People's SONA 2008


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July 28, 2008




Mother Mary John Mananzan of St. Scholastica's College Arroyo effigy burning
BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes

BAYAN Chair Carol Araullo

Click here for her July 31 column in BusinessWorld



Migrante International Chair Coni Bragas-Regalado


Former DOTC Usec Josie Lichajuco of the Concerned Citizens Movement

Photo courtesy of Jonna Baldres




Press Statement/Feature Article

July 26, 2008




By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Chief Political Consultant,

National Democratic Front of the Philippines


The fake president Gloria  M. Arroyo has such a long record of lying that no one expects her to describe the real state of the nation and indicate the solutions to the problems that have grown terribly worse under her regime.  She is ever more determined to lie in a vain attempt to evade responsibility for the extremely aggravated suffering of the Filipino people.  But reality cries far louder and clearer than her lies. These add insult to injury.  And the outraged people become ever more resolute and relentless in their struggle.


Arroyo is poised to claim that she has nothing to do with the crisis of the domestic ruling system and  that this is simply the result of external factors that would soon blow away.  She is likely to repeat her lie that the economy continues to grow  and that she has already laid the basis for the Philippines to become a “first world country” in the next twenty years, even as she has not undertaken any program of national industrialization and land reform.  Only the most corrupt puppet of foreign monopoly capitalism can utter such complete nonsense as that the industrial development of a  semifeudal agrarian economy can be achieved through wanton consumption chiefly by the local exploiting classes and through unbridled foreign borrowing and superprofit-taking by the foreign monopolies.


The Arroyo regime has subserviently followed the US-instigated neoliberal policy of  monopoly capitalism or imperialism masquerading as “free market” globalization.  It has kept the agrarian and pre-industrial character of the Philippine economy and has remained dependent on the export of women and men, raw materials and semi-manufactures.  To cover the trade and fiscal deficits and be able to claim that the economy is ever growing, it has gone into unprecedented foreign borrowing and it has raised the tax burden on ordinary people in a bankrupt and depressed economy.


Amidst the economic and financial crisis of the US and world capitalist system, which is generating inflation and stagnation, the Arroyo regime is confronted by an international credit crunch and a drastic fall in demand for the primary and low value-added exports of the Philippines. Buffeted by the bursting of the financial bubble in high tech stocks and then in housing in less than a decade, the US and other foreign monopoly capitalists have focused on fabricating shortages and manipulating prices in the fuel and food sectors of the global economy in order to continue raking in superprofits.


Captivated by the US-dictated  neoliberal economic policy and driven by the greed of big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists, the Arroyo regime cannot offer any kind of  solution or alleviation to the aggravation of poverty and the spread of hunger.  The  rate of unemployment is rapidly increasing.  The incomes of the working people are plummeting.  The prices of fuel, food and other basic commodities are soaring. The basic social services are deteriorating and yet the fees charged are ever rising.


The broad masses of the people are outraged that despite being an agrarian country, the Philippines cannot produce enough food for itself and has become the world's No. 1 rice importer. Trade liberalization has not only prevented industrial development through the dumping of surplus manufactures but has also seriously damaged Philippine agriculture through the dumping of agricultural surpluses from abroad.  Land reform and agricultural development have not been carried out. Extensive tracts of land have been taken away from agriculture and used for nonagricultural purposes and real estate speculation,


Arroyo is poised to repeat for the nth time the lie that the reactionary armed forces and police can either destroy the armed revolutionary movement or reduce it to irrelevance by 2010.  She will claim again with the same or some other mocking words that it is “ideological nonsense” that fuels the  armed revolution rather than the ever escalating oppression and exploitation inflicted on the people by her regime and by her imperialist and local reactionary masters.  She obscures the fact that it makes excellent political sense for the people and revolutionary forces to wage an armed revolution for national liberation and democracy against the chronically crisis-ridden semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.


The Arroyo regime has  rabidly followed US military dictates,  especially the US global policy of terror.  It has done so to serve its own narrow interests.  It has calculated that it can draw certain political and material advantages.  Thus, it has allowed US military forces to enter and stay in the Philippines  and bring in weapons of mass destruction under various pretexts in violation of Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity and in violation of the 1987 constitution which prohibits the the basing of foreign military forces and their weapons in the Philippines.


Under the US global policy of terror, the Arroyo regime has supported the US-instigated wars of aggression, acts of military intervention and campaigns to enact fascist laws and unleash state terrorism.  It has used its servility to the US under the pretext of anti-terrorism in order to keep the loyalty of the military and police chain of command against the growing number of opponents within the armed services and to embolden her armed minions in perpetrating gross and systematic violation of human rights against the unarmed patriotic and progressive legal activists, the people in the guerrilla fronts, the broad range of opposition forces and the broad masses of the people.


The Filipino people are fighting back against the ever worsening conditions of oppression  and exploitation.  They are undertaking all forms of struggle,  including  the legal protest movement and the  armed revolutionary movement.  Whether or not the legal protest movement can still cause the ouster of  the Arroyo regime before 2010,  it has the growing determination and strength to prevent the Arroyo clique from manipulating other reactionary forces and deciding the results of the 2010 presidential elections to its advantage. The limitations of the legal democratic movement underscores the high importance of the armed revolutionary movement.


Arroyo herself and her top civilian and military officials have been the best campaigners for the necessity of the people's war for national liberation and democracy.  They have brazenly escalated the oppression and exploitation of the people and boasted that they can invoke the law and use armed force of the so-called strong republic (an actually enfeebled puppet republic)  in trying to destroy any opposition.  They have flagrantly flaunted military force as the way to destroy or weaken the armed revolution. 


The Arroyo regime has never considered the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines as a serious and significant way to address the roots of the civil war through social, economic and political reforms.  It has always regarded peace negotiations as a minor tactic for confusing the people and pushing the revolution towards capitulation and pacification. 


It has also exposed its malice and deviousness by engaging in prolonged ceasefire and mere exploratory talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and ultimately refusing to formalize the points of agreement already reached. And now it is rapidly increasing military forces in Mindanao for the escalation of civil war, with an increasing element of US military intervention and aggression. But the revolutionary armed forces are fighting back and seizing the initiative in political and military terms.


According to the reports in the revolutionary and nonrevolutionary mass media, the frequency and scale of tactical offensives and other actions of the armed revolutionary movement have increased.  The forces of the New People's Army (NPA) under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) are seizing more arms from enemy military and police forces as well as  from their paramilitary and private security adjuncts. They are doing so in order to raise the number of guerrilla fronts from 130 to 173 and thus cover all the congressional districts in the provinces. They are also aiming  to prepare the building of relatively stable base areas on the basis of the guerrilla fronts.


They are conducting operations to dismantle or drive away the  enterprises in mining,  logging for export, plantations, golf courses, other upscale forms of recreation and other businesses that grab land and natural resources. They do so in order to protect the natural environment, pave the way for genuine land reform and future development and frustrate the policy of giving away natural resources in exchange for the onerous foreign loans.  According to its leaders, the people's democratic government can rely on the voluntary contributions of the people and taxes from the socially necessary and permissible private enterprises.


As published documents of the CPP, NPA and NDFP explain, NPA units  base themselves on  warrants from the people's court in their efforts to arrest for trial in the people's court the perpetrators of human rights violations, economic plunder and various forms of grave anti-social crimes. At the same time, they are authorized by revolutionary law and the appropriate standing orders to give battle only to  well-defined combatants and  criminal suspects who are armed and dangerous.  The NPA adheres to its own Unilateral Declaration of Undertaking to Apply the Geneva Conventions and Protocol and the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.


Within their social and legal systems, the imperialists and the local reactionaries commit all kinds of serious crimes against the people with impunity.  Until now no justice has been rendered by the reactionary state or  by any agency of the United Nations to the victims of human rights violations in the Philippines. Even the indemnification for victims of human rights violations under the Marcos fascist regime has been stolen by the Arroyo regime and diverted for electioneering in 2004. But the people can fight back effectively by adopting revolutionary ideas and programs of action, forming various types of mass organization and carrying out mass mobilizations to struggle against their adversaries and achieve social benefits. 


While the Arroyo regime is merely an episode in the life of the rotten ruling system, the revolutionary mass movement of the Filipino people for national liberation and democracy is determined to persevere until it achieves  complete victory.  At any rate, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is ever ready to avail of any opportunity at peace negotiations after the Arroyo regime is replaced by a government that shows  serious interest in a just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the civil war through basic social, economic and political reforms.  ###


Dr. Leah Paquiz, Head of the Philippine Nurses Association

DESAPARESIDOS: Edita Burgos, mother of missing Jonas;

and Aya Santos, daughter of missing Leo Velasco

Fr. Jerry Sabado of PCPR
KMP Secretary General Danilo Ramos
Atty. Adel Tamano of the the United Opposition
Elmer Bong Labog of KMU
Rep. Liza Maza of Gabriela and Rep.Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis

(L-R) Ferdinand Gaite of Courage, Fr. Jose Dizon of Solidarity Philippines and Dr. Ganni Tapang of AGHAM

Three photos above courtesy of Jonna Baldres/Cling Corotan

Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Rep. Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna


SONA ng Mamamayan
Ni Dr. Carol P. Araullo
Tagapangulo, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan

Magandang tanghali sa lahat nang dumalo para magprotesta at ihayag ang tunay na kalagayan ng bayan, dito sa SONA ng Mamamayan. Mabuhay kayo!

Alam nating puro kasinungalingan ang bibigkasin ni Gng. Arroyo sa kanyang SONA sa Konggreso. Ipapamalas nating ngayon na hindi na niya maloloko pa ang taumbayan.

Hindi tayo titigil, bagkus pag-iibayuhin natin ang pagprotesta hangga’t nakaupo si Gng. Arroyo sa Malakanyang. Sapagkat hindi na dapat patagalin pa ang kanyang papet, pasista at bulok na rehimen.

Bumubulusok ang satisfaction, approval at trust rating ni Arroyo – ayon sa bagong Pulse Asia survey: 48% disapprove, 22% approve; 53% small or no trust, 19% lamang ang may tiwala. Pinakamasahol ito sa kasaysayan, at sa lahat ng grupong sosyo-ekonomiko -- patunay na tinatakwil at inuusig ng malawak na masa ang rehimen sa kanyang mga krimen at iba pang kasalanan sa bayan.

Naghuhugas-kamay ang rehimen sa sumisirit ng presyo ng langis, bigas, iba pang mga pangunahing bilihin at serbisyo tulad ng tubig, kuryente, edukasyon. Wala na raw magagawa ang gubyerno ngayon kundi iraos ang mga problema at palipasin ang bagyo ng pandaigdigang krisis. Magpasalamat pa raw tayo’t maayos ang pamamahala ni Gng. Arroyo kundi’y higit pa ang hagupit ng krisis.

Subalit ano ang totoo? Totoong bahagi ang nararansan nating krisis ng isang pandaigdigang krisis, ang krisis ng imperyalismo. Pero hindi totoong walang magagawa at walang pananagutan ang gobyerno sa krisis na kasalukuyang bumabayo sa ating lipunan.

Panay ang anunsyo ni Gng. Arroyo ng mga sabsidi para diumano maibsan ang gipit na sitwasyon ng masang Pilipino ngayon. Pero ayon sa Pulse Asia survey, wala pa ring tiwala at hindi nasisiyahan sa performance ni Arroyo kahit ang mga tumatanggap ng sabsidi mula sa gobyerno.

Tinatanggihan ni Arroyong ipatupad ang mga hakbang na kagyat na makapagpapababa ng mga presyo ng mga bilihin tulad ng pagtanggal ng VAT sa mga produktong langis at kuryente. Ito’y sapagkat tumatabo ang gubyerno ng bilyon-bilyong piso mula sa mga buwis na ito. Ang VAT ay ipinapataw sa atin ng IMF-World Bank at ng mga dayuhang bangko, para matiyak ang tuloy-tuloy na pagbabayad sa ating mga utang. Kinakaltasan ang badyet para sa mga serbisyo para mabayaran ang dayuhang utang mula sa yamang napipiga sa ating mamamayan.

Masahol pa, malaking bahagi ng VAT ang napupunta sa mga bulsa ng criminal na pangkating Arroyo at sa mapanirang gera laban sa mga NPA at Moro, na nagdudulot lamang ng malawakang paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao at higit na kawalan ng kapayapaan sa bansa.





Lupa at suporta sa agrikultura ang hinihingi ng mga magsasaka; mga manggagawa’y, trabaho at sahod; mga kabataan, edukasyong abot-kaya at pag-asa sa kinabukasan; mga maralitang lunsod, disenteng pamumuhay. Ang mga panggitnang uri naman ay naghahanap ng matuwid at malinis na gubyerno, asenso sa buhay, at pagsugpo sa kriminalidad.

Sa walong taon sa poder, hindi ito ibiniga ng bulok, papet at pasistang rehimeng US-Arroyo. Reporma sa lupa? Ang mga Arroyo mismo ay mga cacique, nagtataguyod ng interes ng malalaking panginoong maylupa kaya’t walang pagnanasang magpatupad ng tunay na repormang agraryo.

Disenteng trabaho? Ipinagpapatuloy ni Arroyo ang patakarang maging tambakan tayo ng mga sobrang produkto at kapital ng mga imperyalistang bansa sa halip na itayo ang sariling mga industriyang magbibigay ng trabaho, gagamit ng mga hilaw na sangkap mula sa bansa at tutugon sa sarili nating pangangailangan.

Walang habas na ipinatutupad ni Arroyo ang mga patakaran ng imperyalistang “globalisasyon” kahit na winawasak nito ang agrikultura’t anumang natitirang industriyang Pilipino. Tayo diumano’y bansang agrikutural pero ni hindi mapunuan ang pangangailangan sa bigas at iba pang pagkain ng sariling mamamayan. Binubuhay lamang ang ating ekonomiya ng remittances ng mahigit 10 milyong OFW at walang katapusang pangungutang.

At upang makapanatili sa poder si Arroyo sa kabila ng kalagayang isinusuka at kinamumuhian na siya ng sambayanan, nagpapakatuta siya sa imperyalistang US at sunud-sunuran sa panggegera nito sa mundo sa ngalan ng kontra-terorismo; kinukunsinti ang mga korap at pasistang mga heneral at ginagawang pambala sa kanyon ang karaniwang mga sundalo; sinusuhulan ang mga konggresista, gubernador at ibang lokal na opisyal, maging mga Obispo; at patuloy na winawalanghiya ang bayan at pinapasista ang mamamayang lumalaban.

Kamakailan lamang, sinabi ni Arroyo na maaaring maging mayaman at maunlad na bansang First World ang Pilipinas sa loob ng dalawampung (20) taon, BASTA’t magpatuloy ang pagkakaisa’t pagtutulungan ng lahat.. Hudyat kaya ito ng pag-ahon sa atrasado at dustang kalagayang malakolonyal, malapyudal? O ibig sabihin ni Arroyo na kailangang manatili siya sa poder ng dagdag pang dalawampung (20) taon upang maiahon ang Pilipinas sa kahirapan at maihatid sa kaunlaran?!

Mga kababayan, mga kasama. Napakarami, napakabibigat at napakahihigpit ng mga dahilan para kagyat na patalsikin ang korap, papet at pasistang rehimeng US-Arroyo. Pero para maisagawa ito, dapat pa nating palakasin at palawakin ang ating hanay. Dapat nating mabuo at pag-ibayuihin pa ang kapasyahan ng sambayanang patalsikin ang rehimeng ito upang mahawan ang daan tungo sa makabuluhang mga pagbabago sa ating lipunan."



Bayan paper: Krisis at kahirapan sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Arroyo
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Hulyo 2008




Press Statement – July 28, 2008
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, 0917.8226184

Peoples SONA Speech
By: Satur C. Ocampo
House Deputy Minority Leader
BAYAN MUNA President and Party List Representative

In her seventh SONA last year, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo boasted that the
Philippine economy had never performed better than under her watch.
She claimed that over seven years the gross domestic product (GDP) had
consistently improved, and that the Philippines was on the verge of
take off to becoming an industrialized country. She then tried to
regale Congress and the people with visions of faster growth through
her ambitious, unrealistic "growth area" development plans that offer
huge chunks of the national territory for exploitation by foreign

Recall that 12 years earlier, then President Fidel V. Ramos had boasted
of the same claimed GDP growth, and prospect for the Philippines
becoming a "newly industrialized" country or NIC. Recall also that the
1997 Asian financial crisis sent those claims and prospect crushing to
the ground.

In her eighth SONA today, Gloria M. Arroyo can no longer make the same
boast. As it happened in 1997, the severe economic crisis, spiked by
the US financial meltdown and soaring prices of oil products and food,
has shot down the GDP, with the immediate impact of impoverishing a
greater number of Filipino families.

Gloria Arroyo cannot evade blame for this dire state of the nation by
pointing to external causes as the culprits. What cannot be denied or
hidden by contrived statistics is that the Philippine economy's growth
has been gravely stunted. It has remained basically backward, with
neither a modern agricultural base nor an industrial backbone to speak
of, all because the Arroyo regime, like her predecessors, has adamantly
stuck to the anti people neo-liberal globalization prescriptions of the
IMF-WB-WTO triad – liberalization, deregulation and privatization.

By her canine devotion to both these multilateral instruments of global
capitalist plunder and to the discredited George W. Bush
administration, Mrs. Arroyo has deprived the economy and her government
of any defensive shield and flexibility to withstand the destructive
impacts of the frequently recurring crisis of global capital.

For these failed policies and programs, for her puppetry to the US, and
for her betrayal of the national interest, aside from her other crimes
against the people --- Gloria M. Arroyo must step down NOW, or else, we
the people will bring her regime down, the sooner the better. ##




News Release
28 July 2008
Reference: Emmi de Jesus, Secretary General, 371-2302 / 0197-3221203

Repeal of RVAT and wage hike is people’s life vest in sinking economy - GABRIELA

Women’s group GABRIELA marched in the streets of Commonwealth as early as 5:00 am to take part in the protest action against the State of the Nation Address of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today. In line with the protest theme “sinking ship”, women wore life vests written with calls to repeal RVAT, increase wage by P125 and lower prices of basic goods.

“Life vests symbolize the people’s determined action to survive the sinking economy brought about by Gloria as the incompetent and inutile captain of the nation,” said Emmi de Jesus, GABRIELA secretary general.

“The President’s last-minute preparation, aka manipulation, of her State of the Nation Address is all in vain because it has long been established that her report will never mirror the true state of the people. Her so-called social welfare program is nothing but a propaganda campaign comparable to politicians wooing voters during election period,” added de Jesus.

The women’s group also said that the president even used the population control issue to court the Catholic Church and “divert them from more pertinent issues such as the review and repeal of Value Added Tax”.

The women’s group also slammed the allies of the president for even asking critics to first hear out the president’ speech.

“As early as the “bangkang papel” gimmick of Gloria in her 2001 SONA, the people have decided long ago not to take part in GMA’s lies and deceit. The recent surveys proved the people’s distrust and dissatisfaction over the current administration,” added de Jesus.

“But Gloria’s shamelessness is boundless. Unconvinced herself, Gloria’s 10-page report only intends to mask the utter failure of her administration,” added de Jesus. ###

Babae, OFWs, Bata at Bayan...
Tuloy ang Laban!


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