UNITE AND FIGHT FOR NATIONAL INDEPENPENCE AND DEMOCRACY
AGAINST THE DUTERTE FASCIST REGIME AND ITS IMPERIALIST MASTERS
Keynote Speech at the Founding Assembly of BAYAN-EUROPE
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson Emeritus, International Laeague of Peoples’ Struggle
December 12, 2020
Dear Fellow Activists,
Thank you for inviting me to keynote the founding assembly of BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN-Europe (BAYAN-Europe). I congratulate you, especially your elected oficials, for this signal event which is based on the prior existence of a leading collective in charge of the prior development of several types of BAYAN organizations in Europe, like the Migrante, Gabriela and Anakbayan.
I salute all of you as the best possible assembly of patriotic and progressive Filipino organizations in Europe, with the most resolute and militant activists who are committed to carry forward the Filipino people’s struggle against imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism and for national liberation and democracy in the Philippines.
Guiding Principles of BAYAN-Europe
As an overseas regional chapter of BAYAN-Philippines, you are constitutionally mandated to take up the issues and struggles of Filipinos in Europe on the basis of the struggle for national democracy in the Philippines and you are guided by a clear declaration of principles in order to unite and act in unison on the concrete situation among various sectors of the Filipino community and take up their social concerns in relation to their motherland and to their stay in Europe.
You must uphold the national sovereignty of the Filipino people by asserting national independence and opposing imperialist domination and to unite the people and build their collective strength, anchored on the basic alliance of the workers and peasants as the foundation for establishing the people’s democratic state which shall uphold civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
You must contribute what you can in order to build a self-reliant and progressive Philippine economy in repudiation of the imperialist and feudal stranglehold of the economy, carry out national industrialization and genuine land reform and to ensure the people’s economic and social well being and thus liberate the people from poverty, raise their standard of living, attain full employment, guarantee adequate and humane working and social conditions and better standards for health, education and housing.
You must stand for a patriotic, scientific and mass-oriented people’s culture which seeks to break the colonial, feudal, patriarchal and bourgeois decadent culture that impedes social progress and people’s participation in the movement for national and social liberation, to uphold the right to self-determination of the Moro people, the Cordillera people and other national minorities, and support their struggle against national oppression and their right to own and utilize their ancestral lands and other natural resources.
You must fight for women’s liberation by destroying the basis of national, class and gender oppression and you must promote the participation of women, principally worker and peasant women, in a women’s liberation movement that is vital, distinct and integral to the entire national democratic struggle. You must engage the young men and women and avail of their openness to revolutionary change and their energy to advance the national democratic movement.
You must participate actively in building international solidarity that is anti-imperialist and democratic, develop the closest relations with the workers and other oppressed peoples and with their organizations and movements and engage in mutual support and cooperation in the common struggle against imperialism and all forms of reaction and for just peace and all-round development of all peoples.
High Importance and Urgency of Theme
The theme of your assembly is highly important and urgent: “Magkaisa! Labanan ang Pasistang Rehimeng US/China-Duterte! Makibaka Para sa Pambansang Kalayaan at Demokrasya!” This in consonance with your guiding principles and is responsive to the current intolerable suffering and outcry of the broad masses of the Filipino people for national freedom, justice and democracy against the traitorous, tyrannical, genocidal, plundering and swindling Duterte regime.
The Duterte regime is traitorous as it continues to serve the over-all dominance of US imperialism over the Philippines economically, militarily, politically and culturally. The US tolerates the gross and systematic human rights violations in the Philippines and supplies all the software and hardware for the military suppression of the people’s movement for national freedom and democracy in the name of anti-communism and anti-terrorism. It is doubtful whether the presidency of Biden will be different from that of Trump who has openly supported Duterte.
While the US provides crucial support for the state terrorism carried out by Duterte, he has been able to tighten his grip on political power and engage in plunder. At the same time, he also gains privately from selling out to China the sovereign rights of the Filipino people in the West Philippines Sea. He has allowed China to build seven military bases in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, gain control over the national power grid and establish cell towers in the camps of the reactionary armed forces. In addition, he benefits from the illegal drug trade, casinos and other operations of Chinese criminal syndicates.
In running a tyrannical and genocidal regime, Duterte is applying the methods of extrajudicially killing tens of thousands of poor people in Oplan Tokhang to the current fascist campaign of rabid anti-communism and state terrorism in the name of anti-terrorism. Social activists, critics, human rights defenders and legal political opponents of the regime are arbitrarily listed as “communist terrorists”, publicly tagged, condemned and framed up for arbitrary arrest, torture, extortion and murder with planted firearms and explosives as fake evidence.
Under conditions of the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he promised mass testing, adequate health services and economic assistance to the people who would lose their means of livelihood. He has not fulfilled his promise but instead he and his Mafia-like gang have pocketed more than 500 billion pesos. Worst of all, he has railroaded the enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Law in order to realize his scheme of fascist dictatorship even before carrying out charter change and the proclamation of nationwide martial law as Marcos did in 1972.
Even before the pandemic, the crisis of the ruling system, like that of the world capitalist system, had worsened as to generate favorable conditions for anti-imperialist and democratic mass struggles. The pandemic has aggravated the crisis. At the end of the third quarter of this year, the growth rate of the Philippines was a negative 11.5 per cent. It is expected to go down further by negative 6 per cent. The Duterte regime has used the emergency powers given to him by the servile Congress to realign government appropriations in order to favor corruption by the high bureaucrats and military officers and funnel more funds for graft-laden military purchases and operations.
But Duterte is overconfident that if his poor health permits he can continue as fascist dictator beyond 2022 or if he is too sick he can pick and install a presidential proxy because he controls Congress, the Supreme Court and the Commission on Elections. Under the current circumstances in the Philippines, the oppression and exploitation of the people will escalate rapidly. And all forms of popular mass struggles will surge up, including legal democratic mass actions and the armed revolutionary movement. There are excellent prospects for the ouster of the Duterte reign of terror and greed, as exemplified by the previous ousters of Marcos and Estrada. And in this regard, BAYAN can play a major role in the broad united front against fascist tyranny.
However, to any extent that Duterte or his proxy can stay in power beyond 2022, the armed revolutionary movement of the people will grow in strength and will play an increasingly important role in the process of overthrowing not only the Duterte regime or its proxy regime but also the entire semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system. The struggle of the Filipino people against the Duterte regime coincides with the rising anti-imperialist and democratic mass struggles on a global scale against imperialism and all forms of reaction. These provide favorable conditions for the Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation.
What BAYAN-Europe Can Do
The Filipinos in Europe have their own problems to face in Europe because of the worsening of the world capitalist system and the rise of chauvinist, anti-immigrant, racist and fascist movements. Because of deteriorating economic conditions abroad, hundreds of thousands of Filipino migrant workers have already lost their jobs have returned home, without any support from the reactionary government for their repatriation despite the fact it had fleeced them with all kinds of burdensome fees. The drastic reduction in the foreign exchange remittances of overseas Filipino workers has become a major factor in the negative growth of the Philippine economy.
But while you have problems to face in Europe, these are somehow related with the prior problems of massive unemployment and deteriorating socio-economic conditions in the Philippines. There is no way we can escape our responsibilities to the Filipino people and our motherland. Tne BAYAN-Europe is correct in describing itself in its own Constitution that that it is an integral part of the national democratic movement of the Philippines and its mission and purpose is to gather the broadest possible moral, political and material support for BAYAN-Philippines and the national democratic struggle of the Filipino people.
You must serve as the regional information and campaign center in Europe for responding to the calls of BAYAN-Philippines and initiating campaigns and activities according to your own conditions and circumstances. You must fight not only for the rights and demands of Filipinos in Europe but also for those of our people in the motherland. You must do what you can to help them overcome their suffering and to help them bring to a new and higher level their movement to oust the Duterte regime and carry forward their national democratic struggle against the unjust ruling system,
In this regard, you must develop solidarity relations among peoples and organizations in Europe. You must make calls for, initiate or join campaigns, alliances and other formations on the basis of international solidarity guided by the principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual support.
You must share experiences and lessons with the host people and other guest peoples in whichever country you are in Europe. In doing so, you must uphold and exercise your fundamental freedoms and democratic rights even as you stay within the bounds of law and democracy in whichever host country you are.
You must pay special attention to the fact that the European Union is one of the few state formations that have followed in 2002 the unjust and unlawful initiative of US imperialism in designating the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and myself as “terrorists” and placing our names in the so-called terrorist list of the EU, despite the fact that the CPP, NPA and I have never engaged in any act of terrorism in any European country or any part of the world. It took me more than seven years of legal struggle before the European Court of Justice in order to have my name removed from the said list.
The names of thje CPP and NPA have stayed in the list despite the fact that these are co-belligerents of the Philippine revolutionary government in a civil war under the laws of war and have never engaged in any act of terrorism any where in the world. Now, the Duterte fascist regime is using this unjust and unlawful “terrorist” listing to justify state terrorism in the Philippines and to extend his fascist methods of red-tagging, slandering, intimidating and threatening social activists, critics and human rights defenders abroad. You must be vigilant and be ready to frustrate the continuous attempts of the Duterte regime to extend its dirty fascist tactics against Filipinos in Europe.
You must find ways of persuading the European Union through the most respected statesmen, parliamentarians, human rights and peace organizations, parties and other organizations and movements to remove the names of the CPP and NPA from its so-called terrorist list in order to prevent its use in violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms and in order to promote conditions for respecting human rights in the Philippines and resuming the peace process between the GRP and NDFP in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights amd International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the principles and policies of the EU and the UN.
Since 1992, the NDFP has solemnly and mutually agreed with the GRP to engage in peace negotiations in order to address the roots of the armed conflict in the Philppines through comprehensive and profound social, economic and political reforms. But Duterte has terminated the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations since November 23, 2017 in order to scapegoat the CPP and NPA, concentrate on all-out war and pursue his scheme of fascist dictatorship. Conditions must be promoted and realized for him to stay within the bounds of the constitutional limit of his presidential term and for peace negotiations to be resumed by the NDFP and a new administration of the GRP that respects The Hague Joint Declaration and CARHRIHL.
Mabuhay ang BAYAN-Europe at lahat ng kababayan sa Europa!
Mabuhay ang pambansa-demokratikong kilusan sa Pilipinas!
Mabuhay ang BAYAN-Philippines at sambayanang Pilipino!