The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas expresses its solidarity with the demonstrations under the United People’s March Against Tyranny and Dictatorship in Tacloban City and nationwide today for the 47th commemoration of Marcos’s imposition of martial law. These put forward the timely call for people’s resistance and democracy over dictatorship. In particular, the people of the Eastern Visayas Region are also fighting the intensified fascist campaign of the Duterte regime and its rising human rights violations and calling on their friends and allies to stand with Samar and Leyte.
It is correct to remember the people’s bitter experiences under the Marcos fascist dictatorship. One of these, also commemorated only a week ago, is the Sept. 15, 1981 massacre of 45 civilians who were accused of supporting the New People’s Army in the village of Sag-od, Las Navas, Northern Samar. Until today, the relatives of the victims and other villagers continue to remember the tragedy – no one has ever been brought to account for the heinous crime. The Marcoses have in fact been fully rehabilitated under Rodrigo Duterte, an avowed admirer of the fascist dictator.
Such bloody events are coming back with a vengeance under Duterte, who has surpassed 14 years of the Marcos dictatorship by launching mass killings in “counterinsurgency” and “anti-drug” wars. At least 21 have been killed in the region since Memo 32 and Executive Order 70 imposed a state of virtual martial law in Samar, Negros and Bicol. Up to to 545 barrios have been militarized and as many as 300,000 have been affected by the Duterte regime’s fascist campaign Oplan Kapayapaan in the Eastern Visayas Region. But Oplan Kapayapaan is nothing a but a rehash of previous strategic campaigns except with with even more horrific human rights violations under the most bloodthirsty puppet president in Philippine history.
The country is thus reliving the nightmare of martial law. Like his despicable idol Marcos, Duterte can no longer rule in the old way and wants to monopolize political power and plunder for his family, cronies and imperialist masters. But Duterte can no more recreate the past than can he make the people go through another fascist dictatorship again. History is on the side of the United People’s March Against Tyranny and Dictatorship. Duterte is too drunk with power as to be oblivious that the people have proven twice they can effect regime change through mobilizing millions and convincing the military to withdraw their support of the sitting president.
We are fully confident that the people’s march can go on and generate millions more in the future who can surround Malacañang and oust Duterte, expunging him as deservingly as his ugly expletives. We urge the people to stand fast and fight for their democratic rights and their sovereign right to rise up and depose an unjust ruler. We invite those who are persecuted and endangered by Red-tagging and martial law conditions to go to the countryside and join the armed struggle. In remembering and resisting martial law, in the final analysis it is not enough to change regimes, we must continue to fight until the reactionary ruling system can be overthrown and national and social liberation attained. Only then can we conclusively say, Never again.