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Keynote Address to the 3rd National Congress of ANAKBAYAN
22 October 2004
By Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman,Kabataang Makabayan
(Translation of speech originally in Pilipino)

Fellow Activists,

Warm patriotic greetings to all of you!

I thank the National Executive Committee for inviting me to deliver this keynote address on the occasion of the 3rd National Congress of Anakbayan. I am happy to have the opportunity to present my views and suggestions.

I am in solidarity with you on the principles and policies of Anakbayan and the theme of your congress with its aim of continuing to strengthen and expand Anakbayan, fight the worsening crisis and persevere in the national democratic struggle of the people.

Worsening Economic Crisis

The ruling system is in a very grave economic and financial crisis. This is not simply a fiscal crisis involving a mounting budgetary deficit due to increases in government spending and shortfalls in tax collection. This is an economic and financial crisis that cannot be solved by the Arroyo regime’s plan to increase tax collection and decrease government spending.

Starkly visible to us is the reality of massive unemployment, dwindling incomes, rising prices of basic commodities, the plunging value of the peso and the inadequacy of social services. These are effects of the worsening crisis of the ruling domestic system of the bif compradors and landlords and the the world capitalist system.

Under so-called free market globalization, the the foreign monopolies and their local puppets have intensified the exploitation of our country. The drop in the prices of our raw-material and semimanufacture exports and the increase in the payments for imported manufactures continues to accelerate. The trade deficit and foreign debt have rapidly increased.

The Arroyo regime is now imposing on the people even heavier taxes and bigger cutbacks on social services. The Filipino people will surely rise up and mass in the streets to fight the regime. The infighting among the reactionaries will surely intensify and further weaken the ruling system.

Intensifying Political Crisis

Due to the worsening social and economic crisis, the political crisis is also intensifying. The contradictions among factions of the bureaucrats and the military within the ruling classes is more violent than before. The recent elections have not resolved but have in fact intensified their conflicts. Those who have been cheated seethe in anger against the ruling faction. The broad masses are deeply disgusted over the cheating and violence in that election.

Within the ranks of the reactionaries, politicians reproach each other more stridently and more bitterly than before over corruption and wanton spending. But not one among them has pointed out that the root cause is exploitation by the imperialists (headed by the US ) as well as by the local puppets.

As the worsening of the chronic crisis accelerates, opportunities abound for exposing the root of the crisis and for raising the level of consciousness and struggle of the masses. The desire of the Filipino people for complete independence, democracy, genuine land reform and national industrialization, social justice, scientific culture and peace will continue to reverberate.

The worsening crisis will surely impel the advance of the legal democratic mass movement of workers, peasants, women, youth, professionals and others. The possibility that the masses will rise up to topple the Arroyo regime will increase.

If the regime makes no basic or significant reforms but persists in deception about such reforms, the advance of the national democratic revolution through armed struggle will accelerate even more. Collaboration in demonizing the revolutionary forces and paralyzing the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations is becoming more intense between the US imperialists and their local puppets.

The Arroyo regime is scheming to use bloodier acts of violence in the name of antiterrorism in a futile attempt to prevent an uprising by the Filipino masses. In this regard, many people are prepared to join the underground movement and the armed struggle.

To deflect the people’s anger from itself, the present regime is drumbeating a change in form of government from presidential to parliamentary through a constitutional convention.

But the principal objective of this convention is to undercut civil and political rights, facilitate the imposition of martial law, abolish the principle of economic sovereignty, auction off our national patrimony, remove the few remaining national restrictions on foreign investments and allow the outright re-entry of US military bases and troops without the need for deception.

Political Education, Organization and Mobilization

It is clear that due to the grave crisis, the ground is fertile for the growth and advance of the democratic mass movement. The objective conditions exist for expanding and strengthening Anakbayan. For this purpose, the firm resolve and militant action of Anakbayan cadres and activists are needed.

1. The Need for Political Education

In preparing and launching mass actions, propaganda and education on the burning issues of the day are necessary. Issues and tasks can be explained by means of manifestos, oral and written slogans, articles in publications and cultural presentations.

In this way, the consciousness of the youth participating in mass actions is raised. The content of its propaganda and agitation will attract them to Anakbayan. If Anakbayan cadres and members closely observe those who participate in the mass actions and meetings, they will be able to recognize who should be approached and invited to a short study on the Anakbayan Constitution and Program.

Those who have finished such short study can be sworn in as members. But explain that the study is only preliminary and invite them to undertake the basic mass course on the youth movement and on Philippine society and revolution. Also explain to them that no amount of studying ever suffices when not complemented by work and mass action.

Lively studies should always be conducted on the current events and burning issues and on the progress and outcome of your work. Based on these studies, you can identify the most active, conscious and advanced activists. They should be urged to study the revolutionary role of the working class and to read revolutionary publications.

Among the ranks of the most advanced activists, we will get to know those who have the ability to speak, write and give study courses. This type of activists is important and decisive as team-mates or assistants of organizers. Their ability as organizers can also be developed.

2. Resolute Organizing

Every member has the basic task to recruit from among his friends and acquaintances wherever he/she is – school, workplace, community or profession. Another basic task is to explain the Constitution and Program of Anakbayan to new recruits.

Leading committees and cadres also have the task of conducting organizational meetings under the organizer and instructor of the preliminary and short course. The organizer sees to it that recruits are assembled for conducting study courses. After the study, the organizer ensures that recruits are raised and sworn in as members. Where no branch exists, a branch can be formed and its officers elected within one day.

A branch consists of a minimum of three members and this can go up to a certain number. But a membership of less than 50 can be considered a minor branch and one with 50 or more, a major one. Your branches and groups should increase like cells which keep multiplying. This has several meanings.

When a cadre or member at a certain place has the opportunity to assemble some youth who wish to join Anakbayan, immediately call an organizing meeting for the organizer and the instructor to perform their tasks of swearing in members and forming a new branch.

When a branch expands beyond a certain level, it can be divided to form an additional branch. In this way, intensive organizing can be done in schools, offices, factories and communities.

You can form groups of Anakbayan among the youth in any institution and organization. In this way, Anakbayan can immediately have the bases and the means for conducting its work in organizing, education and others.

3. Mass Mobilization

The mobilization of the youth is very important. Through campaigns of propaganda and mass actions, the line of the national democratic movement and the position on burning issues is propagated, the level of organized strength is shown, a large number of the spontaneous masses are swept along and other youth are attracted on a broader scale.

I salute Anakbayan for its campaign victories. You have led and participated in many protest actions on the burning issues of the youth and the rest of the classes, strata and sectors of society. Overthrowing the Estrada regime is one of your major victories. You led the mobilization of other organizations of the youth and the entire masses of the youth.

In the last elections, you helped Anak ng Bayan to become a major party in the party list. You have been able to expand your contacts and you can now use these in your everyday work. In fact, you could have won three seats in Congress. This is indicated by several surveys and by careful estimates. But Anak ng Bayan was subjected to massive election fraud by the Arroyo regime and pinpointed for attack and cheating by the national security adviser, the military and their cohorts in Akbayan.

Through campaigns you are able to forge the cadres and members of Anakbayan. They are given tasks to perform. Many tasks are required in preparing and carrying out a mass action. Members are trained in attracting the youth, in alliance work and mobilization. In addition, there are many tasks to be done in solid organizing concurrent with political education.

In the coming days, months and years, the contradictions between the Filipino people and the Arroyo regime that is servile to US imperialism will intensify. Protest actions that are likely to lead to the collapse of this regime can grow bigger. In my estimate, there will be an increase in the number of those who go to the countryside to join the armed revolution because of the harsh actions of the regime.

I am confident that Anakbayan will propagate and carry out the national democratic line among the youth and the Filipino people. By means of various forms of struggle, the peopler will achieve national independence, democracy, social justice, development and peace. ###

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