National Situation in the Philippines (adopted by Internasyonalismo, December 2008)

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1. The Right faction of the Filipino bourgeoisie led by the Arroyo regime is trying very hard to hide the real state of the crisis by saying that  the Philippine economy is "not gravely" affected by the deepening world crisis of capitalism because the economic fundamentals are "still sound".

This distorted argument is ridiculous and irritating.  It misrepresents the truth behind world capitalist crisis and the complete integration of the national economy to the world economy. The purpose of the ruling faction's analysis is to protect its power and domination against its rivals who want to oust the former.

That's why at the time of unprecedented oil and rice price increases, the reasoning of the Arroyo faction and its "experts" is that there is nothing we can do to prevent the rising prices because it is a "world phenomenon that national government cannot control". In other words, national governments are useless because it is a world problem where national economies are integrated.

With this line also, recently, the state claims to act as "defender" of the people when it argues that the lowering of oil prices by big oil monopolies is "not enough" compared to the lowering of world prices. It seems that there is a "tactical alliance" between the Right and Left in this matter.

But when a new world crisis exploded this September triggered by events in the most powerful imperialist country in the world, USA, immediately the government changed its tune, pretending that "the national economy is not integrated to the world economy" but "independent". The "crisis is in the USA and Europe only". The economic "experts" of Arroyo instantaneously erased the argument that the economy is integrated into world capitalism.

The Arroyo faction of the ruling class has put forward two blatant untruths: (1) The OFW[1] situation is still stable which is one of the state's major source of income, (2) the country's exports are not dependent on America.

No matter how hard the regime tries to hide reality, it is obvious that it is worried and alarmed with the situation of the economy because of the renewed crisis of world capitalism.

2. If the arguments and analysis of the Right on the crisis and its solution are so interweave, the same is true of the Left spearheaded by the Maoist CPP-NPA-NDF.[2]

According to the Left, the crisis exploded because the state "tolerates" the private capitalists in accumulating profits and exploiting the workers especially in the field of speculation. Thus, crisis is a product of state deregulation and decontrol of the economy. This is the core of the anti-globalization line of Leftism.

This Leftist analysis and solution to the crisis is similar to that of the Right: "the economy will not be gravely affected and the effects if any can be easily surpassed, if the state prioritizes the defence of its own national economy against its rivals". In other words, if there is state regulation and control.

Even though the different Leftist groups differ in their radical language in studying the crisis, they have common conclusion and solution: strengthen state control of social life.

 

The real state of the Philippine economy

 

3. Philippine economy like other countries is fully integrated to the world economy. In the epoch of imperialism there is no independent national economy. Most of all, there is no fair competition in the era of decadent capitalism. This is the truth "revolutionary" organizations and parties in the Philippines trying to hide so as to continue spreading illusions to the mass of workers that the Philippines can be liberated from the clutches of imperialism under a so-called "people's government" or "workers' government"[3] despite the fact that capitalism still reigns over the world.

4. Since there is no real solution to capitalism's crisis of over-production, all countries (including the Philippines and not only the advanced capitalist countries like the USA) are competing to increase their exports[4] and decrease their imports. But the crisis of over-production, saturation of the world market and sharpening of competition between national capitals push the capitalists to find cheaper labour-power inside and outside of their countries.

It's not only cheapening of products but also labour-power the result of the crisis of over-production. It also resulted in the development of world-wide manufacturing supply chains. The world is like a big factory where the assembly departments are the countries with cheap labour.

5. The backwardness of the country since world capitalism does not have the capacity anymore to develop the late-comers is the glaring example of this situation.

a. The Philippines became an exporter because of its cheap labour. Unfortunately for the ruling class, it is not only the Philippines which aims to be a big exporter. In fact, China and Vietnam surpass the Philippines in cheaper labour-power.

While electronics and computer chips are one of the major exports of the country, they are not its main export. Labour-power is its main export. In fact, aside from debt, the remittances of more than 9 million OFWs are one of its main sources of income. But it's not only the Philippines which has this kind of condition. Many countries in the Third World like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and some African countries are dependent in the export of labour-power.

b. On the other hand, Philippines is an importer of finished products. Even rice is now imported whereas in the 1970s the country was the main rice exporting country. This is only a manifestation of the backwardness of Philippine capitalism. However, both the Right and Left are daydreaming that capitalism in the country can still be developed. The Arroyo regime is in delirium when it declared that Philippines will be as industrialized as the First World in 2020. Or the illusion of the CPP-NPA-NDF that the country can be industrialized after the victory of its "protracted people's war".  

6. It is a big lie what the economic "experts" of the Arroyo regime keep on saying that the economy is "not gravely affected" and it is still in "sound condition" despite the world capitalist crisis. Since the country is mainly dependent on exports to the advanced capitalist countries, when the economy of the latter declines, so does the former. This is the natural outcome of the integration of the national economies to the world economy that is already in permanent crisis.

But the truth is nobody believes in the propaganda of the government. The effects of the crisis have already been felt by the mass of Filipino workers: retrenchments,[5] rotation of work, temporary shutdown, and most of all the return of thousands of  OFWs retrenched because of the crisis. Even the bourgeois media cannot hide this.[6]

7.  The "sound" economy of the country is dependent on the unpayable debt[7]. Its economy depends on debt and taxes from the toiling masses. In other words, the "sound" economy of Philippine capitalism is founded on the misery of the population.

The big problem now is it cannot easily acquire debts and as big as before to the international lending banks and institutions since the latter are in deep crisis. Aside from the fact that the banks are the first to suffer from the current crisis, rich countries will prioritize to save their own national capitals[8]. Secondly, if the exports of the country decline especially with the imminent return of hundreds of thousands of OFWs, the only source of income of the capitalist state will be the taxes from the poor population.

If the strong storms of the world crisis reach the country next year, it has no capacity to bailout the bankrupt banks and companies. The truth is: Philippine economy is weak and depends on the declining world economy. If the world economy continues to go down in years to come, particularly China, Japan, USA[9] and if the storms of the crisis reach the Middle East where a big portion of OFWs work, certainly the country's economy will be ruined.

 

Does the Filipino bourgeoisie have a solution to the country's economic conditions?

 

8. If we ask the Right and Left of the capitalist class, it does.

a. The state should tighten its control to the economy[10]. The Left is calling for direct state control and regulation and "veering away" from the control of powerful imperialist countries particularly America. It means protectionism and nationalism.

The line of the Right is to implement cheaper labour-power compared to its rival national economies in the Third World so as to attract foreign investors. In relation to this, it aims to attract the countries in Europe, China, and Japan to invest capital in the country. This is only an indication that the Filipino bourgeoisie is ready to abandon being an American puppet if it can find someone fit to be its new master. However, strengthening the state is still the way of the Right.

The more persistent renewed "charter change" proposals (known as "cha-cha" in the Philippines) of the Arroyo regime centres on changing the provisions of the 1987 Constitution to attract more foreign capitalists than its rivals which are also trying to get more foreign investment.

b. Capitalist class can convince the Filipino workers to suffer more sacrifices so that the economy could "recover". It means lower wages in exchange for "regular" work, submitting to rotation work and reduction of working hours or to massive retrenchment and acceptance to more taxes imposed by the state.

c. Renewed world war to re-divide the world.

Letter (c) which is the most effective solution for the exploiters in their crisis will not happen in near future because the working class is not ready to sacrifice itself for war as what happened in World War I and World War II. But, the localized and national wars happening around the globe are as horrific and damaging where millions of people died or lost their homes. Most of all, if another world war will happen the planet might be destroyed.

Letter (a) is not the solution to the crisis of over-production. Instead, it makes the situation worst. In 1930s until 1970s this was the main policy of the states around the world: protectionism and regulation by the state. The result: states have been drowned in debt to save the government-owned bankrupt companies.  There is a crisis of over-production because there are no new markets where finished products can be sold and because of the nature itself of capitalism - anarchy of production - pushed by the intense competition whether the economy and industries are directly controlled by the state or not.

Moreover, independent nation-state is impossible under imperialism. Imperialism is a world system of capitalism where it is in its historical decline. This is not only a policy of few powerful countries but all countries including the Philippines. The liberation of the Philippines from imperialist America means entering "fraternal" relations to other powerful capitalist countries which are "enemies" of the USA.

There are two contradictions in the nature of decadent capitalism that causes the crisis of over-production:

-- Workers can only receive wages if they can produce surplus values or values more than their salaries. It means that they cannot buy all the products they produce and nor can the capitalist class itself. Capitalists need to sell their products to non-proletarian and non-capitalist sectors of society like the peasantry and petty-bourgeoisie that can be found in pre-capitalist societies. Thus, in 19th century where capitalism did not yet completely dominate the world it could still find real new markets which was the main reason why it has still the capacity to give beneficial reforms to calm down the class struggles.

However, since 1914 the whole world was completely ruled by capitalist relations and capitalism itself destroyed the peasant and petty-bourgeois classes. It transformed them into wage-labourers. Since the 20th century the crisis of over-production becomes permanent.

-- Since competition among national capitals continues to sharpen in the period of decadent capitalism, every country is competing to each other to have cheaper labour. This only aggravates the conditions that the workers cannot buy even their basic necessities to live. The crisis of over-production gets worst.

Since 1970s, after the explosion of capitalism's crisis in the late 60s, world capital created an artificial market in order for its products to be sold. This artificial market is credit to the Third World countries. Since then, world economy continues to "progress" because of credits and debts. The "solution" for the last 40 years becomes a monster today which is the main factor that triggered the renewed and deeper crisis of world capitalism.

Leftists are deceiving the workers in their propaganda that capitalism and its states have still the capacity to raise the real wages of the proletariat in the imperialist era. The truth is, it is now a basic requisite for capitalism to lower the wages of the workers in order for the system to live. The "economic relief" campaigns of the Left derailed the development of class consciousness to overthrow the state and the system. These campaigns only defend and help the capitalist state to survive. For the Left, the sycophancy of Malacanang and parliament for "economic relief" is a "victory" for the mass movement while in midst of their gala they will tell the Filipino proletariat that "this is not enough, we should continue our fight for reforms". The Left's chaining of the struggling workers to reformist activities is the latter's ultimate defeat.

The bail-out of USA and other imperialist countries to their banks and companies is only to try to regain the trust and confidence of the toiling masses and even individual capitalists to the system itself by artificially reviving the speculation and credit and not to give solution to the crisis of over-production.  This imperialist objective will rapidly ruin because the exploited masses itself will be the one to suffer the burden of this bailout (paying the debt of the state and more taxes).

The Left also is creating an illusion that the capitalist state should bail-out the indebted workers instead of the banks and companies. By its nature as the protector of the ruling class it is impossible that the state will help the working class. The goal of the bail-out is to save capitalism and not the workers. This call of the Left is blatantly reformist and counter-revolutionary. Most of all, the rotten system has no capacity to give lasting benefits to the working people. In fact, many of the gains in 19th century have been taken back today by the ruling class.

Despite the differences of the Right and Left whom to bailout with, they are united in doing all they can to bring back the trust and confidence of the exploited people to the exploitative system!

If letter (b) were to dominate completely it would not bring any solution to the crisis but only grave misery for the demoralized and fragmented Filipino workers. This would be a manifestation of the complete domination of bourgeois ideology over the proletariat - "every man for himself" and "one against all". It happened in the 1930s Great Depression after the defeat of first revolutionary wave and the domination of Stalinism in the "international communist movement". With the demoralization and fragmentation of the international proletariat the bourgeoisie launched World War II.

9. The bourgeoisie has no solution to its own crisis other than renewed world war and this might be the end of civilization. More so, it is not a solution for the bourgeoisie and government to help the Filipino workers because it is tantamount to killing itself.

 

The economic crisis can be seen in political crisis

 

10. According to historical materialism, politics depends on and reflects economics though the former has a dialectical influence on the latter. If there is an economic crisis there is also a political crisis. If the state can hide the economic crisis through illusions and distortion of data, it cannot be hidden in political crisis.

11. Conflicts between rival factions within the ruling class sharpen day by day not only within the ruling faction but also within the opposition. Currently, these are clearly seen in the conflicts between the presidentiables within the opposition in the Senate: conflicts between Manuel Villar, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Lengarda and Manuel Roxas. The unending manoeuvres to oust Gloria are clear manifestations of this. All stingy issues have been thrown out in public between the administration and opposition using the media and institutions like the parliament. The Church, one of the most reactionary and conservative institution in society is trying to wrest influence within the people especially the middle class and peasants by actively involving itself in political issues. Currently the Church aligns itself to the bourgeois opposition. Its objective is to prevent the toiling masses from advancing their struggles.

The charter change agenda of the administration is not primarily to extend the term of Gloria[11] beyond 2010 but to strengthen the state to save the economy. This is what the bourgeois opposition trying to hide when it says that the objective of cha-cha is for the political ambition of Gloria to stay in Malacanang beyond 2010.

The opposition obscure the real aim of charter change because it is not a problem for them if the constitution be change to continue exploiting the masses. Whether the current or new constitution, they are both unimportant for the proletariat because it is a bourgeois constitution whoever in power. Gloria itself, pro-Gloria or anti-Gloria personalities who will sit as president in 2010 there will be no change in the exploitative and miserable conditions of the Filipino working class.  

The pro-charter change or anti-charter change movements are not a fight for the Filipino proletariat to advance and develop its own movement. Independent working class movement can only develop based on class issues against the state and all factions of the ruling class.

These squabbles only go to show that parliament is useless and that power is in the executive and not in the parliament. This is the characteristic of the state in decadent capitalism.

The connivance of the different factions of the ruling class - Right and Left, administration and opposition -- has been exposed in their infightings: to strengthen the illusion that bourgeois elections and parliament are still valuable for the "defence" and "to advance" the interests of the exploited classes. For sure, next year all the protest actions of the Left and the "projects for services" of the administration will be used for the elections in 2010. This last quarter of the year only, banners and flags of the Left bearing the name of their party-lists were seen in their mass actions in order to project their political parties and since last year most of the aspiring candidates were busy appearing in televisions and in radios with their different kinds of advertisements and "public service".

With the deepening of the systemic crisis, inter-factional infightings already manifest in armed confrontations not only between the AFP and NPA, AFP and MILF[12], but also within the armed forces of the state itself - AFP and military rebels.

If the infightings within the administration and bourgeois opposition sharpens, so as within the Left of capital. The different factions of CPP-NPA-NDF, PMP, MLPP, RPA-ABB, BISIG-AKBAYAN-APL[13], and others continue their squabbles and competing among each other to convince the Filipino masses that this or that group is the "genuine" revolutionary and progressive despite the fact that all of them are engage in different "tactical alliances" within themselves together with the "bourgeois opposition".[14] However, their squabbles went far in armed confrontations and assassinations of their leaders[15].

In addition, even the Left ideologies have been part of their competition: the Maoist CPP is accused as revisionist by some Filipino Maoists who adhere to Maoism-Thirdworldism as the acme of absurdity of Maoism while MLPP is now in the process of "reflection" if it will continue to affirm Maoism as its ideology. Trotskyism is also torn by competition between its different grouplets like the RGK (Revolutionary Communist Group) against the bigger gangster group, the RPA-ABB.

"Marxism-Leninism" is also in disarray because of the squabbles between two pro-Lagman[16] factions inside the PMP. For months now PM and Sanlakas/BMP[17] launched different mobilizations. It all started after the defeat of PM in the election last year. 

All of these are manifestations of the sharpening and deepening crisis of a rotten system that they are protecting. Decadent capitalism is in its last phase - phase of decomposition.

The different grouplets of the anarchist movement in the Philippines have centred in organizing the unemployed and declassed youth who hate all kinds of authority. They have nothing better to propose than vegetarianism, partial struggles and vandalism. Individualism and autonomous small groupings are their main ideology. 

As of now, for the Filipino bourgeoisie, the Left is more effective as an opposition in sowing illusions among the Filipino workers than it is in power. Let us see next year or in 2010 elections if the class enemy will be united to put the Left in Malacanang as what they did in Latin America.

 

The resistance of the Filipino workers

 

12. Multi-sectoral or inter-classist movements still thrive in 2008 where workers participate as individuals and disappeared in the sand as "people". Still, independent workers movement is nowhere to be found. There are no big strikes against capital. Only a few strikes led by the unions in factory level occur where their main objectives is for collective bargaining negotiations or union recognition. Many of these strikes resulted in defeats.

13. However, worker-initiated meetings and discussion at the factory level proliferate express discontent and rage against the abuses and exploitation of the bosses. Many of these started from 3-10 workers until they reached 20 or more although they still a minority of the total workforce in the factory. They search for answers and immediate solutions to their problems. Since the influence and mystifications of unionism are still strong, many of these groups voluntarily went to the unions of the Left and encouraged by their Federations and electoral parties they ended in forming unions and struggles for union recognition. Others of these groups directly went to NLRC[18] to file cases against their employers.

In some factories, workers organized themselves and directly fight against the abuses of their bosses or supervisors in which there is no influence whatsoever of unionism or organizations from the Left. These happened late this year in some factories in MEPZA[19] in Cebu and maybe there are similar cases in other parts of the country but not yet projected in the bourgeois media or immediately transformed by the Right and Left in forming unions.

14. Generally, the influence of unionism among the discontented workers is still strong because most of the capitalists (who have 500 workers and below) oppose the formation of unions even though this "right" is stipulated in the capitalist Constitution. Most of the small and medium capitalists have petty-bourgeois mentality. They don't want to have a partner (union) in controlling and suppressing their workers because they will be obliged to give short-term concessions through collective bargaining in order to imprison the latter in unionism. Unlike in big companies employing 500 workers and more where the bosses need the services of the unions to manage and discipline their workers. However, big export companies located in export processing zones in connivance with the state are firm with their no union, no strike policy not because they don't want unions but because they don't want strikes. Most of all, this policy is also to attract foreign capitalists in the export processing zones by bragging about an absolute "industrial peace".

For almost 100 years of the domination of the ideologies of the Left in the Philippines - Stalinism, Maoism, "Marxism-Leninism" and unionism -- the independent working class movement has not strengthened. On the contrary, it suffered widespread weakening and demoralization.

15. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Filipino working class.  First, the emergence of the self-organized discussions of the workers in the factories sows the seeds from which they can start collectively analysing and comprehending their real situation. Secondly, their own experience of unionism will teach and push them to act outside and against the unions. Thirdly, as part of the international class, the advancement of workers' struggles in other countries especially those outside the unions have influence on the consciousness of the Filipino workers.

There is a fundamental difference between the class struggle today in the midst of the acute crisis of capitalism since 1960s compared to 1930s. The crisis in 1930s exploded after the defeat of the international working class movement while the crisis today exploded at the time of the resurgence of international resistance since 2003. The response of the international class on the world crisis that began in September-October in USA is militant and collective resistance in many parts of the globe[20].

 

Perspectives for 2009

 

16. As the crisis of world capitalism goes deeper next year, the attacks of the state on the workers will further intensify - retrenchments, rotation of work, reduction of working hours, closures, more taxes, etc. Real wages of the workers will further decrease and their miseries will increase.

The primary indication of grave crisis is the increase of the unemployed. Currently, more than 4.1 million unemployed and 6.8 million underemployed. Certainly this will increase next year. First to suffer are the export industries and services like electronics which is 67% of exports, textiles and clothing which is 5% and furniture and woodcraft which were 2% in 2007. Not included here are is business process outsourcing (BPO) which has 320,000 workers. The manufacturing sector already retrenched 125,000 workers in 2007.

There is strong possibility that the government bailouts of First World banks will fail and that the crisis will spread out to manufacturing industry (as is already happening); banks in the Philippines will then have a big problems just like their counter-parts in the advanced countries.[21]

17. On the other hand, the main focus now of the Right and Left is preparation for electoral circus in 2010. Mud-slinging between administration and opposition, campaigns aimed at convincing the people to vote to express their hatred of the ruling faction, and strengthening the mystifications of bourgeois democracy and elections will further intensify. Protest movements of the Left will be geared toward elections and projection of their electoral parties. Although preparing for elections, it is expected that the intra-factional conflicts within the ruling class will further intensify and sharpen the possibility of armed confrontation before and after the elections.

18. Both the Right and Left intensify the call for national unity and not class unity; calls for the defence of democracy and national interests to divert the struggles of the workers away from the road towards overthrowing the state and the system. They would compete each other to get the support of the patriotic capitalists to defend national capitalism. The role of the electoral parties of the Right and Left, unions, Church and media is decisive in convincing the proletariat to the mystifications of elections and disappear as a class in inter-classist movements.  

19. Although further weakened because of the failures and arrests of their leaders, the groups of military rebels are not completely annihilated. They are still secretly supported and financed by the anti-Arroyo factions. It is not a remote possibility that they will be used by the opposition before and after the 2010 elections especially if the latter were to be defeated through fraud and cheating by the ruling faction.

20. The very small numbers of communists in the Philippines have a heavy responsibility as a factor for the Filipino proletariat to organize itself in times of struggles. Maybe it will take years before the Filipino proletariat develops its class consciousness. But this will be accelerated by the deepening crisis of world capital and the rapidity of the process in which the Left and unions have been exposed as an appendage of their mortal enemy.  

The central task of the Filipino communists is to be an active factor for the extension of class struggle to prevent the attacks of the capitalist class. In the struggle of the class itself lie the conditions for class self-organization and the development of class consciousness not in unionism, parliamentarism / electoralism or guerrilla-ism.

21. But there can be no illusion that in the near future the majority of the Filipino proletariat will listen to the calls of revolutionaries based on internationalism and independent working class movement. Only the few but increasing searching elements in the Philippines for theoretical clarification for genuine social change will listen today to the revolutionary minorities.

In the current balance of forces in the Philippines between the bourgeoisie and proletariat, between the revolution and counter-revolution, it is already a big victory for the Filipino communists that increasing numbers of elements are seriously discussing about Marxism and critically analysing the politics and ideologies of the different groups of the Left especially on the questions of nationalism, national self-determination and unionism.

Ultimately, the advancement of the workers' movement will be determined not by the particular part of the class based on national level but the proletarian movement at the international level in which there is a strong possibility to advance next year. Workers' movement is an international movement. The movement for socialism is a world-wide movement. And the advancement of the international proletarian struggles will be an inspiration and impetus for the Filipino proletariat (as a part of this international movement) to direct their struggles in their own hands - outside the unions and mystifications of nationalism.

INTERNASYONALISMO

December 2008



[1] Overseas Filipino Workers

[2] CPP-NPA-NDF - the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front

[3] The Left is not against state capitalism. For them, changing the name of the state into "people's state" or "workers' state" is "socialism" or "progressive" system. For the Leftists, a government or country controlled by a "communist party" in alliance with the "progressive" patriotic capitalists is an "anti-capitalist" state or country. The Left blatantly distorted the Marxist analysis that the state must be destroyed to overthrow capitalism and achieve communism.

[4] Import-export of the Philippines doubled compared to 1980s. Foreign direct investment (FDI) also increases by 15%-18% o US$19.0 billion in 2007. One of the biggest export of the country - labour force or OFWs - gave US$14.5 billion remittances last year or 10% of the GDP.

[5] i.e. layoffs

[6] It is already in newspapers that thousands of OFWs became jobless in which the latest are the more than 1,000 OFWs in Taiwan. As expected, as Gloria Arroyo admitted it, she also lied that it is only a "trickle" of the over-all OFWs to calm down the populace and trying to maintain confidence in her rule. George Bush Jr also acted like her few weeks before the crisis in America exploded last September.

[7] Country's debt is already P3.798 trillion last year (1$US = 48 Philippines Pesos). The payable interest of the state is P1.165 billion per minute. Thus, what the government did is to have credits to pay the debts! It means that every Filipino is currently has a debt of P42,637.88 and it still getting bigger.

[8] That's why GMA was embarrassed when she told the media that billions of dollars from the IMF-WB has been readied to bail-out the Asian economies when the latter itself denied it in public. In fact, the official development assistance for the Philippines decreased by 30% o US$9.2 billion in 2007 from US$13.2 billion in 2001.  

[9] Japan and USA already officially declared in recession. USA hides its recession since December 2007 before ashamedly admitting it in public lately.

[10] State control is not new in the Philippines using the ideology of nationalism and protecting national interests. The regime of Carlos P. Garcia did it with its ‘Filipino First Policy' and the Marcos dictatorship with its ‘Revolution from the Above' and ‘New Society'.

[11] i.e. Gloria Arroyo, currently president of the Philippines. Malacanang is the presidential palace.

[12] AFP - Armed Forces of the Philippines

NPA - New People's Army, the armed wing of the Maoist CPP.

MILF - Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

[13] CPP-NPA-NDF - the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front

PMP - the "Leninist" Filipino Workers' Party

MLPP - Marxist-Leninist Party of the Philippines, a split from CPP in late 90s

RPA-ABB - a Totskyist Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade

BISIG - self-proclaimed Solidarity for the Development of Socialist Consciousness and Deeds

AKBAYAN - an electoral party of BISIG

APL - Alliance of Progressive Labor, labor arm of BISIG

[14] The expression "bourgeois opposition" is used in the Philippines to distinguish those openly bourgeois parties and fractions that oppose the government, from the so-called "revolutionary" or "working-class" opposition of the leftist groups and parties.

[15] The armed wings of CPP, RPA-ABB and MLPP are killing each other. The leaders of RPA-ABB and PMP were assassinated by CPP-NPA.

[16] The late Filemon Lagman was the founder of PMP.

[17] PM - Labor Party

BMP - Solidarity of Filipino Workers

Sanlakas - a bourgeois-democratic alliance under PMP.

[18] NLRC - National Labor Relations Commission

[19] MEPZA - Mactan Export Processing Zone

[20] ‘The working class is already responding to the capitalist crisis', World Revolution no. 320, www.internationalism.org

[21] This is already felt by the small banks especially the rural banks. This December, almost 10 rural banks declared bank holidays or in other words, bankruptcies.