Not content with its red-tagging, fake surrender campaigns and other nefarious schemes to undermine the revolutionary movement, the local running dogs of the fascist US-Duterte regime has resorted to a most condemnable desecration job in a vain attempt to erase memorials of our people’s valiant victories and history of struggle. In a flagrant display of madness, PNP troops demolished the Cordillera Heroes Marker located at Sitio Mar-o, Brgy. Bugnay, Tinglayan, Kalinga along the Bontoc-Kalinga Road last January 13.
The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) denounces this high handed desecration of our people’s treasured heroes’ shrine. The flimsy road-right-of-way basis for demolishing the marker is plainly irrational and ridiculous. The narrow land area where the structure was erected belongs to the heroes’ families who painstakingly worked to comply with the requirement for putting up the structure in 2017. This brazen deed is clear oppression, an act of trampling on our people’s history and our identity. It is a case of bizarre second murder of Macliing Dulag, who was ruthlessly murdered in the prime of his life; a defamation of the heroic legacy of Lucian Lumbaya who despite his poor health stood tall amongst his fellow victims of oppression and likewise of Pedro Dungoc Sr., who opted to join the New People’s Army (NPA) after surviving the attempted murder together with Macliing Dulag. The marker serves as a symbol of the fearless struggle of the people of Bontoc and Kalinga who were at the forefront of the triumphant fight against the destructive Chico mega dam projects during the dark days of the US-Marcos dictatorship, eventually leading to the withdrawal of said project. It is a monument to celebrate the legacy of this historic people’s victory. Were it not for the heroic struggle of the people exemplified by the people’s heroes like Macliing Dulag, Lucian Lumbaya and Pedro Dungoc Sr., the tribal ili and payaws of Kalinga and Mountain Province located along the banks of the Chico River would have been surely submerged and eradicated from the map. Now decades after their death, the exploiting ruling class under the rein of fascist Duterte has not gotten over with their nightmarish defeat after all.
Duterte’s fascist underlings in the Cordillera blundered badly if they imagine that by demolishing the marker, they can relegate the memory of our heroes to oblivion and terrorize our people into submission. Unknown to them, monuments of heroism continue to rise in the very heart of every freedom-loving Cordilleran who refuse to be forever enslaved, persevere in the fight against oppression and exploitation and look forward to the realization of our right to self-determination. These are unshakable monuments that no bulldozers and backhoes can demolish.
The dreaded state fascism of the US-Marcos dictatorship, unleashed the 1st GHQ Brigade to implement Oplan Chumanchill intended to cow the people into submission coupled with the forced recruitment for the Citizens Home Defense Force (CHDF) paramilitaries from among the tribes, has only enraged the people and pushed them to take up arms with many youths joining the NPA.
We see the same pattern of ruthless dictatorial rule happening today under the US-Duterte regime, which now has an unsurpassed record of sophisticated brutality. With his insatiable greed to extend his power alongside his futile desire to cover up his regime’s inutility to stem the tide of the Covid 19 health crisis, unbridled corruption in government and drug menace, Duterte and his minions have revved up their fascist attacks against the people under the cloak of the much-parroted convoluted line of anti-terrorism. Just like his idol Marcos, “subversive”, “communist” and ”terrorist” tags were slapped to silence anyone opposed to or critical to his tyrranical rule. Under Duterte’s tyrannical rule, our rich natural resources and ancestral lands have been collateralized to satisfy and fast track his ambitious Build, Build, Build program. With only less than 500 days left of his stay at Malacanang, despite his strong-man pretenses, and resolving anything but none of the problems he promised to solve, he is actually losing grip and now going berserk to eliminate peasant and tribal mass leaders and activists through extra judicial killings, massacres and illegal arrests based on trumped up charges.
Fighting for our rights, lands and life and to change this rotten present social system is not terrorism. No matter what sinister ploy the US-Duterte regime undertakes to undermine the revolutionary struggle, the people will not be shaken. We will resist and fight! We thus call on the Cordillera people to stand their ground and continue to fight the brutal onslaught of the Duterte regime and the violations of our rights to our ancestral lands, livelihood and our very own lives. Let us look back on the lessons taught us by the Chico Dam struggle, and draw strength from these to persevere in advancing the national democratic revolution. Because only through the victory of the national-democratic revolution and the establishment of a socialist society can we fully achieve our right to self-determination and democracy.
Live on the lessons of the Chico Dam struggle!
Fight against the attacks on national minorities and the whole people!
Resist the tyranny! Oust the US-Duterte regime!