The revolutionary cause is far greater than Marcos offer of amnesty

This article is available in Pilipino

In his speech before the Philippine Congress yesterday, Marcos announced that he will be issuing an amnesty proclamation for all who will give up the Filipino people’s revolutionary armed struggle.

Communists and revolutionary fighters remain true to the aspirations of the Filipino people. The Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army will firmly reject Marcos’s treacherous offer of amnesty and surrender. It will vigorously exposed and condemned as an additional instrument of deception and oppression.

The revolutionary cause for genuine national freedom and social justice is far greater than any Marcos offer of amnesty. Revolutionaries are motivated not by the selfish desire for some personal gain, rather by the selfless devotion to serve and struggle with the people.

Marcos is being grossly insolent with his offer of amnesty. He is seriously mistaken to think that Red fighters of the New People’s Army will line up to gain a few individual concessions in exchange for giving up the much bigger people’s cause which they have committed themselves to.

History shows how the counterrevolutionary state have used amnesty offers as sugar-coated bullets against revolutionary forces. The US colonial government offered amnesty to Filipino freedom fighter Macario Sakay in 1905, but executed him later in 1907. In 1946, some leaders of the Hukbalahap were baited by the amnesty program of Quirino only to be murdered a few months later.

Installed into power by a combination of a military coup and giant mass movements, Corazon Aquino and Gloria Arroyo were pushed to declare amnesties and release a number political prisoners. Their regimes would later wage a brutal war of suppression marked by killings and massacres.

Marcos’ offer of amnesty for those who will surrender is duplicitous, considering that close to 800 political prisoners remain in jails, and everyday, people are being arrested and persecuted for their political beliefs and social commitment. Under the banner of the “war against terror,” people’s organizations everywhere are being suppressed and attacked, using the extraordinary draconian powers under the so-called Anti-Terrorism Law.

Marcos’ claims that his government’s “community development and livelihood programs” are effectively “addressing the root cause of conflict in the countryside” are utterly devoid of the truth, and completely out of touch with reality.

Marcos boasted of the Barangay Development Program (BDP) and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), farm to market roads and the “New Agrarian Emancipation Act,” all of which perpetuate the basic problem of social injustice and poverty, that are rooted in the problem of landlessness.

Marcos’ declared plan to issue an amnesty proclamation fits into the so-called “localized peace talks” and “surrender drive” in which rural communities are placed under military occupation (hamlets) and subjected to the AFP’s psywar, intelligence and combat operations. In the past five years or so, a few tens of thousands of civilians have been falsely depicted as “surrenderees” without being charged in court, in violation of their civil and political rights.

The peasant masses are daily subjected to worsening forms of oppression and exploitation. Even worse, those who voice their grievances and choose to assert their demands are subjected to political repression by armed agents of the reactionary state. Military and police abuses, summary killings, torture, unlawful detention, enforced disappearances and other violations of human rights are most rampant in the countryside, and are being carried out with utmost impunity.

The Marcos regime ignores the outstanding clamor of the peasant majority population for genuine land reform, and the Filipino people’s demand for national industrialization. It represents the interests of US imperialism and those of the ruling classes of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords.

There is widespread economic dislocation and agricultural crisis in the countryside. Hundreds of thousands of farmers and minority people are being dispossessed of land and their means of production. Agricultural and ancestral land are being grabbed by the expansion of plantations and mining operations, real estate, construction of dams, ecotourism, “green” energy and other foreign-funded infrastructure projects. Millions of peasant tillers and fisherfolk are being forced to bankruptcy by wanton importation of rice, sugar, vegetables and other agricultural and aquatic produce.

The need to wage revolutionary armed resistance, alongside all other forms of struggle, is now more than ever, urgent, just and necessary. With Marcos’ outright subservience to the US, corruption, onerous economic policies, political repression and state terrorism, he himself, by negative example, is showing the people the need to bear arms and take the road of revolutionary resistance.

The revolutionary cause is far greater than Marcos offer of amnesty