Thursday, February 18, 2010

Makabayan, why?

By fielding candidates for the Senate this coming May 2010 election, after receiving massive support from different socio-economic classes in Philippine society for the past 10 years in the party-lists, the above-ground Left of the national democratic (ND) movement is at its creative genius in dealing with reaction in mainstream politics by participating in the most coveted game of its class enemy.

Despite the fact that the imperialist U.S’ instructions to the fascist Arroyo regime to crush before the end of her term the advancement of the Philippine patriotic cause, as scientifically theorized and practiced by the ND movement.

The tactical alliance with the Nationalista Party (NP) and the inclusion of the candidacy of Rep. Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and Rep. Liza Maza of Gabriela in their slate as guests candidate did not happen overnight. Any activists involved in the democratic process of formulating a decision or policy know that.

The platform based alliance between Makabayan, a progressive political group composed of party-lists and individuals, namely, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, ACT, Katribu, AKAP-Bata and Courage and Sen. Manny Villar’s NP, a reactionary political party, formed a formidable force never seen in the history of Philippine politics.

It also exposes the strength and importance, undeniable existence and the justness and realistic program of action of Makabayan for the Filipino people which cannot be ignored even among the current political players like the controversial candidate, Manny Villar.

The deepening mass movement and support from the oppressed and exploited people of workers and peasants and the patriotic forces of professionals, small and medium businessmen crying for change that is long-term and anchored on social justice, national industrialization, genuine agrarian reform and human rights as espoused by Makabayan will be propagated and debated during the campaign period.

Aside from the guns, goons and gold, the circus, glitz and glamour and the personality-based election that characterize Philippine politics will be minutely altered once Makabayan candidates will tour around the country to propagate the pro-people stance of the alliance and Villar’s massive resources and machinery will greatly help.

Whatever Sen. Villar’s motive in accepting the Makabayan platform, his adherence to and endorsement of it, made him ‘more’ of a progressive candidate in the next ninety days and ‘less’ of a reactionary, within the context of Philippine election and among the 10 presidential aspirants salivating to be the next chief political representative of the exploiting classes of the domestic ruling system.

I believe Makabayan is transparent in dealing with an individual or a party as long as it adheres to its platform for the upcoming national and local elections. Its rising importance in mainstream politics is tightly tied and deeply rooted with the ever deepening and increasing ND mass movement.

Typical of its dealing with allies, the ND will objectively keep the word of their new found ally, like Villar, the NP and other candidates. But are keen and conscientious as to how an ally will keep to his promises.

Accountable to no one except to the principles and the people, the tactical alliance will leave a wide room for independence and initiative. As far as I know, the ND never agreed to be absorbed by a single entity or personality; it always unites based on an agreed platform or issue and acting on an equal footing with more flexibility and fluidity.

This is one alliance that the ND practices even on some issues whether local or national, sectoral or multi-sectoral. A newbie ND activist, for example, involved in campus elections knew the fluidity and flexibility in any form of alliances without sacrificing the principles involved. Just so the critical mass and target will be reached and duly informed –and gaining strength in the process.

A select few of former activists and even those still active are not comfortable with the alliance but are supporting the candidacy of Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza is understandable. They, being personalities of the movement they tirelessly served, loved and fought for.

But Satur and Liza are not just ‘mere’ personalities of the ND. They carry with them the responsibility of propagating the patriotic cause and platform as agreed by Villar and the NP.

Questioning the inclusion of Satur and Liza in the NP lineup is like questioning the basis of their inclusion. They did not join and tied themselves with NP not just because of Villar’s popularity and resources, although I believe a major consideration. They do so since the NP camp agreed to the platform of Makabayan.

After all the subjective criticisms (in fact, continuing), I believe Makabayan will evaluate and assess the outcome of its alliance with NP including the candidacy of Satur and Liza after the election.

By that time, the organization will move on, learn lessons from the positive and negative impact. Also confident of winning the hearts and minds of those who trust the organization and the individuals involved for coming up with a significant decision towards the total propagation and advancement of the national democratic cause within the reactionary election.

While keeping in mind that the current election is a reflection of the deepening crisis and contradiction within the exploiting classes – an opportunity to divide them ever more.

This is why I will vote and campaign for Sens. Villar and Legarda on the basis of their agreement with the pro-people stance of Makabayan. Because I cannot allow myself to vote for someone (at least in the presidential and vice presidential level) who did not agree with the platform. #

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