By JORGE MADLOS (Ka Oris)
Spokesperson, NDFP Mindanao Chapter
Twenty-eight years hence, the promise of the EDSA people’s uprising — the hope for basic change, for betterment in the lives of the vast majority of Filipinos — is year after year becoming ever more an elusive dream. The regimes of Cory Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III have miserably failed to fulfil the promise of EDSA because their selfish class interest dictates that such has never been the intent. These five successive US imperialist puppet regimes have instead reversed the initial gains of the people’s uprising, as can clearly be seen from our political, economic and social realities.
The promise of broadening democracy has never happened and is neither forthcoming. The series of elections peddled by the ruling elite as a hallmark of democracy is, at most, just a way to settle who should hold the reign in power among the elite and is never meant to truly realize their jargon of “people empowerment” as deceptively crafted in their local government code. The would-be success of ending 27 years of brutal dictatorship under Marcos is nullified by the resurrection to power of the Marcoses themselves and their henchmen, and the intensification of repression under such Martial Law copies as Oplan Lambat Bitag under the Cory Aquino and Ramos regimes, Oplan Makabayan under Estrada and Oplan Bantay Laya by Arroyo. And now, Oplan Bayanihan, Aquino III’s dreaded military strategy conducted in the name of “Internal Security” and the economic interest of his imperialist masters and the local ruling classes.
What the people have gained by way of the provision in the Cory Constitution banning US bases from our soil and nuclear warships from our seas and shores is totally reversed by her son’s acquiescence to the unlimited stay and unhampered freedom of US troops to brandish their advanced weaponry anywhere they like in the Philippines and to continue having their nuclear-powered warships ply our seas and dock in our ports.
And where are these “economic gains” promised by the past four as well as the present US-puppet regimes? Poverty incidence has continued to rise in spite of their much ballyhooed poverty alleviation programs. Unemployment, according to conservative estimates, has risen to 12.7 million Filipino workers. Their bogus land reform has only enriched the Aquino-Cojuangco clan together with other traditional landed classes. Imperialist-led multinational plantations throughout the country are fast expanding, grabbing what land is left among the peasant masses, Moro and the Lumad. They have never been interested in truly industrializing our country because their imperialist bosses have not allow that and have bound us eternally instead as an exporter of raw materials and a consumer of imperialist products. Worse, our forest, mountains, plains, shores and seas have been ravaged by the combined plunder of the imperialist and their local stooges right before our very eyes.
Social services such as health, transport, electricity, education and other services have worsened and becoming ever more unavailable to the workers, peasants, youth, women, Moro and the indigenous peoples, including the elder citizens. Ironically, a huge chunk of the people’s money goes to unbridled corruption since the Cory Aquino regime down to the regime of her son — the newly crowned “pork barrel King”.
Where shall we go from here and what path shall we follow? Our only road to salvation is revolutionary change through a people’s democratic revolution that shall immediately build a socialist system upon victory. Our solution for the peasant problem is agrarian revolution that shall start from the gradual reduction of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation until we have mustered the political power to freely distribute land to the peasants, with a perspective of advancing this into collective agricultural undertakings. We will industrialize the country, one that serves to develop hand-in-hand with our genuine land reform program, while improving the well-being of our worker population. Our socialist system will ensure the equitable distribution of our social wealth as well as the availability of basic and higher education, health care, housing, transportation and other social services.
We have not achieved all these 28 years after EDSA people’s uprising, even through the bourgeois periodic election. We must smash the reactionary government so that a truly democratic people’s government shall rise up. And this can be done only if we have the political and military power to do so. It is imperative therefore for us to strengthen our army, the New People’s Army, and we must build a broad united front so that the vast majority of the Filipino people shall, together with their people’s army, dismantle all reactionary regimes barring our path to total victory.
Although these tasks entail so much sacrifice along the protracted course of the struggle, we can persevere in this revolutionary struggle however long and protracted it may take because this is the only road to our national salvation and democracy.
And as the ruling clique led by Aquino III celebrates and mocks at the EDSA victory, we shall all together shout in unison: Down with the US-Aquino regime! Tanggalin sa poder si Benigno Aquino III, ngayon na!
Long live the National Democratic Revolution with a socialist perspective!