Remarks on some important issues of the past week
Here are some brief remarks on some important national and international issues over the past week.
On Marcos “rebranding”
The Department of Education’s order to revise elementary books and curriculum to remove the name “Marcos” from the phrase “Marcos dictatorship” to describe the period under martial law is a brazen attempt to dissociate the Marcoses’ name from the dark and tyrannical days of corruption, subservience and brutal repression. The Filipino people must not allow this to happen and continue to fight attempts at revising history and covering up how tens of thousands of people became victims of Marcos’ fascist brutality.
The Marcos regime’s campaign of rebranding using the empty tag line “Bagong Pilipinas” is a pathetic attempt at covering-up the ulcers of corruption, poverty, hunger and other social ills of the decrepit semicolonial and semifeudal system with a piece of band-aid.
It is a gross outrage that while majority of the Filipino people suffer from high prices, low wages, joblessness and economic dispossession, Marcos and his ilk pocket billions of pesos in secret funds and kickbacks from infrastructure projects and military spending, while indulging in jetsetting and high living.
On push for additional US military bases
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and all patriotic and revolutionary forces in the Philippine vigorously opposes proposals to establish more US military bases in the Philippines, in addition to nine sites already at different states of construction and operation.
This plan only serve the interests of the US to strengthen its control of the Philippines as a military stronghold.
Claims that plans to further increase the number of military bases will serve the purposes of training and humanitarian response is pure hogwash. The Filipino people are acutely aware and critical that these US military bases form part of US geopolitical strategy of containing China, and serve the purpose of war preparations and provocations against its imperialist rival.
On failure of SIM card registration
The SIM card registration is a system of mass surveillance serving the purposes of the fascist state. It clearly violates people’s privacy rights and other basic civil rights. Having been compelled to surrender their private information, the law has made people ever more vulnerable to electronic scams.
The SIM card registration law has been proven a total failure in its promise to eliminate text and cyber scams, amid reports of rising number of such cases since the law was enforced around year ago. In fact, as is the experience in other countries, the SIM card registration law has only generated all sorts of illicit activity including identity theft and selling of preregistered SIM cards.
The absurdity of the SIM card registration system was further underscored after the National Bureau of Investigation said they were able to register SIM cards using false information and images of a monkey or cartoon character.
Even from the point of view of enforcing the SIM registration law, the entire database containing information about SIM card users is tainted and unusable. It should be securely deleted, together with the entire law.
On congressional deliberations on Marcos’ 2024 budget
Over the past weeks, congressional deliberations on the 2024 budget of Marcos clearly exposes that the ruling regime is anti-people and engaged in large-scale corruption. Marcos’ proposed budget shows that under his regime, the needs and welfare of the people are less important with neoliberal cuts on public spending for education, health and other social service; while allotting more money for debt payments, spending for military and police, and infrastructure projects.
Corruption is being carried out brazenly with billions upon billions of pesos allotted for so-called confidential and intelligence funds, especially for the top two officials—Marcos himself, and the overly-ambitious Sara Duterte. Acting with a high sense of privilege of a rich brat, Duterte’s defense of her secret funds is utterly reprehensible, especially from the point of view of the majority of the Filipino people who everyday suffer from high prices and low wages, joblessness and economic dispossession.
On Marcos claim that technology is key to overcome rice problem
Marcos falsely claims that new agricultural technologies are the key to address the problem of rice supply and prices. In truth, the biggest reason behind backward rice production in the Philippines is landlessness of palay farmers. Any effort to introduce technology amid prevalent tenancy in rice lands will fail and only lead to widespread indebtedness and further concentration of land in the hands of a few landlords.
Marcos is merely taking advantage of the current rice debacle to pitch the use of rice varieties being developed with funds provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the Philippine Rice Research Institution (Philrice) and the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU).
Using these rice varieties, specifically the so-called “Golden Rice”, will require inputs that will impose a great burden on palay farmers, in much the same way that Masagana 99 of the martial law regime, left hundreds of thousands of peasant families deep in debt.
The Gates Foundation, far from its humanitarian PR hype, is one of the world’s biggest pushers of genetically modified agricultural crops to take over large swathes of agricultural land. It connives with the World Bank in pushing “agricultural business models” (Enabling the Business of Agriculture) to facilitate the transfer of land control to big corporations (in the name of “economies of scale”) to the detriment of peasants.
On Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia
The CPP extends revolutionary felicitations to Chairman Kim Jong Un, head of the Korean Workers Party on the occasion of his visit to the Russian Federation over the past few days. We view the visit as part of the growing number of countries standing up to US imperialism and fighting to defend national sovereignty which intersects with heightening rivalries between the biggest imperialist powers.
We anticipate the visit to strengthen the determination of the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to defend their land and advance their country’s cause of freedom and socialism.