Propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Dec 27): Global and Philippine crises generate revolutionary resistance
NDFP National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Message of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the
on the 47th Anniversary of its Reestablishment
December 26, 2015
On the 47th anniversary of its reestablishment under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism on December 26, 1968, the Communist Party of the Philippines celebrates with the Filipino people its accumulated and current ideological, political and organizational victories and is determined more than ever before to advance the Philippine revolution along the general line of the people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war.
As the advanced detachment of the proletariat, the Party leads the current stage of the revolution and the consequent stage of socialist revolution. On this day, we salute and honor the tens of thousands of Party cadres and members, the thousands of Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army, the tens of thousands of people’s militia members, the hundreds of thousands of self-defense unit members and the millions of mass activists who have achieved the victories through their arduous struggle, hard work and sacrifices. We accord the highest honor to the revolutionary heroes and martyrs and we strive to honor them best by following their inspiration and by waging an ever fiercer struggle for national liberation and democracy.
We have fought and defeated a series of brutal regimes intended by the
and the local reactionaries to destroy the Party and the revolutionary movement. These regimes include the 14-year Marcos fascist dictatorship and a chain of successors pretending to be democratic and yet of the same oppressive and exploitative class character as the previous 20-year Marcos regime.
We have defeated the latest reactionary regime of big compradors and landlords, the US-Aquino regime. Its US-designed Oplan Bayanihan has failed to achieve its objective of destroying or reducing the New People’s Army to inconsequence despite the deployment of 70 percent of its maneuver battalions against the revolutionary forces. The deployment of 24 percent of enemy forces in Eastern Mindanao has resulted in the intensification and advance of the people’s war in this area and in other regions in Mindanao, Visayas and
. The inspiring example of the revolutionary forces and people of Eastern Mindanao and the intensification of tactical offensives elsewhere have served to strengthen and advance the people’s war nationwide.
The adversaries and detractors of the revolution prate mockingly that the people’s war has not yet succeeded in seizing the presidential palace in
. They seek to obscure the fact that the revolutionary people’s government of the workers and peasants has arisen in the countryside and is steadily spreading. The organs of democratic political power have a mass base running into millions and enjoy the support of tens of millions outside of the guerrilla fronts. They govern a large part of the country and carry out programs of mass education, land reform, production, health, cultural upliftment, self-defense and justice.
The conditions for advancing the Philippine revolution are excellent. The crisis of the world capitalist system is ever worsening. The capitalist powers continue to fail in lifting the global economy from crisis and depression. They keep on passing the burden of crisis to the people and are thus aggravating the economic and financial crisis as well as escalating inter-imperialist contradictions bringing about widespread conditions of state terrorism and imperialist wars of aggression. The
is one of the few countries in which the illusion of economic growth is conjured from time to time by large inflows of portfolio investments. But whenever this money flows out, the country suffers an abrupt economic downturn.
The economic, social and political crisis in the
is fertile ground for the advance of the revolutionary movement. The people suffer the heavy burden of escalating oppression and exploitation. They are thus driven to protest and rebel. The crisis conditions easily lead to revolutionary resistance because there is a growing revolutionary party of the proletariat that exposes the increasing inability of the ruling system to rule in the old way and that arouses, organizes and mobilizes the people to take the road of revolution.
In performing its revolutionary role and duty in the
, the Party demonstrates to the proletariat and peoples of the world that the road of revolution is available against imperialism and all reaction. The US-instigated neoliberal economic policy of unbridled greed, the recurrent and worsening economic crisis and the increasing use of state terrorism and wars of aggression have laid the basis for an unprecedentedly widespread revolutionary resistance.
I. Protracted Crisis of World Capitalist System Deepens and Worsens
Under monopoly capitalism, especially under the US-instigated economic policy of unbridled greed, the drive to extract higher profits by squeezing wages and adopting higher technology inevitably leads to and further aggravates the crisis of overproduction. The use of finance capital, particularly the expansion of money supply and credit in an attempt to override the crisis, raises the profits and asset values of the monopoly bourgeoisie, bails out the banks and the big corporations, artificially raises consumption and boosts military production ahead of the recovery of civil production and employment and. But it generates more and bigger financial bubbles resulting in ever worse financial crises on top of the worsening economic crisis.
The world capitalist system is in the throes of a general crisis, involving the recurrence and worsening of economic and financial crises. The financial meltdown in 2007-2008 has resulted in a global depression that is comparable in duration and severity to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Slight upturns do occur but are followed by longer downturns in country GDPs and the world gross product. The official figures for these, like the current estimated rate of global economic growth of 2.8 per cent for 2015, are bloated by government deficit spending, public debt, financial market transactions and private spending that do not raise employment and incomes for the people.
Production and employment have continued to fall or stagnate in industrial capitalist countries and to a worse extent in the underdeveloped countries. Governments in industrialized countries have engaged in financial bailouts for the benefit of the big banks, investments and favored defense industries. They have wantonly expanded money supply and credit. Faced with budget deficits, they have adopted austerity measures, including sharp cutbacks on spending for social benefits and social services, reduction of government employees and deep cuts in wages for the working people.
Total global debt outstanding (including household, corporate and government debt) has grown by 62 percent in eight years, from USD 142 trillion in 2007 to an estimated USD 230 trillion by end-2015. It has become impossible for debt of such level to ever be repaid, with a global gross domestic product of just about USD 60 trillion whose growth is slowing down. Public debt, most of it incurred by several imperialist countries with high deficits, is growing as the latest and biggest financial bubble that can burst anytime soon and wreak unprecedented devastation. The US and China are showing stress from the burden of the public debt. Even then, the EU is following the US and Chinese path of quantitative easing (merely printing money). The bursting of the public debt bubble portends to be the biggest in the offing.
The global growth rate of employment dipped to an average 1.2 percent annually in the 2007-2014 period, compared to the 1.7 percent in the previous 1991-2007 period. Unemployment and underemployment continue to rise, both in the urban and rural areas, especially in Africa, the Middle East, Southern Europe, and Latin America. Asian countries officially show low rates of unemployment, but these are due to high rates of so-called informal employment or oddjobbing that can reach up to 85 percent of total employment in some countries. Most megacities of the Third World have a low degree of industrialization and teem with millions of people—mere oddjobbers suffering slave-like conditions under irregular and short-term hirers.
The disparity in global wealth has increasingly widened, with the wealthiest big bourgeoisie constituting less than 1 percent of the world’s population while already owning nearly 50 percent of the world’s total wealth. Ninety percent of them are based in North America and Europe. They enjoy lower tax rates and other windfalls from plundering public assets and human and natural resources of foreign countries. Poverty is becoming rampant even in the developed countries, with the working class receiving less income and less social benefits than before and the middle class shrinking. The peoples of the underdeveloped countries suffer far worse conditions of poverty.
The US and other imperialist powers are stepping up war production in compliance with the crisis-driven demands of monopoly firms in the defense industry as well as in pursuit of the objective of keeping and expanding economic territory and geo-political interests. The protracted and worsening crisis of monopoly capitalism is generating chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry, fascism, state terrorism, proxy wars and wars of aggression. The US, NATO member states and Zionist Israel are still the dominant combination of aggressors and are the most aggressive in provoking and undertaking military actions to weaken their adversaries in West Asia (Middle East), Central Asia, Africa and on the borders of Russia.
There is no end in sight for the general crisis of monopoly capitalism and the trend towards bigger wars, especially because the imperialist powers cling to the neoliberal economic policy. All attempts to moderate or lessen the areas of economic and military conflict, through such international forums such as G7 and G20 summits, UN and OECD processes, treaty-mandated conferences such as WTO, Rio+20 and annual climate talks, and other big-region mechanisms such as APEC, have failed and have resulted in more gridlocks.
The unipolar world dominated by the US after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War has gradually given way to a multipolar alignment of conflicting trade and economic blocs and their corresponding political-military alliances. US imperialism has practically undermined itself by outsourcing consumer manufactures, expanding military expenditures, and financializing its economy. But it continues to maximize its remaining clout with the IMF, World Bank and WTO. In a vain attempt to keep its dominant position in global finance and trade, the US is aggressively pushing to impose the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement on its EU allies and adopting the same approach with its Pacific Rim allies to impose the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. It is using secretive talks, backdoor deals, blackmail and double-talk to have the TTIP and TPP agreements passed, despite their flagrantly repellent pro-US big corporate biases.
After the ruling revisionist cliques in the former Soviet Union and China openly and fully embraced capitalism, in the years of 1989-1991, the US and its allies had no choice but to accept the entry of Russia and China into the club of the global capitalist elite. While the capitalist powers collude in exploiting and oppressing the Third World, the new players have asserted their own interests and have thus aggravated the crisis of the world capitalist system and the inter-imperialist contradictions.
While coping with its own internal crisis and stabilizing itself with high oil earnings for a while, Russia under Putin has managed to protect and expand its own economic and geopolitical interests within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and with other neighboring states along the borders with EU. In recent years, it has dealt with and contained the successful US subversion of western Ukraine and installation of a fascist pro-US puppet regime in Kiev. The aggressive war unleashed by the Kiev puppet regime against the ethnic-Russian people’s republics in Novorassiya and Crimea has resulted in the latter voting to rejoin Russia.
The US persists in carrying out provocations against Russia, such as seeking to subvert it, together with other ex-Soviet states, expanding the NATO to its borders, undermining the ties between it and EU states, imposing sanctions and suspending/excluding it from the G-8. Russia in turn has consolidated its western flanks by setting up the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with four other former Soviet republics. It has also extended its own inroads of influence to the West by exerting major diplomatic roles in Central Asia and Middle East affairs, particularly in Syria and Iran, and by offering economic cooperation to the most crisis-stricken EU countries. Most importantly, it has strengthened its bilateral economic and security relations with China.
China is coping with an economy overheated by excessive public and private construction, overproduction of steel and other industrial products, runaway expansion of money supply and credit (many times worse than that in the US) and other internal troubles of a social and environmental character. These problems put China at a long distance from the US in per-capita GDP. At any rate, China continues to export surplus capital and expand its overseas operations in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and has launched an ambitious two-pronged strategic link to Europe through the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the Maritime Silk Road (MSR).
The US maintains a dual policy of colluding and contending with China. But in recent years, it has increased the aspect of contention, with the so-called strategic pivot to East Asia and the US-headed TPP which excludes China. The US strategic pivot to East Asia is designed to block China’s projection of its armed forces beyond its borders and to push internal forces towards privatized capital and bourgeois politics. The US is taking advantage of China’s disputes with neighboring countries over South China Sea claims as well as with Japan over the Daoyu islands in the East Sea. The US has maneuvered the Philippines into allowing US military bases under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and has blatantly emboldened Japan to revive its militarist posture as a foil to China.
Aside from bilateral agreements, Russia and China have availed of multiple platforms to strengthen their alliance for countering the unwelcome pressures and challenges from the US and its closest allies. In economic terms, the BRICS bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) has consolidated itself as a global alliance with ample resources to counter the US-Canada-EU-Japan axis. BRICS now has its own New Development Bank (NDB), in addition to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), with ample resources to counter the IMF-World Bank and undertake large projects, such as SREBand MSR.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), initiated by China and Russia, has expanded to include eight Eurasian member-states and India and Pakistan. This is in addition to the Russia-led EEU. In geopolitical and military terms, the SCO-EEU combination has the potential to countervail the US-NATO alliance on its western flanks and US-Asian allies on its eastern flanks.
Following the Ukraine crisis of 2014, several hotspots of long standing have flared up anew this year in the Middle East and Africa. The occupied Palestinian territories have erupted anew in what may develop as a third intifada against Zionist Israel. The continuing civil strife in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Sudan and Nigeria have been made more complicated by US interventions and the worst of barbarisms are being perpetrated by such US-created, trained and armed terrorist groups as Daesh (Islamic State), which are further funded and coddled by US client states like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Qatar.
The imperialist wars of aggression and the local and regional armed conflicts have intensified contradictions between imperialist blocs and their regional proxies and allies and have resulted in unbearable economic and social catastrophes leading to a gigantic wave of refugees in millions within countries and regions and now surging in large numbers towards Europe. Russia’s military support for Syria in the drive against Daesh, Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian combat plane, the Paris terrorist attacks and French-British response of bombing in Syria, have triggered a dangerous chain of events that could lead to an escalation towards larger-scale warfare involving imperialist bombs and boots on the ground.
Official GDP statistics are used as basis to claim that certain regions like East Asia and Africa have been enjoying high growth rates and a “growing middle class”. But this growth is fuelled by capital flows from imperialist countries, mostly hot money from hedge funds that do not build industrial plants and lasting employment but go to the financial market and unsustainable economic activities such as construction, real estate, tourism, and telecommunications-based services, and the consequent government tax revenues go to black holes like military expenditures, bureaucratic operations and corruption. All these aggravate the debt problem and deepen and worsen the underdevelopment of the Third World.
Imperialist countries are able to shift the burden of the crisis to the underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America because the impoverished agrarian and semifeudal conditions provide cheap labor and raw materials and lower operating costs; the neocolonial puppetry of civilian bureaucrats; and big bourgeois control of local finance. As a result, entire countries are thrown into widespread social and political turmoil in which the masses of workers, peasants and other working people suffer intense exploitation and oppression.
A favorite theme of imperialist propaganda is the supposedly fast-growing “global middle class”, with the highest growths seen in Asia, combined with the supposed halving of global poverty rates compared to 20 years ago. But this is just statistical deception, as the so-called poor, low-income, and middle-class brackets globally have been pulled down to rock-bottom minimums. The middle class in the underdeveloped countries are on more or less the same level as the poverty thresholds in the US. The imperialist propaganda, even if sugarcoated by post-2015 UN promises of further reducing global poverty, cannot hide the expanding and deepening conditions of extreme and systemic poverty, exploitation and oppression for the majority of the world’s toiling masses of workers and peasants. Even in the imperialist countries and so-called emerging or middle-income economies, the crisis and protracted depression have greatly pulled down the working and living conditions of the working class and petty bourgeoisie. The imperialist powers spearheaded by the US, the EU and Japan and their subalterns in underdeveloped countries add the neoliberal policy of unbridled exploitation in the name of “free trade” to the neocolonial foundation of exploitation.
The US is still the chieftain of the imperialist powers for enforcing the exploitative impositions on underdeveloped countries. Since the end of World War II, the US has been responsible for the killing of at least 35 million people in wars of aggression and massacres and for the displacement of far more millions of people due to the mass killings and destruction of social infrastructure mainly by bombardments. In recent decades, regardless of the ruling party in power, the US has been guided by the neoconservative line of “full spectrum” global hegemony in the 21st century. This line has whipped up fascist lawmaking, state terrorism and wars of aggression under various pretexts such as pursuing a perpetual and borderless “war on terror,” regime change, humanitarian intervention, and even the “war on drugs”. The US rationalizes its aggressive policy by claiming to secure the freedom and wealth of its citizenry. But in fact a major cause of the economic and financial crisis afflicting the American people is the heavy cost of war production, maintenance of more than 800 military bases abroad and wars of aggression.
In recent times, the US and its NATO allies have wantonly targeted and destroyed sovereign states, waging wars of aggression against countries assertive of national independence, such as the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and causing the overthrow of anti-US governments such as in Ukraine, Yemen and Venezuela. They have continued to make war provocations in Eastern Europe against Russia. They have unleashed wars of aggression against states that control strategic energy sources, raw materials and routes. They use sanctions, blockades and war threats and provocations against so many countries, including Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. They have used Zionist Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and rightist armed oppositions and jihadi groups like Daesh and Al Qaidda affiliates as attack dogs. They are hostile against the Palestinian and other peoples in the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South Asia. The US is actively pushing Japan, Australia and South Korea to join its war provocations in East Asia.
The US-led imperialist powers have become so driven by militarism and war; and their many crimes against humanity so whitewashed by imperialist and reactionary media, that they use the same mindset and machinery with impunity against their own peoples at home, especially in the face of rising people’s resistance. They have adopted even more reactionary and draconian policies and measures, including outright fascist laws, full-spectrum surveillance, and heavily militarized police actions against ordinary citizens under the pretext of combating terrorism, common crime, drug use, and other petty offenses.
Within these imperialist countries, the big bourgeoisie and their controlled media whip up chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry, Islamophobia, terrorist-baiting, and war hysteria to draw attention away from the capitalist roots of the social crisis, quell social discontent and mass resistance and obscure the need for revolutionary class struggle. To win votes, fascist, neo-Nazi and ultra-Rightist political parties wage hate campaigns in the media and allow hate crimes to spread against refugees, asylum-seekers, migrant workers, and even second-generation immigrants especially those of color and particularly victimizing women and youth.
The wars of aggression and big-power terrorism launched by the US and its worst allies and puppets inflict terrible suffering on the people—killing and wounding hundreds of thousands and devastating the homes, livelihood and social infrastructure in orgies of bombing. Thus, the people are driven to wage armed resistance. This continues even after the US and its allies apparently succeed with their aggression and occupy a country. In fact, they are compelled to phase out their occupation forces because the people’s resistance inflicts heavy costs on these unwelcome forces.
The US and its allies were able to bring down the Saddam regime in Baghdad, Iraq but the Sunni officers and men under the Baath nationalist leaders regrouped to fight the foreign aggressors and the Shia puppet government. They were also able to bring down the Taliban government in Kabul, Afghanistan but armed resistance has continued not only from the Taliban armed forces but also other armed organizations that have arisen. Having overthrown the Qaddafi regime by bombing and arming various militia organizations which are now fighting each other, they have found cause for further intervention to the continuing ruination of Libya.
The countries devastated by imperialist wars of aggression and proxy wars in the Middle East and Africa have become breeding and playing grounds for jihadist organizations, like affiliates of Al Qaidda and the Daesh. Despite its propaganda against Al Qaidda after 9-11, the US has armed and used Al Nushra affiliate of Al Qaidda to wage war on the Assad regime in Syria. It has also created, trained and supplied the Daesh to punish its own puppet government in Baghdad for becoming too close to Iran and also to wage war on the Assad regime in Syria and open the way for US and NATO intervention there.
The absence of a revolutionary and effective Communist Party in a country attacked by the US and its allies have enabled jihadists to seize the armed political initiative after a secular nationalist government is brought down. Previously in such countries as Iraq and Syria, the Baathists were able to maintain their regimes against threats from the US and Zionist Israel because of support from the Soviet and other revisionist-type communist parties. The absence of truly revolutionary communist parties in Tunisia and Egypt allowed Islamic parties to take power during the so-called Arab spring until the US-bred military bourgeoisie took back power.
Where the US and its allies have unleashed wars of aggression, Communist parties ought to lead the people’s revolutionary movement for national liberation. However, conditions are favorable for truly revolutionary communist parties to arise in other global regions. By waging wars of aggression and proxy wars in the Middle East and Africa, the US undermines itself by going into high military expenditure, overreaching in more than one direction. Thus, it actually loses focus on countries where revolutionary Communist Parties are waging armed struggle.
The most exemplary of the armed revolutionary movements are those waging people’s war and gaining victories either under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and/or an anti-imperialist program of national and social liberation. The armed revolutionary movements are in the Philippines, India, Palestine, Colombia, Peru, Turkey, Kurdistan and elsewhere. The Kurdish people and their revolutionary forces have benefited most directly from the current armed conflicts in the Middle East. They fight back the attacks of the Daesh and Turkey in Syria and North Kurdistan and arm themselves in the process as well as establish organs of democratic power.
The exploitation and oppression of the proletariat and the people throughout the world, made more acute by the economic and social crisis, are pushing them to fight back in various ways and forms available to them—from spontaneous and localized protests and strikes, to nationally coordinated strikes and mass campaigns, and all the way to generating broad and sustained people’s movements for national and social liberation in the imperialist-dominated underdeveloped countries; and for socialism in the imperialist homegrounds.
Throughout the underdeveloped countries, workers in urban areas, mining districts and special economic zones persevere in the difficult work of building unions and launching trade union struggles. The peasant masses demand genuine land reform and are being mobilized for the purpose. Student-youth are being radicalized in growing numbers, and their protests inside the campus are overflowing into the streets and communities, where they link up with workers, semiproletarians and other sectors. The most advanced workers and students are learning to link up with the peasantry and indigenous peoples in the rural areas.
In the advanced capitalist countries, including the US, EU, Japan, China and Russia, there is a marked rise of people’s resistance movements. Among the workers, youth, women, minorities, migrants, and cultural and intellectual workers, there is growing interest and demand for an anti-capitalist or Marxist critique of capitalism and reaffirmation of socialism. In a few countries, such as Greece, Spain, and Portugal, mass movements with a clear anti-capitalist orientation are gaining strength. Despite complex twists and turns, progressive parties and parliamentary coalitions are learning both from positive and negative lessons.
The rate at which the general crisis of the world capitalist system is worsening generates conditions favorable for the rise of genuine revolutionary parties of the proletariat and revolutionary mass movements. So long as monopoly capitalism and reaction persist, there is no end to the epochal struggle of the proletariat and people against the big bourgeoisie. We are still very much in the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution. As the crisis of imperialism worsens and deepens, the anti-imperialist and socialist movements will resurge with increasing resolve and vigor.
II. Worsening Crisis of the Ruling System and Rise of Revolutionary Resistance
For a while, from 2010 to 2013, the Philippine ruling system appeared to be exempt from the crisis of world capitalist system, if we were to look at the rise of the gross domestic product. This was growing far beyond the growth rate of the world economy. The Philippine growth rate was being touted as the highest in Asia in 2013. The content of the growing GDP was obscured. The money flow reflected by the GDP of 7.2 percent consisted of portfolio investments (hot money) that went mainly to the financial markets (stock, bond and money markets) to the extent of 65 percent, reducing to only 6 percent the proportion of money remittances of overseas migrant workers and the income from call center operations. The rest of the total money flow came mainly from government spending for bureaucratic operations, debt service and other counterproductive purposes.
The US deliberately gave the Aquino regime the special privilege of having the Philippines receive a large flow of money from hedge funds in order to conjure the illusion of economic growth, sustain the private construction boom and generate government revenues for boosting military operations and appropriating large doleout funds for the conditional cash transfer and Pamana program to make the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan successful. Increased government spending, remittances of the overseas contract workers and earnings of business call centers also served to maintain high consumption spending by a small part of the population.
Oplan Bayanihan became a big failure because of its antipeople character, the ineptness and corruption of the regime´s civil and military bureaucracy and because of the superiority of the Party’s strategy of protracted people’s war and the tactics of intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. At the same time, the crisis of global capitalism reasserted itself relative to the Philippines. The flow of hot money began to subside in 2014 when the US announced it would slow down quantitative easing and possibly raise interest rates and because of China’s even worse problem of wanton spending and credit for public and private construction.
The much-vaunted Philippine economic growth rate of 7.2 percent has gone down to 6.1 percent in 2014 and is expected to go further down to 5.8 percent in 2015. The World Bank blames slow government spending, negative net exports and the initial impact of El Niño. In fact, the neoliberal economic policy has undermined and reduced production output in agriculture and manufacturing. Manila government figures show that manufacturing has slowed down to 5.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015 in comparison to 7 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Agriculture continues to decline. Its share in the economy is 10 percent and the share of manufacturing is 23.2 percent, which is as low as in the 1950s.
Especially under the US-dictated neoliberal economic policy, one puppet regime after another has rejected national industrialization with genuine land reform as the concomitant for expanding the domestic market. The US-Aquino regime is quite brazen in outrightly rejecting national industrialization. It favors foreign corporations and big comprador operations rather than national industrialization. It promotes schemes relying on the so-called global value chains and ASEAN integration under the control of the TNCs. The big comprador-landlords in collusion with foreign capital are hell-bent on pushing for an economic Charter change to fully remove constitutional restrictions to fully remove constitutional restrictions on foreigners to own lands and engage in all types of small, medium, and large scale economic ventures and give them license to further exploit the country’s natural and human resources. They have pressured Congress to insert the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” in some sections of Articles XII (national economy and patrimony), XIV (education, science and technology, arts, culture and sports) and XVI (general provisions).
The biggest gainers under the US-Aquino regime are the foreign banks and corporation and the big comprador firms. Their interests are in banking, insurance, real estate development, infrastructures, shopping malls, semi-manufacturing, mining, logging, plantations and the like. Public-private partnerships favor big comprador companies and foreign suppliers in infrastructure and energy projects. As a result, the wealth of the 10 richest Filipinos has risen exponentially from PhP 650 billion in 2010 to PhP 2.2 trillion in 2015. Top-level corruption of the Aquino ruling clique and its business favorites is frequently exposed, with particular instances of corruption involving hundreds of millions and even billions of pesos.
Social inequalities have worsened as unemployment has increased, real income of the working people and even the middle social strata have decreased, the prices of basic commodities have risen and social services have deteriorated and public utility charges (especially transport, electricity and water) have soared. Since the drastic fall of semiconductor production and other semimanufacturing as a result of global market contraction starting in 2008, unemployment has increased and wage incomes have fallen. So far, more than ten million Filipino contract workers have left the country pushing their lot in unfamiliar lands and cultures under harsh working and living conditions, low wages and neglect by the Philippine government.
A two-tiered wage system is now being implemented under RA 6727 in which tier 1 or the ¨floor wage¨ replaces the minimum, while tier 2 or the “productivity wage” is set by individual firms. Short-term contractualization and flexible working arrangements continue to keep down workers as temporaries and part-timers. Contractualization of workers runs as high as 90 percent of the labor force in many factories, service and commercial enterprises juxtaposed with a rapidly shrinking percentage of regulars who are either retrenched or reduced as contractuals.
Tripartism allows the employers and government to put the workers in a corner and defeat trade union demands. Self-regulation and voluntary compliance so-called are rampant capitalist practices legitimized by the state. Working conditions are dismal and hazardous. The most basic health and safety regulations in the workplace are widely violated. A glaring example of the vicious collusion between capitalists and bureaucrats and their criminal disregard for the workers’ welfare is the Kemtex tragedy where more than 100 workers perished. Worsening these are state policies such as Republic Act 6715 (Herrera Law), Wage Rationalization Law, Regional Wage Boards, “no union, no strike” enterprises, “end of contract” and other anti-labor acts. These have aroused the working class to widen and fortify their ranks, develop not only trade unions but revolutionary unions and other workers’ associations in the factories and in the workers communities. The Party in some regions has led and supported successful fights of exploited and oppressed regular and contractual workers in several factories and plantations.
The Philippines has an agrarian semifeudal economy but it has lost food self-sufficiency, particularly with regard to rice and corn production due to the neoliberal economic policy of allowing rice and other food imports to swamp the market and discourage local production. At the same time, large plantations have been devoted to the production of such crops as rubber and palm oil for export and large areas of land allocated for bioethanol production. Eventually, rice and other food imports have become more expensive while local food production and the peasant masses have become more impoverished.
The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and the CARP-Extension with Reforms (CARPER) have come to an end since last year without having solved the problem of landless tillers. Those who have received certificates of land ownership awards (CLOA) have mostly become unable to pay the amortization of the land to the Land Bank or have suffered family illness and crop failures that have compelled them to sell their land to rich peasants or money lenders. lenders. Government has resorted to various legal machinations and maneuvers to dispossess beneficiaries of the awarded land. The government and landgrabbers collude and succeed in reclassifying rice and corn land to other types of land exempt from land reform. This has become an effective scheme to evict farmers and divest them of their lands. Many huge landed estates previously subject to land reform remain undistributed to beneficiaries as a result of the landlords’ legal maneuvers. In the case of Hacienda Luisita, the landed estate remains undistributed notwithstanding a Supreme Court decision, epitomizing the Aquino-Cojuangcos’ contempt of legal institutions and arrogant display of big-landlord-bureaucrat-capitalist power. New reconcentrations of land in the hands of the landlords and agricorporations, both local and foreign, are reemerging.
Sixty-six million Filipinos are living on PhP 125 or less a day. Poverty is most widespread in the countryside. With land frontier exhausted since the end of the 1960s, the excess population in the countryside has tended to move towards the cities and swell the urban poor slums. PhP 178 billion has been appropriated for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (P4) or Conditional Cash Transfer over the period 2010-14 for doleouts to poor households. But this huge amount of money has been dissipated through bureaucratic corruption and has not resulted in reducing or even alleviating poverty to a significant extent. A hefty sum of PhP 62.7 billion, almost twice the previous average annual allocation has been allocated for this program for 2016.
The Philippines is artificially buoyed up by a huge amount of external debt of USD 75 billion as of June 2015. This is a far cry from the USD 27 billion foreign debt left by the Marcos fascist regime. Trade deficits have risen and have been covered by further foreign borrowing. Total public debt has risen to PhP 5.847 trillion as of end July 2015. Of this amount, domestic debt has reached PhP 3.89 trillion. Government deficit spending has necessitated the rise of the local public debt.
The underdevelopment, widespread poverty, mass unemployment and the worsening crisis of the Philippine economy cause social unrest and revolutionary resistance. The workers are outraged by the neoliberal drive to push down their wages, draw them down to the level of short-term contractualization as temporaries and part-timers, and suppress their democratic rights, especially their right to unionize and to strike. Trade union leaders are being murdered to intimidate the entire working class.
The peasant masses have continued to suffer ever worsening conditions of feudal and semifeudal exploitation given the series of patently bogus land reforms from the time of Macapagal, through Marcos to the Aquinos. Now, the swindling political agents of the landlord class have dropped their pretense at land reform with the end of CARPER last year. The peasant masses and the indigenous people suffer the most exploitation and oppression. Land reconcentration is occurring at the levels of the small, middle and big landlords. The worst of the big landgrabbers acquire the largest tracts of land with the active assistance of the reactionary government for the purpose of or in connection with real estate development and speculation, plantations, mining and special economic zones.
The peasant masses are waging various forms of struggles to fight for and assert their land rights. They are waging campaigns to reduce land rent, lower rates of usury, raise the wages of agricultural and farmworkers, raise production and the prices of their produce, lower rentals on farm tools and equipment, set up cooperatives and engage in mutual help. In some regions, occupation of abandoned and contested lands are being undertaken. Nationwide protest campaigns such as peasant marches and Peasant Chain have been held.
The indigenous peoples’ right to ancestral domain is being brutally violated. In the attempt to grab the land, the government aids the foreign and local land grabbers, the Aquino regime subjects the peasants, including the indigenous people, to military and psywar operations under Oplan Bayanihan. Military operations are nowadays called peace and development operations by the enemy. As the hinterlands have been neglected by the reactionary government, the people on their own have put up schools and other social facilities. These are now being occupied and destroyed by the military troops and paramilitary groups of Oplan Bayanihan in the course of landgrabbing for the benefit of the foreign corporations and big compradors engaged in mining, logging and plantations. Local leaders and educators are being murdered. The victims have refused to be intimidated and have fought back. They have gone on long marches from Mindanao and the Cordillera to rally the entire nation against the oppressors headed by Aquino.
The students and the out-of-school youth are restless and launch militant mass actions against rising tuition fees, lack of jobs after graduation, the commercialization of education (including state colleges and universities), the imposition of the K+12 system to produce a docile work force for the foreign and local exploiters, the reduction of public funds for the public school system and the increase of public fund for the military, police and intelligence equipment and operations.
The entire Filipino nation is appalled at the gross and systematic violations of human rights being perpetrated by the US-Aquino regime in carrying out Oplan Bayanihan. The toiling masses of worker and peasants have strengthened their unity with the urban petty bourgeoisie that has been offended by fixed low incomes, corruption of the ruling clique and high bureaucrats in general, shortage of job opportunities in the country and pressures to seek jobs abroad. The middle bourgeoisie has long been disgusted by the hostility of the US-Aquno regime to the cause of industrialization and indifference to demands for support to small and medium enterprises.
The US-Aquino regime is now in extreme isolation. But the possibility of Aquino’s being overthrown by a people’s uprising has been dissipated by the onset of the electoral struggle for the presidency in 2016, unless he commits a serious crime or blunder. The bourgeois allies of the toiling masses and the dominant Church have lost interest in a people’s uprising to overthrow him. Even then, he remains isolated by the exposure of so many scandals and by even bigger and more serious accountabilities, such as rabid implementation of the neoliberal economic policy, gross and systematic human rights violations, and the aggravation of social inequality and injustices, unemployment and poverty.
The scandals include the pork barrel corruption under such headings as PDAF, DAP, off budget accounts, special funds and so on, the failure to provide timely and sufficient resources for the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of communities devastated by the supertyphoon Yolanda, the designation of General Purisima (while suspended on corruption charges) as overall commander of the bungled Mamasapano operation, the appointment of corrupt officials to high positions on the basis of personal friendship, the special delivery of state contracts to business cronies and other scandals. The US-Aquino regime has utterly failed to destroy or reduce the New People’s Army to inconsequentiality through Oplan Bayanihan and related political maneuvers. It has not been able to show good governance. Instead, it has been thoroughly exposed as corrupt and incompetent. It has done nothing but aggravate and deepen the semicolonial and semifeudal conditions of underdevelopment and poverty.
Since the beginning of the Aquino regime, it has made false promises to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in order to engage it in an indefinite ceasefire and have more military forces to deploy against the NPA. But the regime has failed to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and has exposed itself for having taken the MILF for a ride.
Despite the ceasefire of the Manila government with the MILF, the NPA and other revolutionary forces in Eastern Mindanao have been able to overcome the enemy forces which constitute 30 per cent of their total national strength and inspired the NPA units in other regions of Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon to intensify their tactical offensives and take advantage of the thinning out of enemy troops in their respective areas. In the meantime, the frustrations of the Bangsamoro over the mutilation and nonpassage of the BBL offer the possibility for a more extensive and intensive armed resistance by the Bangsamoro.
The US-Aquino regime at first expected that the entire Filipino nation would rally to its side by its opposition to China´s encroachments in the West Philippine Sea and that it would be able to accuse and isolate the NPA and other revolutionary forces led by the Party as pro-China despite their long running criticism of the Dengist restoration of capitalism in China. But the Party and the revolutionary forces and people it leads have stood up for national sovereignty and territorial integrity and have condemned China´s unjust claim of undisputed sovereignty over 90 per cent of the South China Sea and in particular the grabbing of Panatag Shoal and the reclamations in the Spratlys—all in violation of the sovereign rights of the Filipino people over the exclusive economic zone and the extended continental shelf in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
While supporting the Philippine case against China before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea and the Arbitral Tribunal, the Party has condemned the Aquino regime for using the maritime dispute to allow the US to establish military bases within “allowed areas” under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and even to encourage Japan to intervene militarily in the Philippines. The Party has also condemned the Aquino regime for allowing Chinese state and private corporations to maintain and increase their business interests in the Philippines in the form of 40 per cent share of the national power grid, large mining operations, plantations, financial firms, hotels, shopping malls and so on.
If the international tribunal were to decide the Philippine-China maritime dispute in favor of the Philippines, China should have to give up its baseless claims of owning 90 percent of the South China Sea and change its tack in the international community and towards the ASEAN countries. The US should have no justification for establishing military bases in the Philippines under the pretext of protecting the Philippines from China. Thus, the patriotic and progressive forces and the entire Filipino people would be able to develop economic relations with China that would advance the national industrialization of the Philippines instead of perpetuating and aggravating the underdevelopment of the Philippines.
The Party and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are pleased that all five major presidential candidates in the 2016 elections are committed in varying degrees to the resumption of formal talks in the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Manila government. Duterte has been the most vocal and most forward in announcing his proposal to the NDFP for a coalition government and offer of a number of cabinet positions, and in indicating the patriotic and progressive grounds for a just peace. However, Grace Poe has run ahead of him in comprehensively defining the grounds for electoral alliance with the Makabayan Bloc. The grounds include upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect for human rights, national industrialization and genuine land reform and so on.
It is unfortunate though that both Poe and Duterte are the target of disqualifications suits. In the case of Binay, he is the target of relentless corruption charges. In the case of Defensor-Santiago, despite her low rank in the poll surveys, she is the target of rumors that she has not really overcome her cancer ailment. Despite the huge amount of public and private funds already mobilized to support his campaign, Roxas rates low in poll surveys because of his close association with Aquino and the wide perception of his own performance as inept. He is actually ridiculed for vowing to continue the Daang Matuwid policies of Aquino. But the most astute observers have declared that no matter how the poll surveys and even the actual voting go, what will decide the presidential elections will be the CIA and Aquino control of the automated electoral system to be run by Smartmatic-TIM which can be pre-programmed to “elect” officials as in the2010 and 2013 elections. The free rein given a dubious foreign corporation in playing a pivotal role in what is supposedly the people’s democratic exercise of their sovereign power itself constitutes a flagrant and shameless violation of the people’s sovereignty.
The presidential electoral contest reflects in a concentrated way the contradictions of political factions among the reactionaries. Roxas is well known as an exponent of neoliberal economic policy, a Wharton boy, a loyal representative of the big compradors and landlords servile to the US. He does not care about persuading the working people to trust him, except by superficially trying to mimic their hard work in photo snapshots. And of course, he is isolated by even bigger and more serious accountabilities, such as rabid implementation of the neoliberal economic policy, gross and systematic human rights violations, and the aggravation of social inequality and injustices, unemployment and poverty. In the case of all other major presidential candidates, they try to champion certain demands of the ordinary people, like ending top level corruption in government as well as rampant common crimes, engaging in industrialization to create jobs and so on. There will be serious consequences if any of the major presidential candidates were to be disqualified or arrested with Roxas being perceived as extremely favored by his foreign and local patrons.
The Party and the NDFP do not endorse any candidate, party and coalition in the electoral process of the reactionary system. They are outside of this system. But they do study and analyze how to regard and relate to the candidates, parties and coalitions within the ruling system, before, during and after elections, in connection with the civil war, what is beneficial to the people and the peace negotiations.
It is good enough that there is the Makabayan Bloc which strives to pursue a patriotic and progressive line in carrying out the electoral struggle and seeking further alliances within the ruling system. The voting strength of the Makabayan Bloc is far bigger than the capability of Iglesia ni Cristo on a nationwide scale and is capable of electing patriotic and progressive candidates at various levels.
Even as the Makabayan Bloc and the progressive party list group concentrate on the electoral struggle, the various mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth, students, teachers, health workers, lawyers, artists, writers, human rights activists and other sectors carry on with their own campaigns on burning issues and long-term issues in the national democratic mass movement. After all, the electoral struggle involves a few months every three years and the mass movement runs daily from year to year to arouse, organize and mobilize the masses for various forms of struggle.
The crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system provides the favorable objective conditions for the development of the subjective forces of the armed revolution. The Party leads the proletariat and the broad masses of the people along the general line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. It commands the New People’s Army to carry out the highest of form of struggle, the armed struggle, and integrate it with the agrarian revolution and mass base building.
The worker-peasant alliance is strengthened in the course of the protracted people’s war. And the organs of political power constituting the people’s democratic government are established in the countryside. The revolutionary mass organizations are built and mobilized to support the organs of political power and to contribute their strength to the building of the national united front under the auspices of the NDFP. The subjective forces of the revolution and their alliances are being developed through struggles on a daily basis while the reactionaries have the illusion that their system will forever last so long as they have periodic elections.Part III. The Communist Party of the Philippines is Firmly and Effectively Leading the Philippine Revolution
The Communist Party of the Philippines is firmly and effectively leading the Philippine revolution because it has correctly adopted the ideological line of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the general political line of people’s democratic revolution and the organizational line of democratic centralism and accordingly carries out ideological, political and organizational work.