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On the February 12 Demonstration

February 12, 2010

The February 12 demonstration at Plaza Miranda shows beyond doubt that the revolutionary mass movement has already grown to such an extent that it cannot be trifled with. It is the fruit of a long period of consistent revolutionary efforts, especially of revolutionary propaganda during the last decade. The revolutionary mass movement is now thriving on objective conditions that are extremely favorable for advancing the national democratic revolution.

The February 12 demonstration at Plaza Miranda, attended by 100,000 people despite clever counter-revolutionary efforts to sabotage it, has strengthened the revolutionary spirit of the broad masses of the Filipino people. It has stirred simultaneous demonstrations in almost all major cities, provincial capitals and other places in the country. It is fired by the selfless sacrifice of four student martyrs, thousands of gravely injured people and hundreds of others arrested en masse by the fascist brutes under the orders of the Marcos fascist puppet clique acting on behalf of U.S. imperialism and feudalism.

The February 12 demonstration proves that the Filipino people are courageous in the face of enemy intimidation and deception. It brilliantly shows that the struggle for national democracy is surging forward ever more vigorously under the powerful illumination of the universal ideology of the proletariat Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. Never before has there been such a demonstration as huge as the February 12 demonstration in the entire history of the revolutionary mass movement, not even in the 1946-50 period.

Marcos “Nationalists” and Lava Revisionist Renegades

That the February 12 demonstration was almost completely sabotaged by counter-revolutionaries should deserve the keenest perception and study. The Marcos “nationalists” and the Lava revisionist renegade worked in concert with each other in a vicious attempt to scuttle the demonstration by using the tactic of raising the red banner only to attack it.

In a calculated attempt to minimize the responsibility of Marcos as a top running dog or as a big fascist puppet of U.S. imperialism and as the chief political agent of the local exploiting classes, the Lava revisionist renegades took the initiative of peddling through the MPKP spokesman as early as February 4 the erroneous line that “Marcos is only a small, although significant part” of “the neo-colonial-bourgeois political system” (whatever that means) and to complain about a “purely anti-Marcos line.” Taking the pretense of being more left than the Left, the Lava revisionist renegades actually tried to maneuver mass organizations into the idealist and rightist position of flying away from the concrete dialectics of the struggle, of glossing over the fascist brutality and puppetry of Marcos under the guise of being concerned with bigger issues beyond the current issue. The reactionary line of the Lava revisionist renegades ran counter to the correct line that Marcos is a fascist puppet of U.S. imperialism and chief representative of such local exploiting classes as the comprador bourgeoisie and the landlord class. In broadening the issues, we should never belittle the militant mass demonstrations of January 26 and 30-31 (and the criminal responsibility of Marcos) so long as we base ourselves on the mass mobilization ignited by them.

In a counter-revolutionary maneuver, the Marcos “nationalists” echoed the Marcos line of intimidation by spreading fear among the people that if the militant mass movement were intensified by Marcos might be forced to seek further support from U.S. imperialism or a CIA coup might occur. And the Lava revisionist renegades, always boastful of their connections in the innermost sanctums of the state and now so hopeful of manna from the Marcos reactionary regime, converged with the Marcos “nationalists” on the line of intimidation against the people. The rightist essence of their “Left” phraseology is to prettify Marcos as one who neither belongs to the Left nor to the Right, as one who is not at all the principal rightist hatchetman of U.S. imperialism and domestic feudalism today and as one who does not enjoy the support of the CIA. The Marcos “nationalists” and the Lava revisionist renegades would like to exculpate Marcos from the murder of four student heroes and two other people, the maiming of several thousands and the arrest of hundreds of people. What a treachery to the revolutionary movement! There was even the insidious and slanderous attempt by these counter-revolutionaries to picture the revolutionary mass movement as a plaything of the CIA if it continued to take its militant course.

What was the result of the erroneous line of intimidation and deception of the Marcos “nationalists” and the Lava revisionist renegades? It led to a “dialogue”, empty concessions from Marcos and a vile agreement to call off the February 12 demonstration. The Lava revisionist renegades celebrated their treason the morning of February 12 with a press release in the name of the bourgeois pacifist organization BRPF that “dialogues with President Marcos may be resorted to only as an occasion to further intensify the national democratic struggle.” In another press release of the same morning, the Lava revisionist renegades through the MPKP spokesman announced that they were in a quandary as whether to join or not the February 12 demonstrations in a vile attempt to confuse the masses. It was good that the genuine leaders of the revolutionary mass movement were able to counteract firmly the malicious efforts of the Marcos “nationalists” and the Lava revisionist renegades. They realized that the dialectics of revolutionary struggle is concrete and that any political struggle develops step by step. They were clear-headed enough to see that the more Marcos resorts to violence the more will the people resist. Only the Marcos “nationalists” and the Lava revisionists will cower with their philosophy of survival in an attempt to protect their lucrative personal income and employment in the reactionary state.

What were the results of the vicious attempts of the state to suppress the militant mass demonstrations of January 26 and 30-31? A bigger avalanche of mass protest, which was February 12. Now, Marcos the fascist puppet chieftain should realize that he can no longer intimidate or deceive the people. He can just imagine how he would fare if 100,000 people marched on Malacañang Palace or even if only 1,000 activists would choose to go to the countryside to fight his rightist regime. The more he tries to intimidate or deceive the people the more will he accelerate the downfall of the counter-revolutionary state of which he is now the commander-in-chief.

If the fascist puppet chieftain Marcos should come to the brink of being overthrown and the CIA should try to salvage him or put another puppet in his place, then the revolutionary mass movement will only step up its revolutionary struggle, especially in the countryside. How much nicer it would be if the U.S. imperialists and reactionaries in the Philippines can no longer boast of their regular elections! That would be a striking manifestation of how strong the revolutionary mass movement has become. Indeed, before an entire counter-revolutionary state as that of the Philippines falls, it could come to be steered by a series of tyrants and it will certainly do it worst with the aid of the imperialists. But this would not deter real revolutionaries from fighting continuously from one phase to another phase. It is stupid to blame revolutionaries for the rise of fascism and the supposed possibility of a rightist coup just as it is stupid to blame the heroic revolutionary Vietnamese people for the series of rightist coups and the large-scale invasion of south Vietnam by U.S. imperialism. The Vietnamese people have continued to fight fiercely against the chain of puppet replacements for Ngo Dinh Diem made by the CIA.

The Swindle That Failed

What were those things promised by Marcos in exchange for calling off the February 12 demonstration? He promised thirteen nothings:

1.  An inter-departmental committee will be constituted immediately to undertake a comprehensive review of American aid programs and foundations to find out if these are compatible or not to the nationalist aspirations of the Filipino people and whether these should be scrapped or not. Particular attention will be focused on American influence in the military, educational, economic and labor fields.

Our observation: Another committee of running dogs is another farce. A “review” by it is meaningless for the revolutionary mass movement. A comprehensive review of all these have already been made in the programmes of militant mass organizational and the Communist Party of the Philippines.

2.  The relief of three pro-American cabinet-members – Executive Secretary Alejandro Melchor, Finance Secretary Cesar Virata and Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile – shall be considered seriously.

Our observation: “Serious consideration” amounts to nothing. In the same tete-a-tete with the Movement for a Democratic Philippines, Marcos defended these well-known U.S. agents as “nationalists”. What about Ople who has been a CIA agent since his Magsaysay days? And Marcos himself who bragged of CIA support in 1965.

3.  The nationalist sector shall have a choice in all appointments to vital government departments and educational institutions particularly in education, labor, military, agriculture, economic planning bodies and the University of the Philippines.

The recall of the appointment of Alexander Sycip and Leonides Virata to the U.P. Board of Regents will be studied.

Our observation: What does Marcos mean by “nationalist sector”? Besides, offering government offices to bribe revolutionary activists is malicious. Puppetry to U.S. imperialism characterizes the highest appointees of Marcos.

4.  Trade and cultural ties will be instituted with Eastern European countries immediately with the sending of officially accredited representatives. The possibility of securing loans or aid from said countries shall be explored. Official attitude toward Peking and Moscow shall be taken up immediately with the Foreign Policy Council.

Our observation: This is obviously the booty being dangled before the Lava revisionist running dogs of Soviet social-imperialism for their cooperation with the Marcos fascist puppet regime. U.S. imperialism has already instructed the Marcos fascist puppet clique to accommodate Soviet social-imperialism in line with the global counter-revolutionary alliance of opposing the people, communism and China. This is no concession. Relations with Soviet social-imperialism or the so-called “community of socialist states” referred to by the Lava revisionist renegades will only add to the intensification of the exploitation of the Filipino people. The Soviet Union is no longer a socialist country; it has become capitalist, social-fascist and social-imperialist. Soviet social-imperialist “loans” and “aid” are no different from U.S. imperialist “loans” and “aid”, as proven in the cases of India, Indonesia and so many others.

5.  Court charges against the staff members of the Dumaguete Times will be recommended for dropping. Majority of the cases filed for the Jan. 26 and 30 demonstrations will likewise be dropped. The President will take a “bend backward” attitude towards cases that cannot be compromised in the interest of peace and order.

Our observation: There is no prima facie evidence against the staff members of Dumaguete Times. The charges against them should have been dropped a long time ago at the fiscal’s office. With regard to those charged in connection with the demonstrations, the reactionary state has no right to make charges invoking the name of the people if it cannot even pinpoint the murderers of six people and all the perpetrators of the maiming and illegal detention of demonstrators.

6.  The President will order an investigation of military and police authorities responsible for the death of four students and two non-students and the maiming of hundreds in the Jan. 26 and 30 demonstrations.

In the case of Manuel Alabado, U.S. Tobacco Corporation union official, the President will order the prosecution of Tarlac provincial commander Col. Tomas Diaz.

Our observation: “Investigations” and “prosecutions” of military and police authorities have always ended up in their exculpation and commendation in cases where they commit the crime at the bidding of Marcos himself. Is it easily forgotten that Marcos commended and promoted his military accomplices in the murder of four students and two other people, maiming of thousands and mass arrests of hundreds of people?

7.  The military harassment, surveillance and wire-tapping of the U.P., P.C.C., Lyceum, the headquarters of the K.M., S.D.K., M.P.K.P. and other nationalist groups will be stopped immediately.

Our observation: So many times has Marcos previously made orders for the military to stop its harassment, surveillance and wire-tapping of the headquarters of organizations and homes of individuals.

8.  Material assistance will be extended to the families of the victims of the January 30 rally.

Our observation: It is callous for Marcos to put on the bargaining table the question of extending material assistance to the families of the victims of his fascist brutality.

9.  President Marcos will proclaim a Jan. 30 Educational Fund Campaign to last 60 days to enable youth-peasant-labor groups represented to raise funds for the advancement of nationalism.

Our observation: So Marcos wants to seize the leadership over the revolutionary mass movement by issuing a proclamation to guide it in an educational and fund campaign. The target of the revolutionary mass movement becomes the principal motive force after one dialogue. That is a big joke. He arrogantly underestimates the revolutionary masses.

  1. A thorough assessment of the Central Luzon problems will be made. The Monkees will be disbanded. Pampanga Gov. Francisco Nepomuceno and Angeles City Mayor Eugenio Suarez will be requested to go abroad so that armed elements and private armies which are not members of the AFP services in their areas can be disarmed and arrested.

The Home Defense Forces will be reassessed for possible scrapping and the dissolution of the Special Forces and their reintegration to regular services shall be effected.

Our observation: How many times have Marcos and his military henchmen “disbanded” the “Monkees”. This beats the cat with nine lives. Only the New People’s Army, through its policy of annihilation can do this.

Marcos has the temerity to say that the AFP is the best among the devils and it wants to lord over Angeles City in the absence of Nepomuceno and Suarez.

Even as Marcos promises to reassess the Home Defense Forces for possible “scrapping” and “dissolution”, Brig. Gen. Garcia is supposed to have “scrapped” and “dissolved” them by press release. After all, scrapping and dissolution in the dictionary of Marcos and his military henchmen are synonymous to relabeling or reintegration into the same counter-revolutionary armed forces.

  1. The administration will consider an increase in minimum wage both to industrial and agricultural workers. It will undertake a thorough probe of the sacada problem in Negros with the immediate dispatch of 15 impartial investigators. It will also consider a profit-sharing plan involving private industries.

Our observation: Real wages have rapidly fallen under the rightist regime of Marcos. Mere consideration of wage adjustment at this stage is meaningless unless the workers themselves hold general strikes which will certainly come again into conflict with the military.

So many times in press releases, Marcos and Ople have investigated the sacada problem and they wish once more to launch an “investigating” expedition.

“Profit-sharing” is a device being propagandized by pseudo-nationalists to cover up foreign monopoly control of Philippine corporations. It is also a device for capturing the meager savings of workers and dissuading them from exercising their democratic right to strike.

  1. Government hospitals and medical services particularly the PGH and Dr. Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital shall enjoy priority status over other government programs.

The Medicare program shall be implemented and a broader coverage will be proposed to include workers in the private sector.

Our observation: These things were promised so many times before to other organizations and in other demonstrations.

  1. The administration shall give top priority to the demands and problems of state college and universities.

Our observation: These things were promised so many times before to other organizations in other demonstrations.

The Lessons That We Have Learned

The Marcos “nationalists” and the Lava revisionist renegades apologize for the Marcos reactionary regime that it should not at all be blamed for the “accumulation” of wrongs left by “history”. The quickest riposte to this bit of counter-revolutionary idealism is that the Marcos reactionary regime is not only trying to perpetuate the imperialist and feudal oppression of the broad masses of the people but in his role as a fascist puppet is also trying to use every possible cruel means to intensify it. Certainly, Marcos all by himself cannot change the accumulation of historical wrongs without the support of the people but what he has been doing precisely is to aggravate the oppression of the people.

One important lesson that has been gained by revolutionary militants in the course of preparing for and executing the February 12 demonstration is to maintain initiative and independence in a united front of various organizations and also not to engage in a “united front” with the Lava revisionist renegades and Marcos “nationalists”. It is impossible to have a united front with these counter-revolutionary scoundrels who will only take every opportunity to sabotage the revolutionary mass movement. After transforming the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism into an instrument of Marcos “nationalism” and modern revisionism, the Marcos “nationalists” and the Lava revisionist renegades are now maneuvering to sabotage further the revolutionary mass movement outside the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism. The Lava revisionist renegades have been particularly clever in sneaking into the ranks of militant organizations while at the same time slandering the militant mass demonstrations of January 26 and 30-31 as actions going “along a disastrous adventurist line”.

It should always be kept in mind by all proletarian revolutionary cadres that a firm, clear and correct political line is necessary to undo our doubts, fears and vacillations and frustrate the most clever saboteurs who try to creep into the revolutionary mass movement. Those who have been misled by the Marcos “nationalists” and Lava revisionist renegades should rectify their errors. They should not be misled by any attempt of the Lava revisionist renegades to cover up their ugly tracks even if they go to the extent of attacking the Marcos “nationalists” because the former have bigger pretensions as revolutionaries although they are in fact counter-revolutionaries and they always make it a point to attack real revolutionaries.

To underscore the heroism of the masses in militant demonstrations, the leading activists should cease to make too much protestations about their pacifist intentions and to broadcast that they could be infiltrated by “provocateurs”. The central fact in the January 26 and 30-31 demonstrations was that the masses were frontally and criminally attacked by the fascist henchmen of Marcos and that the masses in turn counter-attacked in courageous self-defense. The leading activists and the masses should not flinch from pointing the accusing finger at the enemy is the most forthright manner.

The masses have correctly taken up the battle cry, “Makibaka, huwag matakot!” (Fight, don’t be cowed!”) This is certainly far better and more inspiring than the bourgeois-pacifist top tune “We shall overcome” of the local revisionist renegades. There would have been no February 12 if there had been no January 26 and 30-31.

Ang Bayan
Published in the book, First Quarter Storm of 1970

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