By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
11 July 2005

The Arroyo regime is sinking fast and is so desperate that it is trying to grasp at straws. It hypes both the statement of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the Ramos scheme to phase out Gloria M. Arroyo from her ill-gotten office in the next few months as endorsements for her to stay in power.

In fact, the CBCP statement and the Ramos scheme carry certain points and implications that are adverse to Arroyo. The CBCP statement declares that the bishops do not demand her resignation and yet neither do they encourage her simply to dismiss such a call from others. The Ramos scheme presumes that she must become a figurehead president, yield power to a high commission and fade away under the cover of a chacha (charter change) towards a parliamentary form of government.

The CBCP statement is an equivocating and self-contradictory piece. But certainly it is not an outright condonation of all the evils that the Arroyo regime has been responsible for, such as massive electoral fraud, corruption, servility to foreign plunderers and aggressors, extreme exploitation of the people and human rights violations. The spin doctors of the regime are wrong when they broadcast that the bishops have unanimously exculpated Arroyo.

The Ramos scheme is a thinly-veiled indecent proposal for a coup by the military-civilian gang of Ramos himself, Ermita and De Venecia that would lord over the process of discarding Arroyo and shifting to a parliamentary form of government. Otherwise the gang is merely in cahoots with Arroyo in dishing out to the mass media a scheme that has no purpose but to douse cold water on the growing anti-Arroyo movement of the outraged people and allow Arroyo to stay in power. In any case, vice president Noli de Castro is already riled.

The Ramos scheme is extremely ludicrous in envisioning a quick-fix chacha to save the face of Arroyo and to install a parliamentary form of government. Ramos himself failed to do his chacha when he was president. The people continue to hold the view that chacha under the ruling Lakas-MCD coalition will produce a constitution that will be far worse than the present one. The US is interested in further imposing anti-national and anti-democratic provisions in a new constitution of the reactionary government.

Ramos has presented himself as the chief protector of the Arroyo regime because of his military background. But the people know that Ramos is actually detested by the military officers and enlisted men for having enriched himself from the privatization of Fort Bonifacio and the former US military bases and from the graft-ridden supply contracts in the so-called modernization program of the military.

The CBCP statement and the Ramos scheme cannot save the Arroyo regime from falling. Since Friday, the contradictions and splits have rapidly increased and sharpened within the reactionary classes, within the most conservative institutions, within the military and police, within the ruling coalition and within the Arroyo cabinet. The mass movement of the people is steadily growing in strength and advancing. The broad united front for the ouster or resignation of Arroyo has further expanded and gained strength.

The consensus within the ruling system now is to get rid of the Arroyo regime sooner than later. The estimate is that Arroyo would accelerate the further rotting of the entire system by staying longer in her usurped office. Indeed, the combination of grave socio-economic crisis and the illegitimate and immoral character of the regime spells disaster for the entire ruling system. The revolutionary forces and people recognize the favorable conditions for the national democratic revolution and are moving forward through all forms of struggle. ###

The Arroyo regime has a definite objective in consistently belittling and mocking at the mass actions of the people outraged by electoral fraud, corruption, puppetry and human rights violations and in trying to frighten the people with the malicious claim that communists and Muslims are out to disrupt the mass actions. The rabid loyalists of the regime in the military and police forces are in fact preparing for the violent suppression of the mass actions.

They anticipate that the anti-Arroyo marches and rallies on July 25 on the occasion of the state of the nation address (SONA) will be larger than previous ones. Thus, they are now planning to block and assault the prospective rallyists. But the various forces in the broad united front are now alerted and are adopting the measures to frustrate the regime. Patriotic military and police officers have assured them that they will openly make a stand and act against the regime if its loyalists unleash violence against the rallying people.

The Arroyo regime would throw itself posthaste into the abyss if it used violence against the people. It does not have the resources that were still available to Marcos when he imposed a fascist dictatorship on the country. The suppression of legal and peaceful but militant mass actions would give justification to a wide range of militant actions for proving the inability of the regime to govern in the urban areas. Such actions would encourage the rapid spread of tactical offensives against the local police forces in the rural areas, as in Nepal from 1996 onwards.

The prolongation of the Arroyo regime by any means is nothing but an aggravation of the socio-economic and political crisis of the ruling system of big compradors and landlords. However, even if impeachment proceedings would induce Arroyo to resign and enable De Castro to replace Arroyo, he would not be able to last long in power. He would dig his own political grave by following the same Arroyo policies dictated by the US and the IMF, World Bank and WTO. The people would reject him as one complicit in electoral fraud, corruption and other high crimes of the Arroyo regime.

The broad masses of the people would not be satisfied with the replacement of one reactionary president by another through whatever method. They want ultimately to overthrow the rotten ruling system of big compradors and landlords and to establish a truly new democratic system of the working people and the middle social strata. They wish to bring about a new Philippines that is independent, democratic, just, progressive, prosperous and peace-loving. They want to liberate themselves from the clutches of imperialism and reaction.###

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