Friday, June 17, 2011

The Tasks of the Second Propaganda Movement

by Jose Maria Sison

Speech delivered at the St. Louis University, Baguio City, on October 12, 1966

The Second Propaganda Movement

It was Senator Claro Mayo Recto who first expressed the need for a second propaganda movement. It was his intention in 1960 to engage in an intensive and extensive anti- imperialist campaign tour after coming from his journey abroad. He was never able to do what he intended, but his anti-imperialist legacy remains with us.

This anti-imperialist legacy consists of the body of ideas and principles which he defined in the course of his nationalist crusade which he launched in the early 1950s. There was really no need for him to make any formal announcement that he and other patriots would embark on the Second Propaganda Movement. He had star ted it the moment he began to relate the struggle of the present to the struggle of those who had successfully fought and isolated the first colonial tyranny, but who did not quite succeed in preventing the coming of a new foreign tyranny, U.S. imperialism.

It is important to speak of the Second Propaganda Movement because we need to recall the unfinished tasks of the Philippine revolution. The Second Propaganda Movement is required to arouse our nation anew to the struggle for the fulfillment of the national democratic tasks of the Philippine revolution.

The Second Propaganda Movement occurs as a resumption of the Fir st Propaganda Movement and of the Philippine revolution even as conditions are far different from those obtaining during the time of the first nationalist propagandists. While old problems have been carried over to the present, new ones have also arisen to make our national struggle more difficult and more complicated.

The Second Propaganda Movement must therefore be more vigorous and resolute. It should be a propaganda movement of a new type, with a new class leadership and a new alignment of forces and with a new ideological and political orientation more advanced and more progressive, if we are to be on the tide of a higher stage of historical development and if we are to win the struggle against an enemy far stronger and far more clever than the old type of colonialism. In other words, the Second Propaganda Movement must surpass the first because it occurs at a higher stage of historical development and because the enemy we face, with its domestic allies, is stronger and more advanced than the old colonialism it replaced.

At the present, however, U.S. imperialism and feudalism, which are the principal targets of the Second Propaganda Movement, are strategically weak as these are confronted with the anti-imperialist and antifeudal unity of the people under the leadership of the working class. Furthermore, on a world scale, U.S. imperialism and feudalism are fast losing out before the surging forces of national democratic and socialist revolutions. The present tasks of the Second Propaganda Movement are huge but conditions for its success are also good.

The Second Propaganda Movement is first of all a political movement. It is an educational movement with political aims; for after all there is no type of education or  culture that is detached from politics. It aims to replace the old type of education and culture while retaining only its progressive elements. It aims to prepare and guide the people for struggle against their  foreign and feudal exploiters. It aims to effect results and it proceeds from a particular political standpoint. Class interests, whether of the exploited or of the exploiters, generate political ideas, values and attitudes that inspire and guide men to action.

Learn from the Masses

In order to move the people to obtain certain results by their collective action, one must first determine their  motives based on their concrete conditions and class interests. It is necessary for the Second Propaganda Movement to learn from the masses their conditions, problems, interests and aspirations before it dar es teach them what to do. The Second Propaganda Movement is a mass movement in the most genuine sense with the mobilization and victory of the masses as the main objective.

The principle of learning from the masses should never  be forgotten even if at this point we are able to take advantage of a fund of general knowledge gathered from past experiences. General or second-hand knowledge is important but what is always more important is the first-hand knowledge of the masses or learning from the masses because it assumes being constantly with them and merging with them. Learning from the masses and being with them will make our generalizations for action and formulation of solutions more correct and more dynamic. We become immediately one with the masses in their mobilization.

The Second Propaganda Movement should never be a campaign to command or  dictate above the heads of the masses. One should not throw big theories and big slogans without first learning the concrete conditions and problems of the people. A knowledge of these from first-hand observation, from practice with the masses and from listening to the masses, would enable us to test and verify theories, enrich them and explain them to the people in the most concrete terms that they immediately understand.

We must advance from the behavior and performance of the First Propaganda Movement which unfolded as a movement of exiles in a foreign city while it was supposed to be concerned with Philippine conditions and problems. I t will also not do now for the ilustrados or the petty bourgeoisie to assume leadership by simply brandishing their formal or artificial classroom knowledge, or by impressing the people with their bourgeois education.

The agents of U.S. imperialism, the landlords and religious sectarians themselves are trying to mingle with the masses, under the cover of the powerful mass media that they own and control and under the cover of many pretexts with the sole objective of confusing and deceiving the people.

The activists of the Second Propaganda Movement have no alternative but to take the mass line, merge with the masses and learn from the masses. I t does not suffice now even to issue manifestos and proclamations from the cities and big towns where the lazy "leaders" are fond of sitting out a "revolution." The success of the Second Propaganda Movement will be determined by those who choose to go to the masses and be with them.

In the Second Propaganda Movement, it is necessary to determine whose political ideology should lead the people.

There is a presumption on the part of the bourgeoisie and the landlords that only those with high formal schooling are fit to lead the people. They talk of the people disdainfully as illiterate and uneducated. By asserting that only those educated in the bourgeois or conservative fashion are fit to lead, they wish to entrap the masses deeper within the system of exploitation.

The Second Propaganda Movement should reject this dangerous and undemocratic presumption as a lie intended to mislead the masses. We have given to the products of colonial and neocolonial education more than three centuries and many more decades to solve the problems of the masses. But what have they done? We have given the bright boys or the technocrats of the bourgeoisie and the landlord class more than enough time and yet they are either too dull or too dishonest to see such basic problems as U.S. imperialism and feudalism.

What a pity that the educated elite does not see clearly the basic problems that are U.S. imperialism and feudalism which the masses, with lesser formal education, can see and feel most acutely, as they are the ones most adversely affected. The masses are in a position to perceive not only their own sufferings but also the benefits that accrue to a few from U.S. imperialism and feudalism.

What the masses experience they can immediately grasp. They can also easily grasp the correct solutions based on the correct analysis of their problems. It is the self- satisfied statesmen, educated men and publicists of the bourgeoisie and the landlords who will consider such terms as imperialism and feudalism too high above their  heads, not so much because they are dull but because they are dishonest and are afraid of exposing the negative character of the system that benefits them.

The national and social liberation of the masses will come only from the masses themselves. Only they themselves can understand their problems most profoundly. The activists of the Second Propaganda Movement can only generalize and formulate solutions from the experience of the masses.

The Scientific and Democratic World Outlook

Reliance on the masses and rejection of bourgeois and egotistic education can be understood only if one has a scientific and democratic world outlook.

The scientific and democratic world outlook should be even more advanced than the liberal-democratic outlook that the First Propaganda Movement had as a matter of political posture. The proletarian world outlook is today the most scientific and democratic outlook. It is superior to the narrow viewpoint of the "enlightened" liberal bourgeoisie. It sees clearly the entire range of the opposing class forces operating in society today with their respective viewpoints. It comprehends their basic relations and contradictions and it so masters the situation as to be able to change it through revolutionary practice.

It recognizes the progressive force in any contradiction and at this stage of world history it recognizes the proletariat as the progressive class in the struggle between the U.S. monopolists and the proletariat going on all over the world and in our country. It does not only recognize every progressive force but it takes sides as a matter of commitment. A man who has a scientific and proletarian outlook knows that no man or no small group of men can be detached or excluded from basic social struggles. Outside of one s consciousness, this class struggle is objectively occurring; one can only side with the progressive or the reactionary force in the moment of crisis. To assume the posture of neutrality is actually to become an appendage of the stronger force.

The class struggle is objectively going on in the Philippines but it has taken the form of a national struggle, with patriotic classes the working class, peasantry, intelligentsia and the national bourgeoisie aligned against the U.S. imperialists, compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists. The working class is the leading class, with the peasantry as its most reliable ally, and it conducts its struggle against the U.S. monopoly capitalists and the local comprador bourgeoisie, supported by the landlord class.

The Second Propaganda Movement should advance a modern scientific and democratic world outlook that rejects the religio-sectarian culture of feudal times, the decadent imperialist culture and the egotistic petty-bourgeois mentality. The schools as they are now in the Philippines are the purveyors of these that we must reject.

Alienation in the Present Culture

There has to be a complete overhaul of the entire educational system. But the initial necessary step to be taken is to advance a national democratic culture of a new type. This national democratic culture is a part of our political struggle to achieve national democracy. Education must serve our national struggle to gain independence and self- reliance in every field of endeavor, whether  political, economic, social, cultural, military and diplomatic.

As a whole, the present educational system in the Philippines is in the hands of forces inimical to the principles of national democracy. Its control is shared by the agents of an imperialist culture and those of a regressive feudal-sectarian culture. It is an educational system which actually shields the ruling class and alienates the formally educated from the masses. It does not at all propagate a healthy scientific and democratic viewpoint; even the exceptional children of the poor  who manage to acquire a high degree of education inevitably adopt the decadent and corrupt values of the ruling class and abandon the cause of national and social liberation. This kind of education is a device by which the betr ayal of the masses by a few of its own children is assured.

In a period where the ruling class has stability of power, the educated middle class serves as the transmission belt of the ideas and values of the ruling class to the lower classes.

Before it is won over or neutralized by the organized masses, the middle class functions as the instrument of the exploiting classes.

As clear manifestation of the alienation of our educational system from the cause of national democracy, it does not perform the function of teaching the students to merge with and mobilize the people for, say, national independence, land reform, national industrialization or any such urgent tasks.

The activists of the Second Propaganda Movement should patiently arouse and mobilize the masses, win over the intelligentsia and develop an alliance with the national bourgeoisie, on the basis of its self-interest, under the banner of national democracy.

Filipinization of the Educational System

One immediate step that can be taken with regard to the present educational system is its Filipinization. This should be taken with the view of replacing foreign ownership, control and influence over the schools with that of Filipinos imbued with the spirit of national democracy.

Teachers educated in the old way should themselves be reeducated. The process of their education will accelerate as the political situation consistently develops in favor of the revolutionary masses.

The adoption of textbooks and other study materials that are Filipino-oriented and progressive should be used to counteract the hundreds of years of our colonial, imperialist and neocolonial mental subjugation. Filipino authors should struggle to replace the materials and textbooks now being used which are alienated from the conditions and problems of the masses.

The Filipino students and the people should be alerted to the foreign agencies and devices by which the colonial and feudal mentality is meant to be perpetuated. The imperialist and subversive character of the activities and influence of the AID, USIS, the Peace Corps, U.S. scholarships and grants, the ALEC, IEDR, the research grants extended by U.S. corporations, Asia Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation and the Congress for Cultural Freedom should be thoroughly exposed. These agencies have been exposed before as imperialist agencies or  as CI A fronts and conduits.

When your enemy makes you think the way he does, he becomes your friend superficially even if he takes advantage of your interests and exploits you. As Senator Recto said in a message addressed to the youth, a "brainwashed" generation followed the military defeat of the Philippine revolution. The result has been the abandonment of national democratic tasks.

As proof of the abandonment of the historical tasks of the nation and the betrayal of the Philippine revolution, it has been deemed "subversive" for the youth and the people now to recall the Philippine revolution and to strive for national democracy.

The Second Propaganda Movement should likewise be alert to the friar enemies of the First Propaganda Movement. They are now, in collaboration with the imperialists, fast expanding their owner ship and control of the educational establishments. The religious hypocrisy of a Padre Salvi and a Padre Damaso should not deceive the people again. As we all believe in the freedom of religion, they are free to preach in their churches, but they should not oppose the struggle for national democracy and try to discredit us as heretics and filibusters by abusing the credibility that they have among their faithful. Religion should not be used as a cover for the people's enemies. Both the church and those striving for social change should avoid the conversion of a national and social struggle into a religious one. Otherwise, those who claim to be concerned with the spiritual welfare of their faithful will only be exposed as tools of those who want to perpetuate the political power of the exploiting classes. It is the prevalent imperialist culture and the decadent feudal values of the exploiting classes which create the monsters and demons of this society.

A scientific and democratic type of education should be fostered by all means and should not be run down by the expanding schools of foreign friars. The national democratic movement, that is, the Second Propaganda Movement, should demand that the clerical type of education should not be allowed to prevail over a scientific and democratic type of education. Clerical schools have only become bastions of class discrimination, authoritarianism and antisecularism.

National Democratic Scholarship

Within and outside the schools, progressive scholars and researchers who consider themselves part of the Second Propaganda Movement should work assiduously for the replacement of those historical writings and social researches which unilaterally misrepresent the colonial and imperialist aggressors as great conscious benefactors of the Filipino people.

There should be an objective presentation of our historical development as a nation. The struggle of social opposites must be objectively presented with a clear appreciation of our national efforts and with the clear understanding that the revolutionary masses make history.

Our colonial-minded and bourgeois historians and scientists have even gone to the extent of obscuring the most important historical documents of the Philippine revolution in their attempt to play up their colonial heroes and their intellectual subservience.

The step taken by an increasing number of scholars in taking the Filipino orientation in the writing of Philippine history is a positive step which does credit to the national democratic efforts of our people. The most progressive step to be taken by our Filipino scholars now is to present objectively the struggle of the nation and of the various patriotic classes in our society for democracy and progress.

A National Language and Revolutionary Arts and Letters

In language, literature and arts, vigorous efforts should be exerted for these to serve the interests of the masses.

While we should preserve the culture of localities and minorities as part of our cultural heritage, we should develop a new and truly national culture by propagating and making use of a national language that is a cognate to all our local languages and can therefore, unlike English, be easily grasped by the masses everywhere. Vigorous steps must be taken to make Pilipino a language ascendant over English. The main reason for this is to have a medium for the rapid promotion of national democratic understanding among the people of the entire archipelago. The educated elite has made use of a foreign language as a language of conceit over the heads of the masses. The laws are still in Spanish and English; this is one sign of how alienated are the laws of the ruling class from the masses. In literature and the arts, the process of raising aesthetic standards and popularization should go hand in hand. For the masses who constitute our biggest audience can appreciate our literature and art only if our writers and artists make use of the life and struggles of our masses as raw material. If we adopt this raw material, it can be given the form that our  artistic talents are capable of making.

Our heroes and values must change if we are truly for revolutionary progress. The workers, peasants and revolutionary fighters should prevail in our representation of life. The content and themes of our literary and artistic efforts must shift fr om pseudo- aristocratic and petty bourgeois concern over  a narrow and limited portion of our national reality. The task of our writers and artists now is to turn to the great drama of the struggle of the masses for national and social liberation.

Those creative writers and artists who fail to use the life of more than 90% of our people for their raw material must be pretty narrow-minded. Or, they ar e too misled by or absorbed with getting travel grants and other concessions from the Rockefeller Foundation, the USIS and other imperialist institutions which have calculatedly planned to make our writer s and artists flighty and escapist.

The petty bourgeois writer or artist should realize once and for all that there is no such thing as being declasse, above classes, apolitical or detached from politics. An honest analysis of the work of the people who take this presumption will show their  real objective partisanship on the side of the ruling classes which give them the crumbs and the plums. They are actually reactionary through and through, either praising the regressive values of the primitive or feudal life or presenting the helpless or the self-indulgent individual who is trapped by a system which he does not care to understand or which he deliberately mystifies.

Those who write for the proletariat or the masses and for their cause are regarded by the imperialist, feudal or petty bourgeois writer as being gross and utilitarian. But look at the works of our supposedly refined and arty writers or artists: the presentation of their egotistic obscure concerns actually represent a narrow-minded grossness and incapability to grasp the basic tensions of life. They ar e capable only of presenting a narrow part of reality, the alienation and psychology of the individual alienated from the more dynamic forces of society.

The Second Propaganda Movement should be pushed forward by cultural workers who can surpass even the tradition of critical realism of Dr. Jose Rizal in his novels, the Noli and the Fili, and Juan Luna in his painting, La Spoliarium. Literature and the arts are a concentrated expression of reality. In the present era, one must unswervingly take the proletarian standpoint in order to achieve the greatest progress in art and literature. Literature and the arts should reflect the revolutionary struggle and point towards its triumph.

Science and Technology for National Industrialization
Let us consider science and technology. It is not true that science and technology are free from political or class dictation. The feudalists and imperialists have a particular way of using them or restricting them and for definite reasons.

The feudalists wanted to restrict science and technology because they did not want their religious dogmas to be challenged and exposed. Today, imperialists use science and technology to make weapons of destruction for their wars of aggression and they also restrict production for the sake of maximizing their rate of profit.

In the Philippines, we wish to make use of science and technology for our industrial progress and for producing more for our people. In intellectual perspective, we have advanced far from that period when the friars opposed scientific knowledge as "heretical" and mishandled "A Class in Physics" in order to subvert our intellectual development.

When U.S. imperialism took over the Philippines, it first showed, relative to the friars, some desire to share science and technology with us; but now, as we want to use science and technology to pursue national industrialization and effect economic emancipation, we find the American capitalist society, with its own scientific and technological pr ogress, inimical to our progress. U.S. imperialist politics does not permit us to make full use of the science and technology within the grasp of our scientists, technologists, and our people because the economic development we would cr eate will set us free and cut down the market and profits of U.S. industries. It is wishful thinking, therefore, to consider that science and technology have no necessary connection with politics and with class dictation.

Science and technology and production in socialist countries are within the realm of politics, that is to say, of satisfying the needs of the people. But, in capitalist countries, despite the high level of development in science, technology and the forces of production, altogether these are made to serve the profit-making and political power of the monopolies against the interests of the masses and nations abroad.

In the Philippines, we should pursue a thoroughgoing program of increasing our scientific and technological knowledge for political and economic purposes; that is, for our political emancipation and economic welfare. We want to have the skills for national industrialization and agricultural development. In order to ensure the participation of the masses of our people in production and in accelerated social development, we should popularize the most advanced skills; but, before we can put these to use, the masses must first arm themselves politically, liberate the nation and themselves from the political forces that restrict our economic growth and our scientific and technological progress.

 Filipinization of the Mass Media

 Let us consider the newspapers, radio, TV, movies and other  like media of information, opinion and entertainment which are now powerful instruments of either progress or reaction in this era of the Second Propaganda Movement. We know that these are not controlled by the masses. The masses, on the other hand, are reduced to passivity in relation to the emissions of these mass media.

Because of the fact that most of the corporations owning these media or sponsoring the programs are imperialist and imperialist-oriented, our mass media at present cannot be used for propagating national democracy. On the other hand, it is through the mass media that the glorification of sex and violence, characteristic of imperialist culture, is propagated to the detriment of our youth and people. Just take note of the James Bond cult and the cowboy fare and the rat-race mercenary kind of justice dished up by the imperialist-controlled mass media. They are the vehicle for imperialist propaganda and likewise for anti-Filipino and antidemocratic prejudices. Because of commercial advertising, the tastes, attitudes and consumption habits of the Filipino people are anchored on the products of U.S. imperialism. As a whole, foreign control of the mass media and their content (ranging from local sensationalism to slanted reports of U.S. press agencies like AP and UPI) constitutes intervention in our political life; and, in the most subtle way, it actually conditions the minds of the people to accept not only the commercial products but also the political products in the form of political agreements and fair-haired boys of U.S. imperialism.

In the field of mass media, let us recall the glor ious tradition of Kalayaan and La Independencia, which were the genuine journalistic instruments of the national democratic movement. In the spirit of these publications, let us convince our journalists that the truth does not lie only within the framework of imperialist and landlord political power. Many of them have realized this; and they are bound to widen their freedom of expression more and more.

 There is no such thing as freedom of the press in the abstract. Only a liar or a dull person would make that claim. The reporters are bound by editorial policy; the editorial policy is in turn bound by the publisher s policy or that of the company board of directors; the publisher or the board is in turn bound by the advertisers  policy. I t is foolish to make the liberal argument that by having different or several advertisers, none of them would be able to control the paper. The advertisers are well organized in their chambers of commerce and national advertisers  association and in many more business groupings. If the press depends on them for survival, it is bound never to violate the basic class "truths" of their  interests.

It is common knowledge how U.S. companies have tried to quell the expression of national democratic views in the press. The patriotic and progressive members of the press should struggle for greater press freedom by siding in so many ways with the forces of national democracy.

Professionalism in the service of the exploiters means political subservience to them, inasmuch as it serves to shape and foster opinions in the service of the exploiters.

One concrete step that can be taken by the Second Propaganda Movement is to fight for the Filipinization of the press so that direct ownership by foreigners of such antinational and antidemocratic media like Philippines Herald, Manila Daily Bulletin, DZBB, DZHP, DZBU and others can be removed. If we succeed in Filipinizing the press, the popular support we shall have generated will automatically serve to back up national democratic publications. At present, we should consistently expose and isolate all those antinational and antidemocratic media directly owned, suppor ted or controlled by for eign monopolies and compradors.

If our newsmen should wish to play a role in the national democratic tradition of Jose Rizal, Lopez Jaena, Del Pilar, Jacinto and Luna, they should organize themselves as militantly progressive journalists and workingmen who wish to broaden their freedom of expression. Their unity should serve to counter the power of decision of the publisher who is tightly bound by financial compromises with the antinational and antidemocratic advertisers and stockholders.

Within and outside the field of journalism, the Second Propaganda Movement can vigorously call for the nationalization of the economy and for national industrialization so that ultimately the foreign advertisers can no longer have the press at their mercy.

What the Second Propaganda Movement can do now by itself in widening press freedom is to establish a publication where there is the untrammeled freedom to express and advocate national democratic views. This publication, as envisioned by Senator Claro Mayo Recto, should articulate and organize the resurgent forces of the Philippine revolution. It should therefore be guided by the patriotic style of our revolutionary forefathers and the true revolutionaries of the present. The Second Propaganda Movement should use this publication to help break down old ideas, old customs, old habits and old attitudes and help the Philippine revolution advance.

The Second Propaganda Movement should be a thoroughgoing cultural revolution. It should shatter the present semicolonial and semifeudal superstructure. A new national and democratic culture is crying out to be born. Mass organizations, especially of the youth, play a great role in promoting this new culture under the leadership of the proletariat.#

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Jose Maria Sison)



Sison, Jose Maria. The Tasks of the Second Propaganda Movement.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Alay kay Dr. Dante Ambrosio (1951-2011)

 ni Wens Reyes

(Dr. Dante Ambrosio (1951-2011), full professor of history at the University of the Philippines, activist historian, specialized in early history and ethnoastronomy)


Dinala mo ang lahat sa isang talakayan patungkol sa kabihasnan
At naging saksi kami sa paghahawan mo ng bagong kamulatan
Na ang ating pagka-Pilipino ay mas lalong mauunawaan -
Tanawin at pagnilayan ang kalangitan sa maghapo't magdamag
Esposo ng karunungan ang nagpapahalaga sa kasaysayan at kalinangan!

Aalalayan ka ng buwan at tanikala ng mga bituin
May dagdag na tanglaw ang sambayanan sa gabing madilim
Biyaya ka ng Lumikha at sa Kanya magbabalik
Rurok ng iyong pagkapantas pamana sa susunod na salin-lahi
Obrerong mapagpalaya rin, ikaw na hindi nagapi
Sa bayan na lagi mong pinaglingkuran at binigyang ginhawa
Isang pagpupugay ang iyong naging buhay at pakikibaka
Oyayi ng langit ang sa iyo ngayo'y maghihimbing!




Reyes, Wens. Alay kay Dr. Dante Ambrosio (1951-2011). 4 June 2011.

Raw photo credit:


Licencia de Creative Commons Reposts are licensed to the respective authors. Otherwise, posts by Jesusa Bernardo are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Philippines.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ang Pagpaslang kay Hen. Antonio Luna y Novicio

5 JUNE 1899 - Gen. Antonio Luna y Novicio, Commanding General of the Philippine Army fighting the invading imperialist Bald Eagle forces during the Filipino-American War (1899-1914), is dastardly assassinated by bodyguards of President Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy at the stairs of the convent of Cabanatuan in the province of Nueva Ecija; the guilt for the murders (Luna's aide-de-camp, Col. Paco Roman, has been also killed) would be widely ascribed to Aguinaldo.

June 14, 1899, four months after the imperialist United States instigated the Philippine-American War (on orders of  William Mckinley's military, the New York Times rather belatedly reports about the death of Gen. Antonio Luna y Novicio:

MANILA, June 13. -- Information, believed to be reliable, has reached here of the assassination of Gen. Luna and his aide-de-camp, Lieut. Pasco Ramon, June 8, by Aguinaldo's guard at the headquarters of Aguinaldo. Luna and Ramon, it appears, went to the Filipino headquarters to confer with Aguinaldo, got into an altercation with the Captain of the guard, and one of them drew a revolver...

Ayon kay Tony Donato, isang artist at dating mananaliksik ng National Historical Commission of the Philippines:
Hunyo 4, 1899 nang anyayahan ni Aquinaldo si Del Pilar na makipagkita sa kaniya sa San Isidro, Nueva Ecija upang ipaalam at ibigay ang isang napalaki at sikretong misyon. Si Antonio Luna na kung tanghalin ng Gringo'y "the Filipino military geinus", matalinong Ilustrado, kinakaingitan, mainitin ang ulo, walang respeto at pitagan kay Aquinaldo, isang Ilocano (siya ay pinaganak sa Binundok) na hindi makasundo ni Aquinaldo pati ng mga Caviteno niyang kababayan. Dahilan sa kawalan ng pitagan at paglabag ni Luna sa mga kautusan ni El Presidente, sinakdal si Heneral Luna sa salang sidisyon at dapat na patayin.

Col. Francisco "Paco" Roman              -              Gen. Antonio Luna              -              Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo

Pinadalhan ng telegrama si Luna, na nagmula kay Aquinaldo upang ang dalawa ay magkita sa Bayambang. Ito'y pawang panlilinlang ng Presidente na hindi dadalo, at kay Luna na haharap ay si Del Pilar na ang misyong ibinigay ni Aquinaldo, patayin ang Heneral. Nang dumating si Heneral Antonio Luna sa Bayambang, sa hagdanan ay nagmamadaling umakyat, na salubong ang isang tanod na hindi siya pinansin at sinaluduhan. Ang disiplinariyong Heneral ay sumigaw
"...Cimverguensa!!! wala bang nagturo sa iyo na sumaludo sa nakakataas sa iyo?"

Ang tanod ay kaniyang nilapitan at ito'y sinampal. Ang sumunod naman niyang na kaharap ay ang matagal na niyang kaaway na si Felipe Buencamino at Pedrong Kastila na batid ng dalawa ang misyong utos na pag paslang sa Heneral. Naginit lalo ang ulo ni Luna ng mabatid nito na wala naman ang Presidente sa Bayambang at nag sambit

"...Puneta, nangaling pa ako ng malayo at wala palang mangyayari!!!"

Muling nagkaroon ng alitan ang dalawa, sanhi ng galit ni Buencamino kay Luna sa dahilang pag sampal sa kaniya sa harapan ng madla sa isa sa kanilang matagal nang alitan, 'di na ni Buencamino hinintay ang misyon ni Del Pilar at siya na mismo ang nagsagawa sa pagpaslang sa magiting na Heneral Antonio Luna. Ang Heneral ay pinagbabaril, tinaga naman ni Pedrong Kastila ng bolo sa ulo at mukha at ang ibang mga tanod at kawal naman'y siya 'y pinagsasaksak. Sugat sugatan ang Heneral subalit ito'y nakalabas pa sa lansangan at naka pagpaputok ng kaniyang baril

"...Mga traydor, mga duwag!!!"

at doon sa lansangan binawian ng buhay ang magiting na Heneral Luna. Sa kalayuan ng San Isidro sa Bayambang si Heneral Luna ay patay na, bago nakarating si Del Pilar. Mula noon lalong naging malapit ang Presidente sa kaniyang paboritong Heneral Del Pilar, sila'y magkatalikod na nagmamasid, nagagamba lalo't-lalo na sa mga Ilokanong rebulusyonaryo na baka ipaghiganti ang kanilang pinaslang na Heneral Luna.

Ayon naman kay Julio Nakpil, naging isang pinunong militar noong panahon ng Himagsikan at kaibigan ni Supremo Andres Bonifacio y de Castro na inagawan ng kapangyarihang panghimagsikan at naunang pinapatay bilang parusa daw ng  militar na hukom nii Aguinaldo:
When General A. Luna was dastardly assassinated on the stairs of the Convent of Kabanatuan and already fallen on the ground, the mother of Emilio Aguinaldo looked out the window and asked: "Ano, humihinga pa ba?" (Is he still breathing?)
The Spanish soldier-prisoners who witnessed this iniquitous assassination said: "We admired the valor and intrepidity of General Luna who, tormented with shots and already fallen to the ground, could still shout: "Cowardly Cavitenios !"

Mahahalagang detalye ng pagkakapatay kay Luna at Roman ang nakalahat sa internet na libro ni Arnaldo Dumimdim, isang mananaliksik at manunulat sa kasaysayan:
[Felipe] Buencamino emptied Luna's pockets and took the telegram that Luna had received.

The following day, Luna was buried with military honors but the assassins went free.

After Luna's death, Aguinaldo ordered all chiefs of brigades under Luna arrested.

Some were killed like Major Manuel Bernal who was tortured first and his brother Captain Jose Bernal  (LEFT) who was released but was later assassinated at Candaba, Pampanga Province, on June 16, 1899.

Aguinaldo also ordered the disarming of two companies suspected of being pro-Luna.

Ilang taon makaraan ang krimen, ipinagkaila ni Aguinaldo na may kinalaman siya sa pagkakapaslang nila Luna at Roman.  Nagbigay ito ng argumento upang subukang palabasin na wala siyang kinalaman dito: 
Years later, when asked about his role in the death of  Luna, Aguinaldo replied that he had nothing to do with it; in fact, he was no longer in Cabanatuan when the assassination took place.

He further said that had he wanted the general disposed of cleanly, all that was needed was somebody to shoot him in the back in the thick of battle and nobody would have been any wiser.

Subali't may isa pang heneral--at isa pang telegrama--na nagtuturo na malamang sa hindi ay naantisipo na ni Aguinaldo ang kamatayan ni Luna:
[Interestingly, on the very same day that Luna died, Gen. Venancio Concepcion, then in Angeles, received a telegram from President Aguinaldo. It was sent from the Cabanatuan telegraph office; the transmission time  approximated the time of Luna's assassination. Aguinaldo informed General Concepcion that he (Aguinaldo), had taken charge of the military operations in Central Luzon in place of General Luna. The President further informed Concepcion that he was on his way to Bamban;  it was going to be Aguinaldo's temporary executive and military general headquarters. Aguinaldo also said that Concepcion should meet him in Bamban at 4:00 p.m., the estimated time of his arrival. In fact, Aguinaldo and his party arrived at 7:00 p.m. via a special train.

In his diary, General Concepcion wrote that there were instant loyalty checks among the officers and their respective commands in the headquarters that same night. It was only the next day, June 6, that General Concepcion learned about the death of General Luna and Colonel Roman.]

On June 14, 1899, the New York Times reported General Luna's assassination. It described him as "one of the most intelligent and turbulent of the Filipino leaders," and added that "Aguinaldo was in mortal terror of him."

May pangyayaring idinagdag si Nakpil na makakapagbigay ng mas malalim na kaalaman sa pagkatao ni  Aguinaldo na maaring magdagdag ng linaw kung may kinalaman nga ang huli sa krimeng pagpaslang kay Luna. Ayon kay Nakpil:
History condemns these barbaric acts, He (E, Aguinaldo) also gave orders to assassinate the undersigned to Generals Severino Taino and Pio del Pilar who did not obey the said orders for considering them infamous, unjust, and without any motive, whatever. It was nothing more than a mean and despicable order.

 Mas malinaw sa hindi na si Aguinaldo nga ang nagutos na patayin si Hen. Luna. Kung kaya nga hindi nakakapagtaka na noong halalang pampanguluhan ng 1935 ay ginamit ang isyu ng pagpatay kay Hen. Luna at Supremo Andres Bonifacio bilang propaganda.Ipinaalala ng kampanyang propaganda ni Quezon, dating ayuda-de-campo ni Aguinaldo noong Digmaang Pilipino-Amerikano, ang sinasabing naging kamay (o utos) ng huli sa mga pagpapatay kay Bonifacio at Luna. Makikita ito dito sa flyer na nagsasabing dapat parusahan si Aguinaldo sa "panakaw, pasukap at mahiwagang pagliligpit" sa "mga tunay na Bayani!" Nakasulat sa 1935 na flyer:

Nahuli Ng Mga Kaluluwa Ang Isang Nangangalulwa Ng Kapangyarihan.


Magpakagising kayo, sapagka't ang dating gawi ni Aguinaldo noong panahon ng Himagsikan ay siya na naman daw ibig gawin ngayon. Diwa'y nasasalat na niyang di-maaring maluklok siya sa Panguluhan ng "Commonwealth" sa mabutihang paglalaban, ay tinatangkang makuha ito sa mga kaparaanang ginagamit-gamit niya nang panahong lumipas, na panakaw, pasukap at mahiwagang pagliligpit sa mag kaagaw niya sa kapangyarihan, na gaya ng ginawa kina Bonifacio at Luna.

Ang larawang nasa itaas ay naghihiwatig ng bagong tangka: agawin nang palihim o panakaw ang Malyete ng Panguluhan ng Mangkomunidad, at huwag dumaan sa hagdanan kundi sa bintana, na ang ibig-sabihi'y bonipasyuhin at lunahin ang kanyang kalabang ngayon pa'y tiyakang Pangulo nang mahahalal sa Mangkomunidad.

BAYAN: Parusahan mo ang mga mamamatay ng iyong mga tunay na Bayani!
Setyembre 17, 1935.

Pinagkunan ng mga Larawan:


GEN. LUNA ASSASSINATED.; He and His Aide Said to Have Been Killed at the Headquarters of Aguinaldo. New York Times. 14 June 1899.

Dumindin, Arnaldo. Philippine-American War, 1899-1902.

Donato, Tony. Pasong Tirad Lugar ng Kagitingan o Katangahan?

Nakpil, Julio. 'Apuntes Sobre La Revolucion Filipina' (Notes on the Philippine Revolution).


Licencia de Creative Commons Reposts are licensed to the respective authors. Otherwise, posts by Jesusa Bernardo are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Philippines.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Joma Sison contributes to UP English Department's "Literary Interrelations"

Contribution to Literary Interrelations: Conference in Celebration of the Centennial of the UP Department of English and Comparative Literature, May 28, 2011

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Bachelor of Arts, Major In English (Creative Writing and Journalism), 1959

Dear Prof. Lucero, colleagues, distinguished guests and friends,

First of all, let me thank the UP Department of English and Comparative Literature (DECL) for inviting me to participate in this conference titled Literary Interrelations. I feel highly privileged as I am aware that this conference is a major activity in the celebration of the centennial of the department and is in honor of the late UP President Salvador P. Lopez on his centenary and in celebration of the 81st anniversary of his work, Literature and Society.

Literature and Politics in General

1. To be serious and significant, literature draws content from the economic, political and cultural aspects of society and processes such content to present a concise and concentrated expression of social life through the contexting and interactions of a cast of fictional characters. All great and major works of literature in ancient and modern times are similar in this regard. The great epics of ancient times contained a great amount of knowledge. So have the great novels of modern times.

2. Even in slave-owning and feudal times, when they had no sustained theory of classes and class struggle to go by, the creative writers observed and studied the mode of production in the concrete and learned how the various groups of people were differentiated by property ownership, the need to work and the unequal distribution of the social product. They had to know how society ran even if their works seldom focused on the antagonism between the exploiting and exploited class.

3. Ancient literature was always linked to politics. The creative writers were obeisant to the rulers, to the entire ruling political system and to the God or gods that had supposedly pre-ordained them. But the literary masterpieces of ancient times have the most lasting value when the theme is the struggle for freedom and justice against the tyranny and oppression by rulers who usurp authority or who lose their mandate from heaven or by invaders who have an overreaching political and economic interest and different system of religious belief.

4. Literature resides in the cultural sphere of society and has a vantage point over the political and economic aspects of society. It derives certain benefits from being in the same neighborhood as the other components of culture. On top of his observation of daily life or any focused social investigation, the creative writer can gain erudition and profundity by the reading and study of philosophy, sacred theology, mythology, earlier works of literature, the natural and social sciences, law and so on.

5. The theory of classes and class struggle were first put forward by French revolutionary democrats during the French revolution. It spread fast and motivated the rise of the social-conscious novels in the 19th century in Europe. These were sharply critical of the exploitative conditions of bourgeois society, the proletarianization of the peasantry, the long and harsh working hours and the conspicuous poverty of working class families in the urban areas. Rizal was definitely influenced by some 19th century European novels..

6. Marx adopted the theory of classes and class struggle and extended it to the theory of the class dictatorship of the proletariat. Related to this was the development of materialist dialectics in philosophy, the critique of the capitalist political economy and the theory of scientific socialism. Eventually, literature guided by Marxism would emerge vigorously under the banner of social realism. This would flourish in the Soviet Union and elsewhere.

7. A further major development in the theory of literature and art in the 20th century would be Mao’ Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art. This has widespread influence among the creative writers of the new democratic revolution in the Philippines. Mao answers a series of questions. For whom is literature? How related is it to the classes and class struggle in society? Who are the heroes? Should we not learn from the masses first? What is the relationship of popularization and aesthetic standards?

Literature and Revolutionary Politics in the Philippines

1. The prototype of patriotic Filipino literature was provided by Francisco Balagtas’ Florante at Laura, written in 1838. It is a long poem in the main about the romantic relationship of the Christian lovers Florante and Laura being oppressed in Albania and about the Muslim lovers Aladdin and Flerida from Persia. Florante was tied to a tree in the forest and was about to be devoured by lions when Aladdin rescued him. The utterances of Florante against social and political conditions and against the tyrant tormenting him and coveting Laura may be intepreted as directed against the rulers in the Philippines. The story ends like a comedia with the Mustlim lovers converting to Christianity.

2. The novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo of Dr. Jose Rizal may be considered the great literature of the old democratic revolution. They were the best and long lasting literary contributions of Rizal to the Philippine revolution, despite his refusal to join the leadership of that revolution. The Noli gives us a penetrating criticism of the Spanish colonial system, especially the domineering friars and their pliant indio collaborators like Capitan Tiago, and explores reforms as advocated by Crisostomo Ibarra who is ultimately frustrated. In the Fili, he becomes Simoun the jeweler who takes the stance of the anarchist, keynotes the denunciation of the entire colonial system and seeks to overthrow it but fails.. The poems of Rizal (La Ultima Adios) and Andres Bonifacio (Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa) and many other patriots are gems of patriotism and revolutionary politics.

3. The best known theatrical play against US imperialism in its firs decade of dominating the Philippines was Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas (Larawan ng Inang Bayan) written by Aurelio Tolentino in 1903. It unfolds the triumph of Inang Bayan over her tormentors, Haring Bata (China), Halimaw (the Spanish friars who continued to control the church and influence local politics), Dilat na Bulag (Spain) and Bagong Sibol (US the new colonial power). The main scene is the liberation of Taga-Ilog or Juan de la Cruz who at the beginning of the play is shackled and in prison. In this scene, he throws the American flag to the ground and tramples upon it until it is torn and he breaks the shackles and opens the jail, while all characters of the play shout, “Long live freedom! Long live the Motherland!”

4. The novel Banaag at Sikat written by Lope K. Santos in 1906 let its characters talk explicitly about the great divide between the rich and the poor, the work of the associations of workers, capitalism and socialism. It tells of the story of Delfin in love with daughter of a landlord. Delfin is a socialist who wishes to spread the principles of socialism among the people and believes in change through peaceful means. His friend Felipe is an anarchist who believes in the violent overthrow of the rulers and the end of the cruelty of the landlords. Lope K, Santos has a naïve understanding of socialism and appears not to have studied scientific socialism. He also glosses over the issue of national independence. The conflicts among characters in the novel do not manifest class struggle but merely the cruel and exploitative behavior of rich persons towards certain individuals within their ambit.

5. Many more works (novels, plays and collections of poems) may be subjected to analysis and literary criticism in order to determine whether they belong to the old democratic revolution or to the new democratic revolution or neither or whether they may be considered as being on the road to the new democratic revolution even if they do not suggest revolution, because they expose and denounce enough of the exploitativeness and oppressiveness of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system. We must also take into account that some creative writers fall short of indicating or espousing the new democratic revolution because of repressive laws and censorship by popular publications or because of inability to break free from their petty bourgeois mode of thinking.

6. The novels and poetic works of Amado V. Hernandez are definitely literature of the new democratic revolution. They include Mga Ibong Mandaragit (1969) and Luha ng Buwaya (1972) and his collection of poetry, Isang Dipang Langit. The works of Hernandez are based on his experiences as a resistance fighter, as a labor leader and as a political detainee. His socio-political novels and poems expose and denounce the exploitative and oppressive conditions of the ruling system, point to the need for revolution by the working class and the people and actually call for revolutionary change. The works of Hernandez and Mao’s Talks at the Yenan Forum inspired the young creative writers in the 1960s to write in the service of the people and the new democratic revolution.

7. Since the 1960s, a great deal of creative writing has been done along the line of the new democratic revolution, in the countryside, in the urban underground and even quite openly. This includes novels,short stories, plays and poems. The quantity and quality of the output are high and are already more formidable than the output of those creative writers in the short-lived old democratic revolution. But the output of the revolutionary creative writers is still small relative to the abundant material offered by more than 50 years of the people’s legal mass movement and more than 40 years of armed revolution. I leave to others interested in literary history and literary criticism to keep on surveying the literary field and appraising the literary output of the revolutionary writers.

8. I am confident that the revolutionary creative writers will keep on surpassing themselves
and producing more literary works of higher quality, because the revolutionary practice keeps on expanding as possible material for creating the literature of the new democratic revolution.

Thank you!###

(Reposted with permission from Prof. Joma Sison)




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