Philippines

I announce my separation from the United States… I have realigned myself in your [China’s] ideological flow… I will be dependent on you for all time.” “I will not go to America any more. We will just be insulted there. So time to say goodbye my friend.” “There are three of us against the world - China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way.” Rodrigo Duterte, new President of the Philippines, on his recent trip to China.

We received from the International Desk of the Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses) in the Philippines this request to publish an appeal for help in the rescue efforts being organized by the party. We are publishing it as a small step in helping these comrades in their efforts.

On Saturday President Arroyo of the Philippines declared a State of Emergency in response to an alleged coup against her. Just prior to this there had been several workers’ mobilisations demanding her resignation. Bonapartist measures will not save her in the long run. They will not remove the underlying social and economic problems which are at the root of the political instability.

We have received three press statements from left groups in the Philippines. Although we may not agree with every detail of these statements, we are publishing them for the interest of our readers together with an accompanying letter which helps to understand the context in which they are written.

Felix Zorba looks at the peace talks taking place bewteen some of the armed left parties in the Philippines and compares the behaviour of these parties with that of the Bolsheviks at Brest Litovsk in 1918. He explains the dangers involved in trying to achieve partial, or even regional, deals when the only lasting solution to the problems of the working masses is the socialist revolution.

As the annual date of the State of the Nation Address of President Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) was approaching, a group of 296 soldiers staged on July 27 a siege of the Oakwood Premier luxury hotel at the Ayala Center in Makati, a financial district of Metro Manila. Based on their own statements, as reported on Tv and radio, they were asking the entire administration to resign.

In the last fifteen years the Philippines have seen several mass movements that could have led to the overthrow of capitalism. Unfortunately for a long period the Stalinist theory of two stages (first the democratic, then later the socialist revolution) has led to the derailment of the movement. Now we are moving to a new phase of struggle. This time genuine Marxism has a chance to make its voice heard among the Filipino working class and youth.

The events last week looked just like a re-run of the "People's Power" movement in 1986 when the hated dictator Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown by a mass uprising in the cities of the Filipino archipelago. So it will surprise nobody that this extraordinary sequence of events has been dubbed the "People's Power 2" movement by local activists and by the media.

Here we are republishing a document written in April 1987 on the Philippine Revolution. At that time a ferment of discussion had opened up in the Communist Party of the Philippines. This was a discussion document which had been presented as a contribution towards that debate. At the time it had a limited circulation, but we believe that it will be of interest to Marxist activists internationally.