LFS to Aquino: Learn from Arab-World Protests, Address Roots of Poverty (PR)

January 31, 2011

“Recent events in Egypt and other Arab countries should teach Aquino a lesson: oppressed people don’t just suck it in, they take action.”

This was the statement of Terry Ridon, National Chairperson of the League of Filipino Students, directed to Aquino with the formal talks between the GPH (Government of the Philippines) and the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) set on February 15 to 21.

“What has recently transpired in Arab countries is not an isolated case. Peoples from different countries wage different forms of struggle and these are directed to a common target: the system that has caused their poverty.”

Ridon said that instead of tagging the New People’s Army (NPA)—the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) armed wing—as terrorists, the Philippine government should take heed of their demands and understand the legitimacy of people’s resistance when a country is drenched in widespread hunger and poverty.

“Looking closely at Arab and Philippine societies, the similarities are so clear. Both are run under economic policies that open up their economies for large-scale foreign investments as part of conditionalities imposed by international debtors like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, both are run by US-backed regimes consistently receiving millions and millions in US AID that have effected no change in the lives of the people, and both are at their peaks in the rates of unemployment, discontent and hunger.”, Ridon said.

Ridon said that nobody can discount the legitimacy of struggles in both societies. “In the Philippines, the dire situation of the majority—the landlessness of the peasantry—have pushed Filipinos from all walks of life to participate in the armed revolution being waged by the CPP-NPA-NDF. With Philippine counterinsurgency programs like the bloody Oplan Bantay Laya blurring the lines between the armed and the legal, land distribution campaigns in the countryside are at all times answered by violence by past regimes and now, under Aquino. The Philippine government’s fascism is a major reason why people continue to revolt and take up arms.”

Ridon said that despite past and present regimes’ all-out war against communist insurgency, the armed revolution being waged in the countryside seems to gain more strength.

“Aquino should take note of the reasons why there is an armed revolt in the first place. With what he has done in his first months in power—his banner program Public-Private Partnerships from IMF, his unwillingness to execute genuine land reform, his continued puppetry to US interests—he shouldn’t be surprised at all why on all fronts, legal and armed, the people’s movement for genuine freedom and democracy is gaining momentum. If he is really sincere in ending armed conflict, he should at once address poverty and act according to the needs of the Filipino people. He should at once reverse the anti-people policies he has adopted since he sat in power. These are hard steps to take, but it only takes his sincerity to do so. “

Ridon warned Aquino that he cannot forever live on his parents’ legacy. “His apparent puppetry to US is brighter than his yellow power.”

“President Aquino should always bear in mind that the people refuse to prolong their own suffering, they take an active role to uproot the system that causes it.”

Reference: Terry Ridon,
National Chairperson of the League of Filipino Students

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  1. i do not agree what so ever that this president is in any shape nor form a puppet to the US at all. How can you say this? what proof can you or do you even attempt to offer. Do these terrorist groups want to run the whole PH for them selves. As far as poor yes there are way too many and as a result esp. in Southern Mindanao young uneducated children are drawn to these groups and that is where the strength really comes from.

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