Filipino people must renew nationalist fervor against Aquino puppetry

Communist Party of the Philippines
June 12, 2012

There is great urgency in the need to renew the Filipino people's nationalist fervor in the face of the ruling Aquino regime's all-out subservience to the policies and agenda of the US imperialist government. Since ascending to power, Benigno Aquino has virtually surrendered the country's sovereignty and right to self-determination as he submits to all of the military and economic dictates of the US imperialists.

It is ironic that the Filipino people today mark the 114th anniversary of the June 12, 1898 Declaration of Independence just a few days after Aquino paid homage to his imperialist masters. In his meetings with imperialist chieftain Barrack Obma and key security and defense officials of the US as well as the heads of the biggest monopoly capitalist companies, Aquino expressed his government's willingness and determination to serve their needs in the name of "enduring friendship".

Emboldened by its recent consolidation of political power, the ruling Aquino regime is now working to further trample on Philippine national sovereignty by allowing the unimpeded buildup of the number of interventionist and hegemonist US military troops and in pushing ever more vigorously the breakdown of economic barriers against all-out foreign plunder and exploitation.

Andres Bonifacio and the Filipino people's other revolutionary heroes are surely turning in their graves as the banner of national freedom which they waved high is now being desecrated by the Aquino regime and its coterie of Amboy officials. The so-called "new freedom" being touted by Benigno Aquino III is nothing but empty rhetoric to conceal the state of "unfreedom" which his government is pulling the country into.

Aquino's subservience to US military dominance
For two years now, Benigno Aquino has served well the foreign policy direction of US imperialism to build an "American Pacific Century" where it seeks to establish itself as an unrivalled economic and military power in the Asia-Pacific region. US imperialist officials have outrightly declared its aims of pouring "unprecedented economic, diplomatic and military investment" in the Asia-Pacific region as its solution to its prolonged economic crisis.

Ever the puppet, Aquino has openly welcomed the arrival of more and more American ships to dock and unload its armed troops onto Philippine soil. Goaded by his American advisers, Aquino has gone the lengths of rousing diplomatic and military tensions with China and sacrificing friendly relations with the Chinese government in order to justify before the Filipino people increased American military presence in the guise of support for Philippine claims over certain South China Sea territories and land features.

Dockings of American warships and submarines have been increasingly frequent especially over the past year. There have been successive visits by high-ranking officials of the American defense and military establishment. Over the past several months, officials of the US and Philippine governments have been busy forging new agreements to provide the US military with facilities for US warships, fighters jets, military drones and soldiers on "rest and recreation."

In a recent meeting with the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, Aquino gave assurances to the US military that its forces will be given access to facilities in its former military bases in Subic, Zambales and Clark, Pampanga. The US has long sought to make use of its former naval and air base to accomodate the increasing number of "rotational" American troops that will have similar access arrangements in Australia, Singapore and other countries in the region. Such arrangements with the Philippines will serve well the recently declared intention of the US to redirect as much as 60% of its foreign naval troops in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the same time, at least 700 interventionist troops belonging to the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTFP) continue to be permanently stationed in its headquarters inside an exclusive zone of Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City. Soldiers belonging to the JSOTFP carry out interventionist armed operations, participating directly in counter-guerrilla operations or providing logistical, intelligence and other technical support to operating troops of the AFP.

Through its officials attached to the JSOTFP, the US military can direct the "counter-insurgency" operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) both at the strategic planning level as well as in tactical operations. The Aquino regime has adapted almost to the letter the 2009 Counterinsurgency Guide issued by the US Department of State which gives premium to psywar and political gimmickry to cover up the brutality of the war of suppression directed against the people and their revolutionary forces.

In the guise of so-called "joint military exercises," the US military can direct the AFP's tactical operations. The US military has long been conducting aerial, satellite and electronic intelligence work in the Philippines from which it gathers information to direct the AFP at the tactical level. Earlier this year, American-supplied "smart bombs" were dropped by AFP pilots in Basilan while being directed by US soldiers.

US interventionism is set to further heighten with the plan to set up a satellite office of the New York Police Department (NYPD) inside Camp Crame in the guise of "coordination against terrorism." In doing so, the US security and defense establishment can more actively carry out intelligence operations within the Philippines and direct as well the operations of the Philippine National Police. Recently, the US government also declared it will work with the Philippine government in setting up the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) in order to allow the US to conduct maritime surveillance.

Completely lacking a sense of national integrity, the Aquino government does not see anything wrong in allowing a foreign government to conduct combat, intelligence and training operations within the Philippines. Aquino himself declared that he supports the US air force in its conduct of drone-intelligence operations over Philippines airspace, without any qualms that such operations violate the Philippine territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Aquino's subservience to US economic policy
The US military's power-projection activities in the Asia-Pacific region helps fortify its hegemonism and seeks to prevent or contain the growth of China as a military power. At the core of such a military strategy is the objective of influencing economic policy in China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific and pave the way for US companies to carry out heightened exploitation of cheap labor in the region.

By flexing its military muscle in the region, the US seeks to further push the discredited neoliberal policies. It seeks to make China further break up its state enterprises, a measure which the US considers  crucial in allowing US companies to more effectively penetrate China. In the name of "freedom of navigation," the US is building up its military presence as a counterfoil to the military cooperation between China and Russia and prevent the Shanghai Cooperation Organization from effectively drawing the rest of the Asia-Pacific away from US influence.

There is a growing trend of economic cooperation outside the ambit and actively against US influence characterized by multilateral and bilateral economic agreements among Asia-Pacific countries. Despite US efforts in the past years, the US initiative to build "free trade" agreements under the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has failed to gather a significant number of adherents.

Less powerful imperialist and capitalist countries and even some semicolonial countries see the need to broaden their economic horizons beyond the US, which has been sliding on the path of economic and industrial decline for the past several decades. Yet, the Aquino regime has chosen to put all its efforts in support of the US by agreeing to comply with the all-out liberalization requirements of joining the TPP.

The ruling Aquino clique intends to use its newly consolidated political power to push for such liberalization policies mainly by amending the reactionary 1987 Philippine to remove the provisions that set limits to foreign ownership of land and those that prohibit foreigners from owning a majority of locally-operating enterprises. In an interview a few days ago, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the US' most reliable allies and baton wielders for the reactionary ruling class revealed that congressional leaders are discussing efforts to convene a constitutional convention to undertake "cha-cha" in order to remove what he referred to derisively as "nationalist provisions" as if these were unwanted remnants of the past.

In line with economic policy dictates of the US, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the Aquino regime stubbornly sticks to the neoliberal policies of the past three decades, even if these have clearly caused great harm against the economy. It has been pursuing the same anti-industrial and anti-land reform thrusts and continues to rely on foreign debt, foreign investments and export of labor as solutions to the perennial and critical problem of unemployment.

The anti-nationalist economic policies of the Aquino regime further consist of increasing the tax burden on the people while slashing budgetary appropriations on social spending, keeping wages low while refusing to regulate oil prices and other key industries and services and promoting education for cheap labor for both the domestic and foreign employment markets. With World Bank sponsorship and financing, the Aquino regime has engaged in a myopic doleout scheme that is both a cheap publicity stunt and counterinsurgency psywar tack that purportedly addresses poverty without actually addressing the people's oppression and exploitation which are at the root of their abject socio-economic conditions.

Raise high the banner of nationalism
Philippine sovereignty since the granting of nominal independence in 1946 is a sham. For more than six and a half decades, the Philippines has been under a neo-colonial state ruled over by American-educated and colonial-minded politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats. Aquino's puppetry to US imperialist dictates and military dominance underscore the absence of genuine national freedom and sovereignty.

The prolonged economic depression of the US compels it to more vigorously push its weight around in an attempt to override the crisis. It wants to fortify its hegemony in order to seek and expand areas of trade and investment. US efforts to intensify the exploitation of labor and tighten control of trade routes in order to ride over its economic depression are resulting in ever worsening socio-economic conditions in semicolonial and semifeudal countries such as the Philippines.

Aquino's claims of "freedom from poverty" as the supposed fruit of his so-called "righteous path" is full of air and completely baseless. Afer two years under Aquino's US-imposed neoliberal policies, the Filipino people are suffering more than ever from unemployment, hunger and massive poverty.

In the face of the US-Aquino regime's extreme contempt for Philippine sovereignty, there is urgent need for the Filipino people to reaffirm and reassert their nationalist aspirations and struggle for national liberation and self-determination.

There must be a renewed vigor in upholding nationalism or anti-imperialism. The people must oppose the imperialist-sponsored notion that under a "globalized world," nationalism and the need to build a dynamic, self-reliant and industrialized economy is an antiquated idea. Apologists of imperialism ignore the fact that the imperialist countries and other secondary capitalist countries are among the most zealous ultra-nationalists in terms of economic protectionism. American officials have openly asserted that its drive to build an "American Pacific Century" is in line with its national interests.

The Filipino people are in a crucial historic juncture where upholding nationalism in the field of economic policy and foreign relations is of utmost importance. US imperialism and their puppets seek to extinguish the fire of Filipino nationalism. They depreciate the meaning of nationalism to a narrow concept of pride for national heritage or individual accomplishments by Filipinos.

Nationalism or anti-imperialism should be brought to the core of the people's mass struggles against oil price increases by exposing foreign monopoly control of the oil industry; in struggling for wage increases by exposing the policy of cheap labor as a way of attracting foreing investments; in demanding greater social subsidies by exposing the IMF-WB policies of deregulation and privatization; in fighting the demolition of urban poor communities by exposing the big foreign interests behind the Private-Public Partnership program of the US-Aquino regime; and in demanding the abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement by exposing US military interventionism and the master-client relations between the US imperialists and its puppet state.

The Filipino people, especially the young generation, must look back to the Filipino people's history of revolutionary resistance and struggle for national freedom. They must recall the all-out brutalities unleashed by the US against the Filipino people in their attemmpt to suppress their revolutionary resistance. They must give serious effort and time to nationalist studies in order to gain knowledge which has been stricken off the World Bank-designed curriculum of Philippine education. They must study, promote and seek inspiration from the heroic revolutionary resistance of the Filipino people in launching people's wars against Spanish and American colonialism, as well as in the struggle to achieve national and social liberation in the past four decades.

They must look back to the works of Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio of the late 19th century, the nationalist ideals of the heroes of the working class movement in the early 20th century, the nationalist assertions of Lorenzo Ta├▒ada, Claro Mayo Recto and Renato Constantino from the 1950s as well as the more recent expressions of Filipino nationalism set forth by Jose Ma. Sison and the national democratic movement from the late 1960s to the present.

As before, the Filipino youth will play a crucial role in making the nationalist studies movement take root and impact on the Filipino national consciousness. In so doing, the Filipino people can further raise the banner of national freedom to unprecedented heights.

The revolutionary movement led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has been waging a war of national and social liberation which is a continuation of the Filipino people's unfinished revolution. They have achieved great victories in the past and are poised to achieve bigger victories in the next few years.

The nationalist movement is an intrinsic aspect of the national democratic revolutionary movement, with the revolutionary forces as among the most determined nationalists of the Filipino people. As the national democratic revolution advances, so does the cause of nationalism. At the same time, a broad nationalist movement enables the national democratic revolution to reach out to the people in their numbers. The cause of Filipino nationalism and the national democratic revolution advance hand in hand.