By Fr. SANTIAGO SALAS
Spokesperson, NDFP Eastern Visayas
Other versions: Waray
We celebrate today the 37th founding anniversary of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, a significant occasion for the revolutionary forces, the people, and their allies. The alliance of revolutionary organizations was formed immediately after the imposition of martial law to unite with other forces in fighting the Marcos fascist dictatorship and in striving for a society enjoying national sovereignty, genuine democracy, social justice, progress, and peace.
Today, the reactionary ruling system once again faces political turmoil as the incumbent Arroyo regime plans to steal or derail the coming election on May 10 to remain in power. While the reactionary ranks are in grave disarray, the revolutionary movement and the people must hold the political initiative and further advance the revolution. We are guided by the goal of achieving the strategic stalemate in the people's war in the next five years.
It is highly possible that the Arroyo regime will sabotage the planned poll automation, which is in fact expected to have a failure rate of up to 30 percent as admitted by the Commission on Elections itself. Despite assurances for an alternative manual counting of ballots, the top positions of the presidency, vice-presidency and the senate may not be settled at all by the June 30 proclamation deadline. This can be then taken advantage of by Gloria Arroyo who will insist on extending her rule as a "transition president". Aside from that, Arroyo is also preparing to win a seat in the new Congress, become Speaker, and push for charter change and install herself as prime minister to remain in power.
If Arroyo's maneuvers will be contested, she is relying on her control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Supreme Court to impose martial rule and legitimize her continuing rule.
But the people will not take lightly the big insult that Arroyo should be allowed to keep power by any means. The people of Eastern Visayas are already reeling from hunger, poverty, and depressed livelihoods from the socio-economic crisis afflicting the country because of Arroyo's anti-people and pro-imperialist policies. Thus the people's seething fury is expressed in the most recent surveys damning Arroyo as the most despised Philippine president ever. Such rage and resistance are set to explode after nearly a decade of Arroyo's colossal corruption, gross and widespread human rights violations, and betrayal of the country to foreign interests. The people are ready to act not only to end the hated regime but also to punish it for its crimes.
It is thus the responsibility of the revolutionary movement to take the political initiative and gather the strength of the people, thwart the Arroyo regime's schemes, and advance its democratic power and the interests of the people. Thus the people must be swiftly aroused, organized, and mobilized, the broadest anti-Arroyo united front achieved, and the initiative seized in the possibility of widespread uprising after June 30.
The revolutionary forces in the Eastern Visayas countryside must take advantage of the crisis in the reactionary ruling system to further advance the people's war. The revolutionary mass organizations must be mobilized to wage agrarian struggles and other mass movements, reach new areas and expand the overall scope, and painstakingly establish Red political power. In the cities and central towns, the revolutionary forces and the democratic and protest movements must be expanded and strengthened. This opportunity must be used to energize and expand the revolutionary movement on a wider scope.
The New People's Army must take advantage of the extraordinary situation to launch tactical offensives throughout Eastern Visayas, including selected major attacks against the worst reactionary enemies, especially during the expected widespread unrest after the May 10 election.
We thus celebrate the NDFP anniversary in the region with great joy and revolutionary optimism. As one of the bigger regions and with a significant revolutionary strength, Eastern Visayas hopes to contribute in the present situation favorable for revolutionary advance, and towards the goal of achieving the strategic stalemate in the people's war in the next five years. We have the accumulated territory, strength and experience to count on in doing our share in the national effort.
Long live the National Democratic Front of the Philippines!
Long live the people's democratic revolution!
Long live the Filipino people!