More significant, bigger and ever glowing victories year upon year. This describes the advancement of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on its 47th anniversary today. NDFP-Panay is proud to be an integral part of this staunchest and most revolutionary united front organization in the country and has marched in step along with other NDFP organizations in other regions.
For the past year membership of NDFP sectoral allied organizations in both cities and countryside in Panay have increased to some hundreds with a few hundred of them volunteering to be sworn into the Party. From these mass organizations and other individual recruits, young Red fighters the equivalent of a platoon has filled the ranks of the NPA.
The agrarian struggle remains to be the main content and prime mover of the people’s struggle especially of the poor peasants. In the countryside, the reactionary government’s scheme is to drive them away from the land in the guise of prohibiting them to slash-and-burn, duping them to plant coffee, bamboo or abaca on hundreds of hectares for big business or building of infrastructures for eco-tourism projects.
With the Party to guide them and the NPA to rely on, the peasant masses have bonded together to justly demand their right to till the land forcing the reactionary government to give concessions. In other areas, the masses have maintained their struggle against usury, and in a much wider scope have sustained the ‘kontra-gutom’ campaign due to the adverse effects of ‘El Nino’, typhoon Ursula and the present COVID-19 epidemic, all disastrously handled by the bureaucratic and corrupt dispensation. The partial gains the masses have attained were products of their organized and militant struggles and never because of the reactionary government’s benevolence.
What is also praise-worthy is that in spite of red-tagging, stalking and serious death threats from the tyrant Duterte himself, thousands more have joined the legal democratic organizations in the region which have maintained their militancy in voicing out their sectoral demands, exposing the US-Duterte regime’s fascist impositions and demand his ouster.
Always heeding and considering the people’s sentiments and needs, in a period of four months, the NDFP has recommended the declaration of unilateral ceasefire last December for Christmas and the New Year and another on March 26-April 15 extending it to April 30 due to the COVID-19 crisis, notwithstanding Duterte’s own hypocritical and traitorous unilateral ceasefire teeming with violations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown, without need of much rhetoric, that the world capitalist system is inadequate to handle such global phenomenon. Ironically the hardest hit areas are the ‘advanced’ countries in the world such as the USA, Spain, Italy, France and Germany with their advance medicine, technology, research and their supposedly efficient, universally accessible and well-equipped health systems. But facts have pointed to the contrary.
We only have to look at the Philippines, a puppet semi-colony in the clutches of the capitalist orbit. Worsened by a muddle-brained fascist president who desperately apes his US and China masters the result has been a virus deadlier than the COVID-19. The Duterte Virus has pervaded the lives of millions of Filipinos whereas the COVID-19 has inflicted only some thousands.
Since the very beginning Duterte was never serious in putting the lives of the Filipino people at the top and foremost when the COVID alarm was rang from China early January, but instead allowed half a million mainland
Chinese tourists into the country for billions of profits for China and his local cronies. Like his idol Trump who dilly-dallied, Duterte acted two months late and his actions were inutile, incompetent and incongruous.
Militarism was Duterte’s immediate answer to curb the virus drooling over turning the country into a police state. From March 17 to 29, a total of 17,039 individuals have been arrested nationwide for supposed violations of curfews and other impositions while only around 3,000 were tested for COVID-19. The regime’s solution was never based on a comprehensive scientific, medical and health framework with the people’s health and economic well-being at the forefront. It was the people who barraged Duterte for immediate and mass testing. It was the people who demanded immediate relief and subsidy.
The P270 billion national funding to fight COVID-19 is too little, has come too late and yet in trickles accompanied by the endemic red-tape and corruption of an incompetent, inefficient and bungling bureaucratic machinery especially from the topmost. Not a few LGUs and local chief executives have decried the national government’s poor and snail-paced performance while leaving to them the dirty work and depleting their coffers.
In spite of the nationwide lockdown and curfews which the tyrant and his military cohorts boast of as most effective measures against the virus, the Philippines is now no.1 in Southeast Asia in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Millions of Filipinos are out of work, have no income, no pocket money, and are hungry and angry. They rightfully blame and condemn the Duterte government for mishandling the crisis. The #Oust Duterte call has gone viral and the general sentiment has been disgust, contempt, discontent and frustration against militarist impositions, regulations, penalties, imprisonment and direct threat of martial law.
It is worthy to note that countries that claim to be socialist and are being vilified and oppressed by imperialist US such as Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela have been outstanding in handling the COVID-19 problem. They have registered minimal cases and negligible deaths. These are the countries whose health care as well as education is free and universal, basic and strategic industries are nationalized, agriculture is a priority and subsidized, and a self-reliant economy is encouraged and practiced. Most of all their people are united, organized and trained to voluntarily act whenever they are faced by a national emergency or crisis.
Some capitalist economists have already predicted that the COVID-19 aftermath would be a world depression graver than the Great Depression of the 1930’s. In fact the world capitalist system has been in protracted depression since the 2008 financial crisis and would surely plunge deeper than ever. Such crisis will only bring about higher and more intense waves of mass protests in the thousands and millions against imperialism and fascism by the peoples of the world. Bigger and broader peoples’ resistance would contribute to US imperialism’s decline and that of its puppet states.
NDFP-Panay exhorts all member organizations and the people to amplify their calls for their legitimate economic, political and social demands and never again to allow Martial Law.
Let us unite and fight the Duterte Virus! Oust Duterte now!!!