Marcos Jr's amnesty offer is garbage

This article is available in Pilipino

The Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army rejected Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s proposal to declare an amnesty for all those who will surrender the Filipino people’s revolutionary armed cause. He announced this plan in his State of the Nation Address on July 24.

At the forefront of this folly is the National Task Force-Elcac which claims there are 30,000 “surrendees related to the Communist Party of the Philippines” who are eligible for amnesty. Truth is, most of these “surrenderees” are civilians who were forced to surrender and are charged with trumped-up cases.

“Communists and revolutionary fighters remain true to the aspirations of the Filipino people,” according to the CPP through its information officer Marco Valbuena. The revolutionary cause is far greater than any Marcos offer of amnesty. “Revolutionaries are motivated not by the selfish desire for some personal gain, rather by the selfless devotion to serve and struggle with the people.”

History shows how the colonial, and later on the neocolonial counterrevolutionary state has used amnesty offers as sugar-coated bullets against revolutionary forces. The US colonial government offered amnesty to Filipino freedom fighter Macario Sakay in 1905, but executed him later in 1907. In 1946, some leaders of the Hukbalahap (Hukbong Bayan laban sa Hapon) were enticed by the amnesty program of Elpidio Quirino only to be murdered a few months later.

Installed into power by a combination of a military coup and giant mass movements, Corazon Aquino and Gloria Arroyo were both pushed to declare amnesty and release a number political prisoners. Shortly thereafter, their regimes waged a brutal war of suppression marked by killings and massacres.

“Marcos’ offer of amnesty for those who will surrender is duplicitous, considering that close to 800 political prisoners remain in jails, and everyday, people are being arrested and persecuted for their political beliefs and social commitment,” the Party said. Under the banner of the “war against terror,” people’s organizations everywhere are being suppressed and attacked, using the extraordinary draconian powers under the so-called Anti-Terrorism Law.

Marcos’ claims that his government’s “community development and livelihood programs” are effectively “addressing the root cause of conflict in the countryside” are utterly devoid of the truth, and completely out of touch with reality.

Marcos boasted of the Barangay Development Program (BDP) and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), farm to market roads and the “New Agrarian Emancipation Act,” all of which perpetuate the basic problem of social injustice and poverty, that are rooted in the problem of landlessness.

Marcos’ declared plan to issue an amnesty proclamation fits into the so-called “localized peace talks” and “surrender drive” in which rural communities are placed under military occupation (hamlets) and subjected to the AFP’s psywar, intelligence and combat operations. In the past five years or so, a few tens of thousands of civilians have been falsely depicted as “surrenderees” without being charged in court, in violation of their civil and political rights.

The peasant masses are subjected daily to worsening forms of oppression and exploitation. Military and police abuses, summary killings, torture, unlawful detention, enforced disappearances and other violations of human rights are most rampant in the countryside, and are being carried out with utmost impunity.

“The need to wage revolutionary armed resistance, alongside all other forms of struggle, is now more than ever, urgent, just and necessary,” the CPP said. Marcos himself, by negative example, is showing the people the need to bear arms and take the road of revolutionary resistance.

Marcos Jr's amnesty offer is garbage