9. THE MERCENARY TRADITION IN THE AFP8 I understand that an increasing number of officers and rank-and-filers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are reconsidering their traditions and the basic postulates by which commands have been sent down from the top with the most rigid discipline characteristic of the military establishment.
In the Philippine Military Academy, I would presume that the fresher minds of young men are striving to clarify that the true military tradition, which every Filipino must be proud of and whose spirit he must be imbued with should hark back to the Katipunan and the Philippine Revolution.
On the surface, every soldier of the government carries with him the initial of the Katipunan on his uniform. The Philippine Military Academy carries the name of the great anti-imperialist general, Gregorio del Pilar, who fought both against Spanish colonialism and U.S. imperialism. He died fighting U.S. imperialism, faithful to the sovereignty of the Filipino people but betrayed by a fellow Filipino who showed the imperialist soldiers how, in familiar Yankee slang, to rub him out at Tirad Pass.
We are once again at a point in our national history where the body politic is pervaded by the collective desire to assert our people’s sovereignty and to give substance to those forms of seeming independence that a foreign power has conceded as a measure of compromise and chicanery in its favor. There is now an evident political flow involving all patriotic classes, groups and individuals. Our people as a whole, including those who have been conservative, are beginning to reexamine the status of our national life and the strategic relations that have bound us from the beginning of this century.
An intensive inquiry is now being made as to how our society has remained semi-colonial and semi-feudal; as to how our political system has not actually permitted the masses of our people to enjoy the bounty of genuine democracy; as to how an imperialist culture wedded to a colonial culture has persisted; as to how some of us have persisted in considering themselves under the protection of a foreign power, which extracts superprofits from our country and which constantly involves it in selfish imperialist enmities throughout Asia and throughout the world in the guise of a religious crusade called anti-communism.
We fear aggression and supposedly we prepare for it. But many of us forget the aggression that has succeeded in perpetuating itself within our shores. Many of us lose sight of the fact that actually a foreign aggressor persists within our territory, always trying to cause petty confusion among our people and trying to retain the present local officialdom as a mere bunch of overseers for its selfish imperialist interests.
A conservative man like Speaker Cornelio Villareal has exposed, in a series of articles in the Manila Times, the fact that the Joint United States Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG) has developed a built-in control of our armed forces through its firm control of logistics, intelligence, planning and personnel training on a strategic level. Guided no less by his experience, Representative Carmelo Barbero, an ex-army officer, has also made statements in support of the contention that an undue amount of foreign control exists within the very machinery upon which the people are supposed to depend for their national security.
It should be pertinent to ask whether we should allow the Armed Forces of the Philippines to continue in the mercenary tradition of the Civil Guards of Spanish times, the Macabebes, the Philippine Scouts and the USAFFE under direct U.S. command and the Ganaps and puppet constabulary of the Japanese imperialists. Is the military willing to reject this mercenary tradition and replace it with the revolutionary spirit of the Katipunan?
After the successful U.S. imperialist aggression which started in 1898, the aggressor has made use of so many devices in the exercise of its superior military and financial power, converting so many of our countrymen into their mercenaries and puppets. We have indeed come a long way from the martyrdom of General Gregorio del Pilar and the uncompromising stand against U.S. imperialism of General Antonio Luna. Only the slogan of “benevolent assimilation” seems to be able to ring a bell and make some of us the running dogs in a successful Pavlovian experiment of U.S. imperialism. These running dogs in every field of our national life can only respond to the imperialist bell; they forget the principle of redeeming themselves as true patriots in the present situation and of redeeming the hundreds of thousands of patriotic Filipinos who died in fighting the U.S. aggressors only a few decades ago.
From the point of view of our revolutionary patriots who would rather die than surrender and compromise with the U.S. imperialists, our fellow countrymen who went over to the side of the enemy and became the core of the American-trained Philippine military were no different from the Civil Guards who were indios but who served the interests of the Spanish colonizers.
No foreign aggressor can successfully stay in the Philippines without adopting a divide-and-rule policy; without being able to direct a significant number of our countrymen to fight their fellow countrymen. If we trace the military history of the Philippines, we would realize that a foreign power succeeds in imposing its rule by making use of a part of our countrymen against fellow countrymen. The Spaniard Magellan thought it wise to side with King Humabon against Lapu-Lapu. This was the pattern of military activity that the colonialists employed to retain control of the Philippines for more than three centuries. One barangay cooperative to the colonizers was used against another uncooperative barangay. Visayan recruits impressed into the Civil Guards were used to pacify Tagalog areas and keep colonial peace and order while fostering regional antagonism. The recruits in one island were used to quell resistance in another island. In trying to expand the area of its colonial domination, the Spaniards made use of their recruits in Luzon and Visayas to fight the great people of Mindanao. Peasant recruits whose own class was being oppressed in the Philippines were sent on expeditions to fight Spanish wars in the Moluccas, Borneo, Carolines, and Indo-China.
Dr. Jose Rizal depicted this colonial irony in the story of Cabesang Tales and son Tano in El Filibusterismo. The former was being oppressed by the colonial masters, the friar landlords, but his son was impressed into the colonial military service to fight the inhabitants of the Carolines. Subsequently, when he was reassigned to his own country, Tano was perplexed why he had become the instrument for the suppression of his own people. In one engagement he had to fight his own father, with the nom de guerre Matanglawin, and in the process killed his own grandfather, Tandang Selo. That is a sad story of a peasant enlisted to fight his own peasant brothers.
Under U.S. imperialism, many Filipinos have been converted into mercenaries and with their military service set back the Philippine Revolution. It was with the help of such traitors that General del Pilar was killed in battle, Aguinaldo captured and the Philippine Revolution subsequently broken. After the pacification of Luzon and Visayas, the mercenaries from these islands were employed as the first units of the Philippine Constabulary that helped General Pershing pursue his bestial mission of subjugating the people of Mindanao by military force. Under Japanese imperialism, many Filipinos also became the armed agents used to kill and suppress the patriotic movement of their own people. In the style of all foreign aggressors, the Japanese imperialists made use of Korean and Taiwanese conscripts to help them overrun Southeast Asia.
In this same fashion, U.S. imperialism has used Filipino troops in Korea and South Vietnam to fight their fellow Asians. Vietnam today suffers from military campaigns waged by a mercenary Vietnamese army and by mercenary troops from other Asian countries under the command of U.S. imperialism. The shameless dispatch of Filipino troops in the guise of “civic action” to Vietnam is no different from the sending of Filipino expeditionary forces to the same place in Spanish colonial days in the middle of the last century.
What seems to obscure the fact that U.S. imperialism continues to perpetuate its aggression in the Philippines is our World War II experience. Because we were on the same side against Japanese imperialism and because there was a brief interruption of direct U.S. rule, many fell into the misconception that U.S. imperialist aggression had already been superseded once and for all by the Japanese imperialist aggression and, furthermore, by the promise of fake independence. In truth, when World War II ended and after the July Fourth proclamation of “independence,” the United States had succeeded in reasserting its military and economic power over the Philippines. Its reoccupation and recontrol of the Philippines were essentially no different from the reinstitution of Spanish colonial power after the brief British occupation of the Philippines during the latter part of the eighteenth century. The USAFFE siding with the U.S. imperialists against the Japanese was essentially no different from Filipino civil guards siding with the Spaniards against the Dutch and the British. We fought a second aggressor only to be more subjugated by the first aggressor. We failed to make use of the war of two aggressors to build up our own national liberation forces that could eliminate both aggressors.
Indeed, the anti-Japanese struggle could have given the Filipino people the chance to build up their own national liberation forces. The masses of our people became armed and became highly organized. But they were not armed with the correct thought of fighting for their independence from both Japanese imperialism and U.S. imperialism. Instead, the widespread USAFFE forces accepted and were even proud of their American commanders and they were childishly carried away by MacArthur’s seemingly innocent and romantic slogan of “I shall return.” Little did they realize that it would mean the return of U.S. imperialism, with its bag of unequal agreements which up to now keep our people in bondage. Despite the fact that Wainright shamelessly surrendered to the Japanese imperialists as a mock climax to the mock glory of Bataan, and despite the fact that we, the Filipinos, did the fighting and dying in multitudes in the absence of our American “protectors,” we would still acclaim the latter as our “liberators.” So servile are some of us to U.S. imperialism that we obscure the fact that it was the genius, courage and patriotism of the Filipino people which unfolded a widespread guerrilla movement undermining the substance of the Japanese aggression and breaking its backbone before the other imperialist power came to reclaim its colony, destroy Filipino lives and property in its mopping-up operations.
The singular achievement of the Japanese imperialists during World War II was the brutal destruction of Filipino lives. The singular achievement of the U.S. imperialists was the wanton destruction of Filipino homes and property under the pretext of engaging in mopping-up operations despite the fact that the Japanese had already fled the towns and cities in the face of avenging Filipino partisans. The U.S. imperialists wantonly destroyed Filipino property with their air bombardment and artillery fire as if to prepare us for war damage payments, the war damage payments by which we were to be forced to approve the Bell Trade Act; the war damage payments which were given mostly to big U.S. corporations, U.S. citizens and to church institutions. These facts are attested to by the records of the U.S. Congress and the War Damage Commission.
In its attempt to reinstitute the mercenary tradition in the military, the U.S. government made it clear that only those guerrillas it would recognize would receive backpay and unrecognized ones had better disband or submit themselves to American purposes. Otherwise, they would be punished for war crimes. Filipino patriots who fought in Central Luzon and Southern Luzon and who wished to remain independent of the imperialist purposes of the United States were arrested, disarmed and subjected to massacres as in the case of Huk Squadrons 77 and 99. The conditions for civil strife, wherein Filipinos would kill Filipinos, were prepared by the imperialists in order to successfully reestablish their political, economic and military power over the Philippines.
Using its armed power and its local agents, the United States succeeded in destroying the national-democratic forces opposing the Parity Amendment and the Bell Trade Act. Likewise, under the guise of protecting the Philippines from the Soviet Union and Communism, its erstwhile ally in the great antifascist struggle, the United States succeeded in extorting from the Filipino people a series of military agreements which directly transgress our national sovereignty.
The 99-year U.S.-R.P. Military Bases Agreement was effected by the United States. It has meant U.S. extraterritorial control of close to 200,000 hectares of Philippine territory. More than that, it is supposed to grant to U.S. troops exterritorial rights—the “right” to move to any part of the country without being bound by Filipino jurisdiction and sovereignty, particularly when such troops are on military duty. By this “right” the United States assumes that the Philippines is under its occupation and Philippine sovereignty dissolves as U.S. troops by the presumption of their government move to any point in the country. What an arrogant presumption! The U.S. military bases, as they are now, represent the reinstallation and perpetuation of U.S. aggression against Filipino sovereignty.
These U.S. military bases, as they have been so in other countries, serve as the trump card of U.S. imperialist power in the country. They serve as the grim reminder of the U.S. capability for violence against the Filipino people in the event that they effectively reassert their sovereignty in the uncompromising tradition of the Philippine Revolution. Of course, these military bases will be used only after so many intermediate measures of political maneuver by American interests shall have failed. U.S. propaganda will always claim that these military bases are here to prevent a “communist takeover” or to prevent “communist aggression.” A national-democratic takeover will certainly be called a communist takeover.
In a clear analysis of the problem of U.S. military bases in the Philippines, Senator Claro Mayo Recto gave the lie to the claim of Yankee protection. These bases serve only to oppose the advance of national-democratic forces and to protect U.S. investments in time of peace and these actually serve to attract nuclear belligerence from other countries—enemies of the United States, not our own—in time of war.
For a long time it may remain unnecessary for the U.S. government to make any overt use of its military bases in order to protect its foreign investments in the Philippines. It has been said that after all it controls the Armed Forces of the Philippines; that the latter can be used to oppose the national-democratic movement that wishes to remove U.S. imperialist power in the Philippines. The national-democratic movement can always be represented as an exclusive communist “conspiracy” and its organized forces can be subsequently attacked by the puppet armed forces. Even the President of the Republic of the Philippines himself has to be careful of an imperialist-inspired or CIA-inspired coup d’etat in the event that he dares to be nationalist in the anti-imperialist sense. President Carlos P. Garcia himself was once threatened with a coup d’etat for dilly-dallying on decontrol.
What the Filipino people should see with regard to other military agreements like the U.S.-R.P. Mutual Defense Treaty and the Manila Pact or SEATO Pact is the formal recognition of the “right” of the United States to make military intervention in Philippine affairs, in the case of the first, and the extended “right” of the United States and other countries, members of the SEATO, to make multinational intervention, in the case of the second. At this moment, while the reactionaries in the Philippines do not yet need overt foreign troop intervention to maintain their rule, the Philippine government is being required to expend its limited resources for foreign adventures in the guise of helping put out the fire on a neighbor’s house. Many of us do not yet realize that in joining U.S. imperialism, the Philippines becomes an accomplice of the real arsonist. It is clear that we need to reject the mercenary tradition in every field of our national life, especially in the military. We propose the full adoption of the patriotic tradition of the Katipunan and the Philippine Revolution.
The Filipino people fought under the banner of the Katipunan and the Philippine Revolution not because they were paid to fight but because they considered it a patriotic duty to do so. It was a people’s war; and as a people’s war, our revolutionary fighters had to merge with the great masses and they had to keep away from the city strongholds of the alien enemy until such time that the latter had been weakened in the countryside where its forces were thinly spread and where the forces of the revolution could develop strong political bases over expanding areas. As it was applied, the Filipino people’s war effectively weakened Spanish colonialism despite meager weapons at the start.
Before the Filipino revolutionary forces could reach Manila, however, the U.S. imperialists forced, as in a coup, the transfer of power over Manila from the Spaniards to themselves. Subsequently the Filipino people’s power had to be directed against U.S. imperialism. But it failed because of the flabby class leadership of the Filipino ilustrados which initiated severe dissensions within the very ranks of the revolutionary government. The liberal-bourgeois character of the ilustrados enraged the anti-imperialist leader, General Antonio Luna, for compromising with the enemy and for their gullibility in the negotiations presided over by the enemy. The ilustrado leadership resorted to murder; it had to kill General Luna in order to clear the path for compromise.
During the Japanese occupation, we showed our capability for fighting against modern imperialism. We showed that we were capable of fighting successfully against the Japanese invaders despite the deliberate absence of arms distribution to the masses by the U.S. imperialists before the imminent outbreak of the war; despite the American evacuation and Wainright’s surrender order. As a matter of fact, the U.S. imperialists refused a petition for arms distribution to anti-fascist organizations and the masses as a measure of preparing the people for the anti-fascist struggle.
In the course of the Japanese occupation, the U.S. command in Australia ordered all anti-Japanese forces to maintain a “lie low” policy. This imperialist command obviously implied distrust in the Filipino people.
It was afraid of allowing the Filipinos to develop armed self-reliance. The U.S. imperialists cunningly planned to land arms massively to their own agents in the USAFFE only when they themselves were about to land.
We gained experience and confidence in the people’s war of resistance against the Japanese, nevertheless. Although we have again fallen into the hands of the U.S. imperialists, we gained experience as a people in the anti-Japanese war of resistance. We have shown our mastery of the techniques of guerrilla war and our ability to merge with the masses in time of crisis; but we need now to realize that we have to be guided by a thorough understanding of the tasks of a genuine national and social liberation and the motive forces that need to be impelled with the proper demands so as to move correctly against the current enemy and then the subsequent one, both of whom we should clearly identify.
We fought successfully against Japanese imperialism; we were successful in fighting and in arming ourselves. But we were inadequate in so far as it concerned arming ourselves ideologically and politically. Many fell for America’s false promise of independence. Many thought that genuine independence could be granted by a foreign power. The “independence” that was indeed granted was empty of substance, particularly for the masses of our people. By arming ourselves with the correct ideology, all of us could have acted more independently and used our resistance forces to assert our independence from both Japan and the United States. For instance, we could have allowed the peasant masses all over the archipelago to enjoy land reform immediately on the lands abandoned by the landlords who sought safety in Manila under the care of the U.S. imperialists. Instead a few American stragglers were allowed to lead the USAFFE. The leadership of the guerrilla movement was submitted to them on a silver platter. The mercenary backpay mentality was allowed to seep and corrode the patriotic movement. Until now, some of us suffer the humiliation of mercenaries; of constantly begging for veterans’ pay from a foreign government.
If an occasion like the anti-Japanese struggle should again arise, we must make use of all our lessons as a people and strike out on our own as an independent force, independent of the strategic demands of a foreign power like the United States. It is not only that we on our own have learned our lessons or that we have developed as a more forceful nation, but it is also that we find ourselves now at a certain level of world development that is far higher than that on which we found ourselves during the Japanese occupation. National liberation movements are now all over the world; the socialist states have become more powerful. These two forces combined have now the capability of scattering and weakening the imperialist power of the United States; U.S. imperialism is increasingly weakened by the overextension of its power and the consistent opposition of peoples all over the world.
The diabolic stories of “communist aggression” concocted and circulated by U.S. propaganda have become too overused in the Philippines. More people are reading about the experience of the socialist countries and how on the other hand they have been the ones subjected to imperialist intervention. The true facts about the Korean War and Sino- India border dispute are now coming to light before the Filipino intelligentsia; and the U.S. aggression against South and North Vietnam, U.S. occupation of Taiwan and the hundreds of U.S. intrusions into Chinese territory certainly debunk the claim that China is the No. 1 aggressor and the United States is the No. 1 peacemaker.
“Communist aggression” is one of the myths we are beginning to perceive with greater clarity. As a matter of fact, our reactionary leaders have started to use such contradiction of terms as “internal aggression” and “aggression by proxy.” Whenever there are labor or peasant unrests and strikes, or anti-imperialist demonstrations of students and the youth, the pathological anti-communists see in these dynamic expressions of popular demands “the scheming hands of foreign communists using local agents.” The soldiers of the government should ask themselves why in strikes they find themselves categorically on the side of the capitalist establishment or in agrarian conflicts, on the side of the landlords. In anti-imperialist demonstrations, they also find themselves together with the police lined up against unarmed ordinary people. Oftentimes, they find themselves being briefed that these strikers and demonstrators are “subversive” agitators.
I know for a fact that most of the enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines come from the peasantry. But why is it that in disputes between the landlords and the peasants, the soldier who is actually a peasant in government uniform finds himself being used as a tool of the landlord? Why point your guns at the masses and not at the foreign big comprador and feudal interests that exploit the people?
The officers and rank-and-file of the Armed Forces of the Philippines should have the honor and conviction to fight for the interests of the people. If they should find themselves being ordered from the top to take the side of the U.S. imperialists, the compradors, the landlords and bureaucrat capitalists and fight the peasant masses, the workers, progressive intelligentsia and other patriots, they should have the honor and conviction of changing their sides and throwing in their lot with the oppressed who have long suffered from their exploiters.
“Peace and order” or “rule of law” has become the convenient slogan for motivating the soldier against the masses who resort to their right of free assembly and expression. In the first place, it should be asked: Peace and order for whom? Rule of whose law? The exploited masses who daily suffer from deprivations and exploitation must be allowed to organize and express themselves freely. Why should they be quieted down by the force of arms, under the pretext of maintaining peace and order and rule of law? Why should they be prevented from making clear their demands? In taking your side against the oppressed masses, you become no different from the civilian guards of the landlords, the private security guards of the capitalists and the sentrymen of the U.S. Embassy and U.S. military bases.
In tracing the chain of armed power in the country, we can see that the possession of arms is attached to property as indicated by the license laws. So, the private entities who have the most private arms are the big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists and yet they have the most access to the use of the government police and armed forces. When a certain local situation cannot be taken care of by the civilian guards, the municipal police comes in and in a series, the Philippine Constabulary, the Philippine Army, Air Force and ultimately, U.S. military intervention.
The chain of armed power leads to U.S. imperialism. With this understanding, the masses have a strategic hatred for U.S. imperialism. The exploiters and their armed satellites are recognized as being within the same hierarchy of power, with U.S. imperialism as the presiding power. U.S. imperialist propaganda keeps on harping that there would be no more serious threat to national security and internal peace and order without the Communists here and abroad. People were compelled to hate Communists or those who are construed to be Communists in the same way that the Spaniards and the friars tried to play up hatred against Filipinos who were called Masons and filibusteros. The Philippine military is indoctrinated to have a violent unreasoning hatred for Communists in the same way that the Civil Guards were indoctrinated to hate filibusteros by the Spaniards in order to maintain their colonial loyalty.
We must realize that the masses will always be restless so long as they are exploited. At certain stages, they may actually be quieted down by the violent force of the state. But when they rise up again, their previous rising, though defeated, serves as a mere dress rehearsal for a more powerful and sweeping revolution. In 1872, our colonial masters thought they had finished once and for all the popular protests. Only fourteen years later, they reaped a whirlwind—not only a stronger wave of the secularization movement among priests but a widespread separatist movement which wanted national independence no less.
During the ‘50s, the U.S. imperialists might have thought that they had suppressed the national-democratic movement for good. But as they continue to deprive the Filipino people of true independence, they shall certainly reap the whirlwind—an even more powerful national-democratic movement. As the compradors and landlords have repressed the people for so long, they await a time when the people shall in a revolutionary tempest sweep them away from the land.
U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism are not the creation of communist agitators. They are objective results of extended historical processes. If the people join the nationalist or communist movement, we should first of all consider that it is the imperialists, the compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists who shall have forced them to lose trust in the present system. It is wrong to blame the Communists and all other patriots for the failure of the present system that is dominated by U.S. imperialists, compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists.
I understand that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is now trying to engage in a “civic action” campaign more massive than the one initiated by the late President Ramon Magsaysay. It is also sending “civic action” groups abroad to help in the U.S. war of aggression in South Vietnam.
As a piece of psychological warfare, “civic action” has only a tactical, superficial and temporary value if the basic problems of U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism remain unsolved. Even as a tactic, it can easily be counteracted by the masses becoming conscious that “civic action” comes only to critical areas where more basic demands for change are being raised. Thus, there is an overconcentration of “civic groups” in Central Luzon. The masses of many more neglected areas are complaining that they are not being benefited by “civic action” and that South Vietnam has been given priority. They regard the phrase “civic action” as a mere euphemism to deceive the people of its real military content, particularly its psychological and intelligence functions.
Many intelligent people have access to the literature and armed forces manuals on “civic action” provided by the Pentagon through JUSMAG. They have expressed disgust over the emphasis placed on psychological warfare and deception of the people. The are disgusted over the obsession of hating the Communists and trying to gain the initiative from them through deception.
We can see very clearly that the “civic action” groups of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will not at all disturb the unjust structure of private ownership of land and the feudal and semi-feudal relations in the countryside. As a matter of fact, they would only attempt to create the superficial image that they are friends of the people while at the back of that image they uphold the rule of the landlords, the U.S. imperialists, the compradors, and the bureaucrat capitalists. They may build roads and bridges, they may build irrigation works and help in agricultural extension work, they may engage in sanitation work and they may perform so many other traditionally non-military projects. They will not change the basic social structure that keeps the masses exploited.
It was U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara who first announced that the United States will make its client-states field indigenous military forces in the guise of “civic action” groups. The idea is to build a different image of the local military and make it more effective in counterinsurgency. The United States is supposed to continue providing the military hardware as the shield but this new dimension, “civic action,” is created to deceive the people that the local military is no longer the instrument of feudal and foreign interests or the obnoxious parasite on the national budget. This entails the intrusion of the military in fields which have been traditionally in the hands of the civilians. In other words, this requires the militarization of operations formerly civilian in character. It is anticipated that the military will gobble up funds that should be allocated to the departments of public works, of health, of education and of others.
An increasing number of constitutionalists are seriously questioning the intrusion of the military into civilian affairs. They are wary of a developing process of fascization that might eventually push out civilian supremacy, what with the increasing control by military men of civilian offices. In accordance with this new method adopted by the Pentagon and implemented locally by the JUSMAG, the military is being made to operate in such a way as to take over civilian operations and to gain political influence. Indeed, it is evident in Asia, Africa and Latin America that when the United States becomes insecure over its control of the client-states it resorts to local fascism; for after all a local fascism depends on the military hardware and financial support of its imperialist master.
Another subversive development that needs careful watching is the reverse intrusion of certain civilian organizations into the military. There are those narrow-minded forces wanting to develop a clerico-fascism of the Franco and Salazar type. They wish to combine the sword and the cross. Not yet satisfied with the undue amount of foreign control and influence in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, a certain sectarian movement has carried over from Spain and Portugal certain fascist techniques and has been systematically “brainwashing” military men and police officers in a manner opposed to the principle of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and rendering unto Christ what is Christ’s.
Again under the banner of anti-communism, men are being led into anti-democracy. As believers of the freedom of religion, we need to be alert to any clerico-fascist movement that will reverse Philippine history to that long period wherein the exploiting power had a cross in one hand and a sword in the other. We do not want to revive a monster. Those who believe in liberal democracy are now deeply troubled by certain Jesuit priests with CIA credentials. Certainly, we do not wish to have a large-scale revival of the Padre Damasos and Padre Salvis.
Let us above all strive for national democracy in this country. For our national security, let us rely above all on the strength and national unity of the people. That national unity can only be created if we are bound with the masses in a common struggle against U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
The political system is dominated by the political agents of the U.S. imperialists, big compradors and landlords. The officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines themselves have become victims of both the petty and grand political discriminations made by one political faction or another of the ruling class of exploiters.
Officers and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines should learn to disobey U.S. imperialism and the local exploiting classes and learn to side with the masses in their basic demands. Of course, it is really futile to expect the entire machinery of the state to go over to the masses even in time of the most decisive crisis when the ruling classes are entirely discredited. But these officers and men who join the masses in their fight against U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, can always hasten the victory of the masses.
A movement within the Armed Forces of the Philippines should be started to reclaim alienated territory of the Philippine government from the U.S. government. We must uphold Filipino sovereignty over the U.S. military bases in the Philippines. We must place these military bases under Filipino command. We should demand the immediate termination of the U.S.-R.P. Military Bases Agreement as an instrument nullifying our sovereignty.
The true sons of Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Gregorio del Pilar and Antonio Luna within the armed forces should reject U.S. military dictation. They should reject the Military Assistance Pact and the JUSMAG as instruments of foreign control and influence over the Philippine military. They should reject all psychological warfare measures such as “civic action” and others, that have been proposed by U.S. counterinsurgency experts to deceive the people who must be patriotically assisted in their struggle to liberate themselves from U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
Let us not depend on one power which abuses our sovereignty and takes advantage of our people. Let us stop U.S. indoctrination in the armed forces and the police force so that an anti-imperialist and democratic orientation can be propagated among them.
We should rely on the patriotism, courage and capability of the people in defending themselves. We demonstrated in the anti-Japanese struggle and other struggles that we could actually convert the enemy into a supplier of arms for the masses by capturing them. Let us dismiss the imperialist presumption that we can only be under the protection of a foreign power.
In this era of worldwide people’s war against colonialism, imperialism and neocolonialism, we are in a position not only to learn from our local experience but also from the struggles of so many other peoples. Let us not repeat the mistakes of Aguinaldo in the Filipino-American War. Let us not again make the mistake of being fooled by U.S. imperialism. In this era of mounting worldwide anti- imperialist movements, the main enemy has become unmistakably clear, and objectively the national struggle shall be assisted by external developments to an extent higher than any other point in Philippine history.
Let us withdraw from the U.S.-R.P. Mutual Defense Treaty because it is a license for the United States to intervene militarily in our national affairs.
Let us withdraw from the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization because it is essentially an anti-Southeast Asia compact controlled by non-Southeast Asian imperialist powers. Let us redeem ourselves in the eyes of our fellow Asians from the ignominy of having long been dominated by U.S. imperialism.
We have long been curtained off by the United States from a huge part of the world. Many of us have long believed in the servile line that the enemies of the United States are also the enemies of the Philippines.
Let us be more aware of the present world reality. Let us be aware and let us take advantage of the contradictions among the imperialist powers and the contradictions between socialism and capitalism. Let us be aware of alliances against U.S. imperialism. Let us join the international united front against U.S. imperialism and its accomplices. Let us turn the present world situation to our national-democratic advantage. #