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Message to League of Filipino Students on 29th Founding Anniversary

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman of Kabataang Makabayan
Chairperson, International League of Peoples' Struggle
September 15, 2006

Let me congratulate the League of Filipino Students for all its achievements since its founding 29 years ago, on September 11. I am in solidarity with you along the line of the Filipino people's struggle for national freedom and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes as well as along your distinctive line of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the Filipino youth to uphold, defend and promote their rights and interests.

I appreciate your National Executive Committee for having decided to celebrate your 29th anniversary with meaningful and purposive activities, such as the reunion of current members and alumni of LFS chapters in Metro Manila and all other regions, training seminars, group discussions, cultural performances, photo exhibits, mass meetings protest rallies.

I am honored and happy to be invited to take part in your celebrations by delivering this message and interacting with you by phone. Thank you for acknowledging that you have benefited from the articles, messages and speeches that I have addressed to your organization since the early 1980s. I am deeply gratified that you have been inspired by the fine example of Kabataang Makabayan and have continued the patriotic and progressive struggle among the students.

The Philippines is beset by fundamental social, economic, political and cultural problems that have become deeper and aggravated since the time of Kabataang Makabayan. The chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system and the US and world capitalist system has become worse as a consequence of accelerated and intensified economic plunder under the US-dictated policy of "free market globalization" as well as of unbridled wars of aggression and military intervention under the US policy of "global war on terror."

You are now confronted by a regime that is extremely exploitative and oppressive. The Arroyo regime is run by the worst of the local reactionaries. It knows no bounds for its servility to the imperialists, chiefly the US. It has inflicted unprecedentedly terrible suffering on the Filipino people and youth. It has been the worst in puppetry, corruption, brutality and mendacity since the end of the Marcos fascist regime.

It engages in state terrorism in a vain attempt to stop the broad masses of the people from protesting and rising against the illegitimate rule of the fake president who has usurped power through electoral fraud, against the relentless sell-out of the national patrimony, against the ceaseless gargantuan cases of corruption and against the rampant human rights violations.

The student activists who belong to the League of Filipino Students are one of the principal targets of state terrorism. A number of you have been killed in different parts of the country. Among the victims of extrajudicial killings by death squads of the military are Cris Hugo who is a member of the National Council of LFS and Rie Mon "Ambo" Guran who is also a leader of LFS also in the Bicol region. The military have abducted Karen Empeno and Shirley Cadapan, two women students of the University of the Philippines, doing social research in Bulacan. Until now, after so many months, General Palparan has refused to present their bodies to the court upon the habeas corpus petitions of their parents.

You are challenged to raise the level of your fighting spirit and capabilities in order to overcome and defeat a vicious reign of terror and greed. You must always keep in mind that you in the LFS and the broad masses of the people and youth will suffer escalating levels of oppression and exploitation, without any hope of liberating yourselves, if you do not fight back and beat the powerful enemy. You must recognize the grave problems and contribute your efforts to solve them through the revolutionary will and militant actions of the people.

You must vigorously expand your ranks in order to be able to lead and build a strong, widespread and effective student mass movement in concert with the rest of the people. You can do so through educational activities and mass propaganda about the rights and interests of the students and the rest of the people and about the malevolent factors that exploit and oppress the people. You must arouse the student masses in order to organize and mobilize them for their own benefit and against their adversaries. If you do well your work among the students, then you can certainly play a major role in the national democratic movement against the current regime and the entire ruling system.

You must engage in serious educational and organizational work among the students if you wish to mobilize and further organize the student masses. The more chapters that you can build and militate, the greater will be the number of student masses that you can mobilize on the burning issues of the day. You can play a major role in ousting the Arroyo regime and opening the way for democratic advances only if you can arouse, organize and mobilize the student masses in the schools surrounding the presidential palace, in the national capital region and in all other regions of the country.

The broad united front of organized forces and the broad masses of the people have already isolated the Arroyo regime. This evil regime clings on to power only because of its brutal use of force to prevent protest mass actions from gathering enough size and strength to oust it. It will also use violence and huge public funds to cheat in any voting exercise (be it the May 2007 elections or chacha "ratification"). But by the middle of next year, it shall already be overripe for ouster because of the further worsening of the economic and political crisis, the uncontrollable outrage of the people over electoral cheating and corruption and the increased strength of the armed revolutionary movement.

As in the 2001 ouster of Estrada, when you played a key role, you can combine with the Anakbayan, NUSP, SCMP, CEG, the fraternities, sororities and many other campus organizations in a broad united front to oust the Arroyo regime. You must assert and exercise the democratic right to speak and assemble. You can hang the fake president and her retinue politically by mobilizing the student masses in schools near the palace to occupy the adjacent streets. They do not even have to go through Chino Roces (Mendiola) bridge until a large number of people and students come from other places to reinforce them. The people will come in greater number when they see the student masses are already in the streets near their schools. Upon the emergence of a gigantic number of people, the regime will lose support from the military and police forces.

I am confident that you will firm up your commitment to patriotic and progressive principles, strengthen your unity on a nationwide scale and increase your fighting capabilities by learning from experience and building on your achievements.###

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