Charge and punish the fascist US-Marcos Jr. regime!

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July 25, 2023 | The lingering oppression of the Abrenian people is worsening under the regime of US-Marcos Jr. Its programs and policies that solely serve the imperialists, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists drive poverty and social injustice into deeper quagmire.

To ensure the implementation of its anti-people and pro-imperialist policies, the US-Marcos Jr. regime further heightened its militarization in Abra province. The presence of three (3) Philippine Army battalions (24th, 102nd and 50th IB) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and approximately a battalion of the Philippine National Police inside people’s domiciles, yards and workplaces turns the entire province into a military garrison. Under the Task Force ELCAC, local government units up to barangay levels are obliged to obey military command.

Peasants of Abra are gravely agonizing on the havoc brought about by the military’s occupation on their communities. Their farms and pasturelands are bombed by the AFP. The people are prevented from going far from the center of their villages. A number of hunters were shot by the AFP during their operations. Many villagers were forced by the Army and PNP to surrender. They are compelled to report to the military headquarters whenever they are summoned. They were promised of aid and livelihood like hogs, but they only got a few heads of chicks. They weren’t even paid yet for their transport fares on these trips. The E-CLIP (Enhanced Community Integration and Livelihood Program) funds are just looted by the military while the innocent people are incessantly put into pressure. To where mining applications and dam projects are located, mercenary troops of the AFP are numerously deployed to terrorize civilians.

In this current rule of the pillager Marcos family, applications of large-scale mining companies are being renewed that would plunder the widest lands within the 27 municipalities of Abra and adjoining provinces of Cordillera. The Marcos family would primarily profit from these mining projects, especially that their ill-gotten wealth were poured into mining investments through dummy companies of their cronies. In preparation of these mining, contruction of the Cordillera Road that stretches from Malibcong, Abra to Mt. Manmanaok at the boundaries of Abra, Kalinga and Apayao provices is ongoing.

While Marcos Jr. ensures the enrichment of his family, cronies and his US imperialist master, he has no interest in looking into the lives and conditions of the Abrenio peasants. Farmers of Abra remain landless or only own small parcels of land and face an uncertain future under this regime. Only a few warlord politicians in Abra own large hectarage of lands such as Valera, Bernos, Bersamin and Balao-as. Common land ownership of peasants in the province is measly half of a hectare or even smaller. Because of the laws enforced by the DENR and the LGUs, farmers are prohibited from swidden farming nor expanding their farms on public lands.

Presently, most peasants of Abra are on deficit up to ₱5,000 every crop season. As tenants, half of their harvests are paid for land rent. Aside from this, nearly all of the farm expenses are shouldered by the peasants. Cost of production for a half hectare reaches to ₱18,000 to ₱22,000 primarily for seeds, fertilizers (such as urea amounting to ₱3,100 per sack) other fertilizers (₱2,400 to ₱2,800 per sack) and different chemical pesticides (₱350 to ₱500 per bottle). A farmer pays as high as 50% interest for his debt in every sack of fertilizer.

To suffice their income, the Abrenio peasants resort to fishing and tending animals. They also recourse on farm labor on which they are paid ₱200 to ₱300 for a daily wage, as well as in constructions where they are paid a daily wage of ₱350 to ₱400.

A farmer in Abra can only afford ₱40 a day for his family’s food. In interior parts, a ganta of rice costs ₱200 as well as a kilo of sugar amounts to ₱200. Expenditures for their children’s schooling are also costly. Peasant children work as domestic helpers since elementary grade to earn for their boarding house fees in town centers, because there are no schools in their barangays. Upon graduation in senior high school, they commonly land as construction workers. If they opt for a sure employment, they are constrained to enlist in the military, police, CAFGU or politicians’ goons.

Seemingly, the Abrenio farmer is better off when he is not yet delisted in the 4Ps program. But acquiring benefits from this program is still pernicious on him, because he still has to spend on transport fares and has to set aside his work only to get this meager aid. There are also those who received ₱5,000 cash aid from the Department of Agriculture (DA), but most of them were given hybrid or suicide seeds. These farm aids only make the farmers more dependent on expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides as these are the technologies the DA requires on them, that only enrich the capitalists who own and profit on these technologies.

After the July 2022 earthquake in Abra, the farmers only received one to two kilos of rice, 10 canned goods, some packs of energy drink, milk and coffee. Those who were not close to local ruling politicians were not given relief. Damaged houses, farms and irrigations were taken photos, but were not given aid.

On the one year regime of US-Marcos Jr., the implementation of neoliberal and fascist policies of the imperialist US got stiffer. The Philippines became even more open to catch the US imperialist’ s crisis on overproduction and capital, while selling off the youth as a cheap labor commodity here and abroad.

On the fascist policies of imperialist China, Marcos Jr. doesn’t have a clear opposition on China’s occupation on the West Philippine Sea.

Marcos Jr. gambles on and robs the people’s money through the Maharlika Investment Fund. He has already gained the Supreme Court’s favor on dismissing his family’s case on plundering the ₱1 billion of the nation’s fund.

By withdrawing the Philippines from the International Criminal Court, Marcos Jr. saved Rodrigo Duterte from his criminal cases on his war on drugs.

He is bluffing when he announced that he would grant amnesty to the NPA who would surrender while intensifying fascist violence.

In this trying crisis situation, the people must recognize that the US-Marcos Jr. regime is the ultimate culprit of their hardships, who inflicts brutality and persecute their rights, who plunder and wreck their land and steals their wealth and the fruit of their labor.

The Filipino people has no other choice but to fight for social justice. Ergo, their revolutionary struggle must carry on. The shining historical struggle of the Abra people must be carried forward. They must keep on propagating the revolutionary education, persevere in the people’s revolutionary organization and firmly and persistently fight for their rights and advance the armed struggle.

Rally the Filipino people’s power and unity to charge and reprimand the Marcoses for their crimes against the people. All gatherings, all forces and all arms must be pointed to punish the US-Marcos Jr. regime.

Topple the lapdog, fascist and pillager US-Marcos Jr. regime!
Advance the national democratic revolution!
Persevere in the people’s war all through victory!

Charge and punish the fascist US-Marcos Jr. regime!