THE MERCENARY TRADITION OF THE AFP
(Speech delivered by Prof. Jose Maria Sison before the Junior and Senior
classes of the Philippine Military Academy, Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City on
October 12, 1966.)
I UNDERSTAND that an increasing number of officers and rank and filers of
the Armed Forces of the Philippines are reconsidering their traditions and
the basic postulates by which commands have been sent down from the top
with the most rigid discipline characteristic of the military
In the Philippine Military Academy, I would presume that the fresher minds
of young men are striving to clarify that the true military tradition
which every Filipino must be proud of and whose spirit must be imbued with
should hark back to the Katipunan and the Philippine revolution.
On the surface, every soldier of the government carries with him the
initial of the Katipunan on his uniform. The Philippine Military Academy
carries the name of the great anti-imperialist general, Gregorio del Pilar,
who fought both against the Spanish colonialism and U.S. imperialism. He
died fighting U.S. imperialism, faithful to the sovereignty of the
Filipino people but betrayed by a fellow Filipino who showed the
imperialist soldiers how, in familiar Yankee slang, to rub him out at
We are once again at a point in our national history where the body
politic is pervaded by the collective desire to assert our people's
sovereignty and to give substance to those forms of seeming independence
that a foreign power has conceded as a measure of compromise and chicanery
in its favor. There is now an evident political flow involving all
patriotic classes, groups and individuals. Our people as a whole,
including those who have been conservative, are beginning to re-examine
the status of our national life and the strategic relations that have
bound us from the beginning of this century.
An intensive inquiry is now being made as to how our society has remained
semi-colonial and semi-feudal; as to how our political system has not
actually permitted the masses of our people to enjoy the bounty of genuine
democracy; as to how an imperialist culture wedded to a colonial culture
has persisted; as to how some of us have persisted in considering
themselves under the protection of a foreign power which extracts
super-profits from our country and which constantly involves it in selfish
imperialist enmities throughout Asia and throughout the world in the guise
of a religious crusade called anti-communism.
We fear aggression and supposedly we prepare for it. But many of us forget
the aggression that has succeeded in perpetuating itself within our
shores. Many of us lose sight of the fact that actually a foreign
aggressor persists within our territory, always trying to cause petty
confusion among our people and trying to retain the present local
officialdom as a mere bunch of overseers for its selfish imperialist
A conservative man like Speaker Cornelio Villareal has exposed in a series
of articles in the Manila Times, the fact that the Joint United States
Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG) has developed a built-in control of our
armed forces through its firm control of logistics, intelligence, planning
and personnel training on a strategic level. Guided no less by his
experience, Rep. Carmelo Barbero, an ex-army officer, has also made
statements in support of the contention that an undue amount of foreign
control exists within the very machinery upon which the people are
supposed to depend for their national security.
It should be pertinent to ask whether we should allow the Armed Forces of
the Philippines to continue in the mercenary tradition of the Civil Guards
of Spanish times, the Macabebes, the Philippine Scouts and the USAFFE
under direct U.S. command and the Ganaps and puppet constabulary of the
Japanese imperialists. Is the military willing to reject this mercenary
tradition and replace it with the revolutionary spirit of the Katipunan?
After the successful U.S. imperialist aggression which started in 1898,
the aggressor has made use of so many devices in the exercise of its
superior military and financial power converting so many of our countrymen
into their mercenaries and puppets. We have indeed come a long way from
the martyrdom of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar and the uncompromising stand
against U.S. imperialism of Gen. Antonio Luna. Only the slogan of
"benevolent assimilation" seems to be able to ring a bell and make some of
us the running dogs in a successful Pavlovian experiment of U.S.
imperialism. These running dogs in every field of our national can only
respond to the imperialist bell; they forget the principle of redeeming
themselves as true patriots in the present situation and of redeeming the
hundreds of thousands of patriotic Filipinos who died in fighting the U.S.
aggressors only a few decades ago.
From the point of view of our revolutionary patriots who would rather die
than surrender and compromise with the U.S. imperialists, our fellow
countrymen who went over to the side of the enemy and became the core of
the American-trained Philippine military were no different from the Civil
Guards who were indios but who served the interests of the Spanish
No foreign aggressor can successfully stay in the Philippines without
adopting a divide-and-rule policy; without being able to direct a
significant number of our countrymen to fight their fellow countrymen.
If we trace the military history of the Philippines, we would realize that
a foreign power succeeds in imposing its rule by making use of a part of
our countrymen against fellow countrymen. The Spaniard Magellan thought it
wise to side with King Humabon against Lapu-lapu. This was the pattern of
military activity that the colonialists employed to retain control of the
Philippines for more than three centuries. One barangay cooperative to the
colonizers was used against another uncooperative barangay. Visayan
recruits impressed into the Civil Guards were used to pacify Tagalog areas
and keep colonial peace and order while fostering regional antagonism. The
recruits in one island were used to quell resistance in another island. In
trying to expand the area of its colonial domination, the Spaniards made
use of their recruits in Luzon and Visayas to fight the great people of
Mindanao. Peasant recruits whose own class was being oppressed in the
Philippines were sent on expeditions to
fight Spanish wars in the Mollucas, Borneo, Carolines, and Indo-China. Dr.
Jose Rizal depicted this colonial irony in the Story of Cabesang Tales and
son Tano. In El Filibusterismo, the former was being oppressed by the
colonial masters, the friar landlords, but his son was impressed into the
colonial military service to fight the inhabitants of the Carolines.
Subsequently, when he was re-assigned to his own country, Tano was
perplexed why he had to become the instrument for the suppression of his
own people. In one engagement he had to fight his own father, with the nom
de guerre Matanglawin, and in the process killed his own grandfather,
Tandang Selo. This is a sad story of a peasant enlisted to fight his own
Under U.S. imperialism, many Filipinos have been converted into
mercenaries and with their military service set back the Philippine
revolution. It was with the help of such traitors that Gen. del Pilar was
killed in battle, Aguinaldo captured and the Philippine revolution
subsequently broken. After the pacification of Luzon and Visayas, the
mercenaries from these islands were employed as the first units of the
Philippine Constabulary that helped Gen. Pershing pursue his bestial
mission of subjugating the people of Mindanao by military force. Under
Japanese imperialism, many Filipinos also became the armed agents used to
kill and suppress the patriotic movement of their own people. In the style
of all foreign aggressors, the Japanese imperialists made use of Korean
and Taiwanese conscripts to help them overrun Southeast Asia.
In this same fashion, U.S. imperialism has used Filipino troops in Korea
and South Vietnam to fight their fellow Asians. Vietnam today suffers from
military campaigns waged by a mercenary Vietnamese army and by mercenary
troops from other Asian countries under the command of U.S. imperialism.
The shameless dispatch of Filipino troops in the guise of "civic action"
to Vietnam is no different from the sending of Filipino expeditionary
forces to the same place in Spanish colonial days in the middle of the
What seems to obscure the fact that U.S. imperialism continues to
perpetuate its aggression in the Philippines is our World War II
experience. Because we were on the same side against Japanese imperialism
and because there was a brief interruption of direct U.S. rule, many fell
into the misconception that U.S. imperialist aggression had already been
superseded once and for all by the Japanese imperialist aggression and,
furthermore, by the promise of fake independence. In truth, when World
Ware II ended and after the July Fourth proclamation of "independence",
the United States had succeeded in reasserting its military and economic
power over the Philippines. Its reoccupation and recontrol of the
Philippines were essentially no different from the re- institution of
Spanish colonial power after the brief British occupation of the
Philippines during the latter part of the eighteenth century. The USAFFE
siding with the U.S. imperialist against the Japanese was essentially no
different from Filipino civil guards siding with the Spaniards against the
Dutch and the British. We fought a second aggressor only to be more
subjugated by the first aggressor. We failed to make use of the war of two
aggressors to build up our own national liberation forces that could
eliminate both aggressors.
Indeed, the anti-Japanese struggle could have given the Filipino people
the chance to build up their own national liberation forces. The masses of
our people became armed and became highly organized. But they were not
armed with the correct thought of fighting for their independence from
both Japanese and U.S. imperialism. Instead, the widespread USAFFE forces
accepted and were even proud of their American commanders and they were
childishly carried away by MacArthur's seemingly innocent and romantic
slogan of "I shall return". Little did they realize that it would mean the
return of U.S. imperialism, with its bag of unequal agreements which up to
now keep our people in bondage. Despite the fact that Wainright
shamelessly surrendered to the Japanese imperialists as a mock climax to
the mock glory of Bataan and despite the fact that we, the Filipinos, did
the fighting and dying in multitudes in the absence of our American
"protectors", we would still acclaim the latter as our
"liberators". So servile are some of us to U.S. imperialism that we
obscure the fact that it was the genius, courage and patriotism of the
Filipino people which unfolded a widespread guerilla movement undermining
the substance of the Japanese aggression and breaking its backbone before
the other imperialist power came to reclaim its colony, destroy Filipino
lives and property in its mopping-up operations.
The singular achievement of the Japanese imperialists during World War II
was the brutal destruction of Filipino lives. The singular achievement of
the U.S. imperialists was the wanton destruction of Filipino homes and
property under the pretext of engaging in mopping-up operations despite
the fact that the Japanese had already fled the towns and cities in the
face of avenging Filipino partisans. The U.S. imperialists wantonly
destroyed Filipino property with their air bombardment and artillery fire
as if to prepare us for war damage payments, the war damage payments by
which we were to be forced to approve the Bell Trade Act; the war damage
payments which were given mostly to big U.S. corporations, U.S. citizens
and to church institutions. These facts are attested to by the records of
the U.S. Congress and the War Damage Commission.
In its attempt to re-institute the mercenary tradition in the military,
the U.S. government made it clear that only those guerillas it would
recognize would receive backpay and unrecognized ones had better disband
or submit themselves to American purposes. Otherwise, they would be
punished for war crimes. Filipino patriots who fought in Central Luzon and
Southern Luzon and who wished to remain independent of the imperialist
purposes of the United States were arrested, disarmed and subjected to
massacres as in the cases of Huk Squadrons 77 and 99. The conditions for
civil strife, wherein Filipinos would kill Filipinos, were prepared by the
imperialists in order to successfully re-establish their political,
economic and military power over the Philippines.
Using its armed power and its local agents, the United States succeeded in
destroying the national democratic forces opposing the Parity Amendment
and the Bell Trade Act. Likewise, under the guise of protecting the
Philippines from the Soviet Union and Communism, its erstwhile ally in the
great anti-fascist struggle, the United States succeeded in extorting from
the Filipino people a series of military agreements which directly
transgress our national sovereignty.
The 99 year U.S.-R.P. Military Bases Agreement was affected by the United
States. It has meant U.S. extra territorial control of close to 200,000
hectares of Philippine territory. More than that, it is supposed to grant
to U.S. troops exterritorial rights -- the "right" to move any part of
thee country without being bound by Filipino jurisdiction and sovereignty,
particularly when such troops are on military duty. By this "right" the
United States assumes that the Philippines is under its occupation and
Philippine sovereignty dissolves as U.S. troops by the presumption of
their government more to any point in the country. What an arrogant
presumption! The U.S. military bases as they are now, represent the
reinstallation and perpetuation of U.S. aggression against Filipino
These U.S. military bases, as they have been so in other countries serve
as the trump card of U.S. imperialist power in the country. They serve as
the grim reminder of the U.S. capability for violence against the Filipino
people in the event that they effectively reassert their sovereignty in
the uncompromising tradition of the Philippine revolution. Of course,
these military bases will be used only after so many intermediate measures
of political maneuver by American interests shall have failed. U.S.
propaganda will always claim that these military bases are here to prevent
a "communist take-over" or to prevent "communist aggression". A national
democratic take-over will certainly be called a communist take-over.
In a clear analysis of the problem of U.S. military bases in the
Philippines, Senator Claro Mayo Recto gave the lie to the claim of Yankee
protection. These bases serve only to oppose the advance of national
democratic forces and to protect U.S. investments in time of peace and
these actually serve to attract nuclear belligerence from other countries
-- enemies of the United States, not our own in time of war.
For a long time it may remain unnecessary for the U.S. government to make
any overt use of its military base in order to protect its foreign
investments in the Philippines. It has been said that after all it
controls the Armed Forces of the Philippines; that the latter can be used
to oppose the national democratic movement that wishes to remove U.S.
imperialist power in the Philippines. The national democratic movement can
always be represented as an exclusive communist "conspiracy" and its
organized forces can be subsequently attacked by the puppet armed forces.
Even the President of the Republic of the Philippines himself has to be
careful of an imperialist-inspired or CIA- inspired coup d'etat in the
event that he dares to be nationalist in the anti-imperialist sense.
President Carlos P. Garcia himself was once threatened with a coup d'etat
for dilly-dallying on decontrol.
What the Filipino people should see with regard to other military
agreements like the U.S.-R.P. Mutual Defense Treaty and the Military Pact
or SEATO Pact is the formal recognition of the "right" of the United
States to make military intervention in Philippine affairs, in the case of
the first, and the extended "right" of the United States to other
countries, in the case of the second. At this moment, while the
reactionaries in the Philippines do not yet need overt foreign troop
intervention to maintain their rule, the Philippine government is being
required to expend its limited resource for foreign adventures in the
guise of helping put out the fire on a neighbor's house. Many of us do not
yet realize that in joining U.S. imperialism, the Philippines becomes an
accomplice of the real arsonist.
It is clear that we need to reject the mercenary tradition in every field
of our national life, especially in the military. We propose the full
adoption of the patriotic tradition of the Katipunan and the Philippine
The Filipino people fought under the banner of the Katipunan and the
Philippine revolution not because they were paid to fight but because they
considered it a patriotic duty to do so. It was a people's war; and as a
people's war, our revolutionary fighters had to merge with the great
masses and they had to keep away form the city strongholds of the alien
enemy until such time that the latter had been weakened in the countryside
where its forces were thinly spread and where the forces of the revolution
could develop strong political bases over expanding areas. As it was
applied, the Filipino people's war effectively weakened Spanish
colonialism despite meager weapon at the start.
Before the Filipino revolutionary forces could seize Manila, however, the
U.S. imperialists forced, as in a coup, the transfer of power over Manila
from the Spaniards to themselves. Subsequently, the Filipino people's
power had to be directed against U.S. imperialism. But it failed because
of the flabby class leadership of the Filipino ilustrados which initiated
severe dissensions within the very ranks of the revolutionary government.
The liberal-bourgeois character of the ilustrados enraged the
anti-imperialist leader, Gen. Antonio Luna, for compromising with the
enemy and for their gullibility in the negotiations presided over by the
enemy. The ilustrado leadership resorted to murder; it had to kill Gen.
Luna in order to clear the path for compromise.
During the Japanese occupation, we showed our capability for fighting
against modern imperialism. We showed that we were capable of fighting
successfully against the Japanese invaders despite the deliberate absence
of arms distribution to the masses by the U.S. imperialists before the
imminent outbreak of war; despite the American evacuation and Wainright's
surrender order. As a matter of fact, the U.S. imperialists refused a
petition for arms distribution to anti-fascist organizations and the
masses as a measure of preparing the people for the anti-fascist struggle.
In the course of the Japanese occupation, the U.S. command in Australia
ordered all anti-Japanese forces to maintain a "lie- low" policy. This
imperialist command obviously implied distrust in the Filipino people. It
was afraid of allowing the Filipinos to develop armed self-reliance. The
U.S. imperialists cunningly planned to land arms massively to their own
agents in the USAFFE only when they themselves were about to land.
We have gained experience and confidence in the people's war of resistance
against the Japanese, nevertheless. Although we have again fallen into the
hands of the U.S. imperialists, we gained experience as a people in the
anti-Japanese war of resistance. We have shown our mastery to the
techniques of guerilla war and our ability to merge with the masses in
time of crisis; but we need now to realize that we have to be guided by a
thorough understanding of the tasks of a genuine national land social
liberation and the motive forces that need to be impelled with the proper
demands so as to move correctly against the current enemy and then the
subsequent one, both of whom we should clearly identify.
We fought successfully against Japanese imperialism; we were successful in
fighting and in arming ourselves. But we were inadequate in so far as it
concerned arming ourselves ideologically and politically. Many fell for
America's false promise of independence. Many thought that genuine
independence could be granted by foreign power. The "independence" that
was indeed granted was empty of substance particularly for the masses of
our people. By arming ourselves with the correct ideology, all of us could
have acted more independently and used our resistance forces to assert our
independence form both Japan and the United States. For instance, we could
have allowed the peasant masses all over the archipelago to enjoy land
reform immediately on the lands abandoned by the landlords who sought
safety in Manila under the care of the Japanese imperialists and in
Washington under the care of the U.S. imperialists. Instead a few American
stragglers were allowed to lead the USAFFE. The
leadership of the guerilla movement was submitted to them on a silver
platter. The mercenary backpay mentality was allowed to seep and corrode
the patriotic movement. Until now, some of us suffer the humiliation of
mercenaries; of constantly begging for veteran's pay from a foreign
If an occasion like the anti-Japanese struggle should again arise, we must
make use of all our lessons as a people and strike out on our own as
independent force, independent of the strategic demands of a foreign power
like the United States. It is not only that we on our own have learned our
lessons or that we have developed as a more forceful nation, but it is
also that we find ourselves now at a certain level o world development
that is far higher than that on which we found ourselves during the
Japanese occupation. National liberation movements are now all over the
world; the socialist states have the capability of scattering and
weakening the imperialist power of the United States; U.S. imperialism in
increasingly weakened by the very over-extension of its power and the
consistent opposition of peoples all over the world.
The diabolic stories of "communist aggression" concocted and circulated by
U.S. propaganda have become too over-used in the Philippines. More people
are reading about the experience of the socialist countries and how on the
other hand they have been the ones subjected to imperialist intervention.
The true facts about the Korean War and Sino-Indian border dispute are now
coming to light before the Filipino intelligentsia; and the U.S.
aggression against South and North Vietnam, U.S. occupation of Taiwan and
the hundreds of U.S. intrusions into Chinese territory certainly debunk
the claim that China is the No. 1 aggressor and the United States is the
No. 1 peacemaker.
"Communist aggression" is one of the myths we are beginning to perceive
with greater clarity. As a matter of fact, our reactionary leaders have
started to use such contradiction of terms such as "internal aggression"
and "aggression by proxy". Whenever there are labor or peasant unrests and
strikes, or anti- imperialist demonstrations of students and the youth,
the pathological anti-communists see in these dynamic expressions of
popular demands "the scheming hands of foreign communists using local
The soldiers of the government should ask themselves why in strikes they
find themselves categorically on the side of the capitalist establishment
or in agrarian conflicts, on the side of the landlords. In
anti-imperialist demonstrations, they also find themselves together with
the police lined up against unarmed ordinary people. Oftentimes, they find
themselves being briefed that these strikers and demonstrators are
I know for a fact that most of the enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines come from the peasantry. But why is it that in disputes
between the landlords and the peasants, the soldier who is actually a
peasant in government uniform, finds himself being used as a tool of the
landlord? Why point your guns at the masses and not at the foreign big
comprador and feudal interests that exploit the people?
The officers and rank and file of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
should have the honor and conviction to fight for the interest of the
people. If they should find themselves being ordered from the top to take
the side of the U.S. imperialists, the compradors, the landlords and
bureaucrat capitalists and fight the peasant masses, the workers,
progressive intelligentsia and other patriots, they should have the honor
and conviction of changing their sides and throw in their lot with the
oppressed who have long suffered from their exploiters.
"Peace and order" or "rule of law" has become the convenient slogan for
motivating the soldier against the masses who resort to their right of
free assembly and expression. In the first place, it should be asked:
Peace and order for whom? Rule of whose law? The exploited masses who
daily suffer from deprivations and exploitation must be allowed to
organize and express themselves freely. Why should they be prevented from
making clear their demands? In taking your side against the oppressed
masses, you become no different from the civilian guards of the landlords,
the private security guards of the capitalists and the sentrymen of the
U.S. Embassy and U.S. military bases.
In tracing the chain of armed power in the country, we can see that the
possession of arms is attached to property as indicated by the license
laws. So, the private entities who have most private arms are the big
compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists and yet they have the
most access to the use of the government police and armed forces. When a
certain local situation cannot be taken care of by the civilian guards,
the municipal police comes in and in a series, the Philippine
Constabulary, the Philippine Army, Air Force and ultimately, U.S. military
intervention. The chain of armed power leads to U.S. imperialism. With
this understanding, the masses have a strategic hatred for U.S.
imperialism. The exploiters and their armed satellites are recognized as
being within the same hierarchy of power, with U.S. imperialism as the
U.S. imperialist propaganda keeps on harping that there would be no more
serious threat to national security and internal peace and order without
the Communists here and abroad. People are compelled to hate Communists or
those who are construed to be Communists in the same way that the
Spaniards and the friars tried to play up hatred against Filipinos who
were called Masons and filibusteros. The Philippine military is
indoctrinated to have a violent unreasoning hatred for Communist in the
same way that the Civil Guards were indoctrinated to hate filibusteros by
the Spaniards in order to maintain their colonial loyalty.
We must realize that the masses will always be restless so long as they
are exploited. At certain stages, they may actually be quieted down by the
violent force of the state. But when they rise up again, their previous
rising, though defeated, serves as a mere dress rehearsal for a more
powerful and sweeping revolution. In 1872, our colonial masters thought
they had finished once and for all the popular protests. Only fourteen
years after, they reaped a whirlwind -- not only a stronger wave of the
secularization movement among priests but a widespread separatist movement
which wanted national independence no less.
During the fifties, the U.S. imperialists might have thought that they had
suppressed the national democratic movement for good. But as they continue
to deprive the Filipino people of true independence, they shall certainly
reap a whirlwind -- an even more powerful national democratic movement. As
the compradors and landlords have repressed the people for so long, they
await a time when the people shall in a revolutionary tempest sweep them
away from the land.
U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism are not the creation
of communist agitators. They are objective results of extended historical
processes. If the people join the nationalist or communist movement, we
should first of all consider that it is the imperialists, the compradors,
landlords and bureaucrat capitalists who shall have forced them to lose
trust in the present system. It is wrong to blame the Communists and all
other patriots for the failure of the present system that is dominated by
U.S. imperialists, compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists.
I understand that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is now trying to
engage in a "civic action" campaign more massive than the one initiated by
the late President Ramon Magsaysay. It is also sending "civic action"
groups abroad to helping the U.S. war of aggression in South Vietnam.
As a piece of psychological warfare, "civic action" has only a tactical,
superficial and temporary value if the basic problems of U.S. imperialism,
feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism remain unsolved. Even as a tactic, it
can easily be counteracted by the masses becoming conscious that "civic
action" comes only to critical areas where more basic demands for change
are being raised. Thus, there is over-concentration of "civic action"
groups in Central Luzon. The masses of may more neglected areas are
complaining that they are not being benefitted by "civic action" and that
South Vietnam has been given priority. They regard the phrase "civic
action" as a mere euphemism to deceive the people of its real military
content, particularly its psychological and intelligence functions.
Many intelligent people have access to the literature and armed forces on
"civic action" provided by the Pentagon through JUSMAG. They have
expressed disgust over the emphasis placed on psychological warfare and
deception of the people. They are disgusted over the obsession of hating
the Communists and trying the gain the initiative from them through
We can see very clearly that the "civic action" groups of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines will not at all disturb the unjust structure of private
ownership of land and the feudal and semi-feudal relations in the
countryside. As a matter of fact, they would only attempt to create the
superficial image that they are friends of the people while at the back of
that image they uphold the rule of the landlords, the U.S. imperialists,
the compradors, and the bureaucrat capitalists. They may build roads and
bridges, they may build irrigation works and help in agricultural
extension work, they may engage in sanitation work and they may perform so
many other traditionally non-military projects. They will not change the
basic social structure that keeps the masses exploited.
It was Defense Secretary Robert McNamara who first announced that the
United States will make its client-states field indigenous military forces
in the guise of "civic action" groups. The idea is to build a different
image of the local military and make it more effective in
counter-insurgency. The United States is supposed to continue providing
the military hardware as the shield but this new dimension, "civic
action", is created to deceive the people that the local military is no
longer the instrument of feudal and foreign interests or the obnoxious
parasite on the national budget. This entails the intrusion of the
military in the fields which have been traditionally in the hands of the
civilians. In other words, this requires the militarization of operations
formerly civilian in character. It is anticipated that the military will
gobble up funds that should be allocated to the departments of public
works, of health, of education and of others.
An increasing number of constitutionalists are seriously questioning the
intrusion of the military into civilian affairs. They are wary of a
developing process of fascization that might eventually push out civilian
supremacy. What with the increasing control by military men of civilian
offices. In accordance with this new method adopted by the Pentagon and
implemented locally by the JUSMAG, the military is being made to operate
in such a way as to take over civilian operations and to gain political
influence. Indeed, it is evident in Asia, Africa and Latin America that
when the United States becomes insecure over its control of the
client-states it resorts to local fascism; for after all a local fascism
depends on the military hardware and financial support of its imperialist
Another subversive development that needs careful watching is the reverse
intrusion of certain organizations into the military. There are those
narrow-minded forces wanting to develop a clerico-fascism of the Franco
and Salazar type. They wish to combine the sword and the cross. Not yet
satisfied with the undue amount of foreign control and influence in the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, a certain sectarian movement has carried
over from Spain and Portugal certain fascist techniques and has been
systematically "brainwashing" military men and police officers in a manner
opposed to the principle of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's and
rendering unto Christ what is Christ's.
Again under the banner of anti-communism, men are being led into
anti-democracy. As believers of the freedom of religion, we need to be
alert to any clerico fascist movement that will reverse Philippine history
to that long period wherein the exploiting power had a cross in one hand
and a sword in the other. We do not want to revive a monster. Those who
believe in liberal democracy are now deeply troubled by certain Jesuit
priests with C.I.A. credentials. Certainly, we not wish to have a
large-scale revival of Padre Damasos and Padre Salvis.
Let us above all strive for national democracy in this country. For our
national security, let us rely above all on the strength and national
unity of the people. That national unity can only be created if we are
bound with the masses in a common struggle against U.S. imperialism,
feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
The political system is dominated by the political agents of the U.S.
imperialists, big compradors and landlords. The officers and men of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines themselves have become victims of both the
petty and grand political discriminations made by one political faction or
another of the ruling class of exploiters.
Officers and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines should learn
to disobey U.S. imperialism and the local exploiting classes and learn to
side with the masses in their basic demands. Of course, it is really
futile to expect the entire machinery of the state to go over to the
masses even in time of the most decisive crisis when the ruling classes
are entirely discredited. But these officers and men who join the masses
in their fight against U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat
capitalism, can always hasten the victory of the masses.
A movement within the Armed Forces of the Philippines should be started to
reclaim alienated territory of the Philippine government from the U.S.
government. We must uphold Filipino sovereignty over the U.S. military
bases in the Philippines. We must place these military bases under
Filipino command. We should demand the immediate termination of the U.S.-R.P.
Military Agreement as an instrument nullifying our sovereignty.
The true sons of Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Gregorio del Pilar, and
Antonio Luna within the armed forces should reject U.S. military
dictation. They should reject the Military Assistance pact and the JUSMAG
as instruments of foreign control and influence over the Philippine
military. They should reject all psychological warfare measures such as
"civic action" and others, that have been proposed by U.S.
counter-insurgency experts to deceive the people who must be patriotically
assisted in their struggle to liberate themselves from U.S. imperialism,
feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism.
Let us not depend on one power which abuses our sovereignty and takes
advantage of our people. Let us stop U.S. indoctrination in the armed
forces and the police force so that an anti- imperialist and democratic
orientation can be propagated among them.
We should rely on the patriotism, courage and capability of the people in
defending themselves. We demonstrated in the anti- Japanese struggle ad
other struggles that we could actually convert the enemy into a supplier
of arms for the masses by capturing them. Let us dismiss the imperialist
presumption that we can only be under the protection of a foreign power.
In this era of worldwide people's war against colonialism, imperialism and
neo-colonialism, we are in a position not only to learn from our local
experience but also from the struggles of so many other peoples. Let us
not repeat the mistakes of Aguinaldo in the Filipino-American War. Let us
not again make the mistake of being fooled by U.S. imperialism. In this
era of mounting world-wide anti-imperialist movements, the main enemy has
become unmistakably clear and objectively the national struggle shall be
assisted by external developments to an extent higher than any other point
in Philippine history.
Let us withdraw from the U.S.-R.P. Mutual Defense Treaty because it is a
license for the United States to intervene militarily in out national
Let us withdraw from the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization because it is
essentially an anti-Southeast Asia compact controlled by non-Southeast
Asian imperialist powers. Let us redeem in the eyes of our fellow Asians
from the ignominy of having long been dominated by U.S. imperialism.
We have long been curtained off by the United States from a huge part of
the world. Many of us have long believed in the servile line that the
enemies of the United States are also the enemies of the Philippines.
Let us be more aware of the present world reality. Let us be aware and let
us take advantage of the contradictions among the imperialist powers and
the contradictions between socialism and capitalism. Let us join the
international united front against U.S. imperialism and its accomplices.
Let us turn the present world situation to out national democratic