New People's Army
The New People's Army (NPA) (Filipino: Bagong Hukbong Bayan) is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). It was formed and founded by Jose Maria Sison, Bernabe Buscayno, and Lucio Manlapaz on 29 March 1969. The Maoist NPA conducts its armed guerrilla struggle based on the strategical line of protracted people's war. With an estimated strength of nearly 3,200 militants in 2015, and latest attack as recent as 2015 in Agusan Del Sur, it operates in the rural areas throughout Philippines especially in the inaccessible hill areas of provinces far from the major cities.
In 1969, the NPA was formed, and the first violent incident took place in 1971. A year later, President Ferdinand Marcos introduced martial law. Until 2002, the NPA received a considerable amount of aid from outside the Philippines, although later developments forced it to rely on support from local sources. Between 1969 and 2008, more than 43,000 insurgency-related fatalities were recorded.
The NPA extorts "taxes", mostly from businesses, in the areas where it operates. The CPP refers to the NPA as "the tax enforcement agency of the people's revolutionary government". "Revolutionary taxes are used to fund community services and never go to the pockets of corrupt leaders" said National Democratic Front (NDF) spokesperson, Fidel Agcaoili.
Peace negotiations have reached an impasse. The Philippine government has specifically drafted a "new framework" which seeks to end the 27-year-long stalemate in the talks, hoping to build ground with the leftist rebels that is more comprehensive than human rights, the only issue on which the negotiating parties agree. The NDF wants the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) signed first before the bilateral ceasefire agreement, or both can be signed simultaneously.
However, relations with the government soured in 2017. President Rodrigo Duterte officially designated the group as a terrorist organization in late 2017. Both the United States and the European Union had designated the NPA as a terrorist organization prior to the Duterte government.
There have been reports of the Communist Party of China shipping arms to the NPA. Due to this, the NPA have an unknown number of Type 56 assault rifles. The NPA has also allegedly received support from the Workers' Party of Korea, the now defunct Shining Path of Peru, as well as former members from the defunct Communist Party of Malaya.
It is reported that the NPA had supported the Naxalites (of India) on the Naxalite–Maoist insurgency by training and technical support.