The Communist Party of the Philippines, and its military unit, the New People's Army, have been waging a 30-year war against the Philippine government, and US influence within the country in particular, since its formation in 1968. It works closely with the National Democratic Front (NDF), as well as several other militant groups, including the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), an organization of labor unions, and the Kilusan ng Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), a rural farmers' organization.
The CPP follows a "Marxist-Leninist-Maoist" ideology, according to the Ang Bayan its official newsletter (online version at http://www.redrival.com/ang_bayan/). It conducts massive propaganda campaigns in rural areas, although they have smaller influence within Manila (except for the operations of the ABB). It is currently led (at least in spirit) by Jose Maria Sison, ("Ka Joma") who is in exile in the Netherlands.
The CPP reached the height of its membership under the repressive Marcos dictatorship, although his ouster did not end attacks on the military and pressure to remove the US bases at Subic Bay and Angeles City (which left in 1992). Several rural areas are under defacto control of the CPP or the NPA, mostly in the Luzon and Visayas islands.
The CPP broke off peace talks in June 1999 upon the ratification of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the USA and the Philippine government, which allowed US troops to conduct training exercises on Philippine soil. They have vowed to attack any visiting US troops, although no actual attacks have been reported so far.
Several schisms within the party on matters of ideology have caused it to split into several factions, most notably the militant Tiamzon faction, organized around Wilma Tiamzon. This also formed several breakups within the NPA, as well as the formation of several "lost command" units. The Alex Boncayao Brigade has also broken away and is currently operating under the Rebolusyong Partido ng Manggagawa - Pilipinas (RPM-P).
It also helped campaign for the removal of President Joseph Estrada from power, and for the first time found itself allied with such strange bedfellows as the Makati Business Club and the Catholic Church. After the Estrada ouster at EDSA 2 in January, 2001, many of its members have since then gone on to run for public office, apparently giving up militant struggle to try and fix the system from within.
The CPP, NPA, and NDF are currently taking part in peace talks with the Arroyo government in Oslo, Norway. The talks are not expected to conclude until 2002, although initial results are encouraging.
Some facts checked from Ang Bayan, www.fas.org, as well as several propaganda leaflets and posters around my university.