The true Bonifacios of today are the people who fight for their rights

This article is available in Pilipino

During a speech, PNP Chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr., compared himself and the whole PNP to heroes such as Andres Bonifacio and other Katipuneros who selflessly offered their lives for the sake of the nation. Azurin is gravely mistaken for thinking that he would be able to fool the public with his words. Can PNP’s torture and killing spree against the poor, be they young or old, under the veil of the brutal and anomalous Oplan Tokhang be considered as heroism? Are combat operations they conduct together with the military in peasant communities for the nation’s welfare? How about the violence and suppression they wield against activists and masses protesting for their rights?

If the mercenary PNP and AFP force has something akin to loyalty, then it is just their dogged servility at the feet of big businessmen, powerful bureaucrats and foreign capitalists. It is in their institution’s founding character to violate, suppress and kill the people in the name of the ruling few’s interests.

If there are some who can be considered genuinely patriotic and who desire to serve the people, they are those who have already shunned the brass or are planning to leave the ranks of the police and military. They are those who cannot stomach the existing rotten system within the institution and the brutal attacks against their fellow disenfranchised. In Bikol, one of the most recent cases of such is Catanduanes policeman Vincent Tacorda’s disclosure of the brutality and senselessness of Oplan Tokhang that eventually pushed him to leave the police force. According to him, they would set a regular quota of targets to be exterminated to reach a certain amount of reward money. Is it not a patent insult for Filipino heroes to be compared to these kind of murderous and mercenary police?

The genuine images of heroes such as Andres Bonifacio are the ordinary Filipinos who valiantly stand for what is right even in the face of aggressive state suppression. They are those who hail from the ranks of the oppressed peasantry, workers, youth, women, national minorities, professionals, patriotic and democratic elements who are not cowed and remains steadfast in their opposition against the reactionary force. They are those who bravely continue the struggle and the love of their fellowmen despite the ruling few’s attacks. They are those who dare to take up arms, ready to sacrifice and give their lives, in the name of their beloved Motherland and for a future that is truly free and liberating.

The true Bonifacios of today are the people who fight for their rights