There is two governments that exist, the reactionary government which is represented by what we call the ruling class, and the exploited class. Tell the soldiers, there’s a new order coming from the Mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your [female rebels] vagina, so that if there are no vaginas it would be useless. From this on, we will shift now to active mode, that means we can conduct our operations against the CPP-NPA. When Rodrigo Duterte won the Philippines’ 2016 presidential election by a landslide, millions of Filipinos hailed him as the man who would stand up to the domestic and foreign powers who keep the country impoverished. But today, more Filipinos have been killed by Duterte´s government than the thousands murdered by Ferdinand Marcos, the U.S.-backed dictator who enforced a bloody era of martial law in the 70s. Duterte’s broken his pledge to break the Philippines’ 65 year old military alliance with the United States. Millions of dollars of U.S. military aid continue to pour in, and last year they went to war together, razing large parts of the Muslim city Marawi to the ground. His election promise of peace talks with Communist militants also hasn’t got anywhere yet. One moment he asks them to talk and the next he threatens a new crackdown. It’s been going on like this for months. The guerrilla are fighting in one of the world’s oldest Communist insurgencies for the New People’s Army, founded by 79-year-old Jose Maria Sison, who lives in exile. We went to meet the fighters who are taking the NPA into its 50th year. Deep in Mindanao’s mountainous Bukidnon province, we travelled through the dead of night to stay out of the military’s sights, to a base that was still being set up as we arrived. This mobile platoon is constantly on the move. Their task is to spread the reach of the NPA in the vast Filipino countryside. Politically the whole Philippines is scattered into three big islands: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and particular in Mindanao, the strategic mountains which are very suitable for waging revolution is already occupied [by] guerrilla fronts. The entire Philippines according to the data, we have already 120+ guerrilla zones, and particularly in our region in North Central Mindanao, we have ten guerrilla fronts. The NPA follow the teachings of Chairman Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese Communist Revolution that in 1949 overthrew the U.S.-backed forces of Chiang Kai Shek. Their guerrilla warfare is modelled on his strategy of Protracted People’s War, designed to overthrow an imperialist-backed state. The Filipino left call Duterte’s government the U.S.-Duterte regime and say that even though the Philippines officially won independence from the U.S. in 1946, the American military is still in charge. Foreign corporations continue to extract super profits out of the country’s natural and human resources, just as they did under colonial rule, while millions of Filipinos are living in abject poverty surviving on barely a dollar a day. Actually, I am not from the organised mass but I work in Manila as a labourer, something like that. So I feel so very, I feel the unjust system of the government. I hate the government already at that time even though there is no NPA coming to me that explain to me “this is the government, this is a fascist government”. Then I return home then I see a couple of comrades, I go with them. Actually they really think that I cannot survive because I am big, I am fat, but in principles I believe in the Party, I firmly believe in my comrades. I really dedicate myself, my life to the revolution until it’s victory. If I am not hit by the bullet! The guerrilla work to a strict routine and strict rules, like protect the environment, no swearing and return everything you borrow. They wake up at 4 a.m., exercise at 5, have meals at set times, and regular education sessions to keep them well versed in the Communist Party’s ideology before they go out to nearby communities of peasants, or what they call their “mass base”. In organising the mass base, we have our political lines, we talk to them, we share with them their problems, they will talk to us about their problems, about what they want in their life. Then we simply collate it all and then we summarise it. We give them the solution of what they will do to improve their lifestyle, their means of living. Those solutions involve building what the Communists call ‘Organs of Political Power’; associations of local people to resist powerful landlords and corporations. They connect them with legal organisations in towns and cities which will help them build schools and have access to healthcare, services that the government fails to deliver to remote areas just like this. In the political aspect we establish a mass base, the guerrilla zone, from the countryside to the cities. This is what a guerrilla zone looks like: In the centre you have the guerrilla base, which is surrounded by several security and defence lines. The inner defence lines are manned by NPA fighters, the outer layers by People’s Militia. People’s Militia are local peasants trained and sometimes armed by the NPA. Their responsibilities range from overseeing logistics, channeling supplies to the guerrilla base, providing intelligence, all the way up to defending the base and the masses in the guerrilla zone with arms if necessary. In turn the NPA trains these peasants to build those ‘Organs of Political Power‘, their own organisations to deliver social services that the state fails to – effectively a parallel form of government. So the guerrilla zone becomes a thick layer of local peasants who defend the guerrilla base. And when mobile bases like this one move on, the guerrilla zone remains, because the NPA leave behind those ‘Organs of Political Power’ and the People’s Militia that they trained. When Duterte says there is no single barrio Jose Maria Sison controls. We are installing, we are building political power, political organs. We had to blur many of the guerrilla’s faces because some of them, called ‘part-timers’, go back into government controlled territory to build alliances and bring new recruits to the NPA. There are men, women, different age groups, ethnic groups and LGBTQ people in this platoon and they were keen to demonstrate that the NPA is more inclusive than Filipino society in general. My parents are not revolutionary. I think I am just the only one, who holds an arm just to serve the people, to liberate the people. Gays must be militant, serving the people. Showing that gays can be useful. Gays are useful to the society. They are creative, they can design, of course. Let’s go to the revolution and design the world, create a new world! The situation of the women, the root cause is the situation of the society. If the whole people are liberated then the women will be liberated also. Lorena Mangahas has been a guerrilla for 40 years. She got married in the NPA, escaped jail once and was released a second time. How do you try to manage the experience or the trauma of having been in jail? To manage the trauma? In the jail I had a task. I was one of the, what we call the mayor in the jail. The mayor with no municipality. But I was so busy in jail, when I was released I immediately go to the countryside then do mass work. When one of her children was old enough, she also signed up to the cause. I wrote the song in 1995. The song inspired me that my children are not my own, their owner is the society. For the young people who are poisoned by imperialist culture, only focused on themselves like a frog that’s fallen and is trapped inside a bucket. The deception that the U.S. is good. If only I can shout out how cruel the imperialist U.S. is in the entire world today. My call to all the young people is that, we need to come out of this situation.