CONTINUE OUR FIGHT FOR NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE! HONOR OUR REVOLUTIONARY HEROES BY RESISTING ALL FORMS OF IMPERIALISM THAT PLUNDER OUR ECONOMY, EXPLOIT OUR PEOPLE, AND DESTROY THE FUTURE PATRIMONY OF OUR NATION Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy on the 120th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence 12 June 2018
The members of UP CONTEND Diliman join our people today as we celebrate our 120th Independence Day! Today, we must look back at our history to relearn the lessons of our people’s resistance against Spanish colonialism and US imperialism. We should not forget the treachery of the US imperialists who pretended to be our friends so they could annex our country. We should learn from the duplicity of our ilustrados, the “unFilipino” Filipinos, who sold our sovereignty to colonial masters, those who willingly collaborated with the new slave-owners, supposedly in the name of peace, social order, prosperity, mutual cooperation, and economic development. The apologies of ilustrados in behalf of imperialism are now reverberating in the halls of the branches of our government, and parroted by Duterte’s economic managers.
Our independence did not commence on June 12, 1898. As a statesman once said, “Colonies do not cease to be colonies because they are independent.” June 12 was a formal declaration of the Philippines as a sovereign republic that the American colonial government derisively pooh-poohed! June 12 was the beginning of another, more sinister form of colonial servitude. So we celebrate our Independence Day by remembering the sacrifices of our heroes Andres Bonifacio, Gregoria de Jesus, Trinidad Tecson, Gregorio del Pilar, Antonio Luna, Miguel Malvar, Macario Sacay, Vicente Lukban, and our Muslims revolutionaries, such as Datu Salikula, Datu Sirungan, Rajah Buisan, and Ma’as Jikiri, who resisted to death the Spaniards and US imperialist expansion. Unlike the unpatriotic ilustrados, they refused to be fooled by the imperialist rhetoric of benevolent assimilation. Thus, we denounce the horrible crimes perpetrated against our freedom-loving people, who took arms and raised the banner of independence.
Today, as we celebrate our Independence Day, let us continue to remember the genocide committed by Spanish colonizers and US imperialists that took the lives of 1.4 million Filipinos. We must repudiate the attempts of new imperialists, such as China—now posturing as our ally. While China drowns Duterte in financial aid, our long-time neocolonial master, the US, is providing Duterte with military and intelligence support. Our independent foreign policy is hostaged by bogus US military protection and Chinese economic aid.
Our independence cannot be bought by the price of immiserating our people in debt, destruction of the environment, and killing our own people in the name of anti-terrorism based on proxy wars. Globalization that promotes free trade and dismantling of our sovereignty through tariffs and trades must be repudiated. Aid and assistance—even for disasters—must be rejected if they are means to extract future concessions from our people.
As educators and teachers, we must teach a nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented education. Such orientation values history, not simply as recollection of past events and faithful narration of facts, but as a weapon of our people to resist tyranny and oppression. We must teach the “usable past” to our students so they will not be snared by the false propaganda of our government, that portrays imperialism as a benign force that will lift us from poverty. Our national liberation does not lie in the hands of colonial rule. We must smash the indoctrination of our students, which leads them to revere America as liberator of our people. We must heed the lessons of the past, which have revealed the US to be a historic and modern-day global aggressor and invader, war monger and profiteer, despite claiming to help preserve democracy all over the world.
It is our solemn duty as educators to correct our distorted history. We have to use history to decolonize the minds of our students, who were brainwashed to believe that the US, its liberal democracy, and American culture present the best of all possible worlds. We also have to challenge the aggressive expansion of China as we form solidarity with other nations in Asia against these rogue states.
Let us wean our students from miseducation. As a people, we must learn how to stand on our own feet. As revolutionaries often say, we should prefer to die on our feet fighting, than kneel to our masters as long as we live. It is the sovereign right of the Filipino people to decide on what is best for them rather than rely on the economic policies, international treaties, and mutual agreements being offered by imperialists in sheep’s clothing.
So today, we shout:
Long live Philippine independence!
Down with imperialism!
Defend our patrimony and sovereignty!
Struggle for independent foreign policy!
Junk the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA)!
Junk the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)!
US troops out now!
No to China’s incursion in our territories!
Fight for nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented education!
FORCEFULLY OPPOSE AND RESIST DUTERTE’S DICTATROSHIP BY UPHOLDING THE CONSTITUTION AND SUPPORTING CHIEF JUSTICE SERENO Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy on the Decision of Supreme Court Ousting Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno 16 May 2018
We, the members of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy UP Diliman, express our extreme disgust against the decision of Supreme Court’s 8-6 vote last Friday, May 11, that granted Solicitor General Jose Calida’s quo warranto petition to remove effectively Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice for failure to file statements of assets, liabilities and net worth and other allegations.
If these allegations are justified, we believe with many legal experts and luminaries, that the proper Constitutional path that should be followed is impeachment, a process by which the House of Representatives brings charges against Chief Justice Sreno in the Senate, which tries the case and either convicts or absolves her.
We stand with the dissenting voices of numerous sectors of our society condemning the Supreme Court’s decision as unconstitutional and dangerous as it opens up the Pandora’s box towards ousting all other appointed officials who do not sit well with the polices of the US-Duterte regime. If the decision takes effect immediately, we fear that it will pave the way for the unhampered march of Pres. Duterte to wielding absolute power. President Duterte now controls indirectly the two other equal branches of our government. If Pres. Duterte acquires absolute power by making use of the two other but equal branches of the government, who will stand on his way against declaring national martial law? Of amending the Constitution? Or waging brutal war against drugs? Of resolving the election protest of Bongbong Marcos? And even ceding our territories to China?
As educators we stand with the progressive and patriotic sectors of our nation who are clamoring for the rejection, if not, reversal of the Supreme Court’s decision. We believe that as educators, we cannot teach our students the value of law, the supremacy of the Constitution, and the accountability of our elected and appointed state officials, if we make a travesty of our Constitution and democratic processes.
We will support legal actions that will use and exhaust all constitutional means to contest and remedy the decision. We will conduct public discussions to educate our people about this historic decision. But we will also join the militant sectors of our society that will form a broad coalition to support Chief Justice Sereno.
As educators we believe that this is not just simple legal scuffle. It is essentially political and ideological. Pres. Duterte himself personally declared war against Sereno: “I’m putting you on notice that I’m your enemy and you have to be out of the Supreme Court.” This brazen and macho pomposity of the President has already incarcerated Sen. Leila De Lima, tagged Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples as “terrorist”, Sis. Patricia Fox as “undesirable alien”, and Chito Gascon of Commission on Human Rights as a “pedophile” for defending the youth killed in Oplan Tokhang. More sinister is the tagging of all potential enemies of the state as “terrorists” including legal Leftist groups.
Hence our support for CJ Sereno is not about conflicts among political personalities. It is not even about vendetta in relation to the impeachment of former CJ Corona and the “yellow” party. What we all face now is the looming hideous hegemony of US-Duterte dictatorship. We therefore must firmly stand against this terrifying nemesis that is now creepily engulfing our people and social institutions. As G. K. Chesterton once put it, “People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists.”
We stand with Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno!
Junk the quo warranto decision against CJ Sereno!
Uphold the Constitution against US-Duterte dictatorship!
Justice to all victims of Human Rights Violations!
Down with state fascism!
Photo from: http://www.manilatoday.net/groups-angered-at-supreme-court-removal-of-sereno/ (accessed May 15, 2018)
HONOR KARL MARX ON HIS 200TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY BY THOROUGHLY LEARNING THE BASIC TENETS OF MARXISM AND CORRECTLY APPLYING THEM TO OUR CURRENT SITUATION Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy on the Bicentennial Birth Anniversary of Karl Marx 5 May 2018
Today, the members of CONTEND UP honor the 200th birth anniversary of the great revolutionary leader and thinker, Karl Marx (1818-1883). We join all progressive and militant workers all over the world, who are also staging educational festivals, film showings, conferences, public gatherings, debates, lectures, and book launches to acknowledge the continuing relevance of Marx’s ideas in our contemporary situations.
Indeed, a specter is haunting global capitalism today, now in deep crisis. To exorcise the specter of Marx, many conservative scholars and postmodern academics are organizing conferences and journals to refute Marx’s ideas and condemn him again and again to the dustbin of history. The CEOs of big business in the cities around the world are just too happy to cite Marx’s ideas while scoffing at his so-called prophetic predictions. Many former followers and admirers of Marx, who have been baptized in the churches of postmodernism, are now denouncing their “faith” in the man, and the movement his ideas gave birth to. Some intellectuals, in order to get credit for knowing Marx and his ideas, even reminisce about their flirtation with Marxism in their youth. But they claim that age has given them wisdom to see through the follies of Marx and his impractical ideas.
Yet, no matter how these choruses try to dispel and discredit Marx, his ideas, and the movements that he inspired, the specter of Marx keeps hounding them and the current slave-owners. Contrary to the hopes of the exploiters and their yes-men, the movements seeking to overthrow capitalist exploitation and all its ugly spawns, such as racism and patriarchy, are multiplying every day.
As educators, we honor the greatness of the man who showed the oppressed the way to liberation, and continues to terrify modern-day slave-owners. We also recognize the immense contributions of Marx to the scientific study of the logic and trajectory of capitalism. Today Marx’s prescient analysis is still able to explain the accelerating global inequality as cyclical crisis of global capitalism immiserates further the poor and the working class. This crisis threatens not only humanity but our natural environment. The proxy wars and wars of aggression being waged by imperialist countries are last-ditch effort of global capitalism to save itself from self-destruction by overproduction.
As educators, we are convinced that Marx’s materialist analysis of history and social transformation provides the correct framework for us to understand our current education crisis generated by neoliberal reforms of educational institutions worldwide. Hence, we urge all educators to go back to classical writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to re-arm themselves with the weapon of criticism. Let us create study circles, organize fora and public lectures to enrich our understanding of Marx’s ideas. Let us study the different ways social movements in various periods of history applied creatively Marx’s ideas to their culture and society. We can enrich our courses, syllabi, and curriculum by integrating Marx’s ideas and writings into our pedagogical panoply.
But beyond these pedagogical activities, let us not restrict Marxism to mere mastery of basic principles and formulaic statements and sloganeering. Let us put these principles to the test by applying them to our struggle to better our educational system and to become better teachers and better organizers. We must use the ideas of Marx not merely in critique of the system, but to rightly overthrow it and produce the conditions necessary for human freedom and dignity. In Marx’s revolutionary theory, the working class and all other exploited and oppressed peoples of the world find their weapon. And his revolutionary philosophy is realized in the movement seeking to overthrow all forms of exploitation of human beings.
Love live Karl Marx!
Celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Marx!
Workers of all nations unite!
STRENGTHEN INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY, SUPPORT SISTER PATRICIA FOX, NDS, DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AGAINST THE TYRANNY OF THE US-DUTERTE REGIME Statement of Solidarity of the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy University of the Philippines Diliman on the Deportation Order against Sis. Patricia Fox, NDS 26 April 2018
“Whatever happens, I will be forever grateful to all those Filipinos that I call my friends and for all those from both church and sectors who have supported me through this time. I may lose my right to be in the Philippines, but I can never lose the learnings and beautiful memories.”- Sis. Patricia Fox, NDS
The members of CONTEND UP Diliman throw their full support behind Sister Patricia Fox, an Australian missionary of Sion Sisters, who chose to do her evangelization among our poor farmers, indigenous people, and urban poor as mandated by the Gospel. Sister Pat, Mother Superior of the Our Lady of Sion Congregation in the Philippines, has been in the country for 27 years, serving the marginalized sectors of our society, inspired by the radical teachings of Jesus Christ.
As educators and workers in the educational sector, we salute the courage of Sister Pat! We refuse to believe that the radical imperatives of the Gospel—to live the preferential option for the poor—should lead to drawing a clear and rigid line between the religious dimension of evangelization and its political consequences. When Jesus performed his mission to build the Kingdom of God here on Earth, announcing that the Kingdom is reserved for the poor, hungry, oppressed, widows and orphans (the “anawim”), he found himself in conflict with the religious norms and laws of the Roman Empire. He was crucified as a political criminal! Yet Jesus was not deterred. He did not, for a minute, stop and think about the division between politics and religion. He simply performed his mission to be with Yahweh’s anawim (the poor who depend on the Lord for deliverance) at any cost, even death.
Sister Patricia Fox could have remained in the comforts of her convent in Australia; but she chose to embrace the difficult path of Jesus –to live with and defend the rights of the poor. She followed Pope Francis’ exhortation for religious to be “always ready to dirty [their] hands” in the work of pastoring. In an interview Sister Pat said, “It took a while to become a bit inculturated as things are done differently, but the people in the rural areas, where I spent most of my time, were so patient and laughing with me at my mistakes.” Sis. Pat, humbling herself to learn from the poor, eventually learned “some of the basic issues” that cause poverty among the rural folk: “lack of their own lands, control of markets, dependence on pesticides.” For evangelical love—the love for the anawim— to be effective, and not remain mere romantization of the condition of the poor, must explore and understand the causes of people’s poverty and oppression. Following the three steps (observe, judge, act) proposed by Pope John XXIII’s Encyclical Letter Mater et Magistra (Church as Mother and Teacher of All Nations) to best respond to the “signs of the time,” Sis. Pat saw and observed the condition of the poor, she judged their situation based on Gospel imperative, and acted in love and charity. By seeing, judging, and acting, Sis. Pat followed the prophetic tradition of the Bible– standing up against those in power, speaking on behalf of the poor and exploited.
We, as educators, strongly support Sister Pat and her mission. We urge all our fellow educators, especially those from religious educational institutions, to join us in raising our voice and protesting the harassment of Sister Pat. As educators, let us emulate the “kenotic” (self-emptying) love of Sister Pat for the poor. If there are “undesirable aliens” that have to be deported, they are the foreign businesses that plunder our resources, promote slave labor in export processing zones, and those Filipinos who cooperate with them to extract hefty profits and capital from our people. The “undesirable aliens” are the US military forces and warmongers in our country who sow fear and promote war among Filipinos. They are undermining our national sovereignty, destabilizing our economy.
HANDS OFF SISTER PAT!
STOP THE DEPORTATION OF SIS. PAT!
STOP HARASSING HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS!
OPPOSE THE TYRANNY OF THE US-DUTERTE REGIME!
Photo from: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/166099/sister-patricia-fox-challenges-expulsion-order (accessed April 26, 2019)
UNITE WITH THE WORKERS! FIGHT AND RESIST THE TYRANNY OF THE US-DUTERTE REGIME THAT TERRORIZES THE WORKING CLASS
Statement of Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, University of the Philippines, Diliman on the celebration of Labor Day, 1 May 2018
The members of CONTEND UP Diliman join today all the working class of the world, especially the Filipino workers, as we celebrate International Labor Day. As monopoly capitalism wriggles against cyclical crisis, as imperialist rivalry heightens worldwide, the conditions around the globe are ripening for the working class to smash the condition that oppresses them. In spite of the assault of capitalists against the workers by way of contractualization, computerization, downsizing, and rationalization, coupled with imperialist plunder of the resources of developing economies, the working class has organized and resisted the deadening forces of exploitation. They have transformed history as the paramount place for learning the lessons of struggle against capitalism and imperialism, forging alliances with other oppressed classes, imbibing solidarity, resolute commitment and perseverance for revolutionary ends.
The Filipino working class today faces a terrible obstacle to their emancipation: the tyrannical rule of President Rodrigo Duterte. While Duterte toys with ending contractualization, days before May 1, he has given up his power to end it. As expected, he plays the umpire in the heightening class struggle between the haves and have-nots. Worse, he has become the greatest pimp of selling Filipino labor force to imperialist bidders, namely China, Russia, the US, and the Middle East. He has tricked our OFWs into supporting him, but has no long-term programs that will end the forced migration of our workers. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment Order 174 was greeted by the business establishment as a go-signal to lay off workers to avoid regularization. While DOLE ordered the regularization of Coca-Cola workers, Jollibee, and Burger King, none of these corporations complied.
To stay in power, President Duterte buys the loyalty of the military by raising their salary and benefits. He supports their abuses and crimes, allowing them to enjoy impunity. To date, 28 labor leaders have already been killed under the dictatorship of Duterte. Workers and activists are harassed, illegally arrested, and slapped with trumped-up charges. Some of them were forced to confess to being members of the New People’s Army. On April 20, 2018, various organizations, victims, and their relatives, assisted by Karapatan, filed at least 200 complaints on human rights violations against the Duterte government at the office of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Monitoring Committee on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) in Quezon City. Prior to this, supporters of workers are also terrorized by the fascist US-Duterte regime: Moro rights activist Jerome Succor Aba was detained for 28 hours and subjected to torture by the US Homeland Security, and Australian missionary Sr. Patricia Fox is now ordered to be deported by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) of the Philippines.
While afraid of militant labor unions, Pres. Duterte is subservient to the whims andcaprices of big bourgeois compradors and crony landlords, except to those who openly criticize his fascist rule and heavy-handed policies on drugs. His friendliness to capital isexpressed in the proliferation of his yes-men in Congress, who scheme to open up the economy toforeign investors by amending the economic provisions in the Constitution. Meanwhile,businessmen are rejoicing. They are ready to reap the cheap labor of K+12 graduates.
While Filipino workers are absorbing the brunt of Duterte’s tyrannical rule, they are organizing and advancing their rights. To date, 15 labor strikes have already been recorded in the first two years of Duterte’s administration compared to 24 in Aquino’s six-year term. The workers were also successful in paralyzing the transport sector to protest against corporate-driven jeepney phase-out. They have organized to form WRATH (Workers Resistance Against Tyranny and for Human Rights) to create a broad alliance against Duterte’s dictatorship.
As educators and workers in the educational sector, we acknowledge that our condition is never far from the wretched condition of the working class. The neoliberal reforms of our educational system have led to the proletarianization of educators and educational workers. Teachers are subjected to standardized performance rating, their positions streamlined, while hiring contractual teachers is still the norm, and they are reduced to teaching bureaucrats who have no power over the curriculum. The Department of Education and Pres. Duterte’s economic managers are even condescendingly claiming that teachers’ salary is competitive and they are not underpaid. This betrays the heartless attitude of this government towards teachers, government employees, and contractual workers.
We strongly urge our fellow teachers and educational workers to go out today and join theworkers as they march to the streets and demand the end to their unceasing but heighteningexploitation. We urge our fellow teachers to get out of their classes, and join the militant laborunions who are demanding better working condition and benefits. We must stand with them aswe strengthen our fight against neoliberal assault against education.
Let us bring our students to factories, to farming communities, to Lumad schools so that our students will learn the real sacrifices of our toiling masses. Our teaching should never be separated from the struggle of the workers. We can never win our struggle to make our schools free from commercialization, privatization, and corporate takeover if we will not join the countless workers of our nation in their struggle against foreign control of our economy, the dictatorship of capital, market fundamentalism, and the fascist rule that enable these abusive conditions. Ultimately, we have to unite with our workers to free our nation from the plunder of imperialist US and China. Today, more than ever, we educators and educational workers must close ranks with the workers, fortify and toughen our barricades as we shout, “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world unite!”
DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM!
DOWN WITH FEUDALISM!
DOWN WITH BUREACRAT CAPITALISM!
END CONTRACTUALIZATION NOW! FIGHT FOR P16,000 MINIMUM SALARY!
JUNK TAX REFORM FOR ACCELERATION AND INCLUSION (TRAIN)!
END THE CRACKDOWN AGAINST LABOR LEADERS AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS!
RESIST DICTATORSHIP AND TYRANNY!
STOP DEMONIZING LABOR UNIONS!
NO TO RED-TAGGING OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS!