Again my former student and friend from the Davao School for the Blind, Willie G, gave me a surprise visit the other day. This time he brought along a short but interesting anecdote about animals— a fable, we call it— purportedly to prick my mind into a critical discussion about its allegorical meaning. Immediately after he finished retelling the fable, he asked, “Sir Don, unsa may pagtulun-ang atong makuha aning istoryaha?” [Sir Don what lesson can we get from this story?]
Instead of giving him outright my explication of the fable I turned the table and asked him to answer his own question. I know Willie is an intelligent guy. He perfectly knew the didactic import of the fable. But in order to guide his tourist-inquisitive mind into the current critical situation in Mindanao I gave a revolutionary dimension to the mini-narrative, to wit –
Ang liyon sa istorya mao ang nagmandong hut-ong nga nanaugdaog ug nanglupig sa mga gagmay sa katilingban. Ang ilaga mao ang mga mayukmok o mga sinikmahan sa palad. Sa pakigbisog nga gilunsad sa mga ilaga (ang mga linupigang masa), inutok nga rebolusyonaryong estratehiya ug taktika ang ilang gigamit; gigisa sa kaugalinong mantika ang nagmandong hut-ong — ilang kaugalingong armas ang mopatay kanila o mogun-ob sa ilang gahom!
[The lion represents the ruling class who oppresses and exploits the masses. The mouse stands for the grassroots masses of the people—the poor, the deprived and the oppressed. In the struggle waged by the mice (the downtrodden masses), they employ scientific revolutionary strategy and tactics; the members of the ruling class are being cooked by their own fats—their own weaponry are the ones used to end their tyranny.]
The lesson of the fable: the masses of the exploited and the oppressed should wage revolutionary struggles to liberate themselves and chart their own destiny.
But, “Sir Don, the ruling classes have their own very strong army! How can they be defeated?”
Willie, the army of the ruling class is essentially a mercenary army. They do not fight for a noble cause. They are hired as paid killers or goons. They have no commitment for an ideal. They fight for money, in the guise of a living. And so they do not exercise the behavior of a disciplined army that upholds a humane ideal. They think they are superior to the masses in everything. As a matter of fact, they despise the masses; they think the masses of the people are ignorant. They never show any respect for them, that is why they commit all sorts of dastardly acts against them. In short, they violate the human rights of the people.
On the other hand, the revolutionary army of the people is guided by a humanistic principle of serving the masses. Their actions emanate from the deep aspiration of the people to emancipate themselves from their dehumanized situation. Revolutionary iron discipline is their formidable norm of conduct based on an ideology for the people’s liberation from the bondage of poverty and misery. And so it is an army that exercises the highest degree of discipline and respect for the people’s human rights. It works for the supreme interests of the masses.
The irreconcilable contradiction between the two armies is necessarily ideological. One serves the ideology of oppression and exploitation of the people and thus, is in the service of the ruling classes who want to maintain the Status Quo. It is reactionary and decadent, an ideology of backwardness. The other adopts the ideology whose historical mission is the extermination of all forms of oppression and exploitation, and therefore is the service of the great masses of the people who want Change. It is an army that identifies itself with the economic, political and cultural development of the downtrodden masses. It is ideology of progress.
The army of the current administration of President Noynoy abhors Change. It tries hard to turn back the wheels of history by adhering to the ideology of State fascism and militarism. And just like the previous Presidents, he wields the power of military to insure that the foreign monopoly capitalists are protected in their exploitation of our mineral resources. This is no different from what the Dictator Marcos did during his martial law regime.
The massive militarization of the countrysides of Mindanao under the Oplan Bayanihan program is paving the way for the entrance of Mining companies to extract the precious ores in the region. The ComVal region and adjacent areas are the main targets of these mining interests being catered to by the Noynoy government. With the same frenetic zeal that Marcos had opened the gates for omnibus exploitation of our land, so does Noynoy’s frenzy in welcoming the foreign imperialist interests promptly consummated.
Add to this the slavish gesture of escorting American troops to install military bases for American soldiers on Philippine soil—a scornful reversal of the mandate of history! Noynoy has surpassed even Marcos in making a mockery of our national Sovereignty! He deserves a “clay medal” for his treasonous acts.