With yellow euphoria rapidly dissipating, the first 100 days of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has clearly been a foray into consolidating for the interests of both foreign monopoly capitalists and the local ruling class of landlords and big bourgeois compradors, and intend nothing for the Filipino people but further destitution and exploitation. It runs in exact consonance with the grand design of Nonoy Aquino’s US imperialist master to further strengthen and expand its dominance in the county as well as in the Asia –Pacific region, especially when, as Barack Obama underscored, it forms a major part in the “strategic plan for US foreign policy.”
In order to take hold of the presidency, the hand of US imperialism in collaboration with a collusion of a faction of the ruling class orchestrated a master stroke manoeuvre in this year’s national elections by making Noynoy Aquino victor through a pre-programmed automated election system.
In these first 100 days, Aquino‘s seemingly benevolent character slowly morphed into one that is no different from his predecessor’s – a play-act that ascertain the burgeoning of favourable conditions for US imperialist interests in the country while dousing the Filipino people’s growing discontent on the issues of genuine land reform and national industrialization. He does so while prostituting our national patrimony and giving US imperialism’s the leeway to trample our sovereignty.
The US-backed Aquino III regime made a mockery of the Filipino people’s growing rage against the Arroyo regime’s corrupt practices and worst record on human rights violations by absolving de facto Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of her crimes against the people. He took her and her most incorrigible henchmen aboard his bandwagon, further entrenching warlords, drug-lord politicians, and gambling kingpins within the folds of power. In Mindanao, the warlords Ampatuans are still much in power; drug-lords such as Jalosjos in Zamboanga del Norte , Parojinog in Misamis Occidental, and Romarate in Surigao del Norte remain in power.
In Mindanao, the extension of Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) led the AFP to conduct simultaneous combat operations in all regions of the island, which has resulted in the escalation of human rights abuse cases. With only a hundred days in power, these human rights violations range from indiscriminate firing, rape, divestment of properties, illegal arrests to forcible occupation of communities that led to massive evacuation. The AFP has been pursuing militarization under devious schemes as the “Kalayaan sa Barangay” program under the National led Development Support Command (NADESCOM) and, locally, “civilian-oriented” undertaking led by the 10th ID’s Peace and Development Team, which are responsible for showcasing fake surrenderees and “child soldiers.” They have begun to revive the dreaded Alsa Masa para-military formations, and continue to strengthen groups such as Task Force Gantangan, Bagani Force, Wild Dogs and other fanatic armed Lumad groups.
The AFP has focused its attacks against revolutionary forces in the Southern Mindanao Region by augmenting its forces with infantry battalions from Luzon and the Visayas, even as it launched sustained containing operations against the other four regions of Mindanao. In defense of the masses, the revolutionary forces and the gains of the revolution, the New People’s Army in the five regions of Mindanao has launched almost one hundred tactical offensives since the Aquino regime assumed power, confiscating numerous high powered rifles (HPRs) and inflicting heavy casualties on enemy forces.
The Aquino government aims to crush the revolutionary movement in the countryside and quell the people’s protest movement in the urban centres for the unopposed entry of imperialist agri-business plantations and mining firms to plunder our natural resources to the detriment of our environment.
Despite bragging about his determination to solve political murders in the country, extra-judicial killings remain unsolved, and continue to target activists, progressive individuals and media workers with impunity. At least 16 victims and three media persons have already been killed in Noynoy Aquino’s first 100 days. The vilification of progressive individuals and the harassment of media personalities have also escalated.
With regard to the Maguindanao massacre, no decisive steps have been made and justice remains tragically elusive for the victims. If this is the case, can justice then be truly had for the very victims of the Hacienda Luisita and Mendiola massacres, and other dastardly crimes committed against the people?
The Aquino government has deliberately derailed the peace talks between Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which, dissimilar to previous regimes which had at the very least offered token peace initiatives, imposes a “peace plan” pre-conditioned with a protracted ceasefire, the capitulation of revolutionary forces, and, worse, an intensified “counter-insurgency war”. This inane “peace” formula is the inspired design of so-called “civil society” groups and Social Democrats who were deeply involved in the anomalous “peace bonds” scam during Gloria Arroyo’s reign and managed to evade any punitive action.
Where is Noynoy Aquino leading this nation? Certainly, his 100 days shows his roadmap for the next six years in power, leading the nation towards the path of further social malaise. Mr. Aquino’s recent US trip has been one expedition that had all the intent of making the country more attractive to investors, and have it sold to the highest bidders. The US$434-million compact grant agreement of the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corp will not only sink the country deeper into the quagmire of indebtedness (with the country’s external debt already hitting US$57 billion), but it will reward foreign monopolies with more control over the economy, and further exploit Filipino workers and peasant for super-profits.
By Aquino III’s bidding, giant American multinational and transnational companies that include Coca-cola, Pfizer, Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, Luen Thai Holdings, Sutherland Global Services Inc., Century Properties, Headstong Corp., Spi Global, and Affinity Express have trained their corporate interests in the Philippines. Some of these companies have had made incursions into the Philippine economy, imposing wages way below subsistence levels, contractualization schemes, and the perpetrations of violations against trade union rights.
Feudal and semi-feudal exploitation and agricultural backwardness in Mindanao are exacerbated with the influx of foreign capital to invest primarily on agri-business expansion and imperialist large-scale mining. These large foreign agricultural firms are also out to make a killing for profit sake with the sale of farm inputs such as pesticides, fertilizers, etc., to local farmers under usurious transactions. These predator firms, in cahoots with local landlords, have no intention to modernize the country’s agriculture but are intent on grabbing prime agricultural lands from small land holders and ancestral lands of the Lumads, which would aggravate the displacement of peasant tenants and the exploitation agricultural workers, and the pollution of our environment. In a similar situation, aquatic and marine resources in Mindanao, particularly in the provinces of South Cotabato, Davao and Caraga, have been claimed by foreign monopoly capitalists through the privatization of territorial waters, resulting in the exploitation of more workers and, at the same time, the loss of livelihood of millions of poor Filipinos who rely on fishing.
What then is our most urgent task? Let us persevere in our struggle for national liberation and democracy. There is no other recourse for a people long exploited and kept in sheer misery and destitution but to fight!
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Mindanao (NDFP-Mindanao) calls upon all revolutionary forces and the masses to expose on a wide scale these treacheries of the new sugar-coated insipid president, including the US jingoism in its new puppet regime. We call on all revolutionary forces to make headway in raising the level of the people’s war to a new stage. We should take into our hands to resolutely wage agrarian revolution in order to smash the feudal exploitation which the Aquino government is class-bound to defend.
The National Democratic Front in the Philippines – Mindanao calls upon the peasantry to never lose sight of the fight for genuine land reform; for Filipino workers to ceaselessly struggle for just wages and better living condition, to relentlessly fight for their economic and democratic rights; for the nation’s youth and students to wage an unwavering struggle for their and the people’s rights and welfare; for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the entire Bangsa Moro, and the Lumad people as well, to continue to fight for the right to self-determination and never be lured into capitulating to the devious design of the GRP.
We call finally on all patriotic forces and peace-loving people to, without hesitation and pause, press the Aquino government to work for genuine peace, justice, and sincerity in the protection of the environment. #