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In Solidarity with the July 25 Mass Action

Message by Prof. Jose Maria Sison
25 July 2005

Wholeheartedly, I am in solidarity with your mass action on the occasion of SONA today. I join you in spirit and in accordance with my ability. I call on everyone to join this very important mass action.

I am pleased to know the firm decision of many parties, organizations and individuals to increase the number of participating masses and raise the level of the mass movement in order to advance the efforts to overthrow the Arroyo regime.

I have great confidence in the triumph of the mass action on July 25. This cannot be stopped by the regime's acts of intimidation and deception. The outrage of the Filipino people is overbrimming because of the electoral fraud, corruption, puppetry to the imperialists and cruelty of the regime.

We cannot allow the fake president to continue with the position that she has stolen. It is reprehensible that she should be the one reporting on the state of the nation. It is certain that she will simply spout lies. She will invent achievements. She will obscure her crimes and make new empty promises.

The toiling masses (workers, peasants, fisherfolk and urban poor) and the middle strata are the ones who know the situation best. They are the ones who suffer the hardship of exploitation and oppression. They suffer the loss of employment and livelihood, deliberate wage freeze, rising prices of goods and services, mounting tax burden, fall of the value of the peso, inadequacy or breakdown of infrastructure, public utilities, social services and spread of criminality.

The Arroyo regime's servility to the "free market" globalization policy imposed by the US, IMF, World Bank and WTO has aggravated the rottenness of the ruling system. De-nationalization, liberalization, privatization and deregulation have been unleashed against the nation, the toiling masses and the environment. The deficits in foreign trade and the budget have worsened. The huge debt of the bankrupt government is now more than 6 trillion pesos, including the foreign debt of USD 56 billion. Last year, 81 percent of tax revenues was spent on debt service. This year it will reach 94 percent.

The people should know why most of the civil employees and the military and police officers and men are angry at the Arroyo regime. The real value of their salaries is falling. The promised salary increases have not been fulfilled. The COLA (cost of living allowance) for 400.000 public school teachers have been scrapped. They have been cheated of 50 billion pesos since 2001. In the last four years, the regime deprived the retired military and police personnel of pension adjustments and benefits stipulated by law. Thus, the military and police are exceedingly angry, except for the few loyalists who are well fed on corruption.

The entire Arroyo regime should be made to answer for its crimes. We should not allow that Noli de Castro merely replaces GMA. The two are in cahoots in electoral fraud and in undertaking policies against the country and the toiling masses. Both of them should be ousted. Reject and overthrow the entire Arroyo regime whose standing is immoral and illegitimate because of electoral fraud and other crimes against the people.

The following policy of BAYAN is correct: aim for a transitional council to immediately replace the Arroyo regime. To form this temporary council, the biggest and most active parties and organizations involved in the mass movement to oust the regime should convene a people's assembly. The delegates to the assembly should elect the members of the council. The duty of the council shall be to lead and oversee the formulation of a patriotic and progressive program of governance and to oversee elections to be held within six months.

An informal and flexibly broad united front of various parties, mass organizations and military and police groups against the Arroyo regime is developing. This front is rapidly opening the way to the arousal and mobilization of an increasing number of the Filipino masses. The patriotic and progressive forces carry forward the broad united front but maintain their independence and initiative.

It is fine if after the overthrow of the Arroyo regime such a broad front would continue because what is needed is a broad and strong national unity to address and solve the continuing crisis and the grave problems of the rotting ruling system.

If there are no patriotic and progressive forces in the new government, such a government would not be able to make meaningful reforms in the economy, society, politics, culture and foreign relations. A government of diehard puppets and reactionaries would again become an easy target of the mass movement. But if there is a government with good officials and policies, it shall be easier for it to talk and agree with the NDFP through the peace negotiations.

It is the desire of the Filipino people to overthrow the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system in order to establish a system that is truly free from the imperialists, has independence, is democratic, is socially just, is all-sidedly developing and has a foreign policy for peace and development. ###

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