Ang Bayan

Magnus Bernhardsen magnus.bernhardsen at SPAMnm.no
Tue Jan 23 06:06:27 MST 2001


AB-Online Updates - http://angbayan.cjb.net

We have posted a special issue of Ang Bayan dated January 22, 2001
which includes the following:

Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the
Philippines on the victorious EDSA uprising against the Estrada
regime

and

The overthrow of the US-Estrada regime and our tasks under the
Macapagal-Arroyo regime

Go to http://angbayan.cjb.net to read the articles online and
download a copy for printing.

The Editors
Ang Bayan
editors at angbayan.cjb.net

Hereunder is the statement of the CC-CPP followed by the article
assessing the overthrow of the US-Estrada regime and the current
tasks of the revolutionary movement:

=========================
=========================
====================
Statement of the Communist Party of the Philippines on the victorious
EDSA uprising against the Estrada regime
[English translation]

Central Committee
Communist Party of the Philippines
January 20, 2001
=========================
=========================
====================

The Communist Party of the Philippines ardently salutes the brilliant
victory of the people's uprising that ousted the much-despised and
rotten Estrada regime. More than anything, it is the people's heroism
that swiftly removed Estrada from Malacañang.

EDSA 2, like EDSA 1, is a victorious people's struggle that is worthy
of praise. Nonetheless, the people strongly desire that there be no
more reprises of their frustration over the changes promised by EDSA
1.

The masses who fearlessly advanced to topple Estrada will not be
satisfied with mere pretenses and tokenisms. It is completely within
their rights to demand that the Macapagal-Arroyo government seriously
uphold national and social change.

It is the Macapagal-Arroyo government's responsibility to put the
people's agenda at the center of its governance, especially those
changes that the extremely impoverished and oppressed masses have
long been fighting for. Among these are the following:

1. Immediate prosecution of Estrada and his cronies for plunder and
other crimes. Recovery of their ill-gotten wealth in order to fund
programs that are genuinely for the poor.

2. Thoroughgoing and sincere campaign against graft and corruption in
government.

3. Immediate remedies and long-term improvement of employment, wages,
housing and social services for the poor in the cities and
countryside.

4. Genuine land reform for the peasant masses.

5. Repeal of the policies of denationalization, deregulation,
liberalization, contractualization, casualization and other forms of
enslavement resulting from imperialist globalization.

6. Repudiation of militarization, militarism and total war. Sincere
pursuit of peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP, which were
sabotaged by the Estrada regime.

7. Justice for victims of militarization, militarism and total war.
Release of all political prisoners.

8. Abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement and opposition to US
intervention in the country's internal affairs.

Despite Estrada's ouster, the chronic socio-economic crisis of the
semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system continues. It is this
crisis, aside from the extreme avarice and arrogance of the Estrada
faction, that is behind the crisis and overthrow of Estrada after a
mere two and a half years.

The Communist Party and New People's Army continue, and are further
determined, to advance the people's democratic revolution and
people's war until total victory. Alongside, we are likewise further
determined to unite and cooperate with all democratic, progressive
and sincere forces, groups and elements to fight for the Filipino
people's national and democratic welfare.

Long live the heroic Filipino people!

Continue the struggle until genuine democracy, national freedom and
progress are achieved!

Advance the people's democratic revolution to total victory!

=========================
=========================
====================
The overthrow of the US-Estrada regime and our tasks under the
Macapagal-Arroyo regime
[English translation]
=========================
=========================
====================
The Filipino people celebrate their victory in ousting the US-Estrada
regime. Through the broad unity and action of hundreds of thousands
at EDSA and in the streets of other cities and towns across the
country, the Filipino people put an end to the unbridled reign of
crime, corruption, fascism and puppetry under the US-Estrada regime.

The Party is aware that the ouster of Estrada does not resolve the
Filipino people's fundamental problems that brought about the current
severe political and economic crisis. It is thus necessary for the
Filipino people to continue in firmly advancing their national and
democratic interests and intensify their revolutionary struggle in
all arenas all over the country.

MASSIVE DEMONSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT THE NATION TOPPLED THE US-ESTRADA
REGIME
The US-Estrada regime was toppled by the massive demonstrations that
started in November 2000 and culminated in the January 17-20 movement
of hundreds of thousands throughout the nation, including the
gigantic demonstration at EDSA.

The sustained mass struggles since 1998 and specifically, the call of
the forces of the national democratic movement since the early part
of 2000 to end the US-Estrada regime paved the way for Estrada's
ouster. The demonstrations further spread when Gov. Luis Singson
bolted the Estrada camp in October 2000 and exposed Estrada's
anomalies and criminal activities.

The massive demonstrations were made possible by the broad
anti-Estrada united front. This consisted mainly of the basic forces
of the national democratic movement, the petty bourgeois forces, in
general, and the middle bourgeoisie who were critical of the
corruption of the ruling system; and the anti-Estrada reactionaries.

Contrary to what the reactionary politicians would like to portray,
the defection of the AFP and PNP's leadership on January 19 was not
the decisive factor in Estrada's ouster. In fact, this defection of
the military and the police was but the last act in the Estrada
government's collapse. In the AFP and PNP's rejection of Estrada, the
people dismantled the last pillar that propped Estrada up. After
this, Estrada's actual resignation became secondary in significance.

The entire leadership and organization of the military and police
repudiated Estrada in line with the orders of Pentagon agents who
were, at that time, stationed at the US Embassy in the Philippines.
US imperialism was primarily concerned with the danger of a major
breakup within the military and the police, especially since disgust
over Estrada was widespread among the AFP and PNP's middle-ranking
officials and there were plans to arrest pro-Estrada officials,
including PNP chief Gen. Panfilo Lacson.

US imperialism mobilized the military and police because it was
anxious over the fact that street demonstrations had been gaining
momentum since the night of January 16 and mass organizations had
been exercising full initiative in ousting Estrada. It made sure that
there would be a smooth transition from Estrada to Macapagal-Arroyo
through the AFP/PNP and AFP chief Gen. Angelo Reyes' call for a
"dignified exit" for Estrada. Estrada ostensibly refused to step down
from the right of January 19 until he left Malaca¤ang on the
afternoon of January 20 despite the fact that his government had
collapsed, in order to pave the way for negotiations and iron out
issues for his "dignified exit. One of the principal issues was the
protection of Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco's interests represented by
Sec. Orlando Mercado and former Exec. Sec. Edgardo Angara.

Efforts to belittle the role of street demonstrations were made
through conspiratorial negotiations between Estrada's camp and
reactionary parties composing the United Opposition. The latter
consists mainly of the Lakas-NUCD party headed by Ramos and
Macapagal-Arroyo. The forces who organized the demonstrations, as
well as other anti-Estrada reactionaries, were excluded. Likewise,
these reactionary conspirators tried to preempt the Mendiola march
which was scheduled for the morning of January 20 by calling on all
demonstrators to stay in EDSA and by hurriedly swearing in
Macapagal-Arroyo despite unresolved legal issues.

Estrada was able to demand in these negotiations for his continued
stay in Malaca¤ang for another five to seven days. In fact,
Macapagal-Arroyo was ready to wait this long before occupying
Malaca¤ang even though she had already been sworn in as president.
Macapagal-Arroyo took this gamble despite the possibility that
Estrada would organize countermeasures with funding and support
provided by Danding Cojuangco.

The Left and Middle forces in the anti-Estrada united front agreed
wisely to push through with the Mendiola march without distancing
themselves from the EDSA forces. Majority of the 100,000
demonstrators in EDSA joined the march toward Mendiola on the morning
of January 20 contrary to the call to remain in EDSA.

The militant demonstration in Mendiola of tens of thousands of people
proved to be the decisive factor for Estrada to immediately vacate
Malaca¤ang. Fearing that the mass movement may once again gain the
political initiative, Gen. Angelo Reyes and Gen. Jose Calimlim
themselves went to Malaca¤ang to save Estrada from the possible
humiliation of being forcibly kicked out by the anti-Estrada
demonstration and escort him "with dignity" to his mansion in San
Juan.

THE SOCIAL CRISIS WILL CONTINUE TO WORSEN UNDER THE MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
REGIME
The Party and revolutionary movement are aware of the currently
existing balance of political and class forces and do not entertain
any opportunist illusion that revolutionary change could take place
or that it is possible for them to share political power due to the
ouster of the US-Estrada regime. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo succeeded as
president of the reactionary government on the basis of the 1987
constitution which the majority of the reactionary class upholds in
the desire to immediately resolve the severe political crisis.

Macapagal-Arroyo takes power at a time when the ruling system is
undergoing a severe and continuing social crisis characterized by the
deeply divided factions of the reactionary class, an economic and
financial crisis, intensifying fascist cruelty by the state,
widespread disgust among the people over massive poverty and
oppression and the ever growing strength of the people's
revolutionary struggle nationwide.

The material basis for the factionalization of the ruling class will
continue to exist. The severe economic crisis limits opportunities
for the peaceful sharing of perks and privileges among the various
factions. On the one hand, politicians and big businesses that
benefited from the Ramos and Aquino regimes and who were trampled on
under the Estrada regime are now scrambling to reinstate themselves
in power. Aside from this, the people have issued a serious call for
the prosecution and punishment of all those involved in corruption,
anomalies and criminal activities under the Estrada regime. On the
other hand, in the name of "healing the wounds", there are
arrangements being made that would enable some of Estrada's minions
to remain, particularly those who had been appointed by Danding
Cojuangco, for the purpose of protecting his vast empire.

Likewise, the military is severely factionalized. In fact, from
January 17-20, there were no less than seven factions all acting
independently. Each one of these represent various reactionary
politicians who wish to protect and advance their own interests.

Even reactionary economists expect the economic crisis to continue.
Local businesses and foreign capital have run aground, not so much
because of the "lack of confidence" in the previous government, but
due to the international crisis characterized by the bursting of the
US economic bubble, the continuing crisis in Japan, the witholding of
funds by foreign financial institutions and the widespread
destruction of economies due to liberalization and other WTO policy
dictates. Government funds have dried up. The budget deficit for 2000
is expected to exceed P120 billion; and likewise expected to further
balloon to more than P200 billion this year.

On the other hand, the Filipino people continue to suffer from severe
poverty and oppression. The toiling masses are battered with problems
of unemployment and layoffs, low wages, widespread landgrabbing in
the countryside, continually rising prices of oil and other basic
commodities, lack of decent housing and other livelihood problems.
The toiling masses are the targets of an utterly brutal
counterrevolutionary war, especially in the countryside.

In the future, it will have become clearer that in truth, the
economic and political crisis is not merely a consequence of the
widespread corruption, rottenness and suppression that marked the
Estrada clique's former rule; but of continued imperialist domination
and exploitation and the subservience of the local ruling classes.

The suffering of the Filipino people and their exploitation at the
hands of big foreign corporations, local big capitalists and big
landlords will continue to spur them to tread the revolutionary path
of social change.

INTENSIFY THE REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the current chief of the neocolonial
puppet government. Her regime embodies the interests of foreign
monopoly capitalism and that of the local ruling classes of the big
comprador bourgeoisie and big landlords.

Nonetheless, the Macapagal-Arroyo government is remarkable for having
been established on the basis of the strength of a democratic mass
movement that ousted the despised and rotten Estrada government. At
the core of this mass movement is the united front of the toiling
masses, the petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie and
anti-Estrada reactionaries.

At the start of her rule, Macapagal-Arroyo may take steps and issue
policies addressing some democratic demands of the united front that
catapulted her to power in order to woo its support at this period of
consolidating her regime. The previous declaration of big business
that it would stop layoffs of workers is in line with this, as is
Macapagal-Arroyo's declaration on her first day in office that she
would put a stop to the layoff of government employees.

The national-democratic forces may persevere in a critical alliance
with the Macapagal-Arroyo regime on condition that her government
immediately implements the following democratic actions:

1) Arrest, try and punish Estrada, the Marcoses and all of the
biggest cronies and plunderers and cause them to surrender their
ill-gotten wealth. Terminate secret negotiations including those
between the government and the Marcoses.

2) Indemnify all victims of martial law and total war.

3) Free all political prisoners, including Donato Continente and
Juanito Itaas who have both been imprisoned for a period longer that
their reduced sentences.

4) Junk Oplan Makabayan, Oplan Balangai, Oplan Pisces Alpha and other
military campaigns that suppress the people and trample on their
rights and livelihood.

5) Do away with antinational and antipeople laws and programs,
including the Foreign Investments Act, Mining Act, Retail Trade
Liberalization Law, policies that are in accordance with the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the dictates of the World Trade
Organization.

6) Stop continued increases in the price of gasoline and implement a
law that shall control gasoline prices without imposing added burdens
on the people.

7) Implement a P125-increase in the workers' daily wage. Carry out
programs for housing, health and other social services.

8) Put a stop to widespread land-use conversion by landlords and the
misrepresentation as "land reform" of various schemes such as
"corporativism".

9) Respect and implement earlier agreements between the GRP and NDFP,
from The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 up to the Comprehensive
Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian
Law of 1998.

10) Stop all scheduled joint US-RP military exercises and abrogate
the Visiting Forces Agreement, Mutual Defense Treaty and other
unequal treaties.

The Communist Party had earlier already declared the readiness of the
National Democratic Front of the Philippines to resume peace talks
with the GRP. It is proper to discuss first and foremost the
implementation of previously signed agreements.

It also stands ready to receive the emissaries of the GRP to discuss
the release of prisoners of war who had been abandoned by the Estrada
regime. In the same spirit, the NDFP expects the GRP to undertake
steps to release the more than 200 political prisoners.

As time goes on, Macapagal-Arroyo's promises and declarations that
she would address the national and democratic demands of the people
will dwindle in significance along with her consolidation of her
regime on the basis of antipeople, pro-imperialist and fascist
policies and programs. The people's experience and victory in
overthrowing the US-Estrada regime have raised the level of their
militancy and capability to resist any undertaking by the
Macapagal-Arroyo government to trample on their rights and welfare.

The people must consolidate their organizations, systematically sum
up their experiences in overthrowing Estrada and stand ever firmly
for their interests.

The Party and the entire revolutionary movement are determined and
have the capability to reap the gains of the anti-Estrada struggle
and advance the revolutionary struggle on all fronts. The New
People's Army shall continue to intensify the armed struggle in all
guerrilla fronts nationwide by launching more and bigger tactical
offensives. The biggest cronies and plunderers who benefited during
the US-Estrada regime remain as targets, as with despised military
units that owe blood debts to the people. Existing social conditions,
especially in the countryside, continue to teach the people the
correctness of advancing the revolutionary armed struggle.

Along with this, we shall continue to advance antifeudal struggles in
the countryside, the building of revolutionary mass bases, the
expansion of the national united front and the strengthening of the
Communist Party and the people's army.

The entire revolutionary movement stands ready to take advantage of
any twist in the political situation and cooperate with all forces or
groups within or outside the government to advance the interests of
the Filipino people.






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