At UP Cebu: Ousting a Deantator

Students, faculty, staff and workers AOM

(Arouse, Organize, Mobilize for AOM [Avila Ouster Movement])

 

Part I (March 1)     Part II (March 3)    Part III (March 8)   Part IV (March 11)

 

Sympathy Protest at UP Diliman (March 17)

 

Posted March 20, 2011

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Photos courtesy of B
           
     
     
     

 

Mensahe ng Pakikisa ng ALL UP WORKERS ALLIANCE SA PAGKILOS NG UP KILOS NA CEBU NGAYONG MARSO 17
by ALL UP WORKERS UNION on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 1:11pm
 

WAKASAN ANG PANGGIGIPIT NI AVILA SA UP CEBU! TUTULAN ANG PANGHAHARAS SA PRESIDENTE NG ALL UP WORKERS UNION-CEBU CHAPTER! PALITAN NA SI AVILA! TANGGALIN SI SHARIF AT PINEDA!
Marso 17, 2011
 

Matindi ang pagkabahala ng All UP Workers Union at All UP Academic Employees Union sa mga pinakahuling kaganapan sa UP Cebu.


Matandaan na nanawagan na ng pagpapatalsik kay Dekano Enrique Avila ng UP Cebu, kanyang kanang kamay na si Alsidry Sharif at ang makapangyarihang consultant na si Ernesto Pineda bunga ng mga di demokratikong pamamahala na apektado ang lahat na sektor ng UP Cebu: mag-aaral, guro, administratibong kawani at mga security guards. Sunud-sunod na protesta ang ginawa ng komunidad ng UP Cebu na rumurok sa isang buong araw na welga noong Marso 8, 2011.
 

Ano ang naging tugon ni Dekano Avila sa mga ito? Nagpalabas siya ng Memorandum noong Marso 11, 2011 na nagbabala sa anyo ng “pagpaalaala” sa paglabas ng mga dokumento kaugnay ng mga palakad sa UP Cebu. Kahapon, Marso 16, 2011, ipinaabot ng mga kasamahan ng ating unyon sa Cebu na tinatarget na si Gigi Carcallas, ang President ng All UP Workers Union, Cebu Chapter sa panggigipit. na ito!
 

Ang mga panggigipit na ito ay ang tugon ni Dekano Avila (na binigyan ng Administrasyong Roman ng ikatlong termino bilang Dekano) sa mga reklamo ng mga nagpoprotestang mga taga UP Cebu. Ang mga reklamong ito ay kinabibilangan ng mga sumusunod:
 

1) Mga kwestyonableng kontrata sa Pagaett Place Condotel na tinambak sa UP soccer field ang dumi mula sa pinaghukayan; kontrata sa Sun Celluar sa isang lote ng UP Cebu sa renta na P15,000 kadawa buwan samantalang tinatayang nasa P70,000 kada buwan ang tunay na halaga ng lupa
 

2) taliwas sa rekomendasyon ng Security Committee, agarang tinanggal sa puwesto (hindi ni-renew) ni Avila ang 15 security personnel kahit na ang nanalong bagong security agency ay handang i-absorb ang naturang mga security personnel.
 

3) ang hindi pag-rekomenda sa tenure ni Prop. Roberto Basadre, kahit rekomendado na ito ng lahat na academic bodies na sumusuri sa tenure samantalang itinalaga pa na Budget Officer si Sharif kahit na may mga kasong nakabimbin kaugnay ng kanyang ethical conduct at ginawang Chair ng isang bidding committee si Pineda habang di naman ito regular na empleyado ng UP.
 

4) Sa parte ng mga mag-aaral, ginagamit ng administrasyong Avila ang konsepto ng “awtonomiya” upang tanggalin ang Student Representation sa Executive Committee (Execom). Sa tinatanaw na pagiging autonomous unit ng UPV Cebu, iniaangkla ng administrasyong Avila ang pagtatanggal sa Student Representative sa Execom diumano sa dahilang sa ibang autonomous units tulad ng UP Diliman ay walang representante ang mga mag-aaral sa Execom. Sa halip na hanguin ang mga positibong praxis ng demokratikong pamamahala sa unibersidad – tulad ng pagkakaroon ng student representative sa Execom – ay idinidikta pa ng administrasyong Avila na talikuran ang pagkakataong umabante tungo sa demokratikong pamamahala at na bumalik sa panahon ng kawalang-demokrasya.


Itaguyod ang demokratikong pamamahala sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas!

 

Sympathy protest at UP Diliman on March 17 to support the students, faculty and staff at UP Cebu in their Oust Avila Moement protest

Photos by Jonathan Madrid, SIO

     
           
 

Tula

Ghay Portajada


Ako, ikaw o kahit sinumang nilalang,
tayong lahat ay arkitekto ng sariling kapalaran;
Anuman ang tibay ng piling abaka,
ay wala ring lakas kapag nag-iisa

Ako, ikaw ang arkitektong kaulaway sa bawat sandali,
habang nilulubid ng mga magkayakap ninyong mga palad,
muling dumaloy ang dugong matagal ding napinid sa pagiisa,
pagka't puso'y pansamantalang nahinto sa pag pintig, matagal nahimbing sa pagkaulila

Ako, ikaw o kahit sinumang nilalang,
tayong lahat ay arkitekto ng sariling kapalaran
kaya sabay nating ihabi ang landas ng katarunggan at kalayaan
 

 
 

March 11, OAM picket rally at UP Cebu

Photos by Alya Simone Mongaya

     

 

RESPONSE OF UP PRESIDENT ALFREDO PASCUAL

via FACEBOOK

 

Alfredo Pascual 

 

Debbie,

Greetings!

Good governance demands observance of the rule of law. Thus as a believer in such a practice, I have to respect the legal rights of all UP personnel as provided by law. Any arbitrary action on my part is a no-no. The principle of due process must be uphold. This is the guarantee of protection for all of us from any undue action by those in authority.

I agree with you when you say, "Justice delayed is justice denied." That is why my office tries to be responsive within the bounds of due process. When the Student Regent Jaque Eroles relayed to me on 3 March (Thursday) the invitation of the sectors in UP Cebu for consultation, the next day 4 March (Friday) I asked my VP for Administration Noy Amante to fly to UP Cebu to meet with the sectors on a fact-finding trip. My then existing commitments would not allow me to go there myself right away.

VP Amante left for Cebu on Monday, 6 March, and came back to Manila late Tuesday, 7 March. In his verbal report to me, one of the things he mentioned was that the complainants had been advised to submit their formal complaint.

It was only on Thursday, 17 March, when the formal complaint reached my office. This was promptly reviewed by the Office of the VP for Legal Affairs (OVPLA). The next day, yesterday, 18 March, on the advice of OVPLA, I signed a memorandum designating a UP lawyer to conduct a preliminary investigation of the complaint.

Let us now wait for the report of the Preliminary Investigator. 

Alfredo Pascual

 

 

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     


STUDENT POWER ?
by Jose Maria Sison


(First published in Eastern Horizon, a progressive Hongkong magazine.)

BEFORE WE GO far into a discussion of the ideology and goals of the rising student rebel movement in the Philippines, let us first examine the term student power which is nowadays commonly used in the bourgeois mass media and also among the varied circles of the New Left so-called.

It appears that the common notion of student power is that students all by themselves can develop their own power independent of other social forces outside of school walls and also that all by themselves they can hit the streets to make and unmake governments. There is the idea being suggested that the students can be an independent power that can effect even revolutionary changes. Those who have contempt for the masses or who deliberately wish to separate the students from the masses and national mass organizations insist that students should no longer be the object of interest of "outsiders".

If the meaning of the term student power be limited to mere autonomism, then we need to raise serious disagreement in the light of an analysis of the social status of students. Students who truly stand for revolutionary change should always strive for integration with larger and even more dynamic social force, that is to say, the exploited masses of the people.

The students, or more precisely the college and high school students, cannot be relied upon to carry the sole or the main burden in a revolutionary transformation of our present semi- colonial and semi-feudal society. They are a very small portion of Philippine society, though they are an important and numerous part of the influential petty bourgeoisie.

The social basis of college and high school students is the petty bourgeoisie, though a little minority of them come from exploiting classes. By virtue of their social position and of the fact that the existing educational system is semi-colonial and semi-feudal, students are at the first instance captives of imperialist and feudalistic ideas and values. The petty bourgeois is principally concerned with his selfish ambition of pursuing a career within the established system and he is so indoctrinated and trained by the educational system as to re-enforce intellectually and technically the present social system.

But in time of developing social crisis, the students largely supported by their petty bourgeois parents cam easily become agitated when the meager and fixed incomes of their parents can hardly suffice to keep them enrolled in school, with the proper board and lodging or with enough allowances. They are also agitated as they watch an ever increasing number of graduates fail to get jobs or have ample opportunity in the system. At this time, they are beginning by force of social circumstances to use freely their perception and intellect to analyze their own situation and social reality at large. This is the time when they feel sharply the restrictive and exploitative character of the social system. This is the time when they recognize the educational system to be a mere mirror-reflector and rationalizer of economic and political inequities that is failing to yield them enough concessions as before. This is the time when they begin to speak of the alienation of the educational system
from the actual needs and aspirations of their own and of the masses of the people.

In time of social crisis, the exploiting classes lose the allegiance of students. The students increasingly associate themselves with the exploited classes. They make common cause with those whose condition they are in danger of falling into. What is considered the "independent-mindedness" of the urban petty bourgeoisie (the much-vaunted intelligent middle class) shifts from an allegiance to the exploiting classes to an allegiance to the exploited masses. At the same time, the exploited masses of the people welcome them in a common cause and in a common struggle.

The Current Student Rebel Movement

It is no surprise that at the present time, when the whole society is in crisis, when the government is becoming more and more bankrupt and the masses of the people are groaning under the weight of exploitation, a wave of student strikes rises in the Philippines. There are protests involving questions ranging from the suppression of the student's right to speak out on national issues and join mass actions to the excessive hike of tuition and miscellaneous fees. The students are also uniting with their teachers against the exploitative practices of school administrations. Together they raise political and economic demands.

By virtue of its comprehensive grasp of the growing crisis in the national and international situation, Kabataang Makabayan has been able to anticipate and plan the development of the national student protest movement in the Philippines. As early as the first semester of the academic year 1967-68, its local chapters with the special attention of its national officers had already launched a number of strikes in some schools in the provinces and a general strike almost occurred in the University of the Philippines on the issue of further Americanization. On November 30, 1967, at its Second National Congress, the KM included in its Programme of Action the following:

Among the students, the activists of Kabataang Makabayan should fight for concrete measures that will benefit them. At the same time, they are responsible for giving a national-democratic direction to the efforts of students to improve their study and living conditions.

The Kabataang Makabayan should develop a national student protest movement against the rising cost of education and living. It should stand against the willingness of the government to allow the public school system to be stifled and to deteriorate in favour of private schools which are, as a matter of course, motivated by commercialism.

The current student rebel movement has been most vigorous in schools where there are strong KM chapters. These student chapters have lent all the support they can to the local student reform movements to such an extent that the reactionary academic authorities and President Marcos have been compelled to attack student strikers as "outsiders" and "subversives" to confuse the issues. Mountain of leaflets for every school have been distributed falsely in the name of Kabataang Makabayan in order to malign it and in order to confuse the students.

The scope and intensity of the students strikes is unprecedented in the entire history of the Philippines. It might appear that they are a phenomenon entirely different from the long series of student and youth demonstrations that started as early as March 14, 1961, when a student front spearheaded by the Student Cultural Association of the U.P. demonstrated with the force of 4,000 students against the witch-hunt undertaken by the Committee on Un-Filipino Activities (CUFA).

All these student mass actions are interrelated and continuous. The inter-connection and continuity do not lie only in the popularization of direct democratic action but also in the substantial demands raised. Student strikes and demonstrations have developed because of the evil features of a system that is semi-colonial and semi-feudal, because of conditions that adversely affect the students themselves. The anti-CUFA demonstration of 1961 was ostensibly in defence of academic freedom and autonomy of the state university but in reality it was already a defence of the right of teachers and students to speak for the cause of national democracy. From then on, student activism arose with the banner of national democracy and continued to develop without let-up inside and outside the state university.

There were smaller demonstrations against the U.S. invasion of Cuba, against Malaysia and against imperialist nuclear black-mail until October 2, 1964, when the students conjoined with workers in demonstrating massively against parity rights and the American military bases in front of the U.S. embassy and Malaca¤ang. On November 30, 1964, Kabataang Makabayan was formed to consolidate the students and young workers that had participated in the militant demonstration of October 2, 1964, and that had come under the threat of fixed bayonets.

On January 25, 1965, Kabataang Makabayan, together with other mass organizations, was already in a position to launch a 20,000- strong demonstration of students, workers and peasants on a wide range of issues involving our country's basic problems of U.S. imperialism and feudalism.

Then came the series of demonstrations against the Vietnam Bill which would require a suffering country like the Philippines to help U.S. imperialism aggress further against the Vietnamese people. These reached a climacteric point on October 23 and 24, 1966, when the Manila Summit was held as an attempt of Lyndon B. Johnson to round up its Asian puppets for more aggressive action against the Vietnamese people. The just anger of youth became expressed in this demonstration even as the most brutal police action was employed against them in a pocket-size and mild version of Vietnam at the Manila Hotel.

On the question of Malaysia last year, the most wide-spread youth demonstration all over the country was credited to chapters of Kabataang Makabayan. Especially the most militant action at the British embassy and U.S. embassy was adduced to Kabataang Makabayan by quarters merely interested in expanding the Philippine territory to Sabah while keeping silent on the U.S. military bases under our very noses. Kabataang Makabayan has always made it clear that it is simply against Malaysia as a handiwork of Anglo-American imperialism.

There have been other demonstrations like those against the oil monopolies on the matter of implementing the retail trade nationalization law, against the U.S. military bases for the killing of Filipino youth and so on and so forth. There has also been KM participation in strikes conducted in local factories and other places.

In all significant protest actions held previous to the current student rebel movement, we can never fail to show their relation to the growing socio-economic crisis of the Philippines due basically to its out-moded and semi-colonial and semi-feudal status.

Struggle for National Democracy

We have always advocated the achievement of real national democracy as the goal of our struggle. The present struggle of the students have as its principal goal the achievement of national democracy. A comprehensive presentation of this general goal is the Programme of Action of Kabataang Makabayan. All other goals flow from this single goal. Students should band together and fight vigorously to end foreign and feudal exploitation that constricts their opportunities and those of the whole nation.

As the national democratic struggle is a broad struggle, embracing the workers, peasants and other sectors of the population, the students should always relate their own struggle to that of the entire people, mainly the struggle of the exploited masses of workers and peasants.

Being a minority social group which is even detached from the actual process of production, the students are in no position to make possible revolutionary and lasting changes without their integration with the struggle of the masses of workers and peasants.

All serious efforts should, therefore, be undertaken in order to transform the present student rebel movement into a cultural revolution of a national democratic orientation. We have dared say before that it is veritably already an incipient cultural revolution. Its beginnings are already forceful enough to make the first Propaganda Movement look like a dinner party.

The Second Propaganda Movement that we have been advocating is essentially a cultural revolution of a national democratic orientation. It is the phase of creating the public opinion necessary for a comprehensive national democratic revolution. The struggle for national democracy cannot be successfully won without this cultural revolution.

In this cultural revolution, the students play an important role. The ranks of students now are more sizable than ever before in the whole history of the Philippines and they have the special characteristic of mobility. As the students emanate from various parts of the country and of a province, once they grasp the ideas of the struggle for national democracy, they can fan out widely to broadcast these ideas of revolutionary change even if only during their vacation periods or after their graduation or when they choose to work full time for the revolutionary mass movement and merge with the masses in a no-nonsense manner. Many students are dropping out of school for economic reasons; it would be a good thing for these economic drop-outs to engage in a political struggle that seeks to improve their lot and that of the people.

It is the further goal of the cultural revolution to have the ideas of national democratic revolution transformed into a material force. In making the cultural revolution, we launch mass protest actions like strikes and demonstrations, we hold conferences, seminars,lectures, teach-ins, and other fora, and we publish rebel newspapers, pamphlets and leaflets and we speak out without end for national democracy in classrooms, in the streets, over the radio and everywhere else. But our further goal is always to impel mass mobilization. Our campaign for mass revolutionary education immediately creates the most tangible reality by mobilizing right away the masses of the people.

The students and youth play a vanguard role in the cultural revolution, as the Red Guards in their own high stage of cultural revolution, as the 10,000 French students that aroused more than 10 million French workers, as the Vietnamese youth through armed propaganda units and cultural organizations. But the ultimate goal for the students and youth that are truly committed to the national democratic revolution is always to merge with the masses of the people as they constantly remould their own thinking and discard their petty bourgeois or individualistic prejudices and predilections.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
 
     
     


Youth On The March
by Jose Maria Sison

(Published in the Philippines Free Press, November 2, 1968)

A NATION that does not continuously renew itself through progressive-minded and militant youth cannot possibly advance. A world of timid and apathetic youth will merely feed all the regimes of injustice and exploitation with a constant flow of manpower for exploited labor and cannon fodder for unjust wars. Even a revolutionary society, say, a socialist one, would stagnate and be thereafter corrupted if the process of renewal and of continuous revolution is neglected or deliberately held back.

It is in the very nature of the world and of history that while there are youth who question and fight the outdated order, striving to build a new system or reach a new stage of development in which they stand to gain.

The problem of succession through the youth is common to both reactionaries and revolutionaries. The reactionaries strive to preserve an educational and cultural system that molds the thinking and behavior patterns of the youth in a conservative way. The true revolutionaries work to make all parts of their superstructure correspond to the mode of existence of their society. Just as reactionaries zealously try to preserve a heritage of exploitation, the true revolutionaries look after their successors in the march towards greater social progress.

The youth are divisible into two conflicting sides of history, each side trying to influence the apathetics in the middle sections of the political spectrum. It is necessary to recognize that the youth, more than their elders, are more receptive to what is new and progressive.

This receptiveness is sharply seen in crises, when the old ruling classes and the old authorities no longer can rule the old way and resist change. As the crisis ripens, a youthful movement and leadership inevitably emerges with the new ideology, the new political program and the new course of action. No matter what social class ascends to replace the old ruling class, it relies on the ever expanding adherence of the youth to what is new and progressive. Even the youth in self-satisfied centers of learning in the Establishment raise the banner of change.

We are living today in a world of crises, marked by rapid emergence of the new and rabid resistance of the old. Never has the world been so shaken as now. The forces of socialism and national liberation are striking down the ramparts of imperialism and local reactionary power with global sweep. We are in the midst of radical choice.

We are in a world where old verities and old structures are the target of angry yet positive, critical but constructive, mass actions of the youth and the people.

"To rebel is justified!" is the battle cry of the youth of China. There the youth came to be known the world over as the Red Guards. Millions mobilized all over China and, because of our proximity to China, we could almost hear the sound of their marches. Supported by the masses, they brought down the bourgeois academic authorities (reactionary teachers and administrators) and demanded a change in the educational system. Again, together with the masses, the Red Guards gathered enough strength to topple down degenerate government and party officials taking the capitalist road.

Where but in their own schools did the Red Guards start their great proletarian cultural revolution? They saw their schools reflecting society incorrectly. They acted to rectify the irresponsiveness of schools and school authorities to the needs and demands of workers and peasants. At the University of Peking, the whole earth-shaking phenomenon called the great proletarian cultural revolution started with big posters denouncing the highly-placed miscreants.

From the confines of academic walls, the youth took to the streets to muster support from the masses of the people. Soon, because of the relationship between school and society, the masses saw the point of the ReD Guards. The Chinese youth became, in the May 4th Movement, a vanguard force of enlightenment, arousing not only their own new generation but the broad masses of the people. They could have been easily pushed back by the reactionaries but for the overwhelming support of the masses who themselves fully participated in the most extensive democracy and mass learning ever witnessed by mankind.

What the Red Guards did in China also transpired in France, United States, West Germany, Italy, Brazil, Uruguay, and Mexico. The youth form a progressive force and subsequently strive to merge with the masses on the basis of basic popular demands against U.S. imperialism and the various stripes of local reactionaries.

The seizure of entire universities as Columbia University, the Sorbonne and many others in Latin America and Western Europe is similar to the seizure of Chinese universities by the Chinese youth.

In France, the youth seized the university and then took the streets in the Latin Quarter. All this was followed by something more extensive and more profound as the general strike of French workers and farmers which still haunts De Gaulle's regime. A few tens of thousands of youth started what subsequently embraced more than ten millions workers and farmers, frightening the reactionaries and compelling them to unleash the violence of the state. The French youth became truly strong politically with the support given them by the masses of workers and farmers.

Let us compare the progressive actions of militant youth with those much ballyhooed in the Western press as exemplary models of youth rebellion.

In Eastern Europe, particularly in Czechoslovakia and Poland, the ultra-revisionist youth press for rapid liberalization, which means a faster return of capitalism and collaborative relation with the United States and West Germany.

In Asia, we are witness to youth movements which helped overthrow certain regimes, Syngman Rhee's in South Korea and Sukarno's in Indonesia. These youth actions differ radically from what transpired in China. In the former, the existing corrupt state was retained and the old problems of exploitation and bureaucratic corruption aggravated. The change was not actually made by the youth, together with the masses, but by the reactionary army which always tries to preserve the old state. In Korea, General Park Chung Hee merely took advantage of youth unrest against Syngman Rhee and seized power by coup d' etat over the heads of the masses. In Indonesia, the same thing happened with Generals Nasution and Suharto replacing Sukarno. The previous character of the state did not change.

Summarizing all these phenomena, we can state that the youth can be revolutionary only if supported by the masses in effecting a basic transformation of the state. Separated from the struggle of the masses, the youth only lead themselves into spasms of anarchy, a situation easily taken advantage of by reactionary army officers and other kinds of palace revolutionists.

It is worthwhile to differentiate revolutionary youth from counter-revolutionary youth. If there were youth attracted to the swastika of Hitler's Jungen, there were also youth who joined partisan movements all over Europe, who fought fascism and triumphed in the end over the German war machine. If there are youth enlisted in the armed forces of the United States on missions of genocide in Vietnam, there are more American youth in the anti-imperialist, anti-war and anti-draft movement. There are also the rebellious black youth in the ghettoes. The young hoodlums backstopped by the reactionary armies of Indonesia, South Korea and other client states of the U.S. who go into rampages against progressives and democrats of their own countries, are counterpointed by the revolutionary youth who join the masses fighting against established system of exploitation and suppression.

We see the revolutionary courage and heroism of Vietnamese youth fighting American aggression in their country. The People's Liberation Armed Forces of South Vietnam are youthful faces.

The Filipino youth have had their own share of revolutionary struggles - against the Spanish colonialists, against the American imperialists, against the Japanese fascists. A revolutionary civil war has once occurred within the living memory of many of today's youth; constantly threatening imperialists and landlords, it pins its hopes on the youth.

Youth is the best fighting age. This is not meant to exclude progressive adults from the ranks of revolutionaries: after all, no matter how old they may be, they are still young in spirit because of revolutionary experience and continuing revolutionary commitment.

Both old and young are subsumed by classes, drawn into the contention of classes and nations, with the young grasping earliest the new and progressive.

It is the youth in the tradition of the Philippine revolution, of Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto and Gregorio del Pilar we are most concerned with. They shed their blood on the battle field against foreign tyrants and their local minions. With the Philippines increasingly in crisis, we expect more youth to take the uncompromising road of revolt against social injustices. After a long lull in the countryside and in the cities, we can observe the stirrings of a resurgent national democratic movement in the womb of a mis-shapen semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. The youth of the city, especially students and young workers, are rising in dissent. Young peasants are goading their elders; the youth are astir in Cotabato, Negros, Quezon, Pampanga, in many places. The youth are the vanguard of national reawakening.

It is in this respect that Kabataang Makabayan, the national democratic youth organization with the most profoundly articulate program and the most widespread membership in the Philippines today, has called itself the Second Propaganda Movement, apart from the connotation and the denotation that it is striving to solve old problems. It is a movement that prepares public opinion for the advance and triumph of working people under the radiant banner of proletarian leadership. It seeks to arouse and mobilize the masses towards the achievement of a national democracy that is new and progressive within the context of the most radical advances made by mankind and the working class. It seeks to project the ideological and political principles that can provide scientific direction to social revolution.

With Kabataang Makabayan in the vanguard, the Filipino youth are striving for progress and social justice. They have demonstrated a militance comparable to the youth of other lands and those in previous stages of our national history. They have manifested a profound understanding of basic problems and of the day's issues.

With Kabataang Makabayan in the vanguard, there have been demonstrations of such depth and magnitude never before witnessed, protesting iniquities in our social and political system. There have been demonstrations spearheaded by KM on the murder of Filipinos in U.S. military bases, the Parity Amendment and the Laurel-Langley Agreement, the Vietnam war, the Retail Trade Nationalization Law and many others.

The historic actions of October 23rd and 24th of 1966 are still fresh in the minds of the youth; these exposed the Manila Summit and caught the U.S. President and a big complement of Asian puppets together. There have been workers', students' and teachers' strikes participated in by Kabataang Makabayan. All the time the character of the bourgeois state is displayed before the unarmed protestants.

In schools all over the country, especially in the University of the Philippines, there is a growing ferment manifested often by student action. In the working class movement, the young workers are reassuming leadership. In the countryside, the youth are more articulate and critical of the old problem of feudalism than the officials of the barrio council and community development projects of the reactionaries.

Alone, demonstrations, speeches and leaflets cannot bring about the fundamental change of basic governmental policies but they certainly arouse the masses and even goad certain sections of the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie to question the basic tenets of the neo-colonial regime. They also discourage blatant abuses by the reactionaries.

Whatever its detractors say, the Kabataang Makabayan on the basis of present objective conditions has become a milestone in the long march of national democratic revolution. Is there any Philippine youth organization now, comparable in strength and achievement in the national democratic movement? The KM has made certain achievements that can no longer be disregarded by history. Prof. Teodoro A. Agoncillo has taken note of these in his History of the Filipino People. Its merits lie not only in its acts of democratic protest, in militating the people, but also in its more quiet acts of spreading the tenets of national democracy in urban and rural areas.

A whole range of challenges to the Filipino youth are contained in the national democratic program of action of the Kabataang Makabayan. This program defines the conditions and tasks of the Filipino youth. As we protest, we affirm the direction we are taking.

In the political field, we want to arouse and mobilize the Filipino youth as a powerful coordinate of the masses led by the working class in the great movement to realize the national democratic revolution. We are committed to assisting the development of a powerful mass movement and a working class leadership that can transform the character of the present state and rid ourselves of the malignant rule of the comprador bourgeoisie, the landlords and the corrupt government officials.

In the economic field, we seek national industrialization independent of the foreign monopolies on the basis of an agrarian revolution that liberates the peasants from feudal and semi- feudal oppression. We envision a just and prosperous society that is made possible only by the most intense and most effective political struggles of workers and peasants. We do not seek crumbs from the well-laden table of the almighty few but we seek general economic conditions that will not foster class exploitation.

In the cultural field, we demand the national democratic re- orientation of our educational system, mass media and other parts of the social superstructure. We reject the colonial-feudal and bourgeois-imperialist culture that restrain the advance of the exploited masses and all other progressive sectors of the population. At a time when the youth are corrupted by a backward and decadent culture, we urge the rising Filipino youth, a fresh force,to overthrow such regressive and anti-popular culture and make possible a new and progressive one responsive to the aspirations of the nation and the masses.

In the field of social welfare and mass work, we seek the improvement of the working and living conditions of the masses of workers, peasants, fishermen and all semi-proletariat. The youth must help them develop the political strength that can guarantee whatever economic gains have been made. They must take the mass line, that is, rouse them on the basis of their own concrete demands and rely on their massive efforts to contend with the exploiters. They must help heighten the political consciousness of the masses in the course of participating in their economic struggle.

In the field of national security, we demand the abolition of the country's dependence on foreign military bases and dictation. We base our concept of national security on the sovereign democratic powers of the masses. If the masses can succeed in freeing themselves from U.S. imperialist control and from their local exploiters, it will be impossible for another foreign power to subject them to another successful aggression. The mythical possibility of another foreign aggression is no justification for the reality of a perpetuated aggression against the nation and the masses by U.S. imperialism and local exploiting classes. Our well-entrenched enemy keeps saying our friends are our enemies in order to present himself as our friend.

In the field of foreign policy, we seek an independent diplomacy and trade, a broadening of the present state of our foreign relations and a rejection of the stultifying "special relations" with the U.S. government, U.S. imperialism has so much control over our national life that the simpletons and deliberate liars in our midst keep spreading that we rally merely on foreign policy issues when the fact is that there are perfectly domestic issues even as a foreign power is the target of our opposition. That is because such a foreign power is well-entrenched in our politics, economy, culture and security system; this is all-round domination by the imperialists on the basis of the semi-feudal debility of the country.

The tasks of the national-democratic movement, the entire Filipino youth, and the Kabataang Makabayan are clear. In schools, farms, factories and communities, new cells of change are multiplying before the sweep of the Second Propaganda Movement.

The unfulfilled aspirations of the nation and the masses throb in the hearts and minds of the young. This generation strives to recoup the failures of the past and girds for the triumphs of the future. As the progressive youth movement and the Kabataang Makabayan struggle for fundamental changes, they will be defamed by the overt and covert enemies of national democracy but they will triumph in the end.

Only through militant struggle can the best in youth shall emerge. Only through the struggle can become more evident the constant replenishment of the fighting forces by the ceaseless flow of new blood.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
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March 8, OAM picket rally at UP Cebu

Photos by Tochi Pat

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ANATOMY OF PHILIPPINE POLITICS
by Jose Maria Sison

(Originally published in the October 26, 1968 issue of The Philippine Collegian, official student newspaper of the University of the Philippines.)

Economic Power Makes Political Power

IT IS beyond doubt that economic power makes political power. A political system is possible and can last only because it is based on an economic foundation, on the mode of production that gives sustenance to the political ideas and institutions in the superstructure of a society. With this basic assumption, we may start to make a comprehensive presentation of the anatomy of Philippine politics.

However, we cannot really make a profound critique of Philippine politics if we do not grasp the historical principle that the masses of our people in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country can build up their own political power in the countrywide in the course of a struggle entailing the area-by-area and step-by-step elimination of the political and economic power of the local exploiters and local bullies, without as yet being in full control of the national economy. We keep this principle in mind even as our topic is the anatomy of Philippine politics as it is now.

To know well a political system or a particular form of society, it is necessary to comprehend the basic political contradictions that are at work, emerging from basic contradictions of socio- economic classes even if these should at first appear as being in equilibrium. If we try to make a presentation of the Philippine political system without considering its basic socio-economic contradictions, then we would be merely trying to depict a lifeless skeleton seeming to have the quality of permanence. It is the relentless conflict of classes in our society that keeps our politics dynamic and impermanent. The very existence of class exploitation gives away the fact of class struggle, no matter how suppressed or obscured by one means or another, and also gives away the prospect of social revolution, no matter how much it is restricted by the state power of the ruling classes.

If we are interested in the anatomy of Philippine politics as if it were a dead or passive structure, all that we have to do now is to read and reread the Philippine Constitution. So, we would just say that we have a republican and presidential form of government which has three basic branches-executive, legislative and judicial-in equilibrium under a rule of check and balance; that the Filipino electorate has the democratic right to vote in and vote out men in the government; that electoral choice is mainly provided by a two-party system ensured by a constitutional provision on electoral inspectors; and that in-between and during elections, the Filipino people are formally gifted with a bill of rights which is supposed to allow them to act in and speak out their interests collectively and individually.

But, in these turbulent times, we cannot afford to be naive and superficial. We cannot refer dogmatically to formal rights and say that sure enough we have democracy in this country. We have to investigate the national and social reality. Especially at a time that more and more people are getting dissatisfied with the political system and its political processes, it becomes more compelling in our part to look into the most vital struggles that are now severely straining the ability of the system to contain. In other words, we have now to see Philippine politics in the light of fundamental issues and demands that divide social classes and political aggrupations daily driven on the course of irreconcilable disagreement or conflict.

THE CLASS BASIS OF POLITICAL TENDENCIES AND TRENDS

We have to have a clear perception and knowledge of the economic classes within our semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. Their basic demands are of a political character, involving relations of members within the same class, relations between classes, relations within the nation as a whole and relations with other nations. Political tendencies, trends, issues and possibilities are founded on these classes existing and operating within Philippine society. What can sustain a political movement or a political system is a definite economic class or an alliance of economic classes that have certain interests or that have certain aspirations and demands.

It is not possible, in a class-divided society like that of the Philippines, for all classes to have common or similar interests to protect and advance. The fact is that some classes are united against other classes because of a basic contradiction of interests. Thus, the diametrical opposition of basic political standpoints.

With regard to the basic struggle for national democracy to which all patriotic Filipinos should be committed, the entire range of social classes in the Philippines is divided into two camps. There is the camp of those classes who wish to achieve the completion of the national-democratic revolution and there is the opposite camp of those classes interested in the perpetuation of imperialist and feudal power in this country.

The masses of workers and peasants, the intelligentsia, the petty property-owners and nationalist businessmen are interested in the success of the struggle for national democracy.

On the other hand, the imperialists, their comprador agents, their landlord and corrupt bureaucrat allies would rather have semi-colonial and semi-feudal Philippines which they can easily exploit.

The Filipino workers who are enlightened with the most advanced ideas of this era are interested in a national democracy in the Philippines because this rejects and supplants the political power of foreign monopoly capitalism and landlordism. Because this means actual sovereignty and genuine independence, Filipino- owned industrialization, a thoroughgoing land reform and the opportunity of the working class to establish and build up the democratic power of the people and lead in the march to social revolution and progress.

The Filipino peasants are interested in national democracy in the same way that the workers are, but they are most interested in national democracy because it breaks feudal chains and provides them the substance of freedom.

All other patriotic segments of the population are interested in national democracy because they are adversely affected by the ill state of the nation and principally by the prevailing interests of the big foreign businessmen, the compradors, the landlords and the corrupt bureaucrats.

The State as an Instrument of Ruling Class Interests

The present state in the Philippines signifies the long-drawn rule of certain classes over other classes. The class interests that today dictate the state are those of the imperialists, compradors and the landlords. The theory is bandied about that it is the "ordinary citizens" who have created the present state and who can use it as their own instrument. But this is contrary to the fact that the state is merely the executor of the will and interests of those exploitative classes ruling our society today.

A time has yet to come when the nature and character of the state is changed by the national-democratic movement. The present state is an instrument of the ruling classes to command order and submission to the existing class relations in Philippine society even if these are disadvantageous and antagonistic to the class interests of the vast majority of the people. The power of the state to command lies in its essence as an institution of violence. What does the state have the armed forces, the police, courts and prisons for, if not to keep the peace and order that preserves a particular social order? When all suasive means have failed to mislead or appease the oppressed people, the coercive power of the state is ruthlessly used by the exploiting classes to pacify the national and social unrest that arises.

The nature and character of the present state in the Philippines can easily be seen also in the regular operations of its civil bureaucracy, its executive, legislative and judicial branches. Look at the unfair executive agreements and treaties made with the U.S. government. Look at the programme of the government and the kind of contracts it expedites. Look at the prevailing interests of congressmen and senators in their legislative deliberations. Look at the pitiful common man who cannot afford the cost of litigation in courts. There are many more things we can bring up that can expose which classes are the subject of the pacifactory or concessionary efforts of the state which is primarily interested in the preservation of the ruling classes.

We have today a state that serves imperialist and feudal interest and opposes the national democratic interests of the Filipino people. And yet it is still pontificated that the Philippine government is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

The Elections and Political Parties

The elections are supposed to be a decisive process or measure by which the Philippine political system is to be established and preserved. Elections are supposed to allow the people to choose their representatives democratically. But the question that should be propounded by serious students of the Philippine political system is this: Is the electorate actually allowed to make a real and fundamental choice, say, a choice between political parties and candidates who stand for national democracy and those who stand for opposite interests?

It is superficial to say that a basic political choice is made possible to the electorate with the mere existence of two parties. A study of the platforms and the principal driving forces behind the Nacionalista Party and the Liberal Party shows that they are basically the same.

Political campaigns require heavy financial support. It is standard operating procedure for the two parties to collect from moneyed interests, imperialist comprador and landlord. Nationalist businessmen give modest financial support to the political parties and candidates but they are not as hard-driving a force as the imperialists and the compradors who have the greater capability for financing electoral campaigns.

The basic similarity of standpoint of the two parties is such that big vested interests play it safe by giving financial support to both parties and all candidates. Whoever wins, it is still the vested interests that prevail.

It is not only the fact that the electors go through the motion of voting for their candidates that create the illusion that a free and democratic choice of leadership is possible in this country. It is also the fact that there are so many politicians who style themselves as men of humble origins and as men of the masses. And yet it is clear that they run for public offices because they themselves are members or running dogs of the exploiting classes.

A percipient study of the Philippine politics would reveal that to become a mayor in a municipality, one must ordinarily have the support of the landowners who dictate blocs of passive tenant votes and that of the municipal bourgeoisie which includes the town professionals and the barrio captains who are usually rich peasants as ward leaders.

To run for congressman or governor, one has to get the same kind of classes support that a mayoralty candidate gets on a smaller scale. Within the province, the issues fought out skirt the problem of land although the basic class demand of the majority peasant population in the province is land reform. If it is ever mentioned in electoral campaign, what is skirted is the necessity for the poor peasants or the sharecroppers to band themselves together as a political force independent of the political control by rich peasants and the landlords themselves.

On the national scale, the politicians play it safe by not antagonizing the big vested interests who are potential or tested campaign contributors or partners in business. The big conservative politicians play to the tune of the ruling class interests. They often do not mind when they discover that certain corporations and business groups put money on both sides of the electoral campaign unless the disparity of support amounts to "non-neutrality".

The interests of the Filipino "middle class" may at times be orated upon by certain politicians and this would make them appear "progressive". But all their words are meant to "reconcile" opposing class interests.

The Nacionalista Party and the Liberal P{arty today monopolize the elections as the organizational instruments of basically the same vested class interests. Even the Progressive Party of the Philippines, which apparently received a great deal of financial support from conservative sources, has shown its utter incapability to beat the electoral machinery of the Liberal Party and Nacionalista Party.

The stability of the two-party system will for sometime signify the stability of the regime of the ruling classes. But let us watch with the keenest interest the growing realization by the people that the NP and LP are no different from each other and are not wholesome for the masses of the people. The masses are beginning to demand a new alternative party, truly different from the well-established conservative political parties. They are beginning to see the elections as a farce, as a mere occasion for the vested interests at the top to give the electorate the false illusion of democratic choice from among a highly limited range of personalities who have no basic political differences but who agree on taking personal advantage of their public offices, the winning of which is so expensive that the normal outcome consists of corrupt bureaucrats.

The Making of "Public Opinion" and Political Power

Outside of the party machinery and outside of the government facilities that an incumbent government official can use to make his political campaign, there are other instruments which can be used to make "public opinion" and build up political power. There are the mass media and the mass organizations that are always dictated upon by a definite class or some definite classes. These are intermediate instruments in the building of political power and influence either within the established political system or without and against it.

The mass media, newspapers, radio, TV, movies and others are accessible mainly to political personalities and parties that can afford to shoulder the necessary fees and are in a social position to influence the slant of information, programmes and opinion campaigns. The ownership of the mass media is, in the first place, in the hands of corporations that are controlled and influenced businesswise by imperialist and reactionary interests.

It takes not a few millions of pesos to finance an electoral campaign under the Philippine political system. There is a curtain of finance that shuts out the political organizations of the working class and peasantry from having an "equal" chance to utilize the reactionary mass media.

The big corporations are themselves organizations of the big vested interests that can exert a great deal of political influence, especially among their stockholders and among employees who may not as yet be radicalized. These corporations are in turn organized into chambers of commerce and advertisers groups which serve as important lobby groups.

Individual big businessmen are leading members of civic clubs, like the Rotary, Lions, Jaycees and other American-style clubs, which include a good number of social-climbing professionals and managers. All these seemingly harmless aggrupations serve as contact points not only for business connections but also for political combinations.

There are organizations of landlords, whether they are sugar and coconut exporters or rice and corn dealers. There are also organizations of big loggers and mining magnates. They serve as political pressure groups on the government, political parties and personalities. Their scope of power is both national and local.

The "middle class" has the professionals' organizations, highly localized merchants' associations and community clubs. These serve as channels for "public opinion" from the top. Members of the middle social strata have the special talent for echoing opinion that they derive from the mass media. They are newspaper subscribers, TV watchers, and radio listeners. When it comes to opinion of national significance, they merely echo the dominant going opinion in the mass media. Through their mass organizations they take the initiative of adopting some collective opinion but this opinion is usually of limited scope and, unwittingly, they merely apply locally the "public opinion" that the big political interests at the center of communications are trying to spread.

At the lower levels of our society, there are the trade union in factories and mines, peasant association in farms, the official barrio councils and neighborhood clubs. But these aggrupations of workers and peasants have various class tendencies.

Among the barrio councils in the Philippines today, the vast majority are still controlled by rich and upper middle peasants who oftentimes are political agents of the landlords and the municipal bourgeoisie. Among peasant associations, there are those controlled by landlords themselves or by their political agents. There are those controlled by rich and middle peasants associations which are controlled by poor peasants and lower middle peasants and are well-led.

In city slums and in the farms, there are special organizations controlled by agencies of the United States government and the Philippine government and by religious corporations. They play the role of restraining the masses from taking part in any serious national democratic movement.

As in the case of the mass media, class analysis must be made in the case of mass organizations. We have to stick to class standpoint in studying even the supposedly lower-class organizations.

The type of mass organizations predominating in the Philippines now is also part of the curtain alienating the true interests of the masses from those of the native oligarchy and imperialism. This curtain also serves to block off the political advance of the working class and the peasantry. The predominating mass organizations which maintain basic allegiance to the ruling class interests are purveyors of wrong ideas misleading the masses.

For the political power of the masses to develop, the working class and the peasantry must recognize their own class interests and struggle for them; and establish and develop mass organizations, a system of public-opinion making and a political party that would genuinely struggle for their own class interests.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     


RIZAL THE SOCIAL CRITIC
by Jose Maria Sison


DR. JOSE RIZAL was the outstanding representative of a numerically small middle class that developed during the nineteenth century. A complex of historical circumstances, such as the marked acceleration of commerce and intellectual contact between the Philippines and Europe and a certain amount of concessions made by the colonial regime to the principalia, made it possible for that small middle class to develop under the shadow of the white colonial elite composed of friars and lay officials, which simultaneously exploited the masses more. In other words, while the colonial regime gave some concessions to some indios through such objective processes as limited participation in trade, leasehold grants on friar estates, a limited amount of university education available locally and travel and study in Europe which pro-colonial historians readily admit as signs of good intentions on the part of Madrid for its colony, the vast majority of the colonized people were increasingly exploited and politically repressed. These were the futile attempts of Spain to accelerate its capital accumulation in a fast modernizing and competitive Europe, to contain the rapid advances and expansionism of modern imperialist powers which had succeeded in developing capitalist societies and to frustrate the raging revolutionary movement of continental scope. In other words, Spain found its basic foundations irrevocably weak while being over-extended, its anti-democratic authoritarianism unable to contain the rise of modern imperialism in Europe and the national independence movements in the colonies. The situation of Spanish colonialism then parallels that of U.S. imperialism today, over-extended and unable to cope with the advance of the world socialist revolution and the more vigorous national independence movements of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

As a leading representative of the enlightened stratum or "left wing" of the middle class, Rizal easily adopted the liberal point of view and developed his own national sentiment and consciousness. What actually made him a progressive and a radical of his own time was his ultimate recognition that the liberties of the individual could be realized only if the nation as a whole, particularly the masses whom he spontaneously observed, would be uplifted and enjoy more freedom from an overwhelming system of clerical authoritarians and anti-liberals who represented what had long been considered backward in the northern parts of Europe. He saw in the European development that the nation-states arose with the concept of popular sovereignty and republicanism. He pointed out that if no better colonial policies were to serve the Philippines there would be the increased likelihood of a movement for separation from Spain. For this suggestion of Filipino nationhood, he was called a filibuster or a
subversive in the same manner that the advocates of national democracy today are being witch-hunted for asserting the sovereignty of their people.

Rizal belonged to a middle class family that could provide him with a university education here and abroad. But he had seen that where colonial authoritarian rule existed even the native middle class was insecure and subject to arbitrariness and racial discrimination. The fate suffered by Fathers Burgos, Gomez and Zamora profoundly influenced his thinking. The humiliation of his mother at the hands of the colonizers came to signify the colonial injustices done to the motherland. The Calamba Affair in which both the middle class and peasantry suffered as a result of their just petition against the increased land rent and other arbitrary impositions of the friars had the most profound effect on him as a Filipino. In retaliation for the petition penned by the youth Rizal himself seeking justice for the tenants of Calamba, General Weyler burnt their homes and effected their imprisonment and deportation. Here was a concrete yet symbolic instance of colonial oppression of the masses
ultimately resulting in oppression of the middle class.

As Spanish colonialism could no longer hold back the advancing forces of liberalism and nationalism and it became wracked with the internal struggle between the friars and the liberal quarters, it became more and more despicable to the Filipino people; and religion could no longer be used as an ideological weapon of the ruling elite of friar and lay absolutists. The argument that the Filipino people should be perpetually indebted to colonialism for Christianity was answered effectively by the more powerful argument of social reality and its revolutionary forces. Dr. Jose Rizal had so well exposed the fact that during the previous more than three centuries the friars failed to uplift the people spiritually but only succeeded in causing the brutalization of the people. In scientific terms, we say that Christianity through the unity of church and state had had its day in the feudal regime.

When we consider the anti-colonial and anti-clerical writings of Rizal, we immediately perceive that national democracy of the old type, that is to say, of the now outmoded liberal cast, developed in the process of struggle. The struggle was in the direct personal experience of Rizal as well as in the collective life of his people. The Propaganda Movement was reflective of the struggle of the Filipino nation; and the Philippine Revolution of 1896 that followed it was the irrepressible continuation of social reality and the people's struggle even if Rizal's life had already been extirpated.

When as a small boy Rizal wrote a poem advocating a national language, he was spontaneously struggling against the Spanish language as a tool of foreign domination. When he felt compelled to annotate Morga's Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, he wanted to fight racial discrimination by asserting that a national culture could develop without colonial culture. In writing his satirical essays against the friars and their absolutist cohorts, he was expressing the collective will of his people against authoritarianism, arbitrariness and brutality. He was thereby asserting the democratic capacity of man to solve his problems without the intervention or mediation of the clerics and other alien powers.

When he wrote "The Indolence of the Filipinos", he debunked the colonial argument that Filipinos were inherently lazy and exposed the fact the the colonizers lived gloriously on the labor and blood of his people. When he wrote "The Philippines A Century Hence", he demonstrated in full the vicious process used by the colonizers to subjugate the people by corrupting them and taking advantage of their virtues. Furthermore, he indicated the direction that events would take in favor of the Filipinos if they were to achieve national consciousness and national unity. For writing these two major essays, Rizal was called a "subversive: and, in the phrase of today's defenders of U.S. imperialism, a "negative" thinker. Yes, he negated colonialism. He contributed a certain share to anti-colonial propaganda and incited the people to mobilize themselves for their own welfare.

When Rizal wrote his masterworks, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, he explored the possibility of reform first and, upon exhausting that possibility within the colonial framework, he also explored the possibility of revolution.

In the Noli, he presented Crisostomo Ibarra as an extremely well- intentioned reformer who thinks that the solution to the suffering of the motherland, signified by Sisa, would be a new type of education for her children along the lines worked out by the Schoolteacher, the anti-thesis to the brutalizing system of thought control maintained by the friars.

But what is done to him, the well-intentioned reformer who does not even hold a grudge for the persecution of his own father? He is attacked from all sides and by various means by the hypocritical Padre Salvi and the crude Padre Damaso, who represent the basic institutional aspects of the most numerous church. In the end he is framed up by the clerical conspirator, Padre Salvi, as the "mastermind" of a foolish attack on the barracks. And who are the tools of this foreigner, this source of violence and corruption? Indios, like the sacristan who is chief executor, and petty mercenaries like Lucas and Bruno?

What social system are the enemies of Crisostomo Ibarra in defense of? A friar-dominated society signified by the weakling and hybrid Maria Clara, the colonial product of a questionable relationship which makes of Capitan Tiago, the symbol of the newly-risen corrupt Filipino bourgeoisie, a cuckold of colonial power. The bastard culture is further signified by Sister Rufa and Sister Pute, whose thinking consists of a systematization of superstition which includes airy stocks of plenary indulgencies, bundles of candles and sacks of girdles and scapularies. In clearer secular terms, the social system being defended is one dominated by the curate and the alferez, assisted by a docile and stupid gobernadorcillo and principalia, whose main activities are holding fiestas, and by the corrupt trader, contract-maker, influence peddler and cuckold Capitan Tiago and by Do¤a Consolacion, the vicious symbol of the Civil Guards' mentality, and by Do¤a Victorina, the paragon of a colonial mentality
which always manages to adopt what limps in the alien culture.

What alternative is left after the vicious frustration of Don Crisostomo's hopes for reform? Pablo tells Elias in the forests that the oppressed are ready to fight the oppressors. Pilosopong Tasio, the idealist cynic, has told Crisostomo Ibarra that change will ultimately come with the coming in of fresh ideas from abroad.

In El Filibusterismo, Crisostomo Ibarra reappears in the guise of Simuon the jeweler. His character is a clear study of the liberal reformer who swings to being an anarchist. The author frustrates him at every decisive step of his plot but succeeds in presenting him as the symbol of desperation and personal vengeance. Simuon is the archetype of putschism and contravenes the Marxist- Leninist concept of a revolutionary; he thinks of the masses as a mere manipulator and conspirator would, commanding them from the city. He hold the illusion that by one blow at the palace the whole structure would crunmble.

Nevertheless, Rizal presents Cabesang Tales as the peasant victim of feudal oppression and he transforms him into a peasant rebel with a mass following, waging guerrilla warfare, after finding out that the redress of grievances and justice are not possible in the system. The development of Cabesang Tales as a character indicates Rizal's own recognition that the question of land was of basic importance in the colonial question. The Calamba incident was unquestionably a big matter to Rizal. What is most engaging about the story of Cabesang Tales or Matanglawin is that it was left unfinished by Rizal. It is an unfinished story in the sense that Simoun's story is finished or, equivalently, in the sense that the class leadership of the ilustrado in the Philippine Revolution is incapable and frustrated. Did Rizal leave the story unfinished because he, as a liberal thinker, was incapable of following it through? Nevertheless, by keeping the story unfinished he merely left it to be continued
like the Philippine revolution.

The story of Crisostomo Ibarra as a reformer is actually continued in the attempt of Isagani, together with many other students, to establish the Castillian Academy. This student reform project is frustrated by the hypocritical friars after giving them false hopes. What is worse, they suffer persecution and brutal reaction afterwards. They hold a pancit party at a restaurant in mock honor of Don Custodio who has been entrusted by the authorities with the duty of making a sham investigation and study of the project of the students and of disapproving it. As it is being done today by our intelligence agencies and by the agents of American imperialism, the government authorities misconstrue the pancit party of the students as conspiratorial meeting where subversive matters have been taken up. The authorities are agog over the pasquinades posted on the university walls against the friars' system of education and these are linked with the pancit party. The students are arrested and
imprisoned and the university is closed in reprisal.

Even Basilio, the son of Sisa, who has always refused to join student groups, is implicated by the authorities. His arrest leads to a series of misfortunes for him and his sweetheart Juli whom Padre Camorra tries to rape when she seeks his help for Basilio's release. The misfortunes of Basilio serve as a lesson that opportunism does not always pay in critical times. It has been foolish for Basilio to think that the business of a student is only to earn a diploma and become a prosperous man afterwards. He has been thinking only of personal advancement without thinking of the oppression of the masses from which he comes.. And, thinking that he would inherit Capitan Tiago's property, he feeds him opium even against the code of the medical profession for which he is studying. The careerism and amoral technocracy represented by Se¤or Pasta, are a bane to the masses along the lines of Capitan Tiago's corrupt money-grabbing activities. The evil source of these weaknesses of the middle class
is the colonial ruling class and its exploitative system.

In the Fili, Rizal exposes thoroughly and systematically the decadence of the system as the beginning of a revolutionary situation. He exposes the rotting body of the corrupt Capitan Tiago, the sham character of Se¤or Pasta and the devilish viciousness of Padre Irene and Padre Camorra, Don Custodio and many ugly features of the colonial domination, including Don Tiburcio de Espada¤a's misery.

After writing the Noli alone, Rizal was already a marked man. His novel was immediately denounced as subversive and heretical. The foreign rulers of his native land started to slander him and call him an agent of another alien power. After the more forward novel, Fili, he was practically bound for Bagumbayan. But just the same he came back to the Philippines from abroad with the naive hope that he would work for the cause of his nation in the open and in the city.

Upon arriving at the port of Manila, his baggage was thoroughly inspected and all written materials were confiscated from him. Nevertheless, Rizal persisted in his efforts to seek reforms in the open and in the city. He visited some provinces and subsequently organized La Liga Filipina. That was the last straw, the colonialists said, and they apprehended him.

On December 30, 1896, after his exile in Dapitan and after the Cry of Pugad Lawin had been made, he was led like a lamb to Bagumbayan to be killed.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
           

March 3, Boodle fight  at UP Cebu for OAM

Photos by Tochi Pat

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THE ROLE OF RECTO

by Jose Maria Sison

(Speech delivered by Jose Maria Sison at the 11th Claro M. Recto Lecture-Dinner sponsored by the Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines on February 21, 1969, at Eugene's, Cubao, Quezon City.)

We pay our respects to the memory of Recto, that is to say, his anti-imperialist memory. We accord him the proper honor by recapitulating the value of his political thinking as used principally by the SCAUP at a time that we were making the initial breach on the conservative walls of the state university.

When we founded the SCAUP early in 1961, it was then our obsession to leave behind the fifties as a period of reaction. In doing this, we carried over to the period of the sixties Recto's political thinking but at the same time resolved not to be restricted by its limitations. It was then our clear intention of utilizing the ideas of Recto to attract the intellectual constituents of the university to what was then derided as the side of "subversion". It was then our goal to translate the narrow debate between the liberals and the religious bigots into a more comprehensive struggle between Left and Right, between the forces of pro-imperialist liberalism and regressive medievalism on one side and the forces of a revolutionary national democracy which is both anti-imperialist and anti-feudalist on the other side.

The political thinking of Recto on the problem of U.S. imperialism has since then helped polarize the university anew. It served as the effective medium for bringing a significant number of young intellectuals to the progressive side at a new level of intellectual and political confrontation that emerged in the campus at the beginning of these stormy sixties.

Barely two months after the establishment of the SCAUP, accusations were flung by reactionary quarters inside and outside the university at faculty members and students for studying and discussing not only Recto but also Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung as allegedly manifested by progressive articles appearing in campus publications. On March 14, 1961, the SCAUP had already a hard core of militants who could spearhead a 4,000 strong demonstration of students that literally stormed the halls of Congress and broke up the comedy of errors that was the witch- hunt initiated by the Committee on Anti-Filipino Activities (CAFA). While the campus liberals feebly raised the banner of academic freedom in the abstract, the SCAUP found the conditions of ferment favorable for utilizing academic freedom to espouse the ideas of Recto and of others previously tabooed. After all, the controversial articles were being sniffed at for their Marxist-Leninist content, and much to the delight of
campus progressives it was proving futile for the reactionaries to stop the intellectual rebellion.

After so long, we can assess how much we have achieved in the propagation of new and progressive ideas. We find that these have been transformed into a material force to some extent, in the form of nationwide mass organizations and bigger and more frequent urban mass actions on a wide range of issues. Within the university, as far as we have spoken out and acted during the last nine years, we have come to be known most prominently as opponents of U.S. imperialism through our publications, conferences, seminars, teach-ins, reading assignments and other forms of instruction. The mass media have not failed to take notice of our demonstrations against the U.S. embassy and what it stands for. Our exposure of the Americanization of the University of the Philippines has also caught the national attention it deserves. We have also succeeded in achieving something as dramatic and unprecedented as the shut-down of the university for about a week and attempts on the part of the reactionary
authorities to stop and then co-opt the student strike could not succeed completely. Yet while it seems that power among students themselves is rising to some extent, we find ourselves short of some stable power. That is because a lot has yet to be done in terms of building up the correct orientation and engaging in political action towards our integration with the broad masses of the people in more significant confrontations with the semi- colonial and semi-feudal order. It is becoming more urgent for us to re-examine the general influence of Recto among our ranks and to recognize the limitations of anti-imperialist activity which is exclusive of anti-feudal activity.

If we are truly and comprehensively committed to the struggle for national democracy, for that is the pressing need in our semi- colonial and semi-feudal society, we have to be anti-imperialist and anti-feudalist in our words and deeds.

Was Claro Mayo Recto an anti-imperialist and anti-feudalist to make himself a well-rounded national democrat? He was not, Recto was essentially a mouthpiece of the progressive anti-imperialist wing of the national bourgeoisie. Without a proletarian standpoint which could have given him a vantage view of all social classes involved in the struggle for national democracy, he underestimated the value of a peasantry revolutionized by the working class and overestimated the self-willed programme and actions of the national bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia in what he assumed to be a peaceful constitutionalist process of progressive change. He spoke of nationalist industrialization and the riddance of U.S. imperialism but failed to see the necessity of agrarian revolution as the basis of a movement towards the achievement of a self-reliant economy which is in turn the basis of genuine political independence.

He was quite naive in assuming that nationalist industrialization by itself would result in agricultural development. As a matter of fact, he believed that nationalist industrialization is the starting point of rural development and every other kind of development. In his well-meaning endeavor to discredit the particular kind of rural development advocated by U.S. imperialist agents like Ramon Magsaysay, he went to the extent of dismissing the general question of rural development, which should include the matter of agrarian revolution as a prerequisite for genuine rural development, as being of secondary importance to nationalist industrialization. If Recto were a revolutionary, he could have debunked Magsaysay's rural development programme as false and pretentious in that it could not actually disturb the landlord's stranglehold over the lives of the peasant masses. Instead, Recto did admit that he was not actually opposed to Magsaysay's rural development programme per se but that
he was against it only in so far as it was a measure to deflect national efforts at Filipino-owned industrialization.

Yet in the same breath Recto cited the classic example of industrial development in capitalist countries as the optimum course that the Filipino nationalist movement should take. Ironically, he did not put much importance on the anti-feudal upheavals of old that inaugurated capitalist development in the West and the fact that the creation of agricultural surpluses played a vital role in the primitive accumulation of capital. Recto scoffed at the general idea of making agriculture the basis and industrialization the leading factor in economic development. He simply batted for nationalist industrialization one-sidedly.

If we in the new type of national democratic struggle were to limit ourselves to a strict adherence to the Recto line that national industrialization without a corresponding agrarian revolution at the social base would result in a well-rounded economic development and the realization of real political independence, we would encounter two serious pitfalls:

First, we fail to arouse and mobilize the most numerous oppressed class in this semi-colonial and semi-feudal country, the peasantry, as the main force in the national democratic struggle; and

Second, we fail to achieve the transformation of the present state into one that is truly national democratic and that makes possible a self-reliant programme of industrialization.

By overlooking the question of agrarian revolution, which is actually the main content of our struggle for national democracy, we would not acquire the massive support of the peasantry and as a result we would fail to create a big fighting force against U.S. imperialism and its local reactionary cohorts and we would also fail to bind all progressive classes into an effective national front against the same. Either or both the working class and the national bourgeoisie cannot free themselves from the clutches of U.S. imperialism and from the mire of feudalism without the peasantry under proletarian leadership being engaged in a revolutionary movement against their own exploiters.

U.S. imperialism can persist in this country because feudalism also persists as its social base and as the cause of our internal weaknesses. A passive peasantry bogged down in feudalism can only be manipulated by the exploiting classes until such time that the working class can arouse it and provide it with revolutionary leadership. It has been precisely the objective of Magsaysay's palliative of land tenure security and resettlement programme and Macapagal's inadequate and multi-loopholed Agricultural Land Reform Code to assuage the peasant masses and keep them passive. It will not do the peasant masses any good to obscure their crying need for agrarian revolution.

One reason that makes the national bourgeoisie in the Philippines vacillate so much in the national democratic struggle is its attachment to feudalism. The national bourgeoisie has been able to borrow capital from the banks because it is wont to use land as collateral. Furthermore, its credit and other business connections actually tie it up directly or indirectly with U.S. monopoly capitalism. The weaknesses of the national bourgeoisie here in the Philippines are due to the fact that Spanish colonialism and U.S. imperialism have profoundly disrupted what should have been a normal pattern of capitalist development.

What made Recto a non-revolutionary and, indeed a bourgeois constitutionalist and parliamentarian, was the fact that the logic of his advocacy of nationalist industrialization exclusive of agrarian revolution made him fail to see the necessity of a revolutionary transformation of state power. He spoke of the need for state economic planning without questioning the nature and character of the incumbent state which had so far failed to assume the task of economic planning and which he impliedly expected to do so.

The thinking that the nationalist industrialization can be achieved and genuine land reform can follow under the present state leads some degenerates of the so-called Old Left, together with their bourgeois masters, to pontificate that the use of the powers of the present state for purposes of pooling and allocating resources through planning is a common ground for political agreement between the working class and the national bourgeoisie. So they want a nationalist government without the joint revolutionary mobilization of the masses of workers and peasants. This line has actually been propagated for quite sometime in Indonesia, India, Burma, Pakistan and other underdeveloped countries. Prematurely, this line is even described by muddle-headed and opportunist elements as the "socialist" line or the "non-capitalist" line applied on semi- feudal conditions. But what has actually occurred in these places is the perpetuation of the rule of the imperialists, the compradors, the landlords,
and the bureaucrat capitalists. The phenomenon of bureaucrat capitalists or corrupt government officials is a striking feature of regimes that pretend to undertake "socialist" planning without the actual transformation of state power and ascendance of the masses of the people. What the modern revisionists have supported as "non-capitalist" development in a number of Asian and African countries provide us plenty of negative lessons.

Though in such countries, foreign direct investments are already under some amount of restraint, U.S. Imperialism can still manipulate loan capital to keep them as puppet-states and keep open the paths for a significant amount of direct investments. Recto expressed preference for foreign loans to foreign direct investments but he himself still cautioned that when these are put under restraint the foreign monopolies may still manipulate foreign loans to get their profits.

There is nothing better than to grasp agrarian revolution as the key to the radical transformation of political power and the deposition of U.S. monopoly capitalism and landlordism in our country by all progressive classes. It is narrow-minded economism to consider the line of nationalist industrialization as the key to the achievement of economic development and subsequently of genuine political independence. Politically, it can only mean constant begging for peace and civil liberties for harassed city radicals which at most is for the benefit of an anemic national bourgeoisie, Economically, it can only mean begging for crumbs from the table of the big bourgeoisie and the landlord class. Militarily, it can only mean arguing feebly that since there is no automatic retaliation clause in the military treaties with U.S. imperialism these should be abrogated at the mutual pleasure of the master government and the puppet government. Culturally, it can only mean postures of anger about hurt
pride and lost dignity between acts of self-flagellation and unjust expressions of contempt for the masses.

It is agrarian revolution, on the other hand, that can agitate and release the most massive support for that revolutionary leadership which only the working class is capable of providing in this era of imperialism or more precisely, the era of its total collapse. If agrarian revolution is left out or obscured in what purports to be a national democratic programme, nationalist industrialization itself would not grow amply and genuine political independence with a sound democratic basis in the revolutionary unity of the working class and peasantry would not be realized. Agrarian revolution is the process that can set into motion tens of millions of the Filipino people as the main force of the national liberation and national democratic movement.

The reason why the late Claro Mayo Recto was described as the political aristocrat, either to place him above his vulgar colleagues or to denigrate him, was that he did not or he never had the chance to merge himself with the masses of the people in a revolutionary movement. At this late, it would be unfair to demand of him the achievement of a Mao Tsetung or a Ho Chi Minh. It is fair enough for us to recognize the limitations of his political thinking and of his class standpoint. We, the youth who have extremely favorable chances in this era of the total collapse of imperialism, should maintain a critical respect for Recto while we strive to surpass his achievements. A national democratic revolution is still to be won in our country.

Recto when alive was our ally. Even now, his political thinking is still allied to our thinking in certain respects and to some extent. But those who can surpass Recto's political thinking should do so now as we find ourselves in a rapidly developing situation. Those who honestly hold on to Recto's line because of their actual class basis we may still consider our allies. It is anomalous, though, for some persons to think that they are the most revolutionary even as they continue to limit themselves to being mere echoes of Recto or being mere shadows of the national bourgeoisie.

The need to surpass the political thinking of Recto is made even more urgent by the fact that now the reactionaries are trying to cover up their basic allegiance to a system of foreign and feudal exploitation by using the language of Recto. Take note of the latest official verbal progress about the "New Filipino" being made by Ferdinand E. Marcos and Carlos P. Romulo.

What is beginning to develop in the political scene in the Philippines is mildly reminiscent of Sukarno's heyday of oratorical anti-imperialism. However, the high pitch of a relatively safe anti-imperialism, will still have to be reached in some future year in the country. For more than ten years already, every administration has found it suitable to use such slogans as "Filipino First", "Unfinished Revolution" and "New Filipino", with a seemingly national democratic content but actually devoid of any determination to achieve national democracy. This charade that has not at all affected the essence of the incumbent reactionary state power is going to be played until the people get tired of the local versions of Sukarno, Nehru, Ne Win and other such "anti-imperialists" in the same way that they are already getting tired of bare-faced puppets of U.S. imperialism and domestic feudalism.

At a time that the United States is trying to save itself from its own crisis and is shifting the burden to its puppet governments, those at the helm of the Philippine government would increasingly assume a false posture of independence in a repeat performance of Quezon's asininely begrudging oratory made during the American Depression about the Philippine government run like hell (by puppets) being better than one run like heaven by American themselves.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
           

The Avila Gag Order

Photos by Prof. Phoebe Zoe Sanchez

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