On the 44th anniversary of Martial Law

The New People’s Army (NPA) stands with the Filipino people in remembering September 21 as a day of extreme ignominy. The Marcos dictatorship declared Martial Law to suppress the rapidly advancing mass struggles and armed resistance of the Filipino people in order to centralize state power and plunder the contry’s wealth.

Marcos imposed martial law and ruled with an iron fist with the full support of the US government. The US imperialists supplied the Marcos government with weapons and trainings to further upgrade the Philippine military as a mercenary force trained in the service of US companies and geopolitical interests.

The current generation of young people must be reminded of the violence Marcos unleashed and the unparalleled oppression and suffering that the martial law state inflicted on the people through its US-trained and -supported military troops. The Marcoses and their advocates have long sought to rehabilitate Marcos from disrespute and style him as a hero. The Filipino people must stand firmly against this.

The Filipino people continue to reject the AFP and PNP as their oppressors because they serve the interests of the corrupt officials and plunderers. The recent declaration of “state of emergency due to lawless violence” that gives increased powers to the military and police has raised the specter of martial law. It has elated the police and military which has been given additional powers and allowed to establish its restrictive presence. The Filipino people denounce proposals to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and to establish a “constitutional dictatorship.”

Ka Oris

Ka Oris

Let it be remembered that contrary to its intent to quell people’s unrest, Martial Law fueled people’s resistance and created fertile ground for the rapid growth of the New People’s Army. Staunchly united with the people, the revolutionary movement held its ground, grew by leaps and bounds, and influenced different sectors of society in a broad anti-fascist struggle that brought down the dictatorship.

Today, the NPA has surpassed all other people’s armies in Philippine history in strength and scope of operations. It is nurtured by a revolutionary mass base that has developed comprehensively and has given reality to vibrant people’s organizations and organs of revolutionary political power. It is a reliable partner in the people’s education, health, and land reform campaigns, dispensing revolutionary justice, and assisting the people’s militias in defense and maintaining peace and order in their areas.

These developments are the bases of economic and political agenda presented at negotiations that seek to attain just and lasting peace. While waging people’s war, the NPA always remain open to the possibility of a political settlement of the roots of the civil war through peace negotiations. The NPA fully supports the NDFP and its negotiating panel in conducting accelerated peace negotiations with the GRP. As a show of this support, the NPA continues to abide by the ceasefire declaration issued by the Communist Party of the Philippines as recommended by the NDFP.

However, continuing military operations of the AFP in the guise of so-called “peace and development” and “delivery of service” threaten the ceasefire. The presence of armed troops of the AFP in the areas which they suspect of supporting the armed struggle put them precariously close to units of the NPA.

There are stirrings by forces opposed to the peace talks, to the demands for an independent foreign policy, to the demands of workers and peasants for job security and social justice. In the face of the present intensifying discord within factions of the ruling class, the New People’s Army will always stand for the interests of the toiling masses. While we optimistically await the results of the peace talks, we will always be ready with our guns to defend the toiling masses.

No more cooperation with Duterte’s undemocratic and anti-people “drug war”

The anti-drug war of the Duterte regime has rapidly spiralled into a frenzied campaign of extra-judicial killings and vigilante murders perpetrated by the police and by police-linked criminal syndicates. Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in just a little more than one month. The rights of tens upon thousands of people are being violated as the criminal justice system is upturned.

Police officials have brazenly carried out summary killings against suspected drug peddlers and users. Hundreds have been killed while “resisting arrest” or while under custody and detention, in police cars as well as in jails.

Duterte’s “drug war” has clearly become anti-people and anti-democratic. Human rights are being violated with impunity by police personnel, emboldened by Duterte’s assurances of “I got your back” and his public declarations of contempt against human rights.

The Duterte regime has unleashed unmitigated violence and threats of violence against the people, mostly victims and people at the lowest rungs of the criminal syndicate ladder. In contrast, the suspected big drug lords and their protectors are afforded courtesy calls to Malacañang, accommodations in Camp Crame’s guest house and preliminary investigations by the NBI. The worst that they have been made to undergo is to suffer the lectures of the PNP chief.

What was before the burden of the accuser to prove someone’s guilt is now the burden of the accused to prove his innocence. Duterte has come up with one list after another of so-called protectors, narco-politicians and judges without proof nor clear basis for accusations of their involvement in drugs. He could not even tell the people how the lists were drawn. It is a mystery even to the chief intelligence officer and head of the PNP.

Duterte has become so full of himself and intoxicated with the vast power he is not used to handle that he thinks he can get away with upturning the criminal judicial system and denouncing people for defending human rights. He dishes out threats of imposing martial law. He has made himself a laughing stock among legal circles. He, however, is not laughing and threatens anyone who chooses to stand in his way.

Duterte’s “drug war” is bound to fail because it does not address the socio-economic roots of the problem. It has been proven in history that no amount of killing will succeed in putting an end to the drug menace. After ten years of the “anti-drug war” in Mexico, and with almost 80,000 people killed, the intensity of the drug problem remains the same if not worse. In Thailand, around 3,000 people were killed from 2003 to 2005, at least half of whom were later proved to be not involved in drugs. The drug problem has become worse.

The “drug war” is set to spiral into a war among the criminal drug syndicates, between one narco-politician against another, using the resources of the state and to further entrench themselves in the reactionary state. The “drug war” is also fast becoming one of the facets of the factional struggle within the reactionary ruling classes, for control of resources, territories, police and military units.

Duterte’s war is set to unleash more violence and counter-violence, political maneuverings as well as media contests between rival criminal syndicates as represented by their politicians and police protectors.

In all likelihood, many of the summary and vigilante killings are being carried out by the criminal syndicates who use the “anti-drug war” as camouflage for waging all-out war against their rivals and their rival protectors in the police, bureaucracy and judiciary or to rub-out their own men. It would be no surprise that the information made public by Duterte about police protectors, narco-politicians and judges were fed to him by rival criminal syndicates.

All democratic forces must unite and demand justice and an end to the madness of police and vigilante killings. They must unite to defend human rights. At the same time, the people should amplify their urgent clamor for jobs and land to improve their economic condition, make them productive and draw them away from social misery and desperation, in order to, thus, end the conditions for the proliferation of drugs.

In line with standing orders, the New People’s Army (NPA) will continue to intensify its operations to arrest and disarm drug trade operators and protectors. However, these will no longer be considered as cooperative with the Duterte regime’s undemocratic and anti-people “war on drugs.” As before, the NPA will continue to exercise due process in dealing with suspects, such as those PNP officers presently in custody in Compostela Valley and Surigao del Sur.

The CPP calls on the people to struggle against the rampant problem of drug addiction, as they wage revolutionary struggle to overthrow the system that perpetuates it as well as other forms of oppression. The most effective way of waging war against drugs is by rousing the people and mobilizing them to become active participants in social revolution.

The rampant problem of drug addiction among the people should be addressed in the economic as well as political and cultural fields. In thousands of barangays and clusters of several where the revolutionary forces hold sway and exercise governmental authority, drug addiction has been virtually wiped out through mass struggles.

In the base areas of the NDFP, the active participation of the youth and other sectors in revolutionary political, cultural, economic, military and social affairs, have drawn them away from the culture of individualism, self-indulgence and escapism. Here, drug abuse and drug addiction can no longer take root.

Oppose the fascist proposal to revive the ROTC requirement

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino youth and people in opposing the proposal to revive the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) as a requirement for college students. That bringing back ROTC will “instill discipline and love of country” is a fascist notion that must be opposed with all-out effort.

Only the absolutists will insist that the Filipino youth and people lackdiscipline. They want to revive the Marcos line “para sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan”, in order to instill blind obedience to state authority and submission to the will of the dictator. The revival of the ROTC will only lead to the fascist mind-conditioning of a new generation of Filipinos.

The only discipline that the ROTC will instill is one that is based on fear. The ROTC and bourgeois military training in general is fundamentally anti-democratic and based on robotic obedience to authority. It promotes dogmatism, zealotry, regimentation and acceptance of dictatorial systems.

At the core of bourgeois military training is the use of physical, verbal and psychological abuse. Hazing and torture in military training is not an excess. These are standard fare. It dehumanizes its trainees in order to prepare them to wage an inhuman war against the people and trample on the people’s rights with impunity. There is no way of preventing abuse under the ROTC without doing away with the training itself.

The ROTC will never instill “love of country.” The US-indoctrinated officials and men of the AFP can never be teachers of genuine patriotism. The AFP is the most reliable machinery of US domination in the country. It was formed and is continuously trained, supported and armed by the US military. The AFP has always been trusted to suppress forces which advocate protection of national patrimony and advance the struggle for national freedom. It is always the first to welcome and justify US military and political intervention.

A bureaucratic capitalist state will never inspire discipline. Corruption and crime in government and conditions of social crisis induces people to break the rules themselves. With his pronouncements expressing contempt for rules (especially in police operations as well as in government procurement), GRP President Duterte himself is inducing people to step on the laws and do away with discipline even as projects himself as being incorruptible.

Imposing discipline on the people while exempting oneself from rules make a dangerous combination for autocracy.

The CPP extends its all-out support to the Filipino youth in opposing the revival of the ROTC. It will do well for them to recall the history of the AFP as an instrument of foreign domination and fascist rule and how it remains beholden to the US military and continues to serve US geo-political interests in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region.

They must rebel against the imposition of discipline by the oppressive and bureaucrat capitalist state and uphold self-discipline of genuine selfless service to the people.