The Filipino people are fed up with Aquino’s lies and false promises of change which they have been hearing for the past three years. As time passes, his “righteous path” and “clean governance” shibboleths repeated ad nauseam are being exposed as empty slogans. His “kayo ang boss ko” (you are my boss) is pure blarney. Obviously, Aquino’s real bosses are his friends in big business, foreign capitalists and the US government and military.
It is plain to see that the solution to poverty, hunger and the exploitation and oppression of the toiling masses and the petty bourgeoisie lies neither in Aquino nor in his florid but empty speeches. No matter how much gimmickry, spectacle or tales about the “good news” Aquino resorts to, he can never conceal the real conditions of the people.
He is grasping at thin pieces of straw, which represent his manipulated “popularity.” In truth, the toiling masses have had enough of him. Neither could Aquino inveigle the middle strata in the face of mounting violations of human rights, his extreme servility to the US, abuse of political power, corruption and crime. Fully aware of all this, Aquino has been intensifying the campaign of suppression against the people’s democratic struggles.
The people must confront Aquino’s remaining three years in power with stepped-up political struggles. They must hold the Aquino regime accountable for its transgressions and crimes against the people. They must muster their power by organizing and through collective action.
Conditions are exceedingly favorable for massively arousing and mobilizing the people on the basis of resisting incessant oil price hikes, added taxes, wage freezes, deteriorating and more costly health and education services, widespread demolitions of urban poor communities, lack of decent housing, the foreign plunder of the country’s mineral resources, repression and human rights abuses, landgrabbing, the neglect of calamity victims, the surrender of the nation’s sovereignty and kowtowing to the US’ every command.
The Filipino people must train their anger on the Aquino regime, demand retribution, shake it to its very foundations and work for its early demise. The intensification of political struggles in the cities will likewise contribute to strengthening the armed struggle in the countryside.
THE Party and the revolutionary forces must lead the intensification of the people’s political movements and struggles. Strengthening the mass movement in the cities is among the most important political requisites for bringing the people’s war to the threshold of the strategic stalemate.
Let us use the commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the First Quarter Storm of 1970 to recall the lessons of strengthening the revolutionary and democratic mass movement in the cities.
Just as the three-month surge in the mass movement in 1970 played a role in building the foundations of the people’s war, strengthening and advancing the mass movement in the years ahead is one of the keys to ensuring that the target of achieving a leap in the people’s war to a higher stage within the current decade is met.
Hundreds of thousands were mobilized from January to March 1970 in gigantic protest actions that thundered from Metro Manila towards other urban centers nationwide. This was the result of years of arousing the people, conducting persevering propaganda and education work and organizing among the ranks of workers, semi-proletariat, youth-students, women, professionals, church people and other sectors of society.
The ruling Marcos regime was severely isolated and shaken until it could no longer rule in the old way. Fascist terror reigned with the imposition of martial law in 1972.
But this failed to crush the fledgling revolutionary movement. Instead, the people’s war gained strength as thousands of activists went to the countryside. They gave momentum to the task of expanding the armed struggle in the rural areas. They reached out to and organized hundreds of thousands and even millions of people. The revolutionary movement could not have achieved its current expanse and strength if not for the significant contributions of the products of the First Quarter Storm of 1970.
It is fine to revisit the lessons from such an important part of Philippine revolutionary history because they serve to guide us in our current efforts to create a new and brilliant chapter in advancing people’s war.
A strong and surging urban mass movement is the people’s weapon in resisting oppression and exploitation. It is the way to arouse and mobilize them and take the ruling clique and the entire ruling system to task. Party-led forces must arouse the people and muster their revolutionary mood. The urban democratic mass movement must be strengthened in order to make loud and clear the people’s clamor for revolutionary change and to form various types of alliances.
There is no dearth of outstanding issues that should be addressed by the mass movement. The crucial task for the mass movement is to put forward critical analysis and lay out the correct line of struggle to rally the people against the ruling reactionary clique and system.
At the same time, we must tirelessly reach out to the masses and form schools or study circles in factories, campuses or communities to discuss the program for national-democratic change.
Identifying and laying down the correct line of action will rouse and mobilize the people in their millions and pave the way for organizing and uniting them to fight for their national and democratic aspirations. Thus, they can train their anger not only against the ruling regime but against the rotten ruling system that it represents and defends.
The role played by the youth-student sector in invigorating the people’s democratic struggles is undeniable. They must mobilize massively not only to address their issues on campus, but even the issues and problems of the toiling masses in the cities and countryside. They must take action en masse and go to factories and communities and bring these issues to their schools and in the streets.
The organized strength of the masses of workers must be built anew. The reactionary government has launched brutal attacks against their unions and their basic rights. We must undertake the various ways of organizing workers — into unions or various forms of associations — in order to give primacy to their cries for higher wages, job security and better working conditions.
The good and advanced elements that emerge from strengthening the mass movement must be gleaned and brought together in revolutionary mass organizations, which must be boldly expanded and continuously broadened and strengthened through political education and mass campaigns and struggles.
The revolutionary mass organizations are the source of Party members and fighters of the New People’s Army. A powerful mass movement serves as a wellspring of activists, proletarian revolutionaries and Red fighters.
The Party is sharply identifying, analyzing and resolving the problems that have been stopping or holding back the continuous advance of the democratic mass movement in recent years. The revolutionary forces are determinedly persevering in exposing the ruling Aquino regime, intensifying political struggles and thoroughly advancing the national-democratic propaganda movement.