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Message to BAYAN-NCR

February 7, 2003

I wish to thank you for being so militant in the campaign to defend my democratic rights against the attempts of the US and Manila puppet government to criminalize and penalize me as a "terrorist" without due process.

I am deeply pleased that you are holding a forum on social reform, peace and national unity and some cultural activities by way of honouring me. I am humbled by the high regard that you have for me.

I am unable to write a long speech for your forum because for sometime now I have been in frequent session with my lawyers in the preparation of my appeal to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

This appeal is about to be submitted to the court and you will be able to read it this coming Monday on the following websites: www.defendsison.be and www.inps-sison.freewebspace.com.

But let me make a few remarks about social reforms, peace and national unity. As in olden times, long before many of you were born, I tend to speak less when my good friend Prof. Lapuz is my co-speaker.

1. You can have a clear idea about what social reforms to work and fight for by reading the programs of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the draft comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms presented by the NDFP negotiating panel.

The demand of the people not only for social reforms but also for social revolution is acute because of the worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and the domestic ruling system of big compradors and landlords and the increasingly intolerable conditions of oppression and exploitation.

The people are outraged when the Macapagal-Arroyo regime claims a fantastically high rate of economic growth. This is an insult added to the injury that they suffer like the high level of unemployment, lowered income, rising prices of basic goods and services and the deterioration of public services.

2. The people can realize a just and lasting peace by struggling for national liberation and democracy against the forces of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. The GRP-NDFP peace negotiations have emerged in Philippine history because in the first place the people have waged an armed revolution.

It is unfortunate that the GRP has paralysed these negotiations since June 2001 and has connived with the US to put the terrorist tag on the CPP, NPA and the chief political consultant in the vain hope of intimidating and pushing the NDFP towards capitulation. But the GRP appears now to be willing to resume the peace negotiations. Again unfortunately, it wants to impose on the NDFP a document of capitulation, the so-called final peace agreement one-sidedly made by the GRP.

The peace negotiations can be resumed only if they are in consonance with the agreements already forged, if the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL) is implemented and the terrorist tag on the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant is removed.

3. Mrs. Macapagal Arroyo has been compelled to make a call for national unity only because she has been isolated by a broad united front and has lost hope for her election to the presidency in 2004. But she still wants to reverse the great wave of national unity rising against her.

It is the forces and people that stand and fight for national liberation and democracy against foreign and feudal domination that can call for and realize national unity. It is not the chief puppet of the US, who is at the same time the chief representative of the local exploiting classes, that can credibly call for national unity.

Let us see how far the Macapagal-Arroyo regime is willing to pave the way for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and aim for further agreements that can help to define and to realize a national unity that is truly in the interest of the people, especially the workers and the peasants.

I hope that my brief remarks can help encourage discussion in the forum. With regards to the cultural activities, I wish I were here in order to sing and dance with you.

Today is the eve of my birthday on February 8. It is also the eve of the birthday of the outstanding mass leader, Ka Mameng of Damayan. Please consider us co-celebrants.

Thank you.






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