneration, draws out their interrelationships, and traces them to their roots.
The fundamental cause of the Party’s many serious errors, according to the document, was the subjectivism, non-materialist and non-dialectical philosophical outlook of the un remolded petty-bourgeois cadres who had established themselves in Party leadership in the late thirties and forties. Subjectivism had two principal ideological manifestations: empiricism and dogmatism. Dogmatism, the rigid application of the general theories of Marxism-Leninism without specifying them to concrete conditions, led to “Left” opportunist political policies in the period 1948-55 when the Party overestimated the strength of the people’s forces and then threw them into a foolhardy attempt to seize political power through a swift, armed uprising. However by far the more dominant subjectivism trend in the Party was empiricism, or the tendency to separate political practice from theoretical guidance.
In the concrete, the documents states,” Empiricism grows on static underestimation of the people’s democratic forces and on a static overestimation of the enemy strength… Party work becomes dictated by the actions of the enemy instead of by a dialectical comprehension of the situation and balance of forces. Revolutionary initiative becomes lost because of a static, one-sided fragmented and narrow view of the requirements of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and anti-fascist struggle.” 7 Right opportunist and revisionist political lines took firm control of the Party’s practice. It manifested itself in a reliance on parliamentary work as the principal form of struggle, overconcentration on urban political work, and underestimation of the importance of mass work in the countryside, resulted in the loss of strategic initiative and a reduction of Left “strategy” into a series of tactical shifts to meet the strategic initiatives of imperialism and the local ruling class. Such practice characterized the Party in its first two decades of existence (1930-48) and reemerged again in the period 1955-68, when it was reinforced by the revisionist line on the priority of the parliamentary struggle adopted by the Soviet Communist Party in 1956. To this day, the Soviet Party and state extend support to the by now thoroughly isolated Lava clique, which has for all intents and purposes, become the Soviet Union’s “hot line” to the Marcos regime.
The experience of the old Party further revealed that empiricism and dogmatism were, however, only superficially ideological opposites. In reality, they were “two sides of the same petty-bourgeois coin.” 8 In a masterful example of dialectical analysis, the document goes on:” Reversals from empiricism to dogmatism and from dogmatism to empiricism are peculiarly common to those who still retain the petty-bourgeois world outlook. Nevertheless, when one is the principal aspect of a subjectivism stand, the other is bound to be the principal at another moment. That is the dialectical relationship of empiricism and dogmatism… Comrades should not wonder why a leadership with the same petty-bourgeois orientation should swing from empiricism to dogmatism and back to empiricism, and so on and so forth. All subjectivisms fail to grasp the laws of dialectical development and so they are volatile and erratic.” 9 After this all-sided criticism of the practice of the old Party, Rectify sets out the three strategic tasks of the reestablished Party: building the Party, initiating armed struggle, and forging the national united front.
Building the Party consisted of the manifold task of setting the Party securely on the revolutionary heritage of the teachings of Marx, Lenin, and Mao Tsetung, sinking Party roots deep among the Filipino masses, and spreading them throughout the country. “The ultimate test,” states the document, lies in the revolutionary practice and further revolutionary practice… Our cadres must go deep among the masses of workers and peasants. They must be well-distributed on a national scale in order to build up a nationwide party.” 10 Forging the national united front meant gathering together all patriotic classes and strata with an objective interest in overthrowing imperialism and feudalism into a powerful social and political force. In contrast to the old Party, whose handling of class alliances was so confused and erratic that it failed to tap the anti-imperialist energies of the peasantry, national bourgeoisie, and petty bourgeoisie, and ended up dangerously isolating the working-class vanguard, the Party’s special task was to “win over the middle forces and elements in order to isolate the die-hards.” 11 To this end, class analysis and the policy of class alliances had to continually match shifting political conditions:” … the Party must make clear and repeated class analysis which can distinguish the middle forces and elements from the diehard reactionaries, the principal enemies from the secondary enemies, the enemies of today from the enemies of tomorrow, and among friends, the reliable from the unreliable.” 12 The united front was one of the key weapons of the national-democratic movement; the other, and principal weapon, was the armed struggle.
Unlike the PKP’s adventurist strategy of attempting to seize power in the period 1948-55 by means of a swift armed uprising carried out by no more than 3, 000 Red fighters, Rectify established protracted people’s war as the strategic form of struggle in a semi colonial, semi feudal country like the Philippines. And in opposition to the urban military focus of the PKP, the countryside would be the center of gravity of the armed struggle, with popular power being steadily built up through the creation of rural base areas by armed fighters winning over the peasantry with measures of revolutionary land reform. From such bases, the revolutionary movement would advance “wave upon wave,” encircling the urban centers like Manila, which constituted the bastions of bourgeois state power. The resolution on the armed struggle was not to be postponed to the indefinite future.
The old Communist Party’s military arm, the Huks, had decayed into an incorrigibly lumpen-proletarian gang. Thus, three months after the reestablishment conference, on March 29, 1969, the CPP founded the New People’s Army (NPA), incorporating into it honest and uncorrupted peasant guerrilla leaders from the old Huks, like the legendary Commander Dante, as well as “defectors” from the reactionary army like Lt. Victor Corpus. Under the guidance of the Party, the NPA immediately went about the task of establishing rural bases in Central and Northern Luzon, from which it was soon launching a number of tactical offensives against a reactionary army. Though the reactionary state, presided over by Marcos, threw all of its resources at immediately crushing the purified Party, it became the leading subjective factor which unleashed the objective revolutionary potential of the masses, not only in the Philippine countryside but also in the cities.
Under Party guidance, the anti-imperialist student movement grew by leaps and bounds, until it finally exploded in what came to be known as the “First Quarter Storm” in early 1970, after Marcos’s ecu rity forces slaughtered a number of students and youth demonstrating in front of the presidential palace. The student movement, in turn, helped radicalize the struggles of workers and the urban poor. By late 1972, while NPA squads were engaging government troops in battle in a number of provinces, Manila was being constantly rocked by massive demonstrations and strikes, which linked together demands of higher wages, land reform, withdrawal of Philippine and U. S. troops from Vietnam, and an end to all unequal treaties imposed by the United States. “The protest movement breaking out in the cities is starkly unprecedented in the entire national history in terms of significance and magnitude.” Sison evaluated the situation in December 1971.
“The problem is no longer how to start a revolution. It is how to extend and intensify it.” 13 Philippine Society and Revolution Hundreds of thousands of youth were stepping into activist ranks, “turning the whole country,” as Sison put it, into one gigantic classroom.” 14 The overwhelming need of the moment was for an educational tool which would channel this crackling energy into the correct theory and practice of the national-democratic revolution. Philippine Society and Revolution, by Amado Guerrero, Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, appeared in July 1970 to fill this need. PSR, as the book came to be called, was immediately recognized for what it was: a work that culminated the cultural revolution which had been sweeping Philippine society and thinking since the mid-sixties.
Though Guerrero cautioned that it was only a first step in the application of historical-materialist analysis to Philippine history, PSR was a bold, brilliant, and sweeping theoretical enterprise which drew out the concrete dynamics of the laws of contradiction in Philippine social and national development from the pre-Hispanic period to the present. Deepening the ideas first presented by Sison’s Struggle for National Democracy, Guerrero showed how the laws of autonomous social development had been disrupted and distorted in the Philippines by the intrusion, first of Spanish colonialism, then of U. S. imperialism. The engine of historical motion thus became the contradiction between the people and imperialism and the parasitic domestic classes that constituted its social base. Revolt and rebellion against colonialism and imperialism, Guerrero demonstrated, was a constant in Philippine history.
But until the masses appropriated the science of social liberation, Marxism-Leninism, and followed the leadership of the most advanced social class in the era of imperialist and capitalist decline, the working class, no effort at genuine national liberation could succeed. From the perspective of historical materialism, then, the present revolutionary movement is simply the subjective, conscious, and scientific expression of the objective laws of development which were pushing the Filipino nation up to a higher level of social development national democracy. With its masterful and consistent use of class theory to synthesize a whole range of empirical and historical data, PSR revolutionized Philippine history and social science, field that previously had been dominated by colonial development theories, superficial nationalistic analyses, or bloodless expositions of empirical facts. Academics were forced to take note, and even the Hong Kong-based international business organ, Far Eastern Economic Review, had to pay PSR the backhanded tribute of being a “work of flawed brilliance.” 15 PSR, however, was not written to be principally an academic work (nor was its circulation confined to the salons frequented by the limousine radicals that Guerrero despised so much).
It was, first and foremost, a popular educational tool, a basic primer for national-democratic activists. Mass-distributed in mimeographed form and coming out in both English and Pilipino, PSR immediately became the indispensable workbook of thousands of “dg’s” (discussion groups) conducted among students, professionals, workers, peasants, and urban poor in the feverish two years before martial law.
As such, its role in recruiting and consolidating thousands of national-democratic activists was immense. PSR was written in a period of deepening crisis of the system of bourgeois political control. It in fact warned that sooner or later the ruling class would be forced to shift its class dictatorship from the parliamentary, formal democratic form to the openly repressive fascist type. Two years later, on September 22, 1972, Marcos imposed martial law, with the aim, as he put it, of “saving the Republic from the Communist Rebellion.” While the fascist dictator undoubtedly exaggerated the immediate threat posed by the national-democratic movement to the system of imperialist control, it was nevertheless significant that by 1972, the Left had already reemerged as a principal actor in Philippine politics and was already recognized as the most critical long-term threat to the neocolonial machinery. Led by a party equipped with a correct political line, uncompromising revolutionary commitment and creative methods of organizing, it had taken the Left merely eight years since the founding of Kabataang Makabayan in 1964 to purge itself of revisionist influence and emerge once again a viable alternative for the Filipino masses to rally around. Martial law proved the correctness of the priority which the national-democratic movement, led by the Party, had assigned to armed struggle and clandestine organization.
With the destruction of most forms of legal, bourgeois-democratic opposition, the CPP and the NPA emerged as the only organizations capable of organizing a nationwide resistance to martial law. This was not easy. In the cities, national-democratic mass organizations like KM and the Movement for a Democratic Philippines (MDP) were in disarray, with thousands of activists either jailed or in hiding. In the countryside, the reactionary army launched fierce encirclement-and-suppression campaigns against NPA bases in the far northern Cagayan Valley and in the Bicol region, uprooting some 50, 000 peasants in an effort to drain these areas of the masses and convert them into free-fire zones in the Vietnam manner. Supported by the firm but resilient organizational structures of the Party and the NPA, the movement survived the regime’s hammer blows in the period 1972-73. In order to advance, however, political practice needed to be guided by theoretical and political understandings which matched the new conditions of struggle.
To this challenge, Amado Guerrero and the leadership of the Party responded swiftly and evolved a bold political and military strategy to propel the national-democratic revolution forward in the context of all-out fascist and imperialist repression. This strategy, the product of deep knowledge of the experience of people’s war, was synthesized in Amado Guerrero’s Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War, which appeared on December 1, 1974. Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War Specific is a rich, multifaceted document. At the same time that it deepened the process of rooting Marxism-Leninism in the particularities of the Philippines, it offered lessons of revolutionary practice for movements in other archipelagic countries. Its main contribution lies in its exciting application of the general lessons of protracted people’s war to Philippine conditions. On the surface, according to Guerrero, it might seem that because of its fragmented island character and the absence of contiguous borders with friendly countries which might serve as rearguard areas, waging people’s war might seem to be an impossible task in the Philippines.
However, this fatalistic notion which had been advanced by the old revisionist leadership of the PKP in order to justify its embrace of the “parliamentary route to socialism,” could be overcome if the country’s island character and other apparent geographical constraints on people’s war were turned into its strengths. In masterful dialectical fashion, Guerrero showed that by adopting to, rather than resisting, the archipelagic character of the country and creating a number of guerrilla fronts on major islands, the NPA could force the enemy to disperse its forces and prevent it from concentrating them on one central base area. Moreover, “the mountainous character of the country countervails its archipelagic character from the start.” The mountain ranges which crisscrossed the major islands could be turned into a great advantage by converting them into bases from which guerrilla units could maintain political and military influence on a number of provinces bordering its range. Especially when populated by sympathetic mountain folk, mountainous areas offered singularly difficult fighting terrain for regular enemy troops. Armed with these and other path-breaking theoretical insights, CPP and NPA cadres have been able to rapidly fan out to nine regions and twenty fighting fronts throughout the country, covering especially the major islands of Luzon, Samar, Panay, Negros, and the key island of Mindanao, where the NPA and the fraternal Bangs a Moro Army of the National Liberation Front have forced the reactionary army to divide its forces in a debilitating two-front war.
To overcome the constraints imposed by geographical dispersion, the CPP and the NPA have evolved the organizational principle of “decentralized operations and centralized political leadership.” Regional bodies, in other words, are expected to exercise a great deal of self-reliance and local initiative, while subject to general political guidelines issued by the center on Luzon island. While emphasizing the priority of armed struggle in the countryside, the “weakest link” of the enemy, Guerrero did not neglect to underline the importance of building up a broad and effective urban resistance movement:” We should excel in combining legal, illegal, and semi legal activities through a widespread and stable underground. A revolutionary underground developing beneath democratic and legal or semi legal activities should promote the well-rounded growth of revolutionary forces, serve to link otherwise isolated parts of the Party and the people’s army at every level and prepare the ground for popular uprisings in the future and for the advance of the people’s army.” National-democratic activists swiftly rebounded from the initial blows of martial law and, since 1973, they have led in the effort to forge or strengthen semi legal or illegal human rights monitoring bodies, slum dwellers’ protective associations, labor unions, and student organizations.
The power of this underground network first surfaced in late 1975, when workers in Manila launched a one-year long wave of over 400 strikes, with the open support of a varied movement of students, religious and urban poor. At the same time, a string of huge demonstrations unfolded in the period 1976-78, hitting the regime every time it tried to launch a major initiative to legitimize its repressive rule and progressively incorporating more and more people in spite of the savage repression-and-dispersal operations mounted by the Marcos security police. When the dictator relaxed martial-law restrictions on the freedom of assembly and called “elections” to the National Assembly on April 7, 1978 in order to touch up his tattered international image, the sight of the 200, 000-person rallies that the anti-fascist movement was able to mount threw him into such panic that he totally undermined his propaganda objectives by violently beating down the people and even imprisoning the anti-fascist candidates.
In 1966, Jose Maria Sison asserted that the challenge to his generation was “to have the idea of the national-democratic revolution transformed into a material force.” Thirteen years later, the idea of national democracy has become an overwhelming reality. The creative and bold use of revolutionary theory combined with courageous and determined practice has made the National Democratic Front a material force cutting across all progressive social classes and extending from the far northern province of Cagayan to the far southern province of Davao del Sur. The fact that the repression of martial law has spurred the geometric growth of the movement since 1972 assures us that revolutionary theory has indeed become an invincible force rooted in increasing numbers of the Filipino masses. To conclude, the consistent employment of theory to guide practice and practice to enrich revolutionary theory has been one of the principal strengths of the Philippine Revolution. Perhaps, no documents illustrates this dialectical relationship more clearly than Philippine Society and Revolution and Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War. We in the International Association of Filipino Patriots are proud in offering to the international public these two major works from the theoretical arsenal of the Philippine Revolution.
AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION Philippine Society and Revolution is an attempt to present in a comprehensive way from the standpoint of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought the main strands of Philippine history, the basic problem of the Filipino people, the prevailing social structure and the strategy and tactics and class logic of the revolutionary solution – which is the people’s democratic revolution. This book serves to explain why the Communist Party of the Philippines has been reestablished to arouse and mobilize the broad masses of the people, chiefly the oppressed and exploited workers and peasants, against U. S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism now regnant in the present semi colonial and semi feudal society. Philippine Society and Revolution can be used as a primer and can be studied in three consecutive or separate days by those interested in knowing the truth about the Philippines and in fighting for the genuine national and democratic interests of the entire Filipino people. The author offers this book as a starting point for every patriot in the land to make further class analysis and social investigation as the basis for concrete and sustained revolutionary action.
Amado Guerrero Chairman, Central Committee Communist Party of the Philippines July 30, 1970 TABLE OF CONTENTSPREFACEAUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION CHAPTER ONE REVIEW OF PHILIPPINE HISTORY I. THE PHILIPPINES AND THE PEOPLE II. THE PEOPLE UPON THE COMING OF THE SPANISH COLONIALISTS III. SPANISH COLONIALISM AND FEUDALISM IV.
THE PHILIPPINE REVOLUTION OF 1896 V. THE FILIPINO-AMERICAN WAR VI. THE COLONIAL RULE OF U. S.
IMPERIALISM VII. THE PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE AGAINST JAPANESE IMPERIALISM VIII. THE PRESENT PUPPET REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES 1. The Rox as Puppet Regime, 1946-48 2.
The Qui rino Puppet Regime, 1948-53 3. The Magsaysay Puppet Regime, 1954-574. The Garcia Puppet Regime, 1957-615. The Macapagal Puppet Regime, 1962-656. The Marcos Puppet Regime, 1966-IX. THE REESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES CHAPTER TWO BASIC PROBLEMS OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE I.
A SEMI COLONIAL AND SEMIFEUDAL SOCIETY II. U. S. IMPERIALISM 1.
The Meaning of Imperialism 2. Bogus Independence and the Unequal Treaties 3. U. S. Monopoly Control of the Philippines 4.
The Scheme to prolong U. S. Domination III. FEUDALISM 1. The Meaning of Feudalism 2. The Hacienda System 3.
Sham Land Reform a. Resettlement and Landgrabbingb. Land Retention Limits and Bogus Expropriation 4. The Extent of Feudal and Semifeudal Exploitation. The Magnitude of the Land Problem. Basic Forms of Exploitation in the Countryside 5.
The Political Power of the Landlord Classic. BUREAUCRAT CAPITALISM 1. The Meaning of Bureaucrat Capitalism 2. Source of Graft and Corruption 3.
Fascism 4. Reformist and Modern Revisionism CHAPTER THREE THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION. BASIC CHARACTER OF THE PHILIPPINE REVOLUTION II. CLASSES IN PHILIPPINE SOCIETY 1. The Landlord Class 2.
The Bourgeoisie. The Comprador Big Bourgeoisie. The Middle Bourgeoisie. The Petty Bourgeoisie 3. The Peasantry. The Rich Peasants.
The Middle Peasants. The Poor Peasants 4. The Proletariat The SemiproletariatThe Lumpen Proletariat Special Social Groups III. CLASS BASIS OF STRATEGY AND TACTICS 1.
Class Leadership and the Party 2. The Main Force and the Armed Struggle 3. The Basic Alliance and the National United FrontI V. BASIC TASKS OF THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION 1. In the Political Field 2.
In the Economic Field 3. In the Military Field 4. In the Cultural Field 5. In the Field of Foreign Relations. PERSPECTIVE OF THE PHILIPPINE REVOLUTIONTABLESChapter One REVIEW OF PHILIPPINE HISTORY Changes in society, are due chiefly to the development of the internal contradictions in society, that is, the contradiction between the productive forces and the relations of production, the contradiction between classes and the contradiction between the old and new; it is the development of these contradictions that pushes society forward and gives the impetus for the of the old society by the new. – MAO TSETUNG I.
THE PHILIPPINES AND THE PEOPLE The Philippines is an archipelago with a tropical climate and a mountainous terrain. It is located a little above the equator and bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the China Sea and the Celebes Sea. It lies some 600 miles southeast of the coast of mainland Asia and is strung on the north-south axis, bounded by China to the north and Indonesia and North Kalimantan to the south. The geographic position of the Philippines makes the Filipino people literally close to the center of the world proletarian revolution and part of a gigantic wave of a powerful revolutionary movements in Southeast Asia.
Though the Philippines seems surrounded by a moat and is at the outer rim of Asia directly facing U. S. imperialism, the Number One enemy of the world’s peoples, the Filipino people can rely on a great invincible political rear made up of the People’s Republic of China and all revolutionary peoples of Asia. The Philippines consists of 7, 100 islands and islets with a total land area of 115, 000 square miles. The two largest islands which are at the same time principal regions are Luzon and Mindanao. The former has a total land area of 54, 000 square miles and the latter has 37, 000 square miles.
The third principal region is the group of islands and islets called the Visayas in the central part of the archipelago. The irregular coastline of the whole country extends to a little less than 11, 000 miles. All the islands are seasonally inundated by river systems flowing from mountains. The plains and valleys are well-populated.
The mountains, many of which are volcanic in origin, the extensive river systems and the tropical climate endow the Philippines with extremely fertile agricultural lands suitable for a wide variety of crops for food and industrial use. It has vast forest, mineral, marine and power resources. Its forests cover a little over one-third of the land. Its mineral resources include iron, gold, copper, nickel, oil, coal, chrome, and so many others. Its principal rivers can be controlled to irrigate fields continuously and also to provide electricity to every part of the country. It has rich inland and sea fishing grounds.
Numerous fine harbors and landlocked straits are available for building up the maritime industry. If the natural wealth of the Philippines were to be tapped and developed by the Filipino people themselves for their own benefit, it would be more than enough to sustain a population that is several times bigger than the present one. However, U. S. imperialism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism prevent the Filipino people from making use of their natural resources to their own advantage. As of now, U.
S. imperialism and all of its lackeys exploit these natural resources for their own selfish profit and according to their narrow schemes at the expense of the toiling masses. Based on the 1970 Census, the Filipino now number about 37 million and they are increasing at the annual rate of 3. 5 per cent.
Seventy-five per cent of them live in the countryside under backward and feudal conditions. If the population were not subjected to foreign and feudal exploitation, not only could it become self-reliant economically but it could also excel in all fields of social endeavor. It could be a massive force for progress instead of being a “problem” interpreted in the Malthusian way by reactionaries who constantly prate about “overpopulation” to cover up the basic problems that are U. S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. The Filipino people have been generated by several racial stocks.
The main racial stock is Malay, which accounts for more than 85 per cent. Other significant factors in the racial composition of the people are Indonesian and Chinese. The Arab, Indian, Spanish, American and Negrito factors are present, but only to a marginal degree. There are many theories on the peopling of the archipelago in prehistoric times. We can cite what are currently the most accepted ones. The aboriginal inhabitants of the Philippines were the Aetas or Negritos, small black people, who first came to the Philippines on land bridges about 25, 000 to 30, 000 years ago in the Pleistocene era.
They were followed by the first Indonesian wave of immigrants who came bringing with them an early stone age culture from Southeast Asia about 5, 000 to 6, 000 years ago. The second Indonesian wave came about 1, 500 B. C. from Indochina and south China bringing with them a late neolithic or bronze-copper culture. What would later compose the main racial stock of the Filipino people, the Malay, came in three major waves.
The first wave of the Malays came from a southern direction between 300 and 200 B. C. bringing with them Indian cultural influences. The second wave came between the first century and the 13 th century and became the main ancestors of the Tagalogs, Ilocanos, Pampa ngos, Visayans and Bicolanos.
As they were equipped with a system of writing, they were the first to leave historical records. The third wave of Malays who came between the latter half of the 14 th century and the 15 th century came the Arab traders and religious teachers who laid the foundation of Islam in Sulu and in mainland Mindanao. The national minorities of today comprise at least 10 per cent of the population. They inhabited the greater part of the archipelago until a few decades ago when land grabbers started to dispossess and oppress them. They have been set apart from the rest of the people principally by Christian chauvinism employed by Spanish colonialism and U.
S. imperialism, as in the case of the Muslims in Mindanao and the non-Christian mountain tribes all over the country. There is also Malay racism bred by foreign and feudal exploiters of the people. This is often directed against the Chinese and the Aetas.
To this day, there are more than 100 languages and dialects. The nine most widely spoken are Tagalog, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Sugbuhanon, Bicol, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Samar non, and Maguindanao. Tagalog is the principal base of the national language which can now be spoken by the majority of the people in varying degrees of fluency. II.
THE PEOPLE UPON THE COMING OF THE SPANISH COLONIALISTS Before the coming of Spanish colonialists, the people of the Philippine archipelago had already attained a semi communal and semi slave social system in many parts and also a feudal system in certain parts, especially in Mindanao and Sulu, where such a feudal faith as Islam had already taken roots. The Aetas had the lowest form of social organization, which was primitive communal. The baran gay was the typical community in the whole archipelago. It was the basic political and economic unit independent of similar others. Each embraced a few hundreds of people and a small territory.
Each was headed by a chieftain called the rajah or date. The social structure comprised a petty nobility, the ruling class which had started to accumulate land that it owned privately or administered in the name of the clan or community; an intermediate class of freemen called the who had enough land for their livelihood or who rendered special service to the rulers and who did not have to work in the fields; and the ruled classes that included the, the serfs who shared the crops with the petty nobility, and also the slaves and semi slaves who worked without having any definite share in the harvest. There were two kinds of slaves then: those who had their own quarters, the ali ping, and those who lived in their master’s house, the ali ping. One acquired the status of a serf or a slave by inheritance, failure to pay debts and tribute, commission of crimes and captivity in wars between baran gays. The Islamic sultanates of Sulu and mainland Mindanao represented a higher stage of political and economic development than the baran gay. These had a feudal form of social organization.
Each of them encompassed more people and wider territory than the baran gay. The sultan reigned supreme over several dat us and was conscious of his privilege to rule as a matter of hereditary “divine right.” Though they presented themselves mainly as administrators of communal lands, apart from being direct owners of certain lands, the sultans, dat us and the nobility exacted land rent in the form of religious tribute and lived off the toiling masses. They constituted a landlord class attended by a retinue of religious teachers, scribes and leading warriors. The sultanates emerged in the two centuries precedent to the coming of Spanish colonialists. They were built up among the so-called third wave of Malay migrants whose rulers either tried to convert to Islam, bought out, enslaved or drove away the original non-Muslim inhabitants of the areas that they chose to settle in. Serfs and slaves alike were used to till the fields and to make more clearings from the forest.
Throughout the archipelago, the scope of baran gays could be enlarged either through the expansion of agriculture by the toil of the slaves or serfs, through conquests in war and through marriages of the nobility. The confederations of baran gays was usually the result of a peace pact, a barter agreement or an alliance to fight common internal and external enemies. As evident from the forms of social organization already attained, the precolonial inhabitants of the Philippine archipelago had an internal basis for further social development. In either baran gay or sultanate, there was a certain mode of production which was bound to develop further until it would wear out and be replaced with a new one.
There were definite classes whose struggle was bound to bring about social development. As a matter of fact, the class struggle within the baran gay was already getting extended into wars. The baran gay was akin to the Greek city-state in many respects and the sultanate to the feudal commonwealth of other countries. The people had developed extensive agricultural fields. In the plains or in the mountains, the people had developed irrigation systems. The Ifugao rice terraces were the product of the engineering genius of the people; a marvel of 12, 000 miles if strung end-to-end.
There were livestock-raising, fishing and brewing of beverages. Also there were mining, the manufacture of metal implements, weapons and ornaments, lumbering, shipbuilding and weaving. The handicrafts were developing fast. Gunpowder had also come into use in warfare. As far north as Manila, when the Spaniards came, there was already a Muslim community which had cannons in its weaponry. The ruling classes made use of arms to maintain the social system, to assert their independence from other baran gays or to repel foreign invaders.
Their jurisprudence would still be borne out today by the so-called Code of Kalantiyaw and the Muslim laws. These were touchstones of their culture. There was a written literature which included epics, ballads, riddles and verse-sayings; various forms and instruments of music and dances; and art works that included well-designed bells, drums, gongs, shields, weapons, tools, utensils, boats, combs, smoking pipes, lime tubes and baskets. The people sculpted images from wood, bone, ivory, horn or metals. In areas where an ito worship and polytheism prevailed, the images of flora and fauna were imitated, and in the areas where the Muslim faith prevailed, geometric and arabesque designs were made. Morga’s Sucess de las Islas Filipinos, a record of what the Spanish conquistador es came upon, would later be used by Dr.
Jose Rizal as testimony to the achievement of the indies in precolonial times. There was interisland commerce ranging from Luzon to Mindanao and vice-versa. There were extensive trade relations with neighboring countries like China, Indochina, North Borneo, Indonesia, Malaya, Japan and Thailand. Traders from as far as India and the Middle East vied for commerce with the precolonial inhabitants of the archipelago. As early as the 9 th century, Sulu was an important trading emporium where trading ships from Cambodia, China and Indonesia converged. Arab traders brought goods from Sulu to the Chinese mainland through the port of Canton.
In the 14 th century, a large fleet of 60 vessels from China anchored at Manila Bay, Mindoro and Sulu. Previous to this, Chinese trading junks had been intermittently sailing into various points of the Philippine shoreline. The barter system was employed or gold and metal gongs were used as medium of exchange. III. SPANISH COLONIALISM AND FEUDALISM The absence of a political unity involving all or the majority of the people of the archipelago allowed the Spanish conquistador es to impose their will on the people step by step even with a few hundreds of colonial troops at the start.
Magellan employed the standard tactic of divide-and-rule when in 1521 he sided with Huma bon against Lap-la pu. He started a pattern of inveigling certain baran gays to adopt the Christian faith and then employing them against other baran gays which resisted colonial domination. However, it was Legaspi who in 1565 and thereafter succeeded in hoodwinking a large number of baran gay chieftains typified by Sika tuna in quelling recalcitrant baran gays with the sword and in establishing under the cross the first colonial settlements in Visayas and subsequently in Luzon. The kind of society that developed in more than three centuries of Spanish rule was colonial and feudal. It was a society basically ruled by the landlord class, which included the Spanish colonial officials. The Catholic religious orders and the local puppet chiefs.
The masses of the people were kept to the status of serfs and even the freemen became dispossessed. It was in 1570 that the Spanish colonialists started to integrate the baran gays that they had subjugated into larger administrative and economic units called the encomienda’s. Wide areas of land, the encomienda’s were awarded as royal grants to the colonial officials and Catholic religious orders in exchange for their “meritorious services” in the conquest of the native people. The encomienda system of local administration would be phased out in the 17 th century when the organization of regular provinces was already possible and after it had served to establish the large-scale private landownership of the colonialists. Under the guise of looking after the spiritual welfare of the people, the encomenderos collected tribute, enforced corvee labor and conscripted native soldiers. They arbitrarily extended the territorial scope of their royal grants, usurped ownership over the lands previously developed by the people and put more land to cultivation by employing corvee labor.
It was convenient for the colonialists to convert into agricultural lands the clearing made from the forests as a result of the timber-cutting necessitated by various construction projects. Public building, private houses, churches, fortifications, roads, bridges and ships for the galleon trade and for military expeditions were built. These entailed the mass conscription of labor for quarrying, timber-cutting, hauling, lumbering, brick making and construction work in nearby or faraway places. The central government was set up in Manila to run the affairs of the colony. Its head was the Spanish governor-general who saw to it that the Filipino people were compelled to pay taxes, render free labor and produce an agricultural surplus sufficient to feed the parasitic colonial officials, friars and soldiery. On the one hand, the governor-general had the soldiery to enforce the colonial order.
On the other, he had the collaboration of the friars to keep the people in spiritual and economic enslavement. He enriched himself fast within his short stay in office by being the chief shipper on the Manila-Acapulco trade galleons and by being the dispenser of shipping permits to merchants. The Manila-Acapulco trade in certain goods coming from China and other neighboring countries yielded high revenues for the central government and the business-minded religious orders from the late 16 th century to the early 19 th century. It eventually declined and was replaced by the more profitable export of sugar, hemp, copra, tobacco, indigo and others on various foreign ships after the first half of the 18 th century and all throughout the 19 th century. The large-scale cultivation of these export crops was imposed on the toiling masses to provide more profits for Spanish colonialism.
At the provincial level was the alcalde-mayor as the colonial chieftain. He exercised both executive and judicial powers, collected tributes from the town and enjoyed the privilege of monopolizing commerce in the province and engaged in usury. He manipulated government funds as well as drew loans from the obras pi as, the friars’ chest for “charities,” to engage in nefarious commerce and usury. At the town level was the, the top puppet official formally elected by the principali a. The principali a was composed of the incumbent and past and the barrio chieftains called the de baran gay. It essentially reflected the assimilation of the old baran gay leadership into the Spanish colonial system.
Membership in the principali a was qualified by property, literacy, heredity and, of course, puppetry to the foreign tyrants. The most important regular duties of the and the de baran gay under him were the collection of tribute and the enforcement of corvee labor. Their property was answerable for any deficiency in their performance. However, the usually made the de baran gay his scapegoat. To avoid bankruptcy and keep themselves in the good graces of their colonial masters, these puppet officials also made sure that the main burden of colonial oppression was borne by the peasant masses. In the classic fashion of feudalism, the union of church and state suffused the entire colonial structure.
All colonial subjects fell under friar control from birth until death. The pulpit and the confessional box were expertly used for colonial propaganda and espionage, respectively. The catechetical schools were used to poison the minds of the children against their own country. The Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas was established as early as 1611 but its enrollment was limited to Spaniards and creoles until the second half of the 19 th century.
The colonial bureaucracy did not find any need for natives in the higher professions. Among the masses, the friars propagated a bigoted culture that was obsessed with novenas, prayerbook’s, hagiographies, , the passion play, the anti-Muslim moro-moro and pompous religious feasts and processions. The friars had burned and destroyed the artifacts of precolonial culture as the handiwork of the devil and assimilated only those things of the indigenous culture which they could use to facilitate colonial and medieval indoctrination. In the material base as well as in the superstructure, friar control was total and most oppressive in the towns situated in vast landed estates owned by the religious orders. In the colonial center as well as in every province, the friars exercised vast political powers.
They supervised such diverse affairs as taxation, census, statistics, primary schools, health, public works and charities. They certified the correctness of residence certificates, the condition of men chosen for military service, the municipal budget, the election of municipal officials and police officers and the examination of pupils in the parochial schools. They intervened in the election of municipal officials. As a matter of fact, they were so powerful that they could instigate the transfer, suspension or removal from office of colonial officials, from the highest to the lowest, including the governor-general. In line with their feudal interests, they could even murder the governor-general with impunity as they did to Salcedo in 1668 and Bustamante in 1719. As they could be that vicious within their own official ranks, they were more so in witch-hunting and suppressing native rebels whom they condemned as ” heretics” and “subversives.” Throughout the Spanish colonial regime, revolts broke out sporadically all over the archipelago against the tribute, corvee labor, commercial monopolies, excessive land rent, land grabbing, imposition of the Catholic faith, arbitrary rules and other cruel practices of the colonial rulers, both lay and clerical.
There were at least 200 revolts of uneven scope and duration. These grew with cumulative strength to create a great revolutionary tradition among the Filipino people. The most outstanding revolts in the first century of colonial rule were those led by Sulayman in 1564 and Mag at Salam at in 1587-88 in Manila and by Maga lat in 1596 in Cagayan. At the beginning of the 17 th century, the Igorots in the central highlands of Northern Luzon rebelled against attempts to colonize them and used the favorable terrain of their homeland to maintain their independence.
Almost simultaneously in 1621-22, Tam blot in Bohol and Banka w in Leyte raised the flag of revolt. Revolts also broke out in Nueva Vizcaya and Cagayan in 1621 and 1625-27, respectively. The most widespread revolts that occurred in the 17 th century were those inspired by Sumuroy in the southern provinces and Maniago, Malong and Almazan in the northern provinces of the archipelago. The Sumuroy revolt started in Samar in 1649 and spread northward to Albany and Ca marines Sur and southward to Masbate, Cebu, Camiguin, Zamboanga and Northern Mindanao. The parallel revolts of Maniago, Malong and Almazan started in 1660 in Pampanga, Pangasinan and Ilocos, respectively. Malong extended his revolt to Pampanga, Ilocos and Cagayan.
A localized revolt also broke out in 1663 under T apar in Ot on, Panay. All throughout the Spanish colonial rule, the Muslims of Mindanao as well as the mountain people in practically every island, especially the Igorots in Northern Luzon, kept up their resistance. Aside from these consistent anti-colonial fighters, the people of Bohol fought the foreign tyrants for 85 years from 1774 to 1829. They were first led by Dago hoy and subsequently by his successors. At the peak of their strength, they were 20, 000 strong and had their own government in their mountain bases. Despite previous defeats, the people of Pangasinan and the Ilocos provinces repeatedly rose up against the colonial rule.
The revolt led by P alaris in 1762-64 spread throughout the large province of Pangasinan and the one led by Diego Slang in 1762-63 (and later by his wife, Gabriela, after his treacherous assassination) spread from the Ilocos to as far as Cagayan Valley northward and Pangasinan southward. These revolts tried to take advantage of the British seizure of Manila and the Spanish defeat in the Seven Years’ War. In the 18 th century, the anti-colonial revolts of the people increasingly took the character of conscious opposition to feudalism. Previously, the hardships and torment of corvee labor were the frequent causes of revolt. The arbitrary expansion of friar estates through fraudulent surveys and also the arbitrary raising of land rent inflamed the people, especially in Central Luzon and Southern Luzon. Matienza led a revolt out rightly against the agrarian abuses of the Jesuits who had rampantly grabbed land from the people.
This revolt spread from Lian and Nasugbu, Batangas to the neighboring provinces of Laguna, Cavite and Rizal. In other provinces of the archipelago outside of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, revolt came to be more often sparked by the monopolistic and confiscatory practices of the colonial government towards the end of the 18 th century and during the 19 th century. In 1807, the Ilocanos revolted against the wine monopoly. Once more they rose up in 1814 in Sarat, Ilocos Norte and killed several landlords.
In quelling all the revolts precedent to the Philippine Revolution of 1896, the Spanish colonialist conscripted large numbers of peasants to fight their own brothers. Military conscription thus became a major form of oppression as the development of revolts became rapid and wides pre.