Unite the people to resist Duterte’s heightened tyrannical rule

CPP Information Bureau

Rodrigo Duterte is obsessed with his strongman ambitions. He is set on establishing himself as a fascist despot. His resort to tyranical methods has heightened since having unravelled as a camp-follower of the US imperialists. He has become ever more brazen and unapologetic in carrying out repressive policies and measures.

He has escalated the campaign of extrajudicial killings against street peddlers and users of shabu. He expresses satisfaction over news that more than a hundred have been killed by his police in three days. He has publicly applauded the murderous rampage of his police force and has repeated his vow to save them from punishment, stoking greater public indignation after police were caught on camera manhandling a 17-year old boy prior to his fatal shooting. There is widespread clamor for justice for all the victims of Duterte’s anti-people “war against drugs.”

This escalation of police killings comes at the heels of the discovery of a P6.4 billion shipment of shabu from China at a warehouse of the Bureau of Customs. The involvement of Duterte scion Paolo and his Davao gang of businessmen cum drug smugglers has also been exposed. Duterte has defended his appointee at the BOC despite (or perhaps because of) the drug smuggling.

Duterte is himself rousing widespread public suspicion that his “war against drugs” is nothing but a smokescreen for a major turf war among major drug syndicates, and that he has been using the police to provide favor and protection for one syndicate against another or that he himself a drug kingpin. Employing trusted and tested police officers, he liquidated the Parojinogs of Ozamiz City, long known for controlling the illegal drug trade in large parts of Mindanao and elsewhere.

He has likewise used his war against drugs as a blanket tool against his political rivals. He brandishes his thick book of dossiers of supposed drug personalities which not even the police chief can cite a basis for. He has arbitrarily included and excluded people and has used the list to armtwist rivals with threats of killings showcasing the Parojinogs and Albuerras in order to force them to accede to his political and criminal agenda.

The brutality of Duterte’s “war against drugs” is matched only by the brutality of his all-out war against the revolutionary forces under Oplan Kapayapaan, his imposition of martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao and the anti-Moro war and siege of Marawi. In the countryside, the military rules and respects no rights or freedom. Killings of peasants and national minorities run unabated. It has relentlessly carried out aerial bombings, shellings and strafings of civilian communities. Almost a million people have forcibly evacuated.

Duterte has used his congressional supermajority to earn approval and extension of his Mindanao martial law. He has also rammed through his new tax laws and is seeking rapid approval of his 2018 budget. With complete or nearly complete control of congress, Duterte aims to push for charter change to enshrine the neoliberal policies of liberalization, privatization and deregulation and realize his ambition of completely monopolizing power under the guise of establishing a federal government.

Duterte wants everyone to remain silent and blindly accept his planned infrastructure binge with all its burdensome debt deals and commissions. He has repeatedly threatened the Supreme Court against issuing TROs and had his political allies file an impeachment case against the chief justice. Threats of impeachment have also been dished out against other officials who have not been cooperative with the Duterte regime such as Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

Duterte has completely abandoned his cordial relations with the national democratic movement having failed to entice the people’s revolutionary forces to silence their guns in a protracted ceasefire prior to substantively addressing the roots of the civil war. His congressional swines have voted to reject the appointment of social activist Judy Taguiwalo as social welfare secretary, signaling his termination of earlier efforts to explore a possible alliance with the Left. He has repeatedly declared he no longer wants peace negotiations with the NDFP.

The Duterte regime has carried out policies that favor foreign big capitalists, bourgeois compradors, big landlords, bureaucrat capitalists and the fascist military and polace. It plans to impose additional tax burdens and pursues a debt-driven infrastructure program which are bound to be detrimental to the people’s welfare. It has waged wars of death and destruction against the people, especially against the peasants, the Moro and national minority peoples, the workers and the urban poor.

As a result, the Duterte regime has become increasingly politically isolated from the people and has resorted to more and more tyrannical measures to perpetuate itself in power. No amount of media and social media manipulation and news and public opinion fakery can withstand the assertion of the truth concerning the concrete conditions of the oppressed and exploited people.

It is the task of the Party and revolutionary forces to unite all sectors in a broad people’s alliance, provide it core strength and leadership in the struggle against the US-Duterte regime’s tyrannical, criminal and corrupt rule. Indeed, many of the Duterte regime’s victims are now rising from the depths of fear and raising their voices against his regime.

The mass organizations and alliances must unite and mobilize the people in greater numbers by intensifying the mass struggles of peasants, workers, students, the urban poor, the women, the Moro and minority peoples, the church people, teachers, the migrant workers and their families and other democratic sectors and groups. They must carry out mass struggles and campaigns along anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and anti-fascist lines.

They must give attention to waging a propaganda offensive against Duterte’s demagoguery. They must encourage, unleash the initiative and give full swing to their members and their mass base to confront and confute Duterte and his band of paid trolls in all forms of media. They can do so by carrying out regular educational discussions among their members and the masses in the factories, communities, schools, offices and so on.

The broadest possible online network of activists, propagandists and members of the national democratic mass organizations must be built.

Under the direction of the Party, the New People’s Army (NPA) must continue to seize nationwide initiative, carry out more and more tactical offensives, increase the number of its weapons and arm a rapidly increasing number of new Red fighters.

Every successful tactical offensive of the NPA helps shatter the climate of shock, awe and fear imposed by the regime’s brutal war and, in turn, instills fear on the drug-crazed Duterte. The victories of the NPA inspire the Filipino and Moro people to wage mass struggles and armed resistance against the US-Duterte regime.

Duterte Kills Peace Talks, Blames Revolutionaries for Martial Law

By Professor Jose Maria Sison | Published in TeleSUR » 21 July 2017

“After 7000 to 12,000 extrajudicial killings of poor drug addicts and low level pushers, he has failed to solve the problem of illegal drugs”
— Professor Jose Maria Sison.

By his own public declarations and expressions of admiration for the fascist dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte has long been obsessed with his scheme to establish his own iron-fisted rule through martial law and extrajudicial killings by way of asserting “strong man” leadership and intimidating the opposition and the people under the pretext of solving not only the problem of illegal drugs but also far graver social, economic and political problems of the US-dominated ruling system of big compradors and landlords. At last, he has declared the end of peace negotiations with the NDFP. The revolutionary forces and people have no choice but to fight back and intensify the people’s war along the general line of people’s democratic revolution.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte inspects firearms together with Eduardo Ano, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, during his visit at the military camp in Marawi city, southern Philippines July 20, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Duterte is not daunted by failures in his use of brute force. After 7000 to 12,000 extrajudicial killings of poor drug addicts and low level pushers, he has failed to solve the problem of illegal drugs within the first three to six months of being in office. He has also used up six months of extending his bloody campaign and has aroused suspicions that he has acted against certain drug lords only to favor those who keep the business thriving. He has directed the bombing of Marawi and victimized the people far more than the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups could. But he wants to prolong the Mindanao-wide martial law proclamation up to the end of 2017. And he calculates that he can make martial rule nationwide by continuing to blame and target the revolutionary movement of the people as “terrorists”.

After pretending for a while to seek a negotiated peace between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP, representing the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and sixteen other revolutionary organizations), he is flagrantly hell-bent on making the armed revolutionary movement the scapegoat and pretext for the proclamation of martial law on the scale of the island of Mindanao and eventually nationwide. Since the time he assumed the presidency, Duterte has launched offensives against the New People’s Army (NPA) and has always threatened to scuttle the peace negotiations whenever the NPA takes defensive or counter-offensive actions even in the absence of a ceasefire.

He has obscured the barbarities being committed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and paramilitary forces (including private security agencies and vigilante groups) that have been acting under his orders in the name of the extended Oplan Bayanihan, Oplan Kapayapaan and the all-out war policy signaled by Duterte’s termination of the peace negotiations on February 4 and spelled out by his defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana on February 7, 2017. The atrocities include aerial bombings and artillery fire, abductions, torture, destruction of lives and property, occupation of community buildings and forced evacuations and evictions. These are documented by human rights organizations and presented to the Joint Monitoring Committee of the GRP and NDFP.

Duterte has completely ignored the proposals of the NDFP to have an alliance for realizing national independence, democratic rights, economic development through national industrialization and genuine land reform, social justice, a patriotic and scientific culture and independent foreign policy and to accelerate the peace negotiations on the substantive issues on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms, to make a bilateral ceasefire agreement after approval of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and to co-found the Federal Republic of the Philippines on patriotic and democratic grounds defined by a the Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (CASER).

That Duterte has been insincere and not really been interested in the progress and ultimate success of the peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP is well proven by false promises that he has never had the intention of fulfilling. Even before he assumed his presidential office, he promised on May 16, 2016 that he would amnesty and release all political prisoners in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). But he released on bail only 19 political consultants of NDFP, which also falls short of complying with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

Despite the breach of promise, the NDFP continued to hope that all the political prisoners would be released in conjunction with the mutually agreed plan to accelerate the peace negotiations, to forge and approve the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and make an interim bilateral ceasefire agreement. To stimulate the peace negotiations, the NDFP agreed with the GRP to issue reciprocal unilateral ceasefire declarations that lasted more than five months, from August 28, 2016 to February 10, 2017.

But Duterte himself kept on saying publicly that he never had any intention of releasing all the political prisoners but wished to keep them as his trump card until the successful end of the peace negotiations. Worse, despite the unilateral ceasefire declarations which lasted for more than five months, the GRP unleashed armed offensives against the revolutionary movement under the name of Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan and then under that of Oplan Kapayapaan. Since February 4, Duterte has caused the declaration of the all-out war policy against the NPA and the people and has never withdrawn it before and after his Mindanao-wide martial law proclamation on May 23, 2017.

Every round of formal talks has been used by the GRP to cut down the hope for the release of the political prisoners in accordance with CARHRIHL and to put at the top of the agenda the GRP demand for bilateral ceasefire at the expense of negotiations on CASER, despite the repeated reminders of the NDFP to the GRP that substantive negotiations and agreements must come ahead of any protracted and indefinite kind of ceasefire. At one point, in back channel talks last March 11, the NDFP agreed with GRP to issue reciprocal and simultaneous unilateral ceasefire declarations. But the GRP backed out of agreement despite Duterte’s approval on March 11.

The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Sequence, Formation and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees have set forth the sequence of the items in the substantive agenda: respect for human rights and international humanitarian law (the subject of a comprehensive agreement approved by the GRP and NDFP principals since 1998), social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces. The aim of sequencing properly the items is to address the roots of the armed conflict and lay the basis of a just and lasting peace.

For sincerely adhering to the agreements with the GRP and for refusing to surrender and pacify the revolutionary movement of the people under the guise of a premature prolonged and indefinite bilateral ceasefire, the NDFP is now being demagogically accused by the Duterte government of insincerity in the peace negotiations, being relentlessly blamed for the continuing revolutionary armed conflict, being targeted by propaganda aimed at preparing the public mind for the proclamation of martial law nationwide and using the CPP, NPA and the NDFP as scapegoat.

Coldbloodedly, Duterte intends to rule the Philippines with a combination of martial rule, the use of the mass murder methods of Oplans Tokhang and Double Barrel and the bombing and shelling of entire communities as already seen in Marawi and in the territory of the people’s democratic government and the NPA in the course of the extended Oplan Bayanihan, Oplan Kapayapaan and the all out war policy issued last February 5 against the revolutionary movement.

Even without the license of martial law, the Duterte regime has become culpable for at least 10,000 extrajudicial killings, already outstripping in one year the 3500 victims of murder under the 14-year Marcos fascist regime presented in the US court system. With the license of martial law, we can expect a far bigger catastrophe of extrajudicial killings and other atrocities from the AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces.

The Duterte regime has thoroughly exposed itself as an instrument of US imperialism, a creature of a certain overreaching group of big compradors and landlords and a bloody accomplice of pro-US military and police officers. Thus, the revolutionary movement has started to refer to the Duterte regime as a puppet of US imperialism. The chief objective of Duterte is to destroy the revolutionary movement of the people through deception and brute force and not to build national unity and peace on the basis of social, economic, political and constitutional reforms.

He daydreams about establishing a fascist dictatorship far stronger than that of Marcos. He is oblivious of the fact that his so-called high popularity rating has been bought by excessive amounts of money and has nowhere to go but down in the face of failures and promises proven false. The revolutionary forces and the people can avail of the strategy and tactics of the broad united front and armed struggle in order to pursue the people’s democratic revolution with a socialist perspective.

Peace Negotiations Between Duterte Regime and Revolutionary Forces Head for the Rocks

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
Source: TelesurTV.Net

Despite Duterte’s avowal of trying to develop an independent foreign policy, pro-U.S. die-hards have their way in sabotaging peace negotiations.

By all major indications, the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) headed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the revolutionary forces represented by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are heading for the rocks, despite the strong clamor for these negotiations by the public and a broad range of peace advocates and despite the patient and efficient third party role of the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) as facilitator.

For more than a year, since May 16, 2016, Duterte has not fulfilled his promise to release more than 400 NDFP-listed political prisoners through general amnesty or the prosecutors’ withdrawal of the false charges of common crimes against them. The promise to release all political prisoners encouraged the NDFP to agree to an acceleration of the peace negotiations on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms in order to address the roots of the now 48 years of civil war between the GRP and NDFP.

But after four rounds of formal talks (two in Oslo in 2016, one in Rome in January 2017 and one in Noordwijk, Netherlands in April 2017), the GRP has steadily backed out of its promise to release all political prisoners and Duterte himself has publicly expressed regrets for having released from prison a mere 19 of them in August last year. These are NDFP political consultants who are protected by the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and should never have been arrested and imprisoned at all. Worst, President Duterte has twice threatened (in February and May 2017) these consultants with rearrest and shoot-to-kill orders while they were engaged in the peace negotiations abroad.

In the course of the four rounds of formal talks, the GRP negotiating panel has given the highest priority to discussions on a prolonged and indefinite bilateral ceasefire in a vain effort to obtain quickly the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces and the people. The GRP has blatantly shown diminishing interest in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and in the sequenced forging of comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and on the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

Duterte retains in his cabinet rabid exponents of U.S.-instigated neoliberal economic policy, like Director General Ernesto Pernia of the National Economic Development Authority, Secretary Carlos Dominguez III of the Finance Department and Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management. He has allowed his “supermajority” in Congress to remove Gina Lopez from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources because of her opposition to the plundering and polluting operations of mining companies.

Duterte has shown a lack of sustained interest in genuine land reform and national industrialization proposed by the NDFP. He has demagogically used the slogan of change only to stick to the status quo and further entrench the interests of the United States and other foreign monopolies and the oligarchy of big compradors and landlords. He prefers continuing the export of raw materials, semi-manufactures, and cheap labor and taking onerous foreign loans to sustain import-dependent consumption and infrastructure building and to cover the ever growing chronic trade deficit and balance of payments.

The NDFP has offered to co-found the Federal Republic of the Philippines with the GRP, provided there are guarantees for political and economic sovereignty, people’s democracy, respect for human rights, development, social justice, patriotic culture and independent foreign policy against foreign dominance, dynasticism, warlordism and other forms of local reaction. But the Duterte regime appears convinced that it alone can proceed to establish an authoritarian regime or even a fascist rule by capitalizing on its supposed “iron hand” success against illegal drugs and by shifting now to an “anti-terrorist” campaign that paves the way for a Marcos-type nationwide martial law, adoption of a new constitution and its ratification by local assemblies run by barangay captains to be appointed by Duterte and controlled by his Kilusang Pagbabago (Movement for Change).

Despite Duterte’s avowal of trying to develop an independent foreign policy in a multipolar world, by approaching China and Russia and reducing the overwhelming U.S. hegemony over the Philippines, pro-U.S. and reactionary die-hards like defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana, national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon and armed forces chief of staff Eduardo Año have their way in perpetuating U.S. dominance over the Philippine military and in sabotaging GRP-NDFP peace negotiations by waging an all-out war policy under Oplan Kapayapaan against the revolutionary forces and people since February 2017 after deviously continuing Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan.

Lorenzana, Esperon and Año are hell-bent on escalating offensive campaigns against the New People’s Army and other revolutionary forces and using the peace negotiations to obtain the capitulation and pacification of these forces under the guise of a prolonged and indefinite bilateral ceasefire agreement, which puts aside substantive negotiations and comprehensive agreements on social, economic and constitutional reforms. Such ceasefire agreement is supposed to be coupled with socio-economic dole outs from the GRP and foreign entities and prevent the basic socio-economic reforms demanded by the people.

The so-called security cluster in the Duterte cabinet has Duterte practically on the cusp of its hands on national security issues. Longtime Washington resident Defense Secretary Lorenzana has been able to put U.S. military forces at play in the air and ground surveillance and bombing of Marawi City, resulting in indiscriminate mass destruction of civilian lives and property and the displacement of more than 300,000 people in Marawi and nearby areas. The irony in the Marawi tragedy is that U.S. military intervention has been justified at the highest level of the Duterte regime by the special operations of the CIA-directed and Islamic state (Daesh)-affiliated Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups.

Duterte himself has become insecure, despite his current obeisance to the United States and his own security cluster. He himself has acknowledged that he faces threats of assassination or coup. It seems to be beneficial to Duterte that the United States and his own security cluster are egging him on to include the revolutionary forces led by the Communist Party of the Philippines as among the “terrorist” targets of the reactionary state to rationalize a Mindanao-wide and then nationwide proclamation of martial law. But this will make Duterte even more vulnerable to a “soft” coup by the pro-U.S. retired and active generals around him or to a popular broad united front against his regime. When he becomes more of a liability than an asset to the United States, even the pro-U.S. officials around him are likely to turn against him and cooperate with anti-Duterte forces within and outside of the reactionary armed forces and police.

A newly-elected president in the Philippines usually obtains in his first year of office a high popularity and trust rating from the mercenary opinion poll survey firms. Subsequently, his reputation deteriorates as his promises remain unfulfilled, problems are aggravated and projects fall short of targets and are afflicted by corruption, The Duterte regime is already reeking with corruption even before it can fulfill its promise of punishing the big crooks in the previous Aquino regime. However, Duterte is now most liable for gross human rights violations for the thousands of extra-judicial killings in his Oplan Tokhang against illegal drugs and for the indiscriminate bombings and artillery fire on communities in his all-out war policy against the revolutionary forces and in his campaign against the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups in Marawi and other Bangsamoro groups elsewhere.

The socio-economic and political conditions in the Philippines and in the world are not favorable for the Duterte regime to abandon peace negotiations with the NDFP and to pursue authoritarian ambitions. Having a growth rate of the gross domestic product at around 7 per cent or even higher is not a true measure economic and social development. It merely obscures in vain how the exploiting classes appropriate for themselves the social wealth created by the working people. Poverty is widespread because of extreme forms of exploitation in an underdeveloped economy. Mass unemployment is actually rising, incomes of the working people are plunging and taxes and prices of basic commodities are soaring. The use of authoritarianism and state terrorism will only serve to inflame further the Filipino people’s resistance.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines have publicly expressed their readiness to fight and defeat the all-out war policy of the Duterte regime. At the same time, they are still willing to pursue the peace negotiations with the GRP even under conditions of the severest fighting in the civil war in order to rouse and rally the people along the patriotic and progressive line, explore further how to serve the interest of the people and forge the comprehensive agreements for a just and lasting peace against the oppressive and exploitative forces of foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

Duterte Regime Is Mixed up and Vulnerable

But President Duterte cannot be underestimated.

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Source: Telesurtv.net»

Photo by Ezra Acayan / Reuters

 

As he is about to finish the first year of his 6-year term of office in June, Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is being assessed and evaluated by a broad spectrum of commentators in terms of performance and fulfillment of promises. His trust rating in poll surveys is still relatively high but this has begun to erode noticeably from the 80 percent peak of his popularity upon his election by a plurality vote of 38 per cent or 16 million of the electorate in May last year.

Those who continue to support him assert that performance in a year is not enough basis for a final judgment and that there is more than enough time ahead for him to accomplish promises that have most impressed them, such as the eradication of the drug problem, criminality, and corruption. In recent days, President Duterte has, in fact, pleaded that he needs three or four more years to bring about the significant changes that he previously thought would be done in six months’ time. His promised campaign against the pork barrel and other forms of corruption of the defunct B. S. Aquino regime has not yet materialized.

Photo: Thomson Reuters

Where he has been most successful at, projecting himself as a strong leader by calling on the police and the public to kill drug addict-pushers, he has attracted the most severe and sustained condemnation by institutions, the mass organizations, the human rights formations, various churches, major mass media and respected personages in the Philippines and abroad. These detractors allege on the basis of mass media reports and police records that 7000 to 10,000 extra-judicial killings have been perpetrated in violation of human rights and with impunity by the police and by police-directed vigilantes. The victims are overwhelmingly poor people in urban slum areas. Thus, there is a growing complaint that the drug lords and the governors and generals involved in the drug trade have been spared.

A publicly known group of retired and active military officers called the Magdalo has backed up the motion to impeach Duterte from office. Knowing that the motion would not prosper against Duterte’s “super-majority” in Congress, the group claims to lay the ground for the eventual prosecution and trial of Duterte before the International Criminal Court under the Rome Statute. But most threatening to the Duterte regime is a secret movement among military and police officers who are probably linked to the “yellows” (pro-Aquino political opposition) and are complaining against the system of giving cash rewards to police officers and vigilantes for accomplishing murder missions. They aver that such reward system is corrupting the armed services and destroying their reputation and professional standards.

Photo from GMANetwork.com

They are emboldened to wage an anti-Duterte campaign because U.S. officials and the European Commission have criticized the Duterte regime and threatened to impose certain sanctions. Most recently, the representatives of 45 out of 47 governments in the UN Human Rights Commission universal periodic review of the human rights situation have urged the Philippine government to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings. In turn, the Duterte regime has expressed fears that the dissenting military and police officers are engaged in a coup plot. To counter the coup threat, Duterte has appointed to his cabinet more retired military officers whom he considers personally loyal to him. But the United States is still the master of the coup through its Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Philippines.

Aside from the vulnerability of the regime to charges of mass murder, the crisis of the Philippine ruling system and the world capitalist system is ever worsening to the detriment of the Filipino people. The deterioration of the economy is underway to undermine and isolate the regime in the forthcoming year. Foreign exchange remittances from overseas contract workers are slowing down. The export of raw material and semi-manufactures has plunged amidst the global depression.

Credit from Western sources is tightening. The foreign exchange reserves are decreasing. The peso is being devalued in view of a large public debt. Portfolio investments have been flowing out since 2014. While the debt-driven and import-dependent service sector is growing, agriculture and manufacturing have declining shares in the gross domestic product. The prices of staple food and other basic commodities are rising, while regular employment and real wages are decreasing. Social services are becoming more expensive and the public utilities are breaking down.

But President Duterte cannot be underestimated. He describes his government as “inclusive” by mixing up cabinet members from different political and economic persuasions. He is known for his political skills at talking or acting in the style of the Left, Center and Right, whichever serves him best from moment to moment. He has appointed some patriotic and progressive elements to his Cabinet while surrounding them with an overwhelming majority of Rightists and an increasing number of retired military officers.

He has released political prisoners of high caliber, although he has held back from releasing all political prisoners who are being held in violation of the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). When patriotic and progressive mass organizations hold protests in front of the presidential palace, he invites the leaders for discussion and expresses support and sympathy. In a recent symbolic act, he went out of the palace to meet and mingle with the peasant protesters who demanded land reform. He denounced the landed oligarchs and expressed support to the protests.

To gain support from the reactionary armed forces, he has used strong words against the New People’s Army whenever he visits military camps and casualties in funeral parlors and hospitals and he has arrived at an all-out war policy against the revolutionary movement. But keenly aware of the popular demand for a just and lasting peace, he has manifested willingness to continue the peace negotiations between the Government of Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)

The NDFP, which represents the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and 16 other revolutionary organizations, continues to consider the peace negotiations as the way to test and find out what Duterte means by wishing to be the first Left president of the Philippines, agreeing to negotiate social, economic and political reforms to address the roots of the civil war and pursuing an independent foreign policy in a multipolar world. The patriotic and progressive forces and the broad masses of the people support the peace negotiations.

Only a few but powerful who may be described as the pro-U.S., ultra-Right wish to spoil the peace negotiations. They wish to precondition the peace negotiations with a ceasefire that is protracted and indefinite, push the revolutionary forces towards capitulation and pacification and lay aside the substantive agenda of social, economic and political reforms. They wish the Commission on Appointments of Congress to remove from the Duterte Cabinet the patriotic and progressive elements who are in positions to help in the implementation of agreed reforms in the peace negotiations.

The NDFP is observing whether Duterte has the political will and the leadership to direct the GRP Negotiating Panel to come to terms with its NDFP counterpart on social and economic reforms band then on political and constitutional reforms before the end of hostilities and the disposition of the armed forces of both sides can be negotiated. The Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) is the “meat” of the entire peace negotiations. The NDFP has demanded national industrialization and genuine land reform. The Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms determines what authority and how all the reforms shall be implemented. The NDFP has offered to co-found with the GRP the Federal Republic of the Philippines in order to override the current existence of two governments, one reactionary, and the other revolutionary, which are belligerent forces in the civil war that started in 1969.

So long as the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations are moving forward from one round of formal talks to another, we can watch unfold the positions of the Duterte government and NDFP and whether or not the two sides can make the necessary comprehensive agreements to put into effect the reforms that are necessary for a just and lasting peace. The fifth round of formal talks shall be held in Noordwik aan Zee in The Netherlands from May 27 to June 2, 2017. The focus shall be on the demand for the release of nearly 400 political prisoners listed by the NDFP in accordance with CARHRIHL, the further negotiation of CASER and the question of a ceasefire.

Prof. Jose Maria Sison is Chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle and Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

On the appointment of more military generals to the Duterte cabinet

Communist Party of the Philippines
May 12, 2017

The Filipino people are not laughing at GRP President Duterte’s supposed joke about forming or letting a military junta take over government after having appointed more ex-military generals to key posts in his cabinet.

Duterte’s joke must be severely criticized. It smacks of contempt of the hardships, oppression and military abuses which the Filipino people were subjected to under the 1972-1986 military dictatorship of Marcos and his military and police clique, as well as under the successive AFP oplan wars of suppression from Oplan Lambat Bitag up to the current Oplan Kapayapaan.

The recent appointment of Palparan-trained Gen. Eduardo Año, current Chief-of-Staff of the AFP, as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government is a shameless act against the thousands of victims of his reign of terror. By heading the DILG, he is set to further enrich himself through bureaucrat capitalist corruption, as he has done in the military.

Año’s appointment to the DILG comes at the heels of the appointment of another former AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Roy Cimatu (of the notorious “pabaon” scam) to the environment department. Cimatu was among the key implementors of Oplan Bantay Laya under the Arroyo regime and its spree of extra-judicial killings against activists. Among the most numerous victims of the Arroyo regime were those who stood against mining operations. Cimatu was among the pioneer implementors of the “investment defense force”, special units of the AFP that are being funded by mining companies.

There are now at least ten former military officers appointed to key positions under the Duterte regime. Indeed, the military clique is now among the biggest inside the Duterte government. These military officers are mostly fascist and pro-US zealots who have long defended the neo-colonial state. They are the strongest pillar of US domination within the Duterte regime.

The dominance of the military clique inside the Duterte cabinet casts a long shadow on the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations. Over the past months, it has been former military officials Delfin Lorenzana and Hermogenes Esperon, defense secretary and national security adviser respectively, who have been the most virulent against the peace negotiations. Lorenzana has gone to the extent of openly standing against the Duterte regime’s policy of peace talks. He has issued statements and threats against peace negotiations.

Lorenzana and his military ilk are US stooges who do not wish peace negotiations to progress towards agreements on substantive reforms which may go against US economic, political and military dominance.

The dominance of the military clique under the Duterte regime, combined with Duterte’s authoritarian rhetoric, raises the level of impunity of military forces in the conduct of their campaigns of suppression. With former military officers at the helm of the Duterte government, anticipate a new wave of attacks against activists, advocates of the interests of the toiling masses and defenders of the country’s environment and patrimony against foreign and big bourgeois plunder.

Over the past few months, there has been an all-out campaign of killings against peasant activists and aerial bombings of rural communities where people have actively struggled for genuine land reform and resisted landgrabbing by big landlords, mining companies and big plantations.

The military clique combines with the pro-imperialist advocates of neoliberal policies in the Duterte government in pushing for the removal of two cabinet members who come from the Left. They have already succeeded in shoving out maverick Gina Lopez who vigorously stood against plunderous mining operations which destroy the environment and harm the people’s livelihood.

They demand the removal of Ka Paeng from the Department of Agrarian Reform whose support for the installation of farm workers in the plantation operated by the Lorenzo’s Lapanday Food Corporation, is set to be a precedent against various anti-land reform and land grabbing schemes of haciendas and big plantations. While they may concede to letting DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo retain her post, they are wary at the prospect of the military being prevented from usurping such civilian functions as delivery of relief in areas targetted for military counter-insurgency operations. If they could not afford to oppose Taguiwalo’s appointment, they will surely find a way to keep their fascist troops infringing on civilian functions.

The dominant position of the pro-US military clique will further ensure the protection and perpetuation of US policies as against Duterte’s declarations of an independent foreign policy. The problem with Duterte’s declaration of an independent foreign policy is that it has only opposed being bound by an exclusive military alliance with the US but has failed to assert the right of the country to be free from any dominant foreign military power.

His goodwill with China will, however, be tolerated only to the extent that it will allow the US military to continue building military bases and projecting its presence in the country and not give China the opportunity to build its military presence. Otherwise, with the dominance of the military clique he himself has installed, Duterte can easily be removed or compelled to play along with the wishes of the US imperialists.

Why the AFP-PNP will lose the war against the CPP-NPA-NDF in the battle of people’s hearts and minds

PRESS STATEMENT | May 7, 2017
By Pedro “Ka Gonyong” Codaste
NDFP Peace Consultant

Firstly, because the CPP-NPA-NDF is fighting a revolutionary just war. It is fighting for the interest of the poor majority, for the peasants to have a land to till. It is fighting for the interest of all poverty-stricken Filipinos, notably the farmers, the workers, and the professionals, the religious and indigenous peoples and not for a few vested interests. It is fighting for the lowly Filipino who owns nothing but his labor power, his capacity and skills to give services to the ruling elite. It is fighting for change; change from our miserable conditions to a better one.

The method is no other than the dismantling or complete overhaul of the whole system through force. There is a natural and dialectical base for this. No qualitative change could take effect without force nor violence. Take for instance an egg. The breaking, i.e. force, of the shell signals the quantitative change of an egg to qualitative change, into a chick; the leap to vaporal state of the water is effected by boiling, i.e. force, through fire; the birth of a child comes through force exerted by the writhing of the mother immersed in blood and water.

Peaceful means through reactionary elections and parliamentary methods cannot effect meaningful change because whoever has the golds, guns and goons is sure to win through vote buying or cheating. Results are also padded and fabricated. Thus results in reactionary elections do not reflect the true sentiment of the people. Besides, Congress is dominated by big landlords and compradors whose interests they would attend first in their legislations. As the saying goes, “What is food for the chicken is not victuals for the coyote.”

A revolution is progressive and constructive. It is creative and not destructive. Although at first it is necessary to destroy the old to be able to create a new set up. History has shown that almost all countries that have now attained high level of industrial development had undergone revolutions in their society by destroying the old set up before attaining what they are today.

The United States had undergone two revolutions: one against colonialist Britain and one against the slave-owning South America. In the first, they destroyed colonialism and created an independent America. Then afterwards, in the second (in 1860s) they destroyed slavery and created a society free of slaves. Great Britain has undergone revolution too, widely known as the Puritan Revolution or the English Revolution from 1640 to 1660. Similarly, France in 1789 and Germany starting in 1525 had their own wars with the revolts of the Peasants and the end of the the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). Same as with Japan, following centuries of civil war, in the Edo period (the place where the Bakufu or military government fortified its headquarters widely known as Shogunate) has brought more than 250 years of peace, prosperity, and progress to their country.

Russia, after the victory of the 1917 October Revolution, arose into superpower status. China also, after the victory of Chinese Revolution, is now industrialized and is even extending aid and investments to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). North Korea, as witnessed by Discovery Channel in their coverage of the North Korean Mass Games in 2005 and in the 2017 commemoration of the death anniversary of Kim IL Sung, is very prosperous and highly disciplined contrary to the news feed by the CIA and other US mass media. But the success of Cuba in Health Care, Disaster Preparedness and Education could not be surpassed not even by the United States. Cuba is on the top of the whole world in these fields. And this is socialist Cuba!

Same thing with our country. Unless the GRP would do away with its puppetry from US diktats, the country could not extricate itself from this economic quicksand. Carrying out national industrialization and with agriculture as its base, although toddling at first as we encounter hardships and difficulties, is only temporary in nature. In the long run, as we persist and persevere, we will ultimately achieve prosperity and we will not be a toddler anymore. We then can fully stand on our own without external interference. Look at Venezuela, Bolivia and other Latin American countries who chose to veer away from the US imperialism’s stranglehold. Now, Venezuela and Bolivia nationalized all exploitative foreign-owned companies. The tumultuous clamor now happening in said countries are instigated by the CIA to effect regime change (similar to what happened in Chile and Indonesia in the 70s) that they can tow by the nose.

In the battle of hearts and minds of the people, the NPA together with the masses in the countrysides are working hand-in-hand to alleviate poverty, giving them guidance, encouraging them and if condition permits, even partakes in mutual aid teams – a form of simple cooperation. The NPA also organizes them so farm wages and their farm produce could be raised. They do not “give them fish,” for the NPA have none but they taught them how to catch fish by leading and guiding them in building fishponds so they can eat fish all of their lives. They taught them how to read and write. Thus an NPA organizer could be an engineer, a teacher, a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, radio technician, all rolled into one. He is not alien to them but considers him as part of the community ready to help them when problems arise ranging from petty family quarrels to thefts, gambling, drug problems and many others.

On the other hand the AFP-PNP-CAFGU is fighting a counterrevolutionary unjust war with its campaign plan dubbed Oplan Bayanihan and now Oplan Kapayapaan (Development Support and Security Plan) characterized by widespread killings of progressive leaders, journalists and political opposition and also “Tokhang or Tokbang” to suspected drug users and drug lords. It is counterrevolutionary because it opposes change. It is unjust because it defends and preserves the status quo ruled by big landlords and compradors— the super-rich in our society. It is destructive because it creates culture of fear and destroys whatever the masses and the revolutionary movement have built on for so many years of painstaking hard work in the countrysides. The AFP is therefore defending the interest of the ruling elite – their huge plantations, haciendas and capitalist enterprises. Thus, they are very far from the hearts and minds of the people. And worst, these AFP-PNP troops are the ones promoting gambling, drug use and trafficking, robbery and thievery, coveting wives of their men and many more vices in places where there are army detachments.

But the masses won’t believe in them. If there are those who they can bait, are those people who too are inclined to do wrong and evil deeds and hate the presence of the NPA. It is these people who easily got recruited as informers and assets of the reactionary troops in exchange for some privileges and amenities. Others out of fear are only taking them lightheartedly in silence and meekly follow whatever order the military imposed.

To mislead and deceive the masses, our class enemies and their armed machinery, the AFP-PNP resorted to black propaganda demeaning the People’s Court of the Revolutionary People’s Democratic Government as “Kangaroo Court.” But if there is such a “Kangaroo court” it is none other than the reactionary courts. Many innocents have been imprisoned because they are poor and do not have the means to pursue their case while their adversary has the money and influence to circumvent the truth. Hukumang Bayan or People’s Court is the exact opposite of reactionary courts. It does not require filing fees in order for a case to be heard. Thus, there is no such thing as “witnesses who may or may not be telling the truth.” Circumventing the truth has no place in a revolutionary people’s government and a hundred heads in the mass organization, the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid or PKM as witnesses or judges cannot be wrong in arriving at the truth.

Thus, in their countless “pulong-pulongs” in the countrysides, many they declared have “surrendered and have returned to the folds of the law.” But deep inside their hearts and minds are the longings that these army detachments would be gone. This is the easy explanation why army detachments and municipal police stations got so easily raided by the NPA even without a single shot fired. It is because the NPAs are still harboring the people’s support.

In general, the masses detest and fear the presence of the army troopers for they feel it is not their army. They feel the AFP is the army of the ruling class, the rich and the super-rich who are out there in the countrysides to impose their will on them often victimizing innocent civilians in their counterinsurgency operations. Subjecting civilans to population and resource control only reinforces their sufferings too. Imagine, limiting barrio residents to their places of work and their rations; hiking far distances in the early morning to their farms from their hamletted position in barrio centers and return to the barrio at 4:00 pm. These, plus the vices mentioned above perpetrated by their supposed “protector” are the reasons why the AFP’s battle for the people’s hearts and minds will surely fail. Other reasons are history and experience. This has already been put into practice by the US military and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in Vietnam. And it only ended in their utter failure and defeat.

Historic significance, global impact and continuing validity of the Great October Socialist Revolution led by Lenin

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee,
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
May 5, 2017

Welcome the Launch of the Campaign to Celebrate the Great October Socialist Revolution
It is an honor and privilege for all of us to participate in this conference to launch the Campaign to Celebrate the Great October Socialist Revolution. We thank the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) and the People’s Resource for International Solidarity and Mass Movement (PRISM) for choosing the Philippines as the starting point of the campaign. We thank ILPS-Philippines, Bayan, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Gabriela and many other organizations for co-organizing this signal event and for inviting this speaker.

ILPS and PRISM are undertaking the global campaign to celebrate the centennial of the Great October Socialist Revolution in cooperation with Marxist-Leninist, socialist and anti-imperialist organizations. The campaign will culminate in the holding of global mass actions on November 7. The steady core of the campaign is a series of conferences, forums and seminar-workshops in various continents and countries to generate papers and discussions for book publication on the history and continuing legacy of the October Revolution.

The campaign also encourages all participating forces to produce and disseminate papers, study guides, essays, news and feature articles, short videos and dramatic works, songs, poems, commemorative items (posters, banners, postcards, buttons, pins, etc.) relevant to the centenary, and to commission progressive writers, researchers, artists, multimedia workers, and grassroots activists to help out in producing, compiling, publishing, and disseminating such work.

All of us welcome the call of the ILPS and PRISM: “Let us celebrate the historic gains and continuing validity of the Great October Socialist Revolution for the proletariat and people. Let us draw and share lessons from its revisionist reversal, continue its legacy, persevere in leading the masses, and advance the struggle for democracy and socialism against imperialism and all reaction!”

Let us discuss today in this conference the historic significance of the October Revolution, its global impact and its continuing validity for current and future revolutionary movements of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples and nations against monopoly capitalism and all reaction. Despite or because of the betrayal of socialism by the modern revisionists, we are still in the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution. We confront today the ever worsening general crisis and wars of aggression of monopoly capitalism and we are engaged in contributing the best we can to the resurgence and advance of the world proletarian revolution.

I. Historic Significance of the Great October Socialist Revolution
Marx and Engels formulated the fundamental principles of the theory and practice of Marxism in the era of free competition capitalism. They availed of the highest development of philosophy, political economy and social science in their time in order to arrive at the the proletariat’s vantage point of dialectical and historical materialism, the laws of motion in capitalism that lead to socialism and the general political line, strategy and tactics for defeating the class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and winning the socialist revolution.

In their time, the most that Marx and Engels could observe was the Paris Commune of 1871 as the sprout of the proletarian revolution that the bourgeoisie soon crushed. They were not dismayed by the massacre and defeat of the communards. They studied the strong and weak points of the Paris Commune for the guidance of succeeding revolutions. The most crucial lesson learned was that that the proletarian revolution must wield the class dictatorship of the proletariat to smash the military and bureaucratic machinery of the bourgeois state.

A gigantic painting of Lenin addressing the crowd upon his return to Russia during the Russian Revolution.

Lenin assumed the task of inheriting, upholding, defending and further developing the fundamental principles of the Marxist theory and practice in the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution. In philosophy, he fought against the subjectivist idealist philosophy of the bourgeoisie and grasped the unity of opposites as the most fundamental law of contradiction and explicated the law of uneven development. In political economy, he critiqued monopoly capitalism or imperialism and laid the foundation of the socialist economy in correspondence to the extent of proletarian power and took into account the transitory measures necessary to realize democratic reforms and cope with the exigencies of war and foreign intervention.

Lenin was the grand master of social science who established the first socialist state in accordance with the principles of scientific socialism. He learned comprehensively, profoundly and meticulously, with all the necessary hindsight, insight and foresight to solve problems and set the program of action and line of advance and subsequently bring about the seizure of political power by the proletariat in concert with the broad masses of he people, especially the peasants who constituted a large part of the population. He understood that on a global scale, by the law of uneven development, imperialism can engage only in the inadequate and spasmodic development of capitalism for the purpose of grabbing superprofits and that the proletariat and the people could be mobilized to rise up and establish socialism at the weakest link in the chain of imperialist countries.

Even as he focused on the practical tasks of the Bolsheviks in the accelerated revolutionary upsurge in Russia amidst the complex contradictions of World War I, he attended to theoretical work during those years. A large number of items in Lenin’s Philosophical Notebooks relate to 1914-16 and involved a thorough review of dialectics. In the first half of 1916, he wrote Imperialism: the highest Stage of Capitalism and defined imperialism’s decadent and moribund character and five features of dominance in industrial capitalist countries: merger of industrial and bank capital to constitute finance capital, the great importance given to the export of capital than to that of commodities and the growth of cartels, syndicates and other monopoly combines on a global scale. He described imperialism as the eve of the socialist revolution and urged the proletariat and people to turn the imperialist war to revolutionary civil war. In the summer of 1917 he wrote State and Revolution to to stress the necessity of the proletarian class dictatorship in overthrowing the bourgeoisie and building socialism.

After the overthrow of Tsarism in the February revolution of 1917 and the installation of the Kerensky-led provisional government predominantly of Liberals and Social Revolutionaries, he anticipated the sharpening and complexity of the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat and exerted all efforts to be in Russia as soon as possible in order to participate directly in the revolutionary process. He was certain that the Kerensky government and the bourgeoisie were on the way down because they wished to stay in the inter-imperialist war, motivated as they were by social patriotism (chauvinism in “socialist” garb) and revolutionary “defensism”; they did not nationalize the land for the land-hungry peasants and they could not fix the economy which was in shambles.

On April 16, 1917, upon his arrival at the Finland Station in Petrograd, Lenin called for all power to the soviets (revolutionary councils) of workers, peasants and soldiers away from the bourgeois Kerensky government. He observed the passing of the first stage of the revolution which placed power in the hands of the bourgeoisie to the second stage which must place power in the hands of the proletariat and the poorest sections of the peasants. He stated all the major points that needed to be done. He clarified that circumstances and events were moving in transition to socialism even as socialism was not yet the immediate task.

He called for a party congress of the Bolsheviks to change the outdated program and name of their party (from Russian Social Democratic Labor Party to All-Russia Communist Party) and differentiate themselves from the social chauvinists of the Second International and social democratic parties of Europe that supported their respective countries in World War I. He also called for a new International of communist parties. The Communist International (Third International) would be formed in 1919.

Events moved in the direction anticipated by Lenin. The Provisional Government sent a diplomatic note on May to the Central Powers, signifying its desire to continue the war to a victorious conclusion. Tens of thousands of workers and soldiers of Petrograd and subsequently those of other cities under the leadership of the Bolsheviks raised the slogans, “Down with the war!” and “All power to the Soviets!” On July 1, hundreds of thousands of workers and soldiers assembled in Petrograd with the same slogans. They expressed the people’s opposition to the war and their hunger for bread and freedom.

In the entire month of July, the Provisional Government became stricken by a severe crisis upon the collapse of its offensive against the Central Powers. It sought to repress the Bolsheviks and the masses. It raided the offices of Pravda (the official Bolshevik daily newspaper) and the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks and ordered the arrest and trial of Lenin who had to go underground. It fired on the demonstrations of workers and soldiers demanding the end of the war and all power to the soviets. It became even more isolated politically. When commander-in-chief General Kornilov tried to make a coup, Kerensky sought the help of the Petrograd Soviet led by the Bolsheviks to thwart the coup. After the defeat of Kornilov, the revolutionary prestige of the Bolsheviks rose ever higher.

In September and October 1917, workers’ strikes spread on a wide scale beyond Petrograd and Moscow, with more than a million workers rising up and taking control over production and distribution in many factories and plants. More than 4,000 peasant uprisings occurred against landowners. The peasant masses became more enraged when they were attacked by government troops, police and thugs of the landlords. The soldiers and sailors refused to recognize the authority and carry out the commands of the Provisional Government.

On October 23, the Bolsheviks’ Central Committee voted 10–2 in favor of the resolution declaring an armed uprising inevitable, and the time for it fully ripe. On October 25, 1917 (or November 7 in the Gregorian calendar) the Bolsheviks led their forces in the uprising, according to plan, to seize the buildings of the bourgeois state and to storm the Winter Palace. The Red Guards seized the buildings and facilities as the Petrograd soldiers joined the uprising. Lenin issued the proclamation “To the Citizens of Russia”, ending the Provisional Government and installing Soviet power as the sole state after the surrender of the Kerensky Cabinet .

The Bolsheviks and the soviets under the leadership of Lenin were able to consolidate power. They prevailed over the White Armies in the Civil War and foreign intervention by 1920. The war was waged mainly in the countryside. After the war, he promulgated by decree the New Economic Policy (NEP) which the Bolshevik government had earlier adopted in the course of the 10th Congress of the All Russia Communist Party in 1921. The NEP replaced the ration system of “war communism” based on scarce production due to the war and revived the economy by adopting methods of state capitalism and giving concessions to middle and small entrepreneurs and rich peasants.

In the period of wartime ruin, the Austro-Hungarian coalition and the Anglo-French coalition, both enemies of Soviet power, were distracted from attacking it because of their mutual warfare. But in the struggle against the White Armies led by Kolchak and Denikin, the Soviet power created the Red Army to defeat them. In the succeeding period of struggle against economic ruin, it successfully coped with famine and oversaw the considerable advance of agriculture and light industry. Lenin pointed to the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) as a new framework of state existence. The Congress of Soviets ratified the Declaration and Treaty of Union of the Republics in 1922.

After the death of Lenin in 1924, Stalin assumed the leadership of the Bolshevik party and the USSR. He was loyal to Lenin and Leninism. He ended the NEP in 1928 and proceeded with the implementation of a series of five-year plans to build socialist industry and the collectivization and mechanization of agriculture. These brought about resounding success in transforming the USSR into a powerful industrial federal state in the face of the worsening global economic crisis, the rise of fascism in several capitalist countries and the looming outbreak of World War II.

The Great October Socialist Revolution has come to signify all the great revolutionary achievements of the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Stalin in socialist revolution and construction. It verified the revolutionary principle that proletarian class dictatorship is a requisite for defeating the bourgeoisie and guaranteeing the socialist revolution, overcoming civil war and foreign military intervention, reviving the economy through transition measures, building socialist economy, developing the educational and cultural system of the working class, promoting the international communist movement, fighting and defeating fascism and further pursuing socialist revolution and construction in the face of the threats of US imperialism after World War II.

II. Global Impact and Continuing Validity of the October Revolution
The salvoes of the October Revolution reverberated throughout the world. The establishment and development of socialism from 1917 to 1956 on one-sixth of the surface of the earth cannot be ignored by the people of the world, especially the working class and the oppressed peoples and nations. The great achievements in socialist revolution and construction have the force of example in inspiring the oppressed and exploited masses to fight for a bright and better world in socialism. And the Communist Party led by Lenin made sure through the Third International that communist parties and revolutionary mass movements would arise and grow on a global scale, upholding the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism and applying it on the concrete conditions of various countries.

The global impact of the October Revolution can also be measured in terms of the negative reaction of the imperialist powers and the international bourgeoisie. These have always been terrified by the “specter of communism” and wanted to strangle socialism in the cradle. Right after the October revolution, from 1918 to 1920, the imperialist powers sent to Russia military forces of intervention, with Japanese forces staying on up to 1925 in northern Russia and Siberia, to aid the counterrevolutionaries. But when the Great Depression occurred and resulted in fascist rule in several capitalist countries and the outbreak of World War II, the Allied Powers could obtain victory against the Axis Powers only because of the decisive roles of the Soviet Union in defeating the forces of Nazi Germany and China under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party in likewise defeating the invasionary forces of fascist Japan.

During and after World War II, the toiling masses under the leadership of communist parties excelled in fighting against fascism and gained political power in the process. The Soviet counter-offensive against the Nazi German forces led to the establishment of states under communist leadership in Eastern Europe up to East Germany. The victory of the Chinese people led by the Communist Party against Japan in 1945 and then against the Kuomintang in 1949 meant that one more large part of the world was lost by imperialism. National liberation movements spread and flourished, highlighted by the national wars of liberation against US aggression in Korea and Vietnam. Newly-independent countries promoted decolonization and national independence in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

By the 1950s it could be said that one-third of humankind was under the socialist governance of the revolutionary parties of the proletariat and that the world was divided into the capitalist and socialist camps. However, soon after World War II, the US together with its imperialist allies girded for the Cold War against the Soviet Union and tried to use wars of aggression and nuclear blackmail. But the emergence and growth of modern revisionism, from Khrushchov to Gorbachov, became far worse and more lethal than the blatant threats and actions of US imperialism in terms of subverting and destroying socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Comrade Mao led the Chinese Communist Party in the struggle to uphold Marxism-Leninism against modern revisionism since 1956. Eventually, he put forward his theory and practice of continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) from 1966 to 1976 in order to combat modern revisionism, prevent the restoration of capitalism and consolidate socialism in China. The GPCR obtained great victories but was eventually defeated by a coup, with Deng Xiaoping at the head of the revisionists and capitalist restorationists, soon after the death of Mao.

At any rate, the GPCR succeeded in posing the problem of modern revisionism, in presenting certain principles and methods for solving this problem and in generating the rich experience from which positive and negative lessons can be learned. The proletarian revolutionaries can learn from all these in order to explain the disintegration of the former socialist systems and to avert the restoration of capitalism when in the future they shall build and develop socialist societies in various countries until they can defeat imperialism on a global scale and bring about communism. The Paris Commune of 1871 won for awhile and was soon defeated but became a source of principles, methods and lessons for advancing the world proletarian revolution.

In the period of the temporary strategic defeat of socialism on a global scale, communists and revolutionary mass activists must be able to answer the questions of the proletariat and people about the past, present and future of the revolutionary cause of socialism. They must answer effectively the taunts of the imperialists and their petty bourgeois adjutants that socialism is dead and that capitalism is the end of history. They must be able to do so in terms of philosophy, political economy and social science. In this regard, the Communist Party of the Philippines is one of the parties upholding the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the torch of socialism in the transition from strategic retreat to the counter-offensive of the revolutionary proletariat.

In terms of dialectical and historical materialist philosophy, nothing is permanent but change. Social systems have come and gone, like slavery and feudalism which existed for thousands of years. Capitalist society, which first appeared autonomously in the Italian city state in the 13th century, has probably a shorter life span than the earlier social formations if we take into account the rapid development of free competition capitalism to monopoly capitalism in the cumulative advance of history. The bourgeoisie adopts higher technology and minimizes wage payments in order to increase private profit. But the proletariat and the oppressed peoples and nations can be aroused, organized and mobilized to resist and change the oppressive and exploitative relations with imperialism and the ruling bourgeoisie in every country. They have seen how national liberation, people’s democracy and socialism can be achieved.

In terms of the critique of capitalism and modern imperialism in political economy, Marx has long pointed out the laws of motion of capitalism both in his microscopic study of the commodity and his macro study of mass production and finance. The capitalist extracts the surplus value from the total value created by the workers, pushes down the wage level, overaccumulates capital and causes the crisis of overproduction, stagnation, unemployment, social turmoil and the intensification of the class struggle. Lenin laid bare how free competition capitalism leads to monopoly capitalism and how the latter brings out the worst of capitalism, goading the proletariat and people of both developed and underdeveloped countries to rebel and seek a revolutionary solution. He has described modern imperialism as the highest and final stage of capitalism. Indeed, it is at this stage when socialist states arose and developed first in Russia and then in several other countries.

In terms of fighting for and achieving scientific socialism in social science, the revolutionary party of the proletariat as the advanced detachment must grasp Marxism-Leninism-Maoism at this time and make a concrete analysis of the concrete conditions in whichever country such party operates. It must win the battle for democracy where the bourgeoisie uses fascist terror to suppress the revolutionary movement for socialism in developed capitalist countries. It must carry out the two stages of the people’s democratic revolution and socialist revolution in semicolonial and semifeudal countries. In any case, the proletarian revolutionary party must arouse, organize and mobilize the broad masses of the people to overthrow the class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and install that of the proletariat as the key to socialism.

The disintegration of the revisionist-ruled systems and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the years of 1989 to 1991 made the US appear as the big winner in the Cold War and as the sole superpower. Indeed, it served to expand the world capitalist system . But it has not served to strengthen it. It has served to weaken it. It has increased the number of capitalist powers as economic competitors and political rivals, and it has intensified the contradictions within and among the imperialist powers. There is little room for the imperialist powers to maneuver as these are driven by one crisis after another to redivide the world. The addition of China and Russia as big players in the capitalist world has aggravated the crisis and further complicated the problems for the original Group of 7 and the OECD countries.

The US took full advantage of its position as sole superpower since 1991 by taking the offensive in all fields, especially the economic and military ones. It pushed the neoliberal economic policy of imperialist globalization and the neoconservative policy of aggression and intervention more than ever before. It outsourced consumer manufacturing to China to keep it integrated in the world capitalist system. It then became dependent on consumer manufactures and credit from China and concentrated on producing big items for the military industrial complex and on financializing the US economy. It carried out the neoconservative policy of aggression and intervention with the use of hightech weaponry. It has unleashed wars of aggression with impunity against the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries, killing and maiming people by the millions, destroying homes and the social infrastructure and forcing more millions of people to become refugees.

But the aforesaid policies of the US have been self-defeating if we consider the high financial costs and the rapid increase of its public debt. This is far bigger than the acknowledged debt of USD 19 trillion. The neoliberal economic policy is dependent on heavy doses of debt for both imperialist and non-imperialist countries, for corporations and households as if there were no limits to the credit orgy. The limits have become conspicuous with the recurrence and worsening of the crises of overproduction and of finance capital. The strategic decline of the US has accelerated from being the sole superpower in the 1990s to one scrambling for hegemony in a multipolar world. The irony of it all is that the main instigator of neoliberal economic policy is purportedly turning to protectionism under Donald Trump.

Those who have suffered most from the neoliberal economic policy are the workers of all countries and the oppressed peoples and nations. Thus, they ahbor to hear the mantra that the key to increasing production and employment is to let the monopoly bourgeois have more capital to reinvest by being given tax cuts and by pressing down wages, cutting back on social services and carrying out liberalization of trde and invetments, privatization of profitable public assets, deregulation of measures to protect labor, women,children and the environment and the denationalization of the economies of client-states. The concentration and centralization of capital in the imperialist countries and in the hands of a handful of monopoly bourgeois have resulted in widespread unemployment, poverty and social unrest. But the reaction of the US and other imperialist powers is to whip up national chauvinism, military production, state terrorism and wars of aggression.

Conclusion
The escalation of exploitation and oppression by the imperialists and their reactionary puppets in various countries is inflaming the resistance of the proletariat and people of the world. The epochal struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat continues. So do all the concrete forms of national and class struggles in various countries. The people do not wish the greed and violence of the few to victimize them without end. They fight for national and social liberation from imperialism and reaction. And they strive for greater freedom and social justice to prevail under the principles of scientific socialism.

There is an urgent need for the revolutionary party of the proletariat in many countries. Such a party must uphold the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideological line against modern revisionism and all forms of subjectivism and must be politically capable of leading the proletariat and people through the anti-imperialist and democratic mass movement. It must ensure that the general political line can bring about the victory of democracy and socialism and defeat imperialism and all forms of reaction and must not be led astray by either “Left” or Right opportunism. It must concentrate the collective will and material strength of the proletarian revolutionaries by following the organizational principle of democratic centralism.

The crisis conditions of the moment generate the immediate issues of the struggle against monopoly capitalism and local reaction. But in recruiting, training and developing their members, the revolutionary parties of the proletariat must inculcate in them the historic mission of building socialism up to the theory and practice of continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship. We must counter the propaganda of the enemy that socialism is successful only up to a certain point and then fails because of the inherent selfish and asocial nature of people and their leaders. And we must assure the proletariat and the people that there is no alternative to capitalism but socialism, that modern revisionism and the restoration of capitalism can be prevented and that socialism can be consolidated repeatedly until it gains the upper hand over imperialism on a global scale and reaches the threshold of communism. ###

Second round ends with some progress but uncertainties remain

NDFP Media Office | Press Release

The second round of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations ended with some progress but uncertainties remain that serve to dampen the initial optimism on the part of the NDFP negotiators and consultants. There is now growing uneasiness and impatience among the NDFP delegation over the snail’s pace in the steps being taken to effect the release of the remaining political prisoners despite repeated promises and assurances coming from the GRP panel.

There are more than 400 political prisoners still languishing in various jails nationwide. The issue of their continued detention came up early in the talks as the new NDFP Panel Chairperson Fidel Agcaoili cited the pledge made by President Rodrigo Duterte himself last May to issue an amnesty proclamation to speed up their release. So far, the GRP has released only 22 political prisoners, most of them NDFP consultants. There have been no other releases since August.

In response to the appeal from GRP Panel Chairperson Silvestre Bello for patience, Agcaoili said that if the GRP could effect the speedy release of the 22 JASIG-protected NDFP consultants why the seemingly excruciating difficulty in releasing the rest of the political prisoners?

Under pressure from the consistent pressing of the NDFP on this issue, the GRP Panel once again promised “to do their best”. But cynicism is now growing among some of the NDFP negotiators and consultants as well as among the remaining political prisoners on account of so many unfulfilled promises.

Aside from the issue of political prisoners, reports have been coming in from the field about continuous military operations by AFP forces in NPA territory. According to NPA commands from various regions, the reason why there has been no firefights so far is mainly because NPA forces have been maneuvering to avoid armed encounters. But tensions are rising because the AFP military operations appear more and more to be taking the form of base-denial operations targeting the mass base of the NPA.

According to NPA national spokesperson Jorge Madlos, “All NPA units have strictly abided by its own unilateral ceasefire declaration. Aside from maintaining defensive posture, NPA units are conducting counter-maneuvers to avoid armed skirmishes with the AFP.” But not a few NPA units are having difficulty holding back amid threats from the AFP in its counter-insurgency intelligence operations, Madlos said.

From Northern Luzon to Southern Mindanao, Madlos claimed, there were reports of AFP units telling civilians that the ceasefire is no longer in effect to justify their operations and presence in their communities. The NPA’s Agustin Begnalen Command based in Abra said the Army’s 24th Infantry Battalion have been telling civilians in Sallapadan town that the ceasefire has ended.

Madlos said the AFP has yet to observe the advice of President Duterte to be friendly to the NPA adding that the AFP continues to conduct hostile operations against the NPA, “even using the drug campaign as pretext to conduct anti-NPA operations.”

In one instance, when confronted by peasants on why the soldiers were continuing with military operations despite the GRP ceasefire, the AFP officer leading the operation reportedly answered that they would then have nothing else to do adding that the NPA would not attack them anyway because the NPA has declared its own ceasefire. To have a stable ceasefire AFP forces must “return to barracks” at the level of the battalion headquarters.

In addition, reports have come in regarding political assassinations and attempted assassinations of leaders of people’s organizations such as the case of the secretary general of the Compostela Valley Farmers Association (CFA), Jimmy Saipan, who was killed in cold blood by two motorcycle riding gunmen yesterday, October 10. Saipan was a Lumad anti-mining activist opposing the exploration by the Agusan Petroleum Mineral Corp. in 12,000 hectares of Lumad lands. The CFA has also been conducting dialogue with the 66th IB for the latter to stop occupying their community. The AFP has falsely accused the CFA as a communist front organization.

Showing some impatience, the NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison and the NDFP Panel Chair Fidel Agcaoili have served notice to the other side that continued non-compliance on the issue of the remaining political prisoners can have serious consequences in the continuation of the current ceasefire and forward movement in the peace negotiations as a whole. On the other hand, compliance will boost the prospects for forging a bilateral ceasefire agreement and acceleration of the peace process.

There has been some progress in the work of the RWCs-SER, RWGs-PCR and RWGs-EHDF with agreements reached on their respective common framework and outline for the tentative draft agreements that are to be fleshed out in later rounds.

The Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms RWC-SER took the longest to come up with a common framework and outline. NDFP negotiators sensed an apparent attempt on the side of the GRP to confine the discussion to existing programs of government agencies as the “solutions” without first arriving at a well thought-out understanding of the problems. This prompted NDFP RWC-SER head Juliet de Lima to remark that this was “putting the cart before the horse.”

A great chasm between the two sides exists in the appreciation of what the NDFP considers the age-old problems of rural landlessness and poverty due to the persistence of feudalism, and the absence of real industrialization that has failed to create jobs resulting in massive unemployment which forces 2,000 Filipino workers to go abroad every day to seek for work. Previous government programs have consistently failed to address the problems of rural poverty and urban mass unemployment precisely because these have been based on a superficial and faulty analysis of the deeply-seated problems.

The panels agreed to meet again in the third week of January 2017 in a foreign neutral venue with many uncertainties remaining to haunt the peace process. ###

Reference:

NDFP Media Group

Dan Borjal

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Whose mask slips?

By Dan Borjal
Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Based on a few quotations taken out of context from Jose Maria Sison’s interviews in connection with the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Dem Volke Dienen’s piece “The mask slips” makes the outlandish conclusion that the Philippine revolutionary movement has already surrendered and allowed itself to become a mere tail of bourgeois democracy.

It is clear that Dem Volke Dienen knows very little about the revolutionary movement led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and about its founding chairman Jose Maria Sison.

The Filipino revolutionaries have been engaged in a life-and-death struggle against US imperialism and its domestic lackeys for more than 47 years now based on the strategy of protracted people’s war waged in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. The revolution has developed in a comprehensive manner with armed struggle in the countryside as the main form of struggle complemented by the legal democratic struggle in the cities, electoral struggle and peace negotiations as secondary forms of struggle.

Through the years, the movement has accumulated victories unparalleled in our country’s revolutionary history in having built a formidable people’s army, organs of self-government and mass support running into millions in both the cities and countryside. To throw away these revolutionary gains would be the height of lunacy! Nay, surrender would be a desecration of the sacrifices of the thousands of our revolutionary heroes and martyrs. The revolutionary movement would rightfully incur the wrath of the masses who have given their best sons and daughters to the struggle and who are demanding the radical transformation of Philippine society.

Dem Volke Dienen quotes the following statement of Sison and makes the baseless assertion that the Filipino revolutionaries and Sison have capitulated simply because they have declared openness to holding peace negotiations with the incoming Philippine president. “Let us take advantage of a new situation in which the worsening crisis of the ruling system, the growing strength of the revolutionary movement of the people and the failure of previous governments have generated a presidency that is bold and proud to say that he [Duterte] is the first left president of the Philippines and willing to accept and implement the necessary reforms for a just and lasting peace. ”

If you are engaged in a real revolution and not just in revolutionary phrase-mongering, a favorite past-time of armchair revolutionaries, you can have a realistic assessment of what is achievable at any given time based on the concrete objective and subjective conditions and the balance of forces between revolution and counter-revolution. The Filipino revolutionaries while taking what is achievable at a given time are not so naive as to stop there as Right opportunists would do in the process abandoning the fight for the ultimate goal.

The movement has simply welcomed the possibility of alliance with a president-elect who has declared himself socialist and the first left president of the Philippines for the purpose of carrying out substantial reforms beneficial to the people. No candidate for the Philippine presidency in the whole history of the country has been so bold as to declare himself a socialist and to propose a coalition government with the Communist Party of the Philippines for fear of earning the ire of the US imperialists and the local reactionaries. This situation has been brought about no less because of the advances in the revolutionary struggle.

It remains to be seen though if such an alliance is even possible. The movement is also acutely aware that the US imperialists and local reactionaries will surely oppose such an alliance for reforms and put up fierce resistance even to the point of organizing a coup against Duterte. Duterte himself tries to be prudent in a reactionary way by including in his cabinet neoliberals and by invoking an “inclusive government” without “class hatred”, to cite expressions from his inaugural speech.

But it is one thing to conclude that Duterte is a fascist or a stooge of imperialism before his unfolding and another thing to test his best claims and self-contradictions by challenging him to heed the people’s agenda for change and testing him through the peace negotiations. If he proves conclusively to be an unmitigated counterrevolutionary, the revolutionary forces can fight him. If he proves to be a genuine patriot and firm anti-imperialist and progressive, he will need the support of stronger revolutionary forces and a well-mobilized people with arms in their hands to avert a fall similar to that of Sukarno and Allende.

In any case, only infantile petty bourgeois revolutionists or Left ” philistines will reject any thought of reforms just because it does not fit into their narrow dogmatic understanding of Marxism as pure storm and thunder without any place for basic reforms before the revolutionary leap. Genuine Marxists,including Maoists, know that bourgeois-democratic reforms of the new type are undertaken in a semicolonial and semifeudal country in the course of the people’s democratic revolution and prior to the socialist revolution. Marx pointed out a long time ago that the revolutionary proletariat must first win the battle for democracy to attain socialism even in a capitalist country.

Well, even if certain reforms are carried out as a result of an alliance with Duterte, it does not mean that the movement will stop half-way and be content with the achievement of partial goals. There is no question that the Filipino revolutionaries will continue holding on to their weapons because they are determined to bring to completion the current stage of the national democratic struggle and thereafter proceed to the socialist revolution.

Dem Volke Dienen quotes the following statement from Sison but completely misses the point focusing only on Sison’s citing Duterte as having been his pupil. “President Duterte did not fall suddenly from heaven. He grew intellectually and politically under the deteriorating conditions on the basis of the chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system. Since his youth he tended to stand on the side of the oppressed and exploited. He was my student in political thought and joined the Kabataang Makabayan (Patriotic Youth), a youth organization close to the Communist Party of the Philippines.”

Dem Volke Dienen fails to grasp the profound insight in the statement that Duterte is a product of the concrete historical circumstances of a Philippine society in deep crisis. That Duterte in his university days was significantly influenced intellectually and politically by the social ferment in the country in the 1960s that produced many student activists who later reestablished the Communist Party of the Philippines on the theoretical foundation of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought and relaunched the armed struggle. One of the progressive youth organizations Duterte joined was Kabataang Makabayan (Patriotic Youth) of which Joma Sison was one of the founding leaders.

Kabataang Makabayan performed an invaluable service to the revolution acting as the vehicle for spreading the revolution nationwide with many of its activists instrumental in establishing the first guerrilla fronts and forming the first units of the New People’s Army (NPA) throughout the country.

It is based on such knowledge of the early background of Duterte, his public pronouncements and his friendly relations with the movement’s branch in his home province of Davao in Mindanao that the revolutionary movement has made an estimation of the possibility of alliance with the incoming president for the purpose of implementing progressive reforms beneficial to the Filipino people.

As matters stand, the only thing that is really unmasked here is the remarkable ignorance of Dem Volke Dienen about concrete Philippine conditions and about the Philippine revolutionary movement, and its audacity in exhibiting its idealist, ahistorical and un-Marxist way of thinking. #

What Dirty Trick Is Norberto Gonzales Up To This Time?

By Dan Borjal
NDF Political Consultant

It is to the credit of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte that even before formally taking office he has already sent his trusted team to meet with NDFP representatives in Oslo to prepare for the resumption of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations as he had promised. One of the qualities that has won over the overwhelming majority of the people to vote for him was his straight-forward no-nonsense manner of speaking. He has convinced the people that he means what he says. As a result of the preliminary talks in Oslo with the team sent by president-elect Duterte, the NDFP has expressed its optimism and hopeful expectations that it can work out an agreement that is beneficial to the Filipino people with the incoming Duterte government.

But there can be spoilers, lurking in the dark corners waiting for every opportunity to strike, because they do not want to see the success of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations. One such potential spoiler is Norberto Gonzales, National Security Adviser and Defense Secretary under the unlamented Gloria Arroyo regime. This dyed-in-the-wool anti-communist remains stuck emotionally and intellectually in the bygone era of the Cold War. His shameless defense of the rotten status quo goes against the fresh wind that has come with the electoral victory of Duterte by the biggest margin in Philippine history given him by the people who are aching for change.

His article in the Manila Times “The Philippine Roadmap to Communism” may just be his opening salvo in a wrecking operation by the most reactionary elements in Philippine society who still maintain enormous power and influence in the GPH armed forces, the Catholic Church and the business community.

I have been involved in the GPH-NDFP negotiations since 1998 and I personally think that the two GPH presidents that have done the most harm to the GPH-NDFP negotiations have been Arroyo and Aquino III. But between the two of them, Aquino did harm with his notorious “noynoying” or doing nothing during his six years except to allow OPAPP head Ging Deles and GPH panel head Alex Padilla to wage a media war against the NDFP. On the other hand, Arroyo was very much pro-active in sabotaging the negotiations. And I am quite sure this rabidly reactionary anticommunist Norberto Gonzales who was Arroyo’s National Security Adviser and Defense Secretary had everything to do with it.

Displaying her canine devotion to the US, Arroyo pledged adherence to the US “war on terror” and pleaded with her imperialist masters to put NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) in the US “terrorist list.” Her agents also openly campaigned for the European Union (EU) to follow the example of the US to put Joma, the CPP and NPA in the EU “terrorist list.” This clearly showed the treachery and bad faith of the Arroyo regime. It was pretending to talk peace with the NDFP while stabbing the latter in the back with the so-called “terrorist listing”.

Furthermore, in a high level national security meeting in late 2004 attended by Arroyo, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales proposed the assassination of Joma, perhaps emboldened by their “success” in lobbying for Joma to be put in the US and EU “terrorist lists.” It has been standard operating procedure for the US to first demonize its victim before going in for the kill. Their puppets in the third world are wont to copy such methods from their mentors. Accordingly, the Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security (COCIS) instructed an interagency intelligence staff to prioritize as “high impact projects” the assassination of CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal and Joma.

In 2006 Norberto Gonzales was instrumental in pushing the request of the Philippine government to the Dutch government to file murder charges against Prof. Jose Maria Sison. In the same year, he caused the filing of an omnibus rebellion charge against Prof. Sison and 50 others, including members of Congress and anti-Arroyo military officers. After gathering false testimonies in Manila against Prof. Sison, the Dutch prosecution office caused his arrest in August 2007 and the police raids on his home, on the NDFP office in Utrecht and the homes of NDFP negotiators and consultants. The Arroyo regime and Gonzales practically turned the Dutch authorities into fools by supplying them with false testimonies and disinformation that were described as rubbish by the Philippine Supreme Court when it ruled against the aforesaid rebellion case against Prof. Sison in June 2007.

We have to thank Gonzales for revealing the treacherous stratagem that was adopted by the Arroyo government in the peace negotiations. From his article it is now clear that it was Gonzales who pushed for the rearranging of the agenda so that the 4th item, “End of hostilities and disposition of the armed forces of the two sides” (what he prefers to call DDR – Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration) would be placed ahead of the discussion on socio-economic reforms and political and constitutional reforms originally agreed upon as the second and third items of the substantive agenda as provided for in the Hague Joint Declaration. The logic of the original sequence is that the necessary socio-economic and political reforms must first be discussed and agreed upon before the permanent end to the armed hostilities can be assured.

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

“The Arroyo government launched an enhanced campaign during its last two remaining years, with an end-objective of “softening” the communist threat. The military component of this campaign succeeded in neutralizing more than 50 percent of all communist guerrilla fronts. Significant is the fact that neutralized guerrilla fronts are mostly in areas where the communists were supposedly most influential. With this gain, it was deemed then that peace talks with the communists could be resumed with the DDR framework as the prevailing mode.”

Again straight from the horse’s mouth:

“A clear agreement on DDR of the armed component of the insurgent group is an essential pre-condition to the discussion of possible political accommodations.”

In the twisted logic of this defender of the rotten status quo, the revolutionary forces must first be so weakened that they will be forced to surrender according to the terms of Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration. The victorious GPH would then be in a position to dictate the terms and decide on “possible political accommodations” it was willing to grant to the defeated “insurgents.” This fellow is daydreaming!

The “enhanced campaign” that Gonzales speaks so highly about is the notorious Oplan Bantay Laya that was infamous for targeting unarmed civilians, activists, labor leaders, human rights workers, anti-mining activists among the indigenous people, among others. It never achieved the false claim of “neutralizing more than 50 percent of the communist guerrilla fronts.” But it certainly succeeded in committing the worst kinds of human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances among others.

It was during this period that the bloodthirsty Gen. Jovito Palparan had his heyday and distinguished himself by his brutality in ordering the summary killing of unarmed activists. Among his victims were the two UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan who were tortured, raped and disappeared upon his orders. These atrocities prompted the United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston to urge Arroyo to stop “targeting and executing individuals working with civil society organizations”.  The EU was also obliged to express concerns over the scandalous human rights situation in the country.

And yet, Gonzales has the gall to make an arrogant demand for leniency for Arroyo and Palparan! I cannot fathom such moral depravity. In fact, Gonzales is as guilty as Arroyo and Palparan for the atrocities committed during this period. But under the present unjust social system, criminals like him can continue to walk scot free and even enjoy the freedom to sabotage efforts intended to work out the necessary societal reforms for the benefit of the people.

Norberto Gonzales tries to employ the overused scare tactic of raising the communist bogey. To dispel the willful ignorance of Norberto Gonzales, I have to point out that communism is not even on the agenda of the current peace negotiations. Communism needs the emergence of more advanced material conditions to become realizable. The Philippines remains underdeveloped with no real industries to speak of and the peasantry who comprise the majority of our people are still mired in feudalism. There can be no talk of communism with such backward material conditions.

The socio-economic reforms that the NDFP has put forward still lie within the ambit of bourgeois or capitalist reforms. The complementary programs of national industrialization and genuine land reform are bound to result only in the creation of a modern industrial economy which will basically solve the problem of economic backwardness and widespread poverty.

I am tempted to advise the incoming President to just ignore such wackos as Norberto Gonzales and proceed to do what needs to be done. But it is probably wiser to advise the president-elect to also watch his back against such elements as the traditional oligarchs and their agents like Norberto Gonzales who will surely fight with all their might to maintain the oppressive status quo. These oligarchs still pack considerable influence and power in the GPH armed forces, the Catholic Church hierarchy and the business community. They retain a big potential for making trouble and they can always get the support of the US for their trouble making.

But the president-elect has oftentimes surprised many of us with his unconventional ways. I hope he shall surprise us again by going against the deeply entrenched vested interests in Philippine society and carry out together with the NDFP and other progressive forces the long-awaited reforms being demanded by the Filipino people. #