A statement of CNL on the 37th commemoration of the EDSA uprising Marching with the people in the streets and through the revolutionary path
The Christians for National Liberation remembers our country’s long, ever-persistent tradition of resistance as we join millions of Filipino toiling masses and democratic forces in commemorating the 37th anniversary of the EDSA uprising. In the years and decades that followed the uprising, we are also affirmed and will always remember that the semi-colonial, semi-feudal system would never afford the poor and oppressed with any means to achieve a life devoid of suffering.
CNL looks back on our victory thirty-seven years ago with pride and lessons. We commemorate the success of anti-dictatorship campaigns that aroused and mobilized millions. We honor the heroes and martyrs that have contributed their lives for the country the people’s movement to grow. We remember the legacy of the priests, pastors, sisters, and lay workers who influenced their flocks, and marched the streets bearing crosses, rosaries, and Bibles facing the fascist Philippine Army braced with guns and tanks.
We keep this memory alive by continuing the revolutionary legacy of the church people who continued standing bravely and resolutely with the oppressed, even before and beyond the EDSA uprising. Priests, pastors, nuns, and lay leaders faced the Philippine Constabulary in campaigns against rights abuse, such as during hamletting of towns in Compostella Valley in 1983. They have rallied in the streets with the Movement for National Liberation in 1991 to oppose US bases in the Philippine territories. And almost a decade later, CNL joined the democratic forces in its mobilizations against the US military control in the country through the Visiting Forces Agreement and Balikatan exercises. They also mobilized resources to extend humanitarian assistance to the most marginalized basic masses in the countryside, going beyond the reach of the state. In the decade that followed, CNL and its religious revolutionaries became even more staunch peace champions and defenders of people’s rights. We will continue to give our utmost support and participation to all pursuit for peace and liberation – from the tables of peace negotiations, the struggle of the basic sectors in the countryside, factories, schools, and streets, to the deep ends of our mountains with the New People’s Army.
CNL firmly believes that God is present in every moment the people are struggling for peace and liberation. Going beyond the EDSA Uprising and the reforms that the reactionary state has instigated since, we are firm in our historic role in keeping the struggle for national liberation alive and broad.
For CNL, it is undeniable that the society today mirrors the suffering in our nation more than three and half decades ago. With the rule of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., we are suffering parasitic corruption, criminal negligence and indifference, state terrorism of the very worst, and puppetry to the US imperialist, as was with his father’s fascist dictatorship. We experience the same vicious and inhumane repression in the past, with the rampant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law today. These are the very conditions that made Marcos Sr. an absolute enemy of millions of Filipinos, and have pushed them to oust a vile dictator.
It is crystal clear that as long as the unholy alliance of imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism, and feudalism exists, the state of repression and oppression will persist and worsen, under one fascist ruler after another. Thus, as we remember the victorious unity exemplified by the people in the EDSA Uprising thirty-seven years ago, we are firm that the only path towards everlasting peace is through the revolutionary resistance of the masses of workers, peasants, and tyrannized peoples.
We look ahead by holding close to us the urgency and importance of advancing the people’s democratic revolution. As God commanded war to bring the people of Canaan to the land of milk and honey, we are affirmed that it is only through the people’s protracted war could the masses taste the life that was promised – life of democracy and freedom.
The Christians for National Liberation believes that the people of faith will display again the bravery and resolve to influence and unite the broadest number of Filipinos to defeat the counter-insurgency and terrorism of the US – Marcos II regime. We vow to support and escalate the Filipinos’ tradition of resistance by supporting in all fronts and carrying forward the national democratic revolution with a socialist perspective.