Keynote to the 3rd General Assembly of ILPS Philippines
By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, ILPS International Coordinating Committee
Thank you for inviting me to give this keynote message. I convey to you the warmest greetings of solidarity from the International Coordinating Committee and the entirety of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle as you hold the General Assembly of ILPS-Philippines.
This is an occasion for you to sum up your experience, assess and evaluate your level of strength, make plans and resolutions and elect a new National Coordinating Council, Chairperson and General Secretary.
We are deeply pleased to know that you are holding your General Assembly as part of preparations for the ICC Meeting on June 5-7. We welcome the preparation of Commission reports for the ICC Meeting by Philippine-based lead organizations that are now expected to process such reports and send them after finalization to the ILPS Secretariat.
We are gratified that the reports shall carry plans for activities and campaigns up to 2015. We expect that by sharing these in your assembly all member organizations of the Philippine chapter of the ILPS, these would be taken into account in their plans. Such reports can also serve as basis for resolutions by the assembly.
Your resolutions can be for undertaking important or priority campaigns, conferences, global coordinated actions; for revitalizing, operationalizing or improving work on the Commission secretariats; or for strengthening cooperation and coordination with other national chapters in the region, especially in light of US and other imperialists’ growing interest and focus on East Asia & Oceania.
We welcome and we shall seriously consider the proposal for your chapter to host the 5th International Assembly. We are ever grateful for your excellent hosting of the Fourth IA. The Netherlands has shown the precedent of hosting two consecutive assemblies of the ILPS. We can time the forthcoming assembly with your resistance activities against the APEC Summit in 2015.
You are holding your assembly at a time when the worsening crisis of the world capitalist and domestic ruling system is bringing out the worst of US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism to further oppress and exploit the broad masses of the people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants.
US imperialism is pushing through the puppet Aquino regime the amendment of the 1987 constitution in order to allow US and other foreign corporations to own land and all kinds of businesses to the extent of 100 per cent. It is further tightening US control of the Philippine economy by entrapping it in one more trade agreement, the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which is calculated to strengthen US economic hegemony over the Asia-Pacific region.
US imperialism is also further entrenching itself militarily in the Philippines through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement in connection with the US pivot to Asia to ensure US military hegemony over the Asia-Pacific region. In addition to its previous pretext of waging war on terrorism, the US is using the pretext of ensuring the lawful behavior of China. In fact, it describes itself as neutral between China and the Philippines in their maritime dispute and is pursuing its own national interests in carrying out a dual policy of collaboration and competition with China.
The Aquino regime is rabidly big comprador and big landlord in class character. It is aligned with the imperialist policy of neoliberal globalization in order to aggravate and deepen the feudal and semifeudal conditions of exploitation. The land problem has been aggravated by the expansion of plantations for export and biofuel production and by the widespread mining and logging enterprises that ruin agriculture and the environment.
The antagonism of the regime to land reform is demonstrated by the vicious attempts of the Aquino-Cojuangco family to undercut, derail and nullify the distribution of land to the farm workers and peasants in Hacienda Luisita. The decreasing land available for agriculture is subject to the increasing reconcentration of the land in the hands of a few landlords and and agricorporations. The violent negation of land reform and the wanton export of mineral resources have preempted national industrialization.
The Aquino regime is hypocritical in using the slogan of “straight road”. It is an unmitigated practitioner of bureaucrat capitalism. It is using public office as a means for the accumulation of private wealth by the relatives and cronies of the president. These use state loans, tax evasion and other privileges to grow their private enterprises. They milk the state corporations or they privatize them for their selfish benefit. They cut into the contracts of enterprises that they do not own. They steal public funds through the pork barrel system. They engage in smuggling through the official ports and the so-called free port and export-processing zones.
To preserve the rotten ruling system, the Aquino regime engages in gross and systematic violations of human rights, including extrajudicial killings, illegal arrest and detention, torture, the violent eviction of the people from their shanties in the urban and rural areas and landgrabbing by the relatives and cronies of Aquino. The regime has used the state system of organized violence for self-aggrandizement and has deliberately paralyzed the peace negotiations to demand the surrender of the revolutionary forces and evade the needed social, economic and political reforms for a just and lasting peace.
In a shamelessly reactionary display of its servility to foreign monopoly capitalism and feudal interests and its deep contempt for the toiling masses of workers and peasants, the regime has publicly declared its aversion to and rejection of land reform and national industrialization as agenda in the peace talks with the NDFP, dismissing these as “ideologically charged” and “passé”. It is held captive by its own neocolonial and neoliberal mentality.
The objective conditions are excellent for creatively and effectively combining the campaigns to thoroughly expose and oppose and completely isolate the US-Aquino regime before 2016 with the anti-imperialist campaigns building up to the protest actions against the 2015 APEC Summit. We are confident that the ILPS Philippine Chapter can contribute significantly to this end.
We call on the ILPS Philippine Chapter to hold more frequent and much bigger anti-imperialist demonstrations and other protest actions, as well as more educational and information activities. These can be done in the following ways: (1) on its own account and initiative, (2) in coordination and cooperation with those led and initiated by BAYAN or any of the ILPS member organizations in the Philippines, (3) in coordination with the ILPS chapters in Australia, Hongkong and Indonesia, (4) in cooperation with other anti-imperialist formations such as the IMA, IWA, WORKINS, RESIST, APC, Ban the Bases Coalition, AWC, IAC and others, and (5) as part of ILPS-initiated globally coordinated actions.
We call on the Philippine chapter to make more frequent statements concerning major issues in the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific region for the information of the ICC, publication in the ILPS website and for action. The US has already made clear that it considers the region far more important than any other region, where it has expended so much resources in wars of aggression, and that it is determined to undertake more efforts to ensure its hegemony over the region for the entire 21st century.
We need to pool and harness all efforts and resources to further expose and oppose all the current and prospective maneuvers of US imperialism and its allies in the Asia-Pacific region in their vile scheme to escalate plunder and aggression. The ILPS is ever committed to the people’s struggle for and realization of national liberation, democracy, social justice, development and durable peace.