By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel
Keynote Speech at the Second New World Summit
The Waag, Leiden, 29 December 2012
First of all, I wish to thank the organizers of the Second New World Summit for inviting me to serve as the keynote speaker. I am honored and delighted to avail of this “alternative parliament” to expose the socio-economic, political, and ideological interests behind the “terrorist” labeling and listing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People´s Army (NPA), your speaker and in effect the entire struggle of the Filipino people for national liberation and democracy.
In this connection, may I present to you briefly the highlights of the revolutionary history and circumstances of the Filipino people, the CPP, the NPA and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and in the process my historical and current role which has resulted in my inclusion in the so-called terrorist blacklist of the US and the EU among others. More importantly, I wish to present to you the just cause of the Filipino people and their revolutionary forces to fight for national liberation and democracy.
I shall comment on the adversities that I have faced in connection with the “terrorist” blacklist and other acts of persecution, on how these have affected me and on my position towards them and towards the states that employ them. I shall also point to the rise of the international democratic movement and relate them to the goals of the national liberation movement in the Philippines.
The Interests Behind “Terrorist” Listing
The interests behind the “terrorist” listing of the national liberation movement in the Philippines are chiefly those of the US among the imperialist powers. The “terrorist” listing seeks to demonize the movement and justify the use of violence and deception against the people and social activists in order to preserve and promote the socio-economic interests of the US monopoly bourgeoisie. This globally hegemonic class wants to continue drawing superprofits from the working people and oppressed nations and peoples and seeks to crush their resistance.
The local reactionary classes of big compradors and landlords in the Philippines follow the dictates of the US. They serve the interests of the US and their own class and factional interests in the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system. There is the illusion of democracy in the Philippines but this is merely the competition of political factions of the same exploiting classes. These factions always compete for US support because this is the most decisive in determining which of them becomes the ruling faction.
Since 9-11, the US has used the pretext of combating Al Qaida in order to proclaim and carry out a perpetual borderless war of terror on countries assertive of national independence and on national liberation movements. For this purpose, it has launched wars of aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, killing hundreds of thousands of people and destroying their social infrastructure in the process. It has caused the adoption of draconian laws like the USA PATRIOT Act in the imperialist and dominated countries and has emboldened governments to engage in state terrorism.
To justify the extraordinary and boundless use of violence and go beyond appropriate police measures against common crimes, the US has used the metaphor of war to commit grievous criminal violations of basic democratic rights, engage in foreign military intervention and wage wars of aggression. Of course, the US has a motive for the use of oppression, aggression and occupation. This is to maintain and expand its dominant share of the global and regional markets, the sources of cheap labor and raw materials, the fields of investment and the spheres of influence.
Under its global security policy, the US has designed the master plans for military campaigns of suppression against the revolutionary forces and people in the Philippines. These are Oplan Bantay Laya for the Arroyo regime and Opĺan Bayanihan for the current Aquino regime. The NPA has never engaged in any cross-border action against the US or any other country. But the US and its Filipino puppets connive in trying to subject the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant to the jurisdiction of the US and other imperialist powers.
There were those who said in the years of 1989 to 1991 that, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the full restoration of capitalism in revisionist-ruled countries, there would be world peace and peace dividends. But in fact the US has been driven by its ideological and economic interest to wipe out every vestige or semblance of the socialist cause and even the cause of national liberation and democracy among the oppressed nations and peoples. It has launched multi-pronged offensives of counterrevolution in the ideological, socio-economic, political and military spheres.
In the ideological field, it has propagated the notion that history cannot go any farther than capitalism and liberal democracy. In the socio-economic field, it has used the neoliberal policy of “free market” globalization to accelerate the accumulation and concentration of capital and attack the rights of the working people. In the political field, it has trampled upon the national sovereignty of underdeveloped countries and has violated human rights on a wide scale. In the military field, it has asserted the imperial authority to engage wantonly in military intervention and aggression.
From the Old to the New Democratic Revolution
The Filipino people had the distinct honor of being the first Asian people to win a bourgeois democratic revolution by liberating themselves from Spanish colonialism in 1898. But unfortunately, the US intervened militarily by pretending to support the Philippine revolution. It landed military forces in Manila in order to prevent the Philippine revolutionary forces from capturing Intramuros, the walled final enclave of the Spanish colonizers.
The US provoked an incident on February 4, 1899 in order to ignite the Filipino-American War and to conquer and occupy the Philippines under the terms of the US-Spanish Treaty of Paris of December 10, 1898 whereby Spain had sold the Philippines to the US for USD 20 million. In carrying out its war of aggression, the US military forces killed at least 700,000 or ten per cent of the Filipino people from 1899 to 1902 and a total of 1.5 million Filipinos up to 1913. War of aggression is truly the worst kind of terrorism.
After defeating the old democratic revolution of the Filipino people, the US imposed its own colonial rule and started to shift the feudal economy to a semi-feudal one dominated by US monopoly capitalism with the collaboration of the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. The US applied the so-called policy of benevolent assimilation to coopt the liberal bourgeoisie that led the revolution. Unlike the Spanish colonialists who had engaged in sheer plunder, the US colonialists made direct and indirect investments in order to extract more superprofits.
The Filipino working class steadily grew even as the peasantry remained the most numerous class in Philippine society in the persistently agrarian economy. The Communist Party of the Philippine Islands (CPPI) was established in 1930. Thus, the possibility of continuing the Philippine revolution emerged, this time led by the working class rather than by the liberal bourgeoisie. The revolutionary leadership of the working class based itself mainly on an alliance with the peasantry.
The US colonial regime outlawed the CPPI in 1931 by trumping up charges of sedition and imprisoning and exiling the leaders. But as a result of the global anti-fascist united front, the Commonwealth government of Quezon released the CPPI leaders in 1936. The CPPI immediately revived its mass strength, especially by merging with the Socialist Party. In 1942 the Communist-Socialist merger party (hereafter, merger party) organized the People´s Army Against Japan (Hukbalahap) in order to fight the Japanese fascist invaders.
The merger party gained revolutionary strength during World War II by building the people´s army, carrying out land reform and forming local organs of political power called the barrio united defense corps. But the revolutionary gains were limited by a Right opportunist line of passive defense, waiting for the return of the US, welcoming the US to fulfill its promise of granting independence and preparing for legal struggle supposedly under conditions of “peace and democracy”.
Despite the Right opportunist line of the leadership of the merger party, the US and its Filipino puppets used brute force to restore the power and wealth of the landlords
in the countryside and to allow the US to continue its economic, political, cultural and military dominance over the Philippines after the grant of formal independence in 1946. Indeed, the US had its way through the semi-colonial agency of the political parties of the big compradors and landlords and through the neocolonial manipulation of the economy and finance of the semi-colony.
The exploited and oppressed masses demanded revolutionary armed struggle. Thus, a change of leadership in the merger party occurred in 1948. But a “Left” opportunist line was adopted. It was bound to fail as it aimed to win victory within two years by relying on popular hatred of the corrupt puppet regime of Quirino and without paying attention to the need for land reform and painstaking mass work. It succeeded in carrying out one big military offensive in August 1949 but failed to prevail over the counter-offensives of the US-trained and US-supplied army battalions of the enemy.
After the total defeat of the “Left” opportunist line by the reactionary government in the early 1950s, the leadership of the merger party swung back to Right opportunism. In 1954 it sought to liquidate the people´s army by ordering its conversion into organizational brigades. In 1957 it also sought to liquidate the merger party by reducing its membership to single files and thus in effect dissolving party branches and other collectives. Thus by the time that I joined the merger party in December 1962, it did not have any existing party branch and the general secretary was merely hiding himself in Manila.
Even after the defeat of the armed revolutionary movement, the reactionary state enacted in 1957 the bill of attainder, Anti-Subversion Law, punishing anyone for adhering to Marxism-Leninism and for merely associating with groups that could be considered communist. The Cold War policy of the US prevailed over the entire semicolonial and semi-feudal ruling system.
Resurgence of the National Democratic Mass Movement
We who were in the University of the Philippines in the late 1950s and who considered ourselves patriotic and progressive were not at all intimidated by the Anti-Subversion Law. Instead, we were challenged to fight back as a result of recurrent efforts of the reactionary state and the dominant church to use the said law in carrying out ideological and political witch hunts in violation of the fundamental rights of free speech and assembly and the liberal democratic principle of separation of church and state.
We formed the Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines in 1959 in order to defy the Anti-Subversion Law and to propagate openly the line of people´s struggle for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes and to promote the clandestine study of Marxism-Leninism.
We countered the congressional investigations of so-called subversive articles written by professors and students, including your speaker who had written an internationalist piece, “Requiem for Lumumba”, under a pseudonym. We called for mass action in defense of academic freedom and we succeeded in mobilizing 5000 students for a demonstration against such investigations. This event opened the series of mass actions against the ruling system in the 1960s.
I was the chairman of the Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines. We linked up with student governments and organizations on a national scale and formed new national student organizations that were patriotic and progressive. We further linked up with the labor and peasant organizations from late 1962 onwards. And some of us joined the remnants of the underground merger party of communists and socialists.
We were active in the aboveground Workers´ Party, particularly in the work of social research, publications and seminars in this party and in its affiliate trade union federations. On the basis of this work, I became the vice chairman for education. We were also active in providing refresher courses to the peasant cadres who were beginning to revive the peasant movement under the cover of the bogus land reform program of the reactionary state.
Our work with the organizations of workers and peasants helped us greatly in founding in 1964 the comprehensive youth organization, Kabataang Makabayan (Patriotic Youth), consisting of students, young workers, young peasants and young professionals. I was elected chairman of this youth organization. This became the most militant organization in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses on the domestic issues against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism and on international issues, especially the US war of aggression in Vietnam and the whole of Indochina.
The Kabataang Makabayan became the principal proponent for the organization of a broad united front of patriotic and progressive forces in 1966. And I was elected the general secretary of this formation. My book, Struggle for National Democracy, became the basic reading material of the mass activists from 1966 onwards. In the entire 1960s, I was publicly accused of being the key link of the anti-imperialist and democratic forces and as the aboveground representative of the underground revolutionary party.
Reestablishment of the CPP and its Program
While the national democratic mass movement was growing rapidly, a debate arose within the underground merger party about the history, status and direction of the revolutionary movement and about issues in the ideological debate between the Marxist-Leninists and the modern revisionists in the international communist movement. We who stood as proletarian revolutionaries called for the rectification of previous major opportunist errors, declared that the growing mass movement was a preparation for the new democratic revolution through people’s war and aligned ourselves with the Marxist-Leninists in the international communist movement.
We separated from the merger party in 1967 and carried out a rectification movement in order to prepare the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines on the theoretical foundation of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. We adopted this revolutionary theory of the proletariat because it sheds light on the new democratic and socialist stages of the Philippine revolution and on combating modern revisionism and continuing the revolution until the threshold of communism is reached.
We applied the theory on the history and circumstances of the Philippines. We recognized the semicolonial and semifeudal character of Philippine society and the need for waging the new democratic revolution through the strategic line of protracted people´s war. This line involves encircling the cities from the countryside and accumulating armed strength here until the time comes to seize the cities. It means that the proletariat relies mainly on the peasantry and carries out land reform as the main content of the democratic revolution.
We were determined to build the Party as the advanced detachment of the working class; the New People´s Army as the instrument for waging revolutionary struggle in combination with land reform and mass-base building; and the united front for mobilizing the toiling masses and the middle social strata and for taking advantage of the splits among the reactionaries in order to isolate and defeat the enemy, which may be the worst reactionary force at a given time or a foreign aggressor.
We reestablished the CPP on December 26, 1968 through a congress that ratified the Constitution and the Program for a People´s Democratic Revolution and elected the Central Committee, which in turn elected me as the Chairman. We started with only about 80 full members and candidate members of the Party. But we were already leading thousands of members of trade unions and organizations of youth, urban poor and peasants. With a revolutionary theory and a democratic political program, we were confident of growing in strength through revolutionary struggle.
The aims and purposes of the national liberation movement in the Philippines are best expressed by the CPP´s Program for a People´s Democratic Revolution. This calls for the unity of the Filipino people to complete the struggle for national independence and democracy, overthrow the big comprador-landlord state, end the unequal treaties and agreements with the US and establish a people´s democratic state based mainly on the worker-peasant alliance. It also called for economic and social development through genuine land reform and national industrialization; for a national, scientific and democratic system of culture and education; and for an independent foreign policy that promotes international solidarity, peace and development.
Repression and Armed Resistance
A few months after the reestablishment of the Party, we founded the New People´s Army on March 29, 1969. We the proletarian revolutionaries from Manila linked up with the healthy remnants of the old people´s army that had a mass base of 80,000 peasants in Tarlac province. We started with only nine automatic rifles and twenty-six inferior firearms, like single-shot rifles and handguns.
We were determined to wage revolutionary armed struggle because the Marcos regime had been escalating violence against the workers, urban poor, the peasants and the youth in numerous incidents since 1965. These included massacres and brutal disruption of worker strikes and protest rallies. In 1968, I was subjected to a knife attack by covert agents of the regime. From year to year, there were increasing signs that Marcos would perpetuate himself in power through military force and other extraordinary means. The US was supporting his regime with increasing military assistance and training the police for surveillance and crowd control.
In 1971 Marcos masterminded the Plaza Miranda bombing and scapegoated the CPP, the NPA and his arch political rival Benigno Aquino in order to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. This was a direct preparation for his proclamation of martial law and imposition of a fascist dictatorship on the people in 1972. He prated that the communists, the Muslim separatists and the intrasystemic opposition were out to overthrow the government by force and that it was his duty to save the republic and undertake reforms in order to build a new society.
The US further increased military and economic assistance and facilitated foreign loans to the Marcos fascist regime in exchange for the further entrenchment and expansion of US economic, political and military interests in the Philippines. It expected the fascist dictatorship to destroy both the legal democratic movement and the armed revolutionary movement. But the consequences were contrary to the expectations of the US.
As Chairman of the CPP Central Committee, I was among those who initiated the founding of the National Democratic Front (NDF) on April 24, 1973. The NDF was formed as the united front organization of the revolutionary forces of the toiling masses of workers and peasants and the middle social strata for promoting the revolutionary struggle and mobilizing the people in their millions. It included the CPP, NPA and various types of mass organizations, especially those driven underground by the Marcos fascist dictatorship.
From year to year, the CPP, NPA, the NDF, the underground mass organizations and revolutionary organs of political power increased nationwide. By 1982 the US had become worried about the growing strength of these revolutionary forces and wanted to replace Marcos with Aquino. The subsequent killing of Aquino by the military minions of Marcos in 1983 resulted in sustained protest mass actions, culminating in the overthrow of Marcos in 1986.
In 14 years of struggle against fascist dictatorship, the CPP struck deep roots among the workers and peasants nationwide. The NPA was able to create scores of guerrilla fronts, covering thousands of villages, hundreds of municipalities and scores of provinces. In these guerrilla fronts, revolutionary organs of democratic power, mass organizations, militia and self-defense units were formed to support the people´s army. The revolutionary mass base included millions of the people.
My capture in 1977 did not lessen the momentum of the revolutionary movement. Together with so many other gross human rights violations committed by the fascist dictatorship, the various forms of torture that I suffered in prison and my steadfast defiance helped to inspire the revolutionary forces and people to intensify their struggle. Upon the fall of Marcos in 1986, the charges of subversion and rebellion against me under the military commissions were nullified by the Aquino regime. I went back to the University of the Philippines to teach political science in the Asian Center of Graduate Studies.
Then I decided to go on a global university lecture tour in the latter half of 1986. While I was still in the Asia-Pacific region, the military establishment did not like what I was saying abroad in the exercise of my fundamental right to think and speak freely and pressed Cory Aquino to cancel my passport and force my return to the Philippines. She yielded to the pressure of the military, canceled my passport and went along with the filing of a false charge of subversion against me in 1988. Thus, I had to apply for political asylum in The Netherlands in order to avoid the sword of the military in Manila.
The reactionary regimes that have succeeded the Marcos fascist regime have pretended to be democratic but have continued to suppress basic democratic rights and use brute military force against the revolutionary movement without having to declare martial law. But the revolutionary forces have continued to fight and win victories in the fields of political struggle, tactical offensives, land reform and cultural work. The new democratic revolution has proven to be indestructible in the last more than 44 years because of the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside in the protracted
The general line of new democratic revolution and strategy of people´s war have been strengthened as a result of a nationwide rectification movement to correct major errors committed by “Left” and Right opportunists in various regions at different times during the decade of the 1980s. The rectification movement was an educational campaign to criticize, repudiate and rectify major errors and set forth creative tasks for revitalizing and further strengthening the Party and entire revolutionary movement. It was enthusiastically carried out by the Party rank and file from 1992 to 1998. It was resoundingly successful and guided the further development of the revolutionary forces. It has come to be known as the Second Great Rectification Movement, which alludes to the First Great Rectification Movement of 1967 that led to the reestablishment of the CPP in 1968.
At the moment, the Party has a membership of 100,000 and is active in all the provinces of the Philippines. The NPA has thousands of Red fighters with high powered rifles and operates in 110 to 120 guerrilla fronts. These cover extensive areas of 70 provinces and more than half of the 1500 municipalities of the Philippines. The local Party branches, the units of the people´s army, the political organs of democratic power, the mass organizations, the people´s militia and self-defense units are thriving. The mass base in both urban and rural bases includes millions of people.
Under the leadership of the CPP, the local organs of political power have working committees in charge of mass organizing, public education, land reform, production, finance, health and sanitation, cultural work and arbitration. Mass campaigns for the benefit of the people are carried out with the support of the mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth, cultural activists and children. Contradictions among the people are settled through education and arbitration. The people´s democratic government, which embraces the local organs of democratic power, has functions of administration, policy-making and trying cases through a people´s court system.
The people´s war is now in the middle phase of the strategic defensive. And the CPP plans to advance from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate in the people´s war. This involves raising the Party membership to the level of 250,000 and the number of guerrilla fronts to 180. Every guerrilla front optimally has a total force of one NPA company, which has a platoon as center of gravity and the rest of the company dispersed within a wider radius in order to cover more people and territory. The organs of democratic power, mass organizations, the people´s militia and self-defense units are also planned to increase.
Peace Negotiations and “Terrorist” Blacklist as Obstacle
Soon after the fall of Marcos in 1986, the Cory Aquino regime proposed to negotiate with the CPP, NPA and NDF a ceasefire agreement as the prelude to negotiating the substantive agenda for peace negotiations. A 60-day ceasefire agreement was signed in November 1986. But it was broken when the presidential guards opened fire on thousands of peasants and their urban supporters peacefully crying for land reform in front of the presidential palace on January 22, 1987. Aquino did not hold to account the military and police officers who perpetrated the massacre and she proclaimed instead the unsheathing of the sword of war against the revolutionary movement in February 1987.
She used the ceasefire negotiations in Manila and the ceasefire agreement as convenient devices for consolidating power and for placing the NDF negotiators and their supporters under military surveillance. But the threats of military coup from the Enrile-RAM faction and the pro-Marcos faction within the reactionary armed forces persisted. Aquino made overtures to the NDF for peace negotiations in 1989 when she sent to me emissaries, the most important of whom was our mutual friend, Rep. Jose V. Yap. But her defense secretary Ramos was obstructive.
When Ramos became president, he sent Yap back to The Netherlands in 1992. Thus, The Hague Joint Declaration was initially signed by the delegations of the Manila government and the NDFP. It defined the framework of prospective peace negotiations. It set forth the purpose of ending the armed conflict by negotiating and agreeing on basic social, economic and political reforms to address the roots of the armed conflict and lay the basis for a just and lasting peace; the principle of non-capitulation; the guidance of mutually acceptable principles, such as national sovereignty, democracy and social justice; the four substantive agenda; and the basic methods of negotiating each major item in the agenda.
The two delegations continued to forge major agreements, subject to the approval of their respective principals. These included the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the Ground Rules for the Negotiating Panels and the Joint Agreement on Reciprocal Working Committees. The formal peace negotiations opened in Brussels in 1995. The negotiating panels exchanged their credentials. In 1998 they succeeded in forging the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
Ramos and his Speaker de Venecia wanted so much that I would appear with them in a projected ceremony of signing the CARHRIHL at the Quirino grandstand in 1988. To assure me that I had no legal liabilities in the Philippines, the Secretary of Justice Silvestre Bello III issued a certification that there was no pending criminal charge against me in view of the nullification of the subversion charge upon the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law in 1992 and the dismissal of a false charge of multiple murder in 1994. However, I did not travel to the Philippines in 1998 because the promise to release political prisoners priorly was not fulfilled.
On behalf of the Manila government, Estrada approved the CARHRIHL in 1998. But he terminated the JASIG and therefore the peace negotiations in 1999 in reaction to the capture of General Obillo by the NPA and to the NDFP condemnation of the Manila government´s Visiting Forces Agreement with the US. This agreement has allowed the US to bring in US military troops and weapons of mass destruction to the Philippines at any time under the pretext of joint military exercises and other pretexts.
The peace negotiations were resumed soon after Estrada was ousted from his office by popular uprising and then Vice President Arroyo succeeded him. With the Norwegian government as the facilitator, the negotiating panels of the Manila government and the NDFP reaffirmed all previous agreements and agreed to establish in Manila the secretariat of the Joint Monitoring Committee under CARHRIHL. Even as the peace negotiations were going on, the reactionary armed forces, police and paramilitary forces engaged in gross and systematic human rights violations. But when the infamous torturer Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo was killed by the NPA because he resisted arrest, the Arroyo regime used this single incident as an excuse for refusing to negotiate further.
The regime was vociferous in seeking to stop me from exercising my democratic right to speak freely and in preconditioning the resumption of negotiations with the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces and the people. Thus, for the purpose of blackmail and pressure, it requested the US government to designate the CPP, NPA and myself as the NDFP chief political consultant as “foreign terrorists” in November 2001. Accordingly, the US designated them in August 2002. The Dutch government likewise designated me as a “terrorist” and further curtailed my fundamental rights, froze my bank account and terminated all my social benefits (living allowance, housing, health insurance and pension). Subsequently, it was the prime movant in having the Council of European Union put me in the “terrorist blacklist” of the European Union in October 2002.
After the Arroyo regime approached the NDFP for resumption of talks in 2004, the two negotiating panels met twice in Oslo to forge Oslo Joint Statements I and II to tackle mainly the problem posed by the terrorist listing of the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant by the US, European Union and other governments.
The Manila government´s failure to comply with the terms of the aforesaid Oslo statements led the NDFP to propose postponement of the formal talks slated for August, 2005 in order to give more time for said government to make compliance.
The Arroyo regime reacted by “suspending” the JASIG and going on a rampage to abduct, torture and imprison or murder NDFP consultants and staffers. It escalated the violation of the human rights of persons associated with the NDFP in the peace negotiations as well as a wide range of social activists. Upon the request of the Manila government which supplied false allegations against me, the Dutch government raided the NDFP office in Utrecht and the residences of NDFP negotiators and consultants and arrested me and put me in solitary confinement from August 28 to September 13, 2007 on trumped up charges of murder.
These baseless charges had been previously invalidated in June 2007 by judgment of the Philippine Supreme Court on a trumped up case of rebellion against me and 50 others, including progressive members of the Philippine Congress and anti-Arroyo military officers. And yet the Manila government did not bother to inform the Dutch government about said judgment.
After Aquino became president in 2010, the formal talks between the negotiating panels occurred twice in Oslo within the first half of 2011. On both occasions the negotiating panel of the Manila government sought to undermine and nullify previous agreements. It denounced The Hague Joint Declaration as a “document of perpetual division.” It considered the JASIG as non-binding and without effect in protecting the NDFP consultants, security officers and staffers who had been arrested by the military.
The Aquino regime has taken advantage of the fact that the Dutch police seized and destroyed the encrypting and decrypting programs related to the documents of identification under JASIG. It has condoned the violations of the CARHRIHL committed by the Arroyo regime and has increased the victims of such violations. The victims have suffered abductions, torture, illegal detention or extrajudicial killing.
The number of political prisoners has risen. They are mentioned as connected with the NPA as fighters or as accomplices and yet they are accused of common crimes in violation of CARHRIHL and the Hernandez political offense doctrine. Like predecessor regimes, the Aquino regime has failed to comply with the provision of the CARHRIHL for the indemnification of the victims of human rights violations under the Marcos fascist regime.
The NDFP Perspective on the Peace Negotiations
Despite the increasing obstacles put up by the Manila government and by the US, the NDFP is determined to pursue the peace negotiations and insist that comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms must be negotiated and reached in order to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace.
Despite the painful attacks on my fundamental human rights, such as the denial of residence to me even as I am a recognized political refugee since 1992 and I have the right to family union, and despite the attempts to assassinate me in 1999 and 2000, the “terrorist” listing of my name, the curtailment of my basic rights and termination of my social benefits since 2002 and my arrest and detention on trumped up charges of murder in 2007, I continue to work earnestly for the peace negotiations in my capacity as chief political consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel.
I do not carry any rancor that prevents me from participating in the peace negotiations, especially because I have won my cases in court against the trumped up charges of murder and the terrorist blacklisting. But I admonish my powerful detractors not to use blackmail and dirty tricks to pressure the NDFP or any one to yield to the scheme of capitulation and pacification in the form of an indefinite ceasefire agreement that puts away serious negotiations on basic social, economic and political reforms.
The Manila government should retract its previous request to the US and other governments to designate and list the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant as “terrorists”. It should stop making servile, silly and shameless pronouncements that the foreign governments have the sovereign right to claim jurisdiction over Philippine entities and their activities within the Philippines.
It is best for the contending and negotiating parties to concentrate on serious negotiations and arrive at agreements that are beneficial to the entire Filipino people. The NDFP has proven that it is capable of forging with the Manila government the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. It is truly desirous of forging with the other side the series of comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms, on political and constitutional reforms and on the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.
The Manila government must cease to use the demand for an indefinite ceasefire by way of effecting the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces and people represented by the NDFP in the peace negotiations. The end of hostilities is properly the subject of negotiation under the last item of the substantive agenda. This last item should not be used to put aside the prior negotiations of social, economic and political reforms.
However, the NDFP has proposed a truce and alliance on the basis of a declaration of common intent to adopt and implement policies to advance national independence, democracy, economic development through national industrialization and land reform, social justice, a patriotic, scientific and democratic culture and an independent foreign policy for world peace and development.
The agreement on truce and alliance based on a general declaration of common intent can be forged immediately on a special track , without prejudice to the regular track of negotiating comprehensive and more detailed agreements on social and economic reforms and on political and constitutional reforms. But so far, the Aquino regime has not demonstrated any political will beyond seeking the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces and people mainly through the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan and secondarily through sham peace negotiations.
The NDFP estimates that the worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and the domestic ruling system, the further strengthening of the revolutionary forces and people and the ceaseless appeal of peace advocates for serious substantive negotiations can persuade the current Aquino regime or any of the succeeding regimes of the Manila government to negotiate seriously with the NDFP and forge the necessary agreements on social, economic and political reforms in order to pave the way for a just and lasting peace. In any case, the people decide the question of peace by their own will and struggle.
Let me stress that the Manila government, the US government and other foreign governments are violators of human rights and are reprehensible for labeling, libeling and listing the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant as “terrorists” and for filing false criminal charges against me. By doing so, they have also damaged and delayed the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Manila government. They have exposed the limits of their claims to democracy and, more candidly speaking, the fundamental rottenness of ruling systems that are controlled by exploiting classes, such as the monopoly bourgeoisie in imperialist countries and the big compradors and landlords in a client-state like the Philippines.
The US and other imperialist powers are condemnable for using as pretext the so-called war on terror to encroach on the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries and designate political forces like the CPP and NPA and individuals like me as “terrorist” without any proof of any terrorist act that is within the jurisdiction of any of the imperialist countries. I was put on the terrorist blacklist of the Dutch government and then the European Union, denied basic rights and deprived of all social benefits and subjected to stigmatization and incitement to hatred, without my being informed of any act of terrorism imputed to me, without any proper investigation and without respecting my right to counsel and the right to go to court prior to the terrorist listing and the punitive actions taken against me.
With a deep sense of gratitude to my lawyers, the solidarity activists and the people in various countries, I am pleased about having won in 2007 before the Dutch courts my case against the false charges of murder and in 2009 before the European Court of Justice my case against my inclusion in the terrorist blacklist of the European Union after seven long years of litigation. But I am always reminded by myself and by many others with a sense of justice and fairness that I should not have been persecuted in the first place and that those who have the most power and the most wealth in my country and their imperialist allies abroad can still get back to me at any time and brazenly persecute me again. Indeed, I remain vulnerable to those powerful interests that wish to silence me. They persist in trying to stop me from exercising my fundamental rights to think, write and speak freely in support of the exploited and oppressed people.
I am also always reminded of the fact that I have been unjustly and unfairly refused residence by the Dutch government for more than 24 years despite the fact that I have been a recognized political refugee since 1992, with a spouse who has legal residence in The Netherlands and with two children who are naturalized Dutch, and despite the fact I have the fundamental right to be presumed innocent in the absence of any criminal conviction by any court. Worst of all, the Dutch authorities have never taken the steps to prosecute those who tried to assassinate me in 1999 and 2000 despite the evidence presented from 2000 to 2007. The Dutch police themselves uncovered evidence on the assassination plot against me while they were investigating the false criminal charges against me in 2007.
Despite the dismal and unjust character of bourgeois democracy in imperialist countries, I am happy about the rise of the democratic mass movement of the people in Europe, against the worsening economic and social crisis, against the growing repressive conditions, against imperialist support for counterrevolutions and against wars of aggression. I welcome and support the spread of the Occupy movement, the Indignado mass protests in Spain, the popular uprisings in Greece and all other forms of resistance in various capitalist countries. I stand in solidarity with the rising international democratic mass movement of the 99 per cent against the 1 per cent. I am also aware that the CPP, NPA and the NDFP support this movement. The people of the world have common aspirations and need to support each other in waging anti-imperialist and democratic struggles.
As chairperson of the International League of Peoples´ Struggle, which has hundreds of member-organizations in more than 40 countries in all continents, I am fortunate to have a vantage for helping to arouse, organize and mobilize the people of various oppressed and exploited classes and sectors to engage in anti-imperialist and democratic struggle. As the crisis of global capitalism worsens, exploitation and oppression escalate in both the imperialist countries and the client states. Reactionary trends and currents like those of fascism, xenophobia, racial discrimination and religious bigotry are becoming rampant. The imperialist powers are trigger-happy and are more prone than ever before to unleash wars of aggression and all reactionary states are becoming more repressive and brutal.
The broad masses of the people must resolutely and militantly wage struggles to defend their democratic rights and interests. They are the real source of democracy. They must win the struggle for democracy, whether the aim is to achieve national liberation or socialism. The proletariat and people in both the developed and underdeveloped countries have a common basis for solidarity and mutual support against imperialism and reaction. Their united struggle can lead to a fundamentally new and better world of greater freedom, democracy, social justice, all-round development and peace.
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