Sweep away the dark shroud of martial law

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More than five decades have passed, still the country remains under the dark shroud of martial law imposed by Ferdinand Marcos Sr on September 21, 1972. The darkness grows thicker amid relentless fascism and corruption under the government of the dictator’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, while Filipinos undergo severe sufferings, with plummeting living standards and gross violations of their rights.

Corruption today by leading officials of the Marcos-Duterte regime is brazen. They have zero recognition of responsibility to the people. They show complete contempt, disregard, or distort the laws of the reactionary system. Just as it was under the Marcos dictatorship, “democracy” under Marcos Jr is cheap trimmings to his power that recognizes no limits.

The Marcos-Duterte clique has the entire government machinery in their hands. Their main instruments of social control are the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the brutal, bloody and utterly illegal tactics of terrorism and repression against the people. It uses the National Task Force-Elcac, established by Rodrigo Duterte, to place all government agencies under strict control, under pain of being accused of supporting “terrorism.”

All branches and agencies of the reactionary Marcos government merely follow his dictates. The Marcos and Duterte supermajority dominates congress, both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The voice of the handful of minority oppositionists are drowned by Marcos and Duterte’s minions, to railroad whatever Marcos and Duterte wants.

Since Marcos Jr assumed power, a number of cases involving close to ₱1.7 billion of Marcos stolen wealth were dismissed by the Supreme Court and other courts.

Under the reign of the dictator’s son, Marcos Jr, power and public funds are used with impunity. Although questionable, immoral or outrightly illegal, a policy, program or measure is affirmed and offered to Marcos and Duterte. This is the “loyalty” proferred by minions of fascists and dictators, in exchange of course, for funding, favors or positions. This is now starkly demonstrated on the issue of “confidential and intelligence funds” (CIF) that are set to be allocated anew to the offices of Marcos (nearly ₱5 billion) and Sara Duterte (₱650 million). These are public funds that Marcos and Duterte secretly spend without accountability to the people. In the same way, Marcos’ minions railroaded the ₱500-billion Maharlika Investment Fund which will give Marcos the power to funnel public funds to the pockets of his favored big capitalist cronies.

While daily the toiling masses suffer and try to feed their families with meager incomes, Marcos and his family and officials jet-set and live the life in one foreign trip after another, purportedly to invite foreign capitalists to invest or visit the Philippines. Marcos’s close to ₱1.5 billion travel budget for 2024 is nearly three times bigger than that of 2022, and 5,000% bigger compared to 2021.

Marcos’ ₱5-trillion proposed 2024 budget is a gargantuan budget for corruption. The largest part will go to infrastructure projects (bridges, roads, rails and others) which is the source of hundreds of millions of pesos of kickback that line the pockets of bureaucratic capitalists, in connivance with big businessmen, and foreign banks and corporations. Many of these projects drive people away from their land and homes, plunder and destroy the environment and cause ever greater disasters.

Alongside barefaced corruption and plunder of people’s funds, the Marcos regime carries out relentless political repression and employs dirty tactics to silence its critics and eliminate all obstacles to corruption and anti-poor and anti-people programs. There are intensifying attacks and hamletting of rural communities, bombings and shelling, forcing civilians to “surrender”, killings and massacres. There are increasing cases of abductions, torture and disappearance of activists who work for the welfare of the masses.

There seem to be no bounds to the terrible darkness of Marcos Jr’s tyrannical power and reign of state terrorism. But in fact, fascist brutality and unbridled corruption under the Marcos regime are signs of the further degeneration of the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system. These accelerate further the deterioration of the ruling system, and sharpens the people’s awareness of the need to act to defend their interests and rights, and advance their aspiration for revolutionary social change.

Now, more than ever, the Filipino people need to sweep away the darkness with which the entire country is being enshrouded by Marcos. They must dispel all the fear which the terrorist state is planting on their chest. Like in the years of martial law, the fascist reactionaries want the people to be gripped by fear and anxiety to crush their determination to fight back.

Thus, courage, determination and ardent militance are needed to tread the path of resistance, whether in the city or countryside, on the streets or on the path of armed resistance. In order not to allow the evils of the Marcos regime to reign, all democratic classes and forces must rise and fight.

Martial law in 1972 was declared by the US puppet state as a war against the Filipino people. Like in the struggle against the fascist dictatorship, armed struggle today is the most important form of struggle for the people to combat state terrorism, alongside all other possible forms and methods of collective struggle to fight corruption, fascism and subservience of Marcos Jr.

The Communist Party of the Philippines serves as the core, backbone, and leader of the widespread resistance of the Filipino people. We must consolidate and strengthen the Party, including its leadership of the New People’s Army, to ensure the all-sided advance of the revolution and march at the forefront of the people’s struggle to attain a prosperous future where democracy and freedom reign.

Sweep away the dark shroud of martial law