INTERVIEW WITH PROF. JOSE MARIA SISON
By Alexander Martin Remollino
Bulatlat Online Magazine
September 21, 2004
1. In the ranks of the militant mass movement and among civil
libertarians and mainstream opposition groups, there is a perceptible
common observation that the Macapagal-Arroyo administration is
treading along the path that Marcos took in 1972. What are your
comments on this?
* Reply: Indeed, there are striking similarities. The economic and social
crisis of the ruling system is again extremely severe and the people are
in deep discontent. The reaction of the reactionary ruling clique is to
use and threaten the use of force against the people. But there are also
striking dissimilarities in the situation, like the reactionary armed
forces and police are fractious and the armed revolutionary movement of
the people are far stronger than in 1972. The legal forces of the national
democratic movement are also much stronger.*
2. Do you agree with former Vice President Guingona's observation that
we now see a public discontent of the same magnitude as that which
immediately preceded martial law?
*Reply: Yes, I agree with him. *
3. In July 2003, Trillanes and company accused President
Macapagal-Arroyo of plotting to impose martial law. Considering the
post-May election scenarios--characterized, among others, by violent
dispersals of mass actions--do you see a confirmation of their
* Reply: Indeed, there is a clear trend in the increasing use of state
violence against the people. The regime is on the path of state terrorism
and is inclined towards the declaration of martial law. *
4. Considering the many developments in the military since July last
year--with various military rebel groups like the Magdalo, Kawal, and
Patriotic Filipino Soldiers sprouting here and there--what are the
chances that President Macapagal-Arroyo would be able to do anything
similar to what Marcos was able to do in 1972?
*Reply: Macapagal-Arroyo is escalating the use of state terrorism against
the people. But she is also afraid that in a martial law situation she
would not be able to handle the factions within the armed forces and she
could be gobbled up by whichever would be the ascendant military faction.
Long before 1972, Marcos cultivated the image of a bemedalled war veteran
and capitalized on the big number of Ilocano officers and men in the armed
forces. All military officers felt indebted to him for a long while, because
he was often promoting them in an expanding armed forces.
Macapagal-Arroyo often tries to sound and look like a macho commander.
But she will increasingly fail to handle the military factions and the
discontent among the troops. The failure will accelerate if she declares
5. What options are available to the people for preventing a repeat
* Reply: The broad masses of the people must be vigilant and militant.
There must be a broad united front for arousing, organizing and mobilizing
the greatest number of people. All patriotic and progressive forces must
be strengthened in order to express the
grievances of the people and make demands for national liberation and
democracy against US domination and the puppet ruling clique. It is possible
for a people's uprising to overthrow a ruling clique, as proven in 1986
and 2001. If the ruling clique manages to stay longer in power by crushing
the legal opposition forces, then the armed revolutionary movement of
the people would grow faster as it did during the Marcos fascist dictatorship.*
Salamat po, Ka Joe, ingat po kayo lagi, at mabuhay kayo!