#KM56: Who is afraid of the Filipino youth?
To all Kabataang Makabayan and Filipino youth who aspire freedom and social change:
Today, on the occasion of the KM’s founding anniversary and Gat Andres Bonifacio’s birthday, we are reminded of how the Filipino youth have always played a crucial role in nation-building and the people’s struggle for genuine national democracy and freedom.
The KM, as the vanguard organization of the Filipino youth, turns 56 years old today. Since its establishment, it had earned the ire of the ruling classes for arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses to fight for social justice and liberation. It had exemplified irrepressible vigor and militancy and led the Filipino youth and the people in better understanding the basic problems and burning issues of society. It had stood steadfast against the ills and injustices of the present system that perpetrate the chronic crisis in the country. It had been at the forefront of uprisings and demonstrations that had never before been witnessed in Philippine history, including the toppling of the Marcos fascist dictatorship, the eviction of the US Military Bases and the ouster of the Estrada regime. In all these events, the rotten ruling classes and system were exposed in legal democratic protests and struggles with the youth acting as lead propagandists and active organizers.
The Filipino youth have also marked their place in history as exemplary leaders and members of the revolutionary army – from Bonifacio’s Katipunan against Spanish colonialism to the young men and women of the KM against the US puppet regimes in the country.
The KM had a great role in invigorating and spreading the New People’s Army across the country during its founding and formative years when young revolutionary leaders from the masses of workers, peasants, students, intellectuals and professionals in their late teens, twenties and thirties integrated with the basic masses and went to the countrysides to wage armed revolution against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. They drew inspiration from the masses and the ranks of other great revolutionary leaders of the world who, also in their youth, have led and achieved great victories against imperialism and their respective local exploiting classes, among them Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevarra.
Today, 56 years hence, the KM, ever more alive and militant, and it’s continuing relevance, are testament that the armed revolution and the legal democratic movement can and shall prevail when the youth is directed to the path of national democracy and ready to commit their aggressiveness, resoluteness, militancy and their very lives to the revolutionary cause.
Linked up with the masses of workers, peasants, fishermen, urban poor, women, professionals and other democratic sectors of society, the Filipino youth remains an integral and effective factor in the struggle for national liberation and democracy.
The times they are a-changing
To the youth of this generation, you have the advantage of knowing the world and our country. You are better exposed and more open to new ideas, energetic, receptive and sensitive to injustices, patriotic and ready to rise up to the need for revolutionary change not only for yourselves, for your country, but for the peoples of the world.
This is why #Duterterrorist and his mafia – those who discourage you from “being involved”, those who say ”activism is passe”, those who claim that “the revolution is a lost cause”, those who scare you that you might fall prey to “terrorist brainwashing and recruitment” – are so afraid of you.
They are aware that you are at an age when you are called upon to make a lifetime decision that can change not only your future but theirs as well. They fear that you would choose to follow the path that had toppled tyrants and emancipated slaves. They know very well that should you decide to join the national democratic revolution, the very system in which they thrive is in peril. And they should know, having been at the same turning points in their youths once, only to have decided to tread the road of individualism, greed and apathy. They chose to live their lives in support of the rotten system that the youth, from young Bonifacio’s time up to the youth of today, wish to change.
They are afraid of you, the Filipino youth. They are afraid of your banner organization, the KM.
Your generation is fortunate to live in these times and age. Imperialism is at its most moribund stage, confronted by an unprecedented crisis in the world capitalist system that drives imperialist powers to intensify oppression and exploitation of peoples of the world. There is an ongoing resurgence of socialist movements and national liberation movements around the world, with young people like you at the forefront, and the Philippine revolution presently stands as one of the leading torchbearers.
Here in our homeland, you have borne witness to the Filipino people’s suffering and strife brought on by the Duterte regime’s tyranny and fascism, unbridled greed and betrayal of national patrimony and sovereignty. You were not yet born during the dark days of Marcos’ martial law but had likewise witnessed #Duterterrorism through the mass murder of innocents and drug suspects, the destruction and devastation of Marawi, the declaration of martial law in Mindanao and the ongoing de facto martial law nationwide. You suffer #Duterterrorism’s attacks against the revolutionary movement and the Filipino people through extrajudicial killings, political harassment and persecution, repression and suppression of freedom of speech and expression, red-tagging, illegal arrests and currently the enactment of the fascistic Anti-Terror Act.
The Duterte regime prioritizes government spending for all-out war against the people and corruption at the expense of your rights to education, health care especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic, housing and other basic services. You have seen the social and economic effects of Duterte’s deliberate and criminal negligence of the people’s welfare and interests in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. You continue to seethe at his utter irresponsibility and incompetence to address the rice crisis, graft and corruption, and rescue, relief and rehabilitation during typhoons and calamities, among others. You feel betrayed by his sell-out of national patrimony and sovereignty with regards the West Philippine Sea.
In schools nationwide, there is a growing unrest among students and intellectuals that is evident in determined protests despite the military lockdowns and red-tagging. In factories and workplaces, young workers are leading strikes and work stoppages. In the countrysides, more and more young peasants are being organized and mobilized to fight for land reform and participate in the agrarian revolution. These alone are already very instrumental in arousing the masses and encouraging more youth and other democratic forces to question and defy Duterte and his mafia.
These make the imperialist exploiters, the local ruling classes, Duterte and his military junta very scared indeed of the Filipino youth.
The world is yours
You, on the other hand, have nothing to fear in choosing to serve the people and side with the revolution. Together with the rest of the Filipino people, you can forge your own future through the revolutionary struggle for national democracy and freedom.
Since Duterte took office and exposed himself as a fascist terrorist, there had been a surge in number of young people that have participated in the legal democratic movement or gone “underground” or to the countrysides to join the NPA.
In urban centers, you continue to be at the forefront as propagandists, cultural workers and opinion makers in schools and universities, factories, offices and workplaces, communities and in social media.
In the NPA, you participate in various lines of work in the people’s army, including tactical offensives and military training, education and cultural work, mass work and organizing and production work. You spearhead social investigation and help in building organs of political power and revolutionary mass organizations. You assist in conducting land reform and other mass campaigns. There is now a relative balance of young, middle and senior commanders and Red fighters in the NPA, with more fresh young blood coming in from the ranks of workers, peasants, students and intellectuals. They are currently undergoing on-the-job training and being prepared to take on the torch that will be passed on to them by their senior comrades.
The KM will stay “forever young” for as long as it carries on the revolutionary zeal and struggle for genuine social change. It shall continue to be a bottomless well for fresh NPA recruits for as long as it remains tightly linked to the basic masses of workers and peasants.
Lastly, you really have nothing to fear in choosing the path of the revolution. There are many like us, the “once young”, who do not regret making the lifetime decision to join the NPA, serve the people and live with the masses. We are still here, our commitment to the revolution ever youthful and renewed in vigor. We are more than eager to share our wisdom and experience, and ready to struggle together with young ones like you.
To quote Mao, “You are like the sun at eight or nine in the morning, full of vigor and vitality…The world is yours as well as ours. But in the final analysis, it is yours.”