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Message of Solidarity to KMP on Its 20th Anniversary

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Network for Philippine Studies
Chairperson, International League of Peoples' Struggle
July 27, 2005

I wish to reaffirm my solidarity with the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and join its leaders, members and friends in celebrating the 20th anniversary of its founding.

I am proud that the founding congress of KMP was held in defiance of the Marcos fascist dictatorship and that my speech was read to the congress while I was under military detention in Fort Bonifacio. Since then, KMP has grown far and wide from its modest beginnings and has won great victories by persevering in struggle for the rights and interests of the peasantry as well as of the entire Filipino people.

KMP now stands as the strongest and most reliable peasant organization in the country. It has succeeded in fostering the class unity of the peasantry and its basic alliance with the working class. It is the center for peasant campaigns in the whole country. It is the bulwark of the peasantry against feudal and semifeudal exploitation and oppression and for the realization of land reform as the main content of the democratic revolution.

Since 1985, KMP has vigorously aroused, organized and mobilized the peasant masses, especially the poor and lower middle peasants, to fight for genuine land reform and against landlordism, exorbitant rent, usury, squeeze on farm-gate prices and the violence of the military, police and other armed agents of the landlords.

KMP has won significant and tangible gains, such as some amount of land distribution, rent reduction, increasing farm wages, improving farm-gate prices, raising agricultural and sideline production and lowering the costs of production through simple forms of cooperation.

It has consistently upheld the national sovereignty of the Filipino people and worked for the conservation of the national patrimony, for realizing both land reform and national industrialization as the prime requisite for development and for promoting a patriotic and scientific culture that serves the people.

KMP has spearheaded the peasant masses in demanding national liberation and democracy against foreign domination and the local reactionary puppets. It has been outstanding in exposing and opposing the pestilential imperialist policy of "free market" globalization and the state terrorism and aggression masquerading as "war on terror".

It has participated in great political struggles, culminating in the overthrow of detested regimes, such as those of Marcos and Estrada. Right now, it is again part of the struggle for the ouster of the Arroyo regime. It has also fought and defeated reformists and factionalists who have left the organization after failing in their attempt to undermine and destroy it from within.

Thus, the KMP has retained its integrity in the interest of the peasantry and has remained firm and strong in every aspect. It has steadily expanded and consolidated itself. Today, it has more than one million members in 64 provincial chapters in 15 regional chapters in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It has gained world renown for its resoluteness and militancy and its brilliant achievements won through struggle.

I am pleased that you are celebrating your 20th anniversary to honor your organization and your peasant leaders for their service to the peasantry and the entire people, to honor the KMP for promoting a national, scientific and mass culture and to publish the literary works created by the peasants, to bring together all the friends, supporters, allies, volunteers and staff members since the founding and thank them for their service and support, and to honor the martyrs in the struggle for land reform.

I wish you all the success in achieving the objectives of your celebratory activities. I congratulate the organizers of all these events. May you succeed further in launching the book containing the poems, songs, stories and visual arts created by the peasants and in the program featuring poetry reading, song and dance performances, film showing and selected speeches.

I hope that subsequent to your celebration, KMP will become an ever more resolute, stronger and more militant organization of the peasant masses, that it will win ever greater victories in pushing forward land reform as the main content of the democratic revolution and that it will make ever bigger contributions to the Filipino people's struggle for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. ###

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