These attacks initiated by pseudo-progressive groups like the Akbayan
and the Focus on the Global South which are openly subsidized by US-based
foundations and agencies are just smokescreens or psychological preparations
for an open attack on Prof. Jose Maria Sison and national-democratic organizations
like the KMP whose mass activists have been the subject of massacres like
that of the Hacienda Luisita Attack which killed 14 peasants last November
Akbayan and Focus on Global South are making a lot of noise about the threats to the persons of their so-called leaders like Walden Bello and other Akbayan leaders who act as spokespersons for the Philippine military and misrepresent themselves as part of the broad movement against imperialist globalization.
But where were they during the high tide of the global anti-capitalist and anti-war movement? They were not even in the forefront of the huge mass mobilizations in the United States but in the comfort of the air-conditioned conference halls of their masters like during the WTO Conference in Seattle in 1999 or in Mumbai, India 2003 preaching to their own choir and working for their funding agencies and praising them to high heavens.
The persistent attacks against Prof Sison, the KMP and other Philippine mass organizations are designed to demonize Prof Sison and the Philippine movement and to make them open targets for military repression and even assassination. These pseudo-progressives are essentially campaigning for the US and other governments to include the people’s organizations and leaders like Jose Maria Sison in the US “terrorist” list and for other political organizations to shun and attack these organizations.
So the public may know, in 1986, the pro-US militarist group in the Philippine military’s Oplan God Save the Queen, a failed coup attempt, targeted Prof. Jose Maria Sison but instead killed the Chairperson of both the Partido ng Bayan (People’s Party) and the militant trade union May First Movement (KMU), Rolando Olalia and his driver in 1986. If Sison had not left the Philippines, he would have also ended up dead then.
In 1987, the Philippine government cancelled Prof. Sison’s passport and he was forced to go in exile in the Netherlands. From 1987 to 1988, more than 200 activists were killed or massacred by the US-Aquino Regime under their Oplan Jericho. The most prominent among them were Leandro Alejandro, the General Secretary of BAYAN, Atty. Emmanuel Mendoza of Manila, Atty. David Bueno of Ilocos Norte, and many others.
From 1987 to 1991, Prof. Sison was invited by many progressive American organizations but the US State Department refused to give him a visa.
On August 7, 2002, the US formally named Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in its peace negotiations with the Manila government, along with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) in its “terrorist” listing. Subsequently, the Dutch government has cruelly denied Prof. Sison the meager benefits due him as a recognized political refugee.
Abundant experience shows that labeling individuals and organizations as “terrorist” has had the objective effect of making them real targets of military repression and violence. Just last year, the Philippine military killed as many as 45 leaders of different Philippine progressive party-lists and organizations in the last presidential elections alone.
These pseudo-progressives should be ashamed of themselves for clouding the issue and crying wolf to try to gain public sympathy by announcing imagined threats to their lives and persons. By attacking Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the KMP and other Philippine organizations, they are urging the world’s biggest terrorists – US imperialists, the Arroyo puppet regime and all reaction to come down hard against the real anti-imperialists and progressives.
We must continue to defend Prof. Jose Maria Sison and the national-democratic movement in the Philippines and everywhere and vigorously expose and oppose those who continue to malign him and the people’s liberation movement. •