The essence of the formal declaration of martial law through Proclamation No. 1081 is the brazen imposition of the US-Marcos dictatorship on the entire Filipino nation and people. This proclamation is in effect the formal declaration of civil war by the US-Marcos clique against the broad masses of the people. At the same time, it is in the final analysis the death sentence for its criminal authors because the people shall win in the end through revolutionary struggle.
As a result of the complete self-exposure of the US-Marcos dictatorship, the conditions for the rapid advance of the Philippine revolution against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism have become far more excellent than ever before. The ranks of the revolutionary movement have rapidly broadened and the various forms of revolutionary struggle, principally armed struggle, have further intensified.
A new level of revolutionary struggle has come about. All over the country, the people are brimming with revolutionary hatred for the US-Marcos dictatorship, the violent opposite of national freedom and democracy which they cherish. It is starkly clear to everyone that a fascist dictatorship, seeking to perpetuate itself through counterrevolutionary violence, can be overthrown only through revolutionary violence. The US-Marcos clique has only dug deeper its grave.
The Usurpation of Absolute Power by the US-Marcos Dictatorship
With an autocratic arrogance reminiscent of absolute monarchy in feudal times, the US-Marcos clique has converted Article VII, Section 10, Paragraph 2 of the reactionary constitution into an overall license to suppress the sovereign rights of the Filipino people in violation of every concept of republicanism. It is the absurd stand of the US-Marcos dictatorship that it can declare and implement an “unlimited form of martial law”. If the fascist logic of the dictatorship were to be followed, this particular constitutional provision should have merited being the Preamble, Article I or Article II, but never lower than Article III entitled “Bill of Rights” of the reactionary constitution. Indeed, fascist dictators themselves wantonly violate the priority of principles laid down hypocritically in bourgeois constitutions and pick constitutional provisions out of context in order to suit their tyranny.
Without bothering to get any authorization from Congress, Marcos highhandedly signed Proclamation No. 1081 on September 21 and subsequently signed corresponding general orders, letters of instruction and a presidential decree on September 22 and September 23 before finally making them public at 7:15 on the evening of September 23, 1972. In his “background” speech for his prior acts, all essentially calculated to usurp and concentrate absolute governmental power in his hands and suppress every kind of democratic and revolutionary opposition to his regime, he boasted of wanting “to save the republic and to reform society” and of doing so in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the reactionary armed forces alone. In this regard, the puppet dictator Marcos keeps repeating “I” and “me personally” to stress his autocratic pretensions.
Proclamation No. 1081 lays down at length the pretexts for martial law and dictatorship, such as that there is not only a “state of rebellion” and “subversion” but even “an actual state of war” throughout the country, including the Greater Manila area. This is supposed to be due to a “criminal conspiracy” of such diverse groups of men as the Communist Party of the Philippines; the Liberal Party; the publishers, editors and other journalists; members of the constitutional convention; Manila TV-radio broadcasters; leaders and members of mass organizations of workers, peasants, students, teachers and professionals, women and others; the national minorities, especially those of Mindanao; and even such unwholesome groups as crime syndicates, petty warlords and the Lava revisionist renegades. Then, the proclamation orders the reactionary armed forces to put the entire country under martial law and detain indefinitely at the whim of the commander-in-chief all those deemed opposed to his fascist puppet regime.
The promulgation of Proclamation No. 1081 immediately violates Article VI, Section 26 of the reactionary constitution which clearly states that “in times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may by law authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out a declared national policy.” This constitutional provision points out the authority of Congress and the necessity of having a declared national policy emanating from it. Marcos did not bother to consult Congress as the national policy-making body of the reactionary government before signing his fascist proclamation. He even went farther by issuing General Order No. 1 and Presidential Decree No. 1 which put Congress to naught.
General Order No. 1 proclaims that the entire nation and the entire government, including all its agencies and instrumentalities, are under the absolute authority of the US-Marcos dictatorship. Under this order, both the legislative department and the judicial department, coequals and coordinates of the executive department under the constitution, are arbitrarily rendered inutile and even nonexistent. This order also carries with it the implication that the commander-in-chief of the reactionary armed forces can at whim disregard and violate anyone’s right to public office by virtue of election or civil service rules. In effect, the fascist dictatorship has torn to pieces the very same constitution which it pretends to defend and draw authority from.
The promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 1 clearly shows that Marcos has arrogated unto himself the prerogatives and functions of Congress or the legislative department. Under this decree, the “Integrated Reorganization Plan” is simply declared “part of the law of the land” despite the fact that this is a pending congressional bill. The fascist dictator has even seen it fit to berate Congress for not having had enough sense to pass this bill before. By way of confirming the dissolution or absorption by him of Congress, he invited a number of congressmen on September 25 only to tell them to become “models in their communities” and to threaten them veiledly with dispossession of their property by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. To stress the point that he has assumed fascist dictatorial powers, he has ordered the detention of several members of Congress in military camps or placed them under house arrest or under threat of detention and other punitive measures.
General Order No. 3 clearly puts all actions of the US-Marcos dictatorship above the civilian courts, including the Supreme Court. It takes away from these the prerogative of trying seven categories of cases of vital importance, such as those involving: 1) the validity, legality or constitutionality of any decree, order or acts issued, promulgated or performed by the dictator himself or his duly designated representative;2) the validity, legality or constitutionality of any rules, orders or acts issued, promulgated or performed by public servants pursuant to decrees, orders, rules and regulations issued and promulgated “by me” or by “my duly designated representative” pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081; 3) crimes against national security and the law of nations; 4) crimes against the fundamental laws of the state; 5) crimes against public order; 6) usurpation of authority, rank, title, and improper use of names, uniforms and insignia; and 7) crimes committed by public officers.
The abovementioned cases are put within the exclusive jurisdiction of military commissions or military courts created by the chief of staff of the reactionary armed forces and under the direction of the dictatorship. In other words, the US-Marcos dictatorship and its fascist minions can commit every crime with absolute impunity. Marcos himself has scorned the petition of detainees for the writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Court as an exercise in futility since he claims now to be the sole authority on judicial matters as commander-in-chief of the reactionary armed forces. He has also declared that he will remove and replace public officials in any government department, including the judiciary; in fact, he has already demanded the resignation of all judges of the lower civilian courts and special courts like the Court of Industrial Relations and Court of Agrarian Relations. The scope of authority given to the military courts is so comprehensive that all civilian courts, including the Supreme Court, are left with no more cases to try, except some of a marginal nature.
General Order No. 3 orders that the present officers and employees of all executive departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the national government, government-owned or controlled corporations, as well as all governments of all the provinces, cities and municipalities and barrios can remain in office only at the pleasure of the US-Marcos dictatorship and can no longer consider as sufficient basis for tenure previous elections or civil service eligibility.
Provincial governors and town and city mayors are now so much threatened that some of those who were previously critical of the US-Marcos clique, especially those from the Liberal Party, have started to sing paeans for Marcos as if the criminal character of this scoundrel can be appeased by capitulation. Presidential Decree No. 1 emphasizes the threat of dismissal against appointive officials and employees even without due process and due cause. The real intention of the “Integrated Reorganization Plan” is to effect mass dismissal of civilian employees so that their salaries could be used for the purposes of the fascist military although the avowed intention of the dictatorship is to reduce the costs of government by “weeding out” those whom it categorizes as “corrupt, inefficient, ignorant and useless”.
By acting on the sole basis that he is the commander-in-chief of the reactionary armed forces and by implementing his line of “unlimited martial law” above and beyond the entire constitution, Marcos has supplanted “civilian authority” with “military authority”, notwithstanding his previous declaration on September 23 that there was “no military takeover”, and has calculated to perpetuate his dictatorship, notwithstanding his oft-repeated claim that he wants the “national emergency” to end “as soon as possible”.
In his address to his military lapdogs on September 26, the dictator himself declared: “…By and large, the military in the Philippines have demonstrated their capacity to govern, rule and exact obedience…This is the first new principle or main manifestation in the New Society which we would like to create: that there is a breed of men capable not only of ruling others but of governing themselves….we must thank you and the men under you, noncommissioned officers and enlisted men, all the way down to the lowest level, have shown and demonstrated that this principle in which we believe, that is, that the military can be given all the power…”
For all intents and purposes, the US-Marcos dictatorship is hell-bent on employing an armed minority of men (at the moment only about 65,000 including noncombatant personnel) to ride roughshod over the people. This is absolutely necessary as the dictatorship intends to perpetuate itself for “two years or more” (as revealed by top CIA agent Alejandro Melchor in a press interview in the United States, after making a special report on the Philippine situation to his US imperialist masters). This is far beyond the one year and three months that is left of the constitutional tenure of Marcos.
The Suppression of the Basic Democratic Rights of the People
In line with the vile scheme of the US-Marcos dictatorship to perpetuate itself in power, General Order No. 2, General Order No. 4 and General Order No. 5 are all aimed at directly intimidating and actually curtailing and suppressing the basic democratic rights of the broad masses of the people. Of course, these are closely related to General Order No. 3 which, elaborating on Proclamation No. 1081, subjects the people to final judgment by their fascist persecutors.
General Order No. 2 reiterates the order for mass arrests and mass detention immediately embodied in Proclamation No. 1081. It orders the fascist troops to arrest and detain for as long as it pleases the dictatorship “such persons as may have committed crimes and offenses in furtherance or on the occasion of or incident to or in connection with the crimes of insurrection or rebellion, as well as persons who have committed crimes against national security and the law of nations, crimes against public order, crimes involving usurpation of authority, title, improper use of name, uniform and insignia, including persons guilty of crimes as public officers, as well as those persons who may have violated any decree or order promulgated by me personally or promulgated upon my direction”.
Under this order, anyone can be blacklisted by the US-Marcos dictatorship, blackmailed or actually put through sham trial in the military courts and punished arbitrarily. In the first wave of nationwide mass arrests, conducted from 9:00 p.m. of September 22 to 6:00 a.m. of September 23, several thousands of leading personalities in various legal endeavors and common people were apprehended and thrown into military camps and many of these were brutally tortured or even murdered. So far, only a little over a hundred detainees in the Manila-Rizal region have been reported through the Marcos-controlled government radio stations and the Marcos-owned Kanlaon Broadcasting System (KBS) and Daily Express.
General Order No. 4 orders the maintenance of a daily curfew throughout the Philippines from 12:00 midnight to 4:00 in the morning. This has immediately resulted in the disruption of the livelihood of a great number of people, including workers on the night shift, fishermen, market vendors, transport workers and businessmen, restaurant employees, street pedlars and so many others. To disregard this order infringing on the free movement of the people is to suffer brutal treatment and indefinite detention in a military camp and subsequently in a prison camp. Exemptions to this order can be taken only from a military commander-in-charge in the given area. That military officer acts as the overlord in the area. Within or outside curfew time, it is now the fascist troops roaming the streets who commit all sorts of crimes, frequently extortion, robbery, maulings, drunken behavior and rape. Anyone who complains can easily get accused of slandering the dictator Marcos and the fascist military.
General Order No. 5 orders the suppression of the basic democratic rights of free assembly and free expression. This is directed against the workers, peasants, youth and all other sections of the population, including political parties, trade unions and other mass organizations. It prohibits under pain of fascist punishment all rallies and demonstrations and other forms of mass actions, including strikes and picketing by workers and others, in vital industries such as in companies engaged in the manufacture or processing as well as in the distribution of fuel, gas, gasoline and fuel or lubricating oil, in companies engaged in the production or processing of essential commodities or products for export, and in companies engaged in banking of any kind, as well as in hospitals and in schools and colleges.
It is clear by this order that while he acts as a dictator towards the broad masses of the people, Marcos is a despicable puppet of the big bourgeoisie, especially the US imperialists. He is specially interested in suppressing protest mass actions against the US oil monopolies and their arbitrary price hiking. At any rate, he is violently opposed to all forms of democratic assembly and expression. He has gone as far as to issue a special order to the armed forces, particularly his secret agents, to eavesdrop on ordinary conversations in order to catch people for “rumor-mongering”.
Letter of Instruction No. 1 also involves the suppression of the democratic right of free expression. It orders the Press Secretary of the Department of Public Information (DPI) after Presidential Decree No. 1, to take over all newspapers, magazines, radio and television facilities and all other media of communications, wherever they are. The closure of the major Manila newspapers and radio and TV stations has disrupted the livelihood of printing workers, journalists, staff employees, radio-TV talents, newsboys, newspaper dealers and so many others. Pursuant to Letter of Instruction No. 1, the DPI secretary has started to issue his own department orders. Department Order No. 1 orders, among others, that all materials for publication in the newspapers or broadcast on radio and television shall have to carry the approval of the Department of Public Information and that these shall have to fall in with the fascist dictatorship and strictly avoid expressing the true national and democratic interests of the Filipino people. Department Order No. 2 orders that no printer may print any newspaper, periodical, news sheet, pamphlet, leaflet or any publication for mass dissemination of any kind without approval of the Department of Public Information and that these shall also have to conform with Department Order No. 1. Because of bureaucratic run-around involved in getting approval for printing orders, the livelihood not only of the press owners but also of the printing workers are adversely affected.
The US-Marcos dictatorship wants to monopolize all channels of information with the vain hope of controlling the minds of the people with its lies. Its fascist totalitarianism leaves no room for such other channels of information as those owned by the Roceses, Lopezes, Locsins and the like though these have never gone beyond legal criticism of the obvious excesses of the US-Marcos clique and have as a matter of fact given utmost space to Malacanang press releases. In the meantime, it is only those channels of information that are owned by the fascist government (like Radio Philippines Network; Philippine Broadcasting System and the like); those that are owned directly or indirectly by fascist dictator Marcos (like Kanlaon Broadcasting System, Daily Express, Liwayway, Bannawag, Hiligaynon, Bisaya, and the like); and those owned by foreign imperialist entities, especially American, (Philippines Herald, Radio Mindanao Network, Interisland Broadcasting System and the like) that are allowed to operate.
This new development is what Marcos calls fighting “subversion” with “sophistication”. This is what we call the crudeness of fascism, the complete unmasking of the ugly face of a fascist dictatorship. Unwittingly, the US-Marcos dictatorship has only convinced the broad masses of the people of the necessity and urgency of putting out and distributing underground publications and resorting to other forms of mass communications (including secret meetings in urban areas and mass meetings in the rural areas). It must also be pointed out that it is impossible for the fascist authorities to guard all medium and small printing presses in the country, not to mention some small presses securely kept in the underground.
Gone berserk in its attempt to suppress every kind of opposition to its unjust rule, the US-Marcos dictatorship has as one of its initial acts suspended classes at all levels. Though the initial suspension of classes is only for one week, this has been extended indefinitely at the high school, college and graduate levels. School teachers in primary and elementary schools are now under threat of being dismissed if they disobey strict orders to wage a hysterical campaign of anticommunist indoctrination and propaganda for the fascist dictatorship. Progressive teachers and students, including officers of student governments, are being apprehended or threatened with detention. Such fascist tactics have only served to increase the number of men and women who are very articulate in denouncing the US-Marcos dictatorship. The indefinite closure of all private high schools and colleges have angered all the teachers whose livelihood has been unduly disrupted and the students’ parents who are acutely concerned about the time and living expenses of their children going to waste.
General Order No. 6 and General Order No. 7 are both intended to consolidate control by the US-Marcos dictatorship of firearms and ammunitions in the hands of the reactionary armed forces and police forces and also those in the hands of security agencies and warlords. The first order prohibits the carrying of firearms by private persons and orders the arrest of all persons doing so unless they are authorized by the dictatorship. Marcos himself has declared in his “background” speech that carrying of firearms outside the residence, even if covered by license but without permission of the reactionary armed forces, is punishable by death. The second order requires that all high-powered firearms in the hands of private security agencies, public or private corporations (including gun stores) and private individuals, and those under temporary custody of the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Posts and clerks of courts (apart from those in pending court cases) be turned over immediately to the firearms and explosives units of the Philippine Constabulary.
To camouflage its real intention of controlling arms for its fascist purposes, the US-Marcos dictatorship has raved mad about “peace and order” and has even pretended to arrest and confiscate token numbers of arms from notorious warlords who are close to it, like Ablan, Bocalan, Crisologo and the like. But the warlords and crime gangs are actually not surrendering their arms. Only some police forces, private corporations and individuals opposed to the US-Marcos dictatorship are being forced to turn over their registered arms to the Philippine Constabulary. As a result, these entities are being rendered helpless before the fascist gangsters, warlords and ordinary armed criminals.
Letter of Instruction No. 2 orders the Secretary of National Defense to “take over” the management, control and operation of the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA), the Philippine National Railways (PNR), the Philippine Air Lines (PAL), Air Manila, Filipinas Orient Airways, and other public utilities. Once more, the US-Marcos dictatorship deliberately refuses even only to mention the US oil companies and other US-owned public utility firms in the Philippines.
The “takeover” of public utilities is neither to achieve nationalization nor to crush an armed opposition in the premises. The NAWASA and PNR are government corporations long under trusted military appointees of Marcos. The PLDT and Air Manila are private corporations controlled and owned by Marcos himself through dummies. The PAL and Filipinas Orient Airways continue to be private corporations under the ownership and control of Marcos’ big bourgeois confreres. The real target for spite of the US-Marcos dictatorship is MERALCO and the Lopezes who are owners of controlling stocks. The military-takeover management here really makes it a point to boss around, go over the company accounts and meddle in operations. Though Marcos himself is a noncontrolling co-owner of this public utility firm, he wants to once more tighten the screw against the Lopezes whom he wants to support his dictatorship completely, especially with the use of the Lopez-owned Manila Chronicle and ABS-CBN radio-television network.
Letter of Instruction No. 3 orders the Secretary of National Defense to take over the possession, control and operation of all privately owned aircraft and watercraft of Philippine registry and also to control the movement of nonmilitary foreign-owned and foreign-registered aircraft and watercraft of whatever make. The avowed intention of the US-Marcos dictatorship in this regard is to prevent the escape of his reactionary rivals for power either by sea or by air in their private yachts or private planes. Letters of Instruction Nos. 4, 5, 6, and 7 to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of Justice, the Secretary of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank, respectively, are also openly intended to prevent the “escape from the country” of the enemies of the US-Marcos dictatorship. But, of course, the instructions, from Instruction No. 3 to Instruction No. 7, are all meant to curtail the free flow of information regarding the despicableness by which the US-Marcos dictatorship has come about. Only after assuring itself of complete control of the mass media and also the detention of a sweeping range of critics has the dictatorship allowed, under guard of troops, spies and censors, the transmission of messages via international and domestic carriers and communication firms.
In a vain attempt to deceive the peasant masses, the big landlord and landgrabber Marcos has announced that he has issued Presidential Decree No. 2 proclaiming the whole country as a “land reform area”. This is plain drivel of a demagogue. Since the law to be applied is basically the old Agricultural Land Reform Code, which is reactionary by both origin and amendments, nothing will come out of the decree except that it will serve to worsen the plight of the peasant masses as has been proven in previous “land reform areas”. The code is essentially nothing more than a set of instructions for the landlord class to exploit the peasantry further. In making his decree, Marcos even fails to conceal his malice as he sternly warns the tenant peasants to “respect” and be “fair and just” to the landlords. The dictatorship is hell-bent on preventing the peasant masses from forming their own associations and is busier than ever in criminally assaulting and rounding up those who have their own militant associations. The reactionary armed forces are now frenziedly attacking the peasant masses and accusing them of being guerrilla fighters of the New People’s Army. Thus, the US-Marcos dictatorship has become isolated not only in the urban areas but also in the countryside where the flames of people’s war are rapidly spreading.
The “show window of democracy in Asia” which was much touted by US imperialism and its puppets in the past has completely proven to be mere soap bubble. It is now completely gone. Because of its boundless greed for power and wealth, the US-Marcos dictatorship has forced on everyone in the Philippines the choice between armed revolution and armed counterrevolution. The people’s revolutionary struggle for national freedom and democracy has become ever more vigorous and fiercer. In this regard, it is worth taking up CIA agent Melchor’s description of his criminal accomplice Marcos, as one who has put his head on the block. This description is very apt. The Filipino people are going to literally chop off Marcos’ head in due time, unless his US imperialist masters will first do so in the manner that they did to the abominable Ngo Dinh Diem. At any rate, the Filipino people will continue to maintain their armed strength and fight on even as some other dog would be groomed as one more puppet dictator by US imperialism. In the face of the present fascist tyranny, the broad masses of the Filipino people know how to fight for their freedom.
The fabrication of the “State of National Emergency”
An actual state of martial law has long existed in many parts of the country, especially in Central Luzon, Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon and Mindanao, even before the formal declaration of martial law covering the entire country. The fascist minions of the US-Marcos clique under the black banners of military task forces have long operated as the supreme wielders of political authority, abusing and blackmailing the people; robbing and extorting from them; rounding them up and incarcerating them indefinitely on false charges; barging into homes and even burning them; committing kidnappings, murder and massacres; and raping the womenfolk with impunity.
These are the concrete manifestations, especially in the countryside, of the trend of militarization and fascization so well condemned by the people throughout the land. These are the bitter results of the more than fivefold increase of the official military budget from 1966 to 1972; the system of conspiracy between the commander-in-chief and his favorites in the reactionary armed forces; the rapid increase in troops and equipment; the fielding of so many “task forces” and “paramilitary units” (BSDUs and “Monkees”); the vicious employment of the Anti-Subversion Law; the intensification of fascist training in “home defense” centers; the militarist intrusion into civilian offices and functions either under the signboard of “civic action” or “accommodation of retirees from the military service”; the secret but wide-scale issuance of military rank to civilian officials; the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus; the unremitting “psywar” campaigns for the acceptance of martial law; the adoption of “contingency plans”; committing crimes of bloody intrigue for the purpose of pitting one group against another; and so many others.
The real situation in certain parts of the country is now being turned into a nationwide situation through the formal declaration of martial law. The US-Marcos dictatorship is bent on committing all kinds of fascist crimes against the broad masses of the people in order to suppress their clamor for national freedom and democracy, province by province and island by island. The fascist dictatorship has the illusion that it can freely do so as long as it has the absolute power over the entire reactionary government and monopoly of the legal channels of communications such as those rendered in the Manila-Rizal region and other urban areas. Thus, aside from trying to hunt down the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, it has to terrorize the democratic mass organizations, the mass media, the Liberal Party, sections of the Nacionalista Party, sections of the constitutional convention and all patriotic and democratic personages. This is to serve notice to all who can disseminate information and opinions widely to keep silent about fascist crimes that are aimed at protecting the interests of US imperialism and at the same time perpetuating the Marcos puppet gang in power. To achieve its vile scheme, the US-Marcos clique has had to resort to a number of tricks resting mainly on the myth of “urban terrorism”. A series of a few bombings is made in the urban areas, blamed on communists and all other democratic forces, turned into an argument for “contingency plans” and, presto, there is a “state of national emergency” which is used as a pretext for doing away with all channels of mass communications except those of the commander-in-chief and his dictatorship.
The dry run for the big trick that is the current “state of national emergency” was the Plaza Miranda massacre on August 21, 1971 and the subsequent suspension of the writ of habeas corpus until January of this year. In the massacre caused by two grenades, nine were killed and more than a hundred people were seriously wounded including almost all the top leaders of the Liberal Party. Within two hours after the incident, the US-Marcos clique was already on radio blaming the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and democratic mass organizations for the dastardly crime. Then, less than three hours after the massacre, the US-Marcos clique issued only to the reactionary armed forces and without public knowledge until August 23, the presidential proclamation suspending the writ of habeas corpus and ordering the mass arrest of prominent democratic personages and activists of democratic mass organizations. Immediately after the massacre, there also followed a series of nine petty bombings which had no other motive but to buttress the false public claims of the US-Marcos clique and which could have been committed in certain well-guarded places, like the Manila City Hall and the residence of Rep. Cojuangco, only by a conspiracy in which Marcos himself was involved.
What gave away the bloody hands of the US-Marcos clique with regard to the Plaza Miranda massacre was that Marcos and his lieutenant Enrile readily blamed so many people, including a college president and a prominent radio commentator, and entire mass organizations for a crime which was essentially a conspiracy and, therefore, could have involved only a handful of persons in both planning and execution. The broad masses of the people and the survivors of the massacre themselves pointed the finger of blame on the US-Marcos clique, which had been responsible for so many previous massacres. The false accusations of the US-Marcos clique became more ludicrous and incredible when the leaders of the Liberal Party were finally accused of trying to kill themselves in order to get public sympathy and win the elections. The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was “lifted” only after the US-Marcos clique appeared satisfied with something, like the Supreme Court decision acclaiming the presidential privilege to suspend the writ, giving credence to a piece of fabrication like the “July-August Plan” and above all noting the existence of a state of rebellion and likewise of a declaration of war from the Communist Party of the Philippines. Then, in a complete turnabout from its previous propaganda of anticommunist lies, the US-Marcos clique charged in court for the Plaza Miranda massacre not some communists but some living-out prisoners of the national penitentiary, which is run by a trusted agent of the US-Marcos clique.
The fascist tricks of the US-Marcos clique did not end with the Plaza Miranda massacre, however. The clique merely took a breather for a few months from its November 1971 electoral defeat. Soon came another series of petty bombings, a total of 16 minor detonations (from March 15 to September 18, 1972) most of which caused only some petty damage on some government and privately owned buildings and three of which were the most serious, causing one death and injuries to more than twenty people. In addition, there were “discoveries” of bombs at Congress and the Department of Foreign Affairs and two patently fake casualtyless ambushes, one supposedly on a Metrocom car and another on Defense Secretary Enrile himself. Most of the bombings and other incidents were made during the months of August and September 1972 immediately prior to Proclamation No. 1081.
It was during the months of August and September, when thirteen of the above-cited incidents were made, that the US-Marcos clique took the posture of raving mad about “urban terrorism” and “urban guerrilla warfare”. Within seconds after every incident, Marcos and his fascist minions would rail against the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and democratic mass organizations and threaten to adopt some “contingency plans”. Everyday the front pages of the Manila newspapers would scream and the radio would blare with the quick allegations of the US-Marcos clique. During this period, the Communist Party of the Philippines issued through Ang Bayan two statements refuting the false accusations of the fascist clique; some quotations from these statements found their way into Manila newspapers. As during the white terror that followed the Plaza Miranda massacre, the Party reaffirmed its adherence to the theory of people’s war and the strategic line of encircling the cities from the countryside and strongly condemned terrorist acts where the most likely victims are the people and likewise the stupid “psywar” campaign unleashed by the enemy to cause a mammoth-sized hysteria from a few petty incidents.
A few of the bombings before June 1972 had been claimed by the Lava revisionist renegades in their anticommunist publications as their own doing. And in three bombings, where there were casualties, evidence clearly pointed to the US-Marcos clique as the mastermind and culprit. A PC sergeant belonging to the PC firearms and explosives unit was actually caught by the Manila Police and confessed to being on a “special mission” in connection with the most serious bombing, that at Joe’s Department Store. Two AFP plainclothesmen taking a ride in a jeep marked “for official use only” were seen by eyewitnesses in connection with the bombing at the Manila City Hall. Three PC men in uniform were also seen in the process of bomb emplacement and getaway in a PC truck by three delegates of the constitutional convention in connection with the bombing at the Quezon City Hall.
Despite all evidences and clues gathered, the US-Marcos clique did not only continue to insist on its false anticommunist charges but also maneuvered to suppress evidence pointing to its own criminal responsibility. The maneuvers of the clique were so crudely evident that eventually the leaders of the Liberal Party and journalists of the Manila newspapers stood up to raise questions of doubt and also to denounce certain actuations of the powers that be. Then came the public exposure of “Operation Sagittarius” which unmasked the plans of the US-Marcos clique to declare martial law under the guise of taking “contingency plans” to follow up the terrorist incidents made by the clique itself. This operational plan had been leaked out to a member of the Senate by a top-ranking military officer. It was at this point, covering a period of about two weeks prior to Proclamation No. 1081, that the US-Marcos clique intensified its efforts to terrorize all its critics by telling them that they could be kidnapped or assassinated.
As if it could deceive the people by a mere repetition of lies, Proclamation No. 1081 continues to treat the incidents, which were mostly bombings in urban areas, as the key factor in declaring a “state of national emergency”. On the other hand, this proclamation has completely unmasked the US-Marcos clique as a totally fascist criminal gang and a bunch of incorrigible liars. How many times did these scoundrels deny scheming to impose martial law? There is not only martial law now but also a full-blown fascist dictatorship to boot. The flimsy basis for what is now called a “state of national emergency” or “an actual state of war” is a series of twenty relatively minor incidents which, as now confirmed by the very promulgation of Proclamation No. 1081, has all along been the calculated doing of the US-Marcos clique to fabricate grounds for a fascist dictatorship all over the country.
The basis for the “state of national emergency” becomes even more flimsy and ludicrous when a textual examination is made of the “Regional Program of Action 1972”, previously referred to variably as the “Tarinsing Papers”, the “July-August Plan” or “September-October Plan” by the US-Marcos clique. It is incorporated in Proclamation No. 1081; now it can be publicly checked and scrutinized. This “regional program of action” is completely a piece of deception, a fabrication pure and simple. It is supposed to be a regional program of action and yet its scope is national and the name of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines is spuriously tacked on it. It was supposed to have been captured by Task Force “Saranay” in Barrio Tarinsing, Cordon, Isabela on June 18, 1972 and it lists down a number of specific bombing targets for September and October 1972 in the Manila-Rizal region. Despite the supposed advantage of being forewarned by several months, the reactionary armed forces did not thwart the bombing of the listed targets or capture any bomber. Then, consider how the “regional plan” is conceived, put into outline and written according to outline. It is completely childish. To write an instruction like “Create regional chaos and disorder…” is utterly counterrevolutionary and outside of revolutionary thinking and style. This is Marcosian gibberish, a sloppy attempt at forgery.
Before Proclamation No. 1081, there could not have been any “actual state of war” in the Manila-Rizal region. On the very day that Marcos was supposed to have signed this proclamation in utmost secrecy, people’s marches from several assembly points in the Manila-Rizal region and a massive rally of several tens of thousands of people at Plaza Miranda were peacefully conducted under the auspices of the Movement of Concerned Citizens for Civil Liberties and with the participation of more than sixty democratic mass organizations. In the entire stretch of the day, the factories, offices, schools and business shops were in normal operation. Congress, the courts, various government offices, the constitutional convention, the restaurants, coffee shops and nightclubs were also in normal operation. The “actual state of war” in the Manila-Rizal region was nothing more than the fantasy of the madman Marcos, otherwise notoriously known as the mad bomber.
The wide-ranging “whereases” of Proclamation No. 1081 contradict each other and serve mainly to show how much of a fumbling liar the dictator Marcos is. He makes one claim that the strength of the New People’s Army has rapidly increased, but also makes the opposite claim that it has suffered a disastrously increasing number of casualties and therefore, an increasing loss of arms, from year to year. Besides, he deflates the number of military actions launched against and the number of casualties inflicted on the reactionary armed forces by the New People’s Army in the countryside. He makes one claim that the number of regular Red fighters has increased from 560 as of January 1, 1972 to 1,028 regular fighters as of July 31, 1972, but he also makes the opposite claim that the New People’s Army got 3,500 M-14 rifles from the Karagatan during the month of July. Possession of 3,500 M-14 rifles should mean a great deal more of regular troop increase for the people’s army. He makes one claim that some 3,000 high school and college students have dropped out to join fighting units of the New People’s Army, but makes the opposite claim that the same people’s army has only 1,028 regular fighters and 1,500 combat support. The truth is that at least 90 percent of the regular mobile and guerrilla units of the people’s army are peasants; this makes Marcos’ claim regarding school dropouts an outright lie even as his own figures fail to tally with each other. Finally, it may be asked, why is it that Marcos is terrified by what he claims is a little over 1,000 Red fighters while at the same time he never fails to brag about the overbearing strength of his military personnel of 65,000? Has he not always been prating that he is “on top of the situation”?
Although in its very first “whereas” it makes the attempt to show that only the Communist Party is the “conspiracy” out to overthrow the present reactionary state, Proclamation No. 1081, together with its corresponding general orders and letters of instruction, ends up accusing a wide range of people of being in one and the same “conspiracy” that is supposed to be responsible for a “reign of terror” and “wanton acts of destruction on life and property” in both the rural and urban areas. The dictator Marcos arbitrarily changes the meaning of terms. Obviously, he has already extended his dictatorial power into the realm of the lexicon. Normally, conspiracy is defined as the act of a handful of persons secretly plotting to commit a crime according to a single plan. In the novel meaning now given by the dictator to the term, it is supposed to be the open and mass activity of the most diverse organizations and individuals acting “consciously” and “unconsciously” to oppose such a real conspiracy as that one which has brought about the present fascist dictatorship.
The US-Marcos dictatorship actually insists that the Communist Party of the Philippines is in “conspiracy” with the Lava revisionist renegades and crime syndicates. This is a vicious slander on the Party. But the fascist dictatorship unwittingly exposes its hopeless isolation by linking in word and deed the Communist Party of the Philippines with the democratic mass organizations (of workers, peasants, youth and others), the mass media, the Liberal Party, certain sections of the Nacionalista Party, certain members of the constitutional convention, the poor settlers, the national minorities and the Mindanao Independence Movement. It is utterly silly, however, for the fascist dictatorship to accuse the Communist Party, together with these, of crimes against the people. If that were the case, there would be no more need for the “extraordinary measures” of the US-Marcos dictatorship, for it would be us who would be isolated and not this despicable dictatorship.
Proclamation No. 1081 takes great stock in citing a decision of the Supreme Court (on the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus last year) stating that there has been a state of rebellion since several decades ago and that the program of the Communist Party of the Philippines amounts to a declaration of war. On the basis of this citation, the US-Marcos clique claims to have the right to declare martial law under any condition and anytime it pleases. It further argues that it has already resorted to the use of military task forces and subsequently the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus but that it has failed each time to suppress the armed revolutionary movement which has always succeeded in becoming even stronger despite these measures. So, it concludes that it has to declare martial law. It further concludes that it is entirely up to the president in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces to make anything out of martial law since the term “martial law” is supposedly not qualified in Article VII, Section 10, Paragraph 2 of the reactionary constitution. Thus, the commander-in-chief has finally decided to install himself as a fascist dictator under the cover of an “unlimited form of martial law”.
The term “martial law” appears in the context of a constitutional provision, which refers to certain other factors and elements and which even refers to degrees and alternatives. It is not true that the term is absolutely not qualified and that it can be interpreted by the president in any way he wants. The term “place under martial law” implies merely execution or implementation of a national policy determined and declared by Congress. The provision carrying the term appears in the context of the entire constitution which also carries Article VI, Section 26. In times of war or other national emergency, it is Congress that is vested with the authority to decide the national policy and that authorizes by law the president, for a limited period of time and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out a declared national policy.
Notwithstanding the existence of a state of rebellion, the formal declaration of martial law was never resorted to in the Philippines or any part thereof in the time prior to the present by Marcos’ predecessors and Marcos himself. Yet the reasons given now by Marcos for the formal declaration of martial law have not only been in fact too blatantly contrived but have also been extremely questionable even among the reactionaries. The broad masses of the people easily see through the legal pretenses of the dictator Marcos. These are extremely flimsy embellishments on the new terrorist incidents plotted to bring about a “state of national emergency”, the fabrication on which rests the US-Marcos dictatorship.
“New Society” Means Nothing But the Worsening of the Old Society
The US-Marcos dictatorship is not satisfied with pretending “to save the republic” in attacking the national and democratic rights of the sovereign people. It wants to remain in power for as long as it can through sheer armed force by pretending “to form a new society”. The “new society” means the perpetuation of the fascist dictatorship. It means nothing but the worsening of the old society. The old basic evils that are US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism shall continue to afflict semicolonial and semifeudal Philippines and shall aggravate the political and economic crisis of the ruling system and likewise the suffering of the broad masses of the people through the unmitigated puppetry, bankruptcy, brutality, corruption and mendacity of the Marcos fascist puppet dictatorship.
As confirmed by the statement of the US State Department soon after Proclamation No. 1081, the instalment of the fascist dictatorship in the Philippines does not conflict with the interests of US imperialism. In fact, US imperialism is confidently behind the Marcos puppet dictatorship at the moment. The direct conspirators in the setting up of the fascist dictatorship have been the US “country team” (which includes the US ambassador, the CIA chief of station, the AID director, the USIA director and the JUSMAG chief) and the board of directors and other top members of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines on the master side and the “internal security council” composed of Marcos, Melchor, Enrile and Generals Espino and Ramos of the general staff of the reactionary armed forces and a few others.
The US-Marcos dictatorship is the product of the vicious exploitation and oppression of the Filipino people by US imperialism and its local running dogs for the last seven decades. It is the result of the rapid process of militarization and fascization directed by US imperialism during the Marcos puppet regime to preserve and enlarge its political and economic interests in the country. By trying to draw more superprofits and make up for the losses that they have incurred elsewhere in the world, the US imperialist masters of the Marcos puppet gang have only exacerbated the suffering of the broad masses of the people and have thereby engendered popular resistance and a strong revolutionary mass movement. So powerful has the anti-imperialist and antipuppet movement become that such a desperate measure as the instalment of a fascist dictatorship is resorted to. US imperialism has always had the illusion that such fascist dictatorships as those of the Thieu regime in south Vietnam, Lon Nol regime in Cambodia, Suharto regime in Indonesia, Chiang regime in Taiwan and Pak regime in south Korea are more reliable and stable tools of imperialist rule.
The US-Marcos dictatorship falls in with the “Nixon doctrine” that the Philippines must be kept no matter at what cost as a stronghold of counterrevolution in the determined bid of US imperialism to remain a “Pacific power”. From such an imperialist viewpoint, the most despicable measures must be taken in order to keep this archipelago in the Pacific a vassal state. A fascist gang like that of Marcos would just be too willing to implement these measures in exchange for an indefinite tenure of power in order to pile up more loot for itself. The fascist dictatorship is basically a desperate effort of US imperialism to protect $2.0 billion US investments (in anticipation of the end of “parity rights”) and to maintain the Philippines as a strategic post in Asia.
US imperialism is today extremely unsettled by the people’s outcry for the confiscation of US-owned lands including the improvements thereon (like buildings, factories, equipment and other installations) and also for the immediate dismantling of US military bases which occupy large tracts of public lands. Even in the realm of the legal anti-imperialist struggle, US imperialism has lately suffered so many big reverses that it has decided to resort to the use of extraordinary measures with the use of the Marcos fascist gang. Just before Proclamation No. 1081, it was very clear that the bombing incidents and the corresponding “psywar” campaign were being staged by the US-Marcos clique in order to distract public attention from the strong legal grounds for demanding the immediate end of US imperialist domination. It dawned upon the US imperialists that even in the realm of the legal anti-imperialist struggle they were being hopelessly isolated. They had to hurry making use of the Marcos fascist gang which prated about “fairness” and “justice” for them against the popular demands for national emancipation.
The puppetry of the Marcos fascist gang is well proven. This gang has adopted and implemented to the letter every “recommendation” made by US imperialism through such direct agents as the components of the US “country team” and such other agents as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, US monopoly firms, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and the like. The dictates of US imperialism have always become the basic policies and projects of the Marcos fascist puppet regime. Some of the most notorious policies and projects are the “floating rate” or the unabated rapid devaluation of the peso in relation to the US dollar; sham negotiations on the unequal US-R.P. treaties to achieve mere “adjustments”; “national treatment”, “joint ventures” and “incentives” — special privileges for US investments (nonexpropriation, investment insurance, unlimited dollar remittances, tax exemptions, driving up local credit sources, etc.); heavy foreign borrowings from the US and “consortium” banks for nonproductive projects; increasing taxation to raise counterpart funds for foreign loans and to support a military build-up; fascist training of the reactionary troops and police; the five-year program for a “self-reliant defense posture”; special privileges for US oil firms in oil exploration and in price-hiking; the “car manufacturing” scheme; free trade zones; and the reorganization plan of the Presidential Committee for the Survey of Philippine Education (PCS.P.E.) for the educational system.
Enjoying absolute powers vis-a-vis the Filipino people, the Marcos fascist gang knows no bounds for its puppetry. It will throw the door wider open for US imperialism and other imperialist powers, especially Japanese militarism and Soviet social-imperialism. The substance of old unequal treaties with the United States will stay either through retention, minor revision or drafting of new ones. The Philippines will continue to suffer violation of national sovereignty and territorial integrity and will remain a victim of superprofit remittances by the imperialist firms and banks. Because a civil war of a national scale is now on hand and the US-Marcos dictatorship will subsequently resort to the use of US aggressor troops, despite the hypocritical claim of the “Nixon doctrine” about supplying war materiel rather than US manpower, the colonial domination of the Philippines will become more direct and conspicuous in the years to come unless other drastically different conditions arise.
Because it has seized absolute power without so much pretenses about having the support of a broad range of political groups, the US-Marcos dictatorship is exceptionally isolated at the moment and has to rely completely on its fascist troops. This extreme reliance on a parasitic and nonproductive military is bound to deepen the bankruptcy of the reactionary government. The present number of military personnel and equipment is not enough to maintain the fascist dictatorship for very long. Only 32,000 to 34,500 men or only about half of the present total of military personnel are combat effectives. Therefore, it is expected that it will increase military expenditures in order to increase the number of military personnel and equipment. The official 1972-73 military budget of P1.2 billion has already been superseded. Even at the present troop level, military expenditures have already increased tremendously since the US-Marcos dictatorship has started to bribe the military personnel, from the rank of private first class upwards, with salary increases and allowances. The fascist dictatorship will certainly create more inflation through huge military expenditures. It will also have to increase taxes and its foreign debts by leaps and bounds.
To satisfy its greed and bloodthirstiness, the US-Marcos dictatorship will become even more rabid in suppressing the democratic rights of the people. The workers will not only be prevented from launching strikes and maintaining their unions to raise their depressed real incomes and to assure themselves of job security but they will also have to suffer the unjust accusation that they are the cause of spiraling prices. The peasant masses will continue to be subjected to the most brutal military operations ostensibly against the armed revolutionaries and will be forced to accept the dictates of the big landlord class of which fascist puppet chieftain Marcos in the outstanding representative. The students and their parents will be commanded to accept the rising cost of education and cost of living; student movements will continue to be the target of hysterical anticommunist propaganda, as in the case of trade unions and peasant associations. Teachers and other professionals will have to pay more taxes and will have to suffer more indignities in the hands of the military overlords who dictate on them what opinion to take on issues. Higher government taxes and special extortions from the military will bedevil all businessmen that are not in the good graces of the dictatorship. These are only some of the concrete evils that will plague the country as a result of Proclamation No. 1081.
With absolute power in the hands of the US-Marcos dictatorship and its military minions, unbridled corruption and brutality will go hand in hand to exacerbate the people’s suffering. The dictator Marcos himself has long set the example of enriching himself in office more than any other puppet president and of exculpating his agents from the most heinous crimes, including massacres of workers, peasants, students, national minorities and even religious groups. With the suppression of democratic rights, every person and every group is now under blackmail by the fascist dictatorship and its agents. The dictatorship has not only seized every major legal channel of communications and suppressed democratic organizations but it has even outlawed the ordinary conversations of people regarding the present situation and has branded these as “rumor-mongering”.
At present, the US-Marcos dictatorship and its military minions can simply accuse anyone of being a “subversive”, “conspirator” or “rumor-monger” and extort anything from him at gunpoint. Through sheer coercion, the dictator Marcos will be able to acquire more stockholdings and landholdings. At every level of the reactionary government, his fascist minions will continue to do their own grabbing with more impunity. In the streets, the fascist troops will exact tribute more than in the past to the great annoyance of the local police whose most crooked members exact much less. In the campaign to seek out those who oppose the dictatorship, the most brutal measures will be taken such as those which long made the US-Marcos clique notorious. Kidnapping, torture, murder, arson and massacre have long been the political style of the Marcos fascist puppet gang. These can be committed by the fascist troops with more impunity, in both cities and countryside under Proclamation No. 1081.
The propaganda of the US-Marcos dictatorship keeps on harping about the sudden “peace and order” and “elimination of crime” as a result of Proclamation No. 1081. The truth is that fascist dictatorship is the biggest crime and cause of disorder. In the present “new society”, people are massacred or arrested and detained indefinitely on false charges and manufactured evidence. There is no more safety in one’s own home. Anytime, the fascist troops can barge in anywhere to dispose of persons and property in any manner they wish for their criminal ends. These minions of the dictatorship, together with their criminal associates (gangsters, informers, BSDUs and “Monkees”) arrogantly engage in extortion, robbery, torture, rape and other vicious crimes. And these do not get into the police blotter, simply because the victims do not want to become the accused before their abusers. By official record, there appears to be “peace and order” and “elimination of crime”. But crime and disorder, products of an exploitative and oppressive society, do not cease to exist just because the fascist-controlled mass media do not wish to report them.
Despite all attempts of the US-Marcos dictatorship to suppress the truth, the facts of fascist abuse are so widespread and so blatant. The fascist dictatorship will become even more hopelessly isolated by the stench of its lies. The broad masses of the people will only be further angered by mendacious propaganda prettifying the fascist dictatorship as having eliminated crime, lowered the prices of basic commodities, busted graft and corruption and rid the country of filth and pollution, whereas the contrary is the truth.
Deceptions even among a few people do not last long. The “new society” of the US-Marcos dictatorship is nothing but a phrase that will go the way of all previous slogans of deception spewed out by the US-Marcos clique. So long as the basic sources of evil in Philippine society are not eliminated, the manifestations of evil will always crop up. Marcos is nothing but the general representative of the big bourgeoisie and the big landlord class. What makes him even more distinctively so is that he has chosen to become a fascist dictator, a vicious running dog of US imperialism, under conditions when the political and economic crisis of the ruling system is getting more and more acute everyday. In the “new society”, the basic sources of evil that are US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism will persist but will increasingly be under powerful assaults by the broad masses of the people. With a target as easy to hit as the US-Marcos dictatorship, the Filipino people will rapidly become even aware of their revolutionary strength, use it to destroy their enemies one by one and aim for a new Philippines that is genuinely and completely independent, democratic, united, just and prosperous.
Tasks of the Communist Party of the Philippines in the New Situation
The setting up of the US-Marcos dictatorship through the declaration of an “unlimited form of martial law” and under the fascist principle that “all power can be given to the military” has brought about a new situation. Through the crude employment of armed coercion, dictator Marcos as commander-in-chief has arrogated unto himself and concentrated in his hands all executive, legislative and judicial powers. All of these powers are used not only against the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army but also against the broad masses of the people and all opposition to the perpetuation of a fascist dictatorship. Upon the setting up of this fascist dictatorship, the objective conditions for a civil war of a national scale have arisen. The entire Filipino people vehemently condemn the US-Marcos dictatorship as antinational, antirepublican, antidemocratic and decadent and are more determined than ever before to struggle for national democracy and, therefore, for a genuine republic that belongs to them.
It has long been pointed out and stressed to the US-Marcos clique that people’s war is the answer to martial law. Now that martial law is here, large masses of revolutionary militants and allied leaders of various forces all over the country have gone underground or have gone to the countryside from cities and towns and are resolutely taking every possible and necessary step to overthrow the US-Marcos dictatorship. Many times more than the previous suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the setting up of the fascist dictatorship has resulted in an increase of men and women eager and ready to do their share of fighting in the battlefield. With every national and democratic right suppressed, the broad masses of the people have more deeply realized the need to support or participate in people’s war. The revolutionary stand of the Communist Party of the Philippines that armed struggle is the principal form of struggle at the present national democratic stage of the Philippine revolution has never before been clearer than now.
In the new situation, there are three things that stand out. First, the Communist Party of the Philippines is the most prepared to lead the revolutionary struggle that calls for the armed overthrow of the fascist government. Second, the Party has the strongest and most experienced revolutionary army, the New People’s Army. Third, the ranks of the revolutionary movement have greatly expanded and fighting cadres as well as allies are all over the archipelago determined to conduct people’s war. These things would not have stood out as clearly as now were it not for the fascist viciousness of the US-Marcos dictatorship.
The Communist Party of the Philippines is the party most prepared to lead the revolutionary struggle because it is the most prepared to do so ideologically, politically and organizationally. By virtue of its adherence to and practice of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, it can be relied upon to fight steadfastly in a protracted people’s war and to deal with the problems of the Philippine revolution in the most comprehensive and correct manner. By virtue of its revolutionary politics, it can be relied upon to serve the toiling masses of workers and peasants, respect the legitimate interests of the petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie and mobilize the biggest mass force to overthrow the tyrannical regime. By virtue of its organizational strength, it has emerged practically unscathed from the vicious blows so far made by the enemy under Proclamation No. 1081.
In so many years, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army have been the target of all kinds of enemy operations and task forces and yet they have not only managed to preserve themselves and destroy the enemy part by part but have become even stronger through revolutionary struggle. To ensure the growth and development of people’s war as a mass undertaking, the Party has indefatigably created Party branches and groups, organs of political power, mass organizations, people’s organizing committees and various forms of fighting units such as the militia, the local guerrillas and the regular mobile (or several guerrilla units concentrated at appropriate times for big operations or a campaign of several battles). In the countryside, the Party is at the core of the New People’s Army and is also in the localities and has gained wide support from the peasant masses and inhabitants of towns, provincial capitals and small cities. In the cities, the Party has carefully developed an underground for the worst of emergencies and has at the same time developed unbreakable links with the workers, the urban petty bourgeois and others.
While we consider the present situation far more favorable to the revolutionary movement than ever before, we should not relax in the false belief that the objective conditions are enough to carry us forward. We have to build up the revolutionary forces courageously, not only by waging the principal form of struggle which is armed struggle in the countryside but also by employing effective underground methods in the cities and towns and by using every possible means, legal and otherwise, to facilitate coordination of efforts, propaganda work, intelligence and internal communications as well as communications with allies throughout the archipelago. We should avoid rashness in our actions because the fascist dictatorship carries with it the license to do the worst possible harm against the Party, people’s army and the people. We should advance carefully and steadily.
The Communist Party of the Philippines is determined to join hands with all those who are opposed to the US-Marcos dictatorship. All those who are interested in achieving national freedom and democracy are welcome in joining with the Party in a broad national democratic front. Those who may participate in this united front are the democratic classes and strata, parties, groups and individuals. Independence and initiative are enjoyed by participants in this united front. But the single common objective of all is to overthrow the US-Marcos dictatorship and institute a truly national and democratic regime. The success of the national democratic front can pave the way for a national coalition government where the working class, peasantry, urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie are fairly and justly represented. The Party’s Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution and also the ten-point guide drafted by the Party in connection with the drawing up of the program of the National Democratic Front should be referred to as guide for forming a national alliance or local alliances of revolutionary forces.
In addition, we are hereby making a pledge to ourselves, to all our allies and to all our countrymen in the context of our program for a people’s democratic revolution:
1. To join up with all forces that are opposed to the fascist dictatorship of the US-Marcos clique and conduct a firm revolutionary struggle to overthrow it;
2. To strengthen the New People’s Army, boldly organize guerrilla units all over the archipelago and draw all possible cooperation from everyone opposed to the US-Marcos dictatorship;
3. To help reestablish the democratic rights of all antifascist forces including individuals, political parties, trade unions, mass organizations, mass media, religious organizations and all other people, and to take all steps towards a democratic coalition government;
4. To fight for the nullification of all acts of the fascist dictatorship that favor US imperialism and the Marcos fascist clique, and to make possible the abrogation of all unequal treaties and agreements with the United States, especially those pertaining to direct investments, military bases, military assistance, military aggression and cultural aggression;
5. To pave the way for the arrest, trial before a people’s court and punishment of the dictator Marcos and his diehard accomplices for the setting up of a fascist dictatorship, bloody crimes against the people and enrichment in office, and make possible the confiscation of all ill-gotten wealth (capital holdings and landholdings) of the Marcos fascist clique and likewise those of all US imperialist firms and agencies collaborating with it; and
6. To welcome to the revolutionary ranks those officers and men of the reactionary armed forces who turn at any time against the US-Marcos dictatorship, provided they are not a mere faction of the military directed by US imperialism to groom another puppet dictator.
Hereunder are a number of guidelines for developing or dealing with the various forces opposed to the US-Marcos dictatorship:
1. The Party should vigorously fulfill its 1972 organizational and educational plan. Despite what appears to be the tightening of the situation due to the US-Marcos dictatorship, the fact is that the entire country has been made far more fertile than before for revolutionary seeding and growth. There is a great need for cadres and their nationwide deployment. So, the Central Committee is seeing to it that cadres are dispatched from certain regions to other regions. The correct relationship between expansion and consolidation and between the number of cadres in urban areas and that in the rural areas must be settled from time to time by regional Party committees in their respective territories. They must take more initiative in building the Party, the New People’s Army and the united front. Stress must be laid on mass work. The gauge of achievement is the quantity and quality of Party branches and groups, fighting units of the New People’s Army, organs of political power, people’s organizing committees and mass organizations of workers, peasants, youth, women and cultural activists. Due to the emergence of the US-Marcos dictatorship, special attention must be paid to improving underground methods, especially in cities and towns, and in maintaining links over extensive areas.
2. The Party should assign more cadres of worker as well as petty-bourgeois background to the New People’s Army. Those who can no longer conduct legal work or underground work in cities and towns should be dispatched to the people’s army is the Party’s principal form of organization and should be built as such. Party branches should be established at the company or platoon level as the case may be and Party groups at the squad level and, in addition, Party branches should be established in localities. The main objective of the fascist dictatorship in the countryside today is the suppression of the Party, the New People’s Army and the revolutionary masses. We should be good at preserving ourselves by destroying the enemy (fascist troops, spies, local tyrants and bad elements) on the wider scale of the countryside. The New People’s Army is based mainly on the peasant masses, the majority class in Philippine society. Special attention should therefore be paid to realizing a genuine land reform program among then. Nothing will ever come out of the decree of the US-Marcos dictatorship proclaiming the implementation of the reactionary “land reform code” all over the country, except intensified feudal and semifeudal exploitation and oppression and, therefore, intensified resistance by the peasant masses. Whenever possible, land should be distributed free to the tillers who do not own land or who do not have enough. The nonpayment of land rent and other related measures can easily be effected when the peasant masses have been sufficiently aroused, organized and mobilized on a wide scale. This also the best way of creating stable base areas. Wherever the guerrilla units of the New People’s Army are, the least that should be done for the welfare of the peasant masses is to reduce land rent, eliminate usury and initiate mutual aid and exchange of labor. Peasant associations, with poor and lower middle peasants prevailing, should be established. Local militia units and guerrilla units should also be raised from the peasant ranks so as to defend their democratic gains. From the ranks of the guerrilla units, we draw the Red fighters for the regular mobile forces of the New People’s Army.
3. The Party should continue to build revolutionary trade unions and other suitable organizations (including open associations and secret workers’ organizing committees) among the workers in workplaces and communities, despite the fascist ban on mass organizations and strikes. However, care must always be taken to prevent the enemy from identifying Party cadres. The more the fascist dictatorship madly goes after all kinds of workers’ organizations, the more it will aggravate its already isolated position. The longer the workers’ rights are suppressed, the more will the workers become fearless of the US-Marcos dictatorship. Their wages are buying less and less. they are also under greater threat of unemployment. The fascist dictatorship is mad enough to prevent the workers indefinitely from demanding through their unions and through strikes better working and living conditions. The violent suppression of workers’ unions and strikes can only yield more determined fighters for the revolutionary cause, provided the Party does well its duty of arousing and mobilizing the workers. The Party should organize the workers in factories, mines, haciendas and other areas and raise their political consciousness in the light of the current political and economic crisis. Workers are quick in grasping the Marxist-Leninist ideology, provided this is properly communicated to them by Party cadres. The Party should accelerate its efforts to build Party branches in the workers’ places of work and communities. Trade union work should always be combined with ideological and political work.
4. The Party should vigorously arouse and mobilize the student masses against the US-Marcos dictatorship. Although the democratic cultural revolution has already brought out a high degree of militance among them, the student masses should be further guided by the Party in the new situation so that they can link up with the broad masses of the people and deliver the most effective blows against the fascist dictatorship. If it were not for the fear of the US-Marcos dictatorship of the student masses, the schools should have been opened on the Monday following Proclamation No. 1081. But the closure of schools for sometime cannot stop the student masses from recognizing what is wrong and acting against it. The longer the schools are closed, the more ready are the student masses for mass actions. First, the probing mass actions and other propaganda activities; then increasingly bigger mass actions. Various forms of open student organizations and underground coordinating committees can be set up to defy the fascist ban on basic democratic rights. In the case of quite a number of student leaders and other youth leaders, who are blacklisted and who will only be immobilized upon arrest, it is the Party’s policy to dispatch them to the countryside or the underground, so long as they are already Party members or are willing to become Red fighters even if they are not yet Party members or even candidate-members. Party groups which are in the midst of the student masses should systematically deploy groups of students to various provinces and towns to condemn the fascist dictatorship and arouse the people.
5. The Party should encourage not only the student masses but also all other sections of the intelligentsia to assert their national and democratic rights and speak out their views against the US-Marcos dictatorship. It is antinational to allow foreign-owned mass media like those owned by the Sorianos to make propaganda in support of the US-Marcos dictatorship and at the same time prevent the Filipino people from speaking out their minds. It is antidemocratic to have only those reports and views supporting a fascist dictatorship disseminated. Teachers at all levels should be persuaded to propagate the national and democratic line among their co-teachers, students and the people and not to make anticommunist propaganda which would only serve to prolong the life of fascist dictatorship in the country. Special efforts should be exerted to get the active support of public school teachers. All government civilian employees should resist attempts of the US-Marcos dictatorship to shift public funds to the military from their departments, disregard their civil service eligibilities or turn over their functions to military personnel. Like the teachers and ordinary government civilian employees, all professionals (doctors, nurses, engineers, journalists, lawyers and others) should be won over to the antifascist united front. If positive and progressive, their political influence on many other people is of great value to the revolution. Their direct services and material contribution to the revolution are much needed. The most progressive elements in the ranks of the intelligentsia can become Party members.
6. The Party should, aside from the intelligentsia, win over other sections of the petty bourgeoisie. In many various ways, they can extend practical support to the revolutionary cause. They can help spread the correct political line against the US-Marcos dictatorship and they can also extend material support to the revolutionary movement. They are hard-pressed by the political and economic crisis worsening under the fascist dictatorship. The Party should consider the entire petty bourgeoisie as a basic motive force in the national democratic revolution and win it over in order to tilt the balance securely in favor of the revolutionary side.
7. The Party should win over members of the national bourgeoisie, in the cities and in the countryside, to give political and material support to the revolutionary movement. Since they themselves cannot be expected to bear arms against the enemy, they can extend to the revolutionary movement support in cash or kind or allow use of their facilities. The Party should protect their legitimate interests against the wanton assaults of US imperialism and the puppet dictatorship. The national bourgeoisie can join the anti-imperialist and antifascist united front and it will be amply represented in the national coalition government to be set up in the future.
8. The Party should support the struggle for self-determination or autonomy and also for democracy among the national minorities, especially those of Mindanao who have taken up arms. The armed struggle of the Maguindanaos, Maranaos, Tausugs and others is very significant. Efforts should be exerted in developing revolutionary forces in various parts of Mindanao, especially those outside of the “Muslim” areas; and unity between the national minorities and the poor settlers everywhere should be aimed for in accordance with the general line of the national democratic revolution. The armed struggle in Mindanao can be so coordinated with the revolutionary armed struggle in Luzon and the Visayas that the US-Marcos dictatorship would become exhausted from running to and fro, from far south to far north of the archipelago and vice versa. It should be the general policy of the Party all over the country to welcome all national minorities into the ranks of the revolutionary movement and to develop Party cadres and Red fighters among them.
9. The Party should seek and develop an antifascist united front at every possible level with the Liberal Party, with certain sections of the Nacionalista Party and various political groups and figures who are opposed to the US-Marcos dictatorship. The attempt of the Marcos fascist puppet clique to monopolize power in the country has seriously harmed or put a serious threat to the interests of other reactionaries. The violent split developing among the reactionaries has been obvious since the emergence of the “private armies” and especially since the second Plaza Miranda massacre. Although the US-Marcos dictatorship will try to create the myth of “bipartisan” support for the “Marcos party”, the political and economic contradictions among the reactionaries cannot be erased. There are various ways of cooperating with other political groups and figures. Since the US-Marcos dictatorship is bent on disarming them at any cost, they might as well contribute or merely lend their arms to the New People’s Army. They can also advise their following to cooperate with the people’s army and they can give other kinds of material support. In return, such legitimate interests of theirs as those which do not harm the people can be protected. In cases where there are already armed groups fighting or determined to fight the fascist dictatorship, the New People’s Army should be willing to reorganize them or integrate them into its ranks or simply coordinate with them as the case may be.
10. The Party should seek and develop an anti-imperialist and antifascist united front with religious and semireligious groups that are opposed to the US-Marcos dictatorship. It is noteworthy that there are a considerable number of patriotic and progressive priests and ministers who have merited being in the fascist blacklist. It must be always borne in mind that there are religious people who do not agree with the Party’s ideology but who readily and completely agree with the Party’s political program and line.
11. The Party should draw all possible support from Filipinos abroad, especially the half a million Filipino immigrant workers, professionals and students in the United States. Together with their American and other foreign friends, they can form committees and associations, engage in mass actions and raise funds for their own propaganda activities all in support of the revolutionary struggle of the Filipino people against the US-Marcos dictatorship. Eventually, they will be able to channel their material support to the revolutionary forces in the Philippines. Revolutionary friends of the Filipino people all over the world should also be encouraged to initiate committees and associations in support of the Filipino revolutionary struggle. The Filipino people should get all possible international support in the same spirit and manner as other peoples have done for their own revolutionary struggles. The peoples of the world are profoundly interested in the victory of the Philippine revolution against US imperialism and its running dogs. The Party should be guided by the lofty principle of proletarian internationalism in this regard.
12. The Party should perseveringly conduct by various means revolutionary propaganda among the officers and troops of the reactionary armed forces. Quite a number of them are opposed to the US-Marcos dictatorship. As a matter of fact, there are three definite trends in the reactionary armed forces: the first one consists of those who support the US-Marcos dictatorship and who are gloating at the chance to abuse the people; the second one consists of those who oppose the Marcos fascist gang but who wish to have it replaced by coup d’etat with another reactionary regime which they consider “democratic”; and the third one consists of those who oppose the US-Marcos dictatorship and who agree with the principles of the Corpus-Tagamolila Movement. The second trend can be subdivided into two: one is biding its time for the near-collapse of the Marcos fascist clique and will move only with assurances from US imperialism; the other has various notions of anti-imperialism. Enemy officers and troops who are opposed to the US-Marcos dictatorship should be encouraged to take the people’s side and take the anti-imperialist, antifeudal and antifascist line. They can bring over their arms and join the New People’s Army or temporarily establish and lead guerrilla units until such time that they can establish relations with the people’s army. The Party should also see to it that the policy of leniency is taken on captive enemy officers and men in order to disintegrate the reactionary armed forces. As the US-Marcos dictatorship conscripts more troops and the people’s suffering becomes even more unbearable, there will be more enemy officers and men who will recognize what is right and what is wrong and will gladly turn their arms against the people’s exploiters and oppressors.
The Communist Party of the Philippines, together with the New People’s Army which it leads, declares that conditions for revolutionary armed struggle in the countryside have been tremendously enhanced by the emergence of the US-Marcos dictatorship. Whereas before Proclamation No. 1081 only certain limited parts of the country were battlefields, these can now be boldly expanded throughout the archipelago. Furthermore, whereas before this proclamation it was not yet timely to launch certain limited forms of military operations in urban areas, these can now be done with due consideration given to the strategic line that the revolutionary forces will seize the cities from rural base areas.
The broad masses of the people know how to deal with a mad bull like the US-Marcos dictatorship and they are determined to encircle it with the flames of people’s war. The day will surely come when the US-Marcos dictatorship is turned into ashes and is finally consigned to the garbage heap of history. By that time, the comprehensive revolutionary movement against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism shall have become a gigantic force capable of carrying the Philippine revolution through to the end.