Sunday, October 10, 2010

Repudiate the US-Aquino regime-NDF

Repudiate the US-Aquino regime*

Ang Bayan
October 7, 2010

Benigno Aquino III's much-vaunted agenda of change has lost its appeal among the people. After 100 days in power, his government is fast becoming exposed as a puppet regime that is no different from previous reactionary regimes. In the face of a series of issues that exploded during Aquino's first 100 days in Malacañang, his regime's pro-imperialist, elitist, shallow, inutile, militarist and rotten to the core character is becoming evident to the people.

In accordance with a US-brokered agreement between Aquino and Gloria Arroyo, the current regime has not shown any seriousness in prosecuting Arroyo for her myriad crimes against the people. Aquino promised this to court mass support, but up to now, the only thing he has done is to form the Truth Commission as an investigative body. The commission now faces several legal and other impediments. This provides Arroyo and her cohorts a wide berth to come up with legal, political and other maneuvers to evade prosecution and punishment.

One month after their clan's ascent to power, the Cojuangco-Aquino family intimidated, deceived and bribed the peasants and farm workers of Hacienda Luisita to make it appear that their long-drawn Stock Distribution Option (SDO) gimmick enjoyed widespread support, thus enabling them to continue avoiding the land's distribution. Aquino feigned a hands-off policy regarding this scheme. But he has only succeeded in demonstrating his lack of intention to advance genuine land reform whether in Hacienda Luisita or other estates in the country.

He has paved the way for further US intervention in exchange for political, military, economic and financial support from the US. He is in favor of allout counterrevolutionary US military intervention in the Philippines and utilizing the country as a base for US military domination in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region. Aquino also favors the permanent presence of US combat troops in the country. He has not fulfilled his pledge to take up the issue of the Visiting Forces Agreement in meeting with US Pres. Barack Obama.

Despite his statements on “peace,” he has not shown any serious interest in conducting formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Instead, he has demanded a “ceasefire” as a precondition for any talks, in violation of The Hague Joint Declaration and other agreements. His security and military officials are currently preoccupied with their “local peace talks” scheme which involves nothing more than the reactionary government talking to its own shadow.

Aquino's hands are stained in blood with his orders to extend the previous regime's OBL terrorist campaign even as he readies his own version of this counterinsurgency (COIN) operational plan. The US-Aquino regime turns a deaf ear to the people's widespread grievances against rampant injustice and violations of human rights. At least 16 activists have been killed by armed agents of the state since Aquino came to power. The Morong 43 are still in detention despite the flimsy case that has been filed against them and in the face of widespread calls in the country and worldwide for their immediate release. At least 388 other political prisoners continue to languish in jails and military camps nationwide.

The US-Aquino regime's national budget for 2011 is counterrevolutionary, neoliberal, mendicant and antipeople. It allocates the biggest portion to debt service and practically doubles the budget of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to give further stress to COIN. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) received the heftiest increase in accordance with the US' design to keep impoverished countries and peoples dependent on doleouts, and likewise enable the DSWD to play a major role in COIN. On the other hand, government subsidies for farmers and rice consumers as well as other support for agriculture, public colleges and universities, government hospitals and health programs for the poor, housing programs and legal support for migrant workers and other important economic and social needs have all been slashed.

The Aquino regime is giving a massive push to the further denationalization, privatization, liberalization and deregulation of the Philippine economy. It is frenziedly selling strategic industries, public utilities and other businesses and resources to big foreign capitalists. Aquino's main concern during his US visit was to sell to big capitalists hundreds of billions of pesos worth of privatization, investment and commercial projects in the country that have been made more attractive through various tax exemptions and other privileges.

The people are being made to bear the brunt not only of the government's bankruptcy and the losses incurred by its degraded services, but also of the high cost of privatization.
Water companies servicing Metro Manila are set to hike their fees this October and fares at the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit will also be raised in November, all in a bid to make them more lucrative and attractive to prospective investors.

Contrary to one of Aquino's campaign promises, his regime is on the lookout for opportunities to impose new taxes on the people. It had planned on collecting the 12% VAT on toll fees on expressways, but was stymied by intense opposition to the move and cases filed by the people in court.

The country and the entire world were witness to Aquino and his administration's grave incompetence during the hostage-taking crisis in Manila on August 23. From start to finish, the incident was a demonstration of failure and disorganization that culminated in the death of eight foreign tourists as well as the hostage-taker. It thoroughly exposed the rottenness and incompetence of the ruling system and the Aquino administration. An investigative committee has recommended filing the appropriate charges against at least ten police and government officials, but has nonetheless failed to zero in on Aquino's accountability.

Aquino has appointed corrupt officials to his cabinet and oher high-ranking positions. These are mostly payback for political debts, especially for the huge amounts invested in his electoral campaign. He has turned a blind eye to the glaring cases these officials are embroiled in, among them the illegal numbers game jueteng. He has defended the guilty and maligned those who have exposed them. These controversies have exposed the factional conflicts within his government and underscored the fractiousness and dirty political maneuvers, the infirmities of the executive and Aquino's failure to govern.

Aquino's demonstrated pro-imperialist, pro-landlord and anti-people stance in these issues portends even greater suffering for the masses of the Filipino people in the remaining years of the US-Aquino regime. Now that the emptiness of Aquino's promises and the shallowness of his political gimmickry are being exposed one after the other, the people have no recourse but to wage revolutionary and militant struggle to defend and advance their interests.

The people will surely rise to resist and repudiate the rottenness of the US-Aquino regime and the entire ruling semi-colonial and semi-feudal system that has been oppressing and condemning the country and the Filipino people to suffering.

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