We harbor no illusions that any fundamental change can come from the May 9 national polls. While presenting itself as a democratic process, the elections in fact remains a contest between representatives of different factions of the ruling landlord-comprador classes.
The elections are offered as the hallmark of democracy by giving us a semblance of freedom to choose our leaders. In truth, only the rich and those backed by moneyed interests have resources for electoral machinery, vote-buying, expensive ads, and the manufacturing of results.
The biggest financiers of the leading candidates ensure that whoever wins office will carry their economic and political interests once in power. Hence, their essentially identical programs from the private-public partnership, conditional cash transfer, and foreign investment-driven growth, etc.
Genuine social transformation can only come not through farcical elections but by the collective action of the Filipino people. To this end, Anakbayan forwards a program for a new democratic alternative that truly addresses the roots of the country’s festering social ills.
- Forward the struggle to free the nation from foreign domination, feudal landlord rule and corrupt bureaucrat capitalism that has maintained a semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruling order which has kept our economy backward, pre-industrial, agrarian, and foreign-dominated. Fight for national sovereignty and empower the people by waging the peasant struggle for land against domestic feudalism. Uphold the people’s democratic rights against fascism.
- Establish a people’s government that will truly forward the interests of the Filipino people under the leadership of the working people under the leadership of the working class and with the participation of all democratic classes. This also ensures an electoral and political system that guarantees the genuine representation of the workers and peasants in all decision-making bodies of government from the local to the national level. This is a genuine government of the people that is free from foreign control and dictates. While direct US colonial rule over the country ended in 1946, this was replaced by a succession of puppet regimes controlled by US imperialism.
- Dismantle the abusive mercenary, imperialist-sponsored, and rotten to the core army and replace it with a people’s army which shall be closely linked with the masses and defend the people’s democratic and national interests.
- Uphold and promote the democratic rights that have been deprived from the people under the current political system, including the freedom of domicile, person, thought, belief, religion, speech and assembly, the rights to land, humane wages and decent livelihood, education, health, etc.
- Implement a program of genuine agrarian reform that shall have as its center piece the free distribution of land to the farmers and the breaking up of the monopoly of land by a few landlords and local and foreign corporations. Agricultural cooperatives and the improvement of production and employment in the countryside shall be encouraged through the modernization of agriculture, rural industrialization and by ensuring sustainable agriculture.
- Push a program of national industrialization that shall end the foreign domination and control over the economy. Basic industries, resources, and corporations owned by foreigners shall be nationalized and redirected towards addressing the needs of the Filipino people. Local businesses which suffer from unfair competition and are destroyed by foreign monopoly capital shall be encouraged. The creation of a truly self-reliant economy shall effectively solve unemployment, low wages, contractualization, and brain drain.
- End all unequal treaties and agreements with the US and other foreign entities. This includes the VFA and EDCA which seeks to perpetuate US military presence and bring back the US bases in the country. This also includes trade, loan, and aid agreements that bind the country economically to US imperialism. These includes GATT-WTO agreements and IMF-WB dictates that push for neoliberal programs of deregulation, liberalization, privatization, and denationalization in order to further open the country to greater foreign plunder and exploitation.
- Push for a progressive social policy that shall provide education, healthcare, housing, water, electricity, among others not as a profit-oriented business for the benefit of the few but as a public service that shall benefit the majority of the people.
- Promote a nationalist, scientific, and mass-based culture and education that shall address the needs and aspirations of the Filipino people and oppose the colonial, feudal, and repressive culture and thinking that remains dominant today. Campaign for the use of the national language as the principal medium of instruction and communication and establish a system of free education at all levels in order to imbue literacy, nationalism, critical and scientific thinking among the masses.
- Advance women’s liberation from a patriarchal system that perpetuates the feudal view of women as the weaker sex and the bourgeois treatment of women as commodities and mere sex objects. Uphold women and LGBTQ rights.
- Uphold rights for self-determination of the Moro people, the people of Cordillera, and other indigenous peoples and national minorities.
- Adopt an independent and active foreign policy that is based on peace, mutual respect for national sovereignty, equality, and mutual benefit.