From Martial Law to Marcos Jr.: Defeat instruments of state terror, dismantle the NTF-ELCAC, reject the Marcos-Duterte regime
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) enjoins the Filipino people to fight and defeat instruments of state terror unleashed by the Marcos-Duterte regime. From enforced disappearances, fake surrenders, political killings to widespread corruption amidst the economic and social crises – the Filipino people find themselves in a nightmarish moment of déjà vu as we commemorate 51 years since the declaration of fascist martial law and the abuses committed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and police forces during the 14-year reign of terror.
Escalating attacks, rising cases of enforced disappearances
The recent disappearance and eventual resurfacing of two environmental activists Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro clearly exposed the NTF-Elcac’s (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) insidious agenda. In typical fascist fashion, Jhed and Jonila were presented to the public as ‘surrenderees’ to hide the fact that military elements abducted the two activists. Jhed and Jonila’s defiance in the face of direct military intimidation is a major blow to the Marcos-Duterte administration and its fascist minions in the NTF-Elcac and AFP.
The regime’s desperate attempts to blame the revolutionary movement for its dirty tricks are inflicting the worst human rights violations on unarmed and defenseless civilians. Jhed and Jonila’s defiance is proof that the people will not be cowed by the regime’s chicanery of linking progressive legal organizations to the revolutionary underground in futile attempts to legitimize the abductions, killings and enforced disappearances. Neither will this fascist regime’s vilification of revolutionary forces justify its war crimes of murdering, torturing, and forcibly disappearing revolutionaries who are unarmed or hors de combat.
As the US-Marcos regime continues to unleash more vicious and widespread acts of state terrorism against the people, the military establishment continues to tighten its control over the entire bureaucracy through the NTF-Elcac, where the AFP directs civilian agencies and functions in the name of its ‘whole-of-nation approach.’
In the countryside, campaigns of repression against the people intensify. Marcos’ military, police and paramilitary forces aim their guns, howitzers, jet fighters and helicopter gunships directly against civilian communities. Bombings of entire communities kill and displace civilians and are acts of terrorism.
The military and police target people’s organizations active in advancing the struggle for land reform, environmental defense and those who fight for the rights of indigenous communities for their ancestral lands. Extrajudicial killings and massacres of civilians and non-combatants by military and police forces are on the rise, with at least 100 victims in the past year, or almost two victims every week, including at least 9 children.
Widespread corruption amid crises
Amid surging prices of basic commodities and depressed wages plaguing the toiling masses, the Marcos-Duterte regime systematically robs the people’s coffers through its so-called ‘confidential and intelligence funds.’ Questioned on how she acquired and spent P125 million worth of confidential funds, Sara Duterte instead resorted to ad hominem attacks to evade explaining how she spent those millions of pesos of people’s money in just 19 days.
A few months before the confidential funds fiasco, Marcos Jr. himself was embroiled in his own corruption scandal in the form of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF). Railroaded in the Marcos-controlled congress, the MIF was exposed as an institutional “Ponzi scheme” meant to support the Marcos dynasty’s crony capitalism using public funds to extend favors to big bourgeois comprador business operations in exchange for political support and profit shares.
Instead of cavalierly spending and wasting billions of taxpayers’ money, the Marcos administration could better address the economic crisis through the important reforms outlined in the NDFP’s Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER). This substantive agenda in the peace talks includes the calls for genuine land reform, national industrialization, urban and rural development, recognition of the rights of national minorities and women, nationalist and mass-oriented education for the youth, and an independent foreign policy among others.
But like his father, Marcos Jr has no interest in pursuing the path to peace by addressing the roots of the armed conflict. Instead, it resorts to US-directed and supported military solutions as shown in his administration’s new National Security Policy (NSP) patterned after the US counterinsurgency guide. The GRP even had the gall to declare an end to the CPP-NPA-NDF within Marcos Jr’s term which is an outrageous claim considering how they keep adding battalions of soldiers and bombing communities in guerilla zones across the country daily. Instead of pursuing genuine solutions, Marcos Jr. instead provides bogus land reform programs as in the case of his New Agrarian Emancipation Act (NAEA) which only continued the same flawed policies of CARP including the failure to enact free land distribution for farmers.
Kowtowing to US imperialist agenda
Akin to his father’s foreign policy, Marcos Jr. demonstrates his propensity of kowtowing to US imperialist interests. In exchange for promises of US business investments and loans from the World Bank and with the acquiescence of the Marcos-Duterte regime, the US military has expanded its permanent presence in the Philippines. Under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), US soldiers enjoy extraterritorial rights that make a mockery of Philippine sovereignty, affirming the country’s status as a US military outpost to the detriment of the Filipino people.
The current Marcos regime is under pressure from their US imperialist master to hasten its counterrevolutionary war in order to focus its attention against China. With an increasing number of US troops and war materiel stationed on Philippine soil, Marcos Jr puts the Filipino people closer to the crosshairs of inter-imperialist conflict.
The Marcos-Duterte regime is carrying out a shameless campaign of deception to prevent the crimes perpetrated by state forces from being exposed in public. It scams the public with disinformation and false news, and issues threats against media and alternative media outfits which do not willingly comply with the military narrative. Human rights defenders are vilified and targeted for armed suppression.
Recently, the Department of Education (DepEd) under the leadership of Sara Duterte released a memorandum directing publishers to remove the name “Marcos” to pertain to the “Marcos Dictatorship” from grade school textbooks. The so-called memo reeks of historical revisionism meant to deodorize the Marcos family’s reputation and threatens to erase more than a decade of human rights abuses and atrocities during the fascist Marcos Sr. regime.
Indeed, state terror continues. Fascist repression continues today as we live under an undeclared state of Martial Law and persistent attempts to rehabilitate the image of the Marcoses. The broad masses of workers, peasants and the rest of the Filipino people have no other option but to wage militant resistance, including armed struggle, to defend their rights and advance their aspirations for genuine national freedom and democracy. #