Marcos amnesty is a big sham!

Marco Valbuena, Chief Information Officer Communist Party of the Philippines

The Marcos amnesty declaration (Proclamation No 404) is a big sham! The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and all revolutionary forces under its leadership denounce and reject the Marcos amnesty, and declare their unwavering determination to advance the revolutionary armed struggle to end imperialist domination, tyranny, corruption and oppression under the Marcos regime.

The sham amnesty of Marcos claims to seek “peace, unity and reconciliation.” But genuine, just and lasting peace can only be attained by addressing the roots of the civil war–widespread social injustice and the lack of genuine national freedom. However, the Marcos amnesty sham seeks only the pacification of the Filipino people by rewarding those who will betray the people’s cause and bow to their exploiters and oppressors.

Marcos’ amnesty proclamation is a program custom-fitted to benefit only a few counterrevolutionary traitors, contemptuously referring to themselves as “former rebels,” who are now active collaborators of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac. These renegades are utterly despicable for accepting from the fascists this gift soaked in the blood of the Filipino masses and their martyrs whom they have betrayed. They deserve the highest condemnation. Their bloody betrayal of the people’s cause will not be without consequence.

The Marcos amnesty is a sham and is bound to become another instrument of tyranny. It poses as a threat to basic democratic rights by declaring its scope of “crimes in pursuit of their political beliefs” to include “illegal assembly,” “illegal association”, “unlawful utterances” and so on. In the past, these so-called violations of the penal code have been repeatedly used to threaten people and curtail such basic rights as the right to peaceably assemble and freedom of expression. Marcos’ amnesty sham abets the military and police to abduct and detain more and more political prisoners in the false belief that they could force their conversion into military agents.

The Marcos amnesty is a big sham which like all previous scams is another milking cow. Hundreds of millions, if not a few billion pesos allotted for unaudited “community livelihood” programs, line up the pockets of bureaucrats and military officers. To access these large amounts of public funds, military and police forces forcibly enlist civilians as “surrenderees” or “former rebels” and claim areas as “insurgency-free.”

The amnesty program is a vain attempt to “divide and conquer” the revolutionary movement, an old and worn out tactic employed by all colonizers and tyrants of the past. Marcos is so full of himself to think that he can continue to use state terrorism against the people to force them to give up their aspirations. The more that Marcos’ armed forces and police carry out extrajudicial killings, massacres, abductions, torture, enforced disappearances, prolonged political detention, aerial bombings, hamletting and other gross abuses of human rights, the more that people are becoming united in their fight to defend their rights and interests.

It is absolutely cynical for Marcos to issue his amnesty proclamation while more than 800 political prisoners languish in jail, while the Duterte-issued Executive Order #70 and Memorandum Order #32 remains in effect, and while the NTF-Elcac continues to unleash a brutal campaign of suppression using the Anti-Terror Law as a weapon.

It is an outrageous mockery of the Filipino people’s morals that amnesty is being offered by Marcos, who is himself a benefactor of the fascist dictatorship and under whose command, heinous war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law are being committed with utter impunity by his armed forces and state agents. Everyday under Marcos, military and police agents directly aim their weapons against unarmed people who are defending their interests against economic aggression and dispossession using only their voices and bare arms.

The Filipino people are confronted by heightening foreign plunder, corruption, worsening suffering due to skyrocketing prices and slave-like wages, landgrabbing, widespread joblessness and dispossession of their livelihood, corruption and political repression under the US-Marcos regime. These worsening economic and political conditions are compelling the Filipino people to resist and defend their rights and welfare.

The Marcos amnesty proclamation will surely be trampled under the feet of the workers and peasants who are bound to march in their numbers along the militant path of struggle. It will end up a piece of waste paper in the face of the people’s determination to wage revolutionary armed struggle and carry forward the people’s war with greater energy than ever before.