Remarkable victory of the broad united front and desperate tricks of the US-Arroyo Regime

NDFP Chief Political Consultant

Since the announcement of Mrs Macapagal-Arroyo that she would not run for the presidency in 2004, the broad united front against the US-directed Arroyo regime has already scored a remarkable victory.

Fearful of continuing isolation, sinking poll rating and possible overthrow by people's uprising before 2004, she has pretended to withdraw from the presidential race and has touted herself as one who is now focused on national unity and public interest and no longer on her selfish interest.

In a roundabout way, she has admitted defeat in the face of the broad united front. Thus, there is a remarkable victory for the broad united front. But it is not yet a complete victory against the regime.

Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo is still up to some desperate tricks. She wants to launch a political offensive against the broad united front by usurping the slogan of "national unity" and pretending to be above politics.

She calculates that by proclaiming her withdrawal from the presidential derby, she can generate intense competition among her rivals within and outside the ruling coalition. She can then appear to be above the fray until she decides to fabricate a public clamor for her presidential candidacy.

She also holds in reserve the possibility of becoming a French-type president in a parliamentary system, with Speaker Jose de Venecia or Eduardo Cojuangco becoming the prime minister. She further holds in reserve the possibility of choosing her presidential successor if a constituent assembly cannot be convened.

In so short a time, the regime has interpreted the concept of a national unity government as a council of state, no different from the old national security council. It is an exclusive club of the exploiters and oppressors, put together by the queen and her "men in black" in the cabinet oversight committee on internal security.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines has never expressed any interest in joining such a sham national unity government. But the highest officials of the regime make it a point to rub in and stress that the NDFP is barred, unless it gives up its revolutionary principles and arms.

Such expression of overweening arrogance exposes the aversion of the US-directed Arroyo regime even to the resumption of the GRP- NDFP negotiations. The people should know that despite all the propaganda of those in power about "national unity" the GRP has not seriously approached the NDFP.

The rabidly pro-US militarists upon whom Mrs Macapagal-Arroyo has become so dependent are openly boasting that there will never be any formal talks between the GRP and NDFP, unless the NDFP accept first a "final peace agreement" unilaterally drafted by the cabinet oversight committee on internal security.

In view of the arrogance and intransigence of Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo and the militarists around her, the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations has become uncertain, if not categorically impossible. The GRP officials most culpable for puppetry, plunder and brutality are the most opposed to the peace negotiations.

They challenge and incite the revolutionary forces and people, represented by the NDFP, to persevere in all their revolutionary tasks, to take advantage of the daily worsening socio-economic and political crisis and to intensify the people's war for national liberation and democracy.