Oppose the Marcoses’ bid for higher positions and expose their crimes against the Ilocano people!
The best person to help perpetuate a blatant lie is a barefaced unapologetic liar himself. With the help of another tyrant-dictator Rodrigo Duterte, the Marcos clan persistently upholds the myth of Ferdinand Marcos’ heroism. While some parts of the nation outside Ilocos might believe that the whole region considers him a hero, the truth is that there is a growing number of individuals and organizations that considers this as grave an insult as does the rest of the country. For the National Democratic Front – Ilocos and the organizations and groups under it, Marcos is a daylight thief and berdugo for the masses – even in Ilocos region, wrongly perceived as his stronghold and yet where his Martial Law atrocities also prevailed. Worse, it is where the Marcos family continues to plague the people with severe economic burdens and political repression.
Marcos, Never A Hero Anywhere
While using infrastructure and institutions to deodorize the name of his father who collaborated with Japanese forces, the Marcos dictatorship commits illegal arrests and incidents of torture in the Ilocos Norte municipalities of Vintar, Dumalneg, Solsona, Marcos and Piddig. Three members of indigenous tribes from Pallas Valley and eight farmers from Bangui were summarily executed. Even the association of Martial Law victims in Ilocos Norte reported that at least two extrajudicial killings took place there when Bongbong Marcos was governor of Ilocos Norte from 1983 to 1986 and military rule was in place nationwide.
Their greed for profit and influence is currently concentrated in the Ilocos region. In January 2019, Imee Marcos had the temerity to claim that poverty incidence dropped under her governance as if she had no role in aggravating it with her plunder of tobacco excise fund that should have benefitted 37,000 impoverished tobacco farmers in Ilocos. In 2017, her office instead used it to purchase motor vehicles which was then distributed among selected local government units, some of which do not even have local tobacco production. The 110 motor vehicles were overpriced by Php21.45 million, amounted to Php66.45 million and was managed by Imee’s domestic partner Mark Chua.
It was also used to heavily pad Imee’s pet project, Programang Ikauunlad ng Mamamayan, Ekonomya at Ekolohiya, in 2011 (Php57.5 million) and in 2013 (Php78.6 million and another Php78 million). The plundered millions could and should have helped improve the agricultural sector through the irrigation of around 27,000 hectares in the region or the purchase of tractor machines for each agricultural barangay in Ilocos. Imee and the rest of her family is bleeding the Ilocano people dry not just through corruption but also through low tobacco selling prices and lack of land to till.
A True Hero Is A Hero For The People
Local corruption and human rights abuses were and are still so prevalent that a number of persons hailing from the Ilocos provinces chose to be part of a nationwide campaign against the Marcoses’ bid for a national position. The constant grab for power and the never-ending exploitation of the masses explains very well why the opposition against the rule of the Marcos family is steadily gaining ground. The illusion of a solid Ilocandia behind the Marcoses was false during the Martial Law period and especially so today that their family has been exposed, tried and found guilty by international courts.
The real heroes are those who serve the people. When Diego and Gabriela Silang took it upon themselves to lead a local uprising against the abusive Spaniards, that was heroism. When Father Gregorio Aglipay abandoned the comfort and safety of the cloth to take up arms against the attacking American troops, that was heroism.
The most effective heroes are those who take part in the national democratic struggle. They are so effective that state agents are hell-bent to silence them to the very breath. But when fascist mercenaries violently snuff the life out of members of the revolutionary army, New People’s Army (NPA), it only serves to stoke the revolutionary fire in the Ilocos region. Their heroism lives forever in the minds and hearts of the people they served.
Duterte and his ilk are not fooling anyone when they assigned September 11 as a day for the people of Ilocos to celebrate Ferdinand Marcos’ heroism. Rather, it is a day to force the normalization of dictatorship and tyranny. It is a step closer to a formally declared Martial Law as opposed to the de facto one already in place.
But the people can still overcome Duterte’s intensified militaristic rule. Only through armed struggle and organization of people into cells and chapters will progressive and revolutionary forces reinforce ranks and commit to united action. The general public must be taught that there is a people’s army that takes their side, especially of the impoverished farmers and fisher folk in the countryside. Wherever there are large groups of individuals experiencing a common form of exploitation and abuse, there should be a militant organization that will not waver in the face of armed conflict. These extraordinary times require organizers, propagandists and mass leaders to exert utmost creativity and determination in order to accomplish the necessary ideological, political and organizational requirements. These are challenging but not impossible tasks and the national democratic organization has proven time and again, that with the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines, it will take this task to hear and pass with red banner flying high. ###