“The Filipino people are not afraid to fight the fascist, pro-imperialist, and anti-people US-Duterte regime amidst threats of a nationwide declaration of martial law. His declaration of a holiday on the 21st will not hinder people from heading to the streets and joining mobilizations against fascism and tyranny,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said as President Duterte hints of declaring martial law nationwide if protests ‘turn violent.’
“The fact that he plans to impose a nationwide martial law on the same time as Marcos did shows his utter disregard for the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought against the Marcos dictatorship, which includes his mother who led the anti-dictatorship movement in Davao. This is nothing but a desperate attempt to cling to power amidst growing calls for his ouster for his failed policies,” Elago added.
Duterte has been taking steps to establish a fascist dictatorship–silencing political opposition, striking terror among the masses through mass murder, suppressing the people’s resistance, and monopolizing political power–and a nationwide imposition of martial law would be the final piece in realizing this dream of his. Not only is he trying to conjure Marcos, he’s determined to completely exonerate the Marcoses of all crimes by granting them immunity in exchange for the return of some of their ill-gotten wealth.
“It’s clear Duterte has unfolded into a fascist ruler the day he unleashed his three wars of death and destruction: Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Kapayapaan, and all-out war against the people. He clings to fascism while turning a deaf ear to widespread calls for genuine reforms,” said Elago.
Peace negotiations between the government and the NDFP crumbled after Duterte failed to force the CPP-NPA into a bilateral ceasefire before the signing of a comprehensive agreement on socio-economic reforms. He called off the peace talks and ordered to intensify attacks against the NPA. Thousands of Lumad have been displaced from their communities due to heightened military operations. He ordered the AFP to ‘flatten the hills’ and drop bombs on Lumad schools under his all-out war. At least 70 cases of extrajudicial killings have been reported, mostly poor peasants from Mindanao belonging to peasant organizations fighting for genuine agrarian reform.
At least 13,000 have been killed in his bloody war against drugs. The cases of Kian Delos Santos and Carl Arnaiz, however, revealed how farce his Oplan Tokhang really is. Oplan Tokhang has been exposed as a genocide-like tool targeting the poor, while granting favored drug lords protection and allowing them to maneuver to further their drug operations.
Martial law is nothing but a tool to further imperialist plunder in Mindanao. US and other imperialists, along with Duterte’s cronies, can’t wait to get their hands on Marawi and transform it into a huge enclave for the benefit of monopoly capitalists and plunder Mindanao’s rich resources. The government is propagating islamophobia to fuel and justify its attacks against the Moro people’s struggle for self-determination.
Duterte did not make true any one of his promises. He continued neoliberal policies–liberalization, privatization, deregulation–characteristic of previous administrations. His promise to end contractualization ended up worsening the workers’ situation. A 4-day work week is underway. No significant increase in worker’s wages. His support of the farmers’ plight is farce. He has not dismantled land monopoly of the landlords nor distributed a piece of land to the poor farmers and farm workers. Duterte signed a law granting free education in SUCs, LUCs, and TESDA-run TVIs, but is seen as a mere palliative reform to try to quell the people’s unrest to make him accountable for his crimes against the people.
“The people are bound to rise against the US-Duterte regime’s corruption, crime and tyrannical rule, and the worsening socio-economic conditions under the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system. Duterte’s dirty tactics to incite fear and float all kinds of scenarios to justify martial rule will do nothing to stop the swelling of the people’s resistance against his fascist and tyrannical rule. In intensifying political repression, Duterte will succeed only in inciting the people to wage more widespread resistance.” Elago explained.
“We invite the youth and students in their thousands to join us on September 21 as we remember martial law’s atrocities after 45 years and ensure that martial law does not happen again. The youth and students, in solidarity with the Filipino masses, will not cease to further strengthen the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal, and anti-fascist movement for the achievement of national democracy,” Elago ended.
A multi-sectoral mobilization is set on Thursday, September 21, 4pm at Luneta Park, in commemoration of the 45th year since the declaration of martial law. Before joining the other sectors, we call on all youth to come with us at our program at Mendiola at 1 pm, and together, we will march towards Luneta.###
Photo by SANDUGO