imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles


by E. San Juan, Jr. Friday, Mar. 03, 2006 at 9:47 AM

A critical analysis of the inherent contradictions in the current regime in the Philippines would reveal the logic of irreversible fascist decay. While objective conditions have polarized and sharpened the divisions within the ruling bloc, the subjective forces of national democracy and anti-imperialism have not fully organized and united to deliver the decisive blow. Meanwhile, the U.S. and its agents are working behind the scenes to pick a successor to Arroyo and re-consolidate its neocolonial stranglehold. But will millions of concerned Filipinos allow the U.S. and its "guns, goons and gold" to determine again our collective fate and national destiny? Filipinos in the Philippines and around the world will have to decide as the Arroyo cabal, convulved with death-pangs, lashes out at everyone within reach.

justice_not_war.jpg, image/jpeg, 686x986


By E. San Juan, Jr.

Director, Philippines Cultural Studies Center

“Ang sagot sa dahas ay dahas, kapag bingi sa katwiran.”[The answer to force is force if the other party is deaf to reason.] – JOSE RIZAL, national hero of the Philippines

The end of the Arroyo fascist regime is fast approaching. It is bound to implode in one big catastrophic upheaval that will unleash violence and murderous abuses symptomatic of the decay of the bankrupt neocolonial system. Or it will exit peacefully if disciplined mass mobilization in the MetroManila area and elsewhere can prevent the regime’s deployment of whatever armed elements it can use to postpone its ruin. To be sure, U.S. intervention—military and diplomatic—will try to save its lackeys, or sacrifice them for a new set of servants who will do Washington’s bidding—U.S.-tutored military officers and unscrupulous business technocrats tied to transnational financial-corporate interests. Either way, there is no escape from the intensifying crisis of a moribund clientelist system ridden with irresolvable contradictions.

Events seem to be unfolding with a vengeance. Since her access to government power through the flawed 2004 electoral exercise, Gloria Arroyo has turned out to be a huge disappointment to those who supported her in People Power II as an alternative to Estrada. Arroyo was definitely not a Cory Aquino with the charisma of the martyred Ninoy. Arroyo’s experience in politics conformed to the routine career of a member of local oligarchic dynasties; but her clan grew rich primarily from bureaucratic and business manipulation, not landlord exploitation. Today, criminal linkages surround her family and cronies. She might appear for some to resemble Ferdinand Marcos—without the savvy and pretense to intellectual substance of the latter. Despite U.S. tutelage, Arroyo’s managerial mode and policies demonstrate an essentially autocratic style of governance wholly subservient to the dictates of the World Bank, IMF, WTO, and the Washington Consensus.

Right from the beginning, Arroyo’s ascendancy was characterized by rampant human rights violations. She presided over an unprecedented series of political assassinations of journalists, lawyers, church people, peasant leaders, women activists, and workers. The human rights group KARAPATAN has documented the brutalization of 169,530 individual victims, 18,515 families, 71 communities and 196 households. Arroyo has been tellingly silent over the killing and abduction of countless members of opposition parties and popular organizations. Most of those killed or “disappeared” belong to progressive groups such as Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Anakbayan, Karapatan, KMU, and others. They were protesting Arroyo’s repressive taxation, collusion with foreign capital tied to oil and mining companies that destroy people’s livelihood and environment, fraudulent use of public funds , and other anti-people measures. Such groups and individuals have been tagged as “communist fronts” by Arroyo’s National Security Advisers, the military and police; the latter agencies have been implicated in these ruthless atrocities. Just as what happened to the torturers of the Marcos regime, no one has been brought to trial and found responsible for any of the killings and other outrageous brutalities.

Meanwhile, Arroyo has hired a U.S. lobbying firm, Venable, for national governance. The US firm will ostensibly raise money for the modernization of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines). It will also propose crucial amendments to the Constitution so as to allow foreign ownership of land, public utilities, and the mass media. Charter change will be pushed through to permit Arroyo to retain power even under a new parliamentary set-up. To conciliate Washington, Arroyo is heeding the Bush administration’s strategy of devising Anti-Terrorism Laws and National ID Systems to suppress the articulation of grievances by the poor, deprived majority. Because of severe unemployment, soaring prices of oil products and basic commodities, unjust salaries and wages, increased tax burdens, chronic corruption in government, insufficient and costly social services, lack of genuine land reform, alarming proliferation of gambling, drugs, and State violence against ordinary citizens, millions of Filipinos, including landed elite, businessmen and professionals, have called for Arroyo’s resignation (see March 2005 survey of Pulse Asia; Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 4, 2005).

Since 2004, Arroyo’s administration suffered a stunningly rapid erosion of support from the traditional comprador and oligarchic segments of the ruling bloc. On one hand, the ousted Estrada camp has really never reconciled itself to its loss of power, given its populist tendencies and residual nationalist leaning. On the other hand, the Arroyo clique failed to offer a viable compromise to those excluded, given its dependence on bureaucratic corruption, extortions from business and other criminal activities. Never really interested in popular mobilization, the Arroyo clique has relied on bribery and other mendacious machinations. It operates with a narrow circle of parasitic generals, “trapos” (traditional politicians), and mediocre hirelings from media and academy. Its popular base is non-existent. Its influence on landlord oligarchs and the Makati elite has always been superficial and precarious, mediated by brokers like Fidel Ramos, De Venecia, and assorted confidence tricksters. In short, Arroyo’s mode of governance has always been fundamentally unstable, unconsolidated, and opportunistic.

One of the first signs of the vulnerability of Arroyo’s position may be found in her yielding to the massive popular demand for withdrawal of Filipino troops in Iraq following the Angelo de la Cruz kidnapping. Of course, she tried to exploit its “nationalist” potential. But her continuing servility to Bush’s imperialist aggression in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, together with her obedience to the WTO neoliberal program of privatization and deregulation, reinforced her utter dependency on global forces that only served to undermine her authority, her claim to represent the Filipino nation. Arroyo followed Fidel Ramos in implementing the Visiting Forces Agreement, together with other onerous treaties, thus maintaining U.S. control of the Philippine military via training of officers, logistics, and dictation of policies toward the Moro insurgents as well as to the New People’s Army guerillas. This is the profound legacy of the persisting colonial subjugation of the Philippines and the instrumentalization of the local bureaucracy and military to carry out U.S. imperial strategy in the first half of the twentieth-century up to Cold War anti-communist policies and the current “war against global terrorism.” Without US support, the Filipino elite cannot sustain the oppression and exploitation of the propertyless workers, peasants, and middle strata now driven to flee and settle in other lands.

This explains why the AFP continues to pursue a fanatical anti-communist program today even after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the capitalist reversal in China and in Eastern Europe. Its Christian chauvinist orientation militates against any pluralist outlook or even multiculturalist sympathy for the plight of the Bangsa Moro people and other indigenous communities (Igorots, Lumad) who have organized and armed themselves to fight for justice and dignity, for regaining their ancestral habitats.

But this AFP subservience to Washington does not insure the absence of internal rifts and breakdown of “professionalism” due to abuses and corruption of the politicized officer ranks (see Alfred McCoy’s book, Closer Than Brothers, Yale University Press, 2000). This is a pattern which has almost become institutionalized for lack of any genuine democratic, nationalist ethos, given the function of this organ of government (established by the U.S. colonial authority) to suppress the revolutionary forces of the first Philippine Republic, the Moro Sultanate resistance, and numerous peasant insurrections (including the Huk uprising) constantly reproduced by the fierce class divisions in a semi-feudal and neocolonized formation. It is doubtful if a Hugo Chavez, or even a clone, can germinate from this Pentagon-supervised organ of repression.

We can thus understand the “Hello Garci” episode, following the Oakwood “Mutiny,” as a symptom of the internal divisions in the AFP and the loss of Arroyo’s full control. Whatever sliver of moral legitimacy Arroyo’s administration still possessed then, gradually dissolved in the AFP squabbles caused by this exposure. Not even her successful attempt to stop impeachment proceedings in Congress could really repair the rupture of political legitimacy dating back to the May 2004 elections. The “Hello Garci” scandal may be read as a symptom of the advanced disintegration of the comprador-landlord hegemony eviscerated by the Marcos dictatorship, temporarily revived by Cory Aquino, and given extension by Fidel Ramos’ mock-utopian resuscitation of Marcosian rhetoric.

Circumstance more than personality functions as the key determinant. Arroyo cannot rescue this coalition of conflicting political forces because of lack of the abundant foreign subsidies that Ferdinand Marcos then enjoyed. This is worsened by the depletion of natural resources and educated social capital (due to emigration, breakdown of schooling, etc.) and the strict limits of local capital accumulation (no independent industrial ventures) due to the pressures of globalization and the US “war” to re-establish its global hegemony by systematic torture and unrelenting bombing.

Arroyo has no other way out. The Economic Crisis of 1997-1998 destroyed any illusions of the Philippines becoming a new Asian Tiger. While Ramos and Estrada offered compromises to the working people and the intelligentsia, they failed to halt the advance of the armed struggle in the countryside and the national-democratic social movements in the cities. Civil society continues its resurgence despite State/military repression. With a profit-centered neoliberal hegemony in control, the unimpeded impoverishment of the countryside has resulted in mass exodus to the cities and outward, hence a million Filipinos leave every year for jobs abroad.

The failure of the inept corrupt regimes of Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo is also evidenced by the continuing Bangsa Moro insurgency led by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In this context, the breakdown of the MNLF-Misuari accommodation also proves how fragile is the peace won by Malacanang bribery, coercion, and promises. Hence the need of the U.S. after the 9/11 attack to stigmatize the New People’s Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines as terrorist organizations, capitalizing on the repulsive acts of the Abu Sayyaf and the pervasive climate of fear following the bombings in Bali, Indonesia, and elsewhere. This will not stop the disintegration of the neocolonial order and the defeat of U.S. interventionary salvaging of its Frankenstein monster.

Meanwhile, structural conditionalities continue to extract enormous debt payments to the World Bank and other financial consortiums, draining two-thirds of the social wealth of the Philippines and depriving education and other social services of sorely needed funds. Neoliberalizing schemes enforced by U.S.-dominated agencies (WTO, IMF) continue to inflict havoc and misery on the majority of 86 million Filipinos. It has bred criminality, worsened corruption, inflamed reactionary Christian fundamentalism, and exposed everyone to the wrath of natural disasters (witness the Leyte flood, a repeat of previous devastating calamities in Luzon and elsewhere). It has contributed to the staging of the Wowowee tragedy, a glaring symptom of how the iniquitous system gambles the dreams of the desperate millions.

Marcos’ institutionalization of “the warm body export” in 1974 to tax the poor and relieve labor-peasant unrest has structured the economy to be wholly dependent on regular remittances of Overseas Filipino Workers, the main source of dollar earnings required to pay the foreign debt. The remittance topped billion last year, giving the impression that the country was becoming prosperous. Arroyo prematurely celebrated this index of an economic recovery entirely contingent on the unpredictable fluctuation of the global labor market.

This infamous “warm body export” has led to nearly ten million Filipinos displaced to 140 countries, chiefly as OCWs (Overseas Contract Workers) in poorly paid jobs (mainly as domestics, caregivers, and semi-skilled labor), often victimized by unscrupulous racist employers, abandoned by their own government to fend for themselves—an average of five OCW corpses arrive each day at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. These “New Heroes” (“mga bagong bayani” to Cory Aquino) are now clamoring for Arroyo’s ouster.

Relentless corruption, cynical manipulation, and the outright lack of any concern for the people’s welfare have distinguished Arroyo’s unconscionable rule from its inception. Faced with the loss of moral and political legitimacy, Arroyo has institutionalized a pattern of terror throughout the country since taking the reins of government. Particularly with the election of party-list representatives from BayanMuna, killings, abductions and outright harassment of anyone criticizing the government have intensified.

The Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace has confirmed that the majority of human rights violations have been committed by the AFP, the Philippine National Police, and the CAFGU (Civilian Armed Forces Government Units). And this could not have occurred without the tacit or covert approval of Arroyo and her advisers. As the Promotion of Church People’s Response put it in their Feb. 24 Statement: “GMA cheated her way to victory in the May 2004 elections, using public funds to secure votes in her favor and rig the election results….GMA’s record of political killings and violations of civil liberties, especially with her Calibrated Preemptive Response scheme, is now the worst since the downfall of Marcos.”

Having reviewed the history of this current conjuncture, we take the position of denouncing President Arroyo’s flagrant violation of the Philippine Constitution via the pretext of a “National Emergency.” In truth, it is Arroyo’s emergency. This has been convincingly demonstrated by the lawyers of CODAL (Counsels for the Defense of Liberties) and the Catholic Bishops. Arroyo’s suppression of civil liberties and democratic freedoms imposed by Proclamation 1017, carried out by the military and police, opens the way to militarist brutal dictatorship similar to Ferdinand Marcos’ authoritarian rule. Unlike Marcos, however, Arroyo does not have the full support of the comprador and landlord oligarchy; Ramos, Estrada, Aquino and other factions of the ruling class that they represent have demanded her resignation. Clearly these groups, with obvious support from the U.S., would prefer “business as usual”—a managed transition to a legitimate administration elected by the majority, with a program of economic and political reforms to solve rampant graft and corruption, endemic unemployment, deepening poverty and hopelessness of the masses. Can such a transition be peacefully administered by the traditional politicians (such as De Venecia) with U.S. patronage?

Utilizing the pretext of a coup by right, left and other anti-Arroyo forces, Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017 chiefly to intimidate, harass and selectively punish her critics. With her emergency powers, she has arrested all the duly-elected representatives of BAYAN MUNA, thus intimidating others who might voice criticism and protest. Her police and military have suppressed street demonstrations and public rallies, raided the offices of newspapers and other media, and threatened the arrest of hundreds, including such prestigious members of political dynasties such as Jose “Peping” Cojuangco. It appears, however, that Arroyo is using the usual “divide-and-rule” tactic, isolating the “communist” elements, frightening their allies, and threatening others with “warrantless arrests.” Arroyo and her advisers believe that we are still engaged in the Cold War, fighting agents of the Soviet Union and Communist China. However, this bogey of a “coup” conspiracy fails to convince people because those arrested do not include the military officials that the regime has named as complicit in the plot to overthrow the Arroyo clique. Arroyo surely cannot afford to alienate the military hierarchy she depends on; but can she fool all the honest nationalist officers whose sympathies are with the people?

Arroyo’s “National Emergency” decree arrogates to a clique or fraction of the ruling class the use of the coercive State apparatus (courts, police, all public offices and funds) to promote the interest of a few families and their extended retinues. It is foolish to say that Arroyo should be given a chance to explain. Since taking power in 2001, Arroyo has never explained the role of the AFP and PNP (Philippine National Police) in the killing or brutalization of thousands of peasants, workers, women, professionals, Moros, Lumads, and youth. No explanation has been given for the lack of decent jobs for thousands who leave everyday—over 100,000 nurses and doctors left in the last decade. No explanation for the collapse of the nation’s health care system. No explanation for the violence against women, for the pollution of habitats, the neglect of OCWs raped and beaten and killed. No explanation for the hunger, diseases, and misery afflicting millions of Filipinos.

Devoid of any “check-and-balance’ restraint from Congress or Court, Arroyo’s martial-law terror has been unleashed chiefly on the progressive and nationalist sectors of the citizenry. Should we expect a massacre of Indonesian or Chilean proportions? Marcos tried to do it, but he had to compromise in the end. Clearly, today, the hand of the U.S. and its agents has been exposed in directing this selective dragnet, even as the US Embassy continues to refuse to surrender four American soldiers charged by the Philippine Court with rape. Meanwhile, thousands of U.S. Special Forces and their mighty warships are standing by, just in case….

We join a multitude of people’s organizations at home and abroad in this project of affirming popular democracy, social justice, and national sovereignty. Exposed for cheating, lying, and stealing the people’s money, Arroyo’s fascist rule can no longer claim even a semblance of legitimacy. Nor can the State apparatus controlled by Arroyo claim the authority that solely emanates from the Filipino people, assuming that a constitutional democratic republic is still the framework of order and security. The Arroyo regime’s moral rottenness and political decay have precipitated its total repudiation and condemnation by the Filipino masses.

We call on all conscienticized Filipinos, democrats and nationalists to unite and rally against the Arroyo fascist group imposing terror on the whole country. Civil liberties promulgated in the 1987 Constitution and by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights can only be guaranteed by public demonstrations, street rallies, strikes, and other visible manifestations of the exercise of social and civic rights. We call on all peoples around the world concerned with justice, democracy, and human dignity to express solidarity with the Filipino people in overthrowing the Arroyo regime, releasing all political prisoners, and restoring full and genuine sovereignty to the Filipino people.

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy