The Socialist Movement In The Philippines
When the Rains Come Will Not the Grass Grow Again?
by Dr. Dante C. Simbulan
University Hotel, UP Diliman, 16 June 2018
“Excellent Work, Captivating Narrative”
Review by Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines, reestablished 1968, and
Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Dr. Dante Simbulan’s book on the socialist movement in the Philippines, 1920–1960, is an excellent work of scholarship and captivating narrative.
It presents the socio-historical factors and concrete circumstances involved in the emergence, rise and decline of the Socialist Party of the Philippines and the Communist Party of the Philippine Islands and revolutionary mass movement in four decades before 1960. It is even more interesting by laying bare the persistent root causes of social discontent and accurately predicting the resurgence of people’s war along the line of people’s democratic revolution with a socialist perspective.
It is necessary to read this book if only to know and understand the highly significant history of the Socialist Party of the Philippines (SPP) as the legal alternative to the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in the 1930s in Central Luzon as well as the history of the Merger Party of the SPP and CPP in 1938 that became the leading party of the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon from 1942 onwards and subsequently the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan from 1948 onwards.
However, the book is made even more highly significant with the prediction of the author that in the absence of socio-economic and political reforms to undo the semi-colonial and semi-feudal character of Philippine society, the armed conflict between revolution and counterrevolution would break out again between the US-directed big comprador–landlord state and the revolutionary movement of workers and peasants.
The people’s war guided by a program of new democratic revolution with a pronounced socialist perspective has resumed since the founding of the New People’s Army on March 29, 1969 under the leadership of the CPP, which had been reestablished on December 26, 1968. The armed revolution has gone nationwide and become deeply rooted among the masses for nearly 50 years. It has built guerrilla fronts, mass organizations of various classes and sectors, local organs of political power, and alliances in 71 of the 81 Philippine provinces.
When Dr. Simbulan wrote his book in the form of a masteral dissertation in the University of the Philippines in 1960, the armed counterrevolution appeared to be overwhelmingly successful in most years of the 1950s and no new wave of armed revolution was in the horizon in the Philippines until 1969.