Call from the Philippines to Advance Mass Movements and People’s War

Editorial, Ang Bayan, September 21, 2010

Mobilize the people in their millions to advance the Philippine revolution!

Current conditions are exceedingly favorable to arouse, organize and mobilize the Filipino people in their millions to tread the path of militant struggle and revolutionary war. The key requirement for the further advance of people’s war towards the stage of strategic stalemate in the next five years is the creation of an extensive mass movement nationwide.

Social conditions continue to deteriorate under the Aquino regime. The people are severely impoverished and gravely suffer in the face of massive unemployment, slave wages, intense feudal and semifeudal oppression, skyrocketing prices and transport fares, a growing tax burden, widespread corruption and scarce social services.

The intensity of the crisis has caused the hollowness of the US-Aquino regime’s braggadocio to be rapidly exposed. Its pretensions of being an agent of change have quickly faded. Aquino has been in office for less than a hundred days, but disillusionment already abounds among many of those who supported or believed in him.

The US-Aquino regime is merely perpetuating imperialist economic polices (especially the furtherance of denationalization and privatization). Its handling of Hacienda Luisita provides a striking example of how land reform has been relegated to the sidelines. Factional strife, incompetence, corruption and in the latest incident, the involvement of a number of key officials in the illegal jueteng numbers game have all very quickly reared their ugly heads. The intervention of foreign troops continues to be allowed. Human rights violations, terrorism and intense psywar go on without letup with the extension of Oplan Bantay Laya even as a new operational plan to suppress the people’s resistance is in the works.

We must arouse, organize and mobilize the people in their numbers to enable them to defend and advance their interests in the face of the worsening crisis under the current rotten government and system. The Party’s mobilization of millions of people in a broad mass movement is the single, most important political requisite in advancing the people’s war. Continue reading

Philippines: Mass action of urban poor stops community demolition

Ang Bayan, October 7, 2010

Mass action averts North Triangle demolition

Collective action by the residents of Sitio San Roque, Barangay Bagong Pag-asa in North Triangle, Quezon City successfully prevented the attempt of National Housing Authority (NHA) personnel to demolish their homes for the implementation of the QC-CBD project.

The residents began setting up barricades as early as September 22. They lighted candles outside their houses, with some of them holding a vigil to prevent the police and NHA demolition teams from entering the area. Others fortified their homes. Mass meetings and discussions were held to explain the importance of defending the livelihood of the poor and resist the demolition.

The residents massed up the following day to stop the demolition, getting out of their homes and barricading the streets. The mass action swelled up to Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA), where the people linked arms and put up obstacles to block the police.

Violence erupted when the demolition teams forced their way in and destroyed some houses. Some policemen threatened residents with their guns. Those manning the barricades were hosed down with water. Seven residents were injured and two were arrested. The people resorted to throwing stones at the NHA personnel to stop the destruction of their houses.

At around 3:00 in the afternoon, the Regional Trial Court Branch 226 issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the demolition. Even Benigno Aquino III who was then in the US was compelled to order the NHA to temporarily stop the demolition. The poor residents have vowed to remain on guard and block any attempt to demolish their homes.

Philippines: The Remoteness of Real Land Reform

[Throughout the world–in semi-colonial and dependent countries–the struggle of peasants for land is an essential part of the revolutionary struggle for state power and new democracy. While comprador politicians often disguise themselves with the populist language of land reform, experience has shown that such phrase-mongering deceives few for very long. Real land reform is won through the revolutionary seizure of power.  This article from IBON exposes the empty promises of land reform by recent and present comprador Philippine governments.-ed.]

Peasants at work at Hacienda Luisita

October 15, 2010

The bitter plight of Filipino farmers continues past the Aquino administration’s first 100 days and into October which the peasant movement marks as Peasant Month.

By IBON Features

The First 100 Days Report of Pres. Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino’s administration made no mention of its program for land reform. This was also true in Pres. Aquino’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July, which only mentioned public-private partnerships for farming facilities and infrastructure.

All these betray that working for real land reform is not in the list of priorities of Pres. Aquino, a known haciendero. In the past, he had declared support for the one-year-old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extended with Reforms (CARPer), which peasant groups have denounced as a futile law that is biased against peasants. In fact, a year after the enactment of RA 9700 or the CARPer, past the new administration’s first 100 days and into October which the Philippine peasant movement marks as Peasant Month, the bitter plight of Filipino farmers continues. Continue reading

Philippines: 66 year old peasant activist leads colleagues in storming Aquino’s palace

 

10 peasant leaders stage mass burning of 100 pictures of PNoy

 

Oct 1, 2010

By Axel Pinpin and Gerry Albert Corpuz

MANILA, Philippines -Sixty six year old fisherfolk activist Pedro Gonzalez led 29 other farmer and fisherfolk leaders from Southern Tagalog in conducting an all rural people’s lightning rally or surprise rally some 200 meters near Malacanang Palace to denounce President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III and his running policy of land reform denials and political repression in the region.

Gonzalez, survivor of the ambush staged by elements of death squad allegedly from the Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the May 2004 elections, along with farmer and fisherfolk leaders aging from 50 to 60 years old and all members of the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas-Timog Katagalugan (Pamalakaya-TK) trooped to the heavily guarded gate of Malacanang to warn Aquino of “intensified peasant war” over the President’s failure to address the land problem in Southern Tagalog.

“If Aquino wants war, we will give him war. There’s no turning back. They can’t stop me and the rural people from fighting for land and justice. His first 100 days in office is checkered with agrarian injustice, scores of human rights violations, triple platinum corruption and extreme disregard of people’s rights and welfare. This regime of Aquino is doomed,” added Gonzalez. Continue reading

Philippines: Students splash pig’s blood in education budget cuts protest

INQUIRER.net
October 06, 2010

MANILA, Philippines—Militant youth on Wednesday stormed the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Quezon City to protest the increase in defense budget while the 2011 national appropriation for education is slashed.Over 20 members of Anakbayan rushed to Camp Aguinaldo’s Gate 2 past 11 a.m. and hurled pig’s blood at the AFP gates, as they called for the rechanneling of the military budget to education.

Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Banez slammed the impending P1.1 billion cuts in the budget of state universities and college and the P4.14 billion increase in the defense outlay. “The 2011 national budget is an austerity budget in contrast with Aquino’s boast that it is a ‘reformed budget’ and is ‘biased to the poor.’ This year’s education budget translates to P7.9 per Filipino per day based on the current population of 94 million, P1.12 for health and P0.17 for housing,” Banez said.

 

The group also criticized Malacañang over the continuing extrajudicial killings, which it claimed have already reached 16 in the first 100 days in office of President Benigno Aquino. Continue reading

Militants denounce Aquino’s failures in his first 100 days

10/08/2010, LBG/VVP, GMANews.TV

Unimpressed by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s report about his first 100 days in office, militants protested near Malacañang Palace on Friday to denounce the chief executive’s alleged failures.

Radio dzBB’s Carlo Mateo reported farmers from Southern Luzon were the first to reach Mendiola bridge near Malacañang Palace, where they burned an effigy of what they called the “Hacienda Republic.” “Hacienda” refers to the embattled “Hacienda Luisita,” the 6,435-hectare plantation estate of Aquino’s family.

As anti-riot police watched from a distance, the farmers burned the “Hacienda Republic” effigy hung on one of the rolls of barbed wire barrier. The previous night, some of the farmers were hurt in a clash with police.

On Thursday, a day before Aquino marked his first 100 days in office, he delivered at La Consolacion College near Malacañang, a 20-minute report about his first 100 days in office. Aquino boasted of strengthening the Philippine economy and ending certain anomalous government practices but remained silent on the controversial August 23 hostage incident. Continue reading

Human Rights lawyers from 10 countries visit Morong 43, hear of squalid jail conditions

International rights lawyers outside maximum security jail.

[The Morong 43 are health workers who were arrested at a community health care training seminar in Rizal province, and were falsely accused of being members of the New People’s Army.-ed]

“It’s amazing to see how strong you are despite everything that had happened to you…It’s fantastic. I am moved and it has given me more encouragement to take your case,” Michael Gooding, a lawyer from United Kingdom, told the Morong 43.

By RONALYN V. OLEA, Bulatlat.com, September 22,2010

MANILA — They came to express their solidarity with the Morong 43, but were instead inspired and moved by the militancy of the detained health workers.  Fifteen lawyers from Haiti, France, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, India, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Canada, Pakistan and Indonesia visited the Morong 43 detainees at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Sept. 20.

The 43 health workers were arrested by 300 combined elements of the police and military on Feb. 6 in Morong, Rizal while conducting a health skills training. The Morong 43 were held in military captivity at the Camp Capinpin for almost three months before they were transferred to a regular detention facility at Camp Bagong Diwa.

The 15 lawyers, meanwhile, were delegates to the recently concluded Fifth Conference of Lawyers in Asia and the Pacific (Colap V) held in Manila.  “We are here to send solidarity greetings from almost 300 lawyers. The whole world is now watching your case,” Jeanne Mirer, president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) told the Morong 43 detainees. Delegates of the Colap V unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the immediate release and dropping of charges against the Morong 43. Continue reading