Keynote Speech at the International Conference
on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines, July 19, 2013

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

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, express our warmest greetings of solidarity to all the participants of the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines. We express special appreciation to those who earlier joined the International Solidarity Missions to various regions of the country in order to observe  the human rights situation, interact with the people and report to this conference.

For their success in organizing this conference and the International Solidarity Missions, we congratulate the International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) and the Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace (EcuVoice).  Like the Peace for Life network, we are proud to have cooperated with them in promoting the said events and encouraging participation.

We support this conference as it aims to assess, analyze and evaluate the current state of human rights and peace in the Philippines, understand the roots of the problems of human rights violations and the civil war, seek solutions to these problems and arrive at unity on a plan of coordinated campaigns and actions to demand and help realize respect for human rights and attain a just peace.

As keynote speaker on the opening day of the conference, I wish to discuss the impact of neoliberalism and the crisis of global capitalism on human rights and peace in the world and in the Philippines in general terms.  I am mindful of the fact that the keynote speaker tomorrow shall focus on the human rights situation in the Philippines and shall speak about it in  greater detail.

I. Neoliberalism as Attack on Human Rights

The concept of neoliberalism or “new liberalism” was put forward in 1938 by a group of bourgeois intellectuals, which included Alexander Rustow, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek.  They defined it as upholding “the priority of the price mechanism, the free enterprise, the system of competition and a strong and impartial state.”  And they presumed and misrepresented monopoly capitalism as the free competition capitalism that existed in most of the 19th century.

They adopted from Adam Smith the idea that the invisible hand of self-interest in the free market results in the common good. But they obscured or denied his idea that labor power is the creator of new material values and social wealth. They also believed that the economic freedom of the entrepreneurs spells political freedom for the entire society. In effect, they imposed the class interest of the monopoly bourgeoisie on the working class and the rest of the people.

They considered sacred and inviolable the right to private property in the means of production and put this at the core of the rule of law.  They vigorously opposed state ownership of any means of production and state intervention in the economy. However, they considered the state as an instrument to provide the private capitalists with the means and opportunities for profit-making and capital accumulation , including the expansion of money supply and credit, tax cuts, contracts with the state, subsidies, investment guarantees and other incentives.

The concept of neoliberalism arose at the time of the Great Depression, when the crisis of overproduction in monopoly capitalism had given rise to fascism and the imminence of World War II. But the neoliberal intellectuals deliberately ignored the reality of monopoly capitalism and the class struggle between the big bourgeoisie and the working class. They took the supraclass petty bourgeois viewpoint of standing above and against both fascism and socialism and in effect made monopoly capitalism the golden mean.

In the aftermath of World World II, Friedrich Hayek (author of the notion that socialism is the “road to serfdom”) regrouped the neoliberal intellectuals and politicians.  Together they became quite active in the anticommunist crusade during the Cold War but remained marginal relative to other bourgeois intellectual trends, until the US monopoly bourgeoisie adopted neoliberalism as the systematic way to scapegoat the unionized workers and the government, respectively, for wage inflation and for social spending as the cause of the phenomenon called stagflation.

Milton Friedman, who described himself as a monetarist and free marketeer, was the most prominent economist pushing for the adoption of neoliberalism as the official economic policy of US imperialism. He called for unfettered “free enterprise” and a self-regulating “free market” and for allowing the monopoly bourgeoisie a free hand to accelerate profit-making and capital accumulation. Together with the other neoliberals, he prescribed  wage freezes  and cutbacks on social spending as the solution to the problem of stagflation.

Friedman harped on the notion that solving the problems of stagnation and inflation and growing the economy was just a matter of manipulating the money supply and interest rates. He played the starring role in the academic and media campaign to attack Keynesian economics and to blame the working class for wage inflation and for supposedly unsustainable government social spending.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Ronald Reagan adopted the neoliberal economic policy in the US and Margaret Thatcher  did likewise in the UK. This policy became known respectively as Reagonomics or supply-side economics and Thatcherism. While it blamed the working class and government social spending for stagflation, neoliberalism obscured and denied the real causes of stagflation, which were the worsening crisis of overproduction as a result of the reconstruction of Western Europe and Japan; and the rapid rise of US military expenditures due to stepped up military production, overseas deployment of US military forces and the wars of aggression in Korea and Indochina.

Reagan and Thatcher used neoliberalism to attack the working class and the rest of the people and violate their human rights.  They and their successors in power have engaged in forcible executive actions and pushed legislation to press down the wage level, suppress the trade union and democratic rights of the working class and cut back on government social spending. They have reduced taxes on the corporations and individual members of the monopoly bourgeoisie and provided them with all the opportunities to make superprofits and accumulate capital.

They have carried out  the flexibilization of labor or destruction of job security by replacing tenured jobs with temporary and part-time jobs; the liberalization of investment, trade and finance; the privatization of public assets; deregulation at the expense of the working class, women, children, the society at large and the environment; the denationalization of the economies of the underdeveloped countries; and the increase of overpriced contracts in war production and guarantees and subsidies for overseas investments.

The entire world capitalist system has followed the neoliberal  economic policy set by the  US and UK. Even the social democratic, bourgeois laborite and neorevisionist parties have succumbed to the neoliberal economic policy. This is given the fancy name of “free market” globalization. It is in fact imperialist globalization, allowing the imperialist firms and banks to do their utmost and worst in exploiting the working class in the imperialist countries and all the  working people, especially in the underdeveloped countries.

Following the neoliberal policy dictates of their imperialist masters, the puppet states have treasonously surrendered political and economic sovereignty and natural resources to the imperialist powers under the signboard of globalization. In the case of the  Philippines, the Marcos fascist dictatorship and succeeding pseudo-democratic regimes have escalated the exploitation of the workers and peasants.  They have also escalated repression in a futile attempt to stop the rising resistance of the people.

In pursuing the neoliberal policy, they have engaged in gross and systematic violation of human rights.  They have violated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,  the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other related conventions.  They have violated those human rights embedded in the Geneva Conventions, its protocols and related conventions under the rubric of International Humanitarian Law.  They have wantonly violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, which has been mutually approved by the Manila government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippine in 1998.

The neoliberal economic policy has come to be known since 1989 as the Washington Consensus (coined by economist John Williamson) because it has been designed and enforced by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the US Treasury Department, joined by the World Trade Organization since the 1990s. The Washington Consensus imposes on the underdeveloped countries the following prescriptions supposedly for development: fiscal policy discipline, redirection of public spending away from industrial development and self-reliance, tax reform to benefit foreign investors at the expense of the people, market-determined interest rates, competitive exchange rates, import liberalization, investment liberalization, privatization of state enterprises, deregulation and legal security for property rights.

Under neoliberalism, otherwise known as market fundamentalism, the monopoly banks and firms accelerated superprofit-taking and accumulation of capital in the centers of global capitalism. As a result, the crisis of overproduction and overaccumulation by a few has recurred at a rapid and worsening rate.  In a futile attempt to override the recurrent crisis of overproduction and the tendency of the profit rate to fall, the monopoly bourgeoisie has resorted to the tricks of finance capitalism and in the process has spawned a financial oligarchy with absurdly inflated financial assets.

But the repeated expansion of the money supply and credit, the creation of derivatives in astronomical amounts and the generation of one financial bubble after another in order to raise the profits and overvalue the assets of the monopoly bourgeoisie have resulted in recurrent and ever worsening crisis of overproduction. More than one hundred economic and financial crises of varying scales and severity have occurred in the world capitalist system in the last three decades of neoliberal economic policy to the increasing detriment of the working classes and the people worldwide.

The severest crisis has burst out since 2007. It is comparable to the Great Depression of the 1930s with far more destructive political and social concomitants and consequences for the entire world. It has generated state terrorism or fascism and furthered imperialist wars of aggression. It has exacerbated the suffering of the broad masses of the people under the terrible conditions of global depression and the intensification of exploitation, impoverishment, oppression and all kinds of degradation. The gross and systematic violation of human rights has spread on a global scale.

The imperialist powers and their puppet states have proven themselves futile at solving the ongoing supercrisis because they cling dogmatically to the neoliberal economic policy. They believe that so far in history this is the best policy adopted by the world capitalist system to give the monopoly bourgeoisie and the financial oligarchy the opportunity to rake in superprofits and accumulate capital. They wish to perpetuate this scourge to humankind. It is therefore the compelling duty of the people to fight against this policy and against the system that has imposed it on the people.

II.  Imperialist Crisis Leads to Repression and Wars

The New Deal and Keynesian policy did not really solve the crisis of the world capitalist system, which took the form of the Great Depression and which led to World War II. State-led pump priming through public works  to provide employment, and stimulate consumption failed to put the economy in equilibrium, with the recovery of production.  It was war production that revived the US economy and enabled the US to become the most powerful economic and military  power.

In the aftermath of World War II, the US emerged as the No. 1 imperialist power.  It had ground for capital expansion because other capitalist powers had suffered economic devastation. Thus, it could maintain a high standard of living from 1945 to 1975.  It continued to engage in war production and justified it by launching the Cold War against the socialist countries and national liberation movements.  It maintained US military bases and forces abroad and supplied weapons to allied and puppet states under various regional and bilateral military alliances.

The US imperialists sought to encircle the socialist countries and engage in military intervention against national liberation movements and countries assertive of national independence. They instigated military coups and propped up military fascist dictatorships in Asia, Africa and Latin America. They perpetrated wars of aggression against the Korean people in the early 1950s and against the Vietnamese and other Indochinese peoples from the 1960s to the 1970s.

Using aggressor troops and weapons of mass destruction, the US imperialists perpetrated the most massive and the most brutal violations of human rights..  They perpetrated massacres of genocidal proportions, at least three million people in Korea and at least four million people in Vietnam.  Through direct aggression and proxy wars, they also massacred people in various countries.  They used puppet fascist regimes to massacre people in large numbers.  The most infamous case was the massacre of three million Indonesians by the US-directed military fascist dictatorship of Suharto.  To this day, justice has not been rendered to the victims and their families. The US has persisted in carrying out so-called secret wars that have murdered more than six million people.

In the 1970s, the problem of stagflation beset the US economy.  It was due to the rapid capital expansion of countries previously devastated during World War II and the ever rising costs of the arms race with the Soviet Union, the space and military research and production, the deployment of US military forces abroad and the wars of aggression.  But the US imperialists put the blame on the working class for supposed wage inflation and on social spending by government.

After adopting the neoliberal economic policy at the start of the 1980s, the Reagan administration proceeded to speed up the production of high-tech military weaponry and continued to give market accommodation to the manufactured exports of Japan, Europe and the so-called newly-industrializing countries.  Towards the end of the 1980s, the US had become the No.1 debtor in the world and had undermined its manufacturing capacity in tradeable goods.

It was gleeful over the social turmoil in China, the fall of revisionist regimes in Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the years of 1989 to 1991.  It spread the notion that the end of the Cold War would result in peace dividends for the US and humankind.  But since then the opposite has occurred.  War expenditures and wars of aggression have increased at a rapid rate.

Driven by hubris as the sole superpower and being able to use the NATO at will, the US has unleashed wars of aggression in the Middle East, the Balkans and Central Asia in order to take advantage of the collapse of the Soviet Union, bring down recalcitrant regimes like those of Saddam and Milosevic and tighten control over the sources and supply lines of oil and gas.  The US and the NATO have instigated and supported schemes to overthrow regimes like those of Qaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria and to further manipulate the situation in the Middle East for the benefit of the US and Israel at the expense of the Palestinian and Arab peoples.

Within the UN Security Council and the multilateral agencies like the IMF, World Bank and WTO, the imperialist powers collude against the proletariat in their own home grounds and against the oppressed peoples and nations in the underdeveloped countries. But as the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens, they tend to contend with each other and engage in alignments and realignments of varying scales.  For extended periods, the US has collaborated with China and Russia under the auspices of neoliberal economic policy.  But it is now confronted with increasingly independent initiatives of the latter two countries jointly or separately.

The US is most reliant on its major allies in the European Union and Japan in economic matters and on the NATO in security matters.  China and Russia are promoting their own economic bloc, together with Brazil, India and South Africa in the BRICS. They have also initiated the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and have consolidated their bilateral partnership in matters concerning security and energy.

The US is concerned that its close partnership with China might erode as the crisis of global capitalism worsens and as China takes initiatives independent of the US.  Despite its deep involvement in other parts of the world, it has made a pivot  or strategic shift to East Asia and emphatically in the direction of influencing developments within China.  Using the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the US is putting increased pressure on China to privatize its state-owned enterprises. It also encouraging the pro-US democracy movement to counter and challenge the nationalist position of the top leaders of the state and ruling party who still wave the Red flag to legitimize their rule.

In its drive for increased military presence in East Asia, the US is maneuvering to further entrench itself in the Philippines economically, politically and militarily.  It is engaged in actions that violate the national sovereignty of the people and the territorial integrity of the country.  It is stepping up its efforts to violate economic sovereignty and do away with the nationality restrictions in order to grab the national patrimony of the Filipino people and exploit the natural resources and other business opportunities.  Worst of all, it is complicit with the reactionary puppet regime in unleashing military campaigns of suppression and in perpetrating human rights violations on a wide scale.

III.  Impact on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines

The neoliberal economic policy of imperialist globalization is a vicious attack on the national sovereignty of the Filipino people and on the full range of their human rights as a people, including the  working class, peasantry, indigenous people, the intelligentsia, women, youth, children and others. The US  has imposed the neoliberal policy on the Philippine client state  to negate its political  sovereignty and denationalize its economy..

The main thrust of the policy is to denationalize the economy and further make it a captive of the US and other imperialist powers. At the same time, it is a sweeping attack on the national and democratic rights of the people.  It runs counter to the people’s struggle and aspirations for national independence, democracy, development through land reform and national industrialization and a patriotic and progressive culture and solidarity with other peoples.

The neoliberal economic policy has resulted in the sell-out of the national patrimony and the removal or drastic erosion of all nationality restrictions on foreign monopoly capitalism in the exploitation of natural resources and in the operation of businesses. It has allowed the plunder of the forest, mineral, marine and other natural resources of the country by foreign monopoly capitalists and by the bureaucrat big comprador-landlords.  It has ruined the agricultural production of domestic food staples in favor of foreign-owned plantations for the export of fruit as well as for biofuel production.

It has displaced the peasants and the indigenous people, with the use of bulldozers and military and police forces.  It has aggravated landlessness among the tillers. It has lessened the land area for local food production and land reform.  Widespread and unlimited mining involves the export and permanent loss of nonrenewable resources and the frustration of the people’s aspiration for national industrialization.  The frenzied plunder of natural resources is ruining the environment on a wide scale, poisoning the rivers and marine life and causing soil erosion, destructive floods, landslides and drought.

The neoliberal economic policy dictates the extreme plunder of human resources and violation of human rights. It has pushed the contractualization and flexibilization of labor by eliminating job tenure, forcing the workers to accept the status of temporaries and part-timers.  The objective is to press down the wage level, deprive the workers of social benefits and further impoverish them to allow the superprofit taking of multinational firms and big compradors.  To accomplish this objective, the foreign and domestic exploiters suppress and violate the right of the workers to form unions and all other basic democratic rights.

The neoliberal economic policy has had the effect of aggravating and deepening the  pre-industrial and semifeudal character of the economy.  The economy is agrarian and yet does not produce enough food for itself because of dumping by other countries, smuggling and reduction of agricultural land.  Even then, it  remains dependent mainly on raw material production for export. The  semi-manufacturing or reassembly of  semiconductors and other electronic products for reexport yields little income because it has high import content and is low-value added.

In more than three decades, the export of cheap labor has grown and has become the biggest source of foreign exchange income.  But the total of all export incomes do not offset the high costs of imports. The trade deficit and foreign debt have mounted from year to year.  The total export income always falls below the superprofit remittances of the multinational firms, the stashing away of foreign exchange by high bureaucrats and big comprador-landlords, the luxury imports, the high cost of high rise buildings and the imports of fuel, food and other basic necessities.

The reexport of electronic components and other low value-added semimanufactures has drastically fallen because of the crisis of global capitalism.  The export of cheap labor has begun to decrease as a result of the crisis and reactionary current against migrant workers, especially in capitalist countries. The Aquino reactionary regime still hopes that it can continue to conjure the illusion of economic growth by relying on portfolio investments in the stock market, business call centers, casinos, the mining operations all over the country and private and public construction dependent on foreign loans.

To enable the multinational banks and firms and the local ruling class of big compradors and landlords to exploit the broad masses of the people and violate their economic, social and cultural rights, the reactionary regime uses the coercive apparatuses of the state to discourage and suppress  even lawful petitions and protests, especially those of the militant legal mass movement.  And of course it uses the full force of reactionary power, with the support of foreign interventionist forces against the armed revolutionary movement of the people.  In the process, it  violates the civil and political rights of the broad masses of the people, exploited classes, organizations and individuals.

It is not true that democracy has been restored in the Philippines after the fall of the Marcos fascist dictatorship.  What has been restored is the illusion of democracy still under the auspices of the same imperialist power and the same exploiting classes that the Marcos fascist dictatorship served through an open rule of terror.  Behind the facade of democracy, one antinational and antidemocratic regime after another has followed the Marcos fascist regime.

Every reactionary regime has been directed by US imperialism to run a surveillance state and to carry out campaigns of military suppression to seek not only the destruction of the armed revolutionary forces but also the intimidation of the broad masses of the people.  The surveillance state in the Philippines is part of the global system of surveillance run by the US. The Filipino defenders of human rights can very well present and denounce the human rights violations.  They deserve the highest appreciation, protection and support for exposing these violations on a national scale as well as on an international scale.

Every regime has engaged in gross and systematic violations of human rights.  These include enforced disappearances or abductions, illegal open arrests and detention on trumped up charges of common crimes, torture, selective murders and massacres, demolition of homes and eviction of the urban poor to make way for the real estate corporations,  the forced evacuation of peasants and the indigenous people to make way for mining companies, export-oriented plantations, so-called special economic zones and free ports” and other forms of land grabbing; destruction of sources of livelihood, and other forms of deprivation such us the military occupation of school premises and community centers in the course of so-called counterinsurgency campaigns, such as the current Oplan Bayanihan.

Even as they are determined to accomplish the new democratic revolution through people’s war, the revolutionary forces and the people led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) have agreed to engage in peace negotiations with the reactionary Manila government (GRP) and have authorized the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to form a negotiating panel for the purpose.  Despite the obstacles imposed by the GRP side, the NDFP and the GRP succeeded in forging ten major agreements from 1992 to 1998, a period of only six years.

The Hague Joint Declaration defines the framework of the peace negotiations. It sets the objective of addressing the roots of the armed conflict through negotiations and comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms. It declares national sovereignty, democracy and social justice as the mutually acceptable guiding principles.  It makes the assurance  that no side shall impose on the other any precondition that negates the character and purpose of peace negotiations.

The substantive agenda is set in sequence: respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and end of hostilities.  The method for producing the comprehensive agreement on each item is clearly provided.  Reciprocal working committees prepare the draft agreements, whichthe negotiating panels polish and finalize for the approval of the GRP and NDFP principals.

The mutual approval of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law was a resounding success in 1998.  Before this, important agreements to strengthen and smoothen the negotiation process were bilaterally approved. These included the Joint Agreement on Safety  and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees, the Ground Rules for the Meetings of the Negotiating Panels and the Joint  Agreement in Support of Socio-Economic Projects of Private Development Organizations and Institutes.

But the hand of US imperialism became increasingly obvious in fouling up the peace negotiations from one regime to another.  The Estrada regime resented the NDFP objection to the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement.  It reacted by terminating the JASIG and the peace negotiations in 1999.  The Arroyo regime initially appeared to be enthusiastic in resuming the peace negotiations  with the NDFP in the first half of 2001. However, the regime aligned itself with the so-called war on terror policy of the US, received orders to adopt and implementthe so-called counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya and made representations to the US, European and other foreign governments to designate the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant as terrorists  in a malicious attempt to blackmail the NDFP towards capitulation and pacification.

Until its term ended, the Arroyo ruling clique paralyzed the peace negotiations by insisting that the US and other foreign governments had the “sovereign right”  to make judgments and undertake sanctions against Philippine entities for alleged criminal acts within Philippine territory.  In late 2010, the succeeding regime of Benigno S. Aquino III re-appointed as presidential adviser on the peace process the same Arroyo factotum who had been most vociferous in espousing the supposed right of the US to intervene in Philippine affairs.

The first formal meeting of the negotiating panels of the Aquino regime and the NDFP in Oslo in February 2011 became the occasion for the regime to attack The Hague Joint Declaration as a “document of perpetual division” and to misrepresent as precondition the NDFP demand for compliance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees.  At that time it became clear that the Aquino regime was not really interested in peace negotiations.

Nonetheless, the NDFP reiterated the offer of truce and alliance previously made to the Arroyo regime in 2005 in order to counter the repeated GRP demand for an indefinite ceasefire.  The offer was premised on forging first a general declaration of common intent to realize national independence and democracy.  The GRP demand for indefinite ceasefire had long been intended  to effect the capitulation and pacification of the people’s armed revolution and put aside the remaining three items in the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations.

Since April this year the Aquino regime has announced that it has terminated the peace negotiations with the NDFP and is undertaking a “new approach”.  Obviously the approach is for the regime to ignore the NDFP Negotiating Panel; scrap all previous agreements between the two sides; and rely on brute military force under Oplan Bayanihan in a futile scheme to destroy the revolutionary movement. The Aquino regime calculates that its so-called internal security and peace  plan is going to be effective because of its psywar pseudo-development component, which involves dole outs from the graft-ridden Conditional Cash Transfer and PAMANA funds and the staging of fake localized negotiations and fake mass surrenders.

Behind the all-out war policy of the Aquino regime against the revolutionary movement are orders from the US to carry out Oplan Bayanihan within the context of the US pivot or strategic shift to East Asia.  The US wishes to tighten its control over the Philippines and use it to realize its strategic objective vis a vis China. It is now putting pressure on China to make further economic and political liberalization and is encouraging the pro-US elements within the bureaucracy of the Chinese state and ruling party to gain initiative over the bourgeois nationalists  who are still waving the Red flag as a way of legitimation.

The US is hell-bent on further entrenching itself in the Philippines and making the Philippine reactionary government more than ever dependent on US military power. In connection with Oplan Bayanihan,it is goading the Aquino regime  to engage in provocations and counterprovocations vis a vis China over the sea west of the Philippines.  In this context, we can understand why the Aquino regime has terminated the peace negotiations and we can anticipate the escalation of counterrevolutionary violence and human rights violations.

Concluding Remarks

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, wish you the utmost success in identifying, examining and analyzing the social, economic and political and geopolitical context of escalating violations of collective and individual human rights in the Philippines. Your conference is a means of concentrating your political will and deciding what you must do. We look forward to the General Declaration and Resolutions of your conference.

You must uphold the  rights of peoples to national self-determination and liberation in the face of the economic, political and social crises due to  neoliberal globalization and the drive of the US to maintain global hegemony. You must defend and promote the economic, social and cultural rights and the civil and political rights of the people against the intensification of exploitation and oppression by the US and the local exploiting classes.

You must  define and stress the anti-imperialist and democratic common grounds for the Filipino people and the people of the world in confronting the forces that violate human rights and in striving to develop, expand and consolidate the movement of international solidarity for upholding, defending and advancing human rights and people’s rights and for promoting and realizing a just peace in the Philippines.

We  look forward to the holding of the first general assembly of the International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines. We are confident that the results of this assembly will encourage the conference participants to join the international network for promoting and supporting the cause of human rights and just peace in the Philippines.

You must assess and evaluate the various domestic and international human rights solidarity campaigns concerning the Philippines since the fall of the Marcos dictatorship. Thus, you will be able  to draw up a plan for an international solidarity campaign for peace, human rights and people’s rights in the Philippines. We look forward to your campaign  plan . And we hope that such campaign will culminate in the next international conference in 2016, the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Marcos dictatorship.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle is ever willing and ever ready to cooperate with you in all initiatives to uphold, defend and promote human rights and help realize a just peace in the Philippines and in the whole world.

Thank you.###


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