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.”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.