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No to US puppet Glora Macapagal-Arroyo's Brutal Assault on the Moro People


On the Ancestral Land MOA of the MILF and GRP and the Escalation of Hostilities in the South

Simon "Ka Filiw" Naogsan

Cordillera Peoples' Democratic Front
an allied member of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
August 25, 2008

CPDF condemns the deceptive character of the Arroyo regime's negotiations with the MILF
The Cordillera Peoples' Democratic Front (CPDF) expresses deep concern and condemns the war of aggression being waged by the US-backed reactionary Armed Forces of the Philippines that has caused the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of both Christian and Moro people in Mindanao. It likewise condemns US direct intervention in the war-torn south.

The CPDF resolutely upholds the right of national minorities to defend their land, life and resources. As opposed to the GRP's obfuscation of the ancestral land concept, the CPDF believes that the recognition of ancestral land rights is absolutely essential in achieving genuine regional autonomy. And genuine autonomy can only be achieved within a truly free and democratic state, free from imperialist control, domestic feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism. As long as the current corrupt system exists, genuine autonomy can never be achieved. Any autonomous setup will only become just another cog in the corrupt machinery, subject to the whims of opportunist politicians seeking power and wealth. As long as there is no national self-determination, there can never be genuine regional self-determination.

Like the National Democratic Front, the CPDF maintains that the oppressed national minorities have the right to secede, more so under conditions of national oppression. In fact, the oppressed and exploited Filipino people must secede from the current semifeudal and semicolonial state ruled by the landlord-comprador classes currently led by Gloria Arroyo. The entire Filipino people must attain complete national self-determination from the stranglehold of US imperialism.

We the Cordillera people share with the Moro people a common history of national oppression. We both suffer from the state's violation of our right to self-determination – in the unjust land laws, policies and projects that dispossess us of our ancestral lands; in the violation and misrepresentation of our indigenous socio-political systems; in institutionalized discrimination and Christian chauvinism, in the commercialization and bastardization of our culture, and in the historical denial of government social services.

At present, the ancestral lands of the Bangsamoro and Cordillera peoples are assaulted by big multinational mining interests and other extractive operations. By invoking eminent domain, the national government runs roughshod over ancestral land rights, notwithstanding the Indigenous People's Rights Act and other bogus laws. The Arroyo regime has opened up 66% of the entire Cordillera to mineral exploitation. Under existing laws, the reactionary Philippine government is virtually the biggest landlord in the Cordillera and the entire country.

It is in this light that the CPDF commends the political and military offensives of the MILF through the assertion of the MOA on ancestral lands. The draft agreement that was initially approved by the negotiating panels provides for the creation of a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity that would define autonomous judicial, social, and political systems.

Evidently, the Arroyo regime's one hand pretends to seek peace while the other hand lashes out the sword of war. But the MILF is wise to the maneuvers of the militarists in the Arroyo regime and the maneuvers of Kristie Kenney and other meddling US "advisers."

What is laudable is the MILF's ability to force the Arroyo regime at the bargaining table even as the AFP has been desperately trying to cope with the blows of the New People's Army which have time and again drawn the AFP away from the MILF. What is condemnable is the GRP's "malice and deviousness in engaging in prolonged ceasefire and mere exploratory talks with the MILF and ultimately refusing to formalize the points of agreement already reached," as National Democratic Front consultant Jose Ma. Sison has pointed out.

The Arroyo regime's total war against the Bangsamoro people exposes the duplicity and insincerity of the reactionary government's negotiators. It proves once again the very dirty tricks that the Arroyo regime is capable of doing. It uses the peace talks not with the end in view of recognizing the people's legitimate demands but to force belligerent forces to lay down their arms and submit to the current dispensation, and to use federalism as a pretext for charter change and thus extend Arroyo's reign beyond 2010. The Arroyo regime will never truly recognize the right of national minorities to self-determination.

The CPDF together with the rest of the allied members of the National Democratic Front will continue to wage people's war against the US-backed Arroyo regime.

Negotiating with backstabbers like Esperon and the rest of Arroyo's henchmen is a losing proposition. The NDF will only support negotiations with a government that is willing, sincere and shows serious interest in achieving just and lasting peace by addressing the root causes of the civil war through basic social, economic and political reforms.

Even as the AFP is concentrating its forces on the MILF, the CPDF calls on the New People's Army in the Cordillera to take advantage of the situation and carry out tactical offensives against the common enemy.

Fetad kayet ta upchas mapuwar tukchuan Arroyo!

Onward with the people's war to overthrow the Arroyo regime!