The Filipino people will mark in a few days the 48th anniversary of the Marcos dictatorship’s martial law imposition. Marking this day has added importance because of the similar situation we face today. Lessons from the 14-year struggle against the dictatorship are deeply significant and should help guide in confronting and fighting the Duterte fascist tyranny.
Duterte has virtually pulled the country back to the dark days of Marcos’ martial law with the incessant attacks against democracy and freedom. Like then, people’s rights are systematically taken away and their struggles are suppressed to untrammeled reign by Duterte and his cronies and minions.
Like the erstwhile dictator, Duterte’s thirst for power and wealth is unquenchable. Using state armed forces to spill the people’s blood and terrorize everyone, he established his unquestioned authority. All must kneel and plead. Duterte is an insatiable monster unleashing unlimited brutality against those who dare challenge him.
He sits on the shoulders of soldiers and police. His cruelty and brutality is supreme. He spits and tramples on people’s rights. There is rampant killings and violence against the poor, and against anyone who stands and fights for the people. In four years, Duterte has surpassed the old dictator in terms of mass murder by state armed agents.
Duterte’s endless wars have no other aim but to suppress and silence the people and feed his soldiers and police. It is utterly reprehensible that his fascist response to Covid-19 has resulted in widespread failures, inutility and economic crisis.
Duterte now is the bureaucrat capitalist king. He is the lord of all drug lords in the country. He is the biggest traitor to Philippine freedom and sovereignty, and colludes with China in plundering country’s wealth. His anti-American rhetoric is hollow when all he could do is bow to his imperialist master.
In marking Marcos’ martial law amid Duterte’s all-out fascism, let us recall and be inspired by the courage and heroism of the Filipino people, by the tens of thousands of patriots who did not hesitate to take on the difficult and dangerous path of struggle, sacrificed and gave up their lives to end the dictatorship. Scores went to the countryside to sow and nurture the armed revolution.
In the dark years of martial law, workers mounted strikes to fight for their rights and welfare, as well as for the people’s aspiration for freedom. Peasants and the poor marched hundreds of kilometers. Plazas and streets became great schools where students honed their knowledge and learned the lessons of history and struggle. The countryside and mountain ranges raged in widespread armed struggle and served as fortress of the people’s democratic power. Every stream of rebellion gathered into a raging river of resistance leading to a powerful uprising.
Th people’s desire to be free from Marcos’ martial law is the same aspiration that now drives them to be liberated from repression and oppression of the Duterte tyranny. Under the evil Duterte regime, majority of the Filipino people suffer from unprecedented economic, social and health crisis, while Duterte’s cronies and collaborators wallow in corruption, fascism and plunder.
Using the threat of the Anti-Terror Law, the killings, abductions and arrests, the Duterte regime silences and paralyzes the people’s democratic resistance. All tactics are applied to preempt the people from coalescing into a broad front of all democratic forces and coming together in a powerful people’s uprising.
The Party encourages the Filipino people and their democratic mass movement to act all-out and frustrate the attempts of the Duterte regime to suppress them. They must employ all means to mobilize the people in their numbers.
Duterte’s restrictions against rights on the pretext of Covid-19 pandemic response must be overcome. Lack of public transportation, prohibiting the youth from going out and restrictions against mass gathering curtail efforts in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses.
Remember that no amount of restrictions can stop people from taking action if they are conscious and determined to fight and end Duterte’s evil reign. The key is to rouse the people and raise their consciousness and determination to act.
Propaganda and education work among the masses must be untiringly carried out, taking advantage of technology whereever it is available to send out statements and calls to large numbers, at the same time regularly publishing newspapers and other printed material as solid forms of propaganda.
Take effort to transform the factories and communities into centers of political activity by mounting mass meetings to discuss their daily concerns, how their problems are linked to the overall situation of the country and why they must come out and act. In militarized communities, the people must be creative in evading surveillance and restrictions by state agents.
The democratic mass struggles of the basic classes and sectors must be carried forward with full force. The strength and courage of the toiling masses will encourage other classes and forces to stand up and fight, including those among the conservative opposition and their allies in the military and police who are fed up with Duterte. The united front of democratic forces must be expanded and strengthened in their effort to demand Duterte’s resignation or ouster from power.
The New People’s Army must continue to intensify and widen guerrilla warfare across the country. Together with the people’s militia and self-defense units, they must cut a thousand wounds on the fascist regime to allow the mass struggles to grow and to further strengthen the army and the people’s organs of democratic power.
The Duterte fascist regime must not be allowed to reign unchallenged. But the longer it remains and the more brutal it becomes, the more it stokes the people’s anger and determination to fight back, the sooner will be the end of Duterte’s military rule.