Replies to questions from Senior Colonel Executive Participants, National Defense College of the Philippines, through NDCP President BGen. (Ret) Fermin de Leon, Jr.
By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
What is your greatest motivation in deeply pursuing your cause?
Jose Maria Sison (JMS): To serve the Filipino people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants, along the line of national liberation and democracy against foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, and thus to pave the way for a fundamentally new and better future.
Socialist countries around the world have already collapsed (except North Korea and Cuba) and have since embraced Capitalism proving that Marxism is a failed experiment (and that it does not work ). If the world has abandoned Marxism, why are you insisting on continuing your armed struggle to pursue your objective of taking over power and establishing a communist rule in the Philippines?
JMS: The people’s democratic revolution is the current stage of the Philippine revolution, which is important enough and beneficial to the people; going on to the next stage of socialist revolution will certainly involve learning lessons from the positive and negative experiences of the working class, including the previous victories and the revisionist betrayal of socialism and restoration of capitalism.
Are you willing to lay down your arms for the sake of peace and for the Filipino people?
JMS: A just and lasting peace is possible so long as the conflicting parties (GPH and NDFP) use the national and democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people as the common frame of reference and aim for full national independence, democracy, empowerment of the workers and peasants, development through genuine land reform and national industrialization, a national, scientific and mass culture and international solidarity for peace and development.
Why can’t we end the “conflict” without any or so much preconditions?
JMS: The basic and inalienable rights of the Filipino people are not onesided preconditions but involve two-sided obligations; ab initio the negotiating parties agreed in The Hague Joint Declaration to be guided by the mutually acceptable principles of national sovereignty, democracy and social justice.
For the sake of unity of Filipinos, how would you like the idea of coming home and spearhead true reconciliation?
JMS: I like the idea of coming home and working with others to realize reconciliation. This is in line with the standing proposal of the NDFP (which I have reiterated to Aquino since February 2011) that immediate truce and cooperation can be agreed upon on the basis of a general declaration of common intent to achieve national unity, peace and development, while the negotiating panels work comprehensively and in detail on the remaining three items in the substantive agenda.
Why are you there in another country? In revolutionary war, leaders must be with his men.
JMS: I have never proclaimed myself as the operational leader of the revolutionary forces since my arrest in November 1977 and I have been asked by comrades and even by certain friends in the GPH to stay abroad in order to help in peace negotiations in a foreign neutral venue that avoids the complications and risks of security operations on both sides during formal peace talks.
When are you coming back to the Philippines?
JMS: As soon as there is a truce and cooperation agreement between GPH and NDFP or best of all when there is already a final and complete peace agreement.
If you will be voted as President of the Republic of the Philippines, what will be your vision?
JMS: With the participation and support of the people, I will uphold, defend and enhance the national sovereignty of the people and Philippine territorial integrity, respect democratic rights, empower the workers and peasants through certain institutions and mechanisms, develop the economy through genuine land reform and national industrialization, promote a patriotic and progressive cultural and educational system and engage in friendly diplomatic and trade relations with all countries and peoples on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty, non-interference, cooperation and mutual benefit.
If you’re given the chance to govern the Philippines, what will be your National Security Policy and political platform?
JMS: To promote national unity in accordance with the national sovereignty of the people and territorial integrity, uphold human rights in an all-round way, avail of the people’s capabilities and the rich natural resources to carry out economic development through national industrialization and land reform, realize social harmony through full employment, use the industrial capability not only to respond to the basic needs of the people but also to manufacture the means for self-reliant development and self-defense (including machine tools, planes and ships), heighten the patriotic and progressive or revolutionary will of the people and use diplomacy to make friends abroad, to negotiate problems or litigate issues and to oppose and avoid war but to be prepared against any war of aggression against us.
If you will become the President of the country, how will you engage the CPP/NPA?
JMS: The CPP can be engaged at any time in a national council and movement of national unity, peace and development and the NPA can be assigned certain tasks under conditions of truce (like serving temporarily as environmental guards and guards or productive units for industrial projects) and can be integrated in a national army under conditions of a final peace agreement.
What would be your best alternative in solving the current national security issue in the WPS (West Philippine Sea)?
JMS: The best immediate legal and political move as already done is to bring up the maritime dispute before the ITLOS and invoke the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, particularly with regard to the exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf, and thus counter immediately according to law the arrogant China claim of undisputed sovereignty over 90 per cent of the South China Sea, including 80 per cent of EEZ and 100 per cent of ECS in the West Philippine Sea; and the best long-term policy of the Philippines is to develop its own economic, political and military strength and not to depend on unequal military agreements (like the Mutual Defense Pact, Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) with an imperialist power like the US which has an extended history of aggression, intervention and plunder against the Filipino people.
Do you see the possibility of ending the insurgency problem in our country before 2016?
JMS: There is no such possibility for ending the armed revolution in view of the extreme reactionary character, narrow mindedness, shortsightedness and intransigence of Aquino and Deles; but in terms of available time there is still a mathematical possibility for accomplishing the Comprehensive Agreement for Social and Economic Reforms and a Truce and Cooperation Agreement.