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Letters to Jose Maria Sison




By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples' Struggle
April 23, 2009

On behalf of the International Coordinating Committee and all member-organizations of the International League of Peoples' Struggle, I convey warmest greetings of solidarity to the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and to the broad masses of the people in the region on the occasion of the 25th Cordillera Day on April 23 and 24.

In the spirit of international anti-imperialist solidarity, we solemnly commemorate with you the martyrdom of Ama Macliing Dulag who was murdered on the night of April 24, 1980 by the forces of imperialism and state terrorism for opposing the World Bank-financed Chico River Basic Hydroelectric Dam Project of the Marcos fascist dictatorship which sought to displace the indigenous people from their land, devastate their lives and culture and deliver the land, mineral, forest, water and other resources to foreign corporations and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords.

On that night, Dulag's colleague Pedro Dungoc survived the attack and subsequently joined the New People's Army. He made significant contributions to the development of people's war among the indigenous people until he died heroically as a Red fighter. We render the highest tribute to all martyrs and heroes who have made and continue to make the supreme sacrifice in the struggle of the peoples of the Cordillera for self-determination and regional autonomy, for ancestral rights to land and resources and for all other rights.

We the ILPS resolutely and vigorously support the people of the Cordillera in the struggle for all their rights within the context of national freedom and democracy for the Filipino people as well as within the scope of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We salute and congratulate all of you in the CPA for your growing strength and cumulative achievements in upholding, defending and promoting the rights of the people of Cordillera against the exploitative and oppressive interests of the imperialists, the big comprador-landlords and the corrupt high bureaucrats currently headed by the Arroyo ruling clique . You continue to prevail over tremendous odds and vicious attacks against you by powerful adversaries because of your firm commitment, your courage, your hard work, your militant struggle and spirit of self-sacrifice in the service of the people.

We take pride in having the CPA as the lead organization for Commission 10 of the ILPS on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, National Minorities and Nationalities for Self-Determination and Decolonization Against Discrimination, Racism, and National Oppression by Imperialism and Local Reaction. You have brought into the ILPS your rich experience in successfully spearheading the struggle of the people of Cordillera and in promoting their relations of solidarity and mutual support with other peoples.

We appreciate that this year you are holding festive and meaningful celebrations of Cordillera Day through deliberative meetings and cultural activities in five different assembly points in Abra, Baguio & Benguet, Kalinga & Apayao, Ifugao and Mountain Province, instead of celebrating in only one assembly point for the entire region as in previous years. This new development manifests your growing capabilities. It allows more people in the entire region to participate in the celebrations and the various provinces to adopt their respective themes based on their specific conditions, problems and issues.

At the same time, all the specific themes are encompassed by the central theme: "Strengthen solidarity. Intensify he struggle for land, life and rights." This call for unity is at once a call for action. The people of Cordillera must stand up as one to confront the problems of exploitation and oppression that they suffer in the entire region and in every province. These problems arise from the semicolonial and semifeudal character of Philippine society. The solutions are available along the line of the people's struggle for national liberation and democracy.

Among the most pressing issues that the CPA must tackle are the relentless plunder of the ancestral land resources by foreign and local mining corporations; the escalating violations of human rights; the assaults on the basic rights to livelihood and welfare; the scheme to amend the 1987 constitution for the benefit of the ruling clique and its imperialist masters; and the severe impact of the rapidly worsening crises of both the world capitalist system and the domestic ruling system.

We are confident that the meetings of the CPA in the various provinces will yield resolutions and action plans that tackle the issues in very concrete terms and within the context of the central theme. Thus, the entirety and every part of the CPA will be able to arouse, organize and mobilize the people in protesting the iniquities, in raising demands and bringing the movement for national and social liberation to a new and higher level.

We hope that the CPA will continue to carry out its tasks successfully, grow in strength and advance further in the service of the people of Cordillera. The CPA and the people of Cordillera will continue to win greater victories because your cause is just and because you persevere in struggle. Your adversaries are stricken by a deepening crisis and are resisted by the people in your region, in the entire Philippines and entire world. You enjoy abundant support from the Filipino people and the people of the world.

The International League of Peoples' Struggle is grateful to you for your hard work and contributions in promoting and strengthening international solidarity along the anti-imperialist and democratic line by focusing on the upholding, defense and advancement of the rights of indigenous peoples, national minorities and nationalities for self-determination and decolonization against discrimination, racism, and national oppression by imperialism and local reaction.

Agbiag ti umili ti Cordillera!
Agbiag ti Cordillera Peoples Alliance!
Agbiag ti umili ti Pilipinas ken ti lubong!

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