More than five decades since the declaration of martial law, the Filipino people once again find themselves in a lurid moment of déjà vu. From enforced disappearances, fake surrenders, political killings to widespread corruption amid economic and social crises – history seems to repeat itself.
The disappearance and eventual resurfacing of two environmental activists Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro clearly exposed the NTF-Elcac’s (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) insidious agenda. Jhed and Jonila’s defiance in the face of military intimidation was a major blow to the Marcos-Duterte clique and their fascist minions in the NTF-Elcac and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Amid surging prices of basic commodities and depressed wages plaguing the toiling masses, the Marcos-Duterte regime systematically robs the people’s coffers through its so-called ‘confidential and intelligence funds.’ Questioned on how she acquired and spent P125 million worth of confidential funds, Sara Duterte instead resorted to ad hominem attacks to evade explaining how she spent those millions of pesos of people’s money in just 11 days.
Instead of wasting billions of taxpayers’ money, the Marcos administration could better address the economic crisis through the important reforms outlined in the NDFP’s Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER). This substantive agenda in the peace talks includes the calls for genuine land reform, national industrialization, and an independent foreign policy among others. But like his father, Marcos Jr has no interest in pursuing the path to peace by addressing the roots of the armed conflict. Instead, it resorts to US-directed and supported military solutions as shown in his administration’s new National Security Policy (NSP) patterned after the US counterinsurgency guide.
Akin to his father’s foreign policy, Marcos Jr. demonstrates his propensity of kowtowing to US imperialist interests. Under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), four additional US military bases are set for construction on Philippine soil affirming the country’s status as a US military outpost to the detriment of the Filipino people.
Recently, the Department of Education (DepEd) under the leadership of Sara Duterte released a memorandum directing publishers to remove the name “Marcos” to pertain to the “Marcos Dictatorship” from grade school textbooks. The so-called memo reeks of historical revisionism meant to deodorize the Marcos family’s reputation and threatens to erase more than a decade of human rights abuses and atrocities during the fascist Marcos Sr. regime.
Indeed, state terror continues in its many forms. Fascist repression plagues us as we live under an undeclared state of Martial Law and persistent attempts to rehabilitate the image of the Marcoses. The broad masses of workers, peasants and the rest of the Filipino people have no other option but to wage militant resistance, including armed struggle, to defend their rights and advance their aspirations for genuine national freedom and democracy.