The military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NPA is a Maoist group formed in March 1969 with the aim of overthrowing the government through protracted guerrilla warfare. The chairman of the CPP’s Central Committee and the NPA’s founder, Jose Maria Sison, reportedly directs CPP and NPA activity from the Netherlands, where he lives in self-imposed exile. Fellow Central Committee member and director of the CPP’s overt political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), Luis Jalandoni also lives in the Netherlands and has become a Dutch citizen. Although primarily a rural-based guerrilla group, the NPA has an active urban infrastructure to conduct terrorism and uses city-based assassination squads. Derives most of its funding from contributions of supporters in the Philippines, Europe, and elsewhere and from so-called revolutionary taxes extorted from local businesses and politicians. First designated in August 2002. Designations by the United States and the European Union may have had an impact on funding.
The NPA primarily targets Philippine security forces, politicians, judges, government informers, former rebels who wish to leave the NPA, rival splinter groups, and alleged criminals. Opposes any US military presence in the Philippines and attacked US military interests, killing several US service personnel, before the US base closures in 1992. Press reports in 1999 and in late 2001 indicated that the NPA is again targeting US troops participating in joint military exercises as well as US Embassy personnel. The NPA claimed responsibility for the assassination of two congressmen from Quezon in May 2001 and Cagayan in June 2001 and many other killings. In January 2002, the NPA publicly expressed its intent to target US personnel if discovered in NPA operating areas.
Slowly growing; estimated at more than 10,000. This number is significantly lower than its peak strength of around 25,000 in the 1980s.
Location/Area of Operations
Operates in rural Luzon, Visayas, and parts of Mindanao. Has cells in Manila and other metropolitan centers.