All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by by way of advice.”
• Montaigne, the brilliant French essayist, as quoted in the preface of “The True Believer”
by Eric Hoffer
This is what I’m exactly saying in my columns. For now, it is just discourse and analysis. It is not advice or advocacy. Discourse and analysis are in exercise of freedom of expression or free speech which is protected by the Constitution. Advice or advocacy. Discourse and analysis are in exercise of freedom of expression or free speech which is protected by the Constitution. Advice or advocacy skirts the fringes of inciting to sedition under our criminal laws. Unless one is prepared to lead a revolution or be an integral part of the leadership of the revolution, it may not be safe to advocate it unless one is prepared and ready to launch it.
I am not intending to lead a revolution, for now, except on the level of words – meaning an analysis and discourse on the legitimacy and probable need of the Constitutional Transition Government. I do not discount, however, becoming one of the integral leaders in a revolutionary movement. It depends on the time and the circumstance. Most of all, it depends on my readiness to participate in the revolutionary struggle.
Kinds of political revolutions
There are many kinds of political revolutions – revolution from the left, revolution from the center, revolution from the right and a separatist revolution. Some of them could be peaceful; some violent. Many a time, it is better to have a peaceful revolution; most of time, it is best that it is violent. Whether it is peaceful or violent depends on the circumstances and the temperament of the leadership of the revolution.
THE LEFT: The revolution from the left is that of the poor and the deprived. It is composed of the outsiders from government and those who do not wield economic power, who are oppressed and unjustly deprived of their rights as citizens and as human beings. But the leadership usually does not come from the poor as the poor are, as a rule, uneducated and unenlightened – busy in their preoccupation with day to day survival. The leadership comes from the educated revolutionary rich. There are concrete examples of that in this country – the Lavas of Bulacan, Jose Maria Sison of the Ilocos, and Edgar Jopson of Manila.
In the current context, the revolution of the left is the continuing revolution of the CPP-NPA. It is a revolt of the poor against domestic colonizers – the oligarchs, the hacenderos and caciques, the lords of all kinds and the vested interests who constitute the elites of our land. But it is a revolution that has not captured the imagination of the poor. In a limited extent, it has captured the imagination of the young in the colleges and universities but with declining attraction with the passing of the years. In some areas of the country it has deteriorated to banditry without any legitimate purpose.
THE RIGHT: The revolution of the right is the revolt of the upper classes which the existing government keeps at bay. These are members of the privileged classes who are out of power – meaning outside the circle of power. An interesting example in this country was the so-called “Edsa Revolution.” To begin with, the people were not involved in the plan to mount the so-called revolution. In truth, it was a coup d’etat –stroke of state, an accident of history by the error of judgment of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. (FM)
Why error of Marcos? After knowledge of the plot when some of the plotters were arrested in Malacañang, Marcos should have arrested all the plotters and terminated all of them as a lesson for everyone. Failing to do that, he should have authorized his air force and army to pulverize Enrile, Ramos, and the rest of their gang into dust.
After all Ramos and Enrile did not do it for the country. They had no announced dreams for the country. They were out to save their skin. They became the willing tool of the elites operating out of government – the Aquinos and their band of manipulators and pretenders succeeded to manipulate the people.
Thus, a country in shambles today and the credit should go to Ramos and Enrile. Thanks but no thanks.
THE CENTER: This is the revolution mounted from the center of power with the view to reforming the system or preventing itself from being deposed. This is the revolution of President Marcos with the view to installing a New Society – creating a society where Filipinos control the economy in their own country; where infrastructure and agricultural programs were designed to suit the demands of the country and the masses; where Filipinos should undergo the desired re-orientation to become a true Filipino.
This is a footnote to history. In my last one and one with President Marcos in a wooden and rattan sofa on a passage way at the back of his office, this conversation took place:
President Marcos: “You know Pañero, you should join me for several reasons. First, we both graduated from the UP College of Law. Second, we both dream dreams for our country, Third, you are an ideologue and so am I.” Then, he paused after what seemed to be an eternity, and he continued, “And on top of that we are two of a kind.”
My reply was direct to the point: “I cannot join you, Mr. President, for two reasons. If I join you now what will people think of me – that you bought me. And if they think of me in those terms, I might as well resign as governor because then I no longer deserve my people. Besides, what will happen to your propaganda that democracy exists in the Philippines because of people like me? It will go down the drain. Moreover, there is no royal road to the Promised Land. You travel yours and I travel mind. One day we will meet there.”
Reviewing the programs of Marcos and their implementation, I feel very deeply today that I should have joined President Ferdinand Marcos in his terminal years. I should have sacrificed my erroneous perception of the smudge in my honor and integrity if I joined him. I should have thought of the country first – even if in the interim some people would have thought ill of me by joining President Marcos.
But I am not God. Like any human being, no matter how brilliant and talented, I also commit mistakes. At least I am honest to admit my mistakes because I hate pretenses and pretenders of all kinds.
Maybe, if I joined him, the history of the country would have changed. But of course that’s a lot of speculations and speculations do not make history.
SEPARATIST REVOLUTION: In our country, there are four separatist revolutions – the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM), the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
All these groups want Mindanao to be an independent Republic. In the case of the MNLF, MILF and the BIFF, they want to establish an Islamic Republic in Mindanao.
Ways of mounting a revolution
In the current context, there are four established ways of mounting an armed revolution – the Mao Zedong formula of surrounding the cities from the countryside; the Leninist formula of insurrection in the cities; a coup within a revolution; and a fight in the areas of conflict.
The Mao formula of surrounding the cities from the countryside does not work in an archipelago like the Philippines; it works in one body of land like China and Vietnam. Fighting a revolution from the mountains is as stupid as anything could be. The enemies are in the cities – they are in the places where the revolution should be mounted. In the case of the Philippines, you only capture Metro Manila to capture the whole country. Examples – EDSA 1 and EDSA II!
In the mountains, your enemies are bad weather, lack of food and shelter, snakes, leeches, mosquitoes and lack of proper medicines and medical attendance. You need an example of failure – the CPP-NPA Revolution which was started in 1959 and that was 54 years ago. If that is not failure, I’d like to see one. Besides, you cannot mount a revolution with leaders outside the country or by not using your head. The methodology is simple. It does not need any intelligence to realize that.