Intgrate and work with the peasant masses to struggle against the Duterte tyranny

Message to Fourth Congress of NNARA-Youth
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle, November 24, 2018

Dear Fellow Activists,

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), convey our warmest greetings of solidarity to the National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates (NNARA-Youth) on the occasion of its 4th Congress. We commend NNARA-Youth as the most outstanding organization of educated youth dedicated to serving the peasant masses.

You hold your Congress amid the advancing and expanding movement of the youth, peasants and the entire people against the worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation of the tyrannical US-Duterte regime. It is appropriate and timely that your theme is: Integrate, Struggle! Youth, Tighten Your Solidarity with the Peasants!

We salute you for all your accumulated achievements and for your determination and courage to advance further by standing with the peasants and struggling against a regime that has already killed 170 peasants in order to sow terror among the peasants struggling for land reform. This regime is threatening to murder more peasants under Oplan Kapayapaan by demonstrating in Oplan Tokhang that it can kill thousands extrajudicially.

The reactionary armed forces are occupying rural communities and taking over civilian structures like barangay halls, schools and clinics. An increasing number of peasants are being forced to surrender as “rebels” or “terrorists” and are being listed for further punitive actions, including extrajudicial killlings.

Peasant and national minority communities are being bombed, with the bombing and destruction of Marawi City serving as prime example of the enemy’s malevolence towards the people. Thousands have been forced to leave their homes and land. The peasants who are carrying out bungkalan or collective farming have been targeted.

The Sagay Massacre of 9 peasants is the most recent of the 13 well-documented massacres of peasants. It is inevitable in the massacres of peasants that young peasants are being killed like Joselito Pasaporte, Obillo Bay-ao, the seven Lumad peasants in the Patikul and the two farm workers in the Sagay Massacre.

Most of the human rights violations are being committed in Mindanao where martial law is formally imposed even as de facto martial law is imposed on the other parts of the country and is being used to violate the rights of the peasant masses. We can expect more barbarities from the Duterte regime if and when it proceeds to declare martial law nationwide and impose a blatant fascist dictatorship on the people.

Instead of amnestying and releasing all political prisoners as Duterte promised to the NDFP on May 16, 2016, he has increased the number of political prisoners to more than 500. He threatens to arrest more people by inventing the “Red October” plot and other imaginary plots in connection with his scheme to crack down on legal mass activists, declare martial law nationwide, control the results of the May 2019 elections and carry out charter change to bogus federalism as cover for a full-blown fascist dictatorship.

While mass murders and flagrant violations of the people’s rights are being committed, the economy is fast deteriorating because of excise taxes having been wantonly increased, causing prices of basic goods and services to soar at the expense of the people who are already afflicted by mass poverty, unemployment and low income.

The regime has increased the tax revenues and cut back social services in order to pour out public funds for military and police personnel, equipment and operations and for overpriced infrastructure projects that feed the corruption of favored executive officials and members of Congress.

The food crisis has seriously worsened. The Duterte regime has allowed the rice cartel to control the purchase of local rice and the smuggling of rice, manipulate the price of rice to raise profits and in effect undermine and destroy local production at the expense of the peasant masses and the restof the people. The ceaseless increase in the price of oil is also generating the price inflation of all basic commodities.

Food production is prejudiced by the allocation of more land to the infrastructure projects, commercial operations, real estate speculation, logging, plantations for export crops and for mining. Millions of peasant and national minorities are evicted for these purposes.

The Free Tertiary Education Act is a trick to favor the private universities while public appropriations for public universities are limited. At the same time, millions of students who have finished K-12 cannot find jobs
despite the promise that they would be immediately employable after the addition of two more years to their stay in school.

In the early months of his rule, Duterte boasted of carrying out an independent foreign policy. It turns out that he retains all the treaties, agreements and arrangements that make the US economically, politically and militarily dominant over the Philippines and wants China as an additional imperialist master in order to secure high interest loans for overpriced infrastructure projects in exchange for the sovereign rights of the Filipino people over the oil, gas and other natural resources under the West Philippine Sea.

The US still controls the indoctrination, training, intelligence gathering and arms supply to the puppet armed forces and police. The Trump regime has given to the Duterte regime access to US weaponry under Oplan Pacific Eagle-Philippines in order to circumvent US congressional oversight and restrictions for countries violating human rights.

The broad masses of the people hate the Duterte regime for its treasonous, brutal, corrupt and exploitative character. They are therefore strengthening their resistance. The peasant masses are the principal base for the legal democratic movement as well as for the revolutionary armed resistance. When aroused, organized and mobilized, they are a gigantic force for overthrowing not only the Duterte regime but the entire ruling system.

In the urban areas, a broad united front of patriotic and progressive forces is fighting the Duterte tyranny and its scheme of fascist dictatorship through martial law and chargter change for federalism. The youth and students are in the forefront of these mass actions to protest the escalation of oppression and exploitation and to demand national and social liberation.

It is urgent for the student youth to integrate with the peasant masses and other toilers. You can learn from them their needs, demands and aspirations. Thus you cease to be misled by theories and concepts that support imperialism and the ruling sytem and you can carry out your mass work effectively. We commend you for taking the road of integration and struggle for national freedom and democracy among the peasant masses.

We wish you the utmost success in conducting your Congress to consolidate the unity and preparedness of NNARA-Youth to deepen their direct participation in the peasant struggle and further expand the support for the peasantry.

We are confident that you will fulfilll your objectives in this Congress: to strengthen the unity of your chapters in the investigation of the current situation of the country and respond to the challenges to the organized and the wider ranks of the youth and the Filipino people, to serve and learn from the experience of the different chapters in fulfilling the tasks and confronting problems and to plan with daring the 3-year plan, draw up concrete resolutions and elect a competent and militant national executive committee.

Long live NNARA-Youth! Integrate and work with the peasant masses!
Long live the peasant masses! Forward with the bungkalan movement and the cause of land reform!
Long live the Filipino people! More victories in the struggle for national and social liberation!

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