By Richard James Mendoza
These past weeks have witnessed the reactionary brigade attacking the Left through the channels of traditional and social media. Though this has been going on for so long in the undercurrents of the people’s discourse, it suddenly got a revival in social media through a “Thought Leaders” article by a yellow publicist entitled “How the Left has lost”. She narrated in her article how she used to be sympathetic to the leftists starting from her days as a college student when, though not becoming a member, she took the side of the militant youth group Kabataang Makabayan and being “borderline Pink” (what’s that’s supposed to mean?). She also mentions how she campaigned for Bayan Muna sometime ago.
That is, until she saw “how it has become harder to empathize with the Left”, whatever that means. She then began to attack the Left on the basis that they’ve become “indistinguishable from the trapos they despise”, basing on such flimsy arguments such as how they’ve supposedly benefited from pork barrel while being against it, as well as “[placing]…their beliefs on hold and allowed themselves to be used – in exchange for campaign funds”. She also rants on how “silent” the Left was on the supposed bullying of China.
First and foremost, the leftists in Congress have barely benefited from their pork barrel because they’ve voiced their opposition against the previous and present regimes. As a matter of fact, their allocated pork wasn’t being released to them. It’s only recently that they’ve received it, and in small amounts at that. Yet, the publicist was silent on Abad’s pork barrel that exceeds the congressional allotment.
She also confuses ‘utilizing the united front’ as “being used”. Funds aren’t necessarily the problem, since the Left is used to arousing, mobilizing, and organizing even as they lack the funds to do so (just ask some full-time activists). The aim of forging alliances is to mobilize the populace to achieve a certain goal, and that erstwhile goal is to gain a seat in the Senate which was seen as a gargantuan objective to achieve. One does not need to compromise his principles in forging an alliance with a well-known reactionary party.
And perhaps she ought to read the websites of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and Prof. Jose Maria Sison in order to look for herself how the left criticizes the actions of China in the South China Sea (I refuse to call it the West Philippine Sea, for it only legitimizes the arrogance of the Philippines in its combative stance in the issue just because it’s riding on the back of the imperialist white tiger like a naive gadfly).
To get over her nonsense-ridden “thought”, she rants that the CPP-NPA-NDF has “all but left the negotiating table” and, seemingly frustrated, exclaims hastily to “just exterminate the dwindling force permanently!”, referring to what she calls the “National People’s Army” (sic). Such attitude only rationalizes the violence being done by the PNP and the AFP against legitimate activists in the cities and in the countryside; to quote Randy Malayao, “Hitlerite” is a term apropos for the kind of “thought” she had propagated.
Afterwards, Rappler posted an article which seemed to be a response written by Raymond Palatino, the former representative of Kabataan partylist. Then came an article titled “A Catholic and a leftist” by Ted Tuvera, the spokesperson of the League of Filipino Students (LFS)-UST chapter. Compliments to these two for giving the social media public another perspective in the mainstream media.
Of course, the yellow’s not the only one attacking the Left. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is ever present in attacking the left since time immemorial, both literally and figuratively. Just as the campaign for the abolishment of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) had begun to escalate, a series of Letters to the Editor directed against Anakbayan have been published in the Inquirer, red-baiting the group as a “communist front” and also calling it a “nuisance”. One Google search reveals that the names and emails used in the LTTE’s were not real; perhaps this is how the taxpayer’s money is being spent by the ISAFP.
In the midst of these bogus letters, a news item surfaced that a member of Anakbayan-Abra chapter, along with his kin, were found dead in a shallow grave. Members of the 41st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army led by a certain Lt. Col. Domingo are seen to be the perpetrators of the murder. The said member was supposed to give a testimony to a human rights office on how he was forcibly being used as a “guide” by the Army in their operations against the New People’s Army.
Whether through the likes of PR publicists, misinformed bloggers, or internet sock-puppets (trolls) funded by reactionaries, attacking the Left has always been a favorite pastime of the reactionary State, its puppets and gofers. They’ve found the Left as their eternal scapegoat for its incompetence as well as to cover up their crimes against the populace. “Oh, our Armed Forces is having trouble with the rebels? Let’s blame the Left because they don’t like foreign intervention!” “Human rights violations? Nah, that’s just leftist propaganda! We have no political prisoners here!” “Huh, those urban poor settlers are fighting back against the police and demolition teams? They were probably instigated by those activists again!”
Sarcasm aside, I must commend them for having all the time in the world for attacking a force that has a long history of serving the people. If the Left has truly lost, then why have they been relentless in attacking them? If the Left has truly lost, then why do they keep on saying so? If that is the case, then the Left should have died a long time ago.
But it hasn’t died, and it will not die for as long as the people are being oppressed by the ruling class that are lording over the world, exploiting the labor of the people for their own gain. It will not die as long as the people continue to fight for a society that benefits everyone and not just the minority. Let’s struggle for genuine social change.
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