Two Statements From Jose Maria Sison
Input on the 6th Congress of the
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
(Peasant Movement of the Philippines)
By Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS)
November 26, 2003
I wish to convey my felicitous and militant greetings to all of you, dear delegates and organizers of the 6th Congress of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP - Peasant Movement of the Philippines). It is fitting for us to celebrate the victories achieved by the KMP in 18 years of upholding the democratic rights and interests of the peasant masses in the Philippines.
It is already a big victory that the delegations hail from 58 provincial and 13 regional chapters from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. This national scope means that you have achieved so many victories in arousing, mobilizing and organizing the peasant masses. I salute the KMP in its stature as the largest organization of peasants, and even more importantly, as the most dedicated and militant organization of peasants.
Further strengthen, expand and invigorate the peasant movement and struggle for genuine land reform!
Avoid becoming complacent as a result of all of your accumulated victories. They will be your basis for further strengthening, expanding and invigorating the peasant movement and struggle for genuine land reform. Further your own actions and struggle because feudal and semi-feudal exploitation persists and worsens. The struggle for genuine land reform is a very important task.
This reform will liberate the peasant masses that comprise the broad majority of the Filipino people. In this way, it is the main content of the democratic revolution in our country that is agrarian and semi-feudal. The Filipino people will be freed and the Philippines will be made to prosper when the peasant masses are fully mobilized, and genuine land reform and national industrialization go hand in hand in the program of national liberation and democracy.
Intensify continuously the effort to arouse, organize and mobilize the peasant masses. We all know how powerful the landlords are and how devious they are on the issue of land reform. They collude with the imperialists, big compradors and bureaucrat capitalists in deceiving the peasant masses.
To be effective in fighting the landlords and their accomplices, it is necessary to strengthen the unity of the workers and peasants. On the basis of their alliance, they will be able to win over the middle forces and take advantage of the rifts and feuds among the ranks of the reactionaries. There also needs to be interaction between genuine, thoroughgoing land reform and national industrialization in order to develop a self-reliant economy and society. To achieve this, the working class and the peasantry must unite.
With the complete victory of the national-democratic revolution, land reform will be completed because the exploiting classes will lose their power. However, before this said victory, it is necessary to uphold genuine land reform, do everything possible and realize all that can be in order to maintain and highlight the peasant masses' trust in their own actions.
The KMP must continue to uphold land reform brilliantly, and fight thoroughly against the deceptions of the powerful and the non-stop accumulation of land in the hands of a few. The reactionary government always promises land reform whenever it faces a growing peasant movement, or else, an armed revolution. It enacts land reform laws that are riddled with loopholes for the landlords.
But when the ruling reactionaries estimate that they can retreat from their previous promises, they cover these up and create even more loopholes in the pretentious land reform laws. They make all sorts of land re-classification and conversion in order to remove them from the scope of the promised land reform. They are fond of pretending and saying that the problem is not the structure of ownership and the onerous land rent just to make it appear that it is better to maintain the ownership, production and distribution in the hands of landlords and their accomplices.
KMP's comprehensive attention to the issue of land reform and all related aspects towards the immediate and long-term improvement of the livelihood of the peasant masses is praiseworthy. It is appropriate to fight for the correct pricing of their agricultural products, to stop the dumping of surplus agricultural products of the imperialist countries, and to ensure adequate and inexpensive irrigation, accessible credit system, technical assistance, roads and bridges to markets and other things.
The peasantry must have an understanding of the problems and demands not only on a national scope but also on a global scope. Peasants comprise the largest number of people in the world. They have common conditions, needs and aspirations. Their common enemies are the imperialists and local reactionaries. The KMP is well known in upholding the rights and interests of peasants on a global scope, especially in the struggle against the WTO and other instrumentalities of imperialism. The KMP must continue these admirable actions.
Fight the deepening intervention and plunder of US imperialism!
Because of the pretentious policy of globalization of the "free market," the decay of the capitalist system of the US and the entire world has become more rapid. In truth, it has made more brutal the monopoly-capitalist exploitation of the proletariat and people of the backward countries in the third world, in the countries where socialism has long been sabotaged and betrayed by the revisionists, and even in the imperialist countries themselves.
Imperialist enterprises and banks have stepped up their extraction of profits from the world's toiling masses, and interest from countries that export raw materials, are perpetually in deficit and saddled in debt like the Philippines. In accelerating the rate of exploitation, they have combined the avaricious reduction of funds for wage-labor, the use of high-end technology in order to reduce employment, and the lowering of prices of raw materials. In the long run, the imperialists have destroyed their own world markets. They have done so by reducing the earnings of the toiling people and the backward countries.
At present, the contradictions between imperialism and the oppressed peoples and countries, between the imperialists and certain anti-imperialist countries, among the imperialists, and between the monopoly bourgeoisie and the proletariat in the imperialist countries, are intensifying. With the shrinking of the market for monopoly capitalism or imperialism, its worst intrusive and plunderous character comes to the fore.
The rising intervention and plunder of US imperialism in the Philippines must be opposed. Other foreign monopoly capital, such as the Japanese, are also chiming in. The big compradors and landlords are accomplices of the imperialists in the intensifying exploitation and oppression of the Filipino peasantry and people.
US imperialism is desperately using violence in order to consolidate and expand its hegemony over the entire world. It is using the "war against terrorism" to camouflage its naked aggression against sovereign countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq and to further intervene in various countries and regions such as Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia.
The US has an evil scheme to establish a new military base in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao, in order to carry out its strategic and tactical force restructuring in East Asia and the entire world. It seeks to place itself in a stronger position to intervene and unleash aggression in Southeast Asia, meddle or have a greater and more direct role in suppressing armed challenges to the reactionary state from the NPA and the Bangsamoro army, and strengthen US forces in the entire East Asia.
But American imperialism currently faces the ever growing and spreading struggle of the peoples of the world in various forms, including mass protests, uprisings, and people's wars. US imperialism has quickly squandered whatever sympathy it drew from the events of September 11, 2001. Millions of people the world over widely opposed the US-British invasion of Iraq.
The US is now reaping the terror and destruction that it has sown in the entire world, in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. The Iraqis and Afghanis are showing that the foreign occupiers will pay dearly and will not succeed for long. The US succeeded in capturing Iraq, but it is clear that it is not succeeding in carrying out what it tried and hoped would be a rapid pacification and subjugation of the Iraqi people. More American and British soldiers have now died since the start of the occupation than the war to invade Iraq. The US is now sinking into a quagmire in Iraq.
Even in the field of the economy, the opposition and struggle of the people of the world against imperialist plunder and overrunning of small and weak countries is growing stronger and more widespread. The scheme of the imperialist powers to push additional policies and schemes to further expose the weak economies of small, backward countries to exploitation was thwarted in the recently held WTO conference in Cancun, Mexico. These included schemes to deepen the intervention and plunder of the imperialist powers in agriculture by further lowering tariffs and subsidies while maintaining and enlarging the subsidies in their own countries.
Frustrate the intensifying state fascism!
If we make a short definition of the said fascism, it is the rule of open terror under the bourgeois state. The rulers have none or almost no more pretensions that there are bourgeois-democratic rights and processes in the Philippines. The principal character of the present state in the Philippines is comprador-big bourgeois, even though the landlord class is the more widespread exploiting class, and even though the big landlord is usually also a big comprador. We may also call fascism as bourgeois terrorism.
In the neo-colonial history of the Philippines, the Marcos puppet regime was the first to impose fascism on the Filipino people from 1972 to 1986. This fascism is the result of the crisis of the ruling classes that reaches the point where they can no longer rule in the old peaceful and friendly means among the reactionaries. Their rifts become intense and violent. The reactionary force that prevails is the one which is most alert and most effective in suppressing the people and reactionary rivals.
After Marcos fell from power in 1986, others said that fascism ceased to exist and the ruling system became bourgeois-democratic once again. It is true that the Aquino regime put on the liberal-democratic mask, and it is true that some of the government's most brutal policies and actions were lessened. However, the ruling system of big compradors and landlords continued to decay and remained in chronic crisis. The Aquino regime perpetuated many fascist decrees against the toiling masses and continued to assault them, especially in the countryside. That is also what has happened in the time of the Ramos, Estrada and now, the Macapagal-Arroyo regime.
Because there is no fundamental change in the semi-colonial and semi-feudal society and since this crisis has worsened together with the crisis of imperialism, the potential and danger always exists for fascism to expose itself more fully. Even if the ruling clique is civilian and is still based on the electoral system, it intensifies its use of violence in suppressing the rights of the workers and peasants. It also has the tendency to use force in order to suppress its reactionary rivals. Moreover, the crisis and corruption of the officials pushes certain military groups to attempt coups d'état. Meaning to say, there is now the danger of fascism coming from military cliques as well.
The most painful and the most widespread indications of rising fascism in our country are the bloody suppression campaigns against the peasantry, patriotic and progressive organizations, and social commentators, and against the revolutionary forces in the countryside, and the violations of human rights. Even in the cities, the military and police are now openly attacking workers in the picket lines, and all kinds of people who are peacefully protesting. Let us further all efforts to frustrate this rising fascism.
Against the widespread unemployment, the meager wages of the toiling masses, and the suppression of the people, we can see the gravity of the crisis and the rottenness of the ruling system in the intense maneuverings, clashes and collusion between the three branches of the reactionary government in relation to the division of the spoils. The situation is exceedingly favorable in order to expose and oppose the shameless and unrestrained use of state power by reactionaries to carry out anomalies and to collude for their own benefit against the interests of the people.
You have correctly exposed the collusion of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Danding Cojuangco in relation to the attempt to impeach the Supreme Court Chief Justice Davide and in relation to their sharing of the P138 billion coco levy fund and GMA's persistent efforts to secure Danding Cojuangco's support for her presidential bid in May 2004. The earlier nullification of the sequestration of Danding's shares in SMC was an indication of this collusion. While exposing and opposing the GMA-Cojuangco collusion, you must not let up on the efforts to investigate and prosecute Davide in order to expose the rottenness of the entire reactionary system, including the judicial branch and the Supreme Court itself.
The factional enticement, collusion and infighting among the ruling classes will surely intensify and deepen as the election draws near and especially after it. Although the election is the principal arena, each grouping or faction of the ruling class out of power rides on, props up and eggs on the legitimate grievances, protest actions and other forms of actions and protests of the people.
The opposing reactionary groupings are preparing well not only for the electoral struggle but also for the expected more bloody struggle after the election. This is a clear symptom of the moribund ruling system: the factions of the ruling class can no longer compete with each other in the old or usual peaceful and civil means.
It is the objective of any reactionary regime to maintain itself in power in order to perpetuate its theft of the country's treasury while offering to its imperialist masters the amendments to the reactionary Constitution that they ask for in order to further allow them to plunder the Philippine economy and to intervene and have military bases. The US is asking for the removal from the 1987 Constitution superficial provisions regarding national sovereignty, territorial jurisdiction, and the defense of patrimony of the Philippines. The US also wants the removal of rights inherent in the Miranda doctrine and to have fascist "anti-terrorism" laws in accordance with the USA Patriot Act.
The imposition of state terrorism on the Filipino people, especially the toiling masses, is intensifying. But the people will only fight for their own rights and interests. Their experience in struggle is rich and they have accumulated many victories to advance. Their fighting spirit is high and will to succeed is strong because of the open contradiction among the reactionaries and the non-stop decaying of the ruling system.
Oust the puppet Macapagal-Arroyo regime!
It is only appropriate to oust Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her clique from power. Macapagal-Arroyo's puppetry to her US imperialist masters is extreme. Corruption is rampant under her regime in which Mr. Miguel Arroyo himself is the principal overseer of corruption, receiving huge bribes and other anomalies in the bureaucracy.
The regime of Macapagal-Arroyo is extremely isolated as a result of its anti-people and anti-national policies and out of its greed to monopolize its rule and the spoils from it. It is trying to cover up and patch large fissures among the ruling classes through "reconciliation" and "unity for the country's good."
But GMA does not have a shred of credibility left especially because she reneged on her own word or declaration on December 30, 2002 that she would no longer run for the presidency in 2004, and because it is not a secret to anyone that the call for "reconciliation" is only a scheme to remedy the regime's isolation and weakening, and to neutralize its political enemies. Previous to this, she quickly turned her back and repudiated the aims of EDSA 2 which catapulted her into power - the fight against corruption, puppetry to the US and the immorality of the Estrada regime.
Unless she commits a huge or scandalous mistake, GMA will likely finish being president in June. Electoral maneuverings are already drawing the reactionary rivals of GMA. In which case, it will already be difficult to have a broad united front to oust GMA decisively.
There is also the possibility the GMA will also "win" the election through buying the support of barangay captains and the teachers who will serve as Comelec personnel, and through the manipulation of the vote count. In the event that GMA "wins," many will believe it to be the result of widespread cheating. People will resist, there will be an anti-GMA "military intervention," or GMA will undertake a "pre-emptive use of force." Her next administration will be loose, chaotic and short-lived for the chances that she will be ousted will increase greatly.
It is good that there is a new party of the toiling masses for the next election. Therefore, the peasant masses, together with the worker masses, have an instrument in the arena of electoral struggle in order to uphold their own rights and interests, to expose the rottenness of the system, to advance the program of national freedom and democracy, and to ally with other parties and remove from power the enemies of the nation.
Nevertheless, more important than the seasonal elections are the daily mass struggles regarding the long-term and immediate issues in relation to the rights and welfare of the Filipino peasantry and people. Whatever the outcome of the electoral campaign of Anakpawis, the KMP will remain a sturdy force of the peasantry in the never-ending struggle.
In the course of the peace negotiations between the reactionary government and the revolutionary movement, we notice that the Macapagal-Arroyo clique has no intention to negotiate seriously, to come together in search of a solution to the root causes of the civil war, and to reach agreement with the revolutionary forces regarding a just peace. It only wants the revolutionary movement to surrender, deceive the Filipino people, and realize pacification for more intense oppression and exploitation.
Because the reactionaries are tireless in perpetuating oppression and exploitation, the Filipino people and the revolutionary forces are also tireless in fighting back. The reactionaries are determined to prevail. The people are also determined to resist until the total victory of the new-democratic revolution. •
Speech on the Fifth Anniversary of Anakbayan
By Jose Maria Sison
Kabataang Makabayan (KM - Patriotic Youth)
November 30, 2003
Warm, felicitous greetings to Anakbayan!
It brings me great joy to join you in celebrating the fifth anniversary of Anakbayan, the 39th anniversary of Kabataang Makabayan, and the 140th birthday of Andres Bonifacio. The celebration of occasions such as this is meaningful in continuing progressive thought and further invigorating participation in the revolutionary struggle for national freedom and democracy against imperialism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
Our purpose is to: "Celebrate five years of success of the comprehensive youth organization! Enrich the lessons and experience to further advance the organization and struggle together with the people!"
It is fine that Anakbayan began directly with the tradition and principles of Kabataang Makabayan as the comprehensive mass organization of Filipino youth from the basic working class and peasantry, communities of urban poor, schools, offices and various other professions. It operates within the framework of the national-democratic revolution.
I am pleased that my "Message to the National Conference of Anakbayan" has served as your important guide after I mentioned the importance of a comprehensive youth organization in my speech to the Congress of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) in 1998.
I have read thoroughly "The Three-Year Summing-Up of Our Experience," which was ratified by the second meeting of the National Council under the Second National Congress of Anakbayan. Based on this, I am able to grasp how your organization has progressed. I admire the victories that you have achieved, the richness of your experience, and the lessons that you have drawn.
I greet you in your timely summing-up of experience. It is a living study. It is the foundation for a unified realization of objectives and tasks of Anakbayan through organized actions. Such a summing-up is necessary for Anakbayan to continue to carry out a decisive role in advancing Filipino youth as a basic force of the new-democratic movement.
You have correctly placed Anakbayan on the general line of the national-democratic movement. You have clarified well your task to unify the youth to participate in advancing the national-democratic struggle and to serve as a means for propagating the line, program, call, stand and analyses of the national-democratic movement in the youth sector and broad masses of the people. In this manner, you have served as the leading youth organization in the legal mass movement.
Follow the national-democratic line in agitation, information and education work. In this way, you can arouse the youth in large numbers and raise their patriotic and progressive consciousness in the legal mass movement. Avoid referring to the ideology of Marxism as a requisite or standard for joining or leading Anakbayan. Always remember that you are the mass organization of youth along the national-democratic line. Let the secret KM propagate Marxism-Leninism as the league of communist youth among the ranks of the youth.
It is excellent that you have gathered the strength of some existing youth organizations, including organizations of students, young workers, peasants, urban poor, indigenous, professional and other youth, in the beginning and in the years that followed. It is praiseworthy that your membership has reached several tens of thousands on a national scope. It is also fine that you encompass both the old, existing organizations and the new chapters that you are setting up. It is also good that you get the cooperation of non-youth organizations so that you can recruit youth and set up chapters.
The size, extent and versatility of your activities and campaigns are most admirable. This is appropriate because you are able to encompass various kinds of youth. However, Anakbayan must always carry the struggle for jobs, land, education, rights and social services, even though Anakbayan has already become prominent in mobilizations not only for the welfare of youth but also for the entire Filipino people.
Based on your summing-up, your biggest success in mobilization and use of the broad united front was the mobilization of 200,000 youth in certain cities in order to push for the ouster of Estrada from power. Anakbayan was able to make the slogan, "Sobra nang pahirap, patalsikin si Erap!" ("Enough of hardship, let's oust Erap!"), reverberate throughout the entire country. The more than 70,000 youth that marched from EDSA towards the palace was decisive in driving Estrada from Malacañang. Anakbayan also helped in a big way in the successful campaign of Bayan Muna (People First).
The role of Anakbayan is important in the mobilizations against the general policies of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime, corruption, the increases in oil prices and electricity and against state terrorism and US military intervention. But you also notice the declining rate in the recruitment of members and number of participants in the rallies and demonstrations since the downfall of Estrada. This is happening even as the crisis of the world capitalist system and the ruling system in the Philippines continues to worsen.
You must take advantage of the favorable conditions brought about by the worsening crisis in order to strengthen Anakbayan. Your self-criticism is commendable about not being able to undertake timely and sufficient consolidation to take advantage of the surge of the mass movement against the Estrada regime. What I mean by consolidation is education on the program and constitution of Anakbayan, PADEPA1 and SCPSR2, the formation of chapters, maintaining the committee system and empowering units. This kind of consolidation is your stepping stone for further expansion. As Anakbayan grows stronger, your capacity to mobilize even more youth masses also grows.
At present, there is a firm need to further expand and strengthen all the forces of the national-democratic movement and to form a broad alliance against US imperialism and the puppet ruling Macapagal-Arroyo clique. We must gather all the possible forces in the broadest alliance that we can form in order to isolate and oust the present thoroughly puppet, rotten, cruel and deceitful regime.
It is well and good if the ruling Macapagal-Arroyo clique is ousted before the reactionary election in May 2004. In relation to this, we must continue and intensify the call and the actions for ousting the Macapagal-Arroyo regime even as the possibility to form a broad alliance grows dimmer as a result of the tendency of the big bourgeoisie to be drawn and get engrossed in the electoral struggle.
Nevertheless, the reactionary factions out of power are just now only beginning to prepare for more intense and more violent struggles after the election. Political turmoil will certainly worsen and popular opposition will become more widespread if Macapagal-Arroyo is able to perpetuate herself in power through election fraud, which the opposition and the people in general are expecting.
I understand that the party Anak ng Bayan is participating in the coming election. Whatever the results for its candidates, you must use the opportunity of the election to propagate the national-democratic line among the youth and the Filipino people, to thwart anti-national and anti-democratic policies, to expose the limitation of electing reactionaries, to win over more youth and people for the struggle, and to take advantage of the worsening contradictions among the ranks of the reactionaries.
The present regime is using state terrorism in order to suppress the revolutionary movement, while trying to derail it through offers of fake reconciliation. In reality, it is giving the highest priority to brokering the dirtiest and most despicable reconciliation with Eduardo Cojuangco, Joseph Estrada and the Marcos family, and her maintenance in power - things that will bring greater harm to the people.
The most rabid section of the reactionaries will always try to collude and may even reach temporary and partial agreements. But this mutual accommodation will not last because of the intense unsteadiness brought about by the rapidly worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and the local ruling system of big compradors and landlords. These contradictions are worsening and becoming even more violent.
US imperialism under the leadership of the bloodthirsty Bush clique continues to flutter its wings and threaten to launch further aggression and intervention in the countries and regions that it would like to tighten its control over territories and resources. It is desperately resorting to brute force in spite of the widespread condemnation of the people of the world in order to consolidate its world hegemony and in its attempt to lessen the continually worsening crisis of the world capitalist system. While US imperialism fails to meet its objectives in its attacks, it creates even more enemies and greater struggles from the oppressed peoples of the world.
Greater oppression and exploitation are being imposed on the people both by the world and national crisis. They bring about more unbearable suffering on the people. But they also push the people to launch all forms of opposition and brings about the desire to change the present government and the entire ruling system. It is clear that the objective conditions are favorable for developing the subjective forces of the revolution such as Anakbayan and all youth in vigorously advancing the national-democratic revolution. •
1 Pambansang Demokratikong Paaralan or National Democratic School.
2 Short Course on Philippine Society and Revolution (SCPSR).
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