US-Marcos regime’s fascist terrorism in the guise of national security
Heightened state fascist terrorism, greater subservience to US imperialism and intensified suppression of patriotic and democratic forces are the directions set by the newly released “National Security Policy” (NSP) of the US-Marcos regime. It puts all aspects of society—from economics to the environment—within the “national security” framework which broadened the role of military state security officers in state affairs.
The NSP makes lofty but empty declarations of “stable, comfortable and secure lives”, “national independence,” “territorial integrity” and “peace.” The truth is Marcos’ policies and initiatives further reinforce foreign control of the Philippines, bury the country deeper in foreign debt, and subject the Filipino people to greater hardships, hunger and oppression.
Officials of the Marcos regime claim that the NSP represents the strategic shift of priorities from internal security to external defense. But before it could “transition” the Armed Forces of the Philippines to external security, it prioritizes the suppression of all forces it considers as threats to the “political stability” of the ruling system.
Instead of scaling down, the approximately 150 battalions of military and police combat troops are being beefed up and remain deployed in guerrilla fronts across the country. Large-scale operations, intelligence and combat operations are being carried out in an attempt to encircle and suppress NPA units. At the same time, relentless aerial bombing and shelling endangering the lives of civilians and destroying the environment continue to be carried out.
Hundreds of rural villages are being occupied by several thousand armed troops of the AFP purportedly to deliver services and economic projects through the National Task Force-Elcac. In fact, these anomaly-ridden programs which line the pockets of corrupt military officers, merely conceal the widespread grabbing of farmers and minorities’ lands.
The NSP claims it “prefers” peace process over war but does not outline any plan to conduct peace negotiations with the NDFP to address the problems at the root of the civil war in the country and achieve a just and lasting peace. It does not change the old deceptive “localized peace talks” that is nothing but a campaign of suppression in the guise of a “surrender” and “amnesty” campaign.
With the NSP, Marcos openly declares plans to strengthen steps to suppress what it calls “legal fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDFP” supposedly to “stop recruitment, cut financial sources and debunk their propaganda.” These mass organizations which exist legally under the constitution of the Republic of the Philippines are brazenly accused of complicity in armed resistance to justify state surveillance, harassment and armed suppression.
The NSP’s declared purpose of providing “a secure business environment” will also be used to further target unions and workers’ organizations which stand for wage increases and regularization, and oppose the policy of cheap labor which Marcos wants to continue in compliance with the wishes of foreign capitalist investors.
In the countryside, the suppression campaign targets mass organizations of farmers and indigenous peoples who resist land grabbing, dislocation and environmental destruction by mining operations, plantations, as well as infrastructure projects of large capitalists in “renewable energy,” ecotourism and more. Since Marcos assumed power, cases of murder, abduction, torture and other forms of violence against civilians perpetrated by armed agents of the state have been rampant.
State harassment and suppression also target organizations of students, teachers, health workers, church people and other sectors who are active in defending the welfare of their sector and the interests of the people.
US imperialism continues to instigate and arm the AFP to carry out armed repression against all the people’s patriotic and democratic forces. This is in line with the desire of the US to use the AFP as a force multiplier in provoking an armed conflict against its imperialist rival Chinese.
Through the NSP, Marcos makes false claims of defending the country’s territory when it cedes vast tracts of Philippine land to US military control. Growing US military presence is being justified as a “deterrent” to China’s interference. On the contrary, the increasing menacing US presence on Philippine land and seas is inducing China to encroach upon and occupy an increasingly wide part of the country’s maritime territory. The NSP is heightening the risk of the Philippines being drawn in a possible outbreak of an interimperialist war between China and the US.
The US-Marcos regime claims that it will “soon crush” the revolutionary armed struggle being waged by the New People’s Army, punctuated by bold declarations that there remains “only one guerrilla front,” even if it daily releases news of armed encounters in different parts of the country.
In fact, the armed conflict throughout the Philippines continues to intensify, especially in the face of widespread land grabbing, poverty and bankruptcy among peasants in the countryside, which heigthen their desire to take up arms and defend themselves against the fascist state. With the support of the broad peasant masses and people, NPA units continue to persevere, expand under the enemy’s radar, regain strength, and prepare for a renewed advance.
The Filipino people must denounce and oppose worsening state fascist terrorism under the Marcos regime and its US-dictated “national security policy.” They must heighten their courage and vigorously carry forward all forms of struggle, especially the armed struggle, in order to advance continuously the people’s aspiration for national and social liberation.