Rise up against the sufferings and oppression wrought by the Aquino regime

Ang Bayan
May 7, 2012 issue

Benigno Aquino III clearly demonstrated who his real bosses are when his police forces perpetrated the bloody demolition of the urban poor community at Silverio Compound in ParaƱaque City. The Aqiino regime openly used guns and truncheons against residents who were defending their homes and livelihoods. Aquino has shed the blood of the poor at Silverio and other communities, and driven them away in order to seize the land in favor of the infrastructure projects of big comprador bourgeoisie and foreign big capitalists.

Last May 1, Aquino outrightly blocked the much-needed and longstanding P125 increase in the minimum daily wage of workers. He justified his stand by claiming that a wage increase for workers will turn off foreign big capitalists from investing in the Philippines. To Aquino, it would be best for Filipinos to be paid wages lower than that received by workers in other countries—even if the prevailing wage is not even half of the amount needed by workers' families to live decently.

In addition, despite the decision of the reactionary court to distribute the Hacienda Luisita lands, the Cojuangco and Aquino clans have relentlessly been maneuvering to deprive the estate's farm workers of this land. The hacienda farmers face many big battles ahead as Aquino uses the power of the bureaucracy and the provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Reforms (CARPER) to keep the land in their possession.

In contrast to the utter contempt he has shown for the toiling masses, Aquino has given a grandiose welcome to the leaders and officials of foreign big banks attending the meeting of the Asian Development Bank (in Manila. Dancing, singing and lavish feasts are just some of the treats Aquino has prepared for the foreign tourists to make it appear that “it's more fun in the Philippines.” Like Imelda Marcos, Aquino ordered fences erected along entire stretches of road in Pasay to keep poor families living under the bridge and beside a polluted river out of sight of the tourists who would be traveling along this route.

The actions taken by the Aquino regime in the past few weeks have brought to the fore its unbridled attacks against the toiling masses. For two years, Aquino has done nothing in favor of the interests of the oppressed and exploited classes and sectors and has demonstrated his class character as a big landlord and an ally of foreign big capitalists and the local big comprador bourgeoisie.

Under Aquino's rule, the prices of oil, food, medicines, water, electricity and other basic goods and services have continually skyrocketed. Not only has Aquino feigned helplessness in the name of “deregulation,” he has been feeding on the people's misery by levying taxes on oil prices. In accordance with directives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), additional taxes will also be imposed on road usage and train fares. There are also plans to levy taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic drinks. If the IMF had its way, taxes would also be imposed even on texting.

Levying heavier taxes on an extremely impoverished people is among Aquino's gravest crimes. Granting tax holidays to foreign big capitalists even as they amass huge profits from exploiting the workers and extracting gold and other natural resources from the country constitutes an even bigger crime.
Impoverished Filipinos are angered no end that even as they are burdened with more taxes, they are the least of the reactionary government's priorities. Already grossly inadequate education and health budgets are being reduced further while schools and hospitals become big business.

The poor are indignant at the fact that despite the lack of decent and regular employment, the government has been systematically attacking their sources of livelihood. They are irate because they do not have enough to eat, have nothing to spend for the treatment of their ailing kin, are unable to send their children to school, are losing their shanties to demolition crews and being evicted to places bereft of employment opportunities.
The workers, the urban poor, the hungry and unemployed are up in arms. They are rising against exploitation and oppression. They have ranged themselves against the Aquino regime for serving the foreign big capitalists, compradors and big landlords. They are taking action against the policies that have condemned them to further hunger and poverty.

They are launching their struggles in factories, urban poor communities, schools and offices in the cities. Their cries for higher wage, for the right to regular work, to unionize and to strike are resounding nationwide. The sound of their feet as they march in unison against demolitions and the suppression of their economic rights is reverberating across narrow paths, bridges and vast thoroughfares. Their clenched fists  strike against relentless hikes in the prices of oil and other commodities and for free education, medicines and health services.

The red banner of the peasant masses' agrarian revolution waves high in the countryside. From clusters of villages to entire districts, towns, provinces and regions, the peasantry is uniting and struggling against various forms of feudal exploitation by big landlords, merchants, usurers and foreign-owned plantations. They are determined to advance their rights for a just share in the harvest, for higher wages for farm workers and for correct prices for agricultural products. The revolutionary masses are giving their all in advancing agrarian revolution so that millions of peasants could benefit from and celebrate its victories.

Their determination to protect the national patrimony and stop foreign big companies from seizing agricultural lands and ancestral domains for plantations, mining and logging enterprises stands like a steel fortress as they courageously confront the violent onslaughts and deceptions of the fascist military which has been going on a rampage and lording it over their barrios.

Benigno Aquino III's repressiveness, brutality and the contempt with which he views the toiling masses and oppressed people will be met by widespread, valiant and determined struggle. A tempest of rage will rise from the people in the factories, communities, schools and ciuntryside villages and the streets will be awash with their battles.

The fury of mass struggles will further raise the storm of armed revolution. Hundreds of thousands desire to join the armed struggle as members of the people's militia or full-time Red fighters of the New People's Army. NPA tactical offensives are becoming bigger, more frequent and more widespread in order to weaken the enemy, seize thousands of weapons and build the people's Red political power.

Uprisings, demonstrations and armed offensives will shake not only Aquino's rule but that of US imperialism in the Philippines. It will erode the foundations of the semicolonial and semifeudal system and advance people's war and further bring it to the threshhold of the strategic stalemate.