On the US-Aquino regime, peace and
August 11, 2010
Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chief Political Consultant, NDFP National
Democratic Front of the Philippines
Interview with Prof. JOSE MARIA SISONbr>Chief Political Consultantbr>NDFP Negotiating Panel
By ROSELLE VALERIObr>Liberation Internationalbr>11 August 2010
The Aquino regime is fundamentally a continuation of the Arroyo regime. It is another running dog of US imperialism with a different collar. It tries to make itself look
different from the Arroyo regime through sheer propaganda. From day to day, it does some publicity stunts and gimmicks to deflect attention from the big basic problems of the people, which are the main causes of poverty and corruption.
One who promises to eliminate poverty solely by eliminating corruption is obviously a big liar from the very outset. The Aquino regime cannot eliminate poverty and
corruption without confronting foreign and feudal exploitation and carrying out national industrialization and land reform. Poverty and corruption will persist so long as the evils of foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism afflict the country. In the backroom of the Aquino regime, the big comprador-landlord Cojuangco-Aquino family is plotting to keep Hacienda Luisita and amass wealth in other corrupt ways like privatizing the Philippine Amusement
and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).
Going by the example of Arroyo sending Estrada to prison in three months' time in 2001, the people expect Aquino to send her to prison before the end of September. If he fails, the people will take him to task for making false promises and lying. He will be hounded, discredited and isolated by the non-fulfillment of these promises that he has made, and of course by the new wave of corruption that is sure to arise from the new set of thieving bureaucats handpicked by the big foreign and local businessmen, the Kamag-anak, Inc. and the Classmates, Inc.
Despite the severe economic crisis and the bankruptcy of the reactionary government, Aquino has boasted that he would give everything that the military forces demand. He has openly insinuated that he wishes to double the strength of the military because the population has doubled since the time of Marcos. He has openly urged the military to give priority to counterinsurgency and escalate military campaigns.
The military forces of the reactionary government continue to commit human rights violations and carry out Oplan Bantay Laya. Aquino and his defense secretary Gazmin have demanded ceasefire, surrender and disarming of the New People's Army (NPA) as precondition to peace negotiations. The chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has boasted that the military would decimate the New People's Army in the next three years.
He is expressing the old reactionary position of treating the peace negotiations as a mere tool of deception in the so-called counterinsurgency. Obviously, he regards the peace negotiations as a way of immediately pacifying the revolutionary forces and laying aside the need for negotiating and forging agreements as the basis for a just and lasting peace. He follows the US Counterinsurgency Guide which considers peace negotiations as dispensable in defeating the armed revolutionary movement.
Aquino and the presidential adviser Teresita Deles follow the US line that peace negotiations are a disposable embellishment on the use of all-out military force to dismantle and disarm the revolutionary forces. The so-called military solution is combined with pretenses at good governance, delivery of services, economic rehabilitation and development and security reforms. The Aquino regime is banking so much on US military and financial assistance. It is salivating for the grant of US$434 million from the Millennium Challenge Corp. in exchange for further US military intervention and super-exploitation by US corporations and banks.
Now, the regime appears to find no urgent necessity to engage the NDFP in peace negotiations. But we should not be surprised if it is willing to resume formal talks for one reason or another. It does not give up the use of the peace negotiations in trying to deceive the people or to trick the revolutionary forces. At the same, the current worsening economic crisis, the mounting social discontent mass protests and the intensifying revolutionary armed struggle are stimuli for Aquino to approach the negotiating table.
The persistence of the ruling system and its worsening crisis render impossible any adequate delivery of social services to the people, and any economic rehabilitation and development for the country. The budgetary and trade deficits will grow. Local and foreign borrowing will become ever more burdensome. Collecting additional taxes will become ever more difficult in a depressed economy. How can Aquino impress anyone about tax collection when he is silent about the unpaid tax
obligations and ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, Eduardo Cojuangco, Lucio Tan and other big shots?
The Aquino regime can only fan the flames of the armed revolution by using public funds and foreign grants to enlarge its military forces in terms of personnel and equipment and escalate campaigns of military suppression. Within the span of the next three years, Aquino wishes to destroy or debilitate the revolutionary forces through propaganda stunts and brute military force. He can only fan the flames of people's war by exacerbating the socio-economic crisis with rising military
The revolutionary forces have adopted the general line of people's democratic revolution through protracted people's war. This line has served the revolutionary forces and the people very well since the re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in 1968. They grew from small to big and from weak to strong. They were able to overcome the 14-year long Marcos fascist dictatorship and build the New People's Army nationwide. Since the fall of Marcos, they have been able to overcome all kinds of violence and deception under such operational plans as Lambat Bitag I, II and III and Bantay Laya I and II, conducted by the post-Marcos regimes. They have a wealth of experience and the will to win.
According to the publications of the CPP Central Committee, the armed
revolutionary movement has a plan of advancing the people's war from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate in the next five years. The CPP has laid out the political requirements for such an advance. These involve the further strengthening of the CPP, NPA, the NDFP, the mass organizations and the organs of political power. The Party has also made clear the strategy and tactics to wage intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base, develop on favorable terrain highly mobile strike forces that can operate on inter-front, inter-provincial and regional scales, and aim to build some 179 guerrilla fronts within the next five years.
Success in the mass movement is best measured by solid mass organizing, concretely by a count of how many people become members of the various mass organizations, as a result of conscious and militant leadership, mass agitation and propaganda, members recruiting others and mass campaigns. The simplest and most effective method of expanding the mass organizations is to encourage all members to perform their basic duty of recruiting new members from among their friends, colleagues and relatives who are willing to accept the organization's constitution and program.
The mass organizations are based in the urban areas as well as in the rural areas, inside and outside of the guerrilla fronts. They can grow by relying on and trusting the masses. The imposition of unreasonable standards and sectarian biases, and then the failure to further develop the limited number of members are factors that stunt the growth of mass organizations. The large numbers of members in the basic
mass organizations serve as the main source of candidate members for the CPP and as its main basis for expansion.
May I focus on the question of expansion or contraction of the Party organization. Let me start by saying that it is the basic duty of all Party members to recruit as
candidate-members those who accept the Constitution and Program of the Party. Within the period of candidature of six months for workers and peasants, and one year for the urban petty bourgeois, the Party unit concerned has the duty to see to it that the candidate-member is raised to being a full member by taking the basic level of Party education and carrying out the assigned tasks.
The Party organization expands quite rapidly if this standard is followed. If not, the growth of the Party organization is stunted. Among the causes of the contraction of the Party organization are the failure to constantly urge Party members to carry out their basic duty of recruiting candidate-members in accordance with the Party Constitution, conceit manifested by applying unreasonable standards that deviate from the constitution, over-suspiciousness and inability to recognize the honesty of prospective and current candidate-members, and sheer negligence of the duty to recruit candidate-members or to help them become full members.
The NPA is the main revolutionary force for advancing the people's war. It pursues the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside in order to accumulate
armed strength. It chooses the best possible physical and social terrain for basing itself and, from there, advance wave upon wave. It aims to raise its strength and offensive capabilities and to improve coordination among its units on the scale of several guerrilla fronts, provinces and regions.
It launches only those tactical offensives it can win and avoids battles that it is not sure of winning. Its main purpose is to wipe out enemy units, accumulate weapons and form more combat units. It seeks to punish the human rights violators, the plunderers and the worst social elements. It is determined to dismantle anti-people, anti-national and antidemocratic enterprises (especially those engaged in landgrabbing, mining, logging for export, and the like) in order to combat the worst forms of exploitation, make more land available for free distribution to the landless tillers, and protect and conserve natural resources for national industrialization.
The NPA guarantees the development of the barrio organizing committees into barrio revolutionary committees as local organs of democratic power. It gives basic training to the people's militia as the police force and the self-defense units of the various mass organizations. It is of key importance to develop Party members from the ranks of advanced mass activists and form the Party branch as the leading force of the local mass organizations, the organs of democratic power, the militia and the self-defense units.
When the local revolutionary forces led by the Party branch exist, the NPA units can be confident of having a guerrilla base for opening new areas as well as for
launching tactical offensives. In the drive to reach the strategic stalemate, the direct mass base for people's war needs to expand and consolidate, become relatively
stable and support the mobile strike forces of the NPA in undertaking tactical offensives for definite periods of time. The NPA can concentrate on tactical
offensives because the local revolutionary forces can take charge of their own affairs in the localities.
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