Press Statement by Prof. Jose Maria Sison, 28 July 2003
The 27 July 2003 protest action of nearly 300 soldiers of the reactionary government, including 70 officers from the army and navy, has effectively exposed from inside the rottenness of the US-directed Arroyo regime in the most glaring way.
The grievances of the soldiers have reverberated not only throughout the Philippines but also the entire world. They are well-grounded. They should not be obscured by retaliatory attacks from the regime. They give the protesting soldiers the just and reasonable cause for demanding the resignation of President Arroyo and defense secretary General Angelo Reyes.
The grievances include the corruption of the regime, involving the aforesaid high officials, at the expense of the junior officers and ordinary soldiers and the terrorist bombings engineered by General Reyes and his sidekick General Victor Corpus in Mindanao to pave the way for US military intervention, increased military supplies from the Pentagon and the declaration of martial law in August.
The supposed sale of weapons by the regime to the New People´s Army is the only grievance to which Ka Roger Rosal, spokesperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has taken an exception in a press statement. He avers that a relatively few weapons are sold by some officers and soldiers to the NPA. But he declares that the NPA acquires most of its weapons from the AFP by capturing these through tactical offensives.
The US-Arroyo regime is determined to belittle and discredit the soldier protesters as mere messianic mutineers and unthinking tools of the political opponents of the regime. In my view, most important of all is to recognize the fact that the regime has become so rotten and isolated that even its officers and soldiers are rising up against it.
The hundreds that have dared to make public protest manifest the grievances of thousands and thousands of soldiers in the reactionary armed forces. In time to come, there will be more outbursts of grievances and concerted protests by the soldiers. The ground is exceedingly fertile. It is an urgent task for patriotic and progressive cadres to do revolutionary work within the reactionary army.
Like the Bolsheviks did in the czarist army, the revolutionary cadres can persuade the soldiers in the reactionary army to shift to the people´s side and can thereby disintegrate the reactionary army to hasten the victory of the revolution. After all, the ordinary soldiers of the reactionary army are recruited mainly from the impoverished workers and peasants.
Very few responded to the call of Cardinal Sin for people to go to the Edsa shrine and defend the stinking Arroyo regime. Likewise the self-indulgent political opponents of the regime could bring only a few to give support to the protesting soldiers. It is clear that only a just cause that gains beforehand the support of the national democratic movement can rouse the broad masses of the people to a high level of commitment and militancy.
The protest action of the soldiers of the reactionary armed has come on the eve of the so-called state of the nation address of President Arroyo. It is a big comeuppance for her. It is important for the national democratic movement headed by BAYAN to call the attention of the entire people and all those in the reactionary government to the reality check, the real state of the nation report of BAYAN against Arroyo´s pack of lies.
I am confident BAYAN will expose clearly the puppetry, extreme forms of exploitation, corruption and brutality of the regime and demand the basic reforms and fundamental changes required to end the neocolonial reign of terror and greed in the Philippines. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should now find it ever more impossible to conjure the illusion of a strong republic in the face of rebellious troops in her own army and the people living in hunger and misery.
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines and
International League of Peoples´ Struggle