MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY TO THE PEOPLE OF CORDILLERA
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 24th CORDILLERA DAY CELEBRATION
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
April 24, 2008
On behalf of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS), I wish to
convey warmest greetings of solidarity to the people of Cordillera, to the
Cordillera People's Alliance (CPA), Kakailian Salakniban Tay Amin a Nagtaudan
(KASTAN) and the Baay-Licuan Takderan Omnu a Karbengan (BALITOK),
to the delegations from all chapters of the Cordillera People's Alliance and
to all the guests from within the Philippines and abroad on the occasion of
the 24th Cordillera Day Celebration.
We join you in celebrating a day of great significance to the people of
Cordillera, the Philippines and the whole world. This is a day consecrated
by the martyrdom of Ama Macliing Dulag on April 24, 1980 and by all pertinent
sacrifices and struggles of the Cordillera people against the schemes of the
imperialists and the neocolonial puppet state to violate the people's right
to ancestral domain and self-determination and plunder the natural resources
of the Cordillera.
We continue to celebrate and be inspired by the victories of the people
of Cordillera against the World Bank-funded Chico River Basin Hydroelectric
Dam Project and the Cellophil Resources Corporation, two super-exploitative
projects of the Marcos fascist dictatorship and its imperialist masters. We have
kept on renewing our resolve and reinvigorating our efforts to fight every
attempt of the imperialists and the puppets to oppress and exploit the
people of Cordillera, rob them of their natural resources and destroy their
We salute the CPA, its chapters, allied organizations and friends for their
firm commitment, their wisdom and courage in celebrating Cordillera Day
2008 by making the clarion call, "Resist Mining Plunder and State Terrorism"
and by gathering exactly in an area where the local and foreign mining giants
are feverishly engaged in mining operations and explorations and where
several battalions of the reactionary army are deployed to secure the
mining companies and coerce the indigenous people and the celebrants
of Cordillera Day.
There is a close, necessary and interactive relationship between mining
plunder and state terrorism. It is the old familiar relationship between
exploitation and oppression. The mining giants covet gold, copper,
silver, magnetite and other mineral resources from 1.2 million hectares
or 66 per cent of the Cordillera. Thus, under Oplan Bantay Laya, several
army brigades and mobile brigades of the national police have been
deployed all over the Cordillera.
The escalating level of mining plunder in the Cordillera and all over the
Philippines is a manifestation of the Arroyo regime's subservience to
the US policy of "neoliberal globalization". The regime has engaged in
unbridled foreign and local borrowing to cover trade and budgetary
deficits, gloss over the economic depression and bankruptcies and
conjure the false illusion of economic growth in a number of years.
It has given free reign to the foreign takeover of businesses, the
privatization of state assets, the plunder of natural resources and the
misuse of remittances of overseas contract workers as methods of
satisfying the foreign monopolies and banks.
The escalating level of state terrorism and human rights violations is a
manifestation of the Arroyo regime's subservience to the US policy of
global terrorism and suppressing anti-imperialist states, national liberation
movements and progressive organizations and leaders under the pretext
of combating terrorism. The US global war of terror involves manufacturing
and monopolizing weapons of mass destruction, unleashing wars of aggression
and promoting state terrorism as a policy of imperialist and puppet states.
The Arroyo regime has adopted and implemented state terrorism as a way
of getting military assistance from the US, intimidating and attacking the
opposition and seeking to keep its power despite its illegitimacy.
Nevertheless, the broad masses of the Filipino people and the broad united
front of organized legal forces are striving to oust the Arroyo regime through
the exercise of their democratic right to speak and assemble. They are fed
up with the regime's puppetry to imperialist interests, extreme corruption,
fraudulent elections and gross human rights violations. If the reeking
corruption scandals of the regime are not enough to cause the ouster
of the regime, then the rapid deterioration of the already depressed
economy, the abrupt fall of employment and income and the soaring
prices of fuel, food and other basic necessities can further push the people
to overthrow the regime.
If despite the people's outrage the regime can still manage to stay in power
through the use of brute military force, then the armed revolutionary movement
of the people along the national and democratic line shines as the best hope
of the people for overthrowing not only the Arroyo regime but the entire
semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruling system. Oplan Bantay Laya has been a
complete failure in the attempt to suppress the people's war. It has only
served to incite the people to wage armed revolution.
We urge you, the people of Cordillera, to strengthen all your forces and
intensify all your efforts to uphold, defend and advance your rights to
ancestral domain and self-determination, democracy, social justice, self-reliant
development, a healthy environment and the conservation of natural
resources for future development independent of the imperialists and
reactionaries. We support your struggle against exploitation and oppression
in the most comprehensive and profound way. We stand with you against
the mining plunder and state terrorism.
Your struggle is of far reaching significance and consequence. It is inspirational
and tangibly relevant to the struggle of the entire Filipino people and the
people of the world for national and social liberation against imperialism and
reaction. We invite your organizations to send delegations to the forthcoming
Third International Assembly of the ILPS in Hong Kong in June in order to
share your experiences and concerns and propose resolutions and definite
courses of action for carrying forward your struggle in concert with the
struggles of the people of the world. ###