Speech at gathering of the ILPS Hongkong and Macau Chapter
Duke of Windsor Auditorium, Hongkong
By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
Dear Compatriots and Friends,
Warmest greetings of solidarity!
I wish to thank the ILPS Hongkong and Macau Chapter for organizing this gathering with the theme, “Understanding the Filipino people’s struggle for human rights and a just and lasting peace”, for inviting me to speak on building solidarity for the national democratic movement in the Philippines and for launching the two books, Defeating Revisionism, Reformism and Opportunism; and Building Strength through Struggle.
Migrante International embraces the organizations that uphold, defend and promote the rights and welfare of the Filipino migrant workers and develop the closest possible solidarity with the host people and their institutions and organizations in so many countries. It can be considered as the organization with the highest and widest capacity for building international solidarity for the national democratic movement in the Philippines. It is also the key organization in the International Alliance of Migrant Workers and Refugees.
The Filipino migrant workers have always been called upon to keep in mind the problems and suffering of the Filipino people, to support their struggle for national liberation and democracy and to seek international solidarity for them. They are always reminded that they have been compelled to leave their families and motherland and seek work abroad because of the high rate of unemployment, poverty and scarce or absent job opportunities. It is therefore their duty to themselves, their families and their people that they support the struggle in their motherland and seek the solidarity of peoples abroad.
There are certain countries like the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand where significant numbers of Filipinos, including workers, professionals and their families, reside permanently or have become citizens. These Filipinos can be enlightened and encouraged to put up their community organizations and organize trips to renew their relations with family and motherland. The youth are certainly eager to trace their roots and contribute what they can to the people’s struggle. Solidarity or friendship organizations can be built by the Filipinos and their foreign friends and organize annual education and relaxation tours to the Philippines.
Filipino community organizations, migrant workers organizations, youth organizations and solidarity organizations can become cohesive if they have offices and agreed meeting places. Here they can undertake informative and cultural gatherings, conferences, forums and seminars. They recruit new members and organize tours to the Philippines. They can launch actions and campaigns on current issues. In universities where there are plenty of Filipino students every year, they can choose Philippine issues as their subject of research and they can demand the establishment of programs and institutes of Philippine studies. Extramural resource and research centers and publications can be established and devoted to Philippine studies.
BAYAN, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Pamalakaya, Gabriela, Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students and many other organizations which are based either on sectoral interest or issues like human rights, peace, environment and so on have their respective international solidarity relations of varying geopraphic scope and intensity of cooperation. They have timely communications with their solidarity partners, they dispatch delegations to bilateral and multilateral conferences, forums and seminars and they can invite representatives of their solidarity partners to visit the Philippines for the purpose of mutual learning and deepening mutual cooperation.
Revolutionary organizations like the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and the underground mass organizations have their respective international solidarity relations. The CPP can relate to parties, organizations, alliances and movements abroad not only on the basis of ideological mutual understanding but broadly on the basis of the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle. Not being on the terrorist list of any country, the NDFP has more legal leeway than the CPP abroad. It has its own solidarity relations and it can facilitate solidarity relations between any of its allied organizations and the appropriate organizations abroad.
The NDFP has a known and accessible international office in Utrecht, The Netherlands. This office has been important in disseminating information and statements of the revolutionary organizations regarding the Philippine situation and the struggle of the Filipino people and in building international solidarity relations with parties, organizations, institutions and movements in so many countries. It has been a safe, convenient and highly important contact point for the Royal Norwegian Government and the Manila government for the purpose of peace negotiations.
Finally, I wish to point out that since its founding in 2001 the International League of Peoples’ Struggle has benefited greatly from the membership of Philippine mass organizations in the ILPS and from their international solidarity relations. In turn, as the ILPS grows, the Philippine mass organizations and the entire national democratic movement of the Filipino people can benefit from the campaigns, new alliances and conferences that the ILPS generates in accordance with its 17 concerns.