CPP Information Bureau
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today released the following statement.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in condemning the foreign oil companies for raising the retail prices of petroleum products in the Philippines for the fourth time in less than 20 days. The CPP denounces the Aquino regime for feigning helplessness, collaborating in effect with the foreign oil cartel in allowing such successive oil price increases, and refusing to rescind the 12% expanded VAT (value-added tax) on oil products.
The oil companies are stoking the people’s anger by successively imposing price increases, this time using so-called “tensions” in the Middle East as pretext. Retail oil prices have already been increased by around PhP2 per liter since the start of the year, despite the absence of any disruption in the oil supply due to these “tensions”. Oil prices in the Philippines have swelled by around 30% since last year. Diesel currently sells at prices that are around PhP10 per liter higher than those prevailing in January 2011.
The Filipino people need to confront the unremitting increases in oil prices with widespread protests such as those launched by workers’ unions and people’s organizations in Nigeria since last week. For several days, the Nigerian people launched mass demonstrations, workers’ strikes, shutdowns and other forms of protest in response to the jacking up of oil prices by more than 130%. After a week of protest actions, the Nigerian government was forced to roll back oil prices by 35%.
Like the Nigerian people, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Filipino people have no other recourse but to rise up in their millions in order to wage mass struggles in the face of the unbounded oil price increases. They need to build the broadest possible unity and launch sustained and intensified mass protests in order to force the Aquino regime to repeal the Oil Deregulation Law which has given oil companies free rein to raise retail prices at will, compel the government to revoke taxes on oil prices and order a rollback of oil prices to acceptable levels. They must protest the monopoly capitalist control of the international oil industry and sustainedly demand the nationalization of the oil industry and the entire Philippine economy.
The Filipino people are bound to wage sustained and intensified mass struggles as they are enraged by the incessant increases in the prices of food and other basic commodities even as wages remain low and as profligate spending by the ruling classes and bureaucrat capitalists go on unabated in the face of mass poverty.