Short Course On Philippine Society And Revolution
- An early translation (likely the 2nd edition) of the SCPSR/MKLRP, missing images. It is the most basic and first mass course studied from the PADEPA (National Democratic School) curriculum in the Philippines. While it comprehensively presents the fundamental condition and characteristics of Philippine society and the people's democratic revolution, it also lays out the general context and basis of learning in other subsequent short courses such as the peasant movement, the youth movement and the women's movement.
- I. The Philippines Is Endowed With Wealth But The Filipino People Are Suffering
- A. The Philippines And The Filipino People
- B. Philippine Society Is Divided Between The Few Who Belong To the Ruling Class And The Majority Who Are Oppressed And Exploited By Them
- II. The History Of The Philippines Is The History Of Struggle Between The Ruling Class Few And The Broad Masses Of The People Who Are Oppressed And Exploited
- A. The Prevalence Of Feudalism Throughout The Whole Country And The Struggle Of The People Against It
- B. The Colonial Rule Of US Imperialism And The Struggle Of The Filipino People Against It
- C. The Struggle Of The People Against Japanese Aggression
- D. The Return Of US Imperialism And The Puppet Republic Of The Philippines
- III. US Imperialism, Feudalism and Bureaucrat Capitalism Are the Roots of the Suffering of the Filipino People
- A. US Imperialism Is The Principal Cause Of The Suffering Of The Filipino People
- B. Feudalism As A Cause Of The Suffering Of The Filipino People
- C. Bureaucrat Capitalism As A Cause Of The Suffering Of The Filipino People
- D. The Collusion Of The Three Ills In Maintaining The Semi-Colonial And Semi-Feudal Society
- IV. The People's Democratic Revolution Is The Only Solution To The Fundamental Problems Of The Filipino People
- A. The People's Democratic Revolution
- B. The Friends And Enemies Of The Revolution
- C. The Three Important Weapons Necessary For The Victory Of The People's Democratic Revolution
- D. The Protracted People's War And The Strategic Line Of Encircling The Cities From The Countryside
- E. The Program For A People's Democratic Revolution
1. What are the characteristics of the Philippines?
The Philippines is an archipelago with mountainous terrain. It has 30,000,000 hectares of arable land. It consists of 7,100 islands. There are three major island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The Philippines is situated in Southeast Asia. It is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, the South China Sea and the Celebes Sea. China is located somewhat to the north, while Indonesia and North Borneo are situated to the south.
According to 1995 data, the population of the Philippines has already reached 65,000,000. Seventy-five percent (75%) live in the countryside, and twenty-five percent (25%) reside in the cities.
Filipinos come from certain racial stock. Foremost of these is the Malay race. The Indonesians and Chinese have contributed significantly to the racial composition of the people. There have also been mixtures of Arab, Indian, Spanish, American and Negrito strands in our racial stock, but they only comprise a small percentage.
National minorities comprise no less than 14 percent of the population. Included among them are descendants of the settlers who have peopled the archipelago within the last several tens of thousands of years before the coming of the Spanish colonialists. Up to the last several hundred years, these peoples were the ones who inhabited the greater part of the archipelago until they were ejected forcibly and subjugated by the landgrabbers.
The people speak over a hundred languages and dialects. The five languages spoken by the majority are Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Ilonggo and Bicolano. Tagalog is the basis of the national language. It is spoken by the people in varying degrees of fluency.
2. What are the natural resources of the Philippines?
The Philippines is abundant in natural resources. The agricultural lands of the Philippines are extremely fertile because of the mountains — many of which were previously volcanic, because of the many rivers, and because of the tropical climate. The lands are suitable for the cultivation of many edible crops, such as rice, corn, fruits and root crops, and those useful for industry, such as abaca, rubber, coconuts, cane and others.
The forested areas of the Philippines are extensive. They are abundant in lumber and other forest resources useful for various needs of the people.
Many minerals, such as gold, copper, oil, silver, carbon, bauxite, uranium and nickel, can be derived from the mountains and plains. These are sufficient for the Philippines to be able to develop its industries self-reliantly.
The rivers, lakes, bays and seas are abundant in fish and other marine resources. The principal rivers may be controlled in order to irrigate farm lands and to provide electricity to every part of the country. The rivers, lakes, bays and seas are also used for navigation and transportation. The Philippines also has many ports.
If the Filipino people themselves are able to utilize and cultivate the natural resources of the Philippines for their own benefit, the natural wealth can easily sustain several times the present population.
However, the Filipino people are prevented by US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism from utilizing these natural resources for their own benefit. At present, these natural resources are being exploited by US imperialism and all its lackeys for their own profit and according to their narrow schemes which harm the toiling masses.
Philippine Society Is Divided Between The Few Who Belong To the Ruling Class And The Majority Who Are Oppressed And Exploited By Them
1. Who controls and lives off the wealth of the Philippines?
The US and other foreign imperialists in collaboration with the local ruling classes — the big landlords and the comprador-big bourgeoisie — are the ones who control and live off the wealth of the country. They constitute a mere one percent of the population of the Philippines.
They are the ones that benefit thoroughly from the natural wealth of the country, the labor force and the wealth created by the Filipino people. They are also the ones who control the reactionary government and the reactionary armed forces of the Philippines. They are the ones who form the ruling classes that oppress and bring suffering to the Filipino people.
2. What is the condition of the Filipino people?
The workers, the peasantry, the semi-proletariat, the petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie constitute the Filipino people. Together, they comprise 99 percent of the population of the Philippines.
The Filipino people are a powerful force for progress. They possess an acquired strength and intelligence to excel in the various fields of social endeavor, and have a great tradition of courageous struggle against foreign and local oppression and exploitation. They are capable of establishing a united, just and prosperous society.
Extensive agriculture, factories, mines, transportation and communication that sustain society have all been founded with the strength and intelligence of the Filipino people. They should be the ones to reap the benefits of all of them. But they are the ones who suffer and are intensely exploited and oppressed by the foreign and local ruling classes.
The handful of foreign imperialists and local ruling classes sap the strength and intelligence of the people for their own benefit. Thus, despite the wealth of the Philippines, the Filipino people experience unbearable poverty.
The workers suffer because of the absence of ownership, and the sale of their labor-power in order to create profit for the capitalists in exchange for low wages. They suffer because of the inhuman conditions in their workplaces and the absence of job security. They are exploited by foreign and local capitalists.
The peasantry, majority of whom have little or no land, are oppressed and exploited by the old and new types of landlords. They are saddled by high land rent, low wages and usury. The landlords, bureaucrat capitalist and foreign corporations constantly grab lands from them.
The semi-proletarians suffer from an absence of ownership, insufficient wages, irregular income and the lack of steady employment.
The life of the petty-bourgeoisie, meanwhile, is on the decline. The real value of their small earnings is shrinking. The security of their jobs is in jeopardy. Their small businesses are also faltering because of the high interest of their debts, high taxes and the rottenness of the bureaucracy.
The national bourgeoisie is being strangled by big foreign capitalists who dump finished products onto the Philippine market, and manipulate the basic policies of the reactionary government with regards to the economy, finance, tariffs and taxes and local commerce. Feudalism also obstructs their aspiration to develop capitalist production. For these reasons, they are in fear of going bankrupt. Their ambition to become big bourgeois and to establish a capitalist state under their rule is being frustrated.
The History Of The Philippines Is The History Of Struggle Between The Ruling Class Few And The Broad Masses Of The People Who Are Oppressed And Exploited
More than anything, the history of the Philippines is the history of the Filipino people and their courageous struggle against foreign and local exploitation and oppression.
In studying history, we will be able to understand the real roots of more than a century of suffering of the Filipino people — the rule of US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. In studying history, we will be able to make clearer the basis for the continuing struggle of the Filipino people for national freedom and democracy.
A. The Prevalence Of Feudalism Throughout The Whole Country And The Struggle Of The People Against It
1. What was the state of Philippine society before the coming of the Spanish colonialists?
Before the arrival of Spanish colonialists to the Philippines, there was already a basis for indigenous society to develop. Within the country at the time, the inhabitants were already farming over a large part of the archipelago. They knew how to weave cloth, lumber, mine, manufacture simple metal implements, porcelain and others. They had their own literature. And they traded with neighboring countries.
During this time, three different social systems existed in the country: (1) semi-slave and semi-communal; (2) feudal; and, (3) primitive communal.
a. the semi-slave and semi-communal system
This was the most extensive social system in the archipelago before the coming of the Spanish colonialists. This system existed in the barangays. Each barangay had several hundred people and a definite territory.
In these barangays, there were two forms of land ownership. First, there was the private ownership of the rajahs and datus (heads of barangays), their families, and the maharlikas, the free people. Second, there was the communal ownership governed by the rajahs and datus in the name of the entire barangay. The rajahs, datus and their families were able to derive greater benefit from the communal land because of the land rent they exacted in the form of religious tribute.
There were slaves who tilled the land of the rulers and free people. There were also slaves who worked without any certain share of the harvest.
Maharlikas rendered special services to the rulers, but in certain instances, the free people farmed as well.
b. the feudal system
Before the arrival of the Spanish colonialists, the feudal system was the most developed social system in the country. This existed in the Moro sultanates in Mindanao and Sulu. Each sultanate had more people and held bigger territory than a barangay.
The sultans, datus and their families formed the ruling class. They also governed the communal lands aside from those they owned. They also collected land rent in the form of religious taxes from the tillers. They were also attended to by religious teachers, scribes and head soldiers.
c. the primitive communal system
This is the lowest form of social organization. This existed among the Ita tribes. Here, there is no private ownership of land. The people make a living by means of fishing, food-gathering and foraging the forest. All able-bodied members of the tribe participated in food-gathering, and everything gathered was divided among all tribal members.
2. Why did the Spanish colonialists subjugate the Philippines?
Spain was already a strong world power when it subjugated the Philippines in the 16th century. Its naval power already extended over various parts of the world, and it already possessed colonies in Latin America. The feudal system in Spain had already reached its limits. Driven by the flourishing of mercantilism and the emergence of manufacturing in Europe, Spain stepped up its colonization effort.
Spain conquered the Philippines in order to make it an outpost for commerce with China and neighboring areas. Another important reason for the conquest by Spanish colonialists was the procurement of gold and other valuable metals. Spain was also interested in procuring abundant food and other means to support the needs of the colonialists.
3. How did the Spanish colonialists conquer the Philippines?
To subdue the Philippines, the Spanish colonialists employed the tactic of divide-and-conquer. Spanish colonialism took advantage of the absence of political unity among the barangays. The colonialists coopted certain datus and used them to conquer the others. Thus, even though there were only a few hundred Spanish soldiers used in the beginning, the colonialists succeeded in conquering most of the country.
The combination of the cross and the sword was used. By means of cooptation, the colonialists were able to make certain barangays embrace the Christian faith. Afterwards, the sword was used to suppress those who resisted.
The sultanates of Mindanao had an economic system and political unity which was higher than the barangays. The higher degree of political unity and readiness of the people there to fight frustrated Spanish aggression into the Muslim domain. The Spaniards were also not able to control effectively the mountainous peoples, such as the Igorots. The latter were able to use the mountainous terrain to defend their freedom against the Spanish colonialists.
4. How did the Spanish colonialists propagate feudalism throughout the Philippines?
In over three hundred years of Spanish colonial rule, two principal means were carried out to propagate and consolidate feudalism in the Philippines. First was the encomienda system begun in 1570, and second was the hacienda system carried out in the latter half of the 18th century.
a. the encomienda system
Encomiendas were large tracts of land entrusted by the Spanish ruler to the officials and religious orders in the colony. These grants were given in recognition of services they had rendered the Spanish Crown in subjugating the Philippines. Encomiendas were formed from several conquered barangays put together, becoming larger economic and administrative units. Here, feudalism was carried out.
It was the objective and the responsibility of encomiendas to hasten the collection of taxes, to carry out polo (forced labor) and the indoctrination of the people with Christianity. The colonialists used Christianity in order to seize large tracts of land.
The colonialists seized lands which had long been cultivated. Farmers in these lands were made to pay land rent. All lands which were not being cultivated were placed in the ownership of the Spanish Crown. Farmers were forced to work in the fastness of forests in order to expand the lands owned by the colonialists. Even the erstwhile maharlikas were reduced to the status of serfs.
Encomiendas were disbanded in the 17th century. Provinces replaced them as the system of administration. This was done in order to tighten the implementation of the laws of Spain in land ownership and to lessen the antagonism between clerical and civil landlords. As a result, exploitation and landgrabbing intensified further. Even then, the private land ownership of the colonialists was already extensive.
b. the hacienda system
The Spanish colonialists expanded farm lands in order to sustain their food and other supply needs. The colonialists focused their attention on the Manila-Acapulco commerce.
This trade concentrated on the export to Mexico of products made in China and other neighboring countries. This commerce started to become a losing proposition in the latter part of the 18th century as a result of competition from the products of factories in Europe and because of the raiding by English pirates of the ships plying the route between Manila and Acapulco.
It was under these conditions that the hacienda system was begun. Large-scale cultivation of crops to be exported to the capitalist countries in Europe was decreed. The planting of tobacco, abaca, indigo and others were made extensive. At the same time, Philippine ports were opened to the ships of the capitalist countries of Europe and the United States.
To hasten the transport of products from different parts of the archipelago, railways, new ports, new roads and a system of communication were set up.
Because of these developments, the implementation of forced labor grew more intense. The rounding up of large numbers of people to work in far-flung areas became more frequent.
Colonial and feudal exploitation intensified under the hacienda system. The Spanish colonialists decreed quotas for the harvest of export crops. These were forcibly bought from peasants at extremely low prices. An even larger surplus was extracted from the peasants in the form of land taxes and a percentage of the harvest. The colonial government made the purchase of these crops a virtual monopoly. Landgrabbing worsened because landlords wanted to derive maximum benefit from the sale of commercial crops.
The kasama or tenancy system also began with the introduction of haciendas. The Spanish officials and friars leased their haciendas to arenderos (local landlords). The lands were then parceled out into farms. Peasants were made to work them on the condition that the landlords retain a large part of their harvest.
Another result of the hacienda system and the invigoration of commerce inside and outside the country was the emergence of the embryonic Filipino working class. The embryo of the Filipino bourgeoisie also emerged — made up of traders or compradors and their college-educated children.
5. How did the Spanish colonialists prolong their rule in the Philippines?
The Spanish colonialists were able to perpetuate their rule in the Philippines for more than three hundred years. They employed various means, such as:
a. the use of armed might to suppress Filipinos
The colonialists set up the colonial army. They strengthened it by means of forced conscription of Filipino soldiers. This army was used to suppress the resistance and the struggle of the people. The colonial army harshly put down peasants who were revolting in various parts of the archipelago. This army was also employed repeatedly against the Moros in Mindanao and the Igorots in the Cordillera mountains.
b. controlling the thinking of the people by means of religion
The Spanish missionaries destroyed the previous beliefs of the people. They fed the people the novena, prayer and superstition in order for them to accept the domination and abuses of the Spanish colonialists. They inculcated blind obedience and subservience in the minds of the people.
The Spanish priests themselves directly held powerful positions in the colonial government. In these positions, they were able to combine church and state in order to defend the Spanish Crown and the dominance of the religious orders.
c. the use of the local ruling class
The Spanish colonialists gave the former rajahs and datus certain powers in the municipalities and barangays. They were also granted certain privileges, such as acquiring land and exemption from polo (forced labor). In this manner, they were able to get the support of the former rajahs and datus. The colonialists were able to use their support to carry out colonial rule in the municipalities and barangays.
These local puppets formed the principalia, the group of the heads of barangays and gubernadorcillos (municipal heads). They became the tax collectors or cacique, forced-labor recruiters, leading members of the Church among the ranks of Filipinos, overseers of the lands of the Spanish landlords, and leading praisemongers of the colonialists.
6. Before the 1896 Revolution, how did the Filipino people fight Spanish colonialism?
Throughout the entire period of Spanish colonial rule, various uprisings took place against taxation, forced labor, monopoly in commerce, extremely high land rent, landgrabbing, the imposition of the Catholic religion, unjust measures, and other cruelties of the Spanish colonialists.
No less than 200 revolts of varying duration and scope of influence transpired. One can see in these revolts the recognition of the Filipino people of the necessity of force and unified action in order to overthrow Spanish rule. These revolts spread and gained strength, and created a great tradition of the Filipino people.
Some of the celebrated revolts are as follows:
- In 1574, 2,000 fighters gathered in what is now Tondo in order to drive out the Spaniards who had just entered Manila. This is now referred to as the uprising of Sulayman.
- In 1574, Lakandula, the rajah of Tondo, led an uprising to drive out the colonialists. The uprising spread up to what is now Cavite. The insurgents killed the friars and the Spaniards whom they were able to kidnap, and burned down the churches. Thousands of fighters encircled Manila. In the end, however, Lakandula compromised with the Spaniards.
- In 1596, Magalat headed a revolt against the high taxes and abuses of the encomenderos ( encomienda holders) in Cagayan. The various datus of Tuguergarao participated in this uprising. This revolt lasted for eight months before it was quelled.
- In 1620, the Spaniards began to send expeditions to the Cordilleras in order to conquer the Igorots and to take possession of the gold mines in the area. The expeditions, however, were frustrated repeatedly, and the Spaniards were unable to control the Cordilleras effectively.
- Sumuroy led an uprising in Samar from 1649 to 1650. The principal cause of the revolt was the forcible recruitment of the peasants as corvee or forced labor for the shipbuilding yards in Cavite. The uprising spread to Albay, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Cebu, Camiguin, Zamboanga, Northern Mindanao and Leyte. All the churches were burned down in Samar, and many firars were killed. This is also what transpired in the other paces which followed Samar's suit.
- In 1660, an uprising took place in Pampanga, led by Maniago. This was sparked by the colonial government's failure to pay for a large amount of collected rice and because of the grave condition of polo (forced labor) in felling lumber in Pampanga and Bataan. The revolt called for driving out the colonialists. The uprising was only suppressed when the insurgents were given amnesty and a part of the colonial government's debt was paid.
- In the same year, the people of Pangasinan also rose up under malong's leadership. Their demands were similar to those made by the revolt under Maniago's leadership. Malong also sent forces to the Ilocos, Cagayan and Pampanga in order to set up his rule as king. This uprising was defeated by an expedition of the Spaniards.
- Under Almazan's leadership, the Ilocos region rose up in response to Malong's call. In the end, this uprising was crushed and Almazan was killed.
- The uprising in Bohol, headed by Dagohoy, was the longest. From 1744 up to 1829, the insurgents drove out the Spaniards from a large part of Bohol. Their peak strength reached 20,000, and they were able to establish their own government in their mountain bases.
- The revolt led by Palaris in Pangasinan broke out about the same time as the uprising in the Ilocos headed by Silang. The first lasted from 1762 to 1764, and the second from 1762 to 1763. The revolt led by Silang reached up to Pangasinan and Cagayan. Both uprisings were led by those who belonged to the principalia class. They were driven to revolt by the extremely high taxes and the abuses of the friars and colonial officials. The insurgents called for the expulsion of the Spanish friars and officials from the provinces mentioned.
- In 1745, an uprising broke out in Batangas headed by Matienza. This resulted from the arbitrary expansion of the haciendas by the Jesuits and the increase in land rent.
- In 1745, revolts also broke out in many parts of Manila, Morong (Rizal), Cavite and Bulacan because of the seizure of lands by the friars and the increase in land rent. In these revolts, the peasants burned down the houses of the friars, killed the overseers — most of whom were Chinese — and fought against the Spanish troops.
The Spanish colonialists brutally repressed and overcame the uprisings of the people. Many Filipinos were forcibly conscripted to fight against the rebels. (See Appendix A: List of Celebrated Uprisings Against the Spanish Colonialists)
7. What were the movements launched by the ilustrados against the Spanish colonialists?
Ilustrados were Filipinos who were able to study in college inside or outside the Philippines. With the intensification of colonial and feudal exploitation, the interests of their comprador or principalia parents were affected. These well-to-do or affluent Filipinos became victims of landgrabbing, expulsion from being overseers of haciendas, onerous taxes, and other abuses of the colonialists. Ilustrados also became the objects of scorn of their Spanish classmates and teachers.
The first systematic movement launched by the ilustrados to attack the rule of the Spaniards was the secularization movement among the ranks of the clerics. Filipino priests demanded the expulsion of the religious orders from the parishes.
When the workers of Cavite mutinied in 1872, the leaders of the secularization movement, namely Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora, were accused of being in complicity with the revolt. They were guillotined despite their protestations of innocence.
The second movement of the ilustrados was the Propaganda Movement. This was launched by the ilustrados who went to Europe to study and to campaign for reforms in the Philippines. They demanded that the Spanish government make the Philippines a regular province of Spain, give it representation in the Spanish parliament, and implement the provisions of the Spanish constitution pertaining to civil liberties in the Philippines. This movement was led by Jose Rizal, Marcelo del Pilar, Graciano Lopez-Jaena, juan and Antonio Luna. This movement of the ilustrados met failure.
Rizal returned to the Philippines to continue his propaganda efforts. He established the La Liga Filipina, and called on Filipinos to stand as a nation. But he did not call for separation from Spain. Before he was executed by firing squad in Luneta, he distanced himself from the armed uprisings of the people when he called on them not to resort to armed struggle.
The movement led by the ilustrados limited themselves to clamoring for reforms under Spanish colonial rule. This movement also did not organize among the ranks of the toiling masses. Because its leaders hailed from the well-to-do ilustrado class, their principal objective was to ensure the participation of their kind in the political governance and a greater share of the economic benefits.
Nevertheless, these movements helped in propagating nationalism, and in preparing the minds of Filipinos for the outbreak of the 1896 Revolution.
8. What was the Revolution of 1896?
The Revolution of 1896 was an armed struggle launched by the Filipino people in order to overthrow Spanish colonial and feudal rule. The revolution fought for the sovereignty of the Filipino nation, civil liberties, the confiscation of the haciendas of the friars in order to distribute them among the peasants and the separation of church and state.
The revolution of 1896 was started by the Katipunan led by Andres Bonifacio. Bonifacio believed that revolution, not reforms, was the correct path for realizing the freedom of the Philippines. The majority of Katipunan's members hailed from the workers and peasants. The Katipunan expanded its ranks and gathered a sufficient number of members in order to launch a war of national liberation. The Cry of Pugad Lawin on August 23, 1896 signaled the beginning of armed struggle against the colonialists.
Bonifacio drew inspiration from the democratic revolutions led by the bourgeoisie in Europe and America. He was guided by a stand that upholds the establishment of a democratic republic and agrees with capitalism. With the intensification of colonial exploitation and oppression of the people, the national-democratic aspirations of the broad masses of the people heightened as well. While oppression worsened, the fighting spirit of the dominated, especially the toiling masses, also heightened until the Philippine Revolution of 1896 broke out.
When the Revolution of 1896 was launched, the power of Spain was already gradually weakening. Spain was already losing in wars to stronger capitalist countries like Britain, Germany and France. The revolutionary struggles of the peoples in the Spanish colonies were also advancing. As a result, Spain was forced to open up its colonies to the entry of capitalist countries whose needs for raw materials and a market for finished products were growing.
When the hacienda system was propagated, feudalism in the Philippines had developed fully and the self-sufficient economy was being overtaken gradually by an economy based on money.
Philippine society was beginning to become a semi-feudal system from feudalism. Commercial production and exchange became vigorous. The embryo of capitalism emerged from feudal society. The embryo of new classes of the more advanced social system also emerged.
The embryo of the Filipino proletariat emerged clearly in the 19th century. They are the workers in the railways, ships, ports, sugar centrals, tobacco and cigarette factories, printing presses, distilleries, founderies, warehouses and others. They came from the numerous peasant farmers whose lands were seized and who were rendered bankrupt. Also among them were the numerous artisans and handicraft makers who had lost their livelihood.
The Filipino bourgeoisie, then comprised of the compradors and ilustrados, also emerged alongside the emergence of the embryo of the proletariat. Chinese merchants or traders and leading puppets who possessed land or were subsidized by the friars principally comprised the local comprador class.
As a result of the development of transportation and communication, exploitation worsened and the links among the oppressed masses tighter.
9. What has the 1896 Revolution accomplished?
After the Cry of Pugad Lawin on August 23, 1896, the Filipino people garnered many victories. The membership of the Katipunan expanded. The Spanish colonialists were driven out of many parts of the country, especially in Luzon.
However, in 1897, the ilustrados led by Aguinaldo seized the leadership of the Revolution. The Aguinaldo leadership had Bonifacio kidnapped and executed. The revolutionary government was established, but it experienced successive defeats. The compromising character of the ilustrado class was revealed.
In the same year, the Aguinaldo government came to terms with the Spanish colonialists. In exchange for P400,000, they called on the people to lay down their arms, and they allowed themselves to be exiled in Hong Kong. This was the Biak-na-Bato Agreement.
The Aguinaldo leadership capitulated, but not the Filipino people. The people persisted in their revolutionary struggle.
However, the agents of US imperialism established links with Aguinaldo with the aim of using him in their quest to seize control of the Philippines. The Americans returned Aguinaldo to Cavite after the naval squadron of Dewey (admiral of the US Navy) entered Manila Bay, and wiped out the Spanish fleet.
When the Spanish-American War broke out, the Philippine Revolution took advantage of an excellent opportunity in order to intensify the struggle against the Spanish colonialists. Spanish rule collapsed throughout the archipelago, except in Intramuros (Manila) and a few insignificant garrisons.
But because of the entry and invasion of US imperialism, the formal surrender of the Spanish colonialists to the Filipinos did not transpire. The victory that belonged rightfully to Filipino revolutionaries was denied them. US imperialism suppressed the Filipino people brutally, and the colonial status of the Philippines was perpetuated in the hands of a new colonial master.
1. Why did US imperialism take over the Philippines?
In the early part of the 20th century, the US reached the monopoly stage of capitalism. In order to acquire colonies, the US waged a war with Spain in 1898.
The US took over the Philippines because it is rich in natural resources and cheap labor and a dumping ground for finished products and capital. The US also wanted to use the Philippines as abase for contending with other imperialist powers for control over China and other parts of Asia.
2. How did US imperialism take over the Philippines?
In order to take over the Philippines, US imperialism principally used counterrevolutionary violence, and secondarily used deception.
From the beginning, US imperialism interfered in Philippine matters by pretending to help the Aguinaldo government in overthrowing Spanish colonialism. Even though the Filipino revolutionaries had already broken the back of the Spanish colonialists, the Americans convinced the Aguinaldo government to delay the final blows on the Spanish colonialists. In this manner, the US imperialists were able to gather enough troops to use in claiming credit for the surrender of the Spaniards and to use against the Filipinos.
The Filipinos were unaware that the Spanish governor-general had agreed to stage a mock battle with Admiral Dewey. The "moro-moro" battle took place to enable the Spanish colonialists to surrender to the US imperialists, instead of the Filipinos who had already encircled Intramuros.
On December 10, 1898, Spain signed an agreement with the US secretly turning over the Philippines in exchange for the sum of $20 million. This agreement was the Treaty of Paris.
While continuing to increase their invasion troops in the Philippines, the Americans began their bloody campaign of conquest of the Philippines in 1899. It was not until 1902 before US imperialism decisively won its war of aggression in the Philippines. But the people's armed resistance to the new colonizers continued in various parts of the archipelago until 1916.
Before the US could control a large part of the archipelago, the imperialists had to employ more than 126,000 troops to fight against seven million Filipinos. The invaders sustained many casualties. Four thousand US soldiers were killed, and almost thirty thousand were wounded. For every American soldier killed, fifty Filipino soldiers gave up their lives. Over 250,000 Filipino civilians were also killed directly or indirectly as a result of the fighting.
US imperialism committed atrocious acts of genocide against the people in its war of aggression. They committed various atrocities, such as the massacres of prisoners and civilians, the violation of women, burning down homes and property, torture, zoning and rounding up civilians in concentration camps.
Together with this, US imperialism took advantage of the weaknesses of the ilustrado leadership of the Aguinaldo government. The imperialists enticed the capitulationist leadership of the Revolution with promises of "peace," "autonomy," and "benevolent assimilation."
In every municipality they took over, the imperialist troops staged municipal elections participated in only by those who belonged to the old principalia. The puppet elections deliberately excluded the masses of the people who did not meet property requirements and the ability to read or write. The aggressors used these elections as a means to wean those who belonged to the principalia away from the Revolution. The US imperialist made these members of the principalia their puppets just as the Spanish colonialists had done before them.
When Pedro Paterno and Felipe Buencamino (leading officials of the Aguinaldo cabinet) surrendered to the Americans, they were used immediately by the Americans to call on the resisting people to surrender. With the encouragement of the aggressors, especially the intelligence agency of the US Army, Pardo de Tavera (another former member of the Aguinaldo cabinet) organized the Partido Federal in 1900. This party campaigned for the merger of the Philippines with the US.
However, the imperialists enacted laws forbidding and stiffly penalizing anyone clamoring for the self-determination or independence of the Philippines.
3. Why and how did US imperialism perpetuate feudalism in the Philippines?
US imperialism protected and furthered feudalism in the Philippines. US imperialism did this in order to gain the political support of the landlords, the principalia and the traitors of the revolution; to ensure the continued supply of raw materials from crops, such as cane, coconuts and abaca; to secure the Philippines as a market for imperialist products; and, to take advantage of cheap labor.
In the 1898 Treaty of Paris, US imperialism replaced Spanish colonialism as the occupier of the Philippines. Under this agreement, the new colonialists guaranteed the property and the businesses established during the Spanish times.
To deceive the Filipino masses, the occupiers bought certain haciendas of the friars at extremely high prices. A large part of them were set aside for the traitors of the revolution, while the rest were divided into small parcels of land and sold to the peasants. It did not take long before the majority of those who had received the small parcels of land were forced to sell their land because they could not afford to make the payments and they were sinking deeper in debt.
In many parts, the new occupiers even returned the lands confiscated by the revolutionary masses to the Spanish landlords.
The US imperialists intensified the transport of export crops. The hacienda system was further invigorated and made more widespread.
In 1902, the occupiers promulgated new land registration laws. In 1907, new land measurement laws were promulgate The leading puppets of the occupiers took advantage of this to seize lands. Cheating in titling and land measurement became widespread.
Successive laws in relation to public lands were ratified in 1903, 1919 and 1929. These laws were supposedly meant to encourage peasants to own public lands by means of homestead, purchase or lease. In reality, it served as a smokescreen for the large-scale acquisition of public lands by American individuals and capitalists, landlords and bureaucrats. Peasants were placed in public lands. They were made to clear the forests, and were pitted by the landlords against the former residents whose lands were seized.
The rapid development of commerce and the use of money brought more poverty to the peasants. Those who tilled their land but rendered bankrupt were forced to sell their lands to the landlords, usurious businessmen, and rich peasants. The evils of the Spanish times continued on during the American times.
4. How did Philippine society become semi-feudal under the colonial rule of US imperialism?
In the latter part of Spanish colonialism, Philippine society was beginning to become semi-feudal. The sprouts of the capitalist sector in the country's economy began to emerge. They were geared towards internal and external trade. The export of agricultural products such as abaca and sugar was strengthened with the establishment in the Philippines of overseas companies and commerce, owned not by Spaniards but by Americans and other Europeans.
When US imperialism took over the Philippines, it protected the transport of raw materials. It developed the economy based on money at a more rapid pace, and this superseded the feudal system. It set up sugar centrals, coconut oil refineries, rope factories, and mines. It initiated the small-scale processing of raw materials. The number of proletarians or the working class increased.
On the other hand, imperialism dumped finished products from the US. And in order to tighten its control over the country and to hasten the pace of trade, US imperialism developed the system of transportation and communication in the Philippines. Consequently, the comprador-big bourgeoisie emerged as the partner and principal helper of foreign monopoly capitalists in controlling colonial trade.
Imperialist interests intentionally allowed only a limited, unbalanced and irregular level of capitalist development. Feudalism and the landlord class were provided continual protection under the power of big foreign and local capitalists.
Farmers who tilled their own land were rendered bankrupt, and local handicraft industries were destroyed. The people were forced to buy imported goods, and principally to produce raw materials. The self-sufficient economy eroded completely. An extremely large reserve labor force principally from the peasantry emerged.
Capital loans were used in export trade and as a means to cover trade deficits, in remitting dollar profits, and to support the needs of the colonial government and business.
US corporations extracted gargantuan profits from public works contracts in the construction of roads, bridges, ports, telegraph and other transportation and communication facilities. The market was further expanded for motorized vehicles, machinery and petroleum products from the US. Colonial commerce became more rapid, and so did the transport of troops for the suppression of the people.
Every year, the wealth created by the workers and peasants grew, but because of the continued intensification of colonial, feudal and semi-feudal exploitation, they sunk deeper in poverty.
5. How did US imperialism perpetuate its colonial rule in the Philippines?
US imperialism perpetuated its colonial rule in the Philippines principally by means of counterrevolutionary violence and secondarily by means of deception.
a. The continued strengthening of armed forces even after the capture of Aguinaldo and the crushing of the leadership of the revolution
The US maintained its own armed forces. It also systematically organized the first constabulary. They were used widely to suppress the revolutionaries who persisted in Luzon and the Visayas, and to suppress Mindanao. When the puppet Commonwealth was set up, the first law ratified was in relation to the establishment of the Philippine Constabulary as a regular army under the US Army. Its core was composed of Filipinos who had served as mercenary soldiers of US imperialism during the early part of the US conquest of the Philippines. The colonial army was used as the principal defender of the colonial rule of US imperialism.
b. Taking care and training puppets who would help run the colonial government while directly holding onto the reins of power in the country
US imperialism picked its principal political agents from the comprador-big bourgeoisie and the big landlords. Imperialism trained them to become bureaucrat capitalists who benefit from the plunder of the colonial government.
In the early part of its rule, the occupiers relied largely on the services of the traitors of the revolution. Next, the imperialists came to use the Partido Nationalista headed by Osmena sufficiently for its purposes. When the imperialists had already trained a large number of bureaucrats, the occupiers began the "Filipinization" of the colonial government. The majority of the administrative positions were passed on to reliable puppets, and the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines were established. During this time, Quezon became the chief puppet of the imperialists.
In 1935, the puppet Commonwealth was formed and the Constitutional Convention was held. This was part of the training for the promised "independence" of the Philippines.
The puppet politicians played the principal role in deceiving the people during the time of the colonial rule of US imperialism. Beginning with Osmena, it became the inclination of puppet politicians to make noise about the "freedom" of the Philippines. During this time, the bureaucrat capitalists also started to hone their skills at hoodwinking the people. They employed the elections and debates in the Senate and House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, they actively aided the occupiers in their schemes to steal from and to suppress the people. In the 1935 Constitution, for example, the property and business holdings of Americans in the Philippines, the maintenance of US military bases and troops in the country, and the continuation of the colonial trade between the US and the Philippines, were all guaranteed.
c. Controlling the thinking of the people by destroying their nationalist and revolutionary spirit and propagating the worship of US imperialism The US imperialists suppressed the nationalist and revolutionary spirit, and promoted the worship of foreigners in order to control the thinking of the people.
The imperialists employed the system of public education, movies, radio, newspapers and literature in order to discredit the Philippine revolution. Subservience to US imperialism was also inculcated in the minds of the people. Many pensionados (pensioners) were sent to the US to train to become reliable puppets and propagandists.
The Catholic Church was allowed to continue to propagate feudal thinking and superstitions. The priests directed their praises to the new masters.
On the other hand, expressions of nationalist thinking were forbidden and suppressed harshly. Displaying the flag of the Philippines and airing nationalist drama and literature were banned. Nationalist writers were punished severely. And those who persisted in armed resistance against US rule were branded as "bandits."
6. How did the Filipino people continue their fight against the domination of US imperialism?
Up to the second decade of US rule, the armed resistance of the people continued in different parts of the country. The people of Mindanao, the Pulahanes of the Visayas, and the people in different parts of Luzon persisted in resisting the occupiers. In Luzon, the fight led by Sakay in Bulacan, Pampanga, Laguna, Nueva Ecija and Morong (Rizal) from 1902 to 1906 was the most prominent. It was already 1911 when guerrilla warfare ceased completely. Nevertheless, the people of Mindanao waged the fiercest armed resistance from 1902 up to 1916.
US imperialism schemed to suppress, to infiltrate, and to misdirect the workers' unions and peasant associations. These organizations emerged and proliferated even during the early part of US rule in the Philippines. During the International Workers' Day in 1903, more than 100,000 marching workers denounced the domination of US imperialism.
Throughout the decade of the 1920's, many spontaneous instances of resistance flared up among the masses of workers and peasants. This was the result of the continued intensification of exploitation by the foreign and local ruling classes. In manila, many workers' strikes broke out. Peasants in many parts of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao also went on strike. In 1925, the Colorums in two provinces of Mindanao, in Negros, Morong (Rizal), Laguna, Batangas, Pampanga, Tarlac and Pangasinan revolted.
Despite the ban of the occupiers, nationalist propaganda and creative arts supporting freedom continued.
7. What is the significance of the establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) or Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) in the revolutionary struggle of the Filipino people?
On November 7, 1930, the Communist Party of the Philippines or the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) was founded. It was in response to the rising clamor of the people for freedom and democracy. The PKP was led by Crisanto Evangelista, a worker-leader. The Partido Komunista was founded in a situation when the workers' struggle against foreign and local big capitalists was expanding. The struggle of the peasant masses against feudal and semi-feudal exploitation was advancing then. Many businesses in capitalist countries were collapsing, and the exploitation of the Filipino people was intensifying further.
With the establishment of the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, the tireless struggle of the proletarian and peasant masses reached unprecedented heights. Through the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, the working class held firmly the leadership of the revolutionary struggle of the Filipino people.
The PKP was already guided by Marxism-Leninism, the revolutionary theory of the proletariat. Marxism-Leninism was the only theory that clearly expounded the truth about the exploitation by imperialism of the working class, the peasantry and the colonies and semi-colonies. It was the only theory that clarified the science of revolutionary change in society.
The Party sought to apply the universal theory of Marxism-Leninism to the concrete conditions of Philippine society, and to raise the Philippine revolution to the level of the new type of national-democratic revolution in the era of imperialism. Since then, the necessity for thoroughgoing struggle for national freedom and democracy was already made clear. The firm political unity of the working class and the peasantry under the leadership of the Communist Party was laid down.
US imperialism and its local puppets saw quickly the grave danger posed by the Partido Komunista to their rule in the Philippines. On May 1, 1931, they abducted the principal leaders and members of the Party. In the following years, the puppet Supreme Court declared the Party illegal.
In 1936, the puppet Commonwealth released the abducted leaders and members of the Party. This was the reaction of the ruling classes to the rising danger of fascist aggression of Japan, Germany and Italy in many parts of the world. In order to defend their own interests, the ruling classes saw the necessity of cooperating with the Party in facing the danger of aggression posed by Japanese imperialism.
1. Why did Japanese imperialism subjugate the Philippines?
The crisis afflicting the capitalist countries during the thirties was grave. The balance of power between and within the imperialist countries was shaken up. Fascism rose to power in Germany, Italy and Japan. The monopoly capitalists in these countries supported the rule of fascism. The bourgeois state brutally suppressed the proletariat and other people in order to defend the rule of the imperialists and to prepare for war.
The fascist powers began the Second World War. It was launched to seize colonies and to save themselves from grave crisis.
In Asia, Japanese imperialism unleashed its aggression in order to seize the colonies from the US, Britain, France and Holland. They occupied Manila in 1942. The US imperialists did not put up an all-out defense of the Philippines. They were more engrossed with the fighting in Europe. The US troops and Filipino volunteers were gathered in Bataan and Corregidor in order to veil the exit of the American and Commonwealth government officials headed for the US. Shortly afterwards, the American generals surrendered the forces under them to the Japanese.
2. What are the main features of the aggression of Japanese imperialism in the Philippines?
In the few years of Japanese imperialist rule over the Philippines, the main preoccupation of the aggressors was to extort from the people in order to support its war of aggression in Asia. They brutally suppressed and exploited the Filipino people. The confiscation of the property and belongings of the people became widespread.
The bureaucrat capitalists, the comprador-big bourgeois and the big landlords were split into two factions. The first sided with US imperialism, joined the escape which headed for Washington or joined the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). The second sided with the new imperialist masters. With the help of the traitors headed by Jose Laurel, the Japanese occupiers set up the puppet government. In 1943, the occupiers granted fake independence to the Philippines.
3. How did the Filipino people resist the Japanese occupiers?
Before the arrival of the Japanese, the Communist Party led a broad movement to boycott Japanese products.
When the Japanese occupied the Philippines, guerrilla warfare flared up in all the provinces. The Communist Party established the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon (HUKBALAHAP or People's Army Against the Japanese) on March 29, 1942. It led in armed struggle over a large part of Central and Southern Luzon. In the cities, a broad underground movement was formed to support the guerrillas in various ways.
On the other hand, the USAFFE forces led by the American officials did not actively fight the enemy during a large part of the war. They carried out the order of the US imperialist to avoid encounters. In many places, the USAFFE guerrillas became notorious for abusing the people instead of distinguishing themselves in fighting the enemy.
Within the Communist Party and the HUKBALAHAP, meanwhile, Lava and Taruc carried out the "retreat for defense" policy. The forces of the people's army were broken up into small units. It was only in 1944 that the erroneous policy was withdrawn because of the insistence of the revolutionary leaders and members of the Party. During this time, the Communists and the HUKBALAHAP forces became well-known as the most effective fighters against the Japanese.
It was the heroic struggle of the Filipino people, together with that of the HUKBALAHAP and other nationalist guerrillas, which broke the backbone of the Japanese aggressors. This is also what freed extensive parts of the country. It was not the US imperialists who liberated the Philippines from the clutches of Japanese imperialism.
1. How was the rule of US imperialism restored in the Philippines?
US imperialism returned to the Philippines and Asia at a time when the liberation forces in Asia had already been wiping out the Japanese forces over extensive areas. The Americans bombed the cities and towns in the Philippines not only to force the remaining Japanese forces to surrender but also to render the Philippine economy prostrate. It was in this manner that the Philippines was more quickly brought back under the rule of US imperialism.
US imperialism took advantage of the widespread destruction of the economy of the country. It dictated unequal agreements and extracted privileges in exchange for war damage payments which only benefited American capitalists and the local ruling classes.
US imperialism brutally assaulted the Communist Party, the HUKBALAHAP, and the peasant masses in Central and Southern Luzon. The USAFFE forces and the erstwhile pro-Japanese Constabulary were brought together under the command of the "Military Police Command." They were used against the HUKBALAHAP. Members of the Communist Party, Red fighters and ordinary citizens were arrested in large numbers.
US imperialism supported the big landlords who had gone into hiding, whose lands were confiscated, and to whom the revolutionary forces under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines during the time of the Japanese occupation did not pay land rent or pay back debts. US imperialism helped these landlords establish armed gangs in order to restore landlord rule harshly in the countryside. The Lava brothers and Taruc bear a big responsibility in the defeat and in the large damages sustained by the people in the aggression of US imperialism and the big landlords. Even during the struggle against the Japanese, they did not prepare the thinking of the people for the return of US imperialism and continue the struggle against feudalism. The exposure of the enemies of the people was only focused on Japanese imperialism.
Even when the US imperialists were already attacking the people, the Lavas still campaigned for "democratic peace." They persuaded the people to believe in the "freedom" and "elections" promised by US imperialism. They disbanded the people's army. They directed the Communist Party and the revolutionary movement to prepare for and to participate in the elections.
2. How was the puppet Republic of the Philippines established?
On July 4, 1946, US imperialism granted the Philippines fake independence. This was carried out at a time when a liberation war was threatening to flare up in the Philippines. National liberation movements and socialist countries were advancing rapidly in various parts of the world.
While pretending to grant independence, US made sure it would continue to control the Philippines. It dictated agreements which gave it rights to continue to maintain military bases and troops stationed in the country, to own and expand its investments here, and to continue to interfere in the affairs of the puppet government and the armed forces.
In establishing the puppet republic, Philippine society became semi-colonial and semi-feudal. In essence, this system of society remains until today. The broad masses of the people — the workers, the peasants, the petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie — continue to suffer under the intense exploitation and oppression of US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
3. How did the puppet regimes support the interests of US imperialism and feudalism?
a. The Roxas Regime
As the last elected government of the puppet Commonwealth, Manuel Roxas became the first president of the puppet republic in 1946. US imperialism supported him with money and propaganda. He was the most favored puppet who was easiest to control because he could be threatened with litigation for being a Japanese collaborator.
He signed successive agreements which placed the Philippines under the control of US imperialism:
- US-RP Agreement on General Relations. This gave the US government the right to remain the supreme authority over the US military bases in the Philippines. This also guaranteed that US corporations and citizens could continue to own property and expand their investments, and this further brought the foreign policy of the Philippines under the dictates of the US government.
- Property Law. This established that the property holdings of Americans in the Philippines would continue to be respected.
- Bell Trade Law. This established an amendment to the Constitution of the Philippines in order to allow Americans the right to exploit the natural resources of the country and the right to invest in public utilities; to continue the colonial trade between the Philippines and the US; and to bring tariffs and the currency of the Philippines under the dictates of the US.
- US-RP Military Bases Agreement. This gave US imperialism the right to rule within a 99-year period over 20 military bases in various strategic parts of the archipelago.
- US-RP Military Assistance Agreement. This established continued US control over the local reactionary army through the Joint US Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG). JUSMAG advises and trains the puppet army, and lends or sells arms and other equipment to it.
The Roxas regime was responsible for the barbaric aggression unleashed against the peasant masses in order to strengthen the power of the big landlords in the countryside. Examples of this barbarism are the massacres in Maliwalu and Masico, both of which are in Pampanga.
b. The Quirino Regime
When Roxas died in 1948, he was succeeded by Elpidio Quirino as president. In the election of 1949, he defeated Jose Laurel.
The principal service that the Quirino regime rendered to US imperialism and the local exploiting classes was the intense blow that it delivered to the Communist Party and the people's army. The Quirino regime formally suspended the writ of habeas corpus. The fascist military headed by Magsaysay, in turn, used this situation to abuse recklessly the democratic rights of the people.
At the end of the forties, the dollar reserves of the Philippines were quickly depleted. This was the result of the uncontrolled importation of products for the luxury of the ruling classes, public works, erection of windmills and the construction of mansions of the compradors and big landlords, and widespread corruption. Consequently, importation was curbed in order to prevent the complete depletion of the dollar reserves of the Philippines.
The US imperialists took advantage of the dire straits of the Philippines in order to bring in "advisers" to the important offices of government. In 1953, Quirino signed the Agreement on the Entry of US Traders and Capitalists. This hastened the entry of American capital and managers into the Philippines. In 1951, the US-RP Mutual Defense Pact was ratified in order to grant the US the right to intervene arbitrarily in Philippine affairs.
Quirino signed an agreement which indefinitely extended the effectiveness of the US-RP Military Assistance Agreement. Under the guise of following United Nations (UN) resolutions, the Quirino regime dispatched military forces to the Korean War in 1950. It was actually done to help US imperialism in its war of aggression against the Korean people.
c. The Magsaysay Regime
From the Liberal Party, Ramon Magsaysay switched over to the Nacionalista Party in order to run against Quirino. Magsaysay won in the elections of 1953. US imperialism threw in its full support in order to ensure Magsaysay's victory. American capitalists in the Philippines used their money in order to ensure their candidate's victory. US army officials even campaigned to the companies of the puppet army.
Despite his heinous crimes against the people, American propagandists hailed Magsaysay as "a man of the masses" and "a savior of democracy."
The Magsaysay regime completed the task of crushing the Communist Party and the people's army. In order to deceive the peasant masses, it ratified a law supposedly guaranteeing that tenants would be able to own the lands they tilled. In reality, the law guaranteed the ownership of the big landlords over large tracts of land. Under this law, the policy was also declared that the Philippines would remain a supplier of agricultural products which are used as raw materials in the US.
During the Magsaysay regime, peasants were dispatched out to frontier lands in order to defuse their unrest, and to cover up the landgrabbing of the exploiters. The Magsaysay regime promoted the establishment of fake cooperatives, which were exclusively controlled by and which benefited the big landlords, the traders, the bureaucrats and the rich peasants.
The Magsaysay regime entered into the Laurel-Langley Agreement which amended the Bell Trade Law. In this manner, it was able to sabotage or preempt the widespread clamor of the people to repeal the Bell Trade Law. In the new agreement, it perpetuated the right of US monopolies as "equals" with Filipino nationals to invest in the Philippines.
The US quota system and tariffs on raw materials of the Philippines were changed in order to sink the Philippines deeper into the colonial trade. The pegging of the Philippine peso to the US dollar was formally removed. But this was meaningless since the Philippine economy remained mired in the colonial trade.
Magsaysay supported the establishment of the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO), a military alliance of countries in Southeast Asia. US imperialism used this in order to dominate the region and to prevent the spread of communism in Asia.
d. The Garcia Regime
When Magsaysay died in 1957, he was replaced by Carlos Garcia. In that same year, Garcia was elected president as a candidate of the Nacionalista Party.
In 1958, the Garcia regime ratified the Anti-Subversion Law in order to complete the suppression of the Communist Party and to prevent its reemergence.
During Garcia's time, the clamor of the national bourgeois to enlarge the protection of Filipino industries and to tighten importation controls became vigorous. They opposed the actions of American capitalists to circumvent importation controls. This developed when assembly and re-packing factories were set up in the Philippines.
Garcia put forward the slogan, "Filipino First," because of the growing anti-imperialist movement. But he only used this in order to conceal his own puppetry to US imperialism.
The Garcia regime diverted the focus of the people on small Chinese retailers. Meanwhile, it allowed the big Chinese businessmen to share in the colonial trade.
The Garcia regime helped the re-strengthening of Japanese imperialism with the entry of the Japan-RP Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation. The agreement was not signed right away because of the widespread people's opposition to it. But the Garcia regime allowed Japanese capitalists to set up offices, to conduct "surveys," and to participate in the import-export business in the Philippines.
Garcia staged a big stage show out of the negotiations over the military bases. He made a lot of noise clamoring for the shortening of the duration of the stay of US bases in the Philippines. But the negotiations went nowhere.
e. The Macapagal Regime
Diosdado Macapagal defeated Garcia in the elections of 1961 with the help of funds and propaganda of the US imperialists.
As soon as he could preside, Macapagal removed the controls on the outflow and entry of dollars into the Philippines. Monopoly capitalists were given the freedom to exchange in dollars and to repatriate their huge profits from the Philippines. The comprador-big bourgeois controlled the dollars which they earned from exports. They exchanged their pesos into dollars in order to import finished goods.
Once the dollar reserves of the Philippines were depleted, the Philippine peso was devalued to P3.90 from P2.00 for every US dollar. Consequently, the prices of imports and consumer goods in the Philippines began to rise. The Macapagal regime borrowed from American banks in order to prevent the continued decline in value of the Philippine peso.
Macapagal carried out the "open door" policy for US capital. US capital began to flow in, but the outflow of profits of US businesses in the Philippines continued to be even larger by comparison. US monopolies began to gobble up many Filipino companies which became bankrupt. American businessmen completely exhausted the money savings of the Filipinos and the capital which US-owned or controlled banks would lend to the Philippine government.
In order to drive the Philippines deeper into foreign debt, government corporations and private banks were encouraged to borrow from American banks and other foreign banks. Public works projects were launched in order to spend rapidly the money borrowed from the foreigners and the government funds.
Macapagal ratified the Agricultural Land Reform Code in order to deceive the peasants. Macapagal boasted of "liberating" the peasants. In reality, this law established that it is necessary for the peasants to pay for the land that they till at prices that they cannot afford.
The law disallowed the tenancy system. But this was replaced by a "crop sharing" system which set a firm land rent equivalent to 25 percent of the usual net annual harvest. The sharecropper is obliged to pay land rent, whether or not there is a harvest.
When the cases of Filipinos killed by American soldiers in the military bases became numerous, the people began to oppose their presence. The puppet regime once again used the negotiations over the military bases as a stageshow, but at no point did they become serious negotiations.
Macapagal campaigned to dispatch Filipino troops to Vietnam to help US imperialism in its war of aggression there.
Under the Macapagal regime, the entry of Japanese investments was further encouraged. The share of the foreign trade of the Philippines which the Japanese cornered reached 20 percent during this time.
f. The Marcos Regime
Just as Macapagal himself had done, Ferdinand Marcos transferred from the Liberal Party to the Nacionalista Party in order to stand as the latter's presidential candidate. Marcos defeated Macapagal in the elections of 1965, and Sergio Osmena Jr. in the elections of 1969. US imperialism chose Marcos to be its leading puppet because of his prowess in using force and deception. The US needed him even more when the revolutionary movement began to regain strength and advance once more.
Marcos postured himself as a "nationalist," who boasted that he would not allow the Laurel-Langley Agreement to be extended beyond 1974. But he ratified the Investments Incentives Law. Under this law, the state declared it a policy to encourage foreign investments. It also established that Filipino corporations could allow up to 40 percent foreign ownership. This was sufficient for foreigners to control a corporation.
Because it was now regarded as Filipino, such a corporation could now invest in other businesses and companies without restriction. The law established that foreign corporations with a 100 percent foreign ownership in the Philippines must ask permission to operate and can do so as long as they register with the Board of Investments (BOI).
The law guaranteed the right of foreign corporations against expropriation. Thus, the Investments Incentives Law was a clever maneuver for foreign monopoly capitalists to maintain control of the Philippine economy even after the expiration of the Laurel-Langley Agreement.
The Marcos regime ratified the Export Incentives Law. It encouraged up to 55 percent foreign ownership of export industries. For new export industries, it allowed up to 100 percent foreign ownership.
With these two laws, the foreign monopoly capitalists were leniency in taxes, borrowing and investing. Export processing zones were set up in Bataan, Baguio City, Cebu, Cavite and other places. In this manner, the foreign monopolies were able to set up permanent territories in the economy outside the scope of the tax laws of the Philippine government.
In the first four years of the Marcos regime, the Philippines was rendered bankrupt and saddled with both foreign and domestic debts. Spending on public works and other unproductive projects was done to the hilt. American companies in the Philippines, big compradors and big landlords were given huge loans and government loan guarantees.
Spending on luxury, the establishment of sugar centrals, the opening up of mines and mine speculation, increased further. Kickbacks of bureaucrat capitalists in relation to export-import contracts, especially contracts of foreign companies in machinery and construction, also increased.
In order to continue to borrow from foreign banks, the Marcos regime devalued the peso once more. The exchange rate became more than P6 for every US dollar. At the same time, the Marcos regime raised taxes successively. Consequently, the prices of commodities also increased correspondingly.
As a result of the peso devaluation and many other dictates of foreign banks which the Marcos regime followed faithfully, the foreign debt of the Philippines ballooned. The foreign trade deficit also widened. Many small Filipino-owned companies were put in dire straits. The imperialists were able to rake in even bigger profits. Imperialist control of the Philippine economy and government became even tighter.
The Marcos regime continued to campaign for the ratification of the Japan-RP Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation. The Marcos regime further stimulated the entry of Japanese imperialism into the Philippines and trade with Japan.
Marcos declared boastfully that the scope of land reform included many municipalities, especially in Central Luzon. But he did not undertake any meaningful steps to substantiate his boastful claims.
In a counterrevolutionary desire to contain the resurgence of the revolutionary armed struggle and mass movement, the Marcos regime violently suppressed and attacked the people. With the help of US imperialism, it promoted militarization and formed counterinsurgency units extensively. In 1971, the Marcos clique suspended the writ of habeas corpus in order to abuse the people more freely. And on September 21, 1972, it formally declared martial law.
Martial rule exposed the terrorist rule serving the interests of US imperialism, the comprador-big bourgeoisie and the big landlord class. The fascist armed forces sowed terror and cruelly suppressed the rights of the people in order to save the collapsing semi-colonial and semi-feudal system. The US-Marcos dictatorship was a desperate attempt to suppress the rapidly strengthening revolutionary movement.
Together with the intensification of fascism, the exploitation of the foreign imperialists, comprador-big bourgeois and the big landlords further intensified. Marcos, his relatives and his cronies led in benefiting from martial rule.
The US-Marcos dictatorship changed the 1935 Constitution in order to legalize the unbridled authoritarian rule of the Marcos clique. It further strengthened US imperialist control over the Philippines. Hundreds of decrees and orders in various programs were ratified in order to provide the foreign monopoly capitalists even bigger privileges and superprofits. Workers' rights were severely repressed. Wage increases were held back in order to allow the imperialists to siphon off even greater superprofits.
Colonial trade was further stimulated. The imperialists shamelessly used this in order to plunder. With each passing year, exports would increase at decreasing prices, while imports would increase at increasing prices.
The Philippines sank deeper in foreign debt as a result of the squandering of the military regime and the rapid depletion of dollar reserves. Foreign banks repeatedly imposed increasingly stiffer conditions for lending to the Marcos regime.
As a powerful dictator, Marcos arbitrarily ratified the Japan-RP Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation. Japanese products flooded the country, and Japanese companies were set up one after another. After a while, Japan's share of Philippine foreign trade grew even larger. Today, the Japanese are active in various industries and businesses in the Philippines.
The fascist regime entered into new negotiations on the US military bases in order to prolong their stay in the Philippines even further. The bases' stay was ostensibly shortened, but re-negotiations were opened. The negotiations were used to facilitate further the interference of US imperialism in national affairs with the active acquiescence of the Marcos dictatorship.
The Marcos dictatorship came out with a new land reform law (PD 27) in order to placate the peasant masses. But this new law only increased the price of land. There was not a single poor peasant who had come to own a piece of land under this law.
Under military rule, the life of the peasant masses became more subjugated. They became the principal victims of fascist abuses. The big landlords, the trader-usurers and big bureaucrat capitalists intensified their efforts to squeeze out more from them. Many peasants lost the lands they owned or tilled, as a result of fascist military operations; usurpation by big landlords; expansion of plantations; and. the construction of roads, bridges, piers, airports and dams.
Meanwhile, the fascist dictatorship continued to deceive the people. The dictatorship controlled the newspapers, radio, television and movies in order to propagate the doctrine of the "new society." Sham elections, referenda and plebiscites were held in order to rubberstamp the "approval" of the people for its orders and schemes.
Instead of being able to check the worsening crisis of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, the policies and schemes of the US-Marcos regime intensified the crisis even more. The crisis even made the ground more fertile for the advance of the revolution. As a result of said policies, the economic crisis worsened and brought about extreme poverty and suffering for the people. This crisis was made worse because of declining export earnings, excessive borrowing, and the Marcos clique's orgy of bureaucratic corruption and plunder of the government treasury.
Under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the revolutionary armed struggle and the broad legal democratic movement advanced continuously. The fascist dictatorship was effectively exposed, isolated and dealt emphatic blows.
The fascist troops of the dictatorship carried out widespread brutal abuses and atrocities. The dictatorship murdered Benigno Aquino on August 21, 1983 in order to eliminate the principal rival to its rule.
The people's resistance to the dictatorship further intensified. The rift between the dictatorship and other factions of the local reactionary classes grew sharper.
The interests of the US and the entire ruling system was placed in jeopardy as a result of the extreme isolation of the Marcos clique, the strong revulsion of the people against it, and the strengthening of their revolutionary resistance. The US took advantage of the broad protests of the people after the 1986 snap election in order to replace their puppet.
The US pushed the Ramos-Enrile-RAM faction within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in order to revolt against the Marcos clique. The Catholic Church and the big businessmen supported this. This resulted in the popular EDSA uprising in February 1986.
The Marcos regime fell from power, but the crisis of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal society remained unresolved.
g. The Aquino Regime
Corazon Aquino ran against Marcos during the "snap" election. She was thus the one who assumed the presidency after the dictator was removed from power. Like all the other puppet presidents before her, US imperialism favored Aquino, because she was the one who could most effectively deceive the people while violently maintaining the ruling system. Under the puppet Aquino regime, the crisis in society only worsened.
Aquino continued and ratified the policies which gave US imperialism and other foreigners the privilege to continue to plunder the country and acquire even greater superprofits. The short-term influx of foreign capital did not help the economy recover. Instead, the Aquino regime even had to beg for additional loans in exchange for more stringent conditions which furthered the people's suffering. From US $26 billion in 1986, the foreign debt of the Philippines ballooned to US $ 30 billion in 1992.
In order to show that it was truly democratic, the Aquino regime ostensibly carried out steps to dismantle the structure of the previous military regime. It implemented cosmetic reforms which highlighted the return of formal bourgeois-democratic processes and institutions, such as elections and Congress. The basic character of said processes and institutions as mechanisms for selecting which group of reactionaries would rule the country, however, did not change.
Together with its deception, the Aquino regime further intensified the fascist attacks on the people, especially the masses of workers and peasants. The fascist laws which suppressed the democratic rights of the toiling masses were maintained.
The Aquino regime enacted the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP which only tightened the hold of big landlords on extensive agricultural lands. Because of so many loopholes and exemptions favorable to the landlords, of high land prices and of a lack of funds to carry out the sham land reform, the right of the peasant masses to own their own land was only further denied to them.
The Herrera Bill (RA 6715) was made into law in order to trample further on the rights of workers to join unions and to strike. Included among its repressive provisions are the following:
- extending the duration of CBA from three to five years and to illegalize strikes during the life of the CBA;
- curtailing the right of workers to strike by means of voluntary arbitration, labor management council and the assumption of jurisdiction, which are mere instruments for putting in the hands of pro-capitalist agents to power to stop strikes.
The Aquino regime pretended to be interested in pursuing peace talks with the NDFP, but it refused to address the roots of the armed conflict. Instead, it used the negotiations as part of its preparations for unleashing "total war" against the revolutionary movement.
After the failure of its "peace talks" in January 1987, Aquino launched its "total war."
Under its "total war" policy, the reactionary army and police launched campaigns and military operations which were bigger, more widespread, fiercer, more destructive and more prolonged than those waged by the fascist Marcos regime. These were unsuccessful in crushing the revolutionary forces, but they brought intense damage and suffering to the people.
Aquino actively maneuvered and campaigned for the retention of the US military bases. This was emphatically opposed by the people who firmly stood for national sovereignty. Consequently, the Senate was pushed to junk the proposed treaty to extend the stay of the US military bases in the Philippines.
The Aquino regime was characterized by successive coup attempts. Aquino restored the bourgeois-democratic institutions and processes in order to widen once more the field for those who seek to reap the benefits of bourgeois rule. But it failed to stop the violent power struggle between contending factions of the ruling classes. The basis for accommodation on the part of the ruling classes continued to narrow down because of the continued worsening of the economic crisis.
But US imperialism made good in expressing its open approval for the Aquino regime. It became decisive in maintaining Aquino in power.
f. The Ramos Regime
General Fidel Ramos won the election as president of the Philippines in the election of 1992. The complete support of the US and the use of funds and resources of the reactionary government became decisive in his victory. Nevertheless, he only garnered twenty-three and a half (23.5%) percent of the total votes.
Ramos inherited the accumulated problems of the ruling system. In order to safeguard the interests of US imperialism and the local ruling classes, Ramos employed the whole arsenal of weapons under his command in his counterrevolutionary strategy and tactics. But the internal and external resources that he could muster in pursuing the counterrevolution were considerably less than those at the disposal of Marcos and Aquino.
The ruling clique of General Ramos was a bureaucratic-comprador-big bourgeois-big landlord faction that was just as greedy as the previous ruling cliques of Marcos and Aquino. Ramos is a tried and true puppet of US imperialism. He is an out-and-out anti-communist and militarist. As chief of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) during the Marcos regime, he was one of those who principally planned and implemented martial law. As Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and afterwards, as Secretary of the Department of National Defense during Aquino's time, he was the main architect and implementer of "total war."
Ramos signed the executive agreement between the US and the Philippines in relation to Access and Cross Servicing which returned the presence of military forces, US war equipment and facilities to the Philippines under the guise of "cross-servicing," shortly after the Filipino people repudiated and the Senate rejected the US-RP Military Bases Agreement in 1991. Under this agreement, the military access of the US in the Philippines could cover any part of the country that US Pacific Command may need to go to.
The Ramos regime launched the "Philippines 2000," a grandiose program to make the Philippines, as they say, "a newly industrialized country," at the end of the century. Its realization was contingent on the shameless submission to the dictates of US imperialism, and a further opening up of the country to the plunder of foreigners.
Like Marcos and Aquino before him, Ramos pinned the hopes of recovery of the Philippines from the intense economic crisis on foreign capitalization and further borrowing. Towards this end, he shamelessly followed the wishes of the imperialists, particularly the US and Japan. The Ramos regime carried out both of these policies which drained the country's treasury and further worsened the problems of the ruling system.
To encourage foreign capital, the Ramos regime gave more tax exemptions, guarantees for superprofits and freer repatriation from the country. In addition, it further pushed the liberalization of foreign trade.
The regime hastily approved the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the country's membership into the World Trade Organization (WTO). This is in accordance with the strategic plan of the powerful imperialist countries to tighten further their economic domination of smaller countries in the name of "free trade." This agreement guarantees that the Philippine economy remains backward and always subservient to the interests of the imperialists.
The Ramos regime further intensified and widened its anti-labor policies, from the anti-labor law, such as the RA 6715 (formerly the Herrera Bill) which curtails the workers' rights to unionize and to strike, up to the newly proposed Omnibus Amendment to the Labor Code which contains provisions guaranteeing even cheaper labor-power, such as:
- lengthening the apprenticeship period,
- legalizing labor contractualization or labor-only contracting,
- giving the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) the power to suspend the implementation of labor standards in places declared as "calamity areas,"
- and others.
Special economic zones or export processing zones for the benefit of foreign capitalists were further increased and expanded. In these places, the government has given the foreign capitalists "no union and no strike" guarantees. The state has also employed various instruments in order to maintain low wages and to break up strikes and unions.
Workers have been divided up by means of coddling new yellow workers' organizations, such as the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) led by Filemon Lagman (a counterrevolutionary traitor repudiated by the Party and the revolutionary movement). The BMP is a collaborator in the Social Accord, an agreement which included the Ramos regime, yellow labor unions, and organizations of the comprador-big bourgeoisie. This accord was signed in June 1993 in order to support the programs and policies of the regime on trade liberalization, cheap labor-power, Philippines 2000 and other similar policies.
The US-Ramos regime surpassed both the US-Marcos regime and Aquino in being anti-labor. The Ramos regime did not even pretend to show any interest in carrying out the CARL which was already watered down many times over. Instead, its economic policies further worsened the land problem of the peasants. It gave foreign individuals and corporations the right to lease lands for up to seventy-five (75) years. The establishment of "industrial estates" and facilities for tourism encouraged intense speculation and landgrabbing.
To conceal his anti-democratic policies and deceive the peasant masses, the regime set up Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs). In reality, the ARCs served to propagate planting for export, avoidance of land reform, and the perpetuation of a wage system favorable to landlords, and for counterinsurgency purposes.
The violent suppression and attack on the revolutionary movement was an important component of "Philippines 2000." The Ramos regime further intensified the "total war."
It increased the budget of the puppet army and launched the most vicious forms of violence in order to destroy the mass bases of the armed revolution in the countryside and to run after the Communist Party and the people's army. At the same time, it carried out psy-war schemes in order to deceive the people, sow intrigues among the revolutionary forces and coax them into surrendering.
The Ramos regime repealed the Anti-Subversion Law (RA 1700) and made the Communist Party "legal." This move was aimed at inducing the revolutionaries into surfacing and drawing them into parliamentary struggle. However, other repressive laws were retained, such as the following:
- a law that allows arrest without warrant;
- a law that allows the setting up of checkpoints and searches without warrant;
- a law that gives the fascist troops the power to impose food blockades during their counterinsurgency operations;
- and many others.
The Ramos regime planned anti-people laws that were even more repressive than RA 1700. Included among them were the Anti-Terrorism Bill (open surveillance of private communications and monitoring of bank deposits, illegalization of "terrorist" organizations supposedly to fight their use of violence or threat to use violence to advance their political aims), and the National Reference Card System (that would establish a system of identification which, in reality, would be a system for monitoring all the residents of the Philippines with the age of fifteen on up), and others.
Ramos surpassed the Aquino regime in pretending to be for peace. He dressed up for peace in order to cover up his brutal campaigns of suppression against the revolutionary movement and the people. It was also the aim of the Ramos regime to spread confusion within the revolutionary ranks and to instigate divisions and capitulation.
Ramos actively employed the services of opportunist traitors such as Filemon Lagman, Arturo Tabara, Ricardo Reyes, Joel Rocamora, Romulo Kintanar and their collaborators against the Communist Party and the revolutionary movement. They were the helpers of the Ramos regime in attacking the revolutionary movement and in spreading capitulationism, reformism and liquidationism. They supported the counterrevolutionary ideological offensive and propaganda of imperialism in the whole world.
In the midst of the worsening exploitation and oppression, the people continue to fight. The revolutionary forces continue to persevere in the protracted people's war under the leadership of the Communist Party, The boast of the AFP that it has already defeated the revolutionary movement continues to be refuted by the growing military budget and the continued deployment of the reactionary army in the countryside.
Before he served out his term, Ramos was planning to perpetuate himself in power beyond 1998. Ever since he became president, he actively and shamelessly began to strengthen his own clique. At the same time, he took steps to neutralize and weaken his reactionary rivals in power in a condition where the space for accommodation between them is shrinking. Before the end of his term, he was maneuvering to amend the Constitution and transform the presidential form into a parliamentary system of government. Together with his psy-war schemes, these moves were paving the way for an undisguised monopoly of power by the Ramos clique.
4. Under the puppet republic, how can the Filipino people continue the struggle for national freedom and democracy?
The granting of fake independence and the establishment of a puppet republic on July 4, 1946 did not stop the struggle for genuine freedom and democracy. From 1946 to 1955, the most meaningful revolutionary struggle of the people was under the leadership of the Communist Party.
The organizations of the workers and the peasants were formed once again and expanded. They waged many strikes and other struggles against the foreign and local exploiters. In many instances, the workers and the peasants were directly helping one another in struggle.
Together with nationalist professionals, intellectuals and well-known personalities, they vigorously campaigned against the unequal agreements being imposed by US imperialism. They also fought against corruption, against the suppression of the people by bureaucrat capitalists, and against the abuses of landlords.
When the US imperialists returned in 1945, the counterrevolutionary revisionist agents of the bourgeoisie, the Lavas and Tarucs, maneuvered to steer the Party towards the erroneous road of parliamentary struggle, and allowed US imperialism and feudalism to retrieve the places where the workers and peasants had already attained some meaningful democratic victories.
The abandonment of armed struggle, and falling into the trap of parliamentarism and reformism, and many other erroneous policies of the Lavas and Tarucs, brought about so much damage. Many cadres and members of the Party, Red fighters and people were killed and captured by the soldiers and hired bullies of the ruling classes. The revolutionary movement was not able to thwart the schemes of the enemy effectively.
Even if the Lavas and Tarucs secretly opposed armed struggle, the masses spontaneously put up defense against enemy aggression. In 1948, the cadres and members of the Party and the revolutionary movement firmly put forward the launching of armed struggle. And in the following year, armed struggle spread throughout Central Luzon and to parts of Southern Luzon.
Despite the heroism of the cadres and members of the Party, the fighters of the people's army and the revolutionary masses, the armed struggle failed. This was the result of the policies of the Lava leadership to seize power quickly within two years. Armed struggle was intensified beyond the capacity of the Party, people's army and the mass movement. Luis Taruc continued to sabotage the armed struggle through his capitulationist thinking, and his request for amnesty from the enemy and his surrender in 1954.
In 1955, Jesus Lava implemented the policy to stop the armed struggle. He disbanded all the units under his influence, and hid in the city until 1964 when he surrendered to the Macapagal regime.
There were units of the people's army that persisted in revolutionary struggle in Central Luzon. But because of the absence of correct leadership of the Party, a large part of them were eventually dominated by Pedro Taruc and Sumulong. They were used to extort, terrorize and steal from the masses.
The revolutionary mass movement was sabotaged because the counterrevolutionary revisionist line of the Lavas and Tarucs dominated for a long time within the old Communist Party. The old Communist Party not only failed to seize political power, but it also failed to save itself in order to continue the revolutionary armed struggle.
During the latter part of the 'Fifties and the early part of the 'Sixties, the national bourgeoisie under the leadership of Recto became active. They waged propaganda against US imperialist control of the Philippines.
In 1961, the resurgence of the revolutionary mass movement began. This was signaled by the demonstrations of the youth against the Committee on Anti-Filipino Activities (CAFA) of the puppet Congress. The CAFA attempted to use the Anti-Subversion Law in order to prevent students, teachers and the people from expressing their nationalist and democratic aspirations.
In succeeding years, the revolutionary mass movement advanced in the cities. Nationalist propaganda became widespread. Demonstrations participated in by workers, peasants, students and other freedom-loving people continued to grow larger. In 1964, the Kabataang Makabayan (KM — Patriotic Youth) was established. It played an important role in advancing the struggle for national freedom and democracy.
Among the ranks of those upholding Marxism-Leninism, there began a review of the history of the Communist Party and a criticism of the errors of the Lavas and Tarucs.
Under the Marcos regime, the revolutionary movement grew stronger and expanded further. Thousands of workers, peasants and students participated in successive demonstrations against:
- the participation of the Philippines in the US aggression in Indochina.
- US monopoly control of the country's economy,
- the perpetuation of US military bases and the abuses happening in them, and
- the tightening control of US imperialism over the educational system in the Philippines.
On December 26, 1968, the old and new proletarian revolutionaries re-established the Communist Party of the Philippines under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. It was born out of the first great rectification movement that was waged one year before the re-establishment of the Party which thoroughly criticized and repudiated the line of the Lavas and Tarucs. The correct line of advancing the people's democratic revolution through protracted people's war was clarified.
In succeeding years, the revolutionary mass movement grew strong and spread throughout the entire archipelago. Various mass organizations of the workers, youth, teachers, and other middle forces were set up. On March 29, 1969, the Party established the New People's Army (NPA) and reinvigorated the revolutionary armed struggle.
Under the leadership of the Party, the designs of the Marcos regime and US imperialism to suppress the revolutionary movement were frustrated. In the countryside, the armed struggle continued to spread wide, and the people's army continued to grow stronger even when the Marcos regime set up various task forces and "counterinsurgency" units. In the cities, the revolutionary mass movement continued to flourish and grow strong in the face of the brutal assault of the Marcos regime and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.
When the Marcos regime responded to the growing revolutionary movement by imposing martial rule, the armed resistance of the people only grew more widespread.
However, the sicknesses of military adventurism and urban insurrectionism emerged within the Party. The damage brought about by these errors began to be exposed in the second half of the 'Eighties, together with the gradual exposure of the most ardent upholders of these lines, the likes of Filemon Lagman, Ricardo Reyes, Arturo Tabara and Romulo Kintanar. In December 1988, the true proletarian revolutionary cadres began the rectification of these errors within the Party, until it became thoroughgoing, all-sided and involved the entire Party and revolutionary movement. This was the second great rectification movement.
The Party successfully repudiated the counterrevolutionary traitors, renounced the most repugnant forms of deviations and errors. The Party is now much more consolidated in ideology, politics and organization. It is persevering on the correct path of people's democratic revolution through protracted people's war.
US Imperialism, Feudalism and Bureaucrat Capitalism Are the Roots of the Suffering of the Filipino People
The Philippines is controlled by US imperialism. The local ruling classes — the comprador-big bourgeoisie and the big landlord class — are in collusion with it. They represent the three ills which plague Philippine society: US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
US imperialism is the main benefactor and principal decisive force which upholds the present ruling system in the Philippines.
1. What is imperialism?
Imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism, the last stage of capitalism. This emerged after the monopoly capitalists took control of the economy, politics and culture of the most advanced countries.
Before the emergence of imperialism, the capitalists in the advanced countries were competing freely in investments, production, trade and the use of loans. In the era of imperialism, the capital of industry and banks are concentrated in the hands of a few big capitalists. In this manner, they are able to control entire industries, and they are able to dictate the size of production, pricing and borrowing.
They control the market, the sources of raw materials, modern technology and skilled labor. Even the fate of small capitalists is decisively influenced by them.
Examples of monopoly capitalists in the US are Rockefeller and Getty who are powerful in the oil industry, the Morgan group in banking, the Ford and Du Pont groups in automobile manufacturing.
The US is the biggest imperialist power in the whole world at the present time. Japan, Germany, France and Britain are also imperialist countries.
2. Why is the subjugation and control of backward countries a feature of imperialism?
The imperialist countries need colonies and semi-colonies. The latter countries are the sources of raw materials, the dumping grounds for the finished goods of the imperialist countries, and the places where they bring their excess capital. From their investments, trade and loans to backward countries, the imperialists derive their superprofits. Without the colonies and semi-colonies, the imperialist countries cannot maintain the rapid expansion of production and trade and the accumulation of superprofits from their investments. If they are unable to maintain these, they will lose out to other imperialist countries and their businesses will collapse.
Therefore, in the era of imperialism, the imperialist countries divide up the world. The extent of the territorial scope of each imperialist power is based on economic and military strength.
US imperialism has the most extensive jurisdiction over the entire world. It controls Latin America, many countries in Africa and Asia, such as Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and the Philippines. US imperialist domination even includes some weaker imperialist countries. Germany, Japan, Britain and France, on the other hand, have their respective territories in Africa and Asia.
Before the Soviet Union collapsed completely in 1991, it also acted as an imperialist power. It subjugated and exploited Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and others.
3. Why does imperialism mean war?
War and military build-up are synonymous with imperialism. It is linked to the imperialist defense and advancement of their own interests and the economy of their own country, their colonies and semi-colonies, and the whole world.
An imperialist country engages in war and in the preparations for war with other imperialist countries. Its aim is to defend the extent of its rule and to seize new territories. Two world wars have already taken place because of the scramble over territories of the imperialist countries.
The imperialists use military strength to dominate the people of the colonies and semi-colonies, and to suppress the people's revolutionary movements and struggles. To increase their colonies and semi-colonies, the imperialists principally use wars of aggression.
In order to defend and consolidate their rule in their own country, the imperialists subdue the revolutionary movements and struggles of the people, especially the working class.
The manufacture and sale of arms and war equipment is a big business for the imperialists. For example, from 1950-1979, the US earned $22.5 billion in the sale of tanks, missiles, cannons, ships, airplanes, jets, helicopters and others.
4. Are the peoples of the imperialist countries enemies of the Filipino people?
No. The people of the imperialist countries are exploited and oppressed by the monopoly capitalists and their representatives in government and the military. The majority among them are workers.
Their condition and the condition of the Filipino people are similar under the rule of imperialism. Because they have one enemy, they must link arms to overthrow imperialism in the whole world.
5. How does US imperialism control the Philippines?
The Philippines has been under the control of US imperialism for over one hundred (100) years. From 1900-1946, the country was under direct colonial rule, and from 1946 to the present, under indirect or semi-colonial rule.
This can be seen:
a. In the field of economy
- The monopoly capitalists of the US control the strategic industries of the Philippines, such as the oil industry, banking and finance, communications, transportation and mines. In this manner, they are able to control the economy effectively.
The oil industry is an example. They control a large portion of transporting oil from other countries, oil refining, the sale of gasoline and other petroleum products, as well as the oil exploration and mining in our own country. Over ninety (90%) percent of all the energy needs of the Philippines comes from oil. In this manner, they control the running of industry of the Philippines. Thus, the large profits of the foreign oil monopolies are an important factor in the rapid increase of prices of commodities.
The US monopoly capitalists and their local subsidiaries control oil, tires and rubber, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, mining, heavy machinery, transportation, communications, transport vehicles, banks, and others. The US imperialists control the important needs of Filipinos from cradle to grave.
- Continued dependence of the Philippines on export and import. Over a long period of time, US imperialism shaped the country's economy to continue to depend on the export of raw materials and to import finished goods. Essentially, this economic structure persists to this day.
The foreign trade of the country has long been centered on the US. In recent years, Japan has also become an important trading partner. Because of this situation, these two countries have been able to have a decisive influence over how the Philippine economy is run. These countries have been able to manipulate the price and quantity of the raw materials they buy and the price and quantity of the goods they sell to the Philippines.
- Pegging the Philippine peso to the US dollar. This is the result of the dependence of the country's economy on US trade. This is another tool of US imperialism to control the economy of the Philippines.
- Saddling the Philippines in foreign debt. Because the Philippines is always short of dollar earnings from export, it needs to take out big loans from the foreigners. Without them, it cannot pay for the imports needed to run the entire economy, to strengthen the reactionary armed forces and to develop the various government projects. There are also not enough dollars to pay back the obligations of the Philippines to other countries.
All the loans of the Philippines have heavy conditions attached to them. Thus, the economy is sinking deeper and deeper into debt.
b. In the field of politics
- US imperialism controls the puppet government and the reactionary armed forces of the Philippines.
US imperialism ultimately determines who wields power in the reactionary government. To accomplish this, US imperialism uses its power in the country's economy, its control of mass media inside and outside the country, and its power and control of the reactionary armed forces of the Philippines.
The puppet armed forces rely heavily on aid in arms, war equipment and training from US imperialism. There are also American military advisers in the important departments of the reactionary army. These advisers have a direct hand in the strategic planning and intelligence of the reactionary army.
- Continued stationing of US troops and war equipment in the Philippines under the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), and the US-RP Military Assistance Agreement (MAA).
US imperialism used to have over twenty (20) military bases in the Philippines.
The largest of them were Clark Air Base in Angeles, Pampanga and Subic Naval Base in Olongapo, Zambales. These bases were used to attack the people of Asia and to defend the interests of US imperialism in the country and neighboring countries.
In these bases, US troops behaved like royalty and were not covered by Philippine laws. On the other hand, Filipinos who worked there were treated like slaves.
Other Filipino were forbidden to come near or to enter the bases, even if they are the ones who should benefit from them.
In 1991, the new treaty that would have extended the stay of the bases was not approved. Thus, all the US military bases and installations in the Philippines were dismantled.
Nevertheless, the US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and the US-RP Mutual Assistance Agreement (MAA) remained in effect. Under the first, the US may still use Subic and Cubi in the name of "cooperative operations." Under the second, JUSMAG remains as the principal military trainer of the reactionary armed forces, and the agreements for arms and war equipment sales and assistance remain as well.
Under the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), foreign military forces may enter any part of the Philippines. The US-Ramos regime carried this out by means of an executive agreement in order to avoid having to secure the formal approval of the Philippine Senate.
The US continues to encourage the growing role of Japanese imperialism in helping the US maintain its domination over the Philippines. But the competition between the US and Japan also continues to intensify.
c. In the field of culture
Imperialist culture is widespread in the Philippines. Ideas which glorify and encourage subservience to US imperialism are propagated in the country. These ideas rationalize the continued imperialist control and exploitation of the Filipino people. They support the aggression and intervention of US imperialism in other countries. Meanwhile, they forcibly kill the nationalist and anti-imperialist thinking of the Filipinos.
In order to propagate the imperialist culture, the use of English is supported in schools, business and in government. Schools are used extensively by means of controlling the curricula and the books. Movies, newspapers, television, literature and the arts are important tools used.
d. In the field of foreign relations
- From 1946, the puppet government has supported the schemes of US imperialism in the whole world. Examples of this are the establishment of the Zionist state of Israel; the anti-China campaign; wars of aggression in Korea, Indochina and Iraq; campaign to legitimize "Malaysia"; and the revival of Japanese militarism.
- The puppet government sent Filipino troops to Korea in the 'fifties, to Vietnam in the 'sixties and 'seventies, to the Middle East and Kampuchea (Cambodia) in the 'nineties. It seeks to make the world free for the big business of US imperialism.
- The puppet government tails the position of US imperialism in the ratification campaign of the GATT/WTO, the formation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other international issues.
US imperialism dictates the foreign policy of the puppet government. A basic feature of this policy is subservience to the policies and programs of US imperialism in world affairs. In international gatherings, the representatives of the puppet government are like parrots who echo and support the stand and outlook of the US government.
6. How does US imperialism exploit the Filipino people?
US imperialism recklessly exploits the Filipino people. It extracts heaps and heaps of profit from the blood and sweat of the people.
US imperialism uses three principal means of squeezing profits from and exploiting the Filipino people: colonial trade, direct investments, and loans.
a. Colonial trade
US imperialism buys Philippine exports at extremely low prices and sell products to the Philippines at extremely high prices. In this trade, the Philippines is always at a disadvantage, while heaps and heaps of profit go to the imperialists. The imperialists are also able to use this to remit additional profits secretly.
Because of their control over the goods and the market, the monopoly capitalists are able to dictate the prices of the products. They raise or lower the prices to derive the greatest benefit. This is the reason, for example, for the price fluctuations of coconut products, which are one of the principal sources of dollar earnings of the Philippines.
Another mechanism of the imperialists is transfer pricing in order to extract additional superprofits. The declared value of the machinery, raw materials, transportation and implements supplied to the local subsidiaries of the imperialist companies are intentionally inflated. For example, Caltex Philippines raises the listed value of the crude, transportation and distribution costs, raw materials (chemical, etc.) and the maintenance costs of the machinery supplied by the central company from the US.
Because the Philippines is always at a disadvantage in trade with the foreigners, it is constantly in foreign trade deficit. The import costs always outstrip the export earnings. The annual foreign trade deficit of the Philippines increased from US $147.1 million in 1955, reached US $301.9 million in 1968, US $1.45 billion in 1979, US $6.1 billion in 1993 and US $7.0 billion in 1994. To cover them, the Philippines borrows from foreign banks and the private sector within the country.
b. Direct investments
US monopoly capitalists establish subsidiaries or branches of their corporations in the Philippines, or become partners with the comprador-big bourgeoisie.
In this manner, they are able to minimize their production costs, maximize their profits, and further tighten their control of the economy. They take advantage of the country's cheap labor-power. The puppet government even gives them various tax exemptions and business incentives. They are able to save in freight costs from the products they sell to the Philippines and neighboring countries.
In the steel industry, for example, the average wage of an American worker is over thirty-five (35) times bigger than the wage of a Filipino worker.
Every year, US companies remit gigantic profits. The US Embassy in the Philippines itself is saying that for every US dollar invested in the Philippines, four dollars are remitted. Certainly, they remit much more than that in reality.
Moreover, the US monopoly capitalists borrow extensively from local banks to expand their businesses more rapidly. For every US dollar brought into the Philippines by US capitalists, they borrow US $8.33 from local banks and financial institutions.
According to the Central Bank of the Philippines, US $2.56 billion worth of foreign capital entered the Philippines from 1970-87. During the same period, US $3.75 billion worth of capital left the country. There is thus a net outflow of capital worth US $1.19 billion.
US imperialism deliberately saddles the Philippines with debts. From its loans to the Philippines, it is able to profit handsomely from high interest rates, and to dictate conditions which make it easier to plunder and tighten further its control over the country.
Included among these loans are those earmarked for projects directly benefiting imperialist enterprises.
At the end of 1995, the foreign debt of the Philippines reached over US $40 billion. Meaning to say, every Filipino is indebted to the foreigners reaching over P25,000.
This continues to increase even more. In 1972, the foreign debt of the Philippines was only US $2 billion.
Every huge loan incurred by the Philippines from the foreigners has heavy, one-sided conditions attached to it. Examples of these conditions are the following:
- lowering the value of the Philippine peso;
- import liberalization;
- loosening up restrictions to foreign investors;
- rapid increases in taxes, the prices of electricity and water; and
- keeping wages low.
In recent times, the condition of deregulating the economy has been added as well. This is the removal of government interference and capitalization in the economy. Included here is the removal of agricultural support or subsidies, and the privatization of government corporations. Aside from these, labor policies are made flexible. Unions are prohibited, the number of contractual workers is enlarged, and the minimum wage standard is no longer made effective.
1. What is feudalism?
Feudalism is the system of production where the main forces of production are the peasantry and the land they till. The basic character of the relations of production is the intense oppression and exploitation by the landlord class of the peasant masses. In the feudal system, the landlords make the peasant masses till the large tracts of land that they own. The landlords make the peasants pay extremely high land rent.
2. What are the indicators of the existence of feudalism in the Philippines?
Feudalism has existed in the Philippines for over four centuries. The indicators of the existence of feudalism in the Philippines are the following:
a. Ownership and control or monopoly by certain landlords of huge tracts of land and the lack or absence of land among the peasant masses
In 1968, less than 10,800 were listed as big landlords. They owned between 50 to more than 1,000 hectares. They controlled some three million (3,000,000) hectares of land. This was a little less than half (50%) of all measured agricultural lands in the Philippines.
Here is the breakdown based on the extent of land ownership:
|SIZE OF LAND (in hectares)||NUMBER OF LANDLORDS|
|50 - 199||8,914|
|200 - 499||1,228|
|500 - 1,000||417|
Aside from these, there are more landlords who own forty-nine (49) hectares and less. In the rice and corn lands, for example, almost all the landlords own less than 50 hectares of land. Meanwhile, more than one million five hundred thousand (1,500,000) hectares of rice and corn lands are owned by landlords.
In the fake land reforms of the Aquino and Ramos regimes, 10.3 million hectares of agricultural land from a total of 13.3 million hectares of agricultural land were declared to be covered by land reform. From this, we can see that the grave problem of landlord control of agricultural lands persists.
As a result of this maldistribution of agricultural land, the phenomenon of peasants owning little or no land at all is widespread.
In 1985, forty (40%) percent of the total number of peasants were tenants. Aside from this, thirty (30%) percent of peasants were tilling public lands without title. The remaining thirty (30%) percent were tilling their own small parcels of land. Meaning to say, for every ten peasants, four of them were tenants; and for every ten peasants, seven of them did not own their own land.
In rice and corn lands, there is a greater number of landlords who own less than fifty (50) hectares each. But the overall area covered by them is fairly extensive. Usually, these lands are divided into smaller parcels of land and leased to peasants. Here, the percentage of peasants involved in tenancy reaches sixty to seventy-five (60-75%) percent.
If we count the rural workers who wish to till land, the percentage reaches eighty-five (85%) percent of the total labor force in agriculture do not own their own land. According even to the reactionary government, eighty (80%) percent of the agricultural land is owned by only twenty (20%) percent of the population. In August 1992, President Ramos himself admitted that, "five and a half (5.5%) percent of landlords own forty-four (44%) percent of all farming lands." These graphically illustrate the gravity of the land problem of the toiling masses in agriculture.
b. Widespread feudal exploitation
Feudal relations of production, such as land rent, usury, and servitude of the peasant masses remain widespread.
Land rent is extracted from the peasant masses in the form of sharing in the harvest or taxation. From fifty to eighty (50-80%) percent of the harvest goes to the landlords. Only a small portion of the harvest remains with the peasants. Because the portion of the harvest that is left them is not enough, the peasants are forced to borrow from usurers who are usually landlords themselves.
One hundred (100%) percent or more per harvest is frequently the lending interest rate. In one year, it reaches up to three hundred (300%) percent.
The landlords force the peasants into servitude, or make them work for free, or ask them to pay tribute. The tenants and their families are called at any time to do anything that the landlords order them to do.
In places where land is scarce, more peasants compete for tenancy and working the land. Thus, even if the land of the landlords is smaller than usual, oftentimes, feudal exploitation is more intense.
c. Backward and small-scale farming in a large part of the countryside
In a large part of the countryside, small and backward farming is widespread. In many places, there is no irrigation and the peasants rely only on rain for farming. Usually, the plow and the carabao are the only implements for tilling the land, and in some places, they do not even use a plow. The use of fertilizers and pesticides is not widespread. The annual harvest is small.
Farms are relatively small in the Philippines. In 1980, 2.8 hectares was the usual size of all kinds of farms. This decreased from 3.6 hectares in 1970. This continues to decrease. Over seventy (70%) percent of all rice fields are smaller than two hectares.
Landlords are not interested in developing the means of farming. They derive a large part of the harvest even without developing production. With the extent of their land holdings and size of land rent or share of the harvest, their benefits are far in excess in order to support their luxurious living.
3. How do the peasants suffer under the perpetuation of feudalism in the broad countryside?
With the perpetuation of feudalism, the peasant masses are intensely exploited through various feudal and semi-feudal forms of exploitation. Included among these forms are the following:
a. Extraction of high land rent
In many more places, landlords brag of a 50-50 sharing of the harvest with their tenants. In this sharing arrangement, the landlords pass on to the tenants the costs of farming. Therefore, what emerges as the real sharing is 60-40 up to 80-20 in favor of the landlords.
If ever the landlords shoulder the farming costs, they raise these costs in order to increase their share of the harvest.
Meanwhile, in a taxation system, the set rate of land rent is twenty-five (25%) percent of the average annual harvest. The tenant is obligated to pay no matter how large his harvest is, whether or not his crop was hit by a typhoon or by pestilence. And the landlord even cheats in the computation of the average annual harvest.
b. Usury or lending at extremely high interest rates
Landlords use this in order to further increase their share of the harvest, and to foreclose on the lands of land-owning peasants. From one hundred up to one hundred fifty (100-150%) percent per harvest is the usual interest charged to the borrowers of money or grain among the peasants.
Usury is synonymous with feudalism. Because of the intense exploitation of the peasant masses and their extreme want, they are always in straits. In order to address the shortage of food or big necessities in times of difficulties, the peasants are forced to borrow from usurers even at extremely high interest rates. Oftentimes, they have no way of repaying other than parting with a greater part of their share in the harvest or the small parcel of land that they own.
c. Extremely low wages
Many of the peasants work for others in order to supplement their small share of the harvest. Aside from farming the small parcel of land they occupy, they plant, harvest, join up in fishing bancas, and enter into all sorts of odd jobs. For wages, they receive little value or a small portion of the harvest in exchange for a day of back-breaking work. Usually, the landlords and rich peasants employ their services.
Many of the seasonal rural workers in the sugar cane haciendas and plantations of foreign agricultural corporations, such as those in pineapples, are also peasants. They experience being paid extremely low wages and are victims of usury.
d. Servitude and tribute
At any time, landlords call upon their tenants or their wives or children and order them to perform various duties. Usually, they are made to clean house or yard and work in the kitchen, especially in preparation for a social gathering. Aside from this, landlords often ask for chickens, fruits and other "offerings" from the peasant masses. The peasants are obliged to obey. If not, they run the danger of being ejected from the land.
e. Seizure of peasant lands by landlords
The power of the landlords dominates the countryside. They control the reactionary government in the provinces and towns. They have their own representatives and connections in high positions in the national government.
They use this power and their wealth in order to squeeze peasants who own small parcels of land and to seize their lands. They pretend to buy out the lands of the peasants but at extremely low prices or resort to fake papers together with court eviction orders. More often, they resort to direct force to seize the lands of the peasants.
4. How does feudalism make the entire Filipino people suffer?
Feudalism is one of the principal causes of the suffering of the Filipino people. It is the biggest reason why the country's economy remains backward. Because the landlords receive land rent well in excess of their needs and for their luxury, they have no interest in developing the means of farming. Thus, agriculture — the essential basis of industrialization — remains backward.
Because of land monopoly and backward farming, numerous country folk are forced to head for the cities in search of livelihood. In a condition where there are so many competing for limited work opportunities, the foreign and local capitalists are better able to dictate low wages and inhuman working conditions.
And because feudalism leaves the greatest number of people — the peasantry — destitute, the market for industrial goods within the country remains limited. Therefore, feudalism is a big obstacle to industrialization. It helps foreign monopoly capitalists in further controlling the country's economy.
5. Why is feudalism the social base of imperialism?
In the agriculture of the Philippines, the old feudal means of productionexist alongside capitalist farming. The latter is geared principally towards the production of export crops for the needs of the US and other capitalist countries. Nevertheless, farming which uses the old feudal means of production are still more extensive than capitalist farming.
US imperialism maintains feudalism in order to perpetuate the suffering of the broad majority of the people, subjugate the largest class — the peasantry, and to manipulate the backward condition of the country. In this manner, US imperialism is able to benefit from the cheap labor and the cheap raw materials. Meanwhile, the maintenance of the landlord class in power is under the protection of US imperialism. This is why we say that domestic feudalism is the social base of US imperialism.
1. What is bureaucrat capitalism?
Bureaucrat capitalism is running the government like a business and for the enrichment of those seated in power.
The big bureaucrats or officials of the reactionary government are exclusively representatives and part of the comprador-big bourgeoisie and big landlord class. They use their political power to serve the foreign imperialists, the comprador-big bourgeois and the big landlords. At the same time, they use their position to enrich themselves and to expand their land properties and businesses.
All the puppet presidents from Quezon up to Ramos were bureaucrat capitalists. Estrada is a bureaucrat capitalist. The majority of leading bureaucrats in national, provincial and municipal government are all bureaucrat capitalists.
2. How does bureaucrat capitalism make the Filipino people suffer?
As an ill linked to imperialism and feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism is a huge burden on the people. Bureaucrat capitalists make the people suffer in the following ways:
a. Fascism or the suppression of the people
To make the people follow the wishes of the foreign and local ruling classes, the reactionary state systematically suppresses and controls them. The state consists of coercive instruments (army, police, prisons and courts) and a government which makes and carries out laws. The reactionary classes created the machinery of the reactionary state in order to defend their rule.
The special role of bureaucrat capitalists is the direct administration of the reactionary state. In order to suppress the movement and struggle of those who yearn to free Philippine society from imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, bureaucrat capitalists support fascism. This is the reactionary state's brutal attack and suppression of the people.
b. Entering into unequal agreements and carrying out laws and programs which uphold the exploitation of foreign and local ruling classes
Bureaucrat capitalists enter into and approve the agreements that give US imperialism the right to continue to control and exploit the Filipino people.
Bureaucrat capitalists are the ones who make and carry out the laws which are favorable for the ruling classes and against the people.
Examples of this are the following laws:
- giving various exemptions from restrictions to foreign and local capitalists;
- legalizing the land monopoly and landgrabbing of the landlords;
- maintaining low wages andprohibiting workers from asserting their rights to unionize and to strike; and,
- legalizing fascist attacks on the people.
Bureaucrat capitalists implement various programs which help the ruling classes to exploit the people more and to enrich themselves further.
An example of this is the expensive program to strengthen the reactionary army and the construction of roads, piers, airports, dams and bridges. The ruling classes benefit from these programs which are supported by large taxes from the people.
c. Government corruption
Graft and corruption are rampant throughout the entire government. In ratifying laws, orders and decisions, bureaucrat capitalists accept large bribes. Consequently, every wish of the ruling classes who control the country's wealth is followed completely.
For every contract, concession and license, bureaucrat capitalists pocket some money. They pilfer a large part of the funds of the reactionary government. The people suffer ultimately as a result of these anomalies.
Bureaucrat capitalists manipulate the purchases of goods for public works, steal these goods, cheat the payroll listings, and perform all sorts of anomalies in order to pilfer. Bureaucrat capitalists engage in landgrabbing. They acquire the concessions in extensive public lands in order to make them grazing lands, conduct logging and mining operations, or set up real-estate subdivisions.
They steal the lands of the settlers and national minorities by means of maneuvering in land registration and titling.
d. Deceiving the people
Bureaucrat capitalists deceive the people in order to pacify them and make them subservient to the ruling classes. They charm the people in order to rely on the government to solve their problems.
They conduct elections in order to demonstrate that their hold on power has the people's mandate. Elections are also used as a way of selecting which clique of the ruling classes will hold the reins of state power.
Bureaucrat capitalists control the entire system of education and mass media. They use these means to propagate ideas that idolize the imperialists, the comprador-big bourgeois and the landlords. On the other hand, they also use these means to denigrate the revolutionary movement and to steer the people away from the path of revolution.
1. How do US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism collude in prolonging the suffering of the Filipino people?
US imperialism is the main benefactor and the principal decisive force in maintaining the present ruling system in the Philippines. US imperialism dominates the country's economy and controls the reactionary government and its armed forces. Without the support of US imperialism, this ruling system will not last long.
The comprador-big bourgeoisie tails and benefits from the power of the foreign monopoly capitalists. The comprador-big bourgeoisie thrives on the colonial trade, teams up with foreign capitalists, and shares in the benefits from foreign loans. The comprador-big bourgeoisie is the main instrument of US imperialism for exploiting the Filipino people. US imperialism supports the dominant power of the comprador-big bourgeoisie in the economy and politics of the Philippines.
US imperialism also nurtures the power of the landlord class in order to uphold its rule in the Philippines. US imperialism maintains feudalism in order to keep the country always backward and dependent on the US. In this manner, US imperialism is able to derive superprofits.
Bureaucrat capitalism is part of the state created by US imperialism and feudalism. It links up and safeguards the interests of imperialism and feudalism against the opposition and struggle of the people.
Instead of fighting for the national and democratic interests of the people, the bureaucrat capitalists serve their foreign and local masters, while engaging in graft and corruption in their positions in government.
As a result of the collusion between US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, the Philippines exists as a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society.
2. How did Philippine society become semi-colonial and semi-feudal as a result of the collusion of US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism?
Today, Philippine society is semi-colonial and semi-feudal. Its standing is determined by US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism which today mercilessly exploit the broad masses of the Filipino people. The three evils that are a product of history are the fundamental problems which burden Philippine society.
The semi-colonial character of Philippine society is determined principally by US imperialism. Even if the reactionaries say that the Philippines is already independent, it is by no means complete, because they contradict themselves when they say that US imperialism "gave" or "returned" the independence of the Philippines.
The truth is that US imperialism continues to violate the nominal national sovereignty, and after granting it, US imperialism has made sure that it continues to control the economy, politics, culture, military and foreign relations of the Philippines. US imperialism has extracted unequal treaties and one-sided privileges which violate the national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national patrimony of the Filipino people.
US imperialism continues to assume the privilege of providing armed protection to the local exploiting classes. Even if the present government harbors the illusion of making its own decisions, its basic policies, the nomination and election of the highest officials are determined principally by US imperialism.
The economic enclaves ruled by US enterprises, US control of the reactionary armed forces of the Philippines, and the free entry of US troops and war equipment in accordance with military treaties despite the formal end of the agreement to maintain US military bases, are the clearest evidence that the Philippines is still a colony of the United States. These colonial enclaves can only be removed by means of an armed national revolution which will assert the independence of the Philippines.
The semi-feudal character of Philippine society is determined principally by the entry of US monopoly capitalism in the old feudal means of production, and the subordination of this system to US monopoly capitalism. The concrete result of the merger of US imperialism and domestic feudalism is the erosion and destruction of the natural, self-sufficient economy, which has become a commercial economy.
Because foreign monopoly capitalism dictates to the commercial economy, the latter is used to prevent the development of national capitalism, and forces owner-cultivators and handicraftsmen into bankruptcy. The commercial economy is used to maintain the broad masses of the people tied to feudal bondage, and together with this, to create a relative surplus in population, a large reserve army of labor, and in this manner, maintain low prices of labor.
In Philippine agriculture, the old feudal means of production continue to exist alongside capitalist farming, which is carried out mainly for the production of certain export crops needed by the US and other capitalist countries. In reality, farming which uses the old feudal means of production is far more extensive than capitalist farming.
US imperialism sustains and maintains feudalism in order to perpetuate the suffering of the broad masses of the people, to subjugate the largest class — the peasantry, and to manipulate the backward condition of the country so as to derive cheap labor and cheap raw materials. It is in this sense that we say that the maintenance of landlord exploitation is the social basis of US imperialism. Agrarian revolution is necessary in order to destroy the collusion of US imperialism and feudalism and to remove the social basis of US imperialism.
Philippine society became semi-colonial and semi-feudal because US imperialism and feudalism influence and rely on one another. US imperialism is really not interested in developing the colonial and agrarian economy in order to be genuinely free and self-reliant. It is natural for modern imperialism only to make uneven and intermittent development possible. The US monopoly capitalists are interested only in extracting superprofits from a colonial trade of raw materials from the Philippines and finished products from the United States, from direct investments in the colonies and semi-colonies that produce even greater superprofits, and from international usury.
The present reactionary state cannot be relied upon to address and resolve the fundamental problems of the Filipino people , because , in the first place, it is a creation and a puppet instrument of US imperialism and feudalism. At every level of the present reactionary state, from the national level down to the municipal level, there are bureaucrat capitalists who are puppets of US imperialism and feudalism.
Bureaucrat capitalism itself is another evil afflicting the whole country. It carries out its special role of linking up the interests of foreign and local exploiters and suppressing the determined resistance of the revolutionary masses. They were set up puppet administrators by US imperialism according to the policy of "training in self-government."
Bureaucrat capitalists would rather pocket what they steal and ask concessions from their foreign and local masters than fight for the national-democratic interests of the Filipino people. It is wrong and futile to hope that they can change the basic semi-colonial and semi-feudal policies of the reactionary puppet government.
What these corrupt government officials usually do is employ counterrevolutionary dual tactics of deceiving the people and better serving the ruling classes. They proclaim themselves to be "populist," "nationalist," "democratic," or even "socialist," and they can even steal words from the revolutionary mass movement.
US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism are the root causes of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal crisis of Philippine society. Until they are overthrown, the Filipino people cannot attain genuine freedom and democracy.
IV. The People's Democratic Revolution Is The Only Solution To The Fundamental Problems Of The Filipino People
1. Why is revolution the only solution to the fundamental problems of the Filipino people?
It is clear from a study of the history of the Philippines that at no point will the foreign and local ruling classes give up their power voluntarily. They will also not willingly surrender the wealth that they have plundered from the Filipino people. As long as the power of the US imperialists, comprador-big bourgeoisie and big landlord class is threatened, they will do all the maneuvering and bestiality possible just to remain in power.
As the most important instrument for defending and supporting their rule and interests, the reactionary state was established and continues to be strengthened by the ruling classes. Therefore, in order to liberate the people from the ills of US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, the destruction of the reactionary state is most decisive.
The people can expect nothing from a simple change in the running of the reactionary state whether by means of elections or coup d'etat. The change in president of the puppet government does not result in a change in the conditions of the people. On the other hand, their exploitation, oppression and suffering even continues to worsen.
A coup d'etat will only succeed in the Philippines if it has the blessings of US imperialism which firmly controls the reactionary armed forces. More than likely, who will be installed in office will be just as bad if not worse than the predecessor. The US may exercise this option of replacing puppets depending on whether or not it will be beneficial to its rule of the country.
We will get nowhere expecting the reactionary state to defend the people against foreign and local exploitation and oppression. The ruling classes cannot be relied upon to hit their own heads with stones. It is not surprising that the ruling classes and their agents are the ones principally propagating this kind of thinking. They want the people to be their followers.
In order to free the people from the rule of US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, it is necessary to overthrow the reactionary state. It is necessary to replace it with a new state created by the people and supporting their interests. It is necessary to use revolutionary force in order to overpower the ruling classes and clear the way for establishing a free, just and progressive society.
The Filipino people can only be liberated from the three ills principally by means of armed struggle, and secondarily by means of legal struggle. Reformism is the belief that we can realize genuine freedom and democracy only by means of parliamentary means.
2. Why is national-democratic the character of the present stage of Philippine revolution?
Because the nature of Philippine society is semi-colonial and semi-feudal, the character of the present stage of Philippine revolution is unavoidably national-democratic. The principal reason that it is a national revolution is because it aims to assert the national sovereignty against US imperialism and its local puppets. The principal reason that it is a democratic revolution is because it aims to launch the peasant struggle for land, to struggle against domestic feudalism, and another thing, to support the democratic rights of the broad masses of the people against fascism.
The basic contradictions in Philippine society are the contradiction between the Filipino nation and imperialism, and the contradiction between the broad masses of the people and imperialism. In essence, the fascism that continues to worsen is the military repression by the current counterrevolutionary state of the people in the name of the imperialist and feudal masters of the state.
3. Why is the revolution being waged in the Philippines a national-democratic revolution of a new type?
Because the principal aim of the present stage of the Philippine revolution is to free the Filipino people from foreign and feudal oppression and exploitation, we can say that this revolution is an extension and a continuation of the 1896 Revolution and the Filipino-American War, both of which were betrayed by the leadership of the local bourgeoisie, especially the liberal-bourgeois leadership of the Aguinaldo government.
Nevertheless, there is a basic difference with the present national-democratic revolution and the revolution defeated by US imperialism. The present revolution is a national-democratic revolution of a new type. It is a revolution of a new type because since the October Revolution and since the emergence of the first socialist state from the collapse of the war of the imperialists (the First World War), the national-democratic struggles against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism in the colonies and semi-colonies became an inseparable part of the world proletarian revolution. Since then, the objective conditions for the national-democratic revolution of the old type in the Philippines disappeared.
The world bourgeois revolution can no longer provide the correct orientation to the national-democratic revolution. More than before, the old ilustrado leadership was divided into three strata: the comprador-big bourgeoisie, the national bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie, and clearly with different attitudes in politics. We are now in the stage of the national-democratic revolution of a new type, the people's democratic revolution.
The class leadership of the Philippine revolution is now in the hands of the proletariat, and not with the bourgeoisie or any of its strata, unlike what happened during the national-democratic revolution of the old type. US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism cannot be overthrown if the broad masses of the people are not led by the revolutionary party of the proletariat, the Communist Party of the Philippines, with the supreme guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. The revolutionary aspirations and objectives of the working class, peasantry, petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie can only be advanced correctly through the class leadership of the proletariat and its party.
The Communist Party of the Philippines was established as early as 1930. But because of the grave weaknesses of bourgeois subjectivism in ideology, opportunism in politics and violations of democratic centralism in organization, the Party failed not only to carry out its revolutionary tasks even if the objective conditions were very favorable during certain times, but it also failed to remain whole in the almost twenty (20) years before it was re-established on December 26, 1968. The principal reason for its failure was the rise to leadership within the Party of the counterrevolutionary line of the Lavas and Tarucs until this line was repudiated by a rectification movement which was inspired by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.
The oppressed peoples of the world now have an invincible ideological weapon to overthrow imperialism, revisionism and all reaction, and they can now be part of a socialist future. The universal truth of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought is the invincible weapon that the revolutionary proletarian parties can now wield to lead the oppressed peoples of the world. There is now a Communist Party of the Philippines that can strive to apply thoroughly the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought in the concrete conditions of the Philippines.
There is also now a New People's Army, under the absolute leadership of the Party, that can deliver deadly blows to the armed counterrevolution, and that can establish iron bastions of revolution in the countryside before the seizure of power in the cities. There is now a united front for advancing the people's war and for isolating the most diehard enemies. The united front is based on the alliance of the proletariat and the peasantry, who altogether comprise ninety (90%) percent of the people, and additionally, it includes the petty bourgeoisie, national bourgeoisie and other nationalists.
4. What is the perspective of the people's democratic revolution?
Socialism is the perspective of the people's democratic revolution. The socialist revolution will immediately begin as soon as the people's democratic revolution wins, when the power of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism has been overthrown, and the political power in the entire country has been seized by the people.
Socialism is the social system where the state power rests in the hands of the working class and all the means of production are in public ownership. The system of appropriation has a social character to accord with the socialized character of large-scale production. Under this social system, the old capitalist system of production for profit is replaced with planned production for social use.
The victory of the people's democratic revolution establishes the material conditions and frees up the forces and the means to launch and advance the socialist revolution. The socialist revolution cannot be commenced for as long as the people's democratic revolution has not triumphed.
The socialist features of the people's democratic revolution are developed and strengthened in order to ensure that the working class will be able to prevail and to advance the socialist revolution. These features are the leadership of the working class through the Communist Party of the Philippines, the absolute leadership of the Party over the New People's Army and other instruments of political power, the establishment of the state sector and the cooperative sector in the economy as the decisive factors in the economy, and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat at the core of the people's democratic dictatorship.
In waging the people's democratic revolution, it is important to recognize who are the friends and who are the enemies. In this manner, we will be able to determine the correct approach to each and every one of them.
The enemies of the Filipino people are US imperialism, the comprador-big bourgeoisie and the big landlord class. As the ruling classes, they control and enjoy the abundance of the wealth of the Philippines. They also control the reactionary government and its armed forces.
The allies of the revolution are the proletariat, peasantry, petty bourgeoisie, and at certain times and in a limited scope, also the national bourgeoisie. They are the ones who experience the exploitation of US imperialism and bureaucrat capitalism.
The proletariat is the class leading the revolution. In Philippine society, it is the class born by modern industry and in a position to continue its development. While industry advances, this is the class which rapidly grows and forms the majority of the people. Because it owns no means of production, it is thoroughly revolutionary and will make great efforts in the revolutionary struggle until the exploitation of man by man is eliminated. This is the class which possesses the most developed revolutionary theory, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. The Communist Party is its political party.
The peasantry, particularly the poor and lower-middle peasants, is the main force of the revolution. As the largest class in the present society, it is necessary to arouse and mobilize them for the revolution. The problem of the peasants, the land problem and feudal exploitation, is the main content of the people's democratic revolution.
The petty bourgeoisie is a reliable ally of the revolution. It also experiences exploitation and oppression and is ready to participate actively in the revolution, together with the workers and peasants. The students and intellectuals perform an important role in spreading revolutionary propaganda.
The national bourgeoisie may be made to participate in the revolution even if their stand is unstable. Even though it exploits workers and has connections with imperialism and feudalism, the national bourgeoisie also experiences difficulties as a result of US imperialist control of the Philippines.
In order to carry out the immediate and long-term tasks of the revolution successfully, it is necessary to recognize and correctly approach the true friends and the true enemies of the revolution.
1. How do we recognize the local ruling classes?
The comprador-big bourgeoisie and the big landlord class is the local ruling classes in the Philippines. They comprise only one (1%) percent of the population.
a. Comprador-big bourgeoisie
They are the largest and most powerful stratum of the Filipino bourgeoisie. They earn heaps and heaps of profit from the trade of the Philippines with other capitalist countries like the US and Japan. They are the principal agents of US imperialism in trade, banks and financial institutions and industries in the Philippines.
They are the largest partners of the foreign capitalists in large companies such as Atlas Mining, Dole, Proctor and Gamble, BF Goodrich, Carnation, Del Monte, Purefoods, San Miguel, Philippine Refining, RFM-Swift, Nestle-Magnolia Dairy, MetroBank, CitiTrust, First CitiBank, SM, Banco de Oro, PLDT, AT & T, and others.
Among the comprador bourgeoisie are the wealthiest in the Philippines, like Marcos, Soriano, Ayala-Zobel, Aboitiz, Tan, Gokongwei, Sy, Coyuito, Uytensu, Floirendo, Gaisano, Osmena, Concepcion, Ramos, Cojuangco, Ortigas, Roxas-Chua and Enrile.
The managers and lawyers of large corporations, big accountants, fake worker-leaders and intellectuals with high salaries are also included. They all directly serve the foreign and local big bourgeoisie.
The comprador-big bourgeoisie is a target of the revolution. They are the fiercest in maintaining and intensifying imperialist rule in the Philippines. They fight against the revolution dirtily and violently.
b. Big landlord class
They own the extensive rural lands. They do not engage in any meaningful labor, and if they work at all, they only perform a small amount of it. They become wealthy from extracting high land rent, tribute, usury and landgrabbing. They also exploit rural workers by paying them low wages.
The prominent big landlords are Marcos, Enrile, Cojuangco, Aquino, de Venecia, Yulo, Ayala-Zobel, Lopez, Osmena, Montelibano, Starke, Araneta, Dimaporo, Floirendo, Elizalde, Pelaez and Lobregat.
Included among the big landlords are the following:
- leaseholders or concessionaires of large lands owned by the reactionary government, banks, churches, schools, or absentee landlords;
- managers or peddlers of fake agricultural cooperatives;
- principal overseers of big landlords who collect land rent, or the administrators of their extensive lands;
- usurers who rely on usury as the principal source of livelihood and are better off than the ordinary middle peasants;
- owners of machinery (funnel, tractor and others) who charge exorbitant payments of grain or money; and,
- merchants who sell commodities of agricultural production at extremely high prices and buy the agricultural products at extremely low prices.
The landlord class may be divided into big, middle and small strata. As a whole, those who own from ten up to forty-nine (10-49) hectares belong to the small and middle strata. The big landlords possess fifty or more hectares. Included among the latter are the new type of big landlords who export raw materials, such as sugar, copra, abaca, bananas, and others. They are the closest to the imperialists, the wealthiest and most powerful big landlords.
The big landlord class violently opposes the revolution. They are also a target of the revolution. For tactical considerations, we differentiate them according to the authority they wield and their degree of despotism. Although the entire big landlord class is a target of the revolution, the principal target among their ranks is the landlord that is big, in authority, and despotic.
2. How can we recognize those who comprise the Filipino people?
The Filipino people is made up of the working class or proletariat, the peasantry, semi-proletariat, petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie. They comprise ninety-nine (99%) percent of the population. They are the friends of the revolution.
a. Proletariat or working class
They own no means of production. In order to live, they must sell their labor-power. They create the products from which the foreign and local capitalists derive huge profits. The workers sustain modern industry. They comprise fifteen (15%) percent of the entire population.
They are usually found in factories of cloth, cigarettes, chemicals, machinery, medicine, food and others; in mining and logging; in haciendas of export crops, such as cane, bananas, pineapples and coconuts. Included among them are the rural workers who receive regular wages in the plantations of farming capitalists. They are exploited by foreign and local capitalists.
The proletariat is the most concentrated class in society. In large-scale and concerted labor, they excelled in discipline and organization. In their struggles for livelihood and politics against the big bourgeoisie, they are tempered in their class leadership of Philippine revolution.
The proletariat leads the Philippine revolution through its political party, the Communist Party of the Philippines. It is the standard bearer of the most advanced revolutionary theory, Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. The proletariat is the most thoroughgoing and most hard-working of all the revolutionary forces. It will persevere until the exploitation of man by man is eliminated. In waging revolution, it has nothing to lose but the chains of its slavery.
They do not have any regular source of earnings, little or no livelihood. The majority of the semi-proletariat is composed of poor and lower-middle peasants. Included among them are handicraftsmen, carpenters, small photographers, poor fisherfolk, small peddlers and carriers in markets, jeepney and tricycle drivers, household helpers, small market helpers, and restaurant helpers.
Their relative size is big because of the backwardness of the countryside and the stunted growth of the industries in the country. They are regarded as the reserve army of labor.
The semi-proletariat is a force that can be mobilized for the revolution.
c. Lumpen proletariat
Because there are many without employment, the lumpen proletariat continues to grow. They are the thieves, bullies, beggars, pimps, prostitutes, swindlers, vagrants and others who live off from anti-social activities. Their emergence is the result of forced absence of gainful work.
The stand of lumpen proletarians is unstable. They can easily be bought by the enemy and may be destructive. They are often used as scabs, informers, bullies and agents for hire who disrupt and attack the revolutionary movement.
But some of them may be reformed. Their repugnance for the reactionary state can be used as long as they are guided carefully. When they join the revolution, they bring with them a roving rebel and putschist mentality.
They earn a living tilling the land. They comprise the largest force of the national economy. They make up seventy-five (75%) percent of the population of the Philippines.
They can be divided into three strata: rich peasants, middle peasants and poor peasants.
1) Rich peasants
They possess their own land, farming implements and money in excess of what they use in their labor. They can thus go into business, they can employ the labor of others, they can rent land, and they can lend money. They derive half of their earnings from their own labor and half from the labor of others. The rich peasants make up almost five (5%) percent of the population in the countryside. They can be drawn in to support the anti-fascist and anti-imperialist struggle. But in the anti-feudal struggle, they must be neutralized.
2) Middle peasants
They usually have their own parcel of land and farming implements and live off sufficiently from their own hard work.. If they derive additional earnings from employing the work of others, it is only a small portion of their overall earnings. They comprise fifteen to twenty (15-20%) percent of the population of the countryside.
Middle peasants can be divided into three sub-strata: upper-middle peasants, middle-middle peasants and lower-middle peasants.
The upper-middle peasants possess a little more than enough land to meet their family needs. The middle-middle peasants own only enough to meet their family needs. They would like to earn a little more to improve their standing and to avoid incurring debts.
They sometimes incur debts but are also able to repay them. The lower-middle peasants are always in straits because of the lack or the poor quality of their land, lack of money, and rising debts. In order to increase their earnings, they offer their labor to others.
The condition of the livelihood of middle-middle, and especially lower-middle peasants, is uncertain. They can be drawn into the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal movement. They are the reliable allies of the proletariat and important motive forces of the revolution.
3) Poor peasants
They are usually without land and are only tenants of landlords. Even if some of them own a small parcel of land, they rely principally on tenancy. They possess a few simple farming implements, but usually borrow or rent farming animals. They comprise seventy-five to eighty (75-80%) percent of the population in the countryside.
They are often obligated to sell their labor-power in order to supplement their small share of the harvest. They derive from thirty to fifty (30-50%) percent of their entire earnings from wages.
As a result of intense exploitation and oppression, the poor peasants, together with the lower-middle peasants, are naturally the most reliable allies of the proletariat in the revolution. They are the main force of the revolution. Their struggle for land is the main content of the people's democratic revolution.
e. Petty bourgeoisie
They are the lowest and the biggest stratum of the bourgeoisie. Their economic standing is between the toiling masses and that of the exploiters. Their livelihood is sufficient because of their acquired skills, small capital or certain production means.
Included among the petty bourgeoisie are the majority of teachers, students, professionals with small earnings, employees and lower level officials of the government and enterprises, middle peasants, small merchants and traders, expert handicraftsmen, carpenter-contractors, fishermen with their own motorized bancas and equipment, and skilled laborers with high wages. The urban petty-bourgeoisie makes up seven (7%) percent of the entire population.
Together with the proletariat and the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie is a basic force of the revolution. They are a reliable ally of the proletariat. Their support is decisive in tilting the balance in favor of the revolution. Petty-bourgeois intellectuals play an important role in spreading revolutionary propaganda.
f. National bourgeoisie
They are the stratum of the bourgeoisie between the comprador-big bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie. They are merchants who aim for nationalist industrialization. Their interests cover small factories, fishing, small-scale manufacturing, medium-scale trade and commerce in transportation, and intermediate industries. They make up one (1%) percent of the population.
Included among their business products are: liquor, shoes, tobacco and cigarettes, simple agricultural implements, fishing nets, rope, coconut oil, flour, cloth and garments, cement, paper, plywood, scrap metal products, plastics and other consumer goods. They do not work, but they manage their businesses directly. They earn profits from the labor of the workers.
The national bourgeoisie can be drawn into participating in the revolution at certain times and in a limited scope. Therefore, we must be persuasive towards them. But because of their unstable stand, it is necessary to be careful in relating to them.
g. Special social groups
There is no social grouping in the Philippines that can be separated from class analysis. When the Party gives special attention to social groupings such as fisherfolk, national minorities, settlers, women and youth, it is not done to obscure or to denigrate the importance of their class content. Rather, it is to give the necessary attention to the existing particular conditions or needs of each social grouping.
Because of the archipelagic character of the Philippines, the social grouping of fisherfolk is distinctly large. Aside from the fisherfolk of the sea, there is also the fisherfolk of the rivers and lakes. Fishing is not only an additional livelihood for the peasantry. There are those who fish for a living and they may be divided into three sections: rich, middle and poor.
Rich fishermen use their own motorized bancas, huge fishing nets and other fishing equipment, buy the labor-power of poor fishermen, and earn more than enough to meet their family needs. Middle fishermen use their own motorized bancas, fishing nets of moderate size and equipment that are not as good as those of the rich fishermen, only fish in the municipal fishing grounds, and earn only enough to meet their family needs. Poor fishermen may own their own bancas and equipment of a poor quality, fish mainly along the coastal areas, and do not earn enough to meet their family needs. Thus, the poor fishermen need to seek other means of livelihood; and oftentimes, work in farming to supplement their livelihood, or sell their labor-power to rich fishermen and fishing capitalists.
Fisherfolk are directly exploited by the US and Japanese imperialists who fish in the sea and use large trawlers and fleets (including fish packing ships and fish cannery ships) which clean out the fishing grounds; by big landlords who fence in and stake claims on the fishing and dictate the prices; and by abusive government officials who just collect money taxes or fish.
The fisherfolk, especially the poor and middle fishermen, may support the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle. They are very important in connecting and defending the islands and for feeding the people. They maybe able to enrich the theory and practice of people's war by means of developing sea warfare, and warfare to be waged in the rivers, lakes and sea inlets.
2) National minorities
We must pay special attention to the need of the national minorities, who comprise nearly fourteen (14%) percent of the population, to have their own autonomous government. The most numerous among them are those called the Muslim tribes (correctly called Maguindanao, Maranao, Tausog, and others). The Igorot tribes come next.
The broad majority of the national minorities live in the hinterlands which are neglected and abused to the hilt by the reactionary government. The national minorities have long been victims of Christian chauvinism and reactionary oppression. It is not permissible to impose or to give the impression that a thing is being imposed from the outside of their autonomous needs. The Party recognizes their right to self-determination. They can only be united among themselves and with the rest of the Filipino people on the basis of equality and respect for their culture or lineage.
Landgrabbing was the menace that huge land speculation, logging, ranchers, mining companies and big landlords brought upon all indigenous national minorities in the Philippines. They are always being ejected from their lands by means of arms.
Many of them were thrown to the remotest places which may be transformed into powerful bases for the revolutionary fighters.
The correct policy for all national minorities is always to grasp the proletarian stand and to make the necessary class analysis. This is the only way for the Party to integrate with them. In developing Party cadres and Red fighters among the national minorities, the Party will not only be able to overthrow the entire puppet state but also the local tyrants in the territories of the national minorities.
Settlers in the mountainous and forested areas in the Philippines is an important phenomenon because of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal character of Philippine society. They are important because they are oppressed, numerous and in a terrain favorable to the armed struggle. In some provinces, the settlers are the majority of the local population.
The settlers in the mountainous and forested areas are the peasants who lost their lands or those who could not find jobs in the fields or factories where they came from. Even in the beginning, they have a little land to till and consider their own, and they usually live as poor peasants or lower-middle peasants, and are prevented by the reactionary government and various local exploiters from gaining formal title to their land. Very often, they become victims of landgrabbing, government neglect, usury, merchant manipulation, blackmail by local bureaucrats and bullies, and bandits. For their own benefit, the big landlords and officials of the reactionary government often provoke rifts between settler communities and those of the indigenous people..
Women comprise half of the population of the Philippines, and they belong to the various classes. Therefore, the broad majority of Filipino women belong to the oppressed and exploited classes. But in addition to class oppression, they also experience male oppression. Male revolutionaries must strive even more to ensure that women have the broadest participation in the people's democratic revolution. They must not have the attitude that it is enough for the men to be in the revolutionary movement. The truth is that it is a feudal attitude which will only worsen the old influence of the clan and the church on women if they are excluded from the revolutionary movement. Women can carry out general and specific revolutionary tasks. This is an effective way of freeing them from the clutches of feudal conservatism and even bourgeois decadence which portrays women only as objects of pleasure.
The youth make up the majority of the population of the Philippines. We must always remember that the majority of the youth belong to the working class or the peasantry. It is only natural that the youth comprise the majority of the cadres of the Party and regular fighters of the people's army. Those who are more senior must not behave arrogantly towards the youth, but neither must the youth lose respect for those who are more senior to them. The revolutionary experience of those who are more senior must be combined well with the revolutionary vigor and keenness of the youth.
It is important to rely on the youth for the protracted revolutionary struggle. In mobilizing the youth, we can ensure that there will be a continuous emergence of successors who will carry on the revolutionary movement.
3. Why is periodic class analysis important to the process of advancing the people's democratic revolution?
Based on the classes and strata, we also need to conduct a periodic class analysis in order to have a correct grasp of the changes in political attitude because of new material conditions, and also, a correct grasp of new material conditions because of changes in political attitude.
A person may be classified into two or more class categories. Because of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal character of the economy, one who belongs to the landlord class may also belong to the big bourgeoisie or the middle (or national) bourgeoisie. You may also determine the principal class character of a person based on the principal source of earnings. When a landlord is also a national bourgeois, we must correctly approach his/her interest as a landlord separately from his/her interest in industry or trade. A member of the intelligentsia may hail from a landlord family, national bourgeois or a rich peasant background, but he/she may earn a living as an urban petty-bourgeois. In essence, we recognize him/her as a member of the urban petty-bourgeoisie.
However, livelihood is not the only criterion for classifying individuals. The revolutionary or counterrevolutionary features of an individual are determined in the course of struggle, especially when it comes to becoming a proletarian revolutionary. There is no one born Red even among the toiling masses. Among the oppressed and exploited, it is possible for scabs because of a counterrevolutionary attitude to end up in the side opposed to the people. Among the members of the petty bourgeoisie, it is possible to have advanced elements of the revolutionary struggle. Even among members of the exploiting classes, there are exceptional cases of individuals who change and join the revolutionaries. In which case, we must give due importance to the political stand and the change in ideology.
The three weapons of the Philippine revolution are the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army and the national united front. In short, the Communist Party of the Philippines, representing the proletariat, uses the two powerful weapons, the armed struggle and the united front.
1. Why is the class leadership of the proletariat and its party, the Communist Party of the Philippines, necessary?
We will not have a successful revolution without the correct class leadership. The proletariat is today the leading class of the Philippine revolution. They are the most advanced force in production and politics in the entire world. They are the flag bearers of the universal theory of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, without which a genuine revolutionary movement would not have emerged in the Philippines at the present time.
From the time of the First World War and the October Revolution, when the course of world history shifted from capitalism to socialism, only the Filipino proletariat developed the capacity to understand and fully embrace the nationalist and progressive aspirations of the entire Filipino people. After the Second World War and the national liberation of the Chinese and other peoples, and after the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the historic role of the Filipino proletariat as the leading class of the Philippine revolution became even clearer.
In the last fifty-seven (57) years, they were the class in Philippine society that blazed the path of revolutionary armed struggle against foreign and local exploitation and oppression. They are the class that has attained the deepest experience and lessons in the concrete practice of Philippine revolution.
Because of the nature of the Filipino proletariat, they are capable providing revolutionary leadership not only in facing the immediate but also in the long run until the stage of communism. They are leading the present stage of the people's democratic revolution, and they will also lead the subsequent stage of socialist revolution.
The Communist Party of the Philippines is the most advanced representative and the principal instrument of revolutionary leadership of the Filipino proletariat in carrying out its historic tasks. The Party is composed of the most advanced elements of the proletariat, and therefore, the concentrated expression of the proletariat's strength as a leading class in ideology, politics and organization.
Without this revolutionary Party, there can be no revolutionary movement. The Party is responsible for the correct application of the universal theory of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought in the concrete conditions of Philippine society. Its practical leadership and the policies it lays down determines the revolutionary movement. As the overall leadership of the Philippine revolution, the Party ensures that the correct strategy and tactics of the revolutionary cause are advanced.
Even though the proletariat is comparatively small in size in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society such as the Philippines, the Communist Party of the Philippines as its most advanced detachment is deeply rooted among the broad masses of the people, and strengthens itself in order to become an invincible force at the core of the revolutionary mass movement. The Party links the proletariat firmly with the peasantry and other revolutionary classes and groups in the Philippines. In providing leadership to the peasantry, the Party is able to grasp its principal weapon, the strength of the people's army, and is able to develop the basis for grasping the other powerful weapon, that of the national united front of all the revolutionary classes and strata.
In being vigilant against the danger of modern revisionism and the emergence of new counterrevolutionary revisionist lines of the new Lavas and Tarucs, and against the personnel of Filemon Lagman, Arturo Tabara, Ricardo Reyes, Romulo Kintanar, and CIA agent Joel Rocamora, the Party tirelessly wages the rectification movement in order to renounce the errors of the past and also of the present.
2. Why is the peasant movement and the armed struggle necessary?
The peasantry is the main force of the Philippine revolution. They are the largest mass force in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. Without their powerful support, the people's democratic revolution will never succeed. Their problem cannot be regarded as anything but the main problem of the people's democratic revolution. It is only by resolving this problem that the proletariat and the Party can arouse and mobilize the peasant masses.
There is no other solution to the problem of the peasants but to wage armed struggle, to carry out agrarian revolution, and to establish revolutionary bases. While carrying out the revolutionary struggle for land as a means of implementing the main democratic content of the Philippine revolution, we are able to carry out the central task of the entire national revolutionary movement to seize and consolidate political power. The main armed groups of the Philippine revolution will only be formed in launching the peasant war. Therefore, it cannot be avoided that the broad majority of the Red fighters of the New People's Army will hail from the peasantry.
A Communist Party in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country will make a mistake if it puts its principal stress of mass work in the cities instead of the countryside. If it does that, it will lose its way and commit the "Left" opportunist error of attempting to seize political power based principally on the strength of the proletarian masses in the cities without sufficient support from the peasantry. Or else, it may commit the Right opportunist error of relying indefinitely on parliamentary struggle and unprincipled compromises with the imperialists and ruling classes, such as those now being done by the local revisionist traitors.
Because we take into consideration the uneven development of Philippine society, we put principal stress on the revolutionary struggle in the countryside, and we also give secondary stress to the revolutionary struggle in the cities. At all times, we ensure that there is effective coordination in the revolutionary struggle between the cities and the countryside. But we will not overlook the central truth that the weakest link of the political power of the enemy resides in the countryside, and it is the countryside which affords the people's armed forces with the widest room for maneuver in order to annihilate the counterrevolutionary armed forces piece by piece and destroy them step by step.
We must vigorously carry out the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside. In the countryside, the enemy is forced to scatter their forces thinly, and we are able to lure them to places where the initiative is ours. Even if in the beginning, when we are strategically encircled by the enemy — one against ten, tactically we can encircle them ten against one. In the long run, the course of the war will surely go against them while their actual forces decline and because of political reasons they are unable to get new replacements. At all times, they will be forced to deploy large military forces in their cities even if we are still in the strategic defensive, establish large camps and main lines of communication and transportation. In the long run, their parasitic and passive military forces will be sufficiently drawn into the rifts between factions of the reactionary classes.
In the countryside, we will be able to develop certain fighting fronts of different quality, from guerrilla zones up to rural bases. In this work, we must always trust and rely on the masses because the revolution is the undertaking of the masses. We must always rely principally on the poor peasants, lower-middle peasants and all the sections of the proletariat and semi-proletariat in the countryside. In addition, we must also win the middle peasants over to the side of the revolution and neutralize the rich peasants in order to isolate out and crush the principal pillars of feudalism and all other local tyrants.
In creating our rural bases, we rely on a sturdy Party organization, fairly strong Red Army, favorable terrain for military operations, and sufficient sources of livelihood.
The most backward districts in the countryside can be transformed into the most advanced political, military, economic and cultural bastions of the revolution. We will be able to create the armed independent regime in the countryside even if the enemy has not yet been defeated in the countryside. The revolution can only advance based on the solid democratic victories in the countryside. Because Philippine society develops unevenly, the people's democratic revolution can only develop through uneven means. Therefore, the protracted people's war is necessary in order for the revolution to take place completely throughout the Philippines.
3. Why is it necessary to establish the basic alliance of the workers and the peasants as the foundation of the national united front?
The basic alliance of the working class and the peasantry serves as the firm foundation of the national united front. It is only by forming this alliance that we are able to draw the middle forces, like the petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie, into the national united front in order to isolate the diehard enemies. The national united front serves the political line of the Party that the revolution is essentially a revolution of the toiling masses against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
Through the national united front, the Party is broadly able to propagate its political influence, and attain the broadest support of the masses and the progressive classes and strata. This broad work is based on the efforts of the proletariat to establish its own strength through the armed struggle with the main support of the peasantry. The true united front for the people's democratic revolution is for waging the armed struggle.
At present, the counterrevolutionary revisionists are spreading the old poisonous idea that the united front is principally for the parliamentary struggle. They are also propagating the counterrevolutionary outlook that the leadership of the proletariat through its party, the Communist Party of the Philippines, is not necessary, and in that way, the united front can be under the leadership of the bourgeoisie.
The proletariat and the Party must always maintain their leadership, independence and initiative within the united front while recognizing the independence and initiative of their allies, and grant concessions to them on the condition that there is agreement on the general program which is in harmony with the general line and program of the people's democratic revolution, and on the condition that such concessions do not harm the basic interests of the toiling masses.
In relation to the national bourgeoisie, the Party is fully aware that unity and struggle is necessary within the united front. This class has two aspects: one is revolutionary, and the other is reactionary. It is "Left" opportunism to repudiate this class as thoroughly counterrevolutionary, and Right opportunism to embrace them as completely revolutionary. The correct policy is to unite with them up to the level equivalent to their support for the revolution within a particular period of time, and together with this, criticize them for their duality or tendency to betray the revolution. Because of this policy, we must always be vigilant.
1. What is the protracted people's war?
The protracted people's war is the revolutionary war waged principally in the countryside by the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army and the Filipino people in order to attain genuine freedom and democracy.
In the protracted people's war, the principal stress is advancing the revolution in the countryside. Here, we can find the weakest links in the political power of the enemy, the widest room favorable for armed struggle, and the peasant masses who are the main force of the revolution. Here, we wage principally the anti-feudal struggle in order to overthrow the power of the landlords, and to establish the people's democratic power.
In the countryside, the revolutionary forces are able to accumulate strength to crush the enemy. The armed struggle, agrarian revolution and the revolutionary bases are developed step by step until eventually, the forces of the people's army are able to surpass and overcome the armed forces of the enemy.
The reactionaries subjugate the peasant masses with the most intense oppression and exploitation. Nevertheless, because of the expanse of the countryside, the enemy cannot avoid spreading himself out thin or else neglecting some districts whenever he is concentrated in a few places. Therefore, the countryside is the fertile ground for the emergence and development of Red political power — the people's army, organs of democratic political power, mass organizations and the Party. There is no better place for expansion and maneuver for our people's army and for our type of warfare.
In our country, we are able to wage a protracted people's war because of the relatively wide backward countryside where the bulk of the population resides. There are many places that are relatively far from the centers and main lines of communication of the enemy, and that are sustained by the people who rely on their various rural products.
In waging the protracted people's war, it is only over a long period of time that we can develop our forces step by step in order to overcome the enemy forces bit by bit. We are not in a position to square off our small and weak forces in strategic, decisive battles with the enemy forces who have the military advantage. It is our firm policy to engage the enemy in battles that we can win. Otherwise, we avoid the enemy who we cannot defeat and wait for an opportunity to strike at the enemy forces when we can win.
In waging the protracted people's war, we employ the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside. We firmly develop the bases and guerrilla zones in various strategic areas throughout the country. In successive stages, these areas will be linked together by regular mobile forces that will be in a position to defend even greater and sturdier revolutionary bases in the countryside. From these bases, we will eventually be able to seize the cities, and advance towards victory in the entire country.
2. Why is the revolutionary movement being launched in the countryside important?
While the principal task is to advance the protracted war in the countryside, the secondary task is to develop the revolutionary underground movement, and the broad democratic mass movement in the cities. The main character of the revolutionary movement being launched in the cities is legal and defensive.
In the cities, we arouse, organize and mobilize the masses of workers and other poor, as well as the petty bourgeoisie (especially the students and teachers), and other middle forces for the anti-imperialist and anti-fascist struggle, and to support the revolutionary movement in the countryside.
The long-term task of the revolutionary movement in the cities is to prepare the urban masses for the time when the people's army in the countryside can seize the cities.
3. How does the revolutionary movement being launched in the countryside and the cities connect with one another?
The advance of the revolutionary movement in the countryside stimulates the revolutionary movement in the cities. The advance of the armed struggle in the countryside which weakens the enemy makes conditions more favorable for the advance of the revolutionary struggle in the cities.
On the other hand, the revolutionary movement in the cities gives the necessary political support, personnel and material to the revolutionary struggle in the countryside.
We combine the revolutionary struggle in the cities and the countryside; in the towns and the barrios; in Red areas, white areas, and pink areas.
We excel in combining the legal, illegal and semi-legal activities by means of a widespread and sturdy underground movement. The revolutionary underground movement, which develops in the shade of legal and democratic activities, must support the comprehensive development of the revolutionary forces, and link up the separate parts of the Party and the people's army at every level.
The program of the people's democratic revolution lays down the basic principles, objectives and tasks of the people's democratic revolution. It is based on the "Program of the People's Democratic Revolution" ratified by the CPP in 1968. It is now accepted by the broad masses as the basis for advancing the people's democratic revolution. Its main contents have been proven correct by over two decades of revolutionary struggle.
1. What is the central task of the people's democratic revolution?
The central task of the people's democratic revolution is to overthrow US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, and to seize and consolidate political power.
Its objective is to liberate the Filipino people from foreign and feudal exploitation and oppression.
2. What is the task of the people's democratic revolution in the field of politics?
Everything must be done in order to realize the national revolution that is principally against US imperialism and the democratic revolution that is against feudalism and fascism. The joint reactionary dictatorship of the comprador-big bourgeoisie, big landlord class and bureaucrat capitalists must be overthrown and replaced with the people's democratic state system, the dictatorship of the united front of the proletariat, the peasantry, petty bourgeoisie, national bourgeoisie, and all other nationalists.
A new-democratic republic led by the proletariat and in harmony with the interests of all revolutionary classes and strata will replace the present sham republic that is none other than the puppet creation of US imperialism and the coercive instrument of the exploiting classes. The new republic will not be a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or a dictatorship of the proletariat, but a joint dictatorship of all the revolutionary classes and strata under the leadership of the proletariat.
A people's congress or conference will be held from the national level of government down to the provincial or district level. At the lower levels, people's representatives will be elected according to the system of universality and equality in voting. The principle of democratic centralism will be the main organizational principle of the People's Democratic Republic of the Philippines.
The National People's Congress will be formed by representatives hailing from the people's government in the provinces. There will also be representatives of the democratic classes, parties and groups agreed to by the representatives of the people's government in the provinces and recommended by the organizations of the national united front. This will be convened after the victory in the entire country or when a large part of the Philippines has been liberated.
Even if the reactionary state has not yet been overthrown completely, the people's democratic government will be established in places where the people have already won. The barrio revolutionary committees will be established as the seeds or the actual organs of democratic political power.
3. What is the task of the people's democratic revolution in the military field?
Political power grows out of a barrel of a gun. For as long as the counterrevolutionary armed might is not crushed, the independent regime in the countryside or the people's democratic state system in the entire Philippines cannot be established.
The New People's Army will become the basis of the people's democratic state system. Its main task at the present time is to seize and consolidate political power. It must always serve the people and defend them against its enemies.
All the people's armed forces must have a mass character, and must be led by the proletariat and its Party. The principal forms of the people's armed forces — the regular mobile forces, the people's guerrillas and the people's militia — will be developed in the process of advancing the armed struggle. They will come mainly from the peasantry.
The revolutionary bases and guerrilla zones must first be created in the countryside. There, the enemy must first be defeated before power can be seized in the cities. The New People's Army will advance wave upon wave within a long period of time in order to crush the enemy in the entire country.
4. What is the task of the people's democratic revolution in the field of economy?
The property of the imperialists, comprador-big bourgeoisie, big bureaucrat capitalists and traitors shall be confiscated and nationalized. The state will direct all the companies that are nationalized, and mange all the sources of raw materials and energy. The state sector of the economy will have a socialist character, and will be the leading factor of the national economy. This will be carried out for the benefit of the working people.
The land of the big landlords will be confiscated and distributed free to the landless peasants or the peasants with little land. The principle of equality will be carried out in land ownership. Cooperative enterprises will be initiated among the tilling owners and other small producers as the first step towards socialism.
The national bourgeoisie will be allowed to continue capitalist production but not to be able to dominate or to obstruct the livelihood of the Filipino people.
Within a reasonable amount of time, the rich peasants will be allowed to invest and to own excess lands and to employ the labor of others. Landlords who have committed no crimes against the people will be allowed to pursue a living, although they will not be allowed to hold any decisive position or influence decisions.
The principle of self-reliance will be carried out in economic affairs while the bases and guerrilla zones in the countryside are being set up. The revolutionary forces will participate in production and avoid relying completely on funds garnered from contributions, confiscations and war bonds. The style of simple living and arduous work will be carried out.
Before the national victory, the leading organs of the Party and the government of the base will draw up sufficient economic policies for the bases and the neighboring guerrilla zones according to the concrete situation. They will make sure that before they conduct any economic reforms in a given area that there are sufficient cadres and revolutionary organizations that will ensure the correct management of the people's interests.
5. What is the character of the culture being propagated by the people's democratic revolution?
The Philippine revolution will not be able to make any advances without raising the general consciousness of the broad masses of the people. The concept of people's democracy or new type of national democracy must be at the core of the cultural activities of the revolutionary mass movement. A national, scientific and mass culture must dominate and overthrow the present imperialist, feudal and anti-people culture that presently exists.
The educational system, from the lowest to the highest level, will become democratic. Free education will be implemented for the people at all levels.
A revolutionary national culture must be propagated in order to oppose imperialist oppression, and to uphold the dignity and independence of the Filipino nation. This culture must repudiate the decadent culture of colonialism, imperialism and neo-colonialism. There are traditional and modern forms of culture that must be taken and given content to highlight the national-democratic revolution. This revolutionary culture must link up with the socialist culture and the culture of new democracy in other countries. Anything progressive from foreign cultures must be adopted and made suitable to the national condition. At the same time, the culture and traditions of the national minorities must be respected.
The universal truth of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought will only find living application in the Philippines if it is integrated in local conditions, and assumes a definite national form. We must support the use of the national language in order to hasten the propagation of the revolutionary national culture.
We must propagate a culture that truly serves the people, especially the working people. This culture is truly revolutionary and democratic because it provides a form for the heroic struggles and aspirations of the masses.
We must propagate a scientific culture in order to combat the reactionary idealism being peddled by imperialism and feudalism and even the prevailing superstitions. We may form a united front of scientific thinking of the proletariat and the progressive aspects of bourgeois materialism and the natural sciences. But the leading core of this scientific culture must always be the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. This culture must serve as the practical guide of the revolutionary mass movement and also for changing the ideology of the intellectuals.
In the field of political actions, we can have an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal united front with certain idealists, even some religious elements, but we cannot agree with their idealism or their religious doctrine.
We will respect the people's freedom to believe or not to believe in religion. The scientific outlook and principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism will be actively propagated as a powerful weapon to wage revolution and to advance society. We will not allow the debate over religion to prevent us from advancing the revolution.
6. What is the task of the people's democratic revolution in the field of foreign relations?
With the establishment of the People's Democratic Republic of the Philippines, it will open and maintain diplomatic relations and trade with all countries that respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. It will ensure that the relations with other countries are based on mutual benefit.
It will follow the principles of peaceful coexistence:
- respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity;
- non-interference in each other's internal affairs;
- equality and mutual benefit; and,
- peaceful coexistence regardless of social system.
It will abrogate all unequal treaties and agreements with US imperialism and other imperialist countries.
It will support the closest and most vigorous relations with fraternal socialist states, parties and all revolutionary movements opposed to imperialism, modern revisionism and all reaction.
|1863||Isabela||Baladon and Labutawi|
autonomy — the right of a group of people to govern their internal affairs free from the control or interference of others.
BMA (Bangsa Moro Army) — a people's army of the Moro people in Southwestern Mindanao; army led by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF); advancing the armed struggle of the Moros for self-determination.
Bauxite — the mineral that is made into aluminum.
"benevolent assimilation" — the policy carried out by the US government in violently subjugating the Philippines; it was called "benevolent" to deceive the Filipino and American peoples.
CAFA (Committee on Anti-Filipino Activities) — committee of the defunct Congress of the Philippines which investigated the activities of progressive and militant Filipinos. It considered upholding national freedom and democracy to be "anti-Filipino."
cabeza de barangay — the native head of the barangay (barrio) under the Spanish colonial government, usually the former datu; tax collector and recruiter of forced labor.
capitalism — a system of economy and society based on modern industry and the ownership of the capitalist class; its principal feature is the exploitation and oppression by the capitalists of the workers; the capitalists control the capital (machinery, raw materials, monetary funds) which is used to buy the labor-power of the workers, mass-produce the products sold and derive the profits.
capitalist — (as a noun) a person with capital that is made to flourish in production; (as an adjective) refers to capitalism or carries the features of capitalism.
Clark Air Base — the largest US military base outside its contiguous territory; home of the 13th United States Air Force; it covers parts of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales in western Central Luzon.
Colorum — peasant movement during the latter part of the Spanish colonialist period and the early part of the US colonialist period, which had an anti-feudal (opposed to the exploitation and oppression of peasants) and religious character; it began from the remnants of the uprising led by Apolinario de la Cruz (Hermano Pule).
commercial crops — crops which are principally for sale and not for the consumption of peasants; for example, sugar cane, coconuts, tobacco and abaca.
counterinsurgency — the organized and armed suppression by the state of people who are resisting or engaged in revolution; this is carried out without following the laws of war that is recognized at various levels; this includes the military operations, the establishment of Civilian Home Defense Forces (CHDF) and "civic actions."
crisis — an intense problem which threatens to bring down completely that which possesses it; examples: political crisis is the disorder which indicates the fragility of the ruling power; economic crisis is the sudden nosedive towards or near bankruptcy.
curriculum — topics contained in a study course.
democracy — prevalence of the will of the majority over a minority; a form of government which recognizes this principle.
democratic — for the majority; against fascism and feudalism; upholds the rights of the people.
democratic republic — a form of government whose leading officials are elected by a majority of the people.
domestic trade — exchange of goods between different parts of one country. For example, a part of the domestic trade of the Philippines is the sale of products within a province or between Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
energy — the strength to move or to run things; usually refers to the power to run machines, for example, electricity.
exploitation — the use of labor without payment or something in exchange; the appropriation of the fruits of labor of others without payment.
fascism — a form of rule that is openly based on the harsh suppression of the people in order to defend the power and interests of a few exploiters and oppressors; ideology or idea which supports this type of rule.
foreign trade — the exchange of products with other countries; trading with foreigners. For example, part of the foreign trade of the Philippines is the sale of products to the United States.
homestead — a parcel of land that is part of public land which the peasants have come to own after a set period of time that the government works on it and gives it a title.
IMF (International Monetary Fund) — fund controlled and established by the United States after the Second World War, from contributions of participating countries; it lends to countries with problems of repayment to other countries; US imperialism uses it to dictate and control the economy of others.
import — entry of products from other countries; products allowed to enter from the outside.
Indochina — a sub-region of Southeast Asia; composed of Kampuchea (Cambodia), Laos and Vietnam.
industrialization — the proliferation and development of industries in an economy.
industry — (industry, as opposed to agriculture:) large-scale and modern production using machinery in order to mass-produce products; (industry, as a particular part of the economy:) the creation, processing and the sale of one type of products, for example, the oil industry, the sugar industry.
intermediate industries — industries whose products are just the right size and weight, such as the appliance industry (refrigerators, televisions, etc.)
JUSMAG (Joint United States Military Advisory Group) — group of American military advisers used by the United States to control and dictate the planning, training, intelligence, the equipment and the entirety of the reactionary Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
labor-power — the capacity of the workers to work in a given period of time.
MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) — the leading organization in the struggle of the Moro people for national self-determination and against the US-Marcos dictatorship.
Marxism-Leninism — system of ideas and principles which clarify the laws of development of society and the tasks for liberating the working class and humankind from exploitation and oppression, from a study of history of society, and participation in revolution, formed by Marx (with the help of Engels) and developed by successive great leaders such as Lenin, Stalin and Mao; it is also called proletarian ideology (system of ideas which clarify the historic role and tasks of the working class).
means of production — materials necessary for the creation of products used in society. For example, in industry, raw materials, machinery, structure, and the land on which the factory stands; in agriculture, land, plow and harrow, carabao, and farm machinery.
militarization — strengthening the military (armed forces) and making it perform a prominent role in society; for example, the militarization in the Philippines during the term of the puppet Marcos regime up to the time of the imposition of martial law which was the culmination of militarization.
monopoly — complete or decisive control of power by one person or a few people; it also refers to those who have monopolies. For example: land monopoly in the hands of big landlords; monopoly capitalists who have decisive control of branches of industry and economy in the advanced capitalist countries.
nationalist industrialization — the development of industries in a self-reliant way for the benefit of the Filipino people, and with the curbing of the role of foreigners.
oppression — suppression, repression and abuse of the political rights of others in order to exploit them and coerce them to follow their lead.
people's democracy — democracy ruled by the people under the leadership of the working class and its party (as opposed to a bourgeois democracy which is governed by the bourgeoisie and its political representatives).
plebiscite — an electoral activity in which the voters are made to choose between opposing sides of a question, and not among candidates, for example: a plebiscite for the people to ratify a constitution; the results of a plebiscite has the force of law.
politics — field of struggle for the seizure of power and control of the state.
Pulahan — peasant movement which became widespread in Samar, Leyte, Cebu and other parts of the Visayas, and which sprung up after the Americans were already successful in occupying the Philippines, and which continually staged uprisings up to the time of the Japanese occupation; members were usually dressed in red or wore red headbands in battle, and believed in superstitious amulets.
raw materials — ingredients fed into machines to become finished products. For example, the tobacco leaf is a raw material in the manufacture of cigarettes; cotton is a raw material for the manufacture of thread and cloth.
reactionary — opposed to change; opposed to or suppresses revolution; counterrevolutionary; Right-wing.
referendum — a formal consultation by the government of the people in relation to an important question or policy; it is similar to a plebiscite, but not as binding in its effect.
relations of production — formed by the relations between classes, groups and people in the ownership of the means of production, division of labor in society (whether one is working or not, and how large is one's participation), and the distribution of the products of society (the size of one's profit).
republic — a form of government not led by a king, queen or clan; power is not inherited in this form of government, but based on elections.
science — the system of knowledge based on factual investigation and analysis of reality according to the actual laws of existence, change and the relations of things and events.
SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) — a military alliance headed by the United States, France and Britain, and participated in by the countries under their control in Southeast Asia and neighboring parts during the time of its founding in Manila in 1954. Its members: United States, Philippines, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Malaya.
social system — the manner of running the livelihood and relations of a large association of people; the manner of running society based and classified according to the character of the economy (livelihood), politics and culture.
Southeast Asia — a global region composed of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Kampuchea (Cambodia), Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam.
sovereignty — the power of one country to be independent and to make its own decisions free from the control or interference of others.
Subic Naval Base — a large and important naval base of the United States and the home base of the Seventh Fleet of the US Navy and is used as a large docking port, repair and refueling station for the huge US warships in the vicinity of the Asia Pacific; it is located in Subic Bay at the southern end of the shoreline of Zambales in western Central Luzon.
system of production — the manner of running the creation, exchange and distribution of the material needs of society; this is based and classified according to the character of the implements of production, means of labor, the level of development of labor capacity, and the relations of production.
tariff — tax levied by the government on products imported and on certain export products.
technology — system of knowledge, training and means of running industry, together with machinery and means of using machinery, and their level of development.
uranium — mineral source of atomic energy, used in the creation of atomic bombs.
USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East) — armed strength of US imperialism in East Asia during the Second World War in the Philippines; Filipinos who were part of USAFFE were used to protect the escape of General Douglas MacArthur.
World Bank — an international bank controlled by US imperialism; it acts closely in tandem with the IMF; it lends to various countries for projects such as the construction of piers, airports and roads, in order to improve the conditions for investing of the imperialists and to stimulate colonial trade within a given period of time.
writ of habeas corpus — formal court order to bring forward a detainee (a person apprehended and restrained) to face charges; it is a guarantee against detention without sufficient legal basis.