[This is a discussion paper prepared for submission to the National Transformation Council.]
Mass uprisings are but the beginnings of authentic revolution. The people power uprising of February 1986 overthrew the Marcos “dictatorship,” only to see the restoration of old oligarchic rule. In 2001, a much smaller mass uprising removed Joseph Estrada from the Presidency, but failed to change the unjust systems. They persist to this day.
Our historical experience teaches us that spontaneous uprisings are easily taken over by entrenched vested interests. Improperly motivated leaders eventually reveal themselves and yield to oligarchic enchantment.
Should our people rise again against the evils of our society, it would be the noble duty of those who see the ripeness of the revolutionary condition to come forward and seize the historic opportunity. The masses of our people will need guidance and leadership towards a correct strategy for change.
Preparing for a Revolution
It is election season in the Philippines. The hopes and fears of our people will once again be exploited by our politicians to lull them into another regime of falsehood and deceit. Our society is acutely unstable, our democratic and electoral system completely compromised. Far from stabilizing the situation, the conduct of the forthcoming election may yet trigger another mass uprising. Our people must be offered an alternative scenario by which they can restore democracy and redirect government to serving the interests of all. Their rising discontent must be transformed into a national sentiment for revolutionary change.
The original intent of the National transformation Council (NTC) is to provide a moral voice over the continuing failure of government to effectively address serious national concerns, and to be specially prepared to assume a significant role when the nation explodes into another spontaneous uprising. The NTC is very particular about the possibility of violence and its exploitation as a means to achieving political change in our society. The NTC is acutely aware of the serious intent of domestic rebel groups to resort to violence and the effort of some of them to even invite foreign elements to assist in their violent endeavor.
Mass uprising is the ideal beginning for a revolution. The communists have been preparing for this these past many decades. And they correctly read today that the conduct of the incoming election could trigger one such uprising. This could explain why some of the more prominent leaders of communist fronts are running for elective positions. We should not mistake these candidacies as acts of conversion to democracy. Because the employment of violence is inherent in communist strategic thinking, it is second nature for the communists to employ violence and trickery to assert their dominance of the forthcoming mass upheaval.
To aspire to win at all cost is the root of evil in our electoral system. This is how the administration ticket is planning to engage the coming election. What is tragic is that not a single major political grouping is raising the issue of the ongoing massive preparation to manipulate the coming electoral exercise, but practically almost all of the contending parties are already speaking of a full range of post-election protest actions should they lose.
Organizing the revolution
The NTC is advocating a peaceful revolution. The NTC believes that authentic change cannot be established by force. It cannot be the product of violence. Our people cannot be allowed to be divided and be engaged in uncivilized conflict.
Open armed conflict in the country will necessarily invite foreign intervention because of the existence of rebel groups with connections to international terrorist movements. We are witnessing day by day the horror inflicted on the people when a domestic conflict escalates into a war of contending world views.
We experienced at least two mass uprisings that did not lead to violence. The NTC foresees the coming of another one. The conditions are ripe for it. Preparations are essential to make sure that the upheaval stay peaceful, but able to sustain momentum and attain full blown revolutionary status.
Our post-mass uprising scenario is envisioned as a transition period in which vital institutions of society will be reestablished or restored to normalcy. This transition period will last until a new government is democratically elected under a new electoral system as mandated by the new constitution.
Some of its main political features are:
A revolutionary transition government will be instituted, under an interim constitution which promotes and safeguards the sovereignty of the State
Congress and Comelec will be dissolved, and elections suspended until the new constitution allows it.
A commission or convention will be tasked to write a new charter.
All regions will be declared autonomous regions. A unicameral consultative assembly will serve as the legislative advisory body of the revolutionary government.
The Supreme Court will be reconstituted, tasked to supervise the overhaul of the entire justice system and positioned to become an authentic co-equal branch of government.
Some of its main programs are:
Modernization of the armed forces and implementing the organizational shift into a true citizen’s army as mandated by the current constitution.
Replacing the current agrarian reform program with a new agrarian and Agricultural Modernization program that will make agricultural modernization a major thrust of government.
Sound financial management policy will be enhanced, but over- reliance on foreign remittances and the service industry will be rectified.
Social benefit to labor will be the primary basis of government in granting incentives to enterprises and investments.
Adoption of a common language in lieu of a national language. We need a language that will allow us to communicate with each other and with the rest of the world.
Adoption of a deliberate strategy to shift our economy from third world to first. A poor government cannot transform its poor communities.
Rebuilding, upgrading and, if necessary, relocating our cities in the face of climate change. We need to create smart cities out of the present and create new ones.