Noynoy Aquino: New Face of Counterrevolution in the Philippines

Editorial, Ang Bayan, July 7, 2010  (Ang Bayan is published twice a month by the Communist Party of the Philippines.  www.philippinerevolution.com)

Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is the new face of counterrevolution. Formally installed on June 30 as the new head of the puppet reactionary government, he is now the main advocate of US imperialist rule and that of the local big comprador bourgeoisie, bureaucrat capitalists and landlords.

On his shoulders rests the main responsibility of continuing the administration of the bankrupt semicolonial and semifeudal system, consolidating and running its state and suppressing any challenge to puppet reactionary power.

Just as US imperialism and the local ruling classes expected of him, Aquino focused his first few days on consolidating the puppet army. Aquino is well aware that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is the main pillar of reactionary rule in the Philippines. It will also serve as his main instrument in wielding power and fulfilling his duties. Thus, he has gone allout in providing it support, promising more troops, new equipment and housing for soldiers.

He has not denounced the AFP for its grave crimes against the people. It was Aquino’s way of signalling his support for the AFP’s evil fascist campaign of suppression that has resulted in tens of thousands of human rights violations. He has been outrightly dismissive of the grievances of tens of thousands of victims of military violence and of human rights advocates. He has not even promised a just accounting of the tens of thousands of fascist crimes perpetrated under the previous regime and the punishment of the masterminds among the officers of the puppet military and security forces.

Even as he has gone out of his way to ingratiate himself with the AFP, Aquino has not given the slightest attention to the people’s basic probems and their cries for social justice. His first days in power were focused on gimmicks such as his prohibition of sirens in the streets to make a show of being one with the people against the abuses of the mighty.

He claims that he is not impervious to the people’s grievances, but he feigns ignorance in the face of demands for land by the peasant masses. He babbles about agricultural services but has not said a word about dismantling the monopoly of land ownership and the suffering and oppression that this has wrought on the peasantry. And he definitely has not said anything about his clan’s Hacienda Luisita.

Unemployment is glaringly obvious as is the severe inadequacy of workers’ wages. But all he has had to offer is his showcase “emergency employment” scheme ostensibly for the benefit of millions of jobless workers. But as before, all this will create is the illusion of employment. It will be of no real consequence because whatever jobs will be created will be very few and temporary in nature. It will only succeed in obscuring the basic problem of economic backwardness, the absence of genuine national industry and the breakdown even of agriculture.

Aquino will not be able to resolve these issues just by parroting the old neoliberal shibboleth of the previous regime of “providing a level playing field for business and making the country attractive to foreign investors.” This has reference to no other than providing big capitalist countries even more freedom to dump their surplus products in the country, pushing small local capitalists and the people to the wall, destroying the local forces of production, plundering the country’s national resources and exploiting its cheap labor force.

It is this same policy along with rampant corruption that are behind the reactionary government’s severely bankrupt and debt-ridden state. Despite all this, Aquino does not have any plans of putting a stop to the practice of squandering the government’s biggest budgetary allocation on debt service. It will not be long before Aquino ends up imposing more taxes, scrimping on essential social services, privatizing public assets and resorting to more debt.

Aquino has not turned his back on the policy dictates of US imperialism. The wanton trampling of Philippine sovereignty, the plunder of the country’s economy and the expoitation and oppression of the people are all of no consequece to him. He has not declared any plans to review the unequal treaties, challenge or oppose the US’ continued intervention in the country.

In fact, it is the US’ designs that he has been hewing closely to in his counterrevolutionary line. His declaration of defeating “the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform and equitable governance leading to a better life” has been practically lifted word for word from the US Counterinsurgency Guide (USCG).

The USCG focuses on winning the people’s trust through showcase gimmick-laden and public relations programs even as it relies on fascist force to suppress critical oppositionists. It feeds the people deceptive and empty propaganda while holding a gun to their heads. This is the core of Aquino’s counterrevolutionary line.

The USCG does not value peace talks as a means of resolving the roots of civil war. Neither has Aquino shown any great interest in resuming the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Nonetheless, in response to the NDFP’s expression of its openness to continue the formal peace talks, the new regime has declared its readiness to resolve the armed conflict through negotiations. But the new Aquino regime must recognize and abide by previous agreements and seriously pursue the talks on the remaining agenda for the negotiations to prosper.

The revolutionary forces are aware that the new Aquino regime is but a continuation of the previous regimes. It may sport a new face, but nothing has changed in essence. The state led by Noynoy Aquino is the class dictatorship of the exploiters and oppressors that Gloria Arroyo and previous chief puppets of the US had led.

As in the time of previous puppets and reactionaries, the revolutionary movement stands ready to deal with the new US-Aquino regime to advance the people’s national and democratic aspirations in all arenas of struggle–in the arena of armed struggle, of open struggle and peace negotiations.

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