Message of Solidarity on the 28th Cordillera Day, April 24, 2012

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples’ Struggle

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, express our warmest greetings of solidarity to the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, all the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera, the thousands of delegates , solidarity friends and partners overseas in the celebration of the 28th Cordillera Day in the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and Ifugao and the city of Baguio on April 22-25.

We join you in honoring Ama Macliing Dulag and all the succeeding martyrs and heroes who have dedicated their lives to the revolutionary struggle of the Cordillera peoples in defense of ancestral domain and self-determination. We appreciate highly your determination to follow their example and carry forward their ever brilliant legacy of resolute and militant struggle for the advancement of the rights of the Cordillera peoples.

We support the central theme: Fight for Our Land, Life and Rights!. This is a timely call for united action in the face of such urgent issues as large-scale mining and energy projects, climate change and environmental destruction, genuine regional autonomy, militarization, human rights violations and pressing economic and social problems. We hope that Cordillera Day serves as an occasion for ventilating these issues and mobilizing the Cordillera peoples.

For many years, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance has grown in strength because it has served well the Cordillera peoples by upholding, defending and promoting their rights. We expect the alliance to sum up its experience, draw lessons from its achievements and shortcomings and set forth the tasks for raising the struggles of the Cordillera peoples to a new and higher level.

You need to further firm up your resolve and intensify your militancy in view of the rapidly worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and that of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system in the Philippines. The imperialists headed by the US and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords are escalating the oppression and exploitation of the Cordillera peoples and the entire Filipino people and without let up shifting the burden of crisis to them.

Like the previous Arroyo regime, the incumbent Aquino regime is extremely subservient to the imperialists and the local exploiting classes. It is utterly corrupt for serving up the people and their natural resources (mining, forests, inland water and marine) to the foreign monopolies and big compradors for exploitation and plunder. For this purpose and under the pretext of development and peace, it is using Oplan Bayanihan to commit gross human rights violations on a wide scale and suppress the people with brutal military campaigns.

The Aquino regime knows no bounds for its puppetry. It has allowed the US to escalate military intervention in the Philippines and thus violate national sovereignty and territorial integrity. US military forces collaborate with Filipino troops in campaigns of military suppression against the Filipino people and they stir up tensions in East Asia in order to impose US hegemony over the region.

It is of great importance that the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and the Cordillera peoples intensify their struggle for land, life and rights and contribute to the growth and advance of the entire Filipino people’s movement for national liberation and democracy. The current grave crisis of imperialism and the local reactionary system inflicts terrible suffering on the people but at the same time incites them to intensify their struggle for national independence, democracy, social justice and all-round development for the real benefit of the people. ###