Expand the ranks of defenders, struggle for people’s rights

Message to KARAPATAN on its 4th National Congress

By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
ILPS Chairperson

We, the International League of Peoples´ Struggle, convey our warmest greetings of solidarity to the national leadership, member-organizations and other allied components of KARAPATAN and to all the delegates and guests attending the 4th National Congress.

We congratulate you for all your achievements in upholding, defending and promoting human rights since the last congress. You have done outstanding and commendable work in education and training, campaign and advocacy, providing services, research and documentation, network building and alliance work.

KARAPATAN is now recognized worldwide as the most important, most reliable, most fearless and most productive defender of human rights in the Philippines. It stands as one of the major human rights organizations in the world. Such high standing is the result of the principled commitment, perseverance, sacrifices and militancy of the collectives and individuals that comprise KARAPATAN.

We appreciate the calls to action expressed by the theme of your congress: Expand our ranks, struggle for people´s rights! Fight the fascist Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Aquino regime! Justice for all victims of the repressive, exploitative and puppet government of Noynoy Aquino.

More than ever you must be resolute and militant in standing up and fighting for human rights in all its dimensions — civil, political, economic, social and cultural. We have seen the escalation of human rights violations in every respect in conjunction with the total bankruptcy of the US-dictated policy of neoliberal globalization and the worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and the domestic ruling system of big compradors and landlords.

We can expect the further escalation of human rights violations. The Aquino regime is under orders of the US to push anti-national and anti-people economic, social and cultural policies and to carry out Oplan Bayanihan in a vain attempt to destroy the revolutionary movement of the Filipino people.

Among your urgent task is to expose and oppose the violations of economic, social and cultural rights because these victimize the people most widely and every day of their lives. The causes of the violations of civil and political rights are found in the violations of economic, social and cultural rights. The imperialists and their Filipino puppets have no other reason to engage in bloody acts of oppression but to do away with actual and potential resistance to the exploitation of the people.

The reactionary state attacks the workers, suppresses their strikes and curtails their rights in order to freeze and depress the wages and deliver more profits to the capitalists. It unleashes military campaigns of suppression against the peasants in order to prevent genuine land reform and allow the landlords, big compradors and foreign agro-corporations to own the land and draw enormous wealth from the toil of the peasants and farm workers. The indigenous peoples are forcibly evicted from their ancestral domain and cultural ground in order to make way for mining, logging and plantations by foreign companies and their big comprador agents.

The most despicable violations of civil and political rights, such as abductions, forced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings as well as massacres and forced evacuations as a result of aerial bombings, artillery fire. Strafing and arson by the armed personnel of the state are meant not only to offend the direct victims but more importantly to intimidate the entire people and force them to submit to exploitation. The impunity with which the state commits atrocities is calculated to terrorize the people and discourage them from seeking justice or opposing the state.

But no reactionary state ever rules without using various kinds of deception in order to camouflage or even make acceptable the daily violence of exploitation and the dramatic acts of abductions, torture and murder. Even the blatant fascist dictatorship of Marcos used a lot of deception. So does the current big comprador and cacique regime of Noynoy Aquino who apparently thinks that he can use martial rule without proclaiming it and launch the most brutal campaigns of suppression by calling them “peace and development” operations and calling the victims “terrorists”.

The Filipino people are confronted today by a puppet, brutal, corrupt and mendacious regime that excels at using psychological warfare to prettify the ruler and his ruling clique, conceal their high crimes and escape responsibility by blaming the predecessor regime, the current opposition, the revolutionary movement and the people. But let us all bear in mind that the ever worsening crisis of global capitalism and rotten domestic ruling system and the ceaseless escalation of human rights violations will completely expose the lies and pretenses of the US-directed Aquino regime.

The patriotic and progressive forces and the Filipino people are steadfastly exposing and opposing the Aquino regime as being no different from the Arroyo regime. It is a regime of national betrayal and treason and of perpetuated underdevelopment and poverty. It is poised to become worse than its predecessor. It wants to remove from the 1987 constitution the nationality restrictions on foreign investments as well as the provisions against foreign military bases and against the introduction of weapons of mass destruction on Philippine territory. It allows the US military forces to violate Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity under the guise of rotational deployment, joint military exercises and frequent visits of war planes and ships.

It has opened the entire country to foreign companies for the rapid plunder of mineral resources and destruction of the environment.. It uses infrastructure projects to feed the corruption of presidential relatives and favored corporations, and to draw away limited resources from the goal of national industrialization. It has delayed flood control projects by rescinding previous contracts under the Arroyo regime and replacing them with new ones which are in effect far more costly due to commitment charges on the previous contracts plus the new spates of corruption. . It misrepresents the call centers, private construction and overseas contract work as stable sources of jobs for the labor force now afflicted by an extremely high rate of unemployment.

KARAPATAN and many other organizations and the Filipino people have done well in exposing and opposing the Aquino regime as being no different from the Arroyo regime in the perpetration of the crimes of illegal arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, torture and extrajudicial killing of human rights defenders, journalists, social activists and other people labeled as enemies of the states. The Aquino regime has condoned and covered up the crimes committed by the military under the Arroyo regime and is committing further crimes at an accelerating rate under Oplan Bayanihan.

The Aquino regime has proven to be worse than the previous regime in refusing to release the hundreds of political prisoners in violation of the human rights laws, humanitarian law and the Hernandez political offense doctrine. These prisoners have been arrested and detained in connection with alleged incidents ascribed to the revolutionary forces but have been accused of common crimes. The Aquino regime has condoned the violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) in the abduction, illegal detention and extrajudicial killing of JASIG-protected consultants and their staffers. It has thus deliberately sabotaged the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.

Under the Aquino regime, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and its negotiating panels with the NDFP and MILF have flagrantly exposed themselves as mere pyswar adjuncts of the reactionary military. They use the peace negotiations as no more than a medium for telling the NDFP ad nauseam to accept capitulation and pacification and definitely not as a way for mutually addressing the roots of the armed conflict and agreeing on basic social, economic and political reforms to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace.

Because of the intransigence and obsession with violence-of the Aquino regime and its imperialist US master, we can expect the further escalation of human rights violations in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural spheres. The Aquino regime is under US orders as expressed in the following words by the US Counterinsurgency Guide: “Simultaneously, a mix of diplomacy and negotiation, police methods, intelligence work, military combat and non-combat activities should be used to destroy, contain, marginalize or co-opt the insurgents.” That is from the mouth of the Devil.

We, the International League of Peoples´ Struggle, are confident that the 4th National Congress will sum up and analyze well the experience of KARAPATAN,, draw positive and negative lessons and set forth the tasks by which you can strengthen your resolve , expand your ranks, improve your work and style of work, intensify the struggle for human rights, overcome dangers and difficulties, produce greater results and bring the struggle for human rights to a new and higher level.

We are confident that your hard work and struggle for human rights will continue to contribute to the advance of the Filipino people´s movement for national independence, democracy, social justice, all-round development, peace and solidarity with other peoples of the world. We pledge to assist and cooperate with KARAPATAN in calling the attention of the entire world to the human rights violations in the Philippines and to the struggle for justice that needs international solidarity and support.

 

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