What sparked the Hukbalahap rebellion


The Hukbalahap was an anti-Japanese resistance movement in the Philippines at the time of World War II. The full name of the movement is on Tagalog Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon (Anti-Japanese People's Army).

The Hukbalahap is considered to be the best organized and most effective organization in the resistance against the Japanese army in Southeast Asia. Their leader was Luis Taruc. It was directed not only against the Japanese occupiers, but also against the large landowners, to whose disadvantage it wanted to carry out a social revolution and land reforms.

At the end of 1944 she controlled central Luzon. In other parts of the Philippines, too, it undermined Japanese rule and made a major contribution to the United States' reconquest of the Philippines.

After the return of the Americans, General MacArthur immediately declared the Hukbalahap a rebel organization and had Luis Taruc arrested.

In the 1946 election, the Hukbalahap supported the Democratic Alliance led by Sergio OsmeƱa.

The leaders of the Hukbalahap wanted to realize Marxist ideals in the Philippines. From 1946 to 1954 the Hukbalahap carried out an uprising, which also involved recognition as a freedom fighter in World War II and a share in reparations. In 1950, some Philippine provinces were under the control of the Hukbalahap. After Luis Taruc gave up voluntarily in 1954, the movement disbanded.

As the need for land reforms persisted, the Hukbalahap was rebuilt in the 1960s. It finally ceased its activities in 1970 after President Marcos launched a military offensive against it in 1969.

Due to the dissolution of the Hukbalahap, some of its former members and others founded the Maoist New People's Army in 1969.


  • Bautista, Alberto Manuel: The Hukbalahap Movement in the Philippines, 1942-1952, University of California Press, 1952
  • Pomeroy, William. The Forest. A personal record of the Huk Guerrilla struggle in the Philippines, New York, 1963
  • Kerkvliet, Benedict J.,: The HUK Rebellion: A Study of Peasant Revolt in the Philippines, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977
  • Harri Thuerk: The Sampaguita cries at night. Battle and defeat of the Huk in the Philippines, Berlin: Military Ext. of the German Democratic Republic, 1980
  • Politics (Philippines)
  • Guerrilla (organization)