On August 26, 2020, the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP-1930, the Philippine Communist Party) celebrated the 90th anniversary of its founding with a virtual conference participated in by a number of its provincial, city and municipal committees from Cagayan Valley to Southern Luzon. While this anniversary used to be celebrated with mass gatherings, community quarantine regulations under the present COVID-19 pandemic required that the celebration yesterday be held through a virtual conference using information technology methods of video-conferencing.
The PKP-1930 was organized at a 2-day founding convention participated in by 60 delegates, held at the “Templo del Trabajo” along P. Rada Street in Tondo, Manila, on August 25-26, 1930. August 26,1930, was then known as the 34th Anniversary of the “Cry of Balintawak” of 1896, which launched the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonialism.
The party's founding in 1930, the year of the gravest pre-WW-2 international crisis of the capitalist system, signalled the determination of the working masses in the Philippines to lead the struggle for national independence from U.S. colonialism, and for the building of socialism in our country. The party was founded by representatives of progressive workers' federations/unions and peasant associations which were then united under the Katipunan ng mga Anak-Pawis ng Pilipinas (KAP, or the Proletarian Labor Congress of the Philippines).
The party was later formally launched at a public rally in Plaza Moriones in Tondo, Manila, on November 7, 1930, the 13th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, which ushered in the epoch of world socialist revolution, and which revolution inspired the party's struggles in our country.
Discussions at yesterday's virtual conference mentioned that at the time of the party's founding, colonialism was the “pandemic”, where most parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America were under the control of imperialist countries. Millions of colonial peoples were murdered, physically mutilated, and starved or worked to death, in the centuries up to the early 1900s. Colonialism was a source of fabulous wealth for capitalists, and exposed to the working peoples the need for the overthrow of imperialism and the capitalist system.
Today's raging COVID-19 pandemic has also brought so much death and suffering, and has aggravated the present general crisis of capitalism. Capitalist governments and oligarchies have shown their inability to reduce mortality rates, to treat the infected, to assist all those who have lost their jobs, and to extend emergency social services to the people in general. Socialist countries, on the other hand, are ensuring free medical services for their peoples, and are assisting their peoples during lockdowns. Cuba, despite limitations due to the U.S. blockade, is even extending medical assistance to other countries, and is helping to develop a vaccine to end the pandemic.
Meanwhile, neocolonial countries like the Philippines cannot even develop their own anti-viral treatments, and their anti-pandemic budgets are gobbled up by graft mafias in national agencies, local governments and private medical institutions. The situation calls for an uncompromising struggle against capitalist oligarchies and their corrupt partners in government, for the overthrow of the capitalist system, and for the building up of socialism.
The virtual conference also featured a short discussion on the role of present-day trotskyists as special agents of imperialism in disseminating lies, intrigues and historical revisionism or distortions against the PKP-1930 and against the Marxist-Leninist ideology. The virtual conference decided that the party should publish a short study of trotskyist views and activities, drawing historical lessons from the party's previous struggle against trotskyists who wanted to lead the party towards an adventurous and self-defeating path.
In preparation for the anniversary's virtual conference, video conferencing (even on a limited scale) also allowed national office-bearers of the party to check on the state of health of some cadres, on their local meetings and other activities, and on their receipt of monthly issues of Sulong! (“Forward!”, the party's monthly organ). Discussion papers used as inputs for the anniversary's virtual conference will be included in the forthcoming August 2020 issue of Sulong!