By JORGE “Ka Oris” MADLOS
With great joy, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Mindanao congratulates all leading cadres and members of the Kabataang Makabayan (KM, Patriotic Youth) who, upon its 48th founding anniversary today, have vowed to carry forward the blazing torch of the militant and revolutionary youth movement in the Philippines towards the victory of the people’s war. With great pride, we salute all members of the KM who, since the dark days of the Marcos dictatorship, have heroically offered their lives for the revolution, as well as to all those who persevere until now.
Like a spark that began a prairie fire, KM’s inception in the 1960s led to the rise of the militant youth and students’ movement that took upon itself the task of reinvestigating Philippine society and openly oppose the ills of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat- capitalism.
When Martial Law was declared and KM pronounced illegal, most members of KM opted to struggle beyond the boundaries of the legal arena, and took to the mountains to plant the seed of armed revolutionary struggle. Armed only with the ideology and zeal of the re-established Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-MLM), they set the revolutionary fire anew, but this time in the countryside across the archipelago, organizing among poor peasants in order to build the proletarian army and establish Red bases.
KM activists did not lose sight of the vision to carry forward Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan’s revolution. They kept this in their hearts and minds, and practiced it by arousing and organizing the people on how to wage their war, even to the point of laying down their own lives so that the revolution may advance.
Today, the KM continues to organize among the cross-section of the Filipino youth, which accounts for almost half of country’s populace. The country’s youth and students are one of the most oppressed and exploited sectors, submerged under the most heinous of social conditions, which are further heightened by the rapacity of imperialism and of the local ruling classes and its reactionary state.
The Aquino government brags that it has allocated 2.8% for education in the 2013 budget. In truth, there is nothing to crow about because, apart from being far lower than the UN allowable minimum of 6%, Aquino is only making sure that its highly pro-monopoly capitalist schema for education, such as the K-12 program and the privatization of state colleges and universities (SCUs), remain unhampered.
The K-12 is excruciatingly burdensome to teachers, students and the people. Not only does it pose additional expenses, but the new curricula only satisfy the need of foreign monopoly capitalists for the continued generation of cheap, docile and skilled Filipino laborers with the end in view of acquiring superprofit. While the approved Php 37 Billion allocation for SCUs for 2013 is nothing but Aquino’s feeble attempt to trick students and parents into believing the government “cares” for the Filipino youth. Unfortunately, Aquino does not care for the youth nor for education because the hefty budget is no more than a pumped-up “capital outlay” for SCUs to turn “self-reliant,” or to begin running as a private business starting next year, and eventually be dependent on private funds. SCUs compete with private colleges and universities in tuition fee hikes and other exorbitant fees, which make the title “Iskolar ng Bayan” (people’s scholar) shamefully a thing of the past.
Apart from having poor or no access at all to quality education, the majority peasant youth are exploited and oppressed with ferocity by semi-feudalism in the countryside. They have no land to till and are forced to sell their labor power as agricultural workers in exchange for subhuman wages.
After a few years in primary education, most, if not all, are forced to work at a very young age to help augment their parents’ measly income. They also fall victim to the brutal military operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the countryside, and are often rendered helpless in the face of grizzly human rights violations.
Worker youths suffer similarly because they are exposed to inhuman working conditions and receive highly unjust pay. Apart from these inequities, the youth are also forced into prostitution and are victimized by drug and gambling syndicates.
The Moro and Lumad youth in Mindanao are also severely oppressed, not only due to poverty but also because of their identity as national minorities. The severity of national oppression and chauvinism has intensified, and has blatantly impinged on their right to self -determination. They are under constant attack by security forces of the reactionary state. With regard to the Moro struggle, it frustrates the Moro youth that, despite the recent signing of the Framework on the Bangsamoro between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH), the attainment of genuine self-determination remains elusive. As it is, the AFP has not moved an inch away from Moro areas and remains a grievous threat to the Moro people.
In light of this objective condition, it is therefore incumbent upon the present leaders and members of the Kabataang Makabayan to further arouse, organize and mobilize the Filipino youth by the hundreds of thousands in order to advance the people’s national-democratic revolution. The KM must help extricate the Filipino youth from docility and aim for the all -round resurgence of militancy, as was felt during the First Quarter Storm.
It should be creative in its methods and, if necessary, use all available popular avenues to reach out to a greater number of youth and students, including the internet, social networking, texting and other forms of technological advancement. Bring back the fire and daringness of the KM, enliven the unrelenting spirit – the true spirit of serving the people!
Strive to emulate the indefatigable fervor and bravery shown by the initiators of KM in spreading the essence of the national-democratic struggle among the youth in particular and the people in general. Why be content with a handful few, when you have the power to mobilize the youth in their millions against the basic problems of Philippine society?
With your deep grasp of the objective condition, it is within your power to make them understand the necessity to rise up and serve the people. With this, we challenge KM leaders and members to answer the call of the people’s war for more cadres and political officers and instructors in the New People’s Army. As we brace to meet the requirement of the people’s war, you are ever more needed to serve the people through your Red army!
Long live the Kabataang Makabayan!
Long live the Filipino Youth!