Message of the Christians for National Liberation – Ilocos For its 50th Founding Anniversary
With the Filipino peasant and working class, the patriotic, democratic and progressive people, the Christians for National Liberation (CNL) today celebrates with joy and militancy the 50 anniversary of its establishment. The CNL-Ilocos extends its warmest revolutionary greetings to all CNL members and cadres for unremitting struggles and triumphs, and to its allies and friends as well, who are responding to the call to expand and consolidate the progressive and revolutionary clerical movement to advance the people’s war to end all forms of oppression and fascist repression.
Since its establishment in 1972, the CNL has been actively participating in the Filipino people’s war by arousing them to rise against imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism to achieve liberation, just and lasting peace. Through the CNL, democratic classes among Christians from different church denominations were united and appended to the basic alliance of workers and peasants to create a powerful national democratic united front that would topple the rule of US imperialism and the local bourgeois classes of big compradors and landlords. Under the canopy of the NDFP, the CNL has been serving as a strong pillar and voice of the impoverished and exploited classes of peasants and workers in their revolutionary struggle.
We pay homage today to all the fallen heroes and martyrs of the clerical movement initiated by Fathers Gomez, Burgos, Zamora and Aglipay that helped ignite the old Philippine revolution, and resumed by the CNL through vigorous participation in this current new democratic revolution. In Ilocos, the revolutionary clerical movement played a significant role in setting the grounds and broadening the people’s war in the region. Through the leadership of Fathers Nilo Valerio and Zacharias Agatep, the revolutionary peasant movement was launched and laid the foundation of the armed revolution in Ilocos. All through this recent era, the CNL persists in strengthening the armed struggle in the region. The late Pastor Rochelle Joy Ravina of Bangui, Ilocos Norte was harnessed by the CNL and offered her life in 2008 in directly serving the armed struggle under the New People’s Army. Their contributions to the Philippine revolution are immeasurable. Their memories will forever inspire clerical revolutionaries to take up the cudgels of leadership through the great teachings of honest service and upholding genuine peace rested on justice and human rights, and to persevere in commiserating and linking arms with the vast majority of destitute and persecuted masses in their revolutionary struggle.
These days, we are challenged by the gargantuan threat of unrelenting fascism and tyranny through machinations of combined Marcos and Duterte dynasties to prolong their rule. These combined dynasties are dynasties of worst dictators, fascists, corrupt and imperialist puppets. The Duterte regime is vehemently pressing its “last push” to crush the revolutionary movement while grooming the Bongbong Marcos- Sara Duterte tandem that would take over his tyrannical regime.
In adherence to the Party’s instruction to all revolutionary and democratic forces, let us help frustrate the wicked and vicious plot of the Marcos and Duterte dynasties to return and extend their power, corruption and tyranny. This is a gigantic challenge the CNL needs to conquer and fight for a clean and honest governance for the interest of the greater good and eventually, advance the people’s war.
The current exceptional task of the CNL, in general, and the CNL-Ilocos, in particular, is to arouse the people to combat political patronage, deceit and revision of history by the fanatic reactionaries to refurbish the Marcos image and lengthen their twin dictatorship with the Dutertes.
The CNL-Ilocos should build the broadest alliance of all Christian denominations and link this to the peasants, fisherfolk, workers, national minority, youth, women and other democratic and poor sectors in Ilocos to form a potent anti-fascist alliance that should frustrate the scheme to extend the powers of the Marcoses and Dutertes.
The CNL-Ilocos should lead the struggle to defend human rights and the environment. It should firmly support the peasant struggle for genuine land reform, the fisherfolk struggle against the pillage of the resources of the seas, the struggle of the national minority against the plunder of their ancestral lands, and all of the struggles of the underprivileged and beset people in the region.
For the CNL to resiliently overcome these challenges, it should strengthen its proletarian class stance by enthusiastically and incessantly studying Marxism- Leninism-Maoism. The MLM is the brilliance that provides light for the Christian revolutionaries in treading the dark and winding road of the people’s democratic revolution towards a socialist future. Here, the aspirations of the oppressed classes to live a free, just, peaceful and prosperous life would be realized.
Fifty years and beyond, the CNL-Ilocos with its patriotic, progressive and democratic allies celebrates with the CNL National for its victories!