Debunking the big lie of Arroyo about military-communist coup plot

By Professor JOSE MARIA SISON
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

If we understand the definition of coup d’etat, no coup attempt can be imputed to any military group on February 24. So far, the Arroyo regime is not charging General Danilo Lim and others with the crime of coup d’etat. It prefers to focus on and go after former Sen. Gringo Honasan and a handful of other retired and active members of the armed forces, whom it accuses of making both an agreement of political alliance and “coup conspiracy” with communists.

By Professor JOSE MARIA SISON
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

As in EDSA 1 and EDSA 2**, the officers and units of the military and police of the reactionary government can withdraw support from the Arroyo regime and yet do not carry out a coup d’etat because they do not grab power for themselves and they do not violate the principle of civilian supremacy. They can play such a patriotic role which is needed and welcomed by the anti-Arroyo broad united front and the broad masses of the people.

Gloria M. Arroyo benefited from EDSA 2, when the military and police withdrew support from Estrada and joined the uprising of the people but did not seize power for themselves in violation of the principle of civilian supremacy. But the propagandists of the Arroyo regime are now making it appear that mere withdrawal of military and police now constitutes an act of coup d’etat.

By definition, a coup d’etat is a quick and decisive “blow on the state”, a seizure of governmental power by a strong military or political group using force of arms. In contrast to a revolution, it does not necessarily involve a mass uprising. A coup by a military group characteristically seeks to install the authority of a military dictator or military-dominated junta. We did not see on February 24 any tangible proof or sign of any such coup or coup attempt. But we saw Arroyo’s usurpation of martial law powers and the physical attacks on the people at EDSA.

The head of the executive branch, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, can also carry out a coup d’etat if he or she uses the armed forces to deliver the blow on the state for the purpose of usurping the authority of the other co-equal branches of government and installing himself or herself as the dictatorial authority. Clear examples of heads of state who became fascist dictators by coup are provided by Hitler and Marcos, the models of Arroyo.

If we understand the definition of coup d’etat, no coup attempt can be imputed to any military group on February 24. So far, the Arroyo regime is not charging General Danilo Lim and others with the crime of coup d’etat. It prefers to focus on and go after former Sen. Gringo Honasan and a handful of other retired and active members of the armed forces, whom it accuses of making both an agreement of political alliance and “coup conspiracy” with communists.

The Arroyo regime should bring out the full text of what it describes as the five-point agreement of political alliance between the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, reportedly an association of civilians and retired and active military officers. If there is indeed such an agreement, the parties themselves should issue the full text and not the Arroyo regime. It could be enlightening to the public and to all the military and police.

Let the public decide whether the purported agreement carries any point about undertaking a coup d’etat to install a military dictator or military-controlled junta in violation of the principle of civilian supremacy. The people are wary that the Arroyo regime is displaying spurious or doctored documents (like easily manipulated computer files) to sustain its fabricated “coup conspiracy”.

It is not in the nature and conduct of communists to support a coup d’etat even within the reactionary ruling system. On its own volition any group within the reactionary armed forces can decide to overthrow the Arroyo ruling clique by armed force and seize power. There is nothing that communists can do about that, except to observe the violent character of contradictions within the ruling system and call for the intensification of popular resistance and armed revolution.

In the 2004 presidential elections, Arroyo herself made a coup against the reactionary state system by using military units under her loyal military officers to commit electoral fraud. Again on February 24 it was the illegitimate president who made the coup by issuing Proclamation 1017 and using the military and police to transgress the authority of co-equal branches of government, usurp martial powers and suppress democratic rights.

There is nothing wrong for any group of the military and police of the reactionary government to seek and have an alliance with all or any of the organized forces within the broad united front against the Arroyo regime, provided the military and police forces stay within the limits of respecting democratic rights and upholding civilian supremacy. Within this context, it is not wrong for any group of military and police officers to seek and form an alliance with the Communist Party of the Philippines. Even the entire reactionary government, including the Arroyo regime, has been engaged in peace negotiations with the CPP and New People’s Army through the NDFP for so many years already.

Arroyo has lifted Proclamation 1017 because of the people’s outrage against it. But she expects two things from the Supreme Court which is dominated by her appointees. One thing is the minimum: the court dismisses the complaints against the proclamation as moot and academic and she can always issue and re-issue a similar proclamation in the future. The other thing is the maximum: the court decides to validate and endorse Proclamation 1017 as it did the proclamations of the “state of rebellion” in 2001 and 2003 and Arroyo proceeds to reissue Proclamation 1017 or issue a new proclamation to exercise martial law powers without being subject to congressional scrutiny and approval.

The Arroyo regime is manipulating the entire ruling system and is using the military and police forces to have her selfish way within and outside the formal terms of the reactionary legal system. Despite the lifting of Proclamation 1017, it continues to repress the people and its opponents in so many ways. But the regime is becoming more and more isolated by the broad united front of patriotic, progressive and other forces and by the broad masses of the people who wish to free themselves from extreme oppression and exploitation.

The following pressures within the ruling system are straining the Arroyo regime: the anti-Arroyo conservative opposition demands her resignation, the broad united front demands her ouster by people’s uprising cum withdrawal of military and police support as in EDSA 1 and EDSA 2 and the growing sentiment among anti-Arroyo military and police officers to make a coup. Outside of the ruling system, the armed revolutionary movement of the people is fast expanding and intensifying.

The Arroyo regime fabricates stories about a military-and-communist conspiracy in a futile attempt to discredit the anti-Arroyo military and police officers and personnel and at the same time delivers the most vicious attacks on the legal democratic mass movement. It is driving the legal mass leaders and activists of the national democratic movement to consider joining the armed revolutionary movement in the face of the regime’s policy of repression and the threats of murder, warrantless arrests and torture against them.

The revolutionary forces have announced in their publications that they are ready to receive those persecuted by the regime and provide them with safety and the opportunity to participate in the revolutionary armed struggle. The longer the Arroyo ruling clique persists in power and becomes more repressive, the crisis of the ruling system will become more grave, the contradictions among the reactionary forces will become more violent, and the armed revolution will expand and intensify more rapidly than ever before.

** EDSA is the acronym of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, a major highway that traverses the length of Metro Manila. Mass uprisings concentrating along the highway ousted the Marcos regime in 1986 (EDSA 1) and the Estrada regime in 2001 (EDSA 2).

 

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