Alex Boncayao Brigade

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The Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB) is the breakaway urban hit squad of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA). It was named after Labor leader Alex Boncayao, who was a candidate in the 1978 elections under the LABAN party.



In 1984, Felimon "Popoy" Lagman formed the ABB, which was originally the faction of the Manila Rizal Committee of the New People's Army. The breakaway was a result of conflict between the beliefs of the parties involved. The NPA believed that the most effective means of fomenting, and then winning, a revolution was through the united efforts of peasants and workers, expressed through the use of jungle-based guerrilla warfare, while the ABB expressed progressively stronger opposition to these tactics, espousing the belief that urban terrorism was the most appropriate means to the achievement of the group's goal. After the murder of a comrade in the 1970s, the ABB dedicated itself to its aim of taking its terrorist tactics to the streets of the cities of the Philippines, declaring urban war against capitalism and the government. In the late 1990s, however, the leadership of Lagman faltered because of his arrest for political and terrorist activities. In 1997, Nilo de la Cruz, commander of a rival faction, became the leader of the group.

Urban Warfare

Three days after an oil price increase in 1998, the group bombed the Petron Oil Corporation Offices in Makati. In 1999, members of the ABB fired a grenade at Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation in Makati. And in 2000, the Makati offices of Shell and Petron were bombed and the Department of Energy in Fort Bonifacio in Makati was attacked with automatic weapons and a rocket-launched grenade.

There are believed to be approximately 500 active members of the group, which has become known for its methods of waging urban warfare. Although regarded by many as terrorists to the extent that the group was placed on the Exclusion List of the United States, the ABB is viewed by some as vigilantes who carry out their own brand of justice when conventional means do not produce results.


The ideological roots of ABB lie in the political dogma of the CPP- Marxist Leninist. The original philosophy was to unite working class and the peasantry that would overthrow the government and establish a socialist government, and the original plan was to use guerrilla style combat. However, when Lagman separated from the NPA, the tactics began to change. They used fear-evoking tactics such as assassination of government officials, killings, threats, kidnappings, intimidation, and violence as means of ensuring financial viability.


  • A movie entitled "Alex Boncayao Brigade" was released in 1988. It starred Ronnie Ricketts and Mia Prats.


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