Why We've Been Targeted

— Walden Bello

JOSE MARIA SISON must take us for fools. He and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leadership compile a list of living and assassinated “counterrevolutionaries,” disseminate it among CPP members, then claim this is simply a harmless exercise in information dissemination!

Professor Sison has a really low opinion of the public. Does he really think ordinary readers are so stupid as to believe that he is just a consultant to the CPP and not its chairman, its “pontifex maximus,” the one that literally calls the shots?

Is he so out of touch as not to realize that the informed reader need not be a card-carrying party member to know that in fundamentalist Marxist Leninist parties like the CPP, being branded “counterrevolutionary” is practically a death sentence, with the only question being the time and place when the party will carry it out?

This is the hideous truth that Sison tries to cover up by his verbal acrobatics, which attempt to cover up the CPP’s mistake of having made the hit-list public by cooking up the canard that we are part of a plot to discredit the CPP and “assassinate” his character.
The CPP has long discredited itself, a process which began with the party’s internal massacre of over 1,000 of its best cadres in Operation Ahos and other purges carried out in the mid-1980s.

In his desperate effort to set us up for elimination, Mr. Sison implies we receive “imperialist” funds to hold conferences and write books. Yes, Mr. Sison, we have organized international conferences to formulate strategies to drive the United States out of Iraq and Israel from Palestine, but with funds raised from progressive, not imperialist, sources.

Yes, Mr. Sison, we plead guilty to having written books — but books documenting the depredations of U.S. and other transnational corporations and exploring alternatives to corporate-led globalization.

While you have been busy drawing up diagrams of your perceived opponents and dreaming of world revolution in the safe confines of Utrecht [Sison lives in The Netherlands — ed.], your so-called counterrevolutionaries have actually been engaged in helping create a truly global movement for change — a pluralist and democratic enterprise that has, among other things, brought about the collapse of the ministerial meetings of the World Trade Organization, the main agency of corporate-driven globalization, in Seattle and Cancun.

That the CPP is an agent of progressive change is a bad joke, indeed a sick joke. Today’s CPP is not the party of brave but open-minded revolutionaries that we were once part of in the dark days of the Marcos dictatorship. Today’s CPP has degenerated into an Al Qaeda-type fundamentalist sect that is simply concerned with imposing its terrible vision of the future on the Filipino people.

Because the CPP’s fanaticism has given the left such a bad name, paradoxically enough it serves objectively as an ally of U.S. hegemony locally. Indeed, what better ally can the U.S. have than the CPP-NPA?

Anti-communists and U.S. operatives do not need to cook up propaganda campaigns to discredit the Left. They simply have to point to the murderous behavior of the New People’s Army (NPA). They simply have to point to the system of “revolutionary” taxes that has made the NPA complicit with the big loggers in the environmental rape of the Sierra Madre, that led to the deaths of over 1,000 people in Real and Infanta.

Along with feudal landed structures, transnational capitalism, and US imperialism, leftwing fascism of the CPP variety has, unfortunately, become one of the basic problems of the Filipino people. It is because progressives in Akbayan and other organizations have opted for a pluralist road to change, one based on vigorous democratic debate and on non-violent means, one that sees opponents as people to be won over, not eliminated, one that regards different political traditions as a source of strength rather than as poisons to fundamentalist purity, that we have become anathema to Mr. Sison.

Mr. Sison and the CPP are fossils stuck in the mud of the 20th century, with all its tragedies. We in Akbayan and other progressive organizations have moved on to confront the challenges facing the Filipino people in the 21st century. That is the real reason we have been marked out for elimination.—December 28, 2004

To contact Focus on the Global South, write: FOCUS c/o CUSRI, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, THAILAND. Tel: 662 218 7363/7364/7365/7383 Fax: 662 255 9976 E-mail: N.Bullard@focusweb.org; Web Page http://www.focusweb.org

ATC 115, March-April 2005