The NDFP’s defense of the rights of the Filipino child


Comprehensive NDFP position on child rights

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) concerns itself with the rights and welfare of the millions of children below 18 years of age by addressing the root causes of the violations of the rights of the child. These root causes are in the rotten ruling system of oppression and exploitation, of extreme wealth for a few and extreme poverty for so many. In the concrete, the NDFP defends the children from the assaults on their rights by the three evils in semicolonial and semifeudal Philippine society: foreign monopoly capitalism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

The NDFP upholds, defends and promotes the rights of the child in accordance with its own principles, policies and regulations as well as with the international norms and standards set forth directly and indirectly in conventions and treaties. It has a program for the Filipino people to work and fight for national liberation and democracy against the foreign and local oppressors and exploiters. It aims to uphold national sovereignty and empower the working people, to carry out land reform and national industrialization, to foster a patriotic, scientific and democratic culture and to pursue an independent foreign policy for world peace and development.

The NDFP requires the working committees on education under the organs of political power, the designated teachers for elementary and high school education and the mass organizations (especially of the teachers, women, youth, children and cultural activists) to realize the educational program of children below the age of 18 years in the areas under the people's self-government. Public school teachers of the GRP are encouraged to perform conscientiously their teaching functions and to promote patriotic and democratic values, ideas and practice among the children.

The NDFP looks after the health of the mothers and children, promotes health education, healthy diet and sanitation and directs the building of a system of disease prevention and health care delivery. The working committees on health under the organs of political power and the mass organizations of health workers cooperate with the other mass organizations and the health department of the New People's Army. The health system includes professional health workers and local paramedic volunteers. Day care centers or systems of collective or shared child care are established wherever possible.

The parents are advised to keep in school their children who are 15 years and below and to let them perform tasks that are commensurate to their age and that do not prevent study time at home. Due to extreme poverty, the children as young as 8 or 9, as long as they able-bodied, want to participate in the work of adults. Nevertheless, the organs of political power and the mass organizations prohibit exploitative practices in farms, plantations and sweat shops. Children below 18 and above 15 are given basic instructions and training on how to protect in cooperation with their parents and the rest of the community their family and community from the assaults of the GRP military, police and irregular forces.

The NDFP encourages the organs of political power and the mass organizations of youth, women, teachers and cultural activists to set up children's organizations in recognition of the right of children to uphold and advance their own rights and participate in social transformation on the basis of their capacities and capabilities.

The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) is a gross violator of the rights of the child for as long as it is the instrument of the oppressive and exploitative ruling system. All the policy proclamations and legislation and signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and related conventions and treaties by the GRP, avowedly in favor of the children, amount largely to hogwash because they are used merely to prettify a system that oppresses and exploits the toiling masses of workers and peasants and their children.

The NDFP takes pain to stress to all entities honestly concerned with human rights in general and the rights of the child in particular to take a comprehensive and profound view of the fact that human rights violations against the toiling masses of workers and peasants, women and children are rampant in the Philippines, whether the people wage armed resistance or not. And when armed conflict occurs, it is the military, police and irregular forces of the GRP that wantonly unleashes the unjust violence to preserve the unjust ruling system.

The US and other imperialist governments and their puppet governments like the GRP are today using their official agencies and those of the United Nations as well as certain imperialist-funded nongovernmental organizations, academic hacks, ideologues and publicists to obfuscate the fact that human rights violations are generated by systems of oppression and exploitation, such as the world capitalist system and domestic ruling system of the exploiting classes, and to make it appear that armed revolutionary movements for national liberation are responsible for human rights violations.

From the viewpoint of the armed revolutionaries, the oppressed and exploited people have no choice but to wage a just war of national liberation, strive for victories and thus have hope of fundamental change for the better. They cannot simply allow the oppressors and exploiters to escalate oppression and exploitation. The absence of the people's armed resistance does not put a stop to human rights violations. In fact, it emboldens the escalation of human rights violations through the daily violence of exploitation.

Indeed, the imperialists and their minions are busy escalating exploitation and oppression under various slogans. With the slogan of "free market" globalization the monopoly capitalists inflict a vicious assault on the national industries and economies of the undeveloped countries, on the hard-won trade union and social rights of the working class and people and on the social and natural environment. With the slogan of "preemptive war on terror" they justify wars of aggression against assertively independent states and the open rule of terror against national liberation movements and the people of the world.