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MASSIVE CHEATING CAN IGNITE PROTEST MOVEMENT TO TOPPLE THE REGIME
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

Press Statement
15 May 2004

As chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, I am critical of the May 10, 2004 elections of the reactionary government in a fundamental way. These elections are mainly and essentially a contest for power among competing political factions and agents of the pro-imperialist exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. These elections are not really democratic exercises. They are meant to exclude the genuine representatives of the toiling masses and other exploited people.

At the same time, I have welcomed and regarded as benign the participation of the progressive political parties and candidates in these elections. From within, they can expose the rottenness of the ruling system and can advocate and promote the national and democratic rights of the people. They can avail of the party list contest to win some seats in Congress.

They have a good chance of winning such seats for two reasons. First, the crisis of the ruling system has greatly discredited the exploiting classes and their political agents. Second, the oppressed and exploited masses have organized themselves to a significant extent. In fact, the progressive parties have been quite successful in the electoral campaign by standing on their own organized mass base, appealing to their respective classes or sectors and the electorate in general and employing the tactics of the united front.

Thus, the most credible poll surveys and the accurate reports of poll watchers have shown that the six progressive parties in the party list would win 10 to 12 seats in Congress out of the maximum potential of 18 seats. Unfortunately, the national security adviser, military and police officers and some ultra-reactionary elements in the Macapagal-Arroyo regime have conducted a campaign of intimidation, murder and slander against these progressive parties.

Further on, there are proofs and indications that officials of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime at various levels are eliminating or drastically shaving off the votes for the progressive parties. Even when the cheating is mainly directed against the major opposition parties in the presidential contest, the methods used also victimize the progressive parties in the party list. The cheaters completely wipe out the votes for the progressive parties in the switching of ballot boxes at the precinct level and changing of the tally sheets and canvass reports from one level to another.

If the regime cheats them and deprives them of the full measure of what they have won, the progressive parties have all the reason to engage in protest actions and demand justice. They can go into a broad united front with all other parties and candidates that the regime has also cheated. Together with their allies, they can arouse and mobilize the broad masses of the people against the cheating regime.

The massive cheating can ignite a protest movement that is strong enough to topple the Macapagal-Arroyo regime. This regime cannot last long in power against sustained and growing mass mobilizations. It has already issued the threat to use military force in order to suppress mass protests and discourage people from joining them. But the patriotic and progressive forces can forge a broad united front with the reactionary forces opposed to the ruling clique in order to isolate and remove it from power before it can use the military and police forces to attack the people.

Even the bureaucratic and military personnel of the reactionary government would turn against a ruling clique that has aggravated the socioeconomic and political crisis by wasting government resources for electioneering, preparing to suppress the democratic mass actions of the people and seeking to further rob the people of the products of their labor.

The injustice done to the progressive parties will adversely affect and hamper the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. It will certainly inflame the outrage of the people and vindicate the line of new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. The social and political discontent of the people will not be assuaged by any call for a constitutional convention, which will be one more exercise in deceiving the people and violating their national and democratic rights. The worsening crisis conditions will impel the intensification of the armed revolution. ###

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