Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa–Mindanao

About the RPM-M


Written by: Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa–Mindanao;
Published: 2006, with minor edits from 2007 onwards;
Source: Text retrieved from the website of the RPM-M; see also an archived version from Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières;
Markup: Simoun Magsalin;
Copyright: No specific copyrights.


The Revolutionary Workers’ Party-Mindanao/Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPMM-RPA) is a revolutionary Party guided by Marxist and Leninist principles in launching its revolutionary struggle towards the attainment of Socialism. It was founded in May 1, 2001. It broke away from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples’ Army (CPP-NPA) in September 1994 and with Revolutionary Workers’ Party-Philippines-Revolutionary proletarian Army/Alex Bongcayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA/ABB) in March 2001 (which it co-founded in May 1998), because of serious ideological reasons.

The RPMM-RPA has been doing its revolutionary works with the toiling masses in both rural and urban areas in Mindanao and Mindanaoans in other parts of the Philippines specially in Metro-Manila. It has a political and organizational grounding in the three peoples of Mindanao namely: the majority nationality of Christian Settlers, the Bangsamoro and the Lumads or the Indigenous Peoples.

Currently, it is having a community based and people-centered peace talks with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). It has formally signed a ceasefire with the latter in October 2005 but its implementation has been pending due to the RPMM’s position on the environmental destruction as part of violation of the ceasefire agreement and environmental issues should be clearly stated in the implementation guidelines. In February 2006, the RPMM-RPA unilaterally suspended the peace talks with the GRP because of President Arroyo’s declaration of State of National Emergency which the RPMM considered a “non-conducive atmosphere” for the peace talks. A third round of formal talks will be held in the middle of the third quarter of 2006.

Brief Historical Background

The RPM-M/RPA has its origin in Central Mindanao Region. Its core cadres and members had established the Regional Party Committee and organs of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples’ Army (CPP-NPA) in 1987 thru the merger of the North Western Region founded in 1984 and the Moro Region of the CPP-NPA. Aside from its Party territorial works in Central Mindanao, it was also tasked to initiate and develop Party works with the Bangsamoro including the alliance works with the Moro Revolutionary groups like the MNLF and the MILF and with the Indigenous Peoples’ in Mindanao. The works with the Moros and the Lumads had stirred major debates and disagreements among the CMR cadres on the ground and the CPP leadership in Mindanao (island). The central question is the correct application of the (PPW) thru the different strategic stages of encircling the cities from the country sides and the right to self determination and the issue of the ancestral domain of the Moros and the Lumads. The CMR could not agree with the CPP-NPA leadership on mechanical application of the class content of the struggle which resulted to the disregard of the democratic and ethnic question of the minority nationalities.

In 1992, the CMR leadership together with the core leadership of western Mindanao Region and Far Southern Region of the CPP-NPA’s Mindanao five (5) regions, agreed and signed a document questioning the Armado Liwanag’s Document of Reaffirming the CPPs basic principles (1968) and critizing Mindanao’s cadres for erroneous application of the PPW strategy of the CPP. A senior comrade was tasked to present the position to the 10th plenum of the Central Committee of the CPP-NPA. Majority of the leading cadres in Mindanao had viewed the document as a personal assessment of the Netherland based chair of the CPP. Armando Liwanag had been very insecured with the Mindanao cadres and their effective influence among the leadership on the Central Committee of the CPP-NPA especially when he was not elected as chair of the National Democratic Front when it had its first and only Congress in 1990. The Party had no summing up of its works until mid 1995 which was done only to look for bases and justifications of the conclusions of Liwanag.

In 1993, after the 10th plenum of the CPP Central Committee it was only the CMR who stood solidly against the document’s Re-affirm because the other cadres who earlier signed a document backed out due to pressures from the Netherlands and the Luzon based leadership of the Party in the Philippines.

The leadership of CPP and other big territorial and staff cadres and personnel of the Party both in the country and abroad had demanded that a Second Congress could be the best venue for the principled and democratic resolution of the questions raised on the Party’s reading and analysis of the current mode of production of the country, on the strategy and tactics and the minority nationalities’ questions in the context of the fall of the USSR and backtracking of China and the new offensive of Capitalist Globalization.

In the late 1993, the leadership of CMR came to know of their expulsion from the Party thru the newspapers. They were branded by Armando Liwanag as counter-revolutionaries which were also labeled against those who had questioned his document.

In the third quarter of 1994, when its cadres and personnel intact and solid including the big formations of the NPAs in the region, the leadership of the CMR called for a Party Conference and invited all the so called “rejectionists” from Luzon, Visayas, Manila RIZAL (MR) and major party cadres in the different lines of work including those working in the international. It was during the Conference that a Pre-Party Formation was founded called the Peoples’ Communist Party. It had also conducted and elected its central leadership. It had temporarily maintained the name of the army.

The Pre-Party Formation had continued to forge unity with other rejectionist groups in both territorial bodies and major lines of works in order to reach unity in the ideological, political and organizational aspects in lieu of its preparation of the formation of a structure of national Party. In September 1995, it had called, together with the leadership of Manila-Rizal (MR) and the Visayas Party formation, an ideological summit in preparation of the new National Party Formation.

During this period the CMR-Pre-Party Formation leadership had established contacts and relationships with anti-imperialist parties and formations abroad specifically with the leadership of the Forth International. It had sent its official representative to the 14th International Congress of the Forth International in 1995.

The leadership and the membership of the PCP had continued to consolidate its ideology and politics thru launching activities like the ten (10) year summing up of the Party works in central Mindanao and major conferences in different lines of works like parliamentary and electoral, finance works, international, mass works and mass movements, development and peace building works.

It had also continued to reach out with other “rejectionist” groups which had also formed their own pre-party formations. In the middle of 1998, the PCP, together with the Visayas Party Committee and part of MR Committee had launched the founding Congress of RPMP and its army – the Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Bongcayao Brigade. It was the product of almost three (3) years of intense discussions and unification efforts with the different territorial groups while defending their ranks against the attacks of the CPP-NPA which regarded them as counter-revolutionaries. During the Congress, a new set of leadership was elected and the Party constitution and program were approved by the body. The PCP had offered all its resources including cadres to work for this historical formation of the Party. The Congress was held in a mountain base in Mindanao.

With the new national Party and new constitution and program, Mindanao had opened its linkages, areas and its works in the international to broaden perspective. It sent cadres to help in the Party works in MR and Luzon which at the times had weakest machineries and formation among the three territorial bodies of the Party.

National formations of the different lines of works of the new Party were launched and developed. Its core Party members of around three thousand cadres had been deployed to all party building efforts including the consolidation and strengthening of the Army. It (the new Party) had officially became an official observer of the Fourth International a “passed on” status from the CMR) and became active in its international activities against imperialism. It had started a peace talks with the Estrada administration. The official peace talks between the RPMP-RPA/ABB and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) had started in late 1999 and continued up to the third quarter of 2000.

Serious differences were seen during this period among the leadership and party cadres in Mindanao regarding Party leadership and accountability, organizational principles of democratic centralism, Party discipline and correct handling of the electoral and peace works of the Party. Mindanao cadres and leadership had been raising questions regarding non-compliance of the Party leadership of basic organizational principles and party discipline. The last straw of these serious questions was the hasty signing of peace agreement between the RPMP and the GRP with the Mindanao cadres questioned both the undemocratic process and specially the content and direction of the Party. For the Mindanao cadres, it was plain and simple surrender by the RPMP leadership to the GRP.

After initiating and conducting all democratic processes and meetings with the Party leadership, the Mindanao section of the RPMP, decided to dissociate itself from the RPMP and formally formed a new Party in May 1, 2001, naming it as the RPM-M or the Revolutionaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Mindanao (Revolutionary Workers’ Party-Mindanao) and its army as Revolutionary Peoples’ Army which is composed of the three peoples in Mindanao. Its scope is nationwide but its forces are from Mindanao and the Mindanaoans in other parts of the country.

Knowing the serious implication of its decision and the RPMP linked with the GRP, it deliberately delayed for one year (to give time for its consolidation) its formal declaration of severing its ties with the RPMP.

All the Mindanao Party cadres and the Army command and the army formations supported and where behind the formation of the RPM-M/RPA.

Party Principles, Strategy, and Direction

The RPM-M is guided by the Marxist and Leninist principles in its concrete revolutionary struggles against imperialism and the neo-liberal policies of globalization and in building socialism in the Philippines and in other countries in the world. It has rejected the CPP’s analysis of the Philippines as still a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society (as it had analyzed in 1960s) and the corresponding strategy national (new) democratic revolution thru the protracted peoples’ war (PPW) to build a national (new) democratic society with a socialist perspective. The RPM-M believes that the Philippines is now a capitalist country with a backward and very unevenly developed system. It is on these bases that it opposes the strategy of PPW because it only dissipates and drains the revolutionary energy of the proletarian revolutionaries and militants. The RPM-M is launching a socialist revolution thru revolutionary mass movement as contextualized in the peculiar characteristics of capitalism in the country and its development of “ebb and flow” in particular period of globalization.

Currently the RPM-M is conducting the open democratic and anti-imperialist struggles as concrete expressions and integral part of the revolutionary mass movement to achieve concrete reforms and gains towards higher stage or revolutionary change in the country and the world. It proportionately maximizes the different organizations and forms of struggles to develop and attain concrete gains in order to systematically raise the political consciousness of the workers and toiling masses to advance the socialist revolution. The different forms of struggle with the democratic and anti-imperialist contents will be integral part of the revolutionary mass movements of the RPMM in this period of neo-liberal offensives of globalization.

The RPM-M “rejects” the peaceful road to socialism. It believes that working with the big landlords and the big bourgeoisie class and their representatives in the government even in the name of the proletarian is like drinking poison and derailing and destroying the revolutionary struggle of the working class for the genuine revolutionary change in the country.

Current Status

The RPM-M characterizes the present period as dominated unilaterally by the global capital thru its neo-liberal policies and instrumentalities which continue to consolidate and launch offensives (presently giving stress to the US lead military repression and even direct territorial conquest) in the name of anti terror war but obviously for economic gains to control and manage the oil resource based and the industry.

The toiling masses with the revolutionary parties and progressive organizations of the world have been in the defensive (since just before the collapse of the Socialist camp) and generally can be classified to be in the regroupment period. They have been in the process of re-thinking and reviewing their strategies and forms of organizations and struggles in the current period of revolutionary ebb.

The RPM-M, considering these objective reality and its subjective capacity, has launched the revolutionary mass movement with the democratic and anti-imperialist content to achieve concrete gains and comprehensive reforms to raise the level of consciousness of the toiling masses in the context of achieving higher forms of struggles towards socialism in the country.

The RPM-M puts stress on the open democratic and anti-imperialist struggles to gain concrete reforms and advance people based development [in the context of comprehensive reforms and substantial change in the country.]

It engages in the electoral reforms and parliamentary struggle to gain concrete reforms against the current and prevailing traditional and elitist system of politics in the country.

It has launched struggles against human rights violations of the state and the extra judicial killings especially of the progressive militants and journalists. It promotes the respect and observation of the International Humanitarian Law. It has continuously campaigned to ban the victim activated anti-personnel landmines. It has signed and international deed in 2003 to promote such campaign.

It continuously launches struggle for concrete economic and social reforms to achieve day to day improvements in the lives of the toiling masses and advance further towards achieving higher level of social equity and all sided development.

It has supported and struggled with the Bangsamoro and Lumad peoples to achieve and practice their inherent right to self determination and gain control of their respective ancestral domains. It has supported and promoted the struggle of the Bangsamoro and the Lumad people to manage their own territories and their resources , practice their traditional justice system and governance and freely practice their religion and beliefs. The genuine implementation of the Indigenous Peoples’ Right Act (IPRA) can be a concrete starting point for the Lumad people to achieve concrete gains to improve their lives. The RPM-M supports the struggle of the Bangsamoro to build and freely manage their own territory thru the peace negotiation of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

It has supported and promoted the most appropriate _expression of both aspirations of freely practicing their Right to Self Determination with other oppressed and peripherized class and peoples to freely determine their own lives thru Federalism.

It has engaged in peace and development works in all basic sectors and line of works in both urban and rural areas in the country and in the International. It has supported the struggle of women and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people (LGBT) for gender equality and the rights of people to express and practice their gender preferences. It has supported and promoted the struggles and rights of the Overseas Filipino Workers.

It has been engaged with the peace talks with the GRP since 2003 and has signed five (5) major documents including its agreement to have a ceasefire. It promotes and implements a community based and people centered peace process where concrete reforms and gains achieved by the people will be the gauge of considering and raising the level of confidence and moving towards the substantial level of the talks. Direct benefits for the people and ensuring sustainability of community based development and calibrated reforms are the immediate goals of the RPM-M-RPA of the talks at this stage.

It has been engaged with the armed form of struggle and maintaining and developing the Revolutionary Peoples’ Army to ensure, defend and sustain the reforms and concrete gains and victories of the toiling masses in the continuous struggle for substantial reforms in the country.

It has continued to reach out to other genuine revolutionary and progressive parties and organizations here and abroad to build a sustainable and united front against neo-liberal project of globalization in the country and in the world.

International Work and Internationalism

The RPM-M launches socialist revolution in the country in its current form as its contribution to the advancement of world socialist revolution against the neo-liberal capitalist globalization.

It puts stress in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to strengthen their ranks and fight for their rights for dignified wages and humane working conditions and right for compensation, linking their struggle with the revolutionary mass movement in the country and the international struggle against the global capital. Strengthen their ranks and resolve and sustain their struggle against their exploitation.

The RPM-M works with all progressive and revolutionary groups and parties in the struggle against global capital and the global miseries and sufferings capitalism has inflected in the world proletarians.

To effectively and sustainably implement this global task of internationalism, the RPM-M has become a regular and active member of the Fourth International since 2003. It has continued to strengthen and consolidate the Party leadership and Army commands and the different military formations as well. It has also continued to expand and consolidate the formations of local and community based Revolutionary Reserve Forces.