Resist state tyranny and imperialist plunder on Negros Island
Fifty-one years ago today, Ferdinand Marcos Sr put forth a dark era in Philippine History after declaring Martial Law. With over 11,000 victims of ruthless human rights violations, the military takeover, with the late dictator at the helm, inflicted severe socioeconomic crisis that brought about the collective resistance of the masses until his ouster in 1986.
The people’s uproar strengthened the underground mass movement and the armed revolution. Countless victims and their kin strived to fight back against the menace of the state’s fascist machinery. They were eager to dismantle the rotting ruling system responsible for exploitation and oppression. In Negros Island particularly, extreme hunger resulting from the sugar crisis pushed the Negrosanons to fight in the people’s war.
The fascist dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos left Negros Island and other parts of the country bloodied. The welgang bayan in Escalante in 1985 that was held to commemorate the 13th anniversary of Martial Law declaration is considered one of the most brutal massacres in that period. The clamor for justice for the victims of the Escalante massacre continues up to now that another Marcos is in power.
Fast forward to today, the current US-Marcos regime is bound to exceed the crimes of Martial Law. Under de facto martial law handed down by butcher Rodrigo Duterte, the Filipino people is suffering from socioeconomic crisis, coupled with a humanitarian crisis. Hunger and poverty are worsened by human rights violations (HRVs) occurring almost every day, mostly targeting innocent farmers and hors de combat revolutionaries.
Marcos Jr has utilized the NTF-Elcac, AFP and PNP to unleash state terrorism. Virtually controlling the three branches of the reactionary government with his military henchmen, the imperialist puppet has intensified attacks on the Filipino people. And like the puppet that he is, Marcos Jr is amassing wealth by plundering the people’s coffers, while the inter-imperialist rivalry of the US and China spit on our sovereignty.
State tyranny and fascism are systematically used to silence dissent and to impose the selfish interests of the ruling class onto the oppressed and exploited. Focused Military Operations (FMOs) and Retooled Community Support Programs (RCSPs) matched with a massive disinformation machinery rampaged through peasant communities to pave the way for foreign capitalist interests on the island such as various reclamation projects, ecotourism, commercial plantations, mining and quarrying, and land-use conversion that adversely affect the lives of farmers, farm workers, and the majority of the Negrosanons, and also the environment.
As of September 16, 466 cases of HRVs affecting 35,317 individuals on the island has been recorded by the National Democratic Front (NDF)-Negros. This ranges from McCarthian red-tagging, enforced disappearances, illegal arrest and detention, indiscriminate firing, threats, forcible evacuation, and extrajudicial killings and massacres, including the notorious massacre of the Fausto family in Himamaylan City earlier this year. The most recent case is the abduction of Bea Lopez and Peter Agravante by state forces a few days ago, wherein the latter’s body was found with signs of a gruesome death in a cliff side of Basay, Negros Oriental.
With this, NDF-Negros enjoins the people, their mass organizations, and pro-people alliances to strengthen their ranks in continuing to fight back against imperialist plunder and counterrevolutionary violence on the island. The current fight must be consolidated into a broad anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and anti-fascist campaign. Negros has a rich history of resisting oppressors, especially during the Martial Law period. Inspiration should be drawn from the sacrifices and bravery of martyrs and heroes of that time.
Negrosanons should muster up the courage to overcome the odds and fight against the onslaught of the US puppet regime. Like his late dictator father, Marcos Jr’s turn to fascism is a clear-cut sign of the state’s waning power, unable to rule through pseudo-democratic methods. And as history as taught us, in times of worsening fascism, only revolutionary zeal can emerge from the people longing to establish a society free of exploitation and oppression.
The war cry lingers on: MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT!