By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
August 8, 2018
It is an honor and pleasure for me to be with you in this teleconference. I stand in solidarity with you as you now hold your All-YS Unification. I salute and congratulate all of you for the major participation of youth and student mass organizations in the United People´s SONA.
This was attended by 40,000 people in Quezon City and by hundreds of thousands in various parts of the country. It is a historic event of far-reaching significance. It signals a major advance of the people´s movement to oust the US-Duterte regime in line with the national and democratic demands of the Filipino people against the reign of terror and greed.
The broad united front of legal patriotic and democratic forces that formed and carried out the United People´s SONA told the truth last July 23 about the dire conditions, the needs and demands of the people. In sharp contrast, Duterte delivered a SONA calculated to obfuscate the national situation and avoid the issues involving his responsibility. Let me mention and describe these issues.
1. The so-called war on drugs has failed to solve the problem of illegal drugs as Duterte himself has become the supreme drug lord over Peter Lim and his own close kins Paolo Duterte (son) and Mans Carpio (son-in-law) whose links to drug smuggling have been exposed. He has incited the police officers to commit the crime of mass murder with impunity directed against the poor drug suspects and the people in poor communities.
2. Emboldened by his incitation, guarantees of impunity and rewards for mass murder, the police officers have taken the lead in engaging in various types of crime, including murder-for-hire, extortion, robbery, kidnap-for-ransom and violent dispersal of workers strikes. There is a general state of lawlessness generated by Duterte himself and his so-called law enforcers.
3. In the countryside, in the course of Oplan Kapayapaan, military officers evict the people, especially the indigenous people and poor peasants from their homes and land, loot the abandoned houses and get special pay from the corporations and magnates interested in expanding their mining, logging and plantation operations.
4. Duterte was elected mainly through his alliance with the biggest Luzon-based plunderers, such as the Marcoses, Arroyos, Estradas and the like. He is now taking full advantage of his position to take the lion´s share in bureaucratic corruption. He also collaborates with his corrupt allies in making new corrupt deals and misappropriation of public funds.
5. Duterte has exposed his lack of interest in developing the economy through national industrialization and land reform and in solving the problems of underdevelopment, mass poverty, high unemployment rates, contractualization, low incomes and rising prices of basic goods and services. He has relied on economic advisers who take the neoliberal line of subservience to foreign monopoly capitalism.
6. He has deliberately raised the tax burden by giving tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy and imposing excise taxes on basic goods and services, thus causing their soaring prices and victimizing the broad masses of the people. We can expect the problem of inflation to worsen as the TRAIN moves from one phase to another.
7. The increase of tax burden on the back of the people is meant to support the higher expenditures for the military and police for suppressing and oppressing the people, feed bureaucratic corruption, guarantee profit remittances of foreign companies and debt service for foreign creditors and cover the widening trade and budgetary deficits.
8. Duterte´s claim of an independent foreign policy is false. He has kept the unequal treaties, agreements and arrangements that allow the US to continue as the most dominant foreign power over the Philippines. Thus, we still speak of Duterte as a US puppet. even as he offers himself as a servant to one more imperialist power China in the hope of getting loans even at high interest rates for overpriced infrastructure projects from which he can draw bribes in the style of Marcos.
9. In his overeagerness to get Chinese loans for his infrastructure building program, Duterte has treasonously and stupidly laid aside the sovereign rights of the Philippines over the exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf in West Philippine Sea. He has practically abandoned the final judgment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in favor of the Philippines against China.
10. Duterte´s Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Double Barrel, Oplan Kapayapaan, Oplan Tambay, martial law in Mindanao, the destruction of Marawi City, amendments of the Anti-terrorism law for the worse, terrorist listing of the CPP, NPA and 600 individuals and the filing of false charges of common crimes in his so-caled legalófesbive against revolutionary suspects are intended to intimidate and silence all critics, the opposition and the entire people.
11. Duterte has maliciously terminated the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in order to avoid negotiating comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms, pursue an all-out war against the people and the revolutionary forces and scapegoat the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People´s Army for the purpose of declaring emergency rule or martial law nationwide.
12. Duterte boasts of the watered-down Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) as the effective pacifier of the entire Bangsamoro. But in fact, it is a generator of further Moro armed resistance. The Moro National Liberation Front is angry that the OIC-endorsed peace agreement has been put aside. And the BIFF takes the position that the BOL does not respond sufficiently to the demands of the people.
13. The oplans of mass murder and intimidation, the termination of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, the anti-terrorist scare and the adoption of BOL are all meant to aggravate armed conflict and justify the proclamation of emergency rule or martial law in order to establish a fascist dictatorship under the pretext of charter change to federalism.
14. Duterte-type federalism is not aimed at decentralizing or devolving power and resources to the regions. But it is meant to concentrate executive, legislative and judicial powers in the hands of Duterte as authoritarian ruler or fascist dictator. He intends to place the various regions under the rule of dynasties and warlords of his choice and to have the license to sell out the national patrimony and natural resources of the Filipino people to various imperialist powers.
15. In his SONA 2018, Duterte failed to acknowledge and heed the demands of the broad masses of the people as articulated by the United People´s SONA. He did not care to apologize for the insults that he has uttered against the workers, peasants, indigenous people, women, youth, the Christians and religious leaders, and other people. He expressed no remorse for the crimes he has committed in escalating the oppression and exploitation of the people and in trying to realize his scheme of fascist dictatorship.
By discussing all the foregoing, I have somehow given you a picture of the national situation within which you operate and perform your tasks in strengthening yourselves and in serving the people. In view of the ever worsening crimes of the US-Duterte regime, you must be more resolved and more militant than ever before in condemning, fighting and striving to oust this despicable regime of unbridled terror and greed.
I hope that the All-YS unification would reap great success in strengthening your organizations and memberships politically and organizationally. The general line of struggle is clear as the PADEPA clarifies so well. It is to realize national freedom and democratic rights of the people against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
You must arouse, organize and mobilize the youth and students in coordination with the workers, peasants, the indigenous people, women, teachers, and other professionals and all other patriotic and progressive sectors.
You must carry forward the urgent struggle to oust the US-Duterte regime and in the process strengthen the forces for discarding the ruling system of big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats servile to US imperialism and for building a new system that is patriotic, democratic socially just and progressive in every sense.
Mabuhay ang All-YS Unification!
Mabuhay ang Anakbayan!
Mabuhay ang lahat ng kabataang Pilipino!
Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!