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Message of Solidarity to the Promotion of Church People's Response

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
General Consultant, International League of Peoples’ Struggle

20 January 2004

As General Consultant of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), I wish to convey warmest greetings of solidarity to the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR), a founding participant of the ILPS, and to all the PCPR members who are bishops, priests, pastors, deacons, deaconesses, nuns, seminarians, religious, lay workers and members of policy-making bodies from different churches, on the occasion of the 6th National Congress of the PCPR.

I share your joy in celebrating the brilliant record of your ecumenical organization in serving the Filipino people since its founding in 1982. You have lived well your Christian faith by fighting against the evils of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism and seeking the national and social liberation of the people.

The PCPR is tried and tested in struggle. You have been consistently among the most resolute, articulate and militant in fighting for justice against the grave injustices inflicted on the people by the imperialists and the local reactionaries. In this connection, I join you in honoring the exemplary fighter for social justice, the late Bishop Antonio Y. Fortich.

You have admirably espoused that the church must be for the oppressed and exploited and that it must be for human rights and for a just peace. You have fought so well against the systematic acts of the oppressors and exploiters to use the church for legitimating their unjust rule and policies. You have proven your mettle against the US-directed Marcos fascist dictatoriship and the succeeding puppet regimes.

You have played an outstanding role in exposing and opposing the puppetry, corruption, mendacity and brutality of one ruling reactionary clique after another. You have matched your resonant advocacy of the people’s rights with robust efforts to promote their exercise or realization. You have heroically taken active part in the process of removing from power the fascist clique of Marcos in 1986 and the corrupt clique of Estrada in 2001.

I congratulate you for your successes in standing up for the people’s rights and opposing the Estrada and Macapagal-Arroyo regimes since the 5th National Congress. You have achieved these by virtue of hard work, struggle and sacrifices. And by your own high sense of responsibility, you know that that you must continue to take the path of struggle with the people in order to advance in the journey to which you are committed..

You are correct in making the thematic call: "Raise the prophetic voice of the church for a just and lasting peace, strengthen solidarity with the basic masses in the journey for genuine freedom and democracy!" I hope that your current congress enables you to respond wisely and courageously to the challenges ahead and more than ever to clarify your vision and to become more than ever effective in your mission.

I agree with the PCPR that it is the moral imperative for all Christians to participate in the people’s movement for national unity and independence, democracy, social justice, development and durable peace. It is necessary for the church people to be with the rest of the people in intensifying the struggle for national salvation and social liberation in the face of the intolerable iniquities and cruelties unleashed by the world capitalist system and the domestic ruling system of big compradors and landlords, especially at this time of worsening crisis.

The people are today squeezed by imperialism and the local ruling system. They are suffering from the plunderous consequences of "free market" globalization and the increasingly aggressive actions of US imperialism as well as from thepeculiar rapacity and violence of backward ruling classes like those of the big compradors and landlords.

We are all witnesses today to the increasing oppression and exploitation of the workers, peasants and even the middle social strata, the abuses and discrimination inflicted on women, the deprivations of the youth, the aged, the physically challenged, the sick and dying, and the children, the corruption and brutality of the rulers and the spread of a degrading kind of culture.

It is fine that the PCPR has adopted as its mission the following: to promote an ecumenical praxis for the upholding, defense and promotion of people’s rights, to be in solidarity and be of service to the Filipino masses in the struggle for national and social liberation, to assert and defend the integrity of the church people’s response to the challenges, to expose and oppose imperialist-dictated policies of the state against the people and against the poor and to bring all the church people and the common resources of churches to the people’s struggle.

The broad masses of the people are sick and tired of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime. They would certainly be outraged if this regime persisted in power through cheating in the elections. There would be unprecedented political turmoil. At the same time, the people do not expect any of the rival reactionary factions to solve the basic problems that arise from the ruling system and from imperialist domination.

So long as the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system persists in the Philippines, there is the urgent need to carry out the people’s movement for national freedom and democracy. The basic problems of the people cannot be solved by the electoral contest of competing political representatives of the exploiting classes. They can be solved only by the people themselves through an an ever rising level of conscientization and mobilization in a broad united front and under the inspiration of the best possible and most realizable ideas of social change for a better world.

The people of the world have a common enemy in imperialism, chiefly US imperialism. It is necessary for the Filipino people to link up with all the people of the world in a broad anti-imperialist solidarity movement. In this regard, I have always deeply appreciated the cooperation and participation of the PCPR in the founding of ILPS and in other international activities that can foster a broad international united front against imperialism.

I wish you the utmost success in your congress. I am confident that this congress will consolidate your strength and will open the way to further struggle and sacrifices and to greater successes in the years to come.###

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