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Use lessons of EDSA 1986 to oust the US-Aquino regime!

By Communist Party of the Philippines

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in recalling the EDSA 1986 uprising. The celebration of the EDSA 1986 gains particular significance this year as this occur amid mounting calls for the ouster of the US-Aquino regime.

After three years of mendacity, corruption, puppetry, oppression and brutalities, the US-Aquino regime has roused the Filipino people once again to exercise their democratic power in order to carry out direct political action to effect a regime-change in the ruling system.

The Filipino people have two more years before celebrating the 30th anniversary of the EDSA uprising in 2016 in order to wage an all-out campaign to oust the US-Aquino regime. They must masterfully employ their organized strength in propaganda, organizing and mobilization in order to rapidly intensify the mass struggles within this relatively short historical juncture.

They must vigorously carry out political education to unmask the rotten anti-people and pro-imperialist regime headed by Benigno Aquino III. They must tirelessly expose and denounce the corruption in the rapid business expansion of Aquino’s big bourgeois comprador cronies amid widespread poverty and hunger. They must expose his corrupt cacique-style patronage leadership using public funds for political favors; and his accommodation of the criminal syndicates in control of commodity smuggling and tax evasion.

They must protest the rising costs of health care as a result of the privatization of public hospitals; the increasing inaccessibility of education as a result of state abandonment of education and commercialization of education; and the rising costs of electricity, water, oil, transportation and other public utilities as a result of the continuing policy of deregulation. They must denounce Aquino’s criminal neglect of the millions of people who suffered from the devastation wrought by recent typhoons. Aquino must also be held criminally liable for the failure of his regime to put into place sufficient early warning systems resulting in thousands of deaths in the past calamities.

They must denounce the Aquino regime for imposing a wage-freeze policy amid the spiralling costs of living. They must expose widespread land grabbing and monopolization by big landlords and big plantation operations. They must amplify their demand for land reform and national industrialization.

They must unceasingly expose and condemn widespread abuses of human rights, especially violations of the rights of children, in the use of military suppression against the people. They must expose the lies behind Aquino’s peace rhetoric and demand that it squarely address the roots of the civil war through political negotiations.

The campaign to expose, oppose and oust the US-Aquino regime must take the form of widespread political discussion and activities addressing the outstanding problems of the people.

Organizers of the campaign in the National Capital Region and other urban centers must conscientiously reach out to millions of people in order to arouse, organize and mobilize them. They can mobilize thousands of political activists as an army of propagandists and plan out the rapid expansion of that army with new activists. Activists can be formed into teams of 3-7 people for propaganda and organizing and strategically deployed in schools, factories, offices and communities, as well as in malls, parks, markets and other places where people conglomerate.

The political skills of activists must be honed in trainings on the outstanding issues exposing the US-Aquino regime. They need to be able to sharply analyze issues and expose the duplicity of Aquino’s expert PR manipulators. They need to adeptly take hold of the principles of mass line in order to effectively link the local issues and conditions of the people with the bigger and general issues.

These teams must daringly and creatively initiate educational seminars and political discussions among the people, employing all possible forms of propaganda—from pamphleteering, setting up wall statements and soapboxes, to conducting corner-store, home-to-home or room-to-room discussions—in order to raise the people’s democratic consciousness and determination to defend and advance their interests and oppose and fight the US-Aquino regime.

The ranks of youth activists from various type of democratic and patriotic organizations must be harnessed as a large corps of propagandists and political movers. They should unleash the energy of the youth and exemplify the untiring propagandists. They can forge ahead with a mass propaganda movement within and outside their campuses which exposes the worsening social ills under the US-Aquino regime and calls on the people to shape their destiny through direct and collective political action.

In recent history, the Filipino people have twice succeeded in wielding the power of legal direct political action to effect regime change: in overthrowing the Marcos fascist dictatorship in 1986 and the corrupt Estrada regime in 2001. Such direct political action by the people’s democratic mass movement have been carried out within the bounds of the legal political system. Although limited to effecting changes within the ruling system, such direct political action empowers the people, puts them in a position to further influence policy and transforms their consciousness to seek the radical transformation of the existing social order.

Such is the revolutionizing impact of direct political action of both EDSA 1986 and 2001. Thus, the ruling reactionary classes, especially the clique in power, have unceasingly sought to obfuscate the profound relevance of the EDSA people power uprisings of the past. They condescendingly use the term “people power” in the same sense as “horsepower” and seek to purge the democratic meaning of the uprisings with the aim rendering it a useless museum piece.

The reactionary classes invoke “the spirit of EDSA” but dissuade the Filipino people from carrying out further direct political action. This year, Aquino has further pushed forward the emasculation of the meaning EDSA by telling people to unite, not as a direct political act, but purportedly “to confront natural challenges”. The Aquinos have long made claims to the legacy of the EDSA uprisings with the aim of obfuscating the role played by the people and their democratic and patriotic forces. The aim of the Aquinos is not to enhance the people’s democratic political power, but rather, to suppress it.

History has provided the Filipino people with the unique opportunity to reassert the progressive and democratic meaning of the EDSA uprising of 1986 and make use of its lessons to overthrow the ruling Aquino clique.

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