Today, we mark the 35th year of the gruesome Escalante Massacre. We remember how the fateful day of September 20, 1985, a peaceful protest calling for an end to Martial rule and for legitimate socio-economic demands were met with violence by State forces. Twenty innocent civilians were lost and 30 others were injured. Thirty-five years have passed yet justice remain elusive and it will remain to do so as long as oppression and exploitation exists. Thirty-five years later and the culture of impunity lingers.
Moreover, the specter of tyranny and dictatorship continues to haunt us up to this day. The Duterte administration never stopped oppressing and terrorizing the people ever since he came into power. The more than 29,000 victims of extrajudicial killings in the name of the war on drugs, Memorandum Order 32, Executive Order 70, the Anti-Terror Act of 2020, the harassment, vilification, and even killing of critics and activists and numerous other victims of state-sponsored violence are clear manifestations of the bloody and dictatorial rule of the Duterte administration. In Negros alone, more than 90 innocent lives have fallen victim to Duterte’s thirst for blood. Duterte’s bloodlust war against the Filipino people have brought nothing but suffering through widespread death and destruction. Massive military operations have terrorized and victimized farmers, community organizers, vocal critics, and mass leaders by means of harassment, intimidation, vilification, red-tagging and even killing.
The fascism and tyranny of the US-Duterte regime is intolerable and unacceptable.
The Filipino people will not just idly sit by. Our demand is clear. We oppose any forms of dictatorship because we believe in the fundamental principles of freedom and democracy. It is in this spirit that the Filipino people will take the necessary steps to resist Duterte’s each step forward to advance his dictatorship.
Together, let us show our collective dissent and resonate our call to overthrow the fascist US-Duterte dictatorship!
Justice for the victims of Escalante Massacre!
Justice for all victims of fascism!