By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant,
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
July 26, 2008
The fake president Gloria M. Arroyo has such a long record of lying that no one expects her to describe the real state of the nation and indicate the solutions to the problems that have grown terribly worse under her regime. She is ever more determined to lie in a vain attempt to evade responsibility for the extremely aggravated suffering of the Filipino people. But reality cries far louder and clearer than her lies. These add insult to injury. And the outraged people become ever more resolute and relentless in their struggle.
Arroyo is poised to claim that she has nothing to do with the crisis of the domestic ruling system and that this is simply the result of external factors that would soon blow away. She is likely to repeat her lie that the economy continues to grow and that she has already laid the basis for the Philippines to become a “first world country” in the next twenty years, even as she has not undertaken any program of national industrialization and land reform. Only the most corrupt puppet of foreign monopoly capitalism can utter such complete nonsense as that the industrial development of a semifeudal agrarian economy can be achieved through wanton consumption chiefly by the local exploiting classes and through unbridled foreign borrowing and superprofit-taking by the foreign monopolies.
The Arroyo regime has subserviently followed the US-instigated neoliberal policy of monopoly capitalism or imperialism masquerading as “free market” globalization. It has kept the agrarian and pre-industrial character of the Philippine economy and has remained dependent on the export of women and men, raw materials and semi-manufactures. To cover the trade and fiscal deficits and be able to claim that the economy is ever growing, it has gone into unprecedented foreign borrowing and it has raised the tax burden on ordinary people in a bankrupt and depressed economy.
Amidst the economic and financial crisis of the US and world capitalist system, which is generating inflation and stagnation, the Arroyo regime is confronted by an international credit crunch and a drastic fall in demand for the primary and low value-added exports of the Philippines. Buffeted by the bursting of the financial bubble in high tech stocks and then in housing in less than a decade, the US and other foreign monopoly capitalists have focused on fabricating shortages and manipulating prices in the fuel and food sectors of the global economy in order to continue raking in superprofits.
Captivated by the US-dictated neoliberal economic policy and driven by the greed of big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists, the Arroyo regime cannot offer any kind of solution or alleviation to the aggravation of poverty and the spread of hunger. The rate of unemployment is rapidly increasing. The incomes of the working people are plummeting. The prices of fuel, food and other basic commodities are soaring. The basic social services are deteriorating and yet the fees charged are ever rising.
The broad masses of the people are outraged that despite being an agrarian country, the Philippines cannot produce enough food for itself and has become the world’s No. 1 rice importer. Trade liberalization has not only prevented industrial development through the dumping of surplus manufactures but has also seriously damaged Philippine agriculture through the dumping of agricultural surpluses from abroad. Land reform and agricultural development have not been carried out. Extensive tracts of land have been taken away from agriculture and used for nonagricultural purposes and real estate speculation,
Arroyo is poised to repeat for the nth time the lie that the reactionary armed forces and police can either destroy the armed revolutionary movement or reduce it to irrelevance by 2010. She will claim again with the same or some other mocking words that it is “ideological nonsense” that fuels the armed revolution rather than the ever escalating oppression and exploitation inflicted on the people by her regime and by her imperialist and local reactionary masters. She obscures the fact that it makes excellent political sense for the people and revolutionary forces to wage an armed revolution for national liberation and democracy against the chronically crisis-ridden semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.
The Arroyo regime has rabidly followed US military dictates, especially the US global policy of terror. It has done so to serve its own narrow interests. It has calculated that it can draw certain political and material advantages. Thus, it has allowed US military forces to enter and stay in the Philippines and bring in weapons of mass destruction under various pretexts in violation of Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity and in violation of the 1987 constitution which prohibits the the basing of foreign military forces and their weapons in the Philippines.
Under the US global policy of terror, the Arroyo regime has supported the US-instigated wars of aggression, acts of military intervention and campaigns to enact fascist laws and unleash state terrorism. It has used its servility to the US under the pretext of anti-terrorism in order to keep the loyalty of the military and police chain of command against the growing number of opponents within the armed services and to embolden her armed minions in perpetrating gross and systematic violation of human rights against the unarmed patriotic and progressive legal activists, the people in the guerrilla fronts, the broad range of opposition forces and the broad masses of the people.
The Filipino people are fighting back against the ever worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation. They are undertaking all forms of struggle, including the legal protest movement and the armed revolutionary movement. Whether or not the legal protest movement can still cause the ouster of the Arroyo regime before 2010, it has the growing determination and strength to prevent the Arroyo clique from manipulating other reactionary forces and deciding the results of the 2010 presidential elections to its advantage. The limitations of the legal democratic movement underscores the high importance of the armed revolutionary movement.
Arroyo herself and her top civilian and military officials have been the best campaigners for the necessity of the people’s war for national liberation and democracy. They have brazenly escalated the oppression and exploitation of the people and boasted that they can invoke the law and use armed force of the so-called strong republic (an actually enfeebled puppet republic) in trying to destroy any opposition. They have flagrantly flaunted military force as the way to destroy or weaken the armed revolution.
The Arroyo regime has never considered the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines as a serious and significant way to address the roots of the civil war through social, economic and political reforms. It has always regarded peace negotiations as a minor tactic for confusing the people and pushing the revolution towards capitulation and pacification.
It has also exposed its malice and deviousness by engaging in prolonged ceasefire and mere exploratory talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and ultimately refusing to formalize the points of agreement already reached. And now it is rapidly increasing military forces in Mindanao for the escalation of civil war, with an increasing element of US military intervention and aggression. But the revolutionary armed forces are fighting back and seizing the initiative in political and military terms.
According to the reports in the revolutionary and nonrevolutionary mass media, the frequency and scale of tactical offensives and other actions of the armed revolutionary movement have increased. The forces of the New People’s Army (NPA) under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) are seizing more arms from enemy military and police forces as well as from their paramilitary and private security adjuncts. They are doing so in order to raise the number of guerrilla fronts from 130 to 173 and thus cover all the congressional districts in the provinces. They are also aiming to prepare the building of relatively stable base areas on the basis of the guerrilla fronts.
They are conducting operations to dismantle or drive away the enterprises in mining, logging for export, plantations, golf courses, other upscale forms of recreation and other businesses that grab land and natural resources. They do so in order to protect the natural environment, pave the way for genuine land reform and future development and frustrate the policy of giving away natural resources in exchange for the onerous foreign loans. According to its leaders, the people’s democratic government can rely on the voluntary contributions of the people and taxes from the socially necessary and permissible private enterprises.
As published documents of the CPP, NPA and NDFP explain, NPA units base themselves on warrants from the people’s court in their efforts to arrest for trial in the people’s court the perpetrators of human rights violations, economic plunder and various forms of grave anti-social crimes. At the same time, they are authorized by revolutionary law and the appropriate standing orders to give battle only to well-defined combatants and criminal suspects who are armed and dangerous. The NPA adheres to its own Unilateral Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions and Protocol and the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
Within their social and legal systems, the imperialists and the local reactionaries commit all kinds of serious crimes against the people with impunity. Until now no justice has been rendered by the reactionary state or by any agency of the United Nations to the victims of human rights violations in the Philippines. Even the indemnification for victims of human rights violations under the Marcos fascist regime has been stolen by the Arroyo regime and diverted for electioneering in 2004. But the people can fight back effectively by adopting revolutionary ideas and programs of action, forming various types of mass organization and carrying out mass mobilizations to struggle against their adversaries and achieve social benefits.
While the Arroyo regime is merely an episode in the life of the rotten ruling system, the revolutionary mass movement of the Filipino people for national liberation and democracy is determined to persevere until it achieves complete victory. At any rate, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is ever ready to avail of any opportunity at peace negotiations after the Arroyo regime is replaced by a government that shows serious interest in a just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the civil war through basic social, economic and political reforms. ###