​If there’s anything we learned since 1992, it’s that the road to peace will always be long and arduous. 

With both the GRP and NDFP lifting their respective unilateral ceasefire declarations, the people continue to call on both parties to persevere in peace negotiations on substantive issues such as socio-economic reforms as well as political and constitutional reforms. 

Both parties are within their rights to terminate their respective ceasefire declarations. The ceasefire however is not the entirety of the peace talks. Peace talks in the past have been conducted even without a prolonged ceasefire declaration. Signed agreements were forged and the talks moved forward. Talking while fighting is better than not talking at all. 

It is clear by now that the AFP is a major stumbling block to peace as it insists on conducting military operations in communities, disguised as “peace and development” operations. The AFP is poised to unleash more fascist attacks with the lifting of the government’s unilateral ceasefire. 

Is there still a chance for a return to ceasefire mode? Yes there is, if the conditions are favorable. This means fulfilling the commitment to release all political prisoners and the demilitarization of communities. There is a scheduled meeting between the two parties on February 22 in the Netherlands to discuss a bilateral ceasefire.

The President should realize that his most important base of support should be the people, not the military. The AFP should not be able to dictate the terms of the peace negotiations, including the release of poltical prisoners. The President must listen to the clamor of the people, not the generals. 

To our friends who are Duterte supporters, we ask you to help in calling on both parties to persevere in peace negotiations and oppose on principled grounds, those officials who are out to undermine the talks. We urge you to support negotiations on socio-economic as well as talks on political reforms, which now includes Federalism and safeguards against fascist dictatorship and foreign intervention.

We all have a stake in the success of the talks. That the talks are becoming difficult should not be a surprise anymore. It’s but the reflection of the complex and intense class struggle and the competing interests which form the basis of the armed conflict. Hindi simple and batayan ng digmaaan, kaya’t hindi rin simple, bagkus ay masalimuot, ang resolusyon nito; kahit sa peace negotiations. Magpapatuloy ang pagkamit ng makatarungang kapayapaan, kahit sa labas ng peace talks. Malawak ang mga larangan nito.

Kaya mga kaibigan, kapit lang. Laban lang. 

#JustPeace

Ano ang ibig sabihin ng unilateral ceasefire? 



Ang unilateral ceasefire ay deklarasyon ng tigil-putukan ng isang panig sa armadong labanan nang hindi nangangailangan ng kasunduan ng magkabilang panig o katugon (reciprocal) na deklarasyon sa katunggaling panig. Ginagawa ito para mabigyan ng paborableng klima ang usapang pangkapayapaan. 

Maaaring magdeklara ng sabay na unilateral ceasefire and dalawang panig. Kanya-kanyang kautusan sa kanya-kanyang mga tropa ang inilalabas para sa implementasyon ng kanya-kanyang unilateral ceasefire. Kanya-kanya ding monitoring kung naipapatupad ba ang tigil-putukan ayon sa kautusan o gabay (guidelines).

Sa nakaraan, nagdedeklara ang Gobyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas (GRP) at ang National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ng kani-kanyang unilateral ceasefire pagdating ng panahon ng Pasko at Bagong Taon.

Nang magbukas ang pormal na peace talks sa panahon ng administrasyong Duterte noong nakaraang taon, nagdeklara ng magkahiwalay na unilateral ceasefire ang GRP at NDFP.

Ano ang status ng unilateral ceasefire ng NPA?

Pebrero 1 nang magdeklara ang NPA na tinatapos na nito ang unilateral ceasefire, epektibo sa Pebrero 10. Bunsod ito ng kabiguan ng GRP na tuparin ang pangako ni Pangulong Duterte na palayain ang lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal, at resulta ng nagpapatuloy na operasyong militar ng AFP sa mga komunidad. Ito ang pinakamahabang ceasefire na pinasok ng mga rebolusyonaryong pwersa, tumagal ng higit 150 araw. Sa loob ng panahong ito ay nagpatuloy ang mga operasyong militar at psy-war sa ilalim ng Oplan Bayanihan. Nagpatuloy ang mga pagpatay sa mga magsasaka at Lumad ng mga pinaghihinalaang militar at paramilitar. Ayon sa NDF, aabot sa 500 barangay ay sumailalim sa operasyong militar ng AFP. 

Sa pagtatapos ng unilateral ceasefire ng NPA, magpapatuloy ang labanan. Aktibong dedepensa ang NPA kontra sa mga operasyong militar ng AFP.

Ano ang status ng unilateral ceasefire ng GRP?

Pebrero 3 nang ianunsyo ni GRP President Rodrigo Duterte na tinatapos na rin nila and unilateral ceasefire sa NDFP. Pinag-utos ni Duterte sa AFP na maghanda para sa labanan.

Ibig bang sabihin nito na tapos na ang usapang pangkapayapaan?

Hindi sa pagtatapos ng ceasefire natatapos ang peace talks. Maaaring magpatuloy ang peace talks at magbuo ng mga kasunduan kahit walang ceasefire. Ganito ang karanasan sa mga nagdaang rehimen. 

Hindi ba sa ceasefire nasusukat ang sinseridad sa peace talks?

Hindi ang ceasefire ang sukatan ng sinseridad at kaseryosohan sa peace talks. Mas mahalagang sukatan ang pagtataguyod ng mga napirmahang kasunduan at pagbubuo ng bagong mga kasunduan sa repormang sosyo-ekonomiko, pulitikal at konstitusyunal. 

Samantala, maaaring may ceasefire nga pero kung wala namang makabuluhang pagbabago para sa mamamayan, mauuwi din ito sa wala. 

Ano ang pagkakaiba ng “bilateral” at “unilateral ceasefire”? 

Ang “bilateral ceasefire” ay isang pormal na kasunduan sa pagitan ng dalawang magkatunggaling panig na itigil muna ang digmaan/labanan sa loob ng isang takdang panahon at batay sa mga tinakdang kaisahan o kundisyon. Magkaiba ang “bilateral” at ang “unilateral ceasefire”.

Maaari pa bang humantong sa bilateral ceasefire kung sa unilateral ceasefire ay nagkaproblema  na?

Ayon sa NDFP, handa itong pumasok sa isang istableng bilateral ceasefire kung tutuparin ng GRP ang pangakong palayain ang lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal at kung mareresolba ang isyu ng militarisasyon ng mga komunidad. 

Ang pagpapalaya sa mga bilanggong pulitikal ay usapin ng hustisya at obligasyon ng GRP sa mga napirmahang kasunduan. Hindi dapat gawing baraha sa negosasyon ang mga bilanggong pulitikal. 

Ano ang hinaharap ng peace talks ngayon?

Dapat magtuloy ang peace talks kahit walang ceasefire. Sa Abril 2-6 ang susunod na round para ituloy ang pag-uusap sa repormang sosyo-ekonomiko. Malaking pakinabang sa mamamayan kung mabubuo ang kasunduang ito dahil nakatuon ito sa paglutas ng mga ugat ng armadong tunggalian.

Ano ang maaaring gawin ng mamayan?

Dapat nating patuloy na suportahan ang peace talks. Dapat ipanawagan sa magkabilang-panig na magpursige sa paglutas ng ugat ng armadong labanan. Sa labas ng negosasyon, tuloy ang pakikibaka para sa tunay na pagbabago. Makakatulong ito sa pagpapatingkad ng mga usapin sa negosasyon. Maging mapagbantay din tayo sa mga nais isabotahe ang peace talks. Dapat silang ilantad at labanan. ###

It has been a year full of unexpected and interesting developments. The year 2016 will be defined by the rise of the Duterte presidency and the people’s response to its policies and pronouncements. It was a year of militant struggle even with the Left’s alliance and cooperation with Duterte. The Left’s relationship with the incumbent regime continues to be tested through different issues.

Here are 10 important events that happened in 2016 related to the people’s movement for national freedom and democracy. These are 10 events that made a great impact in national politics and consciousness and whose effects will be felt in the years to come.

1. Duterte becomes president – The year 2016 gave us the Duterte regime, a presidency swept into power by 16 million votes, borne out of the crisis of the ruling system, and buoyed by the promise of “change”. The new regime shook the poltical landscape with many firsts, but also continues to encounter serious challenges from forces opposed to change. It remains to be seen if  Rodrigo Duterte will go beyond the “change” rhetoric and engage in serious, wide-ranging reforms that will go against the interests of the ruling elite. For example, just recently, workers have criticized the DOLE for failing to really put a stop to contractualization of labor with the new Department Order 168.

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2. Resumption of the peace talks – Duterte has accomplished more for the peace talks with the NDFP in his first 100 days than the entire 6-year term of Benigno Aquino III. Previously signed agreements were reaffirmed, NDFP peace consultants were released on bail, and separate unilateral ceasefires were declared by both sides. For the revolutionary movement, the unilateral ceasefire was the longest yet in its 48-year history. The talks are now entering discussions on social-economic reforms. The ceasefire however is continuously undermined by the government’s failure to release all political prisoners and by the AFP’s continuing militarization of the countryside. Last December 26, revolutionary forces held a show of force in different guerrilla fronts nationwide, most notable of these are the battalion-sized formations in Mindanao. They have expressed readiness to face the consequences of continuing fascist aggression against the people.

3. The War on Drugs – Even before he assumed the presidency, many had feared Duterte’s planned war on drugs now that it would have a nationwide scope. While Duterte succeeded in exposing the magnitude of the drug problem and how it ties up with corruption in government including the police and military, it is the rising death toll and impunity which people will remember most. The stories of the victims are heartbreaking. Innocents have been killed with impunity. State forces have gone on to kill even persons already detained. There are no indications that the President will back down on his declared war on illegal drugs, and we can only expect the people’s opposition to increase as the death toll rises.

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4. The Left joins the Cabinet – In an unexpected move, Duterte opened his cabinet to the revolutionary forces of the CPP. However, since the roots of the armed conflict had yet to be resolved, the revolutionary forces couldn’t yet be part of the Duterte government. The NDFP instead nominated progressives to several government posts. Despite being a minority in a Cabinet dominated by pro- US neoliberals and militarists, the progressives continued to push pro-people reforms within the limits of the reactionary government. Ka Paeng continues to uphold the interest of poor peasants and farm workers struggling for land reform. Judy Taguiwalo has steered the DSWD to meet the demands of the most vulnerable sectors. Liza Maza is working hard at the National Anti-Poverty Commission.

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5. Kidapawan: Bigas Hindi Bala – On April 1, police opened fire on unarmed North Cotabato farmers protesting in Kidapawan City. The drought-stricken farmers demanded rice but got bullets instead. Two were killed and scores were injured. Around 80 were arrested. The incident called attention to the plight of farmers all over the country who were reeling from the effects of prolonged drought and landlessness.

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6. Huge SONA rally and Lakbayans – This year saw a huge rally that marked Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address. For the first time, contingents from Mindanao and Bicol joined rallyists from Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon. More than 30,000 marched very near the Batasang Pambansa in another first under the Duterte regime. After the SONA, the President meet with rally leaders including Lumad and Moro representatives. Previously, the President also met with Bayan leaders who held a really coinciding with his inauguration. There would be three inter-regional Lakbayans (SONA, Mindanao, Visayas) for 2016, also another first.

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7. The violent dispersal at the US embassy – It was an incident that shocked the world. A police car rammed unarmed protesters in front of the US embassy in Manila. Scores were injured. A jeepney driver was nearly beaten to death. More than 40 were arrested. In a time when the Philippine president was announcing his separation from the US, Philippine police forces violently attacked protesters after the police complained they had “lost face” with the US embassy after protesters breached the police line.

Image result for US embassy dispersal 2016

8. Assertion of an independent foreign policy – Many progressives and patriots applauded the speeches of the President criticizing US foreign policy and history of colonialism in the Philippines. Duterte brought the issue of US atrocities in the Philippines to the international stage. He threatened to terminate the VFA and EDCA. He said that he wanted the US to know that “there is such a thing as the dignity of the Filipino people”. He has also rejected any US criticism of his human rights record, often pointing out US hypocrisy. The most serious threat yet to the Duterte regime may still come from the US and its reactionary allies in the Philippines. During this year, the Philippines also won a landmark case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration which voided China’s 9-dash line claim and upheld Filipino fishermen’s rights to the waters within our EEZ.

9.The Marcos burial – The issue that sparked a direct confrontation between a broad array of forces on one side and the Duterte regime and the Marcoses on the other; the burial of the dictator Marcos triggered street protests across the country. The SC decision, the ensuing burial and Duterte’s justification thereof, were roundly criticized. If there is one good thing that came out of the incident, it was the rapid political awakening of the youth, who despite being several generations removed from Martial Law, were still able to grasp the implications of the formal honors accorded the dictator. Stay vigilant because the fight against the Marcos restoration will continue all the way to 2022.

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10.Tuition-free SUC’s – Congress has approved appropriations that is supposed to make tuition free in all state colleges and university. The move is a product of the assertion of the student movement and a vindication of the historic position against commercialization of education. The development has been described as a “game-changer” and will likely usher a new wave of mass struggles on campus and in the streets next year. The fight is by no means over and a new round is just starting.

There were many other issues that made 2016 “memorable” and challenging. We had the tanim-bala scam, MRT-LRT commuter woes, horrible traffic, the continuing agrarian disputes in Luisita, the filing of corruption cases against Aquino and his officials, the acquittal of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her officials, the SC declaration of EDCA as constitutional, the Save Fabella campaign, the mining audit and suspension of destructive mining companies and many more.

One event that should be watched closely at the start of the new year is the third round of formal piece talks between the GRP and NDFP which will say a lot on how the Left’s relationship with Duterte will be the rest of the year, and perhaps for the rest of his term. The talks would be an important indicator of the direction the Duterte government will ultimately take: whether it veers more to the Right and protects the status quo or it stays true to the President’s pronouncement that he is Left, thus ushering progressive change.

The next round of formal peace talks are set on January 19, 2017.

In all these events, the people are not mere spectators waiting for the next big revelation. More than ever, the people must weigh in and wage militant mass struggles for national democracy. Unless the Duterte regime addresses the root causes of the armed conflict, the basis for revolutionary struggle will remain. The militant mass movement will continue to march in the streets. The struggle continues

We welcome the new year, the only way we can: with a firm resolve to fight for the liberation of the people.

A happy and militant new year to all!

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​Nobyembre 18, 2016

Larawan mula sa Philippine Collegian

Magandang gabi mga kababayan, mga kapatid. Nais ko munang magbigay-pugay sa mga tunay na bayani. 
Sa mga biktima ng Martial Law na hanggang ngayon ay patuloy na lumalaban para sa hustisya. Sila ang mga tunay na bayani. 
Sa mga martir ng UP at iba pang unibersidad, sa mga kabataang sumapi sa New People’s Army (NPA) at nag-alay ng buhay para labanan ang diktadura. Sila ang mga tunay na bayani. 
Sa mga naghain ng kaso sa Korte Suprema para labanan ang paglibing. Natalo man sila sa kaso, bayani rin sila sa ating puso. 
Sa kabataan at mamamayang patuloy na lumalaban. Kayo ang mga tunay na bayani. 
Nais ko namang banggitin ang mga may kasalanan kung bakit tayo naririto ngayon. 
Ang pamilya Marcos, na hanggang ngayon ay ayaw aminin ang kanilang kasalanan sa bayan at ginagawa ang lahat para baluktutin ang kasaysayan at makabalik sa Malacanang. 
Ang Korte Suprema na naggawad ng desisyong pabor sa paglibing at naghahawan ng daan para linisin ang rekord ni Marcos, na siya daw ay hindi purely evil at tulad din natin na nagkakamali din. Neknek nyo!
Si Pangulong Duterte, at ang kanyang pakikipag-alyansa sa mga Marcos, pag-utos sa paglibing, at pagiging instrumento ng pampulitikang rehabilitasyon at panunumbalik ng mga Marcos. Anong klaseng “change is coming” yan?
Ang lahat ng gobyerno matapos kay Marcos na nagtaguyod ng bulok na sistema sa pulitika, ng political accommodation at burukrata kapitalismo, na hindi nagpursige para panagutin ang mga Marcos at igawad ang hustisya sa mga biktima. Kasama na dyan ang 2 rehimeng Aquino. Kayo ang lumikha ng mga batayan para makabalik sa poder ang mga Marcos. Si Imelda naging congresswoman. Si Imee naging congresswoman at gobernador. Si Bongbong naging senador, muntik pang maging bise-presidente. 
Ngayon, lalong napatunayan kung gaano kabulok ang ating sistema. Ngayon mas naging malinaw na dapat itong  baguhin. Sa mga kabataan, kayo ang pag-asa ng bayan at inaasahang mangunguna sa pagbabagong ito, kasama ang sambayanan. Kayo din ang magtitiyak na hindi nila mababago pa ang hatol ng kasaysayan at mananaig ang katotohanan.
Wala na po sa Korte ang laban. Nasa kalsada na, sa mga classroom ng mga kabataan, sa mga komunidad, sa mainstream at social media, sa kamalayan ng bawat isang Pilipino. Patuloy tayong lumaban para sa hustisya, para itaguyod ang hatol ng kasaysayan at para baguhin ang ating lipunan. 
Mabuhay kayo! Mabuhay ang sambayang Pilipino!

After our forum in UP yesterday on the Duterte administration, Maria Ressa of Rappler asked if I was an optimist in relation to the administration. I said I was more of a realist, and that I am keenly aware of the issues and problems confronting the Left’s relationship with Duterte.

When the Duterte regime started out, our attitude of unity and struggle was made known to all. We would be supporting progressive and pro-people policies while struggling against anti-people and reactionary policies. We had no illusion that the relationship would be smooth sailing. We knew that there would be conflicts along the way on different issues, which is common in any alliance, especially one that involves a regime in power. Given this, there would be, to quote Mao, “struggle on just grounds, with restraint, and to our advantage”.

The Left’s support for Duterte included his independent foreign policy, assertion of sovereignty, the resumption of the peace talks, the release of political prisoners, the appointment of progressives in his cabinet, and implementation of measures beneficial to the people such a land reform, social services and so on. We welcomed his openness to discuss issues with the Left.

Meanwhile, differences with Duterte included his stand on the Marcos burial, the conduct of the war on drugs and the neoliberal economic policies being carried over from the previous regime. We have made known our stand on these issues early on.

The past few days saw increasing criticism of Duterte over the Marcos burial, and rightly so. We fully recognize the role of Duterte in the granting of formal honors and hero’s burial for the late dictator. However, the blame is not Duterte’s alone as previous post-Marcos regimes, including two Aquino regimes, created the conditions for the return and rehabilitation of the Marcos family through political accommodation and by upholding a rotten system of bureaucrat capitalism. As a tragic consequence of a bankrupt political system, the burial is also a reminder of the need for thoroughgoing change.

Does the Marcos burial have an effect on the Left’s alliance with Duterte? Of course it has. There is no denying that. The most recent events are testing the progressive alliance, in the same way as the drug-related killings, the failure to release political prisoners and the continuing militarization of the countryside are testing the alliance. Hindi sikreto, galit ang mga Marcos victims at mga kasama sa nangyayari.

How do we view Duterte’s alliance with the Marcoses? We oppose it because it aids in whitewashing the crimes of the dictator and helps in the Marcoses return to power in Malacanang.

What will happen now? The Left will launch protest actions against the Marcos burial and will hold Duterte to account. There will be a continuing education campaign on the Marcos dictatorship so that future generations will never forget. Beyond that, we should continue to call for the overhaul of the rotten system that gives rise to tyrants and rewards plunderers and right violators.

The progressives’ alliance with Duterte will still go through the process of unity and struggle and will likely be tested again. The Left will maintain its independence and initiative in relation to struggles on various peoples issues. We continue to confront issues such as the matter of US troops in the Philippines, the substantive agenda of the peace talks, the struggle for land reform, a stop to militarization in the countryside and many more. The drug-related killings and the apparent climate of impunity have become very alarming and unacceptable.

We know our friends have been asking how the Left will navigate its complicated relationship with the Duterte regime. Rest assured we have not lost sight of the long-term goals of the struggle and we have not turned our backs on our principles. We remain in the streets, carrying out protest actions almost every week. Organizers and mass members remain in the line of fire, especially in rural areas. Progressives in the cabinet are committed to upholding the interests of the people and continue to face opposition from the conservative and reactionary sections of the regime. More importantly, we are aware that the revolutionary movement continues to carry out its work even during the period of a unilateral ceasefire.

In short, we are very far from the positions of comfort occupied by Akbayan during their alliance with the Aquino regime.

To well-meaning friends who think we have not done enough, we can only hope to do better. Let our past and future actions be the real measure.

We can expect more protests as the people demand from the Duterte government genuine change and a concrete response to their national and democratic aspirations.

Teka, hindi pa ba kayo kakalas sa  alliance kay Duterte? Only time, and the maturing and resolution of contradictions, will tell us what will become of the alliance with Duterte. The aforementioned issues will be crucial indicators. For example, Duterte can still make true his commitment of pursuing serious peace talks with the revolutionary movement and address poverty and injustice. Duterte can also choose to use the peace talks as a mere tool for pacification, without really addressing the roots of the armed conflict. We will know in the coming months.

Right now, amid the intensifying economic and political crisis, we continue to struggle — on just grounds and for the benefit of the people.

5184On October 19, more than a thousand protesters, mainly from indigenous and Moro groups under the Sandugo Alliance, and supported by BAYAN, staged a protest in front of the US Embassy. They were able to reach the front gates of the embassy and proceeded with their program. The peaceful program was disrupted by the police when they started dispersing the protesters.

Let us address point by point the claims of the police as they appeared in the media.

1. “I did not order the dispersal” – Col. Marcelino Pedrozo, MPD operations chief

The truth: A video by GMA7 shows Pedrozo berating the Manila police for not arresting anyone and for allowing protesters near the embassy. They have lost face with the US embassy, he says. He then orders the ground commander to disperse the protesters despite being told that the rally was about to end. All this is on video.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/…/mpd-official-caught-on-video-te…

2. “The police did not intentionally run over the protesters.” The driver was maneuvering and was under threat as protesters wanted to overturn or take control of the vehicle, according to Pedrozo and NCRPO Chief Gen. Abayalde.

The truth: A careful review of the video prior to the vehicle rampage will show that the driver of the police van was under no immediate threat. Protesters were not even touching his vehicle. There was no attempt to seize or overturn his vehicle. All of a sudden he accelerated in reverse and started running over protesters. Video footage will show he drove backwards twice and forward twice. Such movements could hardly be considered accidental. Upon review of the video, it is clear that the police van was actually used to clear protesters. It was deliberate, not an accident. The driver of the police vehicle has been identified as a certain PO3 Franklin Kho.

It is also disturbing that during the rampage, not one police official could be seen intervening to stop the vehicle and protect the protesters. Had it been a legitimate accident, the PNP should have intervened to prevent further injuries. The police van only stopped when the front of the embassy was cleared.

http://kodao.org/…/50-injured-as-police-vehicle-rams-ip-pr…/

https://www.facebook.com/mon.ramirez.10/posts/10209665039396430

3. Protesters were violent and had no permit.

The truth: The protesters had been holding a peaceful program in front of the US embassy for more than an hour. They were down to their last speaker when Pedrozo gave the order to disperse. In the first video, the ground commander could be heard telling Pedrozo that the program was down to its last two speakers. The violent dispersal involved tear gas fired by the SWAT team, truncheons from the dispersal unit, and a vehicle used to ram protesters. The police had planned the dispersal to save face with the US embassy. Moments before the commotion, a plainclothes police official approached me and told me how mad the District Chief was and that there was an order to disperse the protesters. I told him we were down to our last speaker and that the group was about to leave the area. From this particular conversation, it is plain that the dispersal was planned and unprovoked. It began with the arrival of Pedrozo at the rally site. It ended with 42 arrests, which included our entire medic team including a doctor, a nurse and health volunteers and a media person. Most of those arrested were Lumad from Mindanao including two minors. All injured who were brought to the hospital were deemed arrested and were placed under police guard. A jeepney driver was pulled out from his vehicle and repeatedly hit on the head with truncheons by anti-riot police and was left to die, until a police official brought him to a hospital.

Violent protesters? Clearly it was the PNP who was dishing out the most gruesome violence during the protest.

Philippines US Violent Protest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Historic assertion of national sovereignty and an independent foreign policy against US intervention. Ending US war games in the Philippines, ending joint patrols in disputed waters, reviewing the EDCA and opening PH doors for equal and mutually beneficial relations with countries not aligned with the US.
2. Resumption of peace talks with the NDFP, the release of political prisoners, affirmation of previous agreements, acceleration of discussions on substantive agenda and the historic indefinite unilateral ceasefires by both sides of the armed conflict. 
3. Appointments of progressives to key cabinet posts such as DSWD, DAR, NAPC, as well as officials in DOLE and the Presidential Commission on Urban Poor.
4. Distribution of 358 hectares in Hacienda Luisita and a nationwide freeze in land conversion as ordered by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Commission. 
5. Mining audit and the suspension of companies engaged in destructive mining operations. 
6. And end to the “tanim-bala” scam and the scrapping of the Overseas Employment Certificate for returning OFW’s. 
7. DSWD Memorandum Circular 9 which upholds the Supreme Court ruling against pork barrel funds by members of Congress, and gives the DSWD the final say in determining what kind of assistance will be given to requests endorsed by lawmakers. 
8. Creating favorable conditions for the return of the displaced Lumad to their communities. Official acknowledgement that paramilitary groups sowing terror in the countryside are government-backed.
9. Exposing the gravity and extent of problem of illegal drugs and its connection to corruption in the police, local government units and agencies of the executive.
10. Freedom of Information Executive Order during its first month in office, covering all agencies under the executive branch. 

10 major issues and challenges



1. Increased  US intervention and other counter-actions aimed at undermining the Duterte government amid its strong assertion of national sovereignty. Resistance from within the government by pro-US cabinet and military officials. 
2. Resistance by rightist, militarist and pro-imperialist groups to peace efforts. Continuing militarization and operation of paramilitary groups. The need to address the socio-economic roots of the armed conflict as well as the need to pass a general amnesty proclamation for political prisoners. 
3. The rising death toll in the war on drugs and the worsening climate of impunity involving state security forces. Increasing violations of due process and human rights. 

4. The continuing adoption of the neoliberal economic framework by Duterte’s economic team, relying heavily on foreign investments, foreign debt, overseas remittances and public-private partnership projects. 
5. Resistance by big business to efforts to end contractualization and for the passage of a national minimum wage. The lack of clear guidelines and steps by the DOLE to end contractualization.
6. The persistence of the neoliberal, anti-student K-12 program in the service of global manpower needs and of private profits in the education sector.
7. Continuing corporatization of health services and the adoption of neoliberal programs in the health sector by the DOH.
8. Transportation and traffic woes and questions regarding emergency powers for the transportation department.
9. DOF’s anti people tax reforms that seek to remove  VAT exemptions to senior citizens and PWD’s and raise excise taxes on petroleum products. 
10. Intensifying contradictions among different political factions, exposing the rottenness of the ruling system.