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Press Statement

12 January 2002

By Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

The Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines is like the Osama bin Laden group in one sense. It is a US creation that has run out of US control.

It was created in the early 1990s by agents of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in collaboration with Filipino CIA assets (including Generals Alexander Aguirre and Mariano Ruiz), in order to undermine the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) before this capitulated to the Manila government in 1996.

After the MNLF capitulation, the CIA and the Manila puppet government deemed the Abu Sayyaf group useless and left it to its own devices. The group turned to kidnapping for ransom, victimizing civilians, including local priests, public school teachers and pupils as well as foreign tourists.

Now, the US and their Filipino puppets in power are finding the Abu Sayyaf useful again for their own purposes. They are now using the Abu Sayyaf group as a pretext for the intervention of US military advisors, trainors and combat troops and the increase of US military supplies to the Manila puppet government in the name of combating terrorism.

The grandscale terrorism of US imperialism is trying to use the smallscale terrorism of the Abu Sayyaf group as the excuse for a war of intervention and possibly a war of aggression against the people of the Philippines (including the Bangsamoro) and their revolutionary forces fighting for national liberation and democracy.

By flagrantly intervening militarily in the Philippines, the US underscores the puppet character of the Manila government and the antinational and antipeople character of such US-RP bilateral agreements as the Military Assistance Pact, Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the prospective Mutual Logistical Support Agreement.

The puppet rulers and military top brass collaborate with the US in transgressing the national sovereignty of the people and territorial integrity of the Philippines. They are not at all ashamed that the US proclaims to the whole world that the reactionary armed forces do not know how to fight the Abu Sayyaf group, unless US military officers and men advise, train and command them.

But the people are reminded that they have not yet achieved justice for the war crimes committed against them by US aggressors, especially the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos from 1899 to 1913 (the Filipino-American War of 1899-1902, extending to the so-called antibrigandage campaigns) and the massacre of tens of thousands of Moros until 1916 in the anti-Moro wars.

As the US intervenes militarily in the Philippines, the people are served the heroic challenge and opportunity to seek justice against US imperialism in the battlefield. They are being pushed to redeem themselves not only from the violence of the US in the military conquest of the Philippines but also from the daily violence of imperialist super-exploitation.

The cowardly US strategy of bombing the fixed positions and fixed structures of an existing government, as in Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan and taking advantage of the arid terrain as in Iraq and Afghanistan cannot be successfully applied against revolutionary forces waging a protracted people’s war in the Philippines. This is a war of fluid movement in which the people’s army relies on the worker-peasant alliance, is not responsible for fixed structures, avoids positional warfare and takes advantage of the tropical foliage.

As in the failed US wars of aggression in Indochina from the 1960s to 1975, the people of the Philippines, including the Bangsamoro, can inflict lethal blows on the US aggressors through outflanking guerrilla offensives in a fluid war without defined battlefronts and rears and thereby teach the US to respect the national sovereignty of the Filipino people and the territorial integrity of the Philippines.

At the rate that the US is unleashing wars of aggression and gearing up for more, the current new world disorder will eventually result in widespread wars of national liberation in the current decade. The Filipino people can find abundant support from other peoples in the common struggle against imperialism.

Right now, the US-directed Macapagal regime is courting disaster by finding no way out of the current economic crisis due to neoliberal globalization and by falling for US military impositions in exchange for big promises of foreign investments and loans. In fact, the US itself is in recession and is responsible for the global depression.

The current regime seems to forget that Estrada fell very quickly because in the first place his regime was kept isolated and weak by the ever-worsening crisis of the world capitalist system. Right now, the broad masses of the people are outraged by the failure of the Macapagal regime to fulfill its promises of solving the economic crisis and getting rid of corruption. The regime is now seen as aggravating the problems.

It is self-damning for a puppet regime to know no bounds for following the economic, political and military dictates of US imperialism. The most servile and the most violent puppets of US imperialism have fallen in different parts of the world precisely because they follow those dictates, aggravate the crisis and goad the people to resist.

US military intervention and increased military assistance to the puppet regime under the pretext of fighting the Abu Sayyaf group do not frighten the people and their revolutionary forces but heighten their vigilance and resolve to fight the US and local reactionary forces in order to achieve national liberation and democracy. #

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