SYMBOLS DURING MARTIAL LAW

 

September 20, 2010

 

Eve of the 38th anniversary of martial rule

 

 

 

 

It is useful for the people to remember the fascist dictatorship not only because there is a need to draw up consciousness and courage to prevent the rise to power of the junior of Ferdinand Marcos and his other political heirs but also more urgently to struggle against  the manifest plan of the son of Benigno Aquino to beef up the military,  use his power to enlarge the wealth of his family and cronies and seek to destroy the revolutionary movement of the people.

 

Irony of ironies!  The son of the underdog and outstanding murder victim of the Marcos fascist regime is practically aping the fascist dictator.  Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III has declared that the Philippine population has doubled since the last time that Marcos beefed up the military and that by implication he must double the strength of the military

 

--- Prof. Jose Maria Sison

 

/p

/p

Some pages from the book:

You are not forgotten! Symbols During Martial Law

published in 1988 by the Socio Pastoral Institute

           
        PEASANTS ▼  

 

Press Statement

September 21, 2010

 

ON THE COMMEMORATION OF SEPTEMBER 21

 

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Chief Political Consultant

National Democratic Front of the Philippines

 

Ferdinand Marcos himself designated September 21, 1972 as the date for Presidential Proclamation 1081, declaring martial law.   In previous days, he had set in motion the imposition of fascist dictatorship on the people, including the mobilization of his armed minions, the murder of a whistle blower in his own intelligence agency,  the fake ambush on his defense secretary and the mass arrest of his opponents and critics. 

 

More than a year ago, he had staged the dress rehearsal for the declaration of martial law by proclaiming the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus on August 21, 1971 when without evidence he blamed the Communist Party of the Philippines and Benigno S. Aquino for the Plaza Miranda bombing immediately after it happened.

 

It is important to commemorate the declaration of martial law today in order to recall the 14-year long fascist dictatorship, the gross and systematic infliction of violence and suffering on the broad masses of the people and the steady growth of the resistance of the people and the revolutionary forces until there was a convergence of contradictory forces that effected the overthrow of the fascist dictator on February 25, 1986.

 

It is useful for the people to remember the fascist dictatorship not only because there is a need to draw up consciousness and courage to prevent the rise to power of the junior of Ferdinand Marcos and his other political heirs but also more urgently to struggle against  the manifest plan of the son of Benigno Aquino to beef up the military,  use his power to enlarge the wealth of his family and cronies and seek to destroy the revolutionary movement of the people.

 

Irony of ironies!  The son of the underdog and outstanding murder victim of the Marcos fascist regime is practically aping the fascist dictator.  Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III has declared that the Philippine population has doubled since the last time that Marcos beefed up the military and that by implication he must double the strength of the military.

 

Unmindful of the severe economic economic and bankruptcy of the reactionary government, he has begun to increase the budget of the military by 81 per cent.  He has also  increased the budget of the DWSD by 123 per cent only because it is going to be the chief partner of the military in so-called base-denial operations and forcing the evacuation of the people from their homes and land.  A huge part of the national budget is for debt service. The budgets for education, health and other necessary social services have been reduced.

 

The Aquino regime is hell-bent on following the US Counterinsurgency Guide and intends to use the USD 434 million windfall from the Millenium Challenge Corporation as complement of the peso budget for the military.  It has continued Oplan Bantay Laya and the gross and systematic violations of human rights under the Arroyo regime. It has made its own five-year operational plan for one more futile scheme of atrocities to destroy the revolutionary movement.  It has condoned the bloody crimes of the Arroyo regime and has kept hundreds of political prisoners, including Morong 43.

 

It looks like there is no end to the chain of rulers who serve  US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords and who are exceedingly corrupt, brutal and mendacious. But let us remember that the New People's Army had only 300 automatic rifles when Marcos falsely claimed that it had 10,000 rifles in justifying the declaration of martial law in 1972.  At the fall of Marcos in 1986, the NPA had grown to 6000 automatic rifles and had gained a rural base of millions in all regions of the country, except the predominantly Moro provinces.

 

The armed revolutionary movement was a major force that caused the downfall of Marcos but it did not have enough armed strength yet in 1986 to overpower the reactionary state of big compradors and landlords.  It is not true that it had 25,000 highpowered weapons.  Moreover, certain ultra-Left and Rightist opportunist currents were already undermining the armed revolutionary movement in most of the 1980s and up to 1991, resulting mainly in the loss of substantial parts of the revolutionary mass base in the rural areas.

 

But the Communist Party of the Philippines launched the Second Great Rectification Movement in 1992.  Since then, according to publications of the CPP, the armed revolutionary movement has been revitalized and grown in strength in an all-round way.  However, it has not yet gained sufficient strength to overthrow the reactionary state or to compel the formation of a coalition government of national unity, democracy, social justice, development and peace against US imperialism and the worst forms of reaction.

 

The CPP and the NPA have publicly announced that in the next years they will strive to advance from the stage of strategic defensive to that of strategic stalemate in the people's war.  This course of probability is well-founded because of the growing strength of the subjective forces of the revolution and the rapid deterioration of the long rotten ruling system of big compradors and landlords. As demonstrated in the 14-year long fascist dictatorship, the rule of open terror and unbridled greed can only drive the broad masses of the people to the road of armed revolution. 

 

The revolutionary forces and the people can be expected to grow in strength through people's war if Benigno Aquino III chooses to rule like Marcos or even like his mother, trying in vain to use military force to defeat the revolutionary forces and the people, instead of availing of the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in order to address the roots of the civil war and lay  the ground for a just and lasting peace through basic social, economic and political reforms.###

 

 

Joma with Pen. On left side: Clenched fist with hammer sculpted by Rey Paz Contreras, gift of Kilusang Mayo Uno to Prof. Sison for 50 years of service to the Filipino people. On the right side: some books by Prof. Sison.

 

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The readers of Arkibong Bayan are invited to click: http://www.josemariasison.org/  This is the authorized website of Prof. Jose Maria Sison.  It has been recently restructured and improved by its editors.  Thank you for your attention.

 

     
     
     
     
WOMEN  ▼
           
   

 

Noynoy Aquino's 'undeclared Martial Law' would aggravate human rights violations

Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos
Spokesperson
National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao
September 21, 2010

Today, September the 21st, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines -- Mindanao (NDFP-Mindanao) joins the Filipino people in recollecting the tens of thousands of victims of grave human rights abuses upon the declaration of Martial Law. It was the Dictator Marcos's virulent edict that plunged the nation into the darkest period of its history -- 14 years of brutality when the people's national democratic aspiration was single-handedly snuffed out through unrivalled and widespread repression.

Today, 23 years since the ouster of the fascist Marcos, and after the rule of four almost equally brutal regimes from Corazon Aquino to Gloria Arroyo, the symptoms of those dark years remain with us as summary executions, enforced disappearances, barefaced militarism and other appalling forms of human rights violations continue to persist.

On account of the newly installed Aquino government, it has carried on the infamous militarist legacy of the vile period of Martial Law despite the euphoria created by Mr. Aquino's pre-programmed victory in the recent presidential elections and its hard sell campaign for 'change.'

Point of fact: During the election period, human rights violations seemed to have ebbed as the AFP neared its OBL 2 deadline. But, when it became obvious that Mr. Aquino would be the next president of the GRP, his assumption into power led to the extension of Oplan Bantay Laya 2, the resumption of which escalated to a more vicious nationwide military campaign.

Human rights abuse cases in Mindanao have risen as a direct result of this more brazen and intensive military campaign. In three regions in the island alone, Noynoy Aquino demonstrated in his 80 days in office a staggering record of 90 cases of human rights abuses, victimizing close to a thousand families and more than 8,000 individuals.

In the Southern Mindanao Region (SMR), where more than a dozen AFP battalions have been mobilized to counter revolutionary forces, 42 human rights violations cases, affecting 640 families and 7,721 individuals, have been documented. In the North Eastern Mindanao Region (NEMR), 41 cases of 14 various types of human rights abuses that affected 286 families, 1,252 individuals, 3 communities and 1 school have been recorded. The recent evacuation of nearly 300 families from communities in Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte as a result of heightened AFP combat operations marked the height of barefaced militarism in the region. In the Far Southern Region of Mindanao (FSMR), 7 cases of human rights abuses committed by government troops, including rape, looting and illegal arrests, were initially documented in the months of July and August.

The New People's Army have resolutely fought back by means of launching tactical offensives to defend the well-being of the people and to preserve the gains of the revolutionary movement. There have been 59 tactical offensives thus far launched since Noynoy Aquino took his oath of office. This shows how the NPA defended revolutionary areas and the people's welfare, and how determined Red fighters are to frustrate the exacerbating militarist salvo of the new puppet regime.

Since July, the NPA in SMR was able to launch more than 20 military actions that resulted in the death of 11 enemy soldiers and CAFGU elements, and the wounding of 13. These NPA tactical offensives also led to the confiscation of a number of firearms. Similarly, with the entire Caraga Region saturated with 4 AFP battalions almost simultaneously undergoing offensive military operations, the New People's Army in NEMR has, in defense of the masses, launched 32 military actions that lent stinging blows against advancing enemy forces in the countryside. A series of 4 tactical offensives were initiated in FSMR since June 30, highlighted most recently by Red fighters launching punitive action against the most notorious land-grabber in North Cotabato in the person of Manny Piñol, which disabled his banana plantation machineries and confiscated 7 HPRs of its security personnel in Brgy. Blaas, Tulunan, North Cotabato on September 16.

Similar attacks against human rights have also been committed with impunity by the AFP, the PNP, the Cafgu and other paramilitary groups in the North Central and Western regions of Mindanao. These have been promptly responded to with NPA military action, particularly in the North Central Mindanao Region (NCMR) where 3 tactical offensives were launched.

The killing of media practitioners and workers and other vile forms of repression against them continue to worsen and do so with utter impunity. Barely a hundred days after Aquino's inauguration, three media persons have been murdered in the country. In Mindanao, other media workers face harassment with no let up. The most vicious of these harassments is the outright termination of three media practitioners and the threat of suspension aimed at other personnel of dxDC RMN Davao for their progressive stance in public opinion.

These brazen manifestations of militarist treachery clearly show what the Filipino people could expect under Benigno Aquino III's 6-year term of 'undeclared Martial Law': more human rights violations and suppression campaigns in order to protect the interest of US imperialism and the ruling landlord and big bourgeois comprador classes.

The intensity of violence of Mr. Aquino's 'martial rule' is expected to escalate because the only way for it to prevail is to silence the people's growing clamor for genuine land reform and nationalist industrialization, while it desperately attempts to please US imperial power by agreeing to the basing rights US military forces in the country and falling subservient to its geo-political interests in the Asia-Pacific.

The attacks against revolutionary forces and the people are seen to intensify even further mainly because the New People's Army and the revolutionary masses ever more becoming the major threat to the ever decaying ruling system of the Philippine society. Also because it is a revolutionary movement that continues to stand firm in defending people's rights and is doubly steadfast in its stance against the reactionary government's militarist policies.

It is most disturbing to know that Noynoy Aquino, the son of one of the most celebrated victims of Martial Law - Ninoy Aquino, is now the one on the warpath implementing the Marcos weapon that ultimately killed his father and crushed the entire nation. But he would be mistaken to think that this fascism would go on without reckoning because Noynoy Aquino's dawn of 'undeclared Martial Law' would only usher in the further advance of the people's democratic revolution towards a new and higher level, towards the strategic stalemate phase of the people's war.

In light of these, the NDFP -- Mindanao strongly calls upon the Filipino people to unite and firmly stand against the US-backed Aquino regime's 'undeclared Martial Law' and much more against what it intends to achieve, which is the further exploitation and oppression of the nation.

We call on the NPA to totally frustrate the extension of OBL and further intensify the level of tactical offensives to defend the masses and the revolutionary forces, especially now that it is clearer that Benigno Aquino III is far from being interested in solving the root causes of the armed conflict by way of the peace process.

We also reiterate our challenge to Noynoy Aquino to give justice to the victims of human rights violation during the Martial Law years, of the Mendiola massacre during the term of his mother Corazon Aquino, and of the Hacienda Luisita massacre and other victims of extra-judicial killings during the US-Arroyo regime.

 

From:

http://www.philippinerevolution.net/cgi-bin/statements/stmts.pl?author=ndfm;date=100921;lang=eng

 

 
 
 
 
TRIBAL FILIPINOS ▼
   
   

 

Press Release 21 September 2010

 

Remembering the declaration of martial law:

Karapatan dares P-Noy to indemnify martial law victims, 

abandon U.S.-instigated counterinsurgency plans

 to stop human rights violations and end impunity

 

COMMEMORATING the declaration of martial law today, September 21, the national alliance of human rights groups, KARAPATAN, challenged Pres. Benigno Simeon "PNoy" Aquino III to render the long overdue INDEMNIFICATION of the victims of martial law, ABANDON the US-sponsored counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay-Laya and all other counter-insurgency programs, to stop human rights violations and end impunity.

 

KARAPATAN chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez, who, together with her family and hundreds of thousands of others suffered greatly during martial law, commented that the horrors of martial law, brought back in by the US-Arroyo regime, are not being dispelled by PNoy!  “In fact, the Filipino people may be seeing more of these horrors in the coming days. Instead of scrapping the bloody counter-insurgency Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), which engendered the worst human rights violations under the US-GMA regime, PNoy and his military officers extended this brutal campaign up to the end of this year and announced a new one to be put in place next year,” bewailed Enriquez.

 

Even as the victims of OBL 1 and 2, like the victims of martial law, are still crying out for justice, the victims under the 83-day-old PNoy administration are increasing.  Already, 13 victims of extrajudicial killings under PNoy have been documented by Karapatan; from January-June 2010, there have been 17 victims.  Far-flung communities in Negros Oriental, Caraga and Bicol terrorized by AFP troops, have been forced to evacuate for some time because of military operations in their areas.

 

The human rights situation remains bleak with no assurances even from the institutions that would supposedly offer remedies for victims.  “Of late, Supreme Court rulings have disturbed, rather than reassured the public. Convicting the victims of torture and stripping them of protection bring back to mind the martial law court, which dispensed justice for the status quo and not for those less in life and in law,” Enriquez wryly observes.


"To add insult to injury, PNoy appointed Etta Anne Rosales as chair of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) despite her record of bias and partiality against the political Left, divisive moves against the martial law class suit claimants, and announced priorities in the CHR which draws a rather discriminatory line that distinguishes between known cases from lesser known ones," Enriquez said.


According to KARAPATAN records, there are 1,206 victims of extra-judicial killings under former president Macapagal-Arroyo, more than 200 forcibly disappeared, and 380 illegally arrested, detained and tortured. “ 38 years ago today, the Filipino nation was robbed of its rights and freedoms; the open terror unleashed by a dictatorial regime propped up by US imperialism, ravaged our nation for 14 dark years engendering hundreds of thousands of victims in its wake.  Ironically, today, 38 years after, PNoy is on his way to the most powerful imperialist state, the policies of which are couched in doublespeak of commitments to human rights and maintaining supremacy in the world by all means fair and foul, even employing its military might,” Enriquez sadly says.

 

The US has propped up dictators and regimes which violated the rights of peoples so long as these regimes protect US interests.  During the reign of Marcos, martial law was rationalized to supposedly save the republic from the communist threat; the same argument was used by the US-Arroyo regime; but this time a counter-insurgency plan, Oplan Bantay Laya, was implemented along the lines of the “war on terror” hatched by then US President George W. Bush, blindly followed by the puppet GMA regime, to supposedly end the threat.


The US security establishment has come out with successive tactical and strategic materials and doctrinal revisions on “counterinsurgency”. These include a new Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual in 2006, a new Joint Operating Concept on Irregular Warfare in 2007, a new Army Field Manual on Stability Operations in 2008, the US Government Counterinsurgency Guide (US COIN) in 2009 and the renewed Joint Vision 2020, the conceptual framework for continued US military dominance worldwide for the next decade.


These tracks draw heavily from the US experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as from its wars in Vietnam, Korea, Philippines, El Salvador, Colombia and Guatemala, among others.  “Sadly, Philippine presidents, even after the fall of Marcos, have kowtowed and followed these impositions of the US with human rights suffering heavily because of such,” Enriquez said.


“Today, as we commemorate the declaration of darkness over our land 38 years ago, may we remind our President, who is now on his trip to the US, that no amount of terror can defeat a people’s resolve to fight and assert their rights.  Even as martial law darkened the country’s horizons, it also brought out the shining moments of a people’s resistance against exploitation and human rights violations,” Enriquez said.


"We say: never again to martial law! If PNoy insists on following the footsteps of the Marcoses who are being awarded under his administration, he may be causing his own dip in popularity, less than satisfactory ratings, and eventual downfall," Enriquez concluded. ###

 

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PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org 
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Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights

2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District

Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101

Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146


KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties.  It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.  It was established in 1995.

 

 
 
 
 
 
   

 

PRESS RELEASE
September 21, 2010
For reference: Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson and Co-Convenor of Tanggol Magsasaka

Peasants call for immediate release of peasants and political prisoners on Martial Law anniversary

The militant farmers’ group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines), Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA – TK, KMP Southern Tagalog) and Tanggol Magsasaka (Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights) renewed their call to release peasant and political prisoners on the anniversary of the declaration of martial law on September 21. The groups said as peasants struggle for their rights to land, they become primary targets of human rights abuses usually perpetrated by state forces, particularly the military and police.

“We call for the immediate release of our comrades who are accused of crimes they did not commit. The Aquino government at present continues to ignore and is continuously violating their basic rights,” said Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson and Tanggol Magsasaka Co-convenor who joined the rally at Mendiola bridge, Manila, led by Karapatan group and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).

KMP and Tanggol Magsasaka said that the Aquino government has not effect any change on the trend of human rights abuses against peasants. On July 22, Dario Tomada, a former leader of SAGUPA – SB (KMP Eastern Visayas) was arrested in Biñan, Laguna and accused of the “mass murder” in Inopacan, Leyte, that allegedly took place sometime in 1985. The groups added that peasant victims of extra-judicial killings reached to 7, one from Nueva Ecija, 2 from Davao City and 4 from Masbate province. They added that Pascual Guevarra, an elderly peasant leader inside the 3,100-hectare agricultural lands of Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR) was the first, killed on July 9 at his house at Bgy. San Isidro, Laur town.

Aside from Tomada, the groups are calling for the immediate release of Felicidad Caparal, who was arrested January 27, 2009 at Lavezares town, Northern Samar. Caparal is an organizer of the national-based Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, the umbrella-organization of agricultural workers where Hacienda Luisita farmworkers Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) and United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU) belong. Tanggol Magsasaka said that she was to fetch her mother for medical attention in Manila when she was abducted on a military checkpoint, became incommunicado for 7 days and announced by the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army as a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Caparal was with us during our commemoration of the Mendiola Massacre on January 2009. Actually she was with us for years, at our rallies for genuine land reform, protests against rice importation and other issues. She is not a member of the NPA, she is a peasant activist, a mother and a wife. The accusations against her are total fabrications,” Flores said.

Caparal is accused of involvement with a December 2002 NPA ambuscade on elements of the military. Tanggol Magsasaka said that her family argued that she could not be with the NPA as she is pregnant with her first child.

The groups are also calling for the immediate release of peasant political prisoners such as Eddie Cruz and Antipolo 4 (Rizal), Talisay 3 (Batangas), Cadiz 4 and Guihulngan 2 (Negros), Buenavista 5, Emilia Marquez and the rest of Morong 43.

“The Aquino government continues to prove itself as anti-peasant with the extended implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya, the Arroyo government’s counter-insurgency program. It is mainly composed of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances and ‘arrest and detention,’” Flores said.

Tanggol Magsasaka said that during the Arroyo government, 561 peasants became victims of EJK with 133 of them being KMP leaders. In addition, 129 were victims of enforced disappearances such as Nilo Arado of PAMANGGAS – Panay (KMP Panay), Jonas Burgos of AMB (KMP Bulacan) and Manuel Merino, the farmer abducted with University of the Philippines students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.

The groups also condemn Aquino’s inaction to prosecute Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on her anti-people and anti-peasant programs and policies.

“The Aquino government is worsening the situation, as president Aquino is not able to serve justice to those violated, he extended the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya. At present, the military is drafting a new counter-insurgency program dictated by the US Counterinsurgency Guide,” Flores said.

“Aquino who boast being an advocate of ‘democracy’ is doing the exact opposite and the very essence of Martial Law. Under Aquino, land reform remains a dream, and human rights is continuously violated,” he added.

“It is only a matter of time until Aquino’s ‘yellow fever’ on the people is totally eradicated. Actually, the basic masses never believed his promises of ‘change’ during elections, thus, we call on all sectors to continue struggling for justice for the victims of human rights violations and genuine land reform in the country,” Flores called. #

 

CHILDREN ▼
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE
September 19, 2010
For reference: Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson and Co-Convenor of Tanggol Magsasaka

Groups lambast military denial of extra-judicial killings

The militant farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) and Tanggol Magsasaka (Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights) lambasted the Armed Forces of the Philippines denial of the series of extra-judicial killings victimizing peasants from different parts of the country.

“Who the hell could do such killing inside Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation when soldiers are conducting random checkpoints and jogging anywhere at the site? Who could kill Pascual Guevarra, an elderly who fought the military’s displacement and harassment efforts against peasants? Only the military could do such a heinous crime,” said Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson and Tanggol Magsasaka Co-convenor.

The groups are reacting to Col. Antonio Parlade’s statement, Army spokesman that the military is not involved with Pascual’s killing but a result of quarreling factions within FMMR, reported in various online news site.

“Parlade’s statement is a used-up excuse and a useless attempt to salvage the military’s ever-dwindling reputation. The Philippine military is already globally infamous as human rights violator, engineers of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances and ‘arrest and detention’ as encoined by the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya,” said Flores.

The groups said that on October 25, elements of the Philippine Army 7th Infantry Battalion burned down 34 farmers houses in in Lot 28, Barangay San Isidro, Laur, where Guevarra’s residence and farm are located. The groups said that the military then led by Maj. Gen. Ralph Villanueva did not recognize the farmers’ Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) and ordered them to leave their farms. The farmers are members of Alyansa ng Magbubukid na Nagkakaisa sa 3,100 Ektarya ng FMMR (ALMANA 3,100) and Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association.

“Tatay Pascual’s killing is a counter-attack to farmers who are struggling for their rights to land. They were able to restraint the continuing harassment of the military by their series of dialogues with agrarian reform officials and their participation with the national peasant marches last year and on January this year. The military is trying to terrorize and silence the farmers with the objective to stop asserting their rights to land,” Flores said.

KMP and Tanggol Magsasaka said that Guevarra is the first peasant victim of EJK under the Aquino government and is an indicator that president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III had done nothing to stop it. During the Arroyo regime, 561 peasants became victims of EJK and 118 of them were KMP leaders.

“How can the military deny that they had no hand on EJK, when anywhere Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan base, peasant leaders and activist were systematically killed like Eddie Gumanoy of KASAMA – TK (KMP Southern Tagalog) on April 23, 2003 in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro,” said Flores.

KMP said that leaders such as Gumanoy, Renato Pacaide of KMP SOCSKSARGENDS, Dioniso Battad and Arturo Orpilla of DANGGAYAN – CV (KMP Cagayan Valley), Celso Pojas of FADC (KMP Davao City), Fermin Lorico of KAUGMAON (KMP Negros Oriental) became victims of extra-judicial killings under the Arroyo government. Most of them were killed during Maj. Gen. Palparan’s stint at their region.

In addition, Nilo Arado of PAMANGGAS – Panay (KMP Panay) was abducted on April 12, 2007 in Oton, Iloilo and Jonas Burgos of AMB (KMP Bulacan) on April 23 of the same year. About 129 peasants became victims of enforced disappearances during the Arroyo regime.

“Survivor victims said that they were apprehended by armed groups at areas heavily under military control, so how can these groups execute their crime with the military just around the corner? It is totally clear that they are involved,” Flores said.

The groups said that an indicator is the injustice for the victims or no one has yet to be arrested and punished. In addition, the Aquino government who claimed of “change” and “democracy” during last election is a big blunder to human rights as EJK was never prevented. To date, 7 peasants have become victims of EJK, 1 from Nueva Ecija, 2 from Davao City and 4 from Masbate and a former peasant leader from Eastern Visayas, Dario Tomada was accused of trumped-up charges. The groups said that these are also a continuing result of the extension of Oplan Bantay Laya.

“We would never tire of calling for justice for the victims of extra-judicial killings and human rights violations. The military could lie to their teeth again and again but they could not deny the reality of their involvement with more and more people learning of their fascist attack on peasants and the people,” said Flores.

The groups renewed their call for justice for human rights violations victims and immediate freedom of peasant political prisoners such as Tomada, Felicidad Caparal, Eddie Cruz and Antipolo 4 (Rizal), Talisay 3 (Batangas), Cadiz 4 and Guihulngan 2 (Negros), Buenavista 5 (Bohol), Emilia Marquez and the rest of Morong 43, and other political prisoners.

“Aquino is no icon of democracy and human rights, he is a total opposite of what his father died for, he is a total failure, a threat to democracy, human rights and land reform, an enemy of the Filipino peasantry,” Flores said. #
 

 
 
FISHERMEN ▼
 
 
WORKERS ▼
   
     
     
     
     
  URBAN POOR ►  
     
           
=          
           
   

 

ON THE US-AQUINO REGIME, PEACE AND REVOLUTION

 

Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
NDFP Negotiating Panel

By Roselle Valerio
Liberation International
11 August  2010

 

1. On the basis of Aquino’s policy pronouncements, appointments and other actions since his oath-taking as president, how do you characterize his regime and how do you compare it with the Arroyo regime?

 

JMS: The Aquino regime is the latest of regimes servile to US imperialism and representative chiefly of the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. It follows such US-directed policies as neoliberal globalization and the so-called global war on terror which is used to justify state terrorism and US military intervention in the Philippines.

 

The Aquino regime is fundamentally a continuation of the Arroyo regime. It is another running dog of US imperialism with a different collar. It tries to make itself look different from the Arroyo regime through sheer propaganda. From day to day, it does some publicity stunts and gimmicks to deflect attention from the big basic problems of the people, which are the main causes of poverty and corruption.

 

2. Would Aquino be able to fulfill his promise of sending Gloria M. Arroyo to prison for human rights violations and for plunder? Will it eliminate corruption and thus eliminate poverty. His main slogan has been: kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap (if no corrupt, no poor). What will happen if he does not fulfill his promises?

 

JMS: Aquino is already making it evident that he has no intention of sending Arroyo to prison for human rights violations and for plunder. The Truth Commission is a device for getting Gloria M. Arroyo and her cohorts off the hook. The executive order creating the commission protects Arroyo from being held liable for plunder and human rights violations. The commission is also impotent and redundant even when it comes to the investigation of graft and corruption cases. The commission head Hilario Davide is a shared valet of the Aquino and Arroyo families.

 

One who promises to eliminate poverty solely by eliminating corruption is obviously a big liar from the very outset. The Aquino regime cannot eliminate poverty and corruption without confronting foreign and feudal exploitation and carrying out national industrialization and land reform. Poverty and corruption will persist so long as the evils of foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism afflict the country. In the backroom of the Aquino regime, the big comprador-landlord Cojuangco-Aquino family is plotting to keep Hacienda Luisita and amass wealth in other corrupt ways like privatizing Pagcor.

 

Going by the example of Arroyo sending Estrada to prison in three months’ time in 2001, the people expect Aquino to send her to prison before the end of September. If he fails, the people will take him to task for making false promises and lying. He will be hounded, discredited and isolated by the nonfulfillment of these promises that he has made and of course by the new wave of corruption that is sure to arise from the new set of thieving bureaucats handpicked by the big foreign and local businessmen, the Kamag-anak, Inc . and the Classmates, Inc.

 

3. Has Aquino taken any decisive steps to stop human rights violations and improve the human rights situation in the Philippines? Is he heeding the Alston report and recommendations? Do you expect him to do so sometime later?

 

JMS: Aquino has not taken any decisive steps to stop human rights violations. He has never spoken strongly and definitively against the gross and systematic violations of human rights committed by the previous regime. He has ignored the Alston report and recommendations. So far Aquino has not released the Morong 43 and other political prisoners. He condones the continuing use of false charges of common crimes against the panelists, consultants and staffers of the NDFP negotiating panel.

Despite the severe economic crisis and the bankruptcy of the reactionary government, Aquino has boasted that he would give everything that the military forces demand. He has openly insinuated that he wishes to double the strength of the military because the population has doubled since the time of Marcos. He has openly urged the military to give priority to counterinsurgency and escalate military campaigns.

 

The military forces of the reactionary government continue to commit human rights violations and carry out Oplan Bantay Laya. Aquino and his defense secretary Gazmin have demanded ceasefire, surrender and disarming of the New People’s Army (NPA) as precondition to peace negotiations. The AFP chief of staff has boasted that the military would decimate the New People’s Army in the next three years.

 

4. What is the purpose of Aquino and the military officials in preconditioning the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations with a general ceasefire? Is it to prevent peace negotiations or pressure the NDFP towards capitulation and the laying aside of the people’s demands for reforms? Is Aquino really interested in peace negotiations as a way of addressing the roots of the armed conflict and agreeing on reforms as the basis for a just and lasting peace?

 

JMS: Aquino and the military officials appear to be grossly ignorant or deliberately contemptuous of The Hague Joint Declaration which prohibits any side of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations from preconditioning the formal talks with ceasefire, surrender or anything else that negates the character and purpose of peace negotiations. In fact, Aquino seeks to violate The Hague Joint Declaration by making a demand for a general ceasefire as precondition.

 

He is expressing the old reactionary position of treating the peace negotiations as a mere tool of deception in the so-called counterinsurgency. Obviously, he regards the peace negotiations as a way of immediately pacifying the revolutionary forces and laying aside the need for negotiating and forging agreements as the basis for a just and lasting peace. He follows the US Counterinsurgency Guide which considers peace negotiations as dispensable f in defeating the armed revolutionary movement.

Aquino and the presidential adviser Teresita Deles follow the US line that peace negotiations are a disposable embellishment on the use of all-out military force to dismantle and disarm the revolutionary forces. The so-called military solution is combined with pretenses at good governance, delivery of services, economic rehabilitation and development and security reforms. The Aquino regime is banking so much on US military and financial assistance. It is salivating for the grant of USD 434 M from the Millennium Challenge Corp. in exchange for further US military intervention and super-exploitation by US corporations and banks.

 

Now, the regime appears to find no urgent necessity to engage the NDFP in peace negotiations. But we should not be surprised if it is willing to resume formal talks for one reason or another. It does not give up the use of the peace negotiations in trying to deceive the people or to trick the revolutionary forces. At the same, the current worsening economic crisis, the widespread social discontent, mass protests and the intensifying revolutionary armed struggle are stimuli for Aquino to approach the negotiating table.

 

5. Under the rotten ruling system of big compradors and landlords and the ever worsening crisis, how far can the Aquino regime make pretenses at good governance, delivery of social services, economic rehabilitation and development and security reforms? Does the regime have enough resources to satisfy the economic and social demands of the people and at the same time to increase the personnel and equipment of the military, police and paramilitary forces?

 

JMS: The Aquino regime cannot go very far in its pretenses at good governance. Aquino himself has become the most corrupt official by virtue of his accepting campaign funds from the imperialists and from his fellow big comprador-landlords and thus being bound to serve their interests. He has appointed to lucrative positions certain officials close to big business and notorious for being corrupt in previous regimes. The Cojuangco-Aquino family is now using the power and influence of the president for the corrupt purpose of preventing land reform and clawing on to Hacienda Luisita.

The persistence of the ruling system and its worsening crisis render impossible any adequate delivery of social services to the people and any economic rehabilitation and development for the country. The budgetary and trade deficits will grow. Local and foreign borrowing will become ever more burdensome. Collecting additional taxes will become ever more difficult in a depressed economy. How can Aquino impress anyone about tax collection when he is silent about the unpaid tax obligations and ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, Eduardo Cojuangco, Lucio Tan and other big shots.

 

The Aquino regime can only fan the flames of the armed revolution by using public funds and foreign grants to enlarge its military forces in terms of personnel and equipment and escalate campaigns of military suppression. Within the span of the next three years, Aquino wishes to destroy or debilitate the revolutionary forces through propaganda stunts and brute military force. He can only fan the flames of people’s war by exacerbating the socio-economic crisis with rising military expenditures.

 

6. How can the revolutionary forces and the people overcome the plan of the Aquino regime to destroy or debilitate them? Are they ready to fight tit for tat, deliver their own blows on the regime and the entire ruling system and advance to a new and higher stage of the people’s war?

 

JMS: I shall answer your question as a political scientist. The revolutionary forces draw the participation and support of the broad masses of the people, especially the workers, peasants and lower middle class, because the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system is rotten, increasingly exploitative and oppressive and ceaselessly afflicted with socio-economic and political crisis. As the crisis of the ruling system and the world capitalist system worsens, the reactionary classes will have more difficulties because of increasingly violent factional contradictions and because of the further rise of the revolutionary movement.

 

The revolutionary forces have adopted the general line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. This line has served the revolutionary forces and the people very well since the re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in 1968. They grew from small to big and from weak to strong. They were able to overcome the 14-year long Marcos fascist dictatorship and build the New People’s Army nationwide. Since the fall of Marcos, they have been able to overcome all kinds of violence and deception under such operational plans as Lambat Bitag I, II and III and Bantay Laya I and II, conducted by the post-Marcos regimes. They have a wealth of experience and the will to win.

 

According to the publications of the CPP Central Committee, the armed revolutionary movement has a plan of advancing the people’s war from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate in the next five years. The CPP has laid out the political requirements for such an advance. These involve the further strengthening of the CPP, NPA, the NDFP, the mass organizations and the organs of political power. The Party has also made clear the strategy and tactics tto wage intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base, develop on favorable terrain highly mobile strike forces that can operate on inter-front, inter-provincial and regional scales and aim to build some 179 guerrilla fronts within the next five years.

 

7. Among the political requirements for advancing the people’s war, what do you think is the most important one? Please answer according to your rich stock of knowledge and revolutionary experience since the 1960s.

 

JMS: In my opinion, the most important political requirement is the development of the mass movement by arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses of workers, peasants and urban petty bourgeois who comprise the basic forces of the people’s democratic revolution. After all, the revolution is a mass undertaking, from the process of overthrowing the rotten system to that of building a new Philippines that is truly independent and democratic, socially just, progressive and peaceful.

 

Success in the mass movement is best measured by solid mass organizing, concretely by a count of how many people become members of the various mass organizations, as a result of conscious and militant leadership, mass agitation and propaganda, members recruiting others and mass campaigns. The simplest and most effective method of expanding the mass organizations is to encourage all members to perform their basic duty of recruiting new members from among their friends, colleagues and relatives who are willing to accept the organization’s constitution and program.

 

The mass organizations are based in the urban areas as well as in the rural areas, inside and outside of the guerrilla fronts. They can grow by relying on and trusting the masses. The imposition of unreasonable standards and sectarian biases and then the failure to further develop the limited number of members are factors that stunt the growth of mass organizations. The large numbers of members in the basic mass organizations serve as the main source of candidate members for the CPP and as its main basis for expansion.

 

8. Can you say more about building the CPP? What are the requirements involved? What factors cause the expansion or contraction of the Party organization?

 

JMS: I can talk in general terms. The ever worsening crisis of the ruling system generates the conditions favorable to the building of patriotic and progressive mass organizations as well as to the building of the Party. The building of the Party entails ideological, political and organizational building. Ideological building involves education in applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism on the history and current circumstances of the Philippines. Political building involves developing the mass movement along the line of people’s democratic revolution. Organizational building involves upholding the principle of democratic centralism.

 

May I focus on the question of expansion or contraction of the Party organization. Let me start by saying that it is the basic duty of all Party members to recruit as candidate-members those who accept the Constitution and Program of the Party. Within the period of candidature of six months for workers and peasants; and one year for the urban petty bourgeois, the Party unit concerned has the duty to see to it that the candidate-member is raised to being a full member by taking the basic level of Party education and carrying out the assigned tasks.

 

The Party organization expands quite rapidly if this standard is followed. If not, the growth of the Party organization is stunted. Among the causes of the contraction of the Party organization are the failure to constantly urge Party members to carry out their basic duty of recruiting candidate-members in accordance with the Party Constitution, conceit manifested by applying unreasonable standards that deviate from the constitution, over-suspiciousness and inability to recognize the honesty of prospective and current candidate-members and sheer negligence of the duty to recruit candidate-members or to help them become full members.

 

9. From your study of its published documents, can you explain how feasible it is for the CPP to establish 179 guerrilla fronts, develop relatively stable areas and reach the stage of strategic stalemate? Can you explain the strategy and tactics being pursued by the CPP?

 

JMS: Indeed, I have studied the CPP documents. The CPP has set itself five years to carry out its plan to establish 179 guerrilla fronts, develop relatively stable base areas and reach the stage of strategic stalemate. At present, such revolutionary forces as the Party, the people’s army, the mass organizations and organs of political power are well-based among the toiling masses and are spread out nationwide. According to the CPP, these forces will expand and consolidate themselves from year to year.

 

The NPA is the main revolutionary force for advancing the people’s war. It pursues the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside in order to accumulate armed strength. It chooses the best possible physical and social terrain for basing itself and from there advance wave upon wave. It aims to raise its strength and offensive capabilities and to improve coordination among its units on the scale of several guerrilla fronts, provinces and regions.

 

It launches only those tactical offensives it can win and avoids battles that it is not sure of winning. Its main purpose is to wipe out enemy units, accumulate weapons and form more combat units. It seeks to punish the human rights violators, the plunderers and the worst anti-social elements. It is determined to dismantle anti-people, anti-national and antidemocratic enterprises (especially those engaged in landgrabbing, mining, logging for export and the like) in order to combat the worst forms of exploitation, make more land available for free distribution to the landless tillers and protect and conserve natural resources for national industrialization.

 

10. What is the relationship of the NPA to the mass movement in the guerrilla fronts, the organs of political power, the people’s militia and self-defense units? How is this relationship affected by the drive to reach the strategic stalemate?

 

JMS: Let me continue restating what I read from CPP publications. Under the leadership of the CPP, the NPA does mass work in the guerrilla fronts. It does propaganda work to arouse the masses. It guides and encourages the masses to organize themselves in various forms of voluntary association. It urges them to undertake mass campaigns for the benefit of the people, such as those related to public education, land reform and production, health, defense, cultural affairs, settlement of disputes and so on.

 

The NPA guarantees the development of the barrio organizing committees into barrio revolutionary committees as local organs of democratic power. It gives basic training to the people’s militia as the police force and the self-defense units of the various mass organizations. It is of key importance to develop Party members from the ranks of advanced mass activists and form the Party branch as the leading force of the local mass organizations, the organs of democratic power, the militia and the self-defense units.

 

When the local revolutionary forces led by the Party branch exist, the NPA units can be confident of having a guerrilla base for opening new areas as well as for launching tactical offensives. In the drive to reach the strategic stalemate, the direct mass base for people’s war needs to expand and consolidate, become relatively stable and support the mobile strike forces of the NPA in undertaking tactical offensives for definite periods of time. The NPA can concentrate on tactical offensives because the local revolutionary forces can take charge of their own affairs in the localities.

 

11. How would you compare the longevity of the Aquino regime and that of the armed revolutionary movement?

 

JMS: The Aquino regime is just a passing pro-imperialist big comprador-landlord regime. It has made too many promises that are false and cannot be fulfilled. It is running against itself. It will soon be utterly discredited and isolated. Aquino has cashed in on the mystique of his parents. He is wantonly spending it. The revolutionary mass movement of the people will become stronger by fighting the regime and will outlast it. It will continue to exist and grow for as long as there is a need to fight for national and social liberation and to build a people’s democratic system. ###

 

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