By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
As author, I wish to thank ILPS HK & Macau for launching the book, Foundation for Resuming the Philippine Revolution. I also thank all the guests and ILPS members for attending this event.
This is the first of the series of five books which presents my writings from 1968 to 1990. The titles of the four other volumes are: Defeating Revisionism, Reformism and Opportunism, Building Strength through Struggle, Detention and Defiance Against Dictatorship and Continuing the Struggle for National and Social Liberation.
Foundation for Resuming the Philippine Revolution contains the founding documents of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), such as its Constitution and the Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution; and of the New People’s Army, such its Declaration and its Rules. It also contains the articles that I wrote in the period of 1968 to 1972. These reflect the circumstances and initial efforts of the Filipino people and the Party to continue the Philippine revolution.
From the book, you can learn that the CPP was reestablished under the theoretical guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought and that the general political line is to complete the Filipino people’s revolutionary struggle for national liberation struggle through protracted people’s war and thereby put to an end to the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system and pave the way to the socialist revolution. The CPP and other revolutionary forces strengthen themselves by arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people in their millions.
The leading force of the revolution is the CPP as the advanced detachment of the working class. Its main force is the peasantry, especially the landless peasants and farm workers. The revolutionary combination of the workers and peasants is augmented by the urban petty bourgeois and further augmented by a patriotic alliance with the middle bourgeoisie. All together they confront and seek to defeat US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. They also take advantage of contradictions among these reactionaries under certain conditions.
The program of the CPP is to complete the struggle for national independence and empower the workers and peasants in a people’s democratic state system, carry out land reform and national industrialization, achieve social justice and lay the ground for socialism, promote a national, scientific and mass culture, uphold proletarian internationalism and develop relations of international solidarity among the peoples and their institutions.
Reading the book can give you insights into why and how the revolutionary movement has been able to win the support of millions of Filipinos, to withstand the brutal campaigns of suppression unleashed by the Marcos fascist dictatorship and the post-Marcos pseudo-democratic regimes and to grow in strength and advance from one stage to another. The CPP and the Filipino people have demonstrated that they can make revolutionary advances despite the dismal turn of events on the world stage in the years of 1989 to 1991 when the socialist cause was put on a strategic retreat as a result ofthe full blast restoration of capitalism in what were then revisionist-ruled countries.
Now we see the ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system. Gone are the days when the ideologues and propagandists of imperialism were boasting that capitalism and liberal democracy are the end of history and socialism is dead. Nowadays, even Pope Francis is strongly critical of capitalism, takes a friendly look at the theology of liberation and suggests that communist who do good can also go to heaven.
The neoliberal economic policy has brought about the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by accelerating the accumulation and concentration of capital in the hands of a few through the most vicious pressing down of wages, the wanton liberalization of investments, trade and finance, the most corrupt privatization of state assets, the reckless deregulation of social and environmental restrictions and the overbearing denationalization of the economies of underdeveloped countries.
In a vain attempt at concealing the capitalist roots of the crisis, the imperialist powers are whipping up ultra-reactionary currents, such as chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry, anti-migrant bias, fascism and war mongering. The imperialist powers are also saying that war production is a stitmulus to economic recovery and military is the way of gaining sources of cheap natural resources and cheap labor, expanding the market and field of investments and seizing spheres of influence. Thus, they are more prone than ever before to engage in military intervention and unleash wars of aggression against third world countries.
We see how the workers, the migrant workers, the women and youth and the rest of the people are adversely affected by the crisis of overproduction and the bursting of one kind of financial bubble after another in the capitalist countries. The states are afflicted by the public debt crisis and impose austerity measures on the people in order to further pass the burden of crisis to them. Mass unemployment is rising, wage incomes are further declining even as the costs of living are rising, social services are deteriorating and yet becoming more expensive.
As a result of the financial meltdown and economic fall since 2008, a global economic depression has gripped the entire world, especially in the underdeveloped countries. In the Philippines, the export income from semimanufactures and raw materials has fallen while the costs of imports have risen. Mining is being done all over the country and the mineral ores extracted are underdeclared and undervalued. The widening trade and budgetary deficits are further increasing the debt burden. The tax burden is increasing, with most of the state revenues go to counterproductiive programs and projects, bureaucratic corruption through pork barrel system, military overspending and debt service.
The US-Aquino regime boasts of economic growth in the Philippines. But this is generated by hot money (portfolio investments) from abroad which go mainly into the stock market and the money market and at best encourages the private construction bubble and consumerism of a small part of the population. The lack of genuine land reform and national industrialization keeps the Philippines underdeveloped and impoverished. Unemployment has risen abruptly, incomes have plunged and the costs of basic goods and services are soaring.
A great number of Filipinos continue to seek employment abroad in the absence of jobs at home. But the worsening crisis abroad, the turmoils in certain countries and the ultra-reactionary political campaigns against migrant workers prejudice and put the migrant workers at great risk. According to a report, overseas employment of Filipino has actually decreased but the increase of money remittances from them are accounted for mainly by the nurses and caregivers in North America.
Under conditions of worsening economic and social crisis, the people are made to suffer rising levels of exploitation and oppression. They are driven to fight for their rights and legitimate interests. We therefore see the spread of mass protest rallies and general strikes in both developed and underdeveloped countries. In the underdeveloped countries, armed revolutionary movements are gaining ground. In the Philippines, the revolutionary forces and people are determined to advance from the strategic defensive and strategic stalemate in the people’s war.
The broad masses of the Filipino people cherish their revolutionary tradition. Thus, the 150th anniversary of Andres Bonifacio has been joyously celebrated in the Philippines. The people understand their own desire to be freed from foreign and feudal domination. Thus, they participate in the ongoing democratic revolution for national liberation and democracy. Thank you.