Saturday, January 5, 2008

Communism is still alive

Communist rebels have just ambushed a convoy of soldiers in Aurora, Quezon. This quaint city, a few hundreds of kilometers away from the Philippine capital Metro Manila, is traditionally a bailiwick of these rebels. Scores of soldiers were killed and injured. The convoy was the security detail of Senator Edgardo Angara, but he was not there. Angara reached a small town of Aurora by boat.

What does this mean? It means that the Communist rebels are still a force to reckon with. This ambush prove that the rebels have remained a potent military power. That they can conduct an ambush with such precision shows that the CPP-NPA-NDF is alive and well and nowhere near the decrepit organisation the Philippine military picture it to be.

Why does the CPP-NPA-NDF continues to be relevant? Well, two things: First, despite the trumpeted economic growth, the rural areas remain impoverished. Scores of families in the countrysides are suffering from the effects of globalization. Agriculture remains an unprotected and backward sector. Farmers remain poor because hundreds of hectares of land remain in the hands of a new yet manipulative landlord class. Philippine agricultural produce are not being sold to foreign markets because local agri industries are unable to compete on equal footing with their foreign counterparts.

Second, large rebel bases have setup their own provisional governments in many barangays in the area. These provisional governments have been administering these areas for many years now. The backwardness of the area and the inability of information to seep through the inner recesses of society there effectively erased public support of government there. 

This is one of the things why we need to reassess Philippine policy on agriculture and land reform. The festering insurgency in the province of Quezon is the real, naked evidence of government inability to respond to the needs of the common people. Quezon province is just at the doorsteps of the capital. It could be that in a few years time, we may yet see the complete transformation of this country from capitalist to socialism. Or will it?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Bagong Bayan

On December 30, 1896, Dr. Jose Rizal faced a hail of bullets from a line of Spanish soldiers. His blood watered the grounds of Bagumbayan. The colonizers thought that by his death, Filipinos will cower in fear and think twice about revolting against their Spanish masters. They thought wrong. 

Rizal's death served as a catalyst for Filipinos to revolt against their masters. Andres Bonifacio led thousands of Katipuneros against hundreds of Spanish forces. Their struggle spread throughout the archipelago and inspired hundreds of pocket rebellions. The Katipunan succeeded in their War of Independence. Full victory would have been achieved where it not for the arrival of a new master--the Yankees from North America.

Now, the struggle of the Katipunan continues. Lest we forget the sacrifice of Jose Rizal, Bonifacio, Sakay and other patriots, a new generation of Patriots have sprung from the loins of the Katipunan. 

These new patriots, the Bagong Katipuneros, live amongst us. They are in government. They serve bravely as soldiers. They serve as academics, businessmen, students, government workers, teachers, activists, farmers and workers. They populate every nook and cranny of our country of 89 million. 

The New Katipuneros are those who share the vision of a New Philippines. They are Filipinos who, in their small way, contribute to the future growth and development of this country. 

Bagong Bayan is their site. It is your site. Wherever you are in the world, this site aims to collate every thought, every idea, every ideological construct, every philosophy of the Filipino. It attempts to understand what every Filipino needs and what everyone of us share. 

Yes, Bagong Bayan is all of those things we hold sacred. It is those which we consider our values, our visions, our mission, our cause for living. Everything that we share, everything that we want to be and everything we need to have for us to really say, yes, we are truly free. Yes, we are truly living in a Just, Honest, Truthful and Ordered Society.