Struggle against Aquino's worsening policies during its last year in office

Communist Party of the Philippines
December 30, 2014

The Aquino regime is set to become ever more corrupt and implement its worst policies ever in the coming year as it prepares to fill-up its election warchest, ensure compliance with contracts with allied big compradors and partner foreign capitalists, serve more the needs of the US military in the country and unleash desperate acts of suppression to stymie the growth of the revolutionary movement.

The ruling reactionary system seeks to draw the people early into the election carnival of 2016. However, the toiling masses of workers, peasants, semi-proletariat and low-income employees and professionals will have to be busy with waging struggles to defend and advance their welfare amid worsening socio-economic conditions.

In the face of worsening socio-economic conditions, the Filipino people must raise the level of their resistance and surpass the intensity and breadth of their struggles over the past three decades. They must be able to launch ever bigger and successive multisectoral and nationwide economic struggles, political battles and propaganda campaigns.

The Aquino regime has set the stage for a major battle over its plan to increase metrorail fares on January 4 by nearly 90% to comply with the contracts the Philippine government entered into with the Ayala and Pangilinan consortium. The planned increase in train fares is an additional burden on the workers, students and ordinary people who ride the train everyday. They must frustrate the plan of the Aquino regime to increase metrorail fares this January and oppose the contract which will allow the big comprador consortiums to annually increase metrorail fares to ensure high profits.

The struggle to oppose the metrorail fare increases is inextricably linked with the struggle to demand a substantial rollback in petroleum prices, electricity and water rates, as well as fares and fees in air, sea and longhaul land travel amid large price reduction of crude oil in the international market. In refusing to pull down prices, big comprador capitalists are raking in huge profits at the expense of the people.

Amid rising prices of goods and costs of services, it is just for the Filipino people to demand a national minimum wage of P16,000 a month. To advance and intensify this struggle, it is absolutely necessary for all sectors to unite and wage mass struggles to demand a national minimum wage increase, an end to the policy of wage regionalization and Aquino's "two-tiered" wage system, an end to contractualization as well as other flexible employment schemes.

The Filipino people must intensify their struggle to demand the abrogation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and oppose the setting up of US military bases and facilities benignly called Agreed Locations. While their ever-reliable puppet Aquino is in power, the US would want to firm-up arrangements for the docking of US warships and stationing of US troops and war materiƩl in these facilities, particularly in AFP military camps in Palawan, Subic and Nueva Ecija.

The Filipino people must extend all-out support to the struggle of the family of Jennifer Laude to attain justice for her murder suspected to have been perpetrated by US serviceman Joseph Scott Pemberton. They must condemn the Aquino regime for bowing to the US over the matter of custody of the suspect and raise the demand for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) which allows US authority to extend over the Philippines in violation of Philippine sovereignty.

The Filipino people must expose the Aquino regime as a national traitor for having served as a puppet of the US military. They must fire up their patriotic fervor of the current generation of youth by recalling the historic struggles for national freedom, the genocide and brutalities committed in the course of US colonialism and the heroic armed resistance of the Filipino people. The students and intellectuals must lead in the propaganda war to expose and oppose the pro-US and pro-imperialist ideas being perpetrated by the Aquino regime as justification for its neoliberal policies.

The Filipino people must raise their vigilance and resist Aquino and his henchmen's plans for a last minute dash to push for amending the 1987 constitution. Aquino's primary aim is to remove the provisions that protect national patrimony in order to allow foreign ownership of land, the full liberalization of foreign investments as well as the inflow and outflow of foreign capital and trade. The removal of such provisions have been demanded by the US government as condition for Philippine entry into the US-led Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. The charter change scheme also aim to remove the provision prohibiting foreign military facilties in order to completely remove legal impediments to establishing US military presence in the country. 

With or without charter change, Aquino is set to allow the operations of more mining and plantation companies in exchange for payouts. The Filipino people must unite to defend the country's patrimony and environment. They must also denounce the Aquino regime's plan to allow foreign capital to bring in obsolete dirty coal-fired power plants under the guise of addressing supposed power shortages which favor the Cojuangcos and other allied big compradors.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) negotiating panel is exerting all-out effort to revive the stalled peace negotiations with the Aquino regime in order to address the roots of the civil war and forge agreements on socio-economic reforms as well as disposition of forces. The Aquino regime, however, remains adamant to undo the NDFP-GPH agreements since 1992, use peace negotiations as a pacification instrument or to inveigle the revolutionary armed forces to surrender their arms. The Filipino people must unite to push the Aquino regime to uphold and respect all past agreements and cause the release of incarcerated NDFP peace consultants.

They can draw the attention of Pope Francis to their outstanding issues on the occasion of his visit on January 2015. They must expose the brutalities of the Aquino regime's Oplan Bayanihan, demand respect for human rights and struggle to make the Aquino regime and its officials culpable for the crimes committed by its armed forces over the past five years.

In the face of the broad range of problems and issues, the Filipino people have no other recourse but to raise their democratic mass struggles and resistance to new heights. They must strive to intensify their struggles in order to build up the strength to oust the Aquino regime.

In support of the Filipino people's struggle against the Aquino regime, the CPP calls on the New People's Army to continue intensifying the revolutionary armed struggle by launching bigger tactical offensives against the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and other armed organizations of the reactionary state. These tactical offensives must be carried out across the archipelago in order to further stretch the limited resources of the AFP and disable it from concentrating its forces in one region over a period of time. Through the leadership of the CPP, the revolutionary armed struggle is bound to achieve bigger victories in the next year or two.