Seventeen years ago, the Manila-Rizal chapter of the Communist Party of the Philippines formally announced its split from the biggest Communist party in the country. The reasons were two-fold: first, differing analyses on the current state of socialism in the country and beyond and second, the correct revolutionary strategy to be employed to achieve victory. The actors were members of the First Quarter Storm, the bit players the activists and cadres active both in the underground and open democratic movement. Both sides hardlined with ideologues from the CPP branding those who opposed the Re-Affirmist line as counter-revolutionaries. While those in the rejectionist side further split into various groups, mainly due to differences in leadership.
Now, with the emergence of a pseudo-populist government represented by President Aquino, the question remains---is this the right time for the left to reconsolidate and strengthen itself? With the blurring of ideological lines, there are indications that both sides are softening their stances and the possibility of a unification looms.
Unification, ah, this thing was inconceivable back then when the M-R led by Ka Filemon "Popoy" Lagman directly contravened the prevailing ideological stance of the party which he so supported since his activist days in the 70's. Lagman's views remain relevant since the objective conditions which existed seventeen years ago remain unchanged, even to some, worsening. What is so impressive about Lagman's views is its somewhat "prophetic" nature, a sign that Lagman applied the Marxist-Leninist framework of analysis correctly. Back then, direct opposition to the views of Jose Maria Sison led to expulsion from the party. Now, the central leadership is fast losing its ideological dominance and sooner or later, even its influence since its monolithic interpretation of objective conditions lacks the vibrancy of analysis as shown by Lagman's, Marty's and Sonny Melencio's.
Now that the CPP leadership is "age-ing" and most young cadres involved in the movement right now show signs of "open-ness", there are expressions of hope that, sooner or later, these groups from the Left would converge and form a new invigorated revolutionary movement. What is most impressive is the possibility that this movement would now be composed not just of hard-line Marxist-Leninists and Mao Tse-tund adherents---the possibility of having a progressive and Left-thinking segment of the military and the nationalist bourgeoisie coming together with the underground and open organizations and form a stronger coalition of forces remain. That is the first stage. The second stage would actually be the establishment of a stronger, more vibrant, Party which adheres strongly to the Filipino concept of liberation rather than the foreign-inspired frameworks.
There is now a recognition that the entire struggle of the Filipino Masses is not entirely predicated on a foreign ism. Isms are just constructs which the revolutionist applies in correctly interpreting the things happening around him.
The possibility of these forces from the left again resurfacing and forming a stronger revolutionary force remains. There is now a recognition that the most important component of every struggle is correct communication of its goals. The correct communication lies on the correct use of Filipino indigenous symbolisms that communicate the same Socialist concepts for change.
This would be entirely possible if all organizers both from the underground left recognize the fact that the dominant thinking should not be based on foreign sounding ideologies and terminologies; rather the most dominant philosophical world-view should actually be that of the masses, the poor, which is the potent force for change right now.
There lies the element for solidarity and unity of forces---the recognition that even prior to the 1969 re-establishment of the party along Maoist lines, a more potent revolutionary organization existed that successfully fought for the establishment of a transitional revolutionary government. That organization, the Katipunan, has once again animated the minds and hearts of the Filipino Masses.
The Bagong Katipunan could actually be the party which can solidify and synthesize differing view points under one political platform for change. The thinking which Marx, Lenin and Mao formed a century ago could be fused together with the thoughts and philosophical world-view of the Filipino and form a new, more vibrant and simplier Filipino ideology which the Masses would identify themselves with. With this, the resurgence of the Left is deemed possible.