It is the duty of the Party and the revolutionary movement to expose the reactionary elections as a bogus democratic device that forms part of the mechanisms that maintain the exploitative and oppressive system. Reactionary elections in the Philippines are political carnivals held every three years. Their main features are politician-clowns who pose as promoters of the people’s interests.
They divert the people’s attention from their gravest socio-economic problems and offer them false promises of reform under the ruling system. We must thwart the US-Aquino regime’s objective of using the reactionary elections to consolidate its political rule. In the face of Aquino’s rapidly dwindling “popularity,” he wishes to utilize the coming elections to create the impression that he still enjoys the people’s broad support. Aquino intends to use the elections as a platform to propagate the illusions of a “robust economy,” the “righteous path” and “good governance.”
The Filipino people must show that the US-Aquino regime is no different from previous regimes. Aquino has merely replaced the corruption of the Arroyo clique with the corruption of his relatives and cronies. His regime is relentlessly repressive and brutal despite its “peace and development” rhetoric. The people must oppose the continuing oil price hikes and the impending power and water rate increases. They must advance their mass struggles to fight for genuine land reform, demand wage hikes, resist demolitions, the privatization of health services and the commercialization of education and other public services. They must hold the Aquino regime accountable for its servility to IMF-WB dictates, its implementation of the policies of liberalization, privatization, deregulation and denationalization and for taking measures that favor foreign big capitalists and banks and cede the national patrimony.
We must take advantage of the period of reactionary elections to expand the united front in order to isolate the ruling Aquino clique. There is currently no major reactionary opposition party. The two main rival parties, Team PNoy (a coalition of the Liberal Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition and Nacionalista Party) and the United Nationalist Alliance (a coalition of PDP-Laban, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino) are in close collusion in implementing the programs of the US-Aquino regime. But underneath this collaboration are deep-seated rivalries for positions in government. These rivalries will become more marked and intense during the elections because of the contending factions’ desire to place their closest allies in various government posts.
The coming May elections are likewise crucial in the preparations being made by the leading political camps for the presidential elections in 2016. As the May elections near, the rivalries will become more pronounced not only on the national level, but even more so on the local level. This opens so many opportunities for the revolutionary forces to touch base and expand and strengthen the united front for the purpose of isolating the ruling Aquino clique and advance the programs of the revolutionary movement. Progressive and patriotic forces are intensely involved in the coming 2013 elections. For more than a decade now, progressive parties have successfully participated in reactionary elections despite the lack of resources and the all-out fascist attacks of the military and anti-communist groups.
A significant number of representatives have taken their seats in the reactionary Congress, advocating the people’s national and democratic aspirations. They have been able to use their positions in Congress to resist and prevent the enactment of anti-democratic and antipeople laws. It is favorable to the people to have representatives within the reactionary Congress who supplement their mass struggles outside of Congress. The Party encourages progressive and patriotic forces to participate in reactionary elections even if these are bogus and dominated by the power and resources of the major reactionary parties. The participation of progressive and patriotic parties in the coming elections will definitely be thoroughly opposed by agents of the US and the latter’s men in the military and bureaucracy.
As before, they face intimidation, violence and fraud. Working for the victory of progressive and patriotic forces in the upcoming elections has particular significance in the face of the brewing consensus among the ruling classes to amend the reactionary 1987 constitution in order to cast aside the national patrimony and pave the way for the further liberalization of foreign investments and trade. The placement of patriotic forces within the reactionary government can also be of use in the all-out battle against the continuing entry of American soldiers in the Philippines and US military intervention. Positions within Congress can also be used to push for the abrogation of the oil deregulation law and other policies that are onerous to the people.
The patriotic and progressive forces must also take advantage of the election period to give equal attention to expanding their ranks and launching mass education to expose the rotten reactionary system. Simultaneously, the Party encourages the progressive and patriotic forces to thoroughly expose the bogusness of the reactionary elections and how bereft it is of genuine democracy. In the Philippines, genuine democracy is enjoyed the the Filipino people only within the territories of the People’s Democratic Government where organs of political power are established on the basis of their democratic organizations.
In areas under the jurisdiction of the People’s Democratic Government, a new political system coexists with the old rotten system of the ruling classes. In these areas, the revolutionary forces may allow reactionary elections and campaigns by candidates. The people’s government must use its armed strength and political authority to oblige those participating in the reactionary elections to abide by the policies on the conduct of campaigns in order to ensure that the people’s rights will not be trampled on and the masses’ interests will be protected.
As candidates approach revolutionary authorities to seek permission, let us take this opportunity to strengthen our unities with them on other policies and programs of the people’s government. Even as we address the reactionary elections, the Party must continue holding fast to its tasks in the people’s war. We must expand and strengthen the Party, the New People’s Army and the revolutionary mass organizations. The NPA must continue to seize the initiative and intensify the armed struggle.
Ang Bayan February 23, 2013