General Esperon is a charlatan

10 mins read

Marco Valbuena | Chief Information Officer | Communist Party of the Philippines

June 24, 2022

The Philippine Daily Inquirer today carried the news article “Esperon blasts CPP for opposing order to ban alleged pro-Red websites.” In it, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, national security adviser, is quoted denouncing the CPP as “anti-democratic” because it wants a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” General Esperon must be repudiated and denounced for misleading and misinforming the people about the CPP, in a vain attempt to justify the outrightly anti-democratic order to ban the websites of the CPP and the NDFP, as well as those of alternative media groups, people’s organizations, academics and international anti-imperialist groups.

[Let me digress early to quickly settle the somewhat comical remark of General Esperon. I don’t know if he has seriously read any book or article by Marx, Lenin or Mao Zedong, but clearly, General Esperon does not understand the concept of the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, when he denounced it as something sinister, authoritarian or tyrannical. In fact, the dictatorship of the proletariat is the most democratic state because it is the rule of the majority of working class. It can also be called proletarian democracy or worker’s democracy, especially from the point of view of workers and the people; but exercises dictatorship, against the minority classes of oppressors and exploiters, e.g. it will prohibit capitalists to make superprofits from unbridled accumulation of capital and exploitation of workers. It is a fundamental fact of class society that one class exercises dictatorship over another contending class, just as the ruling minority classes in the Philippines exercises dictatorship (the coercive powers of the state) over the majority classes of workers and peasants to preserve and expand their property.

I also don’t know if General Esperon has seriously studied the literature of the CPP, but clearly he does not know that establishing socialism or proletarian dictatorship is not the immediate program of the CPP, because the conditions in the country does not yet permit it, where majority of the people is composed of the peasant class that demand land ownership, and who are not ready to support or practice socialist or collective land ownership and production. The CPP is pushing for a people’s democratic revolution and the establishment of a people’s democratic state.]

We urge the Filipino people, especially the youth, to be vigilant and resist being dumbed down by the myopic and cold war-era mindset and rhetoric of General Esperon that has now morphed into one that supports the “war on terror,” an unli-war instigated and sponsored by the US militarist hawks and their backers among big American weapons makers and defense companies.

People deserve to have the level of public debate raised and have a more educated discussion about the fundamental social, economic, political, historical, as well as ideological and philosophical questions that underlie the issues of rising prices, poverty, hunger, joblessness and other pressing questions that they are confronted with daily.

It is a happy consequence of General Esperon’s move to ban the websites of the CPP and NDFP, that more and more people, especially among the youth, are taking interest to study more closely the standpoint and views promoted by the CPP. We are also receiving offers to help mirror and propagate the contents of our websites. Especially in face of threats to democracy, we trust that there will be more online and in-person discussions among the youth and students, teachers, academics and professionals who wish to enlighten themselves about the views of the CPP and the need for the country to undergo revolutionary transformation.

Except for a few people who share General Esperon’s extremist measures, most people reject the MAD Internet Firewall and his dogmatic views and intolerance of opposing views–even by those who do not necessarily agree with the CPP.

General Esperon and his ilk want to silence the CPP, as well as the patriotic, progressive and anti-imperialist forces which have relentlessly exposed the lies and distortions being promoted by the pro-US security and defense officials of the Duterte regime, and that of the incoming illegitimate Marcos II regime.

General Esperon wants to shut out the websites of the CPP and the NDFP claiming they are being used for recruitment. Of course! That is our intrinsic right. And indeed, the websites of the CPP and NDFP are effective tools for education and recruitment. People go to the website of the CPP to seek its views about domestic and international issues. The CPP also uses its website to give accurate battlefield information from the New People’s Army (NPA) which often contradicts the information being churned out by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). I think the Filipino public deserve and need access to such information, and do not agree to General Esperon’s wishes for the military and the ruling government to monopolize the flow of information.

General Esperon claims “he has all the intelligence” but was not careful enough in drawing up his list to include at least three websites that have not been updated for the past ten years, and to include the academic and journalistic websites Monthly Review and Counterpunch which promote views that often are not congruent with those of the CPP.

In ordering that these websites be banned, General Esperon shows he is not ready to fight at the level of ideas and information, and chooses only the authoritarian option of using government power to wholesale silence and suppress those who promote views that challenge their narrative.

General Esperon’s actions are clearly exposing the undemocratic political and economic system in the Philippines, that is under the class dictatorship of big bourgeois compradors (people like the Villars and Razons) and big landlords (the Aranetas and the Cojuangcos), and the US-controlled neocolonial state run by bureaucrat capitalists (like the Dutertes and Marcoses) and fascists (like Lorenzana and Esperon). These are people who comprise less than 1% of the Philippine population, but control most of the country’s wealth and resources, live off the sweat of workers, peasants and other toiling classes and run the government like business for their own interests, all while claiming to represent the masses. In the Philippines, democracy is a farce. Elections are pseudo-democratic as they are dominated by political parties that are fundamentally no different from one another and bankrolled by big capitalists and landlords. Even the party-list system that was supposed to give a few seats to the “disenfranchised” is now under the control of ruling class interests.

As one who represents and defends the minority ruling classes in the Philippines, and with his acts of outright suppression, General Esperon is a charlatan when he talks of “democracy.”

The CPP stands with the Filipino people as they resist the burgeoning authoritarianism under the Marcos II regime. The CPP is a democratic organization both in the sense that it represents the broad and democratic interests of the Filipino working class, that is aligned with the interests of other democratic classes (the petty-bourgeoisie and the national capitalists) in the Philippines; and in the sense that it upholds and promotes their democratic rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

The CPP is leading a people’s democratic revolution that aims to win national sovereignty and end US neocolonial domination, which has consigned the country to backwardness and crisis over the past 120 years. It stands for the most fundamental right of people to bear arms in order to fight tyranny and oppression. The CPP aims to establish a democratic system, where socialist revolution and transformation of society can be carried out, where the workers and toiling classes control state power, and where the old ruling classes can no longer exercise armed dictatorship over the masses.

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