The Communist Party of the Philippine today rebutted point per point President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech yesterday at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) during the 31st anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) where he repeatedly expressed contempt for the revolutionary movement.
Duterte: “Kayong mga komunista, even if you did not exist, land reform would still be the program of any government.”
CPP: Indeed, one does not need to be a communist to espouse or demand land reform. The distribution of land is a basic component of economic progress and lays the condition for industrial development as shown, for example, by the experiences of land reform Taiwan and South Korea, which were even endorsed by the World Bank in the 1950s.
However, for close to 90 years now, Philippine governments since Quezon have come up with one fake land reform program after another which neither aimed to genuinely distribute land nor attain social justice for the peasant tillers, but merely to dupe the landless peasants and placate their demand for land. Ownership of vast tracts of land has always been the basic source of economic and political power of the ruling Philippine elite which they will never give up without a bloody fight.
In the Philippines, it is only the national democratic forces which have consistently and determinedly pushed for genuine land reform. The CPP and NPA’s land reform program has been the most serious and successful in addressing the urgent and long-term demands of the peasants. This is the basic reason why the NPA continues to enjoy the deep support of the people.
Duterte: “Kunin mo ang initiative mula sa komunista. What they’re parlaying is land. Unahan na natin, eh di ibigay na natin.”
CPP: Duterte is a class affiliate of the big landlords. Thus, he is not pushing for land reform as he does not want to risk antagonizing the hacienderos. Only the poor peasants, together with their revolutionary forces, have the determination and initiative to fight for genuine land reform.
Duterte is a peddler of fake land reform. He merely wants to transform land in the Philippines to become foreign-owned plantations or to build his graft-ridden foreign-funded infrastructure projects.
Duterte: “You cannot win the fight for social justice or for a better life for your country if you go to revolution.”
Duterte: “Di nga kayo makahawak ng isang barangay.”
CPP: It is Duterte’s oppressive and anti-people policies which give the people no other option but to take up arms and fight a revolution in their quest for social justice and freedom. His “kill, kill, kill” policy under nationwide undeclared martial law is the starkest reason why people must wage armed resistance.
Duterte’s claim that the CPP/NPA “cannot control even one village” is repeatedly belied by AFP statements declaring villages to be “recovered” (or “nabawi”) where residents, described as NPA supporters, have been rounded up by their troops and paraded as “surrenderees” and who are made to “pledge allegiance” to the Duterte government.
In the countryside, under the leadership of the CPP, the oppressed masses are building and breathing democracy. This is what Duterte and the AFP desperately wishes to destroy through aerial bombings and military occupation of villages. They do not have enough bombs or men, however, to stem the rising tide of revolution.
Duterte: “We cannot go on this way we have (been) fighting for 53 years. Maawa naman kayo sa coming generation.”
CPP: Pity the generations to come for they will suffer ever worse misery and hopelessness if the Filipino people will merely bow in silence to the oppression, corruption, treachery and barbarities perpetrated by Duterte and his ilk. The Filipino people have been fighting for genuine freedom and social justice for more than a century now. As long as there is oppression and exploitation, they will never tire of fighting.
Duterte: “(Ending the communist revolution) has to be now. I am serving notice to everybody that in the coming months it will be, not really bloody, but there will be a little trouble for everybody. This will make us a magnet for criticism that we are waiting for us to do and commit a wrong.”
Duterte has not given up on openly declaring nationwide martial law, on the mistaken idea that he can perpetuate himself in power and end the people’s resistance through the force of state terrorism and violence. He is utterly mistaken.