Martial Law not a tale of the past; transform remembering into revolutionary dissent

NPA Northern Samar

NORTHERN SAMAR – In the occasion of the 45th anniversary commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law, the New People’s Army-Rodante Urdal Command (NPA-RUC) reminds the public of the valuable lessons of Martial Law, invokes people to denounce Duterte-Marcos tandem’s persistent efforts to revise history, calls for vigilance on the orchestrated scheme to railroad the implementation of Martial Law in the entire country and dares the Filipino people to transform resistance against Martial Law into revolutionary dissent.

“Martial Law is not a tale of the past long gone. Remnants of Martial Law are still existent, US-Duterte’s fascism is reminiscent of the horrors of the past and the conditions for revolutionary dissent are ripe more than ever,” Amado Pesante, RUC Spokeserson said.

Pesante said the semicolonial semifeudal system was the very condition that brought iron-hand rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos by declaring Martial Law in September 21, 1972. “The crisis of a semicolonial semifeudal system in the 70s rendered people’s dissent inevitable. US-Marcos found no other recourse but suppress the escalating anger through Martial Law. But instead of containing anger, state fascism has only exposed the rottenness of the system and aroused people to tread the revolutionary path,” Pesante noted.

“45 years thereafter, the crisis has intensified to extreme heights as the global capitalist system failed to recover since the global economic crisis of 2008. The problem of a semicolonial semifeudal system has only aggravated, state fascism under US-Duterte piled up human rights violations and the revolutionary strength remains undefeated and ever growing in the face of all-out, albeit pretentious, counter-insurgency programs such as the Development Support and Security Plan (DSSP) Kapayapaan,” he added.

“The case of Martial Law is not just a narrative of the strongman rule of Marcos. Neither is it just about our disgust against the ‘Imeldific’ lifestyle of the Marcoses from their ill-gotten wealth. Martial Law is an expression of a failed socioeconomic system and the people’s collective aspiration for an alternative social order.”

“This anniversary, lighted candles may no longer be enough. Our collective nostalgia in toppling a dictator should transcend into revolutionary dissent against the system represented by the US-Duterte regime which brings Martial Law very much alive to this day,” Pesante stressed.

Undeclared Martial Law in Northern Samar
Duterte’s idolatry of Marcos enables the rehabilitation of Marcos in ways more than one–from burying the dictator in the Pantheons of Heroes to efforts in providing immunity to the Marcoses. “Duterte’s revision of history is set to culminate in a declaration of Martial Law in the entire country,” Pesante noted.

While Martial Law has only been declared in Mindanao thus far, cases of rights violations in Northern Samar under DSSP Kapayapaan is akin to the implementation of military rule in the past.

Today, 20th Infantry Batallion has been violating accords signed and reaffirmed in the negotiating table including the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIL). They have camped within civilian villages of Las Navas and Lope de Vega, they have camped within schools and lured children into becoming spies, harassed barrio teachers, detained alleged NPA members, forced villagers to evacuate to safer grounds, committed extrajudicial killings and military surveillance in the guise of Oplan Tokhang here in Northern Samar.

Recently, 8th Infantry Division Major General Raul Farnacio declared Northern Samar as the top ‘insurgency hotbed’ in Eastern Visayas. “Such declaration is both a source of pride and threat. On one hand, the declaration is a recognition of our undefeated revolutionary strength and a concession of their counter-insurgency programs’ utter failure. On the other hand, it poses threat that state fascism is set to trample upon civilian rights of farmers in the countrysides,” Pesante noted.

“There are killings both in the countrysides and in urban centers in compliance to US-Duterte’s marching orders. State forces go scot-free as Duterte pledged to back police forces and declared all-out war against the revolutionary movement instead of renegotiating peace. Impunity has become a culture of its own not just in Mindanao where writ of habeas corpus has been suspended but all corners of the country where Duterte’s mercenary minions play around.”

‘Few gold bars’ a spit on the grave
Last September 15, NPA-RUC joined the bereaved families of Sag-od massacre victims in their 36th anniversary commemoration. To recall, in September 15, 1981, 18 armed men mercilessly killed 44 men, women and children living in the peaceful village of Barangay Sag-od in Las Navas, Northern Samar. The armed men were identified as the Special Forces—Integrated Civilian Home Defense Forces (SF-ICHDF) employed to protect the San Jose Timber Corporation, a logging concessionaire of Juan Ponce Enrile in the same municipality.

“We support the people’s call for justice. But justice does not end in meager compensation given out by the government to families of the victims from the Marcoses’ few gold bars. Ultimately, it is about toppling the semicolonial semifeudal system that perpetuates heinous massacres and a killing spree of poverty and economic inequality,” Pesante noted.

“We call on everyone to end Martial Law in Mindanao, oppose the foredoomed implementation of Martial Law in the country, oppose Duterte’s rehabilitation of the Marcoses and render Oplan Kapayapaan impotent in quelling the revolutionary struggle. What Martial Law taught us is that history has always been in the hands of the masses. We call on the people to unite against the despotic rule of US-Duterte by winning the revolutionary war,” Pesante ended.


Amado Pesante,
NPA-Northern Samar (Rodante Urtal Command)
21 September 2017