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Mass Movement is the Key Factor for Ousting the Arroyo Regime

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
July 28, 2005

Since June, the mass movement to oust the Arroyo regime from power has expanded in waves in the national capital region and nationwide through the alternation of localized build up mass actions and peak mass actions at certain focal points.

The broad united front of opposition parties and mass organizations against the Arroyo regime deserves congratulations for having already concentrated 30,000 rallyists at Ayala, Makati on July 8, 70,000 to 80,000 at the same place on July 13 and recently 80,000 to 100,000 at Commonwealth Avenue on July 25 on the occasion of SONA (sinungaling na orasyon ng nanlolokong Arroyo).

The supposedly pro-Arroyo rally on July 25 was no more than 15,000 but the police bloated the count to 35,000. Most of those whom news reporters interviewed expressed themselves against the Arroyo regime and its crimes. The mass movement is not a field for the Arroyo regime to compete in. In fact, Arroyo did not show up at the supposedly pro-Arroyo rally on July 16 for fear of being booed.

In her SONA, Arroyo insulted the suffering Filipino people by claiming that the growth rate of the depressed semifeudal Philippine economy for 2004 (6.1 per cent) is more than 240 per cent higher than the average growth rate of the highly industrialized Group of 7 countries. Knowing fully well the unwillingness of the Senate to join a constituent assembly with the Lower House, she cynically pretended to embrace the scheme of charter change through constituent assembly. .

The rate at which the mass movement has been growing in size and advancing against the Arroyo regime is quite good and commendable. It is ridiculous for the Arroyo regime and its apologists to scoff at the mass movement as failing to raise immediately enough mass strength to overthrow the regime. It took more than 2.5 years (August 1983 to February 1986) for the mass movement to bring down the Marcos fascist dictatorship. The overthrow of Estrada took more than 2 years from the time BAYAN called for his ouster in December 1998 and nearly five months from the Chavit Singson expose .

The mass movement is the key factor for overthrowing the Arroyo regime. As in the past, it will become dramatically effective when it is able to concentrate 500,000 to one million people at a focal point in the national capital region. The broad united front is working towards massing people on all the streets leading to the presidential palace. This is expected to be the focus of militant mass actions all over the country and to signal the withdrawal of military support from the regime.

The mass movement is the ever developing and ultimate weapon of the Filipino people in view of the determination of the fake president and her regime to frustrate every proposal to bring out the truth and render justice on the charges against her for electoral fraud, corruption and other high crimes. It is the sacred democratic right of the Filipino people to assert their sovereign will and rise up to get rid of an exceedingly oppressive and exploitative regime.

To make a mockery of the proposal for a truth commission, Arroyo who is the principal accused has announced that she is taking initiative to create it and handpick its members. She has also announced that the commission is meant to go after those she accuses of destabilizing her regime. Thus, the commission will not only exculpate her but will be her weapon for an inquisition against her opponents.

The House majority belonging to the ruling coalition headed by Arroyo and Speaker De Venecia is out to squelch the impeachment complaint against Arroyo by stacking the rules of impeachment. The Arroyo regime is maneuvering, using both money and technicalities, to prevent the impeachment complaint from reaching the Senate for trial.

The Ramos-De Venecia constituent assembly scheme to amend or change the 1987 constitution is a nonstarter. The Senate has long been known to be an unwilling party to its own dissolution. Even during his presidency Ramos could not push through a charter change. Arroyo is now floating this merely as a diversionary tactic to obscure her crimes. The scheme of a mere shift from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government is being deceitfully depicted as a system change.

Can the Arroyo regime succeed in prolonging its rule by trying to deceive and intimidate the people? No. The broad masses of the people are outraged by its crimes and are eager to overthrow it. All reliable surveys show that the overwhelming majority of the people want to get rid of it. The broad united front and the mass movement persevere in the struggle to topple it.

The broad united front of legal opposition parties and mass organizations is of the consensus that a combination of legal mass movement and withdrawal of military support from the regime can remove the Arroyo regime from power. The forces of the armed revolution are of a similar view and have made clear that the New People's Army should intensify armed tactical offensives in the countryside while the pro-Arroyo officers of the military and police are preoccupied with the social unrest and political turmoil in the urban areas.

The people are so incensed by the high crimes of the Arroyo regime that they spontaneously demand the quickest ways to punish those in power or at least to demonstrate the inability of the regime to govern. If their demands and grievances continue unaddressed, we can expect spontaneous elements among the masses, especially the most oppressed and deprived, to start breaking the glass windows of the multinational firms and the pro-Arroyo big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats. We can also expect some of those in the middle class to start parking their cars at well-selected choke points and paralyzing every day the road traffic to and from the presidential palace.

The broad united front and mass movement must stay the course in arousing and mobilizing people in their millions all over the country and in raising the level of mass actions to a new and higher level until Arroyo understands the message that her regime must end or else. The broad masses of the people can overthrow the Arroyo regime by asserting and exercising their democratic rights. The best sight we would like to see is countless people occupying all the streets leading to the presidential palace from as far as several kilometers away.

The revolutionary forces represented by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines wish the Arroyo regime to be ousted or to resign as soon as possible so that formal talks in the peace negotiations can be resumed with the incoming regime. However, if the regime manages somehow to prolong its life beyond 2005, they estimate that conditions would become exceedingly favorable for armed revolution, due to the deepening and aggravation of the crisis of the ruling system through the continuance of a hated regime that is without moral authority and legitimacy whatsoever. ###

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