Pasabilis! October 2021 | Editorial: Amid pandemic, fascism and feudal exploitation, to resist is all the more necessary
In one of the guerilla fronts of Southern Mindanao, a story is told as a testament to the persevering character of the revolutionary movement.
The modest karlang* stands as a representation that our deep roots among the masses and painstaking principle of arousing, organizing and mobilizing millions of masses are the key to overcome the most vicious war of counter-revolution in the history of the region.
In many areas in the region, the masses of peasants and Lumad continue to bear the hardships caused by rampant l by the reactionary government and the ruling class. They shoulder the never-ending ruination of their livelihood due to dwindling production, low farmgate prices, skyrocketing increase in the prices of basic commodities, usurious debts and non-existent support and aid from the corrupt reactionary government.
A huge number of them are forced to make do with barely livable wage as farmworkers and workers in plantations. These are the undeniable effects of Duterte’s neoliberal policies such as the Rice Tariffication Law, land conversion, eco-tourism, commercialization of golden rice and other similar schemes.
In the face of these and the blight of Covid-19, Duterte immorally continues to squander billions for his anti-people war, especially in acquiring modern armament and war technology such as drones, bombs, artillery cannons and fighter jets. Using these, the AFP’s militarization sows terror against hundreds of thousands of families in rural areas. The masses are victimized by the relentless fascism being normalized during Duterte’s reign of tyranny in the form of red-tagging, forced surrender, indiscriminate bombings, hamletting, occupation by retooled community service program troops, and the enactment of the Anti-Terror Law.
But Duterte’s war, however tenacious and destructive it currently appears to be, is one whose ultimate fate is that of failure. The masses know it to be unjust, anti-people and criminally negligent of the real problems of the Filipino people.
It is a war that measures success by the number of civilians harassed incessantly to force their surrender, the number of activists and mass leaders killed, and the number of peasant organizations, worker unions and Lumad schools that have been dismantled. It relies on sating the mercenary AFP in the midst of the people’s destitution made worse by the pandemic.
The AFP is untiring in its propaganda that it has finally pushed the revolutionary movement in the region to the brink of defeat. It is desperately portraying the belligerent masses as no longer having the capacity to endure let alone fight, even as the reality of the economic and political crisis of the semicolonal and semifeudal system remains clear as day.
As revolutionary forces continue to adapt to the current fascist attack, we must struggle ever fervently to carry out daring and creative ways to expand, launch various forms of antifeudal struggles and strengthen the people’s armed resistance.
Amid the suffering of peasant and Lumad masses, it is our priority to help them struggle against feudal and semifeudal exploitation. We must draw up concrete measures and programs to help them reclaim their land, increase their production, wages and incomes, reduce onerous interests over their debts and provide relief during calamities and crises. This is key in order to reach and strike roots among the masses who are ready to resist and become our bottomless well in strengthening the New People’s Army.
If we think about it, the people’s war practically came from nothing, emerged amidst objective conditions of abject suffering, and developed through and because of the commitment of the revolutionary forces to resolve the basic problems of the Filipino people. In the time of relentless fascist attack, worsening pandemic and acute crisis of the feudal system, we are confident in our resolve that the land is still fertile to advance our historic people’s war. The oppressed masses know that the people’s war is protracted, with many twists and turns, and that it is necessary to endure numerous sacrifices and difficulties. Like the humble karlang, how deeply-rooted we are to the soil, which to us are the masses themselves, guarantees our perseverance, victory and bright socialist future.
*Karlang is a root crop in family of taro.