Reject Marcos Jr’s justification of 1972 martial law, normalization of abuses

Marco Valbuena | Chief Information Officer | Communist Party of the Philippines

September 16, 2022

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) firmly rejects the statements of Ferdinand Marcos Jr which justify Marcos Sr’s declaration of martial law on September 21, 1972, as well as the abuses committed by the military and police during the 14-year reign of terror.

The other day, Marcos Jr echoed the same claims made by his father fifty years ago that the country was facing both a “communist rebellion” and a “Moro separatist movement.” Like his father, Marcos Jr scapegoated the New People’s Army, which in 1972 was just a few hundred strong and based mostly in Luzon. It was a narrow justification to establish a military dictatorship, whose real aim was to monopolize political power, suppress all forms of dissent and opposition, and camouflage their reign of plunder and corruption.

Marcos Jr admitted that abuses were committed but normalized these by claiming that such happen “like in any war.” He obscured the existence of international laws that govern war, which precisely, aim to protect people from such abuses.

During Marcos Sr’s dictatorship, the military and police committed gross abuses primarily against peasants and minority peoples, to take away their land to serve the interests of big landlords, foreign logging and mining companies and their bourgeois comprador partners; and against workers to destroy their unions and press down wages to the benefit of profit-hungry capitalists. Scores of massacres and killings, torture and political detention of tens of thousands of people, are among the gross acts of abuses committed during Marcos’ dictatorial rule.

Marcos Jr must be denounced for his abominable justification of these abuses. He practically exculpated the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and military-police officer for all the abuses and rights violations committed under martial law. He is feeding the fascist mindset and impunity with which abuses and violations of human rights continue to be perpetrated by state-terrorist forces to this day.

Despite established facts and court decisions, both here and abroad, Marcos Sr, nor any one of his officers, was ever punished for these crimes. This is among the reasons why the fascist abuses of martial law continue to this day with the same brutal tactics of martial law being applied to suppress the people’s civil and political rights and eliminate all forms of resistance and opposition.

Marcos Jr and the rest of the Marcoses are the biggest beneficiary of martial law. They illegally accumulated billions of dollars through plunder and corruption of public funds. Marcos Jr’s ascension to power was bankrolled using martial law monies to mount a campaign of disinformation to manipulate public opinion, buy political and military loyalties, and establish an alliance with the Dutertes and Arroyos to rig the automated elections and secure his power.

While the Filipino people suffer from widespread unemployment, low wages and salaries, lack of income, landlessness and land grabbing, the Marcoses and their minions, continue to accumulate wealth and power, buttressed by the same vicious beasts of martial law. Especially at this time that the Filipino people remember the declaration of martial law 50 years ago, they must vigorously reject and denounce the abuses of political, economic and military power that continue to this day. They must wage revolutionary struggle to put an end to the semicolonial and semifeudal system that engenders increasingly worse forms of oppression and exploitation.