By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, express our warmest greetings of solidarity to the veterans, the current national officers and chapters of the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) as this highly significant organization celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of its founding on December 27, 1960.
We appreciate that you have lived up to the First and Second Great Commandments. You have been able to integrate and harmonize your Christian faith and your determination to serve the people through the national democratic movement. You have thus been able to play an outstanding role in the struggle of the Filipino youth and the entire people for national liberation and democracy.
The best of the SCMP as a patriotic and progressive force has been achieved by prevailing over attempts of conservatives in religious institutions to diminish or oppose your commitment to the struggle for national democracy and by fighting resolutely and militantly against the evils of foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism as well as against every reactionary regime representing these evils to the detriment of the Filipino people.
The SCMP has excelled in upholding, defending and promoting the rights and welfare of students within the context of the national democratic movement. For that purpose, it has worked hard and reaped successes in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the student masses and in forming alliances with other forces. There are twists and turns and ups and down in the history of SCMP. But progressive activists come to the fore to lead the forward course of the movement.
Since 1966, when it categorically declared itself as a national democratic ecumenical organization, the SCMP has made major contributions to the development of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal movement among the student youth. It participated in protest mass actions on and off campus. It joined the First Quarter Storm of 1970. It had a major role in the formation of the Christians for National Liberation (CNL) on February 17, 1972.
SCMP was among the national democratic organizations outlawed and suppressed when the US-Marcos regime declared martial law on September 21, 1972. The fascist dictatorship targeted the activists of the SCMP for detention, torture and murder. But many of them either joined the revolutionary armed struggle in the countryside or carried out clandestine revolutionary work in the cities.
Even under conditions of martial law, the SCMP was able to fight for the rights and welfare of the students, help in the resurgence of the legal forces of the national democratic movement and contribute to the mass movement for the overthrow of the fascist dictatorship. Since the fall of Marcos, the SCMP has used its rich experience and capabilities in pursuing the national democratic line and in exposing and opposing the puppetry, corruption, brutality and mendacity of every post-Marcos regime.
You are now confronted by the US-directed Aquino regime. Aquino is the latest running dog of US imperialism and chief representative of the exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. He must be called to account for making such false promises as making a big change and ending poverty and corruption. He is out to preserve the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system through demagoguery and brute force.
Like the Arroyo regime, the Aquino regime follows the US-dictated policy of neoliberal globalization and the global war of terrorism, specifically the US Counterinsurgency Guide. It has also become obvious that Arroyo and her accomplices in the crimes of corruption and human rights violations will be allowed to run scotfree. In fact, the Aquino and Arroyo cliques are now openly allies. The same kind of thieves and brutes are escalating the exploitation and oppression of the people.
We admire the SCMP for combining the Christian faith with good works of service to the people and the ecumenical spirit of cooperating with people of other faiths as well as with non-believers. We know and support your determination to make the SCMP stronger than ever before politically and organizationally. You can sum up your experience, draw up positive and negative lessons from it, take stock of your accumulated strength and set forth the tasks for raising your will and capabilities to a new and higher level and for reaping more victories in the struggle for the national liberation and democracy.
In concluding, we of the ILPS take this opportunity invite the SCMP to send the delegations of its national office and chapters to the Fourth International Assembly of the ILPS in July 2011. You shall have ample opportunity to exchange experience and views with other student youth organizations and other types of mass organizations and arrive at common understanding and agreements of cooperation in the global anti-imperialist and democratic movement. Thank you.