Resist Marcos’ war intensification amid crisis
Appearance and airs aside, the US-Marcos regime is no different in essence from the previous US-Duterte regime when it comes to fundamental economic, political and social issues. Like the previous tyrant, Marcos represents the interests of foreign imperialists and the local ruling classes. In the face of the intensifying crisis, Marcos’ response is to intensify the war against the people.
Marcos promotes and perpetuates policies and laws that are anti-worker and anti-peasant, and oppress ordinary Filipinos. The militarist mentality still prevails, and the oppressive and brutal fascist-terrorist war continues to rage against people who are resisting and defending their rights.
Military and security officials recently declared that they will push for the worn out “localized peace talks” that merely serves to camouflage the massive war of repression and pacification against the masses to force them to give up their land defense and struggle for agrarian reforms. This is in line with the so-called “peace economy” that seeks to pave the way for large foreign multinational corporations to take over the remaining land for mining operations and plantations. American companies aim to control about 300,000 thousand hectares of land in Mindanao. Thus, “localized peace talks” will exacerbate, not solve, the greatest problem of landlessness and oppression of the peasant masses that are the cause of widespread poverty and hunger in the countryside.
To achieve “peace” for foreign multinational corporations, the reactionary military and police will subject the masses to intensified intelligence, intimidation, psy-ops and large-scale combat operations. People suffer from hamletting of villages, movement restrictions, food blockades and other forms oppression. Aerial bombing, strafing and shelling in conjunction with the AFP’s large-scale military operations cause widespread terror and endanger the people’s lives.
This scheme by the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac also serves as milking cow for military officers who pocket millions of pesos in kickbacks in the “surrender” fund and partnership in contracts to pave roads (so-called “farm-to-market roads”) and construction of various infrastructures.
Marcos turns a blind eye to the social and economic roots of the people’s revolutionary armed resistance, especially the main issue of land reform. To justify its refusal to revive peace talks with the revolutionary movement’s national leadership, the regime denies that the armed struggle that is steadily advancing throughout the archipelago is rooted in problems affecting the entire country.
People’s sufferings will be exacerbated by Marcos’ desire to continue along the neoliberal path that for decades has led the country from one crisis to another. These policies dictated by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank (IMF-WB) have crippled the Philippine economy so much that it can no longer stand on its own two feet, and made it highly dependent on foreign investments and loans, and on imported food and other necessities.
Recent years saw the accelerated decline of the economy and people’s lives. The country floats in debt and survives on dollar remittances. The peso’s value against the dollar, and the amount that people’s money can buy, continue to depreciate. The state has become bankrupt as a result of corporate tax cuts to attract foreign capitalists, worsening corruption with grandiose infrastructure, and military and police overspending.
A slew of taxes are being planned to be imposed on the people in order to repay debts and borrow more. Workers’ low wages will be repressed to serve big capitalist interests. Tens of thousands of farmers are set to be driven away from lands being cleared for foreign companies. To “save money,” thousands of government employees are set to be fired, while bureaucrats pocket large salaries and kickbacks. Millions are unemployed, and everywhere the toiling masses are tormented by soaring prices of food and petroleum products, and are deprived of their livelihood.
The Marcos regime is playing deaf to people’s grievances. People are muzzled and their cries drowned out. Their right to assemble in the streets is being taken away by intimidation and repression in order to prevent the rise of people’s militant protests. Marcos is terrified that people’s strikes and uprisings would break out amid severe crisis. Marcos and his military and police are employing all-out fascist restrictions to stop the escalation and advance of the people’s resistance.
Threats of the Philippine crisis erupting, while the Marcos regime ignores the people’s grievances, leave the Filipino people with no option but to intensify all forms of resistance. Different sectors must unite to fight for their immediate demands for higher wages, lower prices, free education and health services and more. They must organize stronger militant protest actions from factories, communities and universities to plazas and streets.
In the countryside, the only path for the peasant masses is to unite and advance various forms of struggle for land and defend their rights against fascist repression. They must vigorously oppose worsening forms of exploitation that take away the wealth cultivated by their sweat and blood, and fight the companies that grab land, and plunder and destroy the environment.
As shown during the Marcos I dictatorship, waging revolutionary armed struggle is the most effective means of defending the interests of the masses and fighting the war of suppression against the people. We must multiply the number of Red fighters throughout the country, expand and increase the guerrilla fronts and launch widespread and intensive tactical offensives.