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Solving Some Problems in the Broad United Front and Mass Movement to Oust the Arroyo Regime

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
27 February 2006

It is interesting to consider some problems in the broad united front and mass movement to oust the Arroyo regime and try to solve them. These problems are already well known to the public. It has become commonplace for people to ask questions revolving around the main question of why the ouster of the Arroyo cannot be accomplished quickly in a legal and nonviolent way.

1. The problem of ensuring the legal and nonviolent ouster of Arroyo from power in view of her determination to use violence against the people and the military and police officers who are against her fraudulently acquired presidency.

Solution: There is no other way to ensure the legal and non-violent ouster of the Arroyo regime but for the broad united front of patriotic, progressive and anti-Arroyo forces (coalitions, political parties and mass organizations) to muster its own organized following and mobilize the broad masses of the people to assert their sovereign will, exercise their democratic rights and encourage the military and forces of the reactionary government to side with the people and withdraw support from the regime.

The Filipino people have gained rich experience in overcoming the violence posed by the previous regimes of Marcos and Estrada by employing the policy of broad united front, which is open to the participation of civilian and military officials and personnel of the reactionary government in the movement to oust an incumbent ruling clique.

The broad masses of the people have long hated the Arroyo regime for electoral fraud, corruption, subservience to foreign interests, extreme conditions of exploitation and rampant human rights violations. The Arroyo regime is now far more isolated and far weaker than the Marcos fascist regime in the years of 1983 to 1986 or the Estrada regime from 1999 to 2001.

It has made the fatal mistake of inflicting the tyrannical Proclamation 1017 on the people and threatening them with fascist dictatorship under conditions of economic, political and moral bankruptcy. However, it believes that it can get US support for its escalating use of violence and its prolongation in power in exchange for charter change that seeks to embody the anti-national and anti-democratic dictates of US imperialism.

The political situation is combustible. All that is needed is for the organized forces of the broad united front to do their best in mustering their strength and mobilizing the people to exercise their right to speak and assemble and work for the ouster of the regime. The objective conditions for ousting the regime are exceedingly favorable. It is all a matter of the subjective forces strengthening themselves and rallying the people in their millions on a nationwide scale.

2. The problem of varied platforms or programs of the varied coalitions, political parties and mass organizations in the broad united front.

Solution: The varied forces in the broad united front can unite on a concise one-page platform or program containing the most important basic points that they can agree on.. Such platform or program can include the following points:

    a. Replacement of the illegitimate and immoral Arroyo regime due to the commission of electoral fraud, plunder, treason, human rights violations and other grave crimes against the people.

    b. Upholding of civilian supremacy and civil liberties and nullification of Proclamation 1017 and all its oppressive consequences.

    c. Defend national sovereignty and independence and protect the national patrimony.

    d. Carry out genuine land reform and national industrialization and generate employment and livelihood for the people.

    e. Promote a patriotic, democratic and scientific culture among the youth and entire people

    f. Undertake an independent foreign policy for peace and development and develop closest relations with neighboring countries.

    g. Pursue the peace negotiations with the NDFP and MILF and achieve just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the armed conflict.

    h. Drawing up a new democratic constitution and holding elections within a year after the ouster of the Arroyo regime.
3. The problem of having no single leader to replace Arroyo and the related problem of forming the appropriate bodies for accommodating the representatives of all major forces (coalitions, political parties and mass organizations) contributing significantly to the movement to oust Arroyo.

Solution: Apparently having no single leader to replace Arroyo is not really a problem. The important thing is having a concise program on which to unite and having certain bodies which shall eventually be used for choosing the principal leader among so many leaders. The following bodies can be formed:
    a. The Transition Council (any similar name to suggest its revolutionary, patriotic or democratic character will do) is the highest policy-making body and it elects its Executive Committee. It includes the representatives of all major coalitions, political parties, mass organizations and groups of retired military and police officers. It may be as large as 100 to 200.

    b. The Executive Committee carries out the policies and tasks decided by the Transition Council. It directs the work of various subcommittees focused on certain tasks, including development of the program, reorganization of government, and so on. It is the provisional cabinet. It may have 15 to 30 members.

    c. Roundtable Council of Advisors to include former presidents and other senior personages.

    d. Unified Command to include representatives of major groups of retired and active military and police officers. It can surface fully after the ouster of the Arroyo regime.
4. What are the consequences of delay in the ousting of the Arroyo regime, particularly because such delay is due to the regime's use of preemptive violence against the people, the opposition parties, mass organizations and even against military and police officers suspected of being against the regime?
    a. The anti-Arroyo military and police officers and personnel might ultimately undertake forcible preemptive actions to oust the regime (in concert with the growing mass protests and clamor for the ouster of the regime) because in the first place the Arroyo regime uses violence to prolong itself in power.

    b. The crisis of the ruling system will become deeper and graver. The prospect of revolutionary change grows brighter as the broad masses of the people are outraged by the prolonged reign of terror and greed and they demand revolutionary change. The armed revolutionary movement will continue to flourish and win political and military victories in the countryside.

    c. The regime is preoccupied with trying to survive in the national capital region. It is drawing the military and police forces to guard the regime and its facilities in the cities and trunklines. It is thereby thinning out these forces in the countryside, Under these circumstances, the people's army can take more initiative in launching tactical offensives and thus grow in strength and advance.
5. After the ouster of the Arroyo regime, will not the pro-US Right prevail in a new regime and, together with their pseudo-progressive hangers on, try to exclude from the government the patriotic and progressive legal forces and even deny the role of the national democratic movement in the ouster of Arroyo, as in the previous ousters of Marcos and Estrada?

It is highly probable that the pro-US Right would still prevail and would hire pseudo-progressives to keep on denigrating the national democratic movement. That is because the bureaucratic and military machinery of the reactionary government remains intact despite the ouster of the ultra-Right and fascist Arroyo ruling clique and also despite the emergence of a progressive movement among the civilian and military personnel of the reactionary government. Nevertheless, we must recognize the unprecedentedly new phenomena in the ever developing situation.

The chronic crisis of the ruling system has reached such a point that the intrasystemic anti-Arroyo forces, civilian and military, need to cooperate more conspicuously than ever before with the national democratic movement in ousting the Arroyo regime and to engage the legal patriotic and progressive forces in a new government if their objective is to have some relative stability at least for a while.

The process of ousting the ultra-Right and fascist Arroyo regime is strengthening both the legal and revolutionary forces of the national democratic movement. At the same time, the revolutionary forces have openly manifested interest in negotiations with the post-Arroyo government for a just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the armed conflict.

However, if the reactionary government under a new ruling clique chooses to further pursue the armed counterrevolution, the revolutionary forces of the people are obviously prepared to further advance the armed revolution against ruling system that is acutely crisis-stricken and is clearly in a state of decomposition. ###

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