By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
9 June 2009
On behalf of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle and in coordination with its Philippine Chapter, I convey the firmest solidarity with and support for the Filipino people and all the patriotic forces that are outraged by House Resolution 1109 and are determined to stop the fake constituent assembly of the congressional asses of the Arroyo regime.
The broad masses of the people have all the right to be indignant and exert every effort to thwart the “con-ass” scheme. The evil purpose of this machination is to perpetuate the Arroyo regime under the pretext of adopting a parliamentary system and make the most blatant anti-national and anti-democratic amendments to the 1987 constitution of the reactionary state. Anything goes once the “con-ass” fast break gets underway!
The congressional asses of the regime have announced that their main interest is to carry out constitutional amendments for letting foreign investors acquire ownership and control over all natural resources and economic enterprises to the extent of 100 per cent and to sell out the economic sovereignty and national patrimony of the Filipino people.
The regime and its congressional asses seem to be oblivious of the economic and social devastation already wrought by so-called neoliberal globalization through de-nationalization, liberalization, privatization and deregulation in favor of the monopoly capitalists and their big comprador agents.
The regime and its congressional asses are also hell-bent on letting US and other foreign military forces unrestricted stay and operations in the Philippines and on doing away with the constitutional provisions against the basing of foreign military forces and nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction.
The Arroyo regime intends to remove the constitutional restraints on martial law, emergency rule and violations of human rights. It seeks to undercut the formal guarantees of civil and political liberties in the bill of rights. Driven by its desire to keep and enlarge its ill-gotten wealth and by its fear of future prosecution for corruption, the Arroyo ruling clique is obsessed with perpetuating itself in power, engaging in state terrorism and being propped up by US economic and military power.
The broad masses of the Filipino people are justly seething with anger over the evil scheme of “charter change” through “constituent assembly” monopolized by the congressional asses of the Arroyo regime. The broad united front of forces against the scheme includes the patriotic and progressive mass organizations of workers, peasants, urban poor, fisher folk, indigenous people, women and youth, the civic and professional associations, the religious institutions, the opposition parties, the anti-Arroyo government officials and the military and police officers.
I look forward to the success of the protest rallies at Ayala Avenue in Makati and other places on June 10 as the opening salvo for more massive and militant protest mass actions. Whatever is the degree of success at mass mobilization on Wednesday, the people and the broad united front must exert all efforts to increase the number, fervor and scale of participants in the further protest mass actions to be undertaken in the national capital region and in the entire country.
We must learn the best methods of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people from the most successful protest mass actions in recent Philippine history, including the First Quarter Storm of 1970 and the mass actions of 1970 to 1972, the anti-fascist mass campaign from 1983 to 1986, the funeral marches for Aquino in 1983 and for Olalia in 1986 and the mass uprisings of 1986 and 2001.
We must not be satisfied with only one big meeting away from the presidential palace. We must have several major assembly points, whose rallyists march to and converge on the big meeting that is relatively close to the palace and has the option to close in on it. Remember that in the 1986 overthrow of Marcos, when most of the BAYAN people were at EDSA, the people mostly from Kilusang Mayo Uno and the League of Filipino Students concentrated on Mendiola in order to ultimately break through the barricades.
Also in 2001 the incumbent president decided to call it quits when he saw tens of thousands of youth led by Anakbayan and the student organizations marching from Edsa and nearing the palace. It is a favorable circumstance that several schools, colleges and universities are in the vicinity of the palace. Properly and effectively aroused and mobilized, the student masses cannot be stopped from occupying the streets, plazas and churchyards that are relatively close to the presidential palace.
It is not enough to have big mass actions only in the national capital region. It is necessary to have Lakbayans from Central and Southern Luzon. It is necessary to hold the mass actions nationwide in all provincial cities, capitals and major towns. And before the day of the big rally, it is necessary to hold build up rallies in particular communities, factories, farms, schools and parishes.
Because the people are faced with a treasonous, corrupt and bloodthirsty regime in hubris, it is necessary to outstrip the successful protest actions and campaigns in recent Philippine history in terms of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the broad masses of the people and persuading the military and police of the reactionary state to respect the democratic rights of the people, particularly the freedom of speech and assembly, and not to follow orders from above to inflict violence on the people and violate their human rights.###