One more time: Is Bayan Muna senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño really a communist?

A photo posted by social media commentary giant Showbiz Government seems to show campaign paraphernalia of Bayan Muna senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño alongside weapons and explosive devices captured from the armed terrorist group the New People’s Army (NPA). The caption reads…

Assault rifles, IEDs, campaign materials of BAYAN MUNA party list and senatorial candidate Teddy A. Casiño recovered by 66th IB after an encounter with elements of NPA in Nabunturan, COMVAL…


Authentic? Or mere “black propaganda”?

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The NPA is the revolutionary arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (thus are collectively referred to by the acronym CPP-NPA). Presumably, its mission is to carry out that infamous “armed struggle” that has been the trademark of every communist movement around the world. Chairman Mao Tse-tung wrote about this “armed struggle” in 1939 (text formatted in boldface for emphasis)…

What is guerrilla warfare? It is the indispensable and therefore the best form of struggle for the people’s armed forces to employ over a long period in a backward country, a large semi-colonial country, in order to inflict defeats on the armed enemy and build up their own bases. So far both our political line and our Party building have been closely linked with this form of struggle. It is impossible to have a good understanding of our political line and, consequently, of our Party building in isolation from armed struggle, from guerrilla warfare. Armed struggle is an important component of our political line. For eighteen years our Party has gradually learned to wage armed struggle and has persisted in it. We have learned that without armed struggle neither the proletariat, nor the people, nor the Communist Party would have any standing at all in China and that it would be impossible for the revolution to triumph. In these years the development, consolidation and bolshevization of our Party have proceeded in the midst of revolutionary wars; without armed struggle the Communist Party would assuredly not be what it is today. Comrades throughout the Party must never forget this experience for which we have paid in blood.

Communists, it seems will always be at fundamental odds with any incumbent government. As such, they will likely only accept its absolute and complete destruction and, thus, makes any attempt on their part to participate “legitimately” in the institutionalised political processes of any incumbent government — such as its elections — plain and simple suspect.

hammer_and_sickleSome people are quick to dismiss the linking to communists of leftist personalities like Casiño who are engaged in some sort of “legal” participation in legitimate Philippine politics as a decades-long “black propaganda” effort mounted by one government after another against left-leaning polticians. The question in my mind, however is quite simple: Why does the perception that leftists are linked to the NPA stubbornly persist? It seems no convincing argument to support the contrary has been put forth.

The common denominator in all this is former Congressman Saturnino “Satur” Ocampo who chairs the Bayan Muna partylist in which Casiño is a member. Notably, Satur Ocampo is a co-founder of the National Democratic Front (NDF) which is widely-believed to be one of the key front orgnisations of the CPP-NPA. According to its Wikipedia entry the NDF lists as one in its 12 point program of “national liberation and democracy” an aim to “unite the people for the task of overthrowing the semicolonial and semifeudal system through a people’s war and completing the national democratic revolution.” This of course may be interpreted in various ways, but it remains consistent with the overall Maoist ideology that Philippine communists subscribe to.

The history of Philippine communists’ “legitimate participation” in mainstream Philippine politics could possibly be traced back to the rise to power of the late Corazon “Cory” Aquino, mother of current president Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III. A report suggests that the popularity of the Cory Aquino government with the people forced the NDF-CPP-NPA brass to re-evaluate its approach to “revolution”…

As a result of the world-wide known “People Power” revolution in the Philippines, the National Democratic Front (NDF) made a comprehensive analysis on the new situation in the Philippines. The new government was viewed as a fragile coalition of the right and bourgeoise liberals. However, the Aquino government has a broader power base than the Marcos regime. As such, it adopted a critical collaboration stance with the present government fielding some of its members to fill some some post in government. With this style they could penetrate the bureaucracy while waiting for the Aquino government to weaken so the NDF goal can be fulfilled.

…which brings us to the present and what looks like a cadre of “ex”-communists who appear to have dropped their AK-47s in favour of peaceful and “productive” partaking in mainstream politics.

So the question remains: Are these “leftists” in Philippine Congress really ex-communists? Or are they merely dormant ones for the time being — waiting for the right moment to strike in the same manner that “sleepers” blend into the mainstream of a society they ultimately plan to destroy someday?

As always…

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

41 Replies to “One more time: Is Bayan Muna senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño really a communist?”

  1. Teddy Casino’s response here. Notable excerpt: “[…] the CPP-NPA-NDF has pledged to abide by international human rights humanitarian law standards and conventions.”

  2. My response to this excerpt from Teddy Casiño’s Ten Questions page.

    Q. Why don’t you denounce the CPP-NPA-NDF?

    Teddy: While I do not espouse the armed struggle, I acknowledge that the conflict stems from age-old grievances that have not been properly addressed by previous and present governments. To simply denounce the CPP-NPA-NDF as a bunch of criminals and terrorists is to ignore the political and revolutionary nature of that movement and to downplay the legitimacy of their grievances.

    I would rather take the more constructive road of dialogue and engagement, especially peace negotiations that, for all its weaknesses, is the only viable way to peacefully resolve the conflict.

    With regard to their alleged atrocities, the CPP-NPA-NDF has pledged to abide by international human rights humanitarian law standards and conventions. If there are any proven violations, I hold them accountable and demand proper corrective action from them.

    As an officer of the Philippine government — and a lawmaker no less — you are in principle offered no latitude when it comes to your regard for armed outlawed groups like the NPA. To say that the existence of the NPA is justified by their having “legitimate grievances” and possessing of a “movement” that is “political and revolutionary” in nature simply sidesteps this very simple principle. Every terrorist organisation and every criminal will always have a rationale to justify their actions. How is the NPA any different?

  3. it is not always true that the ‘communist’ element must ALWAYS be in conflict with an exosting gov’t., it is just not true. Blanket generalizations will have exceptions.
    Whether or not Casino is a ‘commie’ is a moot point, as in :’What is a communist?” anyway?
    The inclusion of the poor into mainstream politics seems to be what his aim is and that can not be a bad thing in a sad sack country such as he is in. Rampant corruption, theft of tax-payer peso’s by sheer balls of incumbents, the fixing of electricity rates by speculators in the current administration that are modeled after the ‘ENRON’ scandal in the U.S.A. with a twist. In the Philippines it is openly bragged about as some sort of achievement that the electricity corporations are gouging the market price upward to near record profits while suffocating the people with ‘brown-outs’, inferior service, all to the detriment of business’s that can not compete because of this situation.
    And that is only the tip of the ice-berg. Every single business in the country is controlled (GOCC’s) and the ones that aren’t are subject to ‘regulations’ and ‘fees’ that make it almost impossible for retailers to make a profit, and those who do are the ‘well connected retailers who have access to certain ‘customs practices’ that allow them to skirt the tarriffs all thers must pay.
    In this sad situation a counter measure to equalize the playing field is necessary, call it a ‘commie’ or a ‘crimminal’ or a ‘waffle’, it does not matter. A shift away from the wealth confiscation practiced in the country is certainly called for and if it is through “the left’, ‘the right’, or whatever it is someone wants to call, the redistribution of wealth will be heavily guarded against, railed at, character assasinated by those who want to hold onto their corrupt institutions by all means necessary.
    Whose country is it anyway? THE PEOPLES! not the corporations!

  4. Communism is a failed ideology. Look at North Korea, Cuba, etc…It’s a family political dynasty, whoever rules it.
    The Aquinos and the Cojuangcos were NPA supporters, to save their Hacienda Luisita. The land they swindled from the Philippine government. Maybe Casino wanted the NPAs to vote for him…he will pay the revolutionary taxes, with the Pork Barrel. Your tax money, at work. Taga-Loob, taga labas…same dogs, different collars.

    1. The failed states you refer to, FAIL, because they are isloated and so can not participate in trade with other countries The complete ostracism of these countries is the cause of their FAIL-ing, not the ideology behind the leaders.

      Castro has done what no other leader has ever done and that is make a 3rd world banana repubic the most literate counrty on the planet, despite being completely isolated and embargoed against. The Venezuelan people want to do the same thing, but certain countries are destined to de-stabilize that bid.

      Ironically, the political party of the ‘workers'(proliteriat) are not the most populous governments on earth. The workers outnumber the bosses, and get treated badly , globally! and yet the sad situations in the West persist and are making their way around the globe.

      1. “Castro has done what no other leader has ever done and that is make a 3rd world banana repubic the most literate counrty on the planet, despite being completely isolated and embargoed against.”

        Snippets from

        And still, even Fidel Castro admits state-run model ‘doesn’t even work for us’ in offhand remark to US journalist Jeffrey Goldberg.

        While his brother Raúl has said Cuba cannot blame the decades-old US embargo for all its economic ills and that serious reforms are needed. Fidel’s statement could bolster the president’s behind-the-scenes tussle with apparatchiks resisting change, said Sweig (a Cuba expert from the Council on Foreign Relations).

        1. Off- handed remarks are to be taken for not much and do not compare to the PURE STATISTICS of the accomplishment that was referred to above, OR maybe you missed the part about Cuba being the most literate country in the world. Yes, a 3rd world, 3rd rate, banana republic, pig-stye of a country has the most literate population on the planet.

          Ideologies have not much to do with that.

        2. Cuba is an extraordinary place. I visit regularly and am mesmerised by the time-warp you experience with its fading architectural grandeur, the ingenuity of the people to keep 60 year old classic cars on the road ( for most their only asset), and the vibrancy of a rich and varied culture. The girls, music, and the cigars are also special.

          But despite an innovative and very successful education programme and literacy campaign, the poverty remains high, and became dire after the withdrawal of russian aid, resulting in a reluctant move towards tourism and a slightly more open policy in certain areas.
          The lesson learnt is that a good education alone is of little benefit without the subsequent freedoms and opportunities to fully utilise it.

          What the country was unable, or more likely unwilling to do, was translate education into progress and prosperity, so that it became more akin to education for educations sake, and frustrating for many who wanted to achieve more, but in such an environment had no outlet for their abilities or aspirations. 92% are employed by the state although this is now changing slowly as state sanctioned capitalist firms emerge and individuals have a little more freedom for small scale entrepreneurial ventures.

          It is easy for some to be seduced by cuba and the romanticism of che, and the david vs goliath story appeals to idealistic students comfortable on campus with no experience of the world beyond books, and who have never seen first hand, the hidden dark side of life and reality in a country where freedoms are few and ‘big brother’ watches and listens constantly and furtively.

          The communist model failed, and in another 50 years a new cuba will exist, far less extreme, less idealistic, less state controlled, and be all the stronger for it as it inevitably adapts a capitalist model and adopts free market thinking. Recent policy changes are fundamental first steps which acknowledge the failures of the past and prepare for the future.

          Its biggest challenge is to manage the transition from isolation to greater integration with the least social cost/upheaval or unrest.
          I have faith in the people, but not yet in the state. As with all communist regimes there exists great hypocricy and a two class/tier system.

          Poster boy Che no longer sells communism, just t-shirts.

        3. It is EZ 2 take shots at people who do great things, VERY EZ!!! but ever try doing something great? Castro is a guy who stood up for his people in the face of great odds and at great personal risk. A World super-power spent decades trying to poison him, and yet failed.
          He did what he did because he had BALLS. Something most people today just do not have.
          Whether or not anyone likes his ‘brand’ of politics is a moot point. Whether Che was a gullible idiot for thinking he could do it again, and for going where he went is as well. The two of them are among the great people of their time because they stood up for what they believed in while facing great peril to themselves.

        4. @gerry

          Have I mentioned any statistics in describing the situation of his country during his time?

          I’m just quoting him no more no less.

          You’re praising Castro a lot and yet you did not cite anything where you based your claim.

          How about this one –


          “They say you can boil a live frog in a pot by gradually turning up the heat. He will not jump out, because he can’t tell the temperature’s changing. Something like this happened to Cuba. Castro’s Revolution was a stealth revolution, done in stages, dividing and conquering till he had the whole prize. “First they came for the Batistianos and I didn’t protest because I had no connections with Batista’s government. Then they came for the big landowners and I didn’t protest because I didn’t have a Sugar mill; I had a small tobacco farm. Then they came for the big businessmen and I didn’t protest because I was a small shopkeeper not a factory owner. Finally they came for me…” and, well, we’ve heard this song before.

          By 1992 two million Cubans had fled Cuba, most against staggering odds and with only the clothes on their back. By most estimates this is a tiny fraction of those who desired to leave. A causeway from Havana to Key West in 1961 with the same free travel as existed in Cuba (indeed, in all civilized countries) in 1958 would have emptied the island in two months. According to Cuban-American scholar Dr Armando Lago, 83,000 Cubans have died at sea while attempting to leave Cuba.

          Also revealing of the misery and desperation created by the Castro regime is Cuba’s suicide rate, which reached 24 per thousand in 1986- making it double Latin America’s average, making it triple Cuba’s pre-Castro rate, making Cuban women the most suicidal in the world, and making death by suicide the primary cause of death for Cubans aged 15-48. At that point the Cuban government ceased publishing the statistics on the self-slaughter. The figures became state secrets. The implications seem to horrify even the government.”

          That is you Castro, the New York Times’ hero.

          I suspect he’s your hero too, heh…

      2. “Castro has done what no other leader has ever done and that is make a 3rd world banana repubic the most literate counrty on the planet, despite being completely isolated and embargoed against.”

        Besides the numerous spelling errors you call killing thousands of political opponents at the hands of Che a working system? Really ? How many died to get the USA because it is so good there? Wake up and stop listening to your progressive teachers.

        1. Yo DUDE!!! where did anyone say anything about killing anyone, HUH? The statement is about how an isolated leader taught his fellow countrymen how to read….get a clue!
          Your hatred of a Man is evident here( really attractive, NOT!) and may I say I don’t give a shit for any gov’t. on this planet. Castro taught his people to read and comprehend Spanish, is what was stated, PERIOD . A word was spelled wrong above, BUT BUT BUT…YOU??? YOU hallucinated and entire statement!
          (spelling does not count for much on internet web-blogs, u kno?)

          BTW know any other gov’t. that has murdered all their enemies by any chance??? Wake up, u say???? HA! You make me laugh!!!

        2. Your statement about “How many people died…?”. You refer to the Mariel boat-lift?? OH yes, that was when Castro emptied out his jails and sent the garbage he did not want to the USA.

          So, Jim. maybe you understand that political ideologies are just idea’s, or even excuses, to grab power from someone else, huh?

        3. I can’t help it if you know nothing about history.. Maybe too many progressive teachers not teacher real history. Cuban’s die every year trying to get to the USA. Grab power please you just can’t look past your nose when the answer is right in front of you. Castro and his ilk are is the trash bin of history of despots.

        4. @Jim Arndt, I said the guy taught his countrymen how to read and write spanish(“Castro has done..”), I mentioned nothing about killing anyone!

          if you want to argue with someone else about Castro being a despot, go ahead!BUT, it should be mentioned that most governments that replace another government usually kill people.

  5. nice article. though i do not agree 100%, it is well written and we researched compared to some articles in Inq and rappler. you even asked Teddy via Twitter. good job and keep it up.

    I just do not get the whole point of arguing if Casino is communist or not. We have far-rightists in the senate (honasan and trillanes), feminist (cayetano siblings), nationalists (Tanadas, Recto, Salonga) why is being communist any different? If we are afraid of him siphoning public funds to the armed revolution, lets file a case or make Casino accountable. The govt itself says that the CPP-NPA are irrelevant and not a threat then what are we afraid of having Casino in the senate?

  6. Update on the “debate”: Carlos Conde after getting us started then suddenly bowed out saying“@benign0 pls stop tagging me. i have a policy of not debating with anybody who can’t back up their arguments with real names.” Now there’s someone who can’t seem to focus on ideas and instead focuses on people..

    As for Teddy here is his witty comeback: “@benign0 @carloshconde Ninoy Aquino, TG Guingona, Tañada, Recto, Diokno, Cardinal Sin were all branded communists too. I’m in good company,” which does not seem to pass the “So What?” test.

    Ah yes. The Philippine National “Debate”. 😀

    1. Casiño et al can’t even demand or condemned China on the Spratlys issue as well the Sabah incident, a Communist without their own foreign policy is like Lenin calling it quits..

  7. WE belong to the age where the Cold War is over and local anti-subversion laws have been repealed. It’s an age where no one can rightfully be deprived of his beliefs. So why should Teddy Casino’s convictions be an issue, particularly if he’s fighting for them in a democratic arena like the Philippine Congress? This article is a big brouhaha over nothing.

  8. This is a FAILED attempt of black propaganda and red-baiting.

    Red-baiting is the act of accusing, denouncing, attacking or persecuting an individual or group as communist, socialist, or anarchist, or sympathetic toward communism, socialism, or anarchism.

    I’d rather choose a communist than these narcissist sociopaths running our government.

    1. Unless you spell out in SPECIFIC terms what exactly is the nature of this “failure” you see in the message of this article, all you are really doing here is making assertions that lack any sort of substance. Just because one says so does not mean it IS so.

    2. I’m the commander of the men who recovered these campaign materials from So. Apugon Bgy Katipunan, Nabunturan COMVAL last 25 April. I have reminded my men not to comment on political issues that hint of partisanship moreso that elections are just around the corner. I will however, attest that the pictures you see here are true. Red baiting is not part of the task-list of an infantry battalion. We are much too preoccupied in finding and destroying the enemy. Officially, 3 NPAs were killed to include their commander. What I’m hearing through intercepted texts is that at least 14 were killed. We could not determine the exact number because the NPAs ran for their lives when artillery started raining in.

  9. We’ve all seen that the old ways isn’t working, if carino can do some changes in the senate as a communist.. what’s the problem with that?

  10. We all know that every candidates has their own ways and means just to be expose or some just want to be the center of the issue, that makes them more expose and popular to the people because of that , so to all people out there we must vote the candidate that is deserving and the responsible for the position because the future lies in the people hands of the people not to them 🙂 🙂

  11. I’m the commander of the men who recovered these campaign materials from So. Apugon Bgy Katipunan, Nabunturan COMVAL last 25 April. I have reminded my men not to comment on political issues that hint of partisanship moreso that elections are just around the corner. I will however, attest that the pictures you see here are true. Red baiting is not part of the task-list of an infantry battalion. We are much too preoccupied in finding and destroying the enemy. Officially, 3 NPAs were killed to include their commander. What I’m hearing through intercepted texts is that at least 14 were killed. We could not determine the exact number because the NPAs ran for their lives when artillery started raining in.

  12. Just a hypothetical: if the NPA had posters of Cynthia Vilar a.k.a. Mrs. Hanepbuhay, could it also be speculated that she might be a commie as well?

  13. IF Nancy Binay posters were seized with the guns, that makes Nancy a communist? Where is this rotten logic coming from.

  14. GetReal should get real. Rotten logic. Flawed arguments abound this page. That’s why the ideas of the people behind this page only flows around them. Get your ‘ideology’ at work. But I doubt you would. You are arm chair philosophers who are not in touch with the world and would prefer languishing in this website throwing out nonsense commentary on everything you want to talk about.

    Lagi ko tuloy naaalala ang sinabi sa akin ng teacher ko noon na madalas ang mga taong putak ng putak ay parang manok na tilaok ng tilaok pero wala namang itlog. 🙂

    Make your ideology work here in the Philippines first. You have not yet proven anything. I have high respect for the revolutionary movement led by the CPP because they have made concrete gains for the people in the countryside through their primary program of waging agrarian revolution. That is at the core of their so-called people’s war.

    As for tagging Teddy as a communist, let it be. For today, the most credible people that can speak about changing the society that is more equitable and just are those people whom you’d like to call communists.

    Look at the revolutions raging in India and Nepal and the resurgence of the revolutionary movement in almost every part of the globe. That alone is a proof that the another world and society that we are talking about is not about reforming capitalism but overthrowing the dictatorship of buorgeoise and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat.

    1. Lol! You typed in so many words above yet failed to make any convincing argument of substance that could potentially change my mind about commies. It all reads like something cobbled together from slogans written on old 1970s commie placards over the many moronic pickets they mounted on Manila’s streets. 😀

      1. Well, hindi ko naman layunin na i-convince ka pa since lubog ka na diyan sa upuan mo. 🙂

        All I can say is that history will prove that these people are correct. The resurgence of the revolutionary movement around the world is inevitable.

        1. One last, hindi mo rin naman masagot kung papaano niyo rin mapapatunayan na wasto iyang iningangawa niyo. Nasaan ang concrete gains niyo? Nasaan ang mass support? Nasaan ang inyong move para i-advance iyang ideology niyo?

          Kaya nga minsan, masarap lang makipagdebate sa inyo kaso ayun worthless kasi wala pa kayong napapatunayan. Laging quoting someone and pointing someone else na mga “tagumpay”. 🙂

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