Martial Law @ 40:
Impunity persists,

legacy of the Filipino people’s valiant struggle continues


■   Mendiola           ■   Iloilo City       ■   Baguio City


■   Rise and Fall of Marcos Fascist Dictatorship:

Causes and Consequences Up To The Present by Prof. Jose Maria Sison


September 21,  2012






Photos courtesy of Arkibong Bayan, Obet de Castro. Lito Ocampo and Tine Sabillo as indicated by the filenames


By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
19 September 2012

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
19 September 2012

Forty years ago, on September 21, 1972, then Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos signed General Order 1081, proclaiming martial law over the entire Philippines in order to prolong his rule. For fourteen years the Marcos fascist dictatorship, with the full backing of US imperialism, inflicted terrible hardships and suffering on the Filipino people. But the Filipino people, with the support of freedom-loving peoples all over the world, valiantly struggled against the dictatorship until it was overthrown through a people’s uprising in 1986.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) hails the determination and heroism of the Filipino people in fighting and eventually overthrowing the Marcos fascist dictatorship, and commends the international solidarity of the peoples of other countries with the Filipino people in their struggle for national independence and democracy.

Even before Marcos proclaimed martial law in 1972, revolutionary forces in the Philippines had been waging the new democratic revolution through people´s war against the US-directed Marcos regime. Revolutionary armed struggle was integrated with agrarian reform and rural mass base building. Organs of political power were established on the basis of the worker-peasant alliance and the mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth, children and cultural activists were formed.

Since the early 1960s, the legal movement of patriotic and progressive forces had developed, followed by the revolutionary armed struggle which started in 1969. The proclamation of martial rule in 1972 temporarily stymied the legal democratic movement, but radically strengthened the underground and the armed struggle as many of the legal forces went underground and to the countryside to wage people’s war.

Fourteen years of brute fascist dictatorship failed to crush the revolutionary forces. Instead, they grew deep roots among the masses throughout the country, and gained strength by advancing the antifascist, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal line. The Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and other revolutionary forces distinguished themselves in the struggle against the US-Marcos dictatorship even as they paid a heavy price for their victories with daily hard work, militant struggle and bitter sacrifices.

The Bangsa Moro led by the Moro National Liberation Front also waged armed struggle against the Marcos dictatorship and pinned down a large component of the reactionary armed forces in Mindanao. Thus the armed struggles of the Filipino people and Bangsamoro against a common enemy objectively helped each other, even in the absence of a formal alliance. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front arose to continue the armed struggle after the MNLF signed the Tripoli Agreement with the Manila government in 1976.

The Filipino revolutionaries sought and quickly gained international support from democratic and anti-imperialist forces all over the world. This led to the isolation of the US-Marcos regime not only in the Philippines but also internationally, amidst the growing crisis of global capitalism and that of the local semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.

US imperialism supported the Marcos fascist dictatorship for so long as it remained more of an asset than a liability to US economic, political and military interests. But by 1982, the US had known that Marcos was hopelessly isolated and hated by the people for his extreme brutality and corruption; that he had become seriously ill, with the line of succession unclear and risky; and that the revolutionary movement could benefit from the tenuous situation. Thus, the US arranged for his eventual replacement by his arch-rival Aquino. The continuing advance of the armed revolutionary movement led by the CPP was a key and compelling factor for the US decision to ease Marcos out of power.

The assassination of Aquino in 1983 upon his return to Manila triggered an anti-fascist upsurge. The armed revolutionary movement in the countryside and the legal national democratic forces in the cities played crucial roles in bringing about the overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. It is clear that in the struggle against the Marcos regime from 1969 to 1986 the armed revolutionary movement led by the CPP and the legal forces of the national democratic movement were the most consistent, most important and most effective in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people.

The overthrow of the Marcos fascist dictatorship did not result in the overthrow of the entire ruling system. The succeeding anti-national and pseudo-democratic and anti-democratic regimes have been essentially similar to the Marcos regime in terms of puppetry to US imperialism, exploitative class character, corruption and brutality against the people. The only obvious difference of these post-Marcos regimes from the Marcos fascist regime is their carrying out state terrorism without having to proclaim martial law.

The current Aquino regime unabashedly continues the implementation of the neoliberal economic policy that has intensified US imperialism’s extraction of superprofits from the blood and sweat of the Filipino toiling masses. It shamelessly lauds and collaborates with the US announced US strategic balance shift to Asia-Pacific region which is meant to tighten US hegemony over the region. The Aquino regime seeks to benefit from the increased military presence and interventionism of the US, aggravation of political and economic domination, and intensified exploitation and oppression of the Filipino people.

The ILPS joins all democratic and anti-imperialist forces in supporting the Filipino people’s continuing revolutionary struggle for national freedom and democracy. As the crisis of the world capitalist system and the ruling system worsens, the reactionaries continue to engage in a bitter struggle for power and bureaucratic loot among themselves. As the Filipino people suffer more exploitation and oppression, more poverty and misery, they are driven to intensify and advance their revolutionary struggle for national liberation, democracy, development through national industrialization and genuine land reform, social justice and world peace.




Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison,
U.P. Alumnus & Founding Chairman of Kabataang Makabayan
and the Communist Party of the Philippines
By John Toledo
Features Editor
Philippine Collegian

May I know your experiences during martial law. This is in connection with the commemoration of martial law on September 21.

1.) What are your experiences before and during the Martial Law? What are the harsh aspects of this grim period?

JMS: I was active in the legal mass movement since 1961. I went underground together with other comrades in late 1968 in order to reestablish the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26, 1969 and to found the New People´s Army on March 29, 1969. As early as 1969, we observed the propensity of Marcos to use brute force against the mass movement in both rural and urban areas.

After the proclamation of martial law in 1972, the Marcos regime imposed a fascist dictatorship on the people and went full blast in committing human rights violations. The harshest of these were the illegal arrests and detention, forced disappearances, tortures, extrajudicial killings, massacres, bombardments of rural communities, forced eviction and illegal seizure of land and other properties. Millions of people were directly victimized while the entire nation was being intimidated.

2.) How did you form the student movements during Martial Law? What are these movements and are they still existing today?

JMS: Despite being outlawed, Kabataang Makabayan continued to secretly recruit and organize the students against the Marcos fascist dictatorship. The KM chapters in schools all over the country operated under the cover of permitted or unsuspected student organizations. They distributed leaflets against the dictatorship and engaged in lightning protest actions on the campus and outside.

As early as 1974 they started to generate a movement for the restoration of the student governments and student publications which had been banned. These were allowed under severe restrictions in 1976. Open protest actions of students spread in 1976 and even more so from 1978 onwards. They took advantage of the fascist regime pretending to normalize and democratize, especially during the elections.

The student youth became more assertive in the early 1980s and especially after the assassination of Aquino in 1983. The Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND) and League of Filipino Students (LFS) were formed. Student organizations like the CEGP, NUSP, SCMP and the like became more militant. Except YND, these aforesaid student organizations continue to exist. In the case of KM, it has continued in the underground and has become the Communist Youth League.

3.) What happened to you after the Martial Law proclamation?

JMS: I was part of the CPP, NPA and the NDF in waging the revolutionary armed struggle against the Marcos regime. I was captured on November 10, 1977. I was tortured and put in solitary confinement for most of the time that I was under military detention. I was released on March 5, 1986 after the fall of Marcos. I went back to the University of the Philippines to teach and then I went abroad to do a university lecture tour in Asia-Pacific and Europe. My passport was cancelled in 1988 by the first Aquino regime and I had to apply for political asylum in The Netherlands in order to defeat the scheme of the military to rearrest me.

4.) Are the student movements still existing today? How is it significant in the current world order?

JMS: The student movements are alive and kicking in the Philippines and in the world. They are among the most progressive and militant in opposing the anti-people policies and actions of US imperialism and the local reactionary puppet governments, as in the Philippines.

They are very significant, especially in the underdeveloped and impoverished countries. They express the demands of the students as well as those of the entire people for national independence, democracy, development, social justice and world peace.

5.) After 40 years, how do you see the people’s reception to Martial Law?

JMS: The Filipino people continue to hate martial law and the fascist dictatorship as a monstrosity against their national and democratic rights and interests.

6.) Who is Joma Sison and the student movement after 40 years of Martial Law?

JMS: I remain a teacher and writer, always trying to uphold, defend and promote the national and democratic rights of the Filipino people. The patriotic and student movement continues to fight for
national and social liberation against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords to which Noynoy Aquino belongs and which he represents like Marcos did in the past.

7.) What is the feeling of being in exile? of being far away from the people?

JMS: Sometimes, I feel that I can do more if I were in the Philippines.But most of the time, I feel well connected to the Philippines because of the constant flow of visitors and because the internet allows me to get news from the Philippines ahead of most Filipinos who are in the Philippines.

8.) 40 years after Martial Law, how would you describe your struggle?

JMS: The struggle continues to grow in strength. It has created the people´s democratic government in the countryside. It is led by the revolutionary party of the proletariat, the people´s army and the mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth and other people. All these revolutionary forces are growing in strength.

9.) When are you coming back? Or are you still coming back despite the harsh conditions GPH has set on you?

JMS: I still have to stay abroad to perform my duties for the peace negotiations and to do international solidarity work. I have plenty of work to do as chairperson of the International League of People´s Struggle.

10.) Is there still hope for the proletarians of the Philippines?

JMS: The proletarians of the Philippines continue to be harshly exploited and oppressed. Thus, they must fight for their rights and welfare. There is hope for them because of their struggle.




By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, NDFP Negotiating Panel
September 14, 2012

September 21, the formal date of the proclamation of martial law forty years ago, reminds us of the Marcos fascist dictatorship that the Filipino nation had to suffer for 14 long years until 1986. We reflect on the rise and fall of this dictatorship and on the causes and consequences up to the present.

It is highly important to undertake such reflection because the political heirs of Marcos and even quite a number of those who benefited politically from the assassination of Ninoy Aquino want to obfuscate the real and most important causes of the Marcos fascist dictatorship and shift the blame for the rise of the dictatorship to the revolutionary movement of the people. It is in the self-serving nature of the reactionaries to engage in deception and violence to preserve their ruling system and to blame the people for resisting oppression and exploitation.

The political operatives of the ruling classes of big compradors and landlords continue to pursue and carry out anti-national and anti-democratic policies against the people. They have consistently failed or refused to render justice to the victims of human rights violations under the Marcos fascist dictatorship as well as compensate them in accordance with the decision of the US court system in the human rights case against the Marcos estate. They have been deliberately blind to the millions of people who suffered deprivation, indignities and death as a result of military operations and forced evacuations and evictions.

I. Causes of the Rise of the Marcos Fascist Dictatorship

At the reestablishment of the Communist Party of Philippines (CPP) in 1968, we the proletarian revolutionaries recognized the worsening social crisis and the increasing inability of the ruling classes of big compradors and landlords to rule in the old way, the growing desire of the people for a change of system and the urgent need for a revolutionary party of the proletariat to lead the people.

In 1969 we became aware of the growing trend towards fascism in the pronouncements and actions of Marcos; and the book, Philippine Society and Revolution, dared to predict that he would impose a fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people. We became more convinced that he was up to something terribly evil, the louder he talked of the social volcano about to explode, the greatness he was poised to achieve for the nation and the need for a bigger military force to protect the country.

The two biggest causes of the Marcos fascist dictatorship chronologically were firstly the objective conditions and chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system and secondly the subjective factor, Marcos´ overweening ambition to perpetuate himself in power. Marcos estimated that he could use his presidential powers to manipulate the entire system to his personal advantage and invent the compelling reasons for using violence and deception to suppress the opposition and achieve his despotic purposes.

Marcos had a good estimate that the US imperialists would allow him to stay in power for so long as he served their economic, political, military and cultural interests: and so long as he acted to suppress the patriotic and progressive forces demanding national independence and democracy. After all, such forces did not yet have the strength to really threaten US dominance and the ruling system. Behind the scenes, he even encouraged the Supreme Court to issue certain decisions against US interests. But surreptitiously, he assured the US that he would undercut and reverse such decisions.

He also had a good measure of the mettle of his political rivals among his fellow reactionaries.
The latter loved to orate against Marcos but they had no more than platoons and companies as private armies. Many of them also fell for the illusion Marcos himself conjured that they could reform and improve on the system through a constitutional convention. Marcos´ ulterior motive was to have a new constitution to do away with the limit of two consecutive four-year terms for the presidency and to rewrite further the new constitution under conditions of martial rule and fascist dictatorship. He also anticipated that Cardinal Santos and the Catholic hierarchy would welcome the martial law proclamation and give him the chance to undertake reforms.

From 1969 to 1972, Marcos demonstrated his propensity for violence against the workers, peasants and youth. He viciously attacked the First Quarter Storm of 1970 and carried out a series of massacres in Tarlac (in the barrios of Culatingan, Sta. Rosa, Sta. Lucia, etc). He and his ruling clique perpetrated the Plaza Miranda bombing of August 21, 1971 and yet within a few hours and without any investigation he immediately scapegoated his arch political rival Benigno Aquino and the New People´s Army (NPA) and declared the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in 1971. This suspension of the writ was the dress rehearsal for the premeditated proclamation of martial law in 1972.

The fake assassination attempt on Enrile on the eve of the martial law proclamation was just a little piece of drama, a sop to media sensationalism. The biggest lie in Marcos´ martial law proclamation was the exaggeration that the NPA had an armed strength of 10,000 rifles. This was no more than 400 rifles at that time. But Marcos excelled at conjuring the illusion of communists, separatists and anarchists threatening the ruling system and giving cause to his slogan of “save the republic and build a new society.”

II. Struggle Against Fascist Dictatorship

Even before Marcos proclaimed martial law in 1972, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People´s Army had been waging the new democratic revolution through
people´s war against the US-directed Marcos regime. They integrated the revolutionary armed struggle with genuine land reform and mass base building by setting up organs of political power on the basis of the worker-peasant alliance and the mass organizations of workers, peasants, women, youth, children and cultural activists.

The legal movement of patriotic and progressive forces had developed since the early 1960s, much ahead of the revolutionary armed struggle which started in 1969. After the proclamation of martial rule in 1972, the aforesaid legal forces went underground, retained some of their activists aboveground and encouraged others to join the people's war in the countryside. The Preparatory Commission of the National Democratic Front (NDF) continued in urban areas in order to develop new forces and new opportunities for continuing resistance.

It is an incontrovertible fact that the CPP, NPA, NDF and other revolutionary forces were the most outstanding in fighting the Marcos fascist dictatorship along the antifascist, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal line. They grew in strength and advanced in all regions of the country during the 14 years of dictatorship, even as they paid a heavy price for their victories with daily hard work, militant struggle and bitter sacrifices.

They were the most to suffer such criminal acts of the fascist regime as abductions, forced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings. But they inspired and assured the people that the overwhelming power of the dictatorship was being opposed effectively by the armed struggle in the countryside and the revolutionary urban underground.

Marcos imprisoned his fellow reactionary politicians in the opposition whom he regarded as most dangerous to the stability of his autocratic rule. But many of those whom he did not imprison or he would release from prison tended to wait for a change of US attitude towards Marcos and seek compromise by recommending to him new elections under the 1935 constitution or under the fascist constitution. They consistently refused the NDF offer of a forming broad united front and a government in exile.

After Cardinal Santos died and Cardinal Sin succeeded him, the Catholic hierarchy opened up to listen to the complaints of human rights violations and became more active in demanding that justice be rendered. It took some strenuous efforts by the Christians for National Liberation and the NDF to persuade the majority of bishops to stand up for human rights and publicly denounce the violations

The US government supported the Marcos fascist dictatorship for as long as it served US interests and remained more of an asset than a liability. The retention of US military bases in the Philippines, the enlargement of privileges for US investments and the prerogative of US corporations to hold land and exploit natural resources were reasons for the US to provide economic and military aid to the fascist regime. But ultimately in 1982, the US recognized that Marcos was hated by the people for his extreme brutality and corruption; that he had become seriously ill, with the line of succession unclear and risky; and that the revolutionary movement could benefit from the tenuous situation. Thus, the US arranged the return of Aquino to the Philippines.

But Marcos and his closest minions decided to assassinate Aquino upon his return in 1983. They tried in vain to conjure the illusion that a “communist assassin” killed Aquino. The people understood that Galman was just a stage prop in a scene fully controlled by General Ver and other generals in various services of the AFP. The assassination sparked the upsurge of the anti-fascist mass movement from 1983 until Marcos fell from power in 1986. For three years, the armed revolutionary movement and the legal forces of the national democratic movement played a crucial role in the groundswell of the anti-fascist movement which led to the fall of Marcos.

III. Causes of the Fall of the Dictatorship

Even before the assassination of Aquino, the Washington top officials were already seriously concerned that the longer Marcos stayed in power, the armed revolutionary movement led by the CPP would become stronger and the US wouldface bigger problems in the future. US inter-agency meetings were being held as early as 1982 to study and draw up recommendations on how to preempt the further growth of the armed revolutionary movement in the Philippines and how to make a soft landing from the fascist dictatorship to sham democracy. At this point, it must be pointed out that the people´s war led by the CPP was, to say the least, a major cause of the US decision to prepare for getting rid of Marcos.

After Aquino was assassinated in 1983, the US officials became even more worried by the persistence of Marcos in power and were angered that Aquino was assassinated despite assurances to Solarz and Wolfowitz by regime officials that he would not be harmed. The US State Department was the most offended and went gung-ho for the overthrow of Marcos. The Pentagon resisted for a while by arguing that the overthrow would entail a serious split in the reactionary armed forces in the Philippines. Eventually it accepted the “Armacost formula” which would indeed allow a split calculated to be repaired in due course. Thus, Reagan signed the national security directive for getting rid of Marcos.

As in the earlier overthrow of Duvalier, the US devised the Laxalt proposal for a snap presidential election of 1986 to trick Marcos into calling for it and then to accuse him of cheating in order to pave the way for his overthrow through a mutiny and paralysis of the reactionary armed forces; and through mass actions. As early as November 1985, the US instructed Cory Aquino to keep out of her campaign organization the leaders of the Left, not to touch the issue of US military bases and not to appoint anyone from the Left to her prospective cabinet. By his own Comelec count and pseudo-parliament proclamation, Marcos was the electoral winner but a predictable series of events would overthrow him and nullify his claim.

Immediately after the sham results of the snap presidential election, the CPP ran ahead of all forces in denouncing the results and calling for people´s uprisings, contrary to latter-day claims that the CPP was paralyzed by its boycott policy in the elections. Only subsequently, after a few days later, did Cory Aquino call for civil disobedience. The third powerful blow that fell on the head of Marcos came from the Catholic bishops who, in their pastoral letter, denounced the Marcos regime as immoral and illegitimate. Then, the Reform the AFP Movement (RAM) launched its failed coup attempt. But Cardinal Sin, Butch Aquino and BAYAN called on the people to go to EDSA highway to support the military mutineers and frustrate the anticipated military offensive of Marcos.

During the last few days of the life of the Marcos fascist dictatorship, the forces of the national democratic movement mobilized large masses of people to converge on EDSA and in front of Malacañang Palace and in so many other public places in the country, especially in provincial capitals and major cities. At least 20 per cent of the hundreds of thousands of people at EDSA were mobilized by BAYAN, with the rest being mobilized mainly by the calls of Cardinal Sin and broadcasts of Radio Veritas. But 85 per cent of the thousands upon thousands of people in front of Malacañang palace were mobilized by the KMU and LFS.

In the provinces, BAYAN was the dominant force in organizing the mass actions. Let us mention a few notable examples. BAYAN of Angeles city was outstanding for stopping the army tanks of General Palafox which came from Tarlac. In the Bicol region, the close friend of Ramos, General de Villa could appear big as an opponent of Marcos only because he was backed up by Bayan, aside from his military followers. It is absurd for anyone to claim that because of the election boycott policy the forces of the Left kept themselves not only out of the farcical elections but also out of the people´s uprising that overthrew Marcos.

It can be concluded that in the long haul of 1969 to 1986 as well as in the short haul of 1983 to 1986 of the struggle to overthrow the Marcos fascist dictatorship, the armed revolutionary movement and the legal forces of the national democratic movement were the most consistent, most important and most effective in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people. The US and the most rabid pro-US reactionaries started to do their best to fight the dictatorship only in 1983. It can be said that in the short haul the contradictory forces of the national democratic movement, the US, the Catholic church hierarchy and the anti-Marcos reactionaries converged to overthrow Marcos.

It is true that so far the Aquino family and its associates (like Ramos and Macapagal-Arroyo) have benefited most from the overthrow of Marcos in terms of acquiring reactionary political power and accumulating wealth. But this does not give the hangers-on and propagandists of the Aquino regime the license to claim that the forces of the national democratic movement were nowhere in the struggle to overthrow Marcos. The revolutionary movement led by the CPP greatly benefited from the process of overthrowing the Marcos dictatorship but the gain it made was neither for getting a share of reactionary power nor jockeying for some posts in the reactionary government but for accumulating strength for the overthrow of the entire ruling system.

IV. Consequences Up to the Present

The people´s struggle to overthrow the Marcos fascist dictatorship was not strong enough to overthrow the entire ruling system of big compradors and landlords. Thus, the brazen fascist dictatorship has been succeeded by a series of anti-national and pseudo-democratic and anti-democratic regimes. They are essentially similar to the Marcos regime in terms of puppetry to the US, exploitative class character, corruption and brutality against the people. The only obvious difference of these post-Marcos regimes from the Marcos fascist regime is the fact that they have carried out state terrorism without having to proclaim martial law.

It is of crucial importance to the anti-Marcos reactionaries, especially the Cojuangco-Aquino big comprador-landlords, their allies and their propagandists, to deny the role of the revolutionary movement in the overthrow of the Marcos fascist dictatorship and to claim more than their share in the process in order to misrepresent themselves as the saviors of the people and as champions of democracy and continue the counterrevolutionary role of Marcos
in trying to destroy the revolutionary movement of the people for national liberation and democracy.

When the Cory Aquino regime was still consolidating its power against the Marcos, Enrile and other reactionary cliques, it offered ceasefire negotiations to the CPP, NPA and NDF and signed a ceasefire agreement. But it cast away the ceasefire agreement and “unsheathed the sword of war” after the Mendiola massacre of peasants and their urban supporters in 1987. It followed the US-dictated neoliberal economic policy and prated much about trade liberalization. It carried out a series of strategic military campaign plans in a vain attempt to destroy the revolutionary movement. After some years, when it was faced with further coup threats in 1989, it offered to engage the revolutionary forces in peace negotiations.

The US skilfully prepared and made Ramos the president in order to realize the “Armacost formula” and patch up the splits that had occurred in the reactionary armed forces before and after the overthrow of Marcos. Ramos amnestied the anti-Aquino military mutineers and the political prisoners in a show of dealing evenly with the Right and the Left. In its full course the Ramos regimeused the two-handed policy of military force and peace negotiations. It went full-blast in carrying out the neoliberal economic policy to the great detriment of the Filipino people.

The armed revolutionary movement slackened in the first half of the 1990s, not because of the peace negotiations or effectiveness of enemy military campaigns but because of major errors in the revolutionary movement since the 1980s and the need to rectify these and revitalize the CPP and other revolutionary forces through the Second Great Rectification Movement. In the second half of the 1990s, the NPA was carrying out and winning more tactical offensives on a nationwide scale. The neoliberal economic policy of Ramos was thoroughly discredited when the “Asian financial crisis” of 1998 struck the Philippines hard.

Estrada succeeded Ramos and continued the policy of repression, going to the extent of terminating the peace negotiations with the NDFP. His regime was in the backwash of the global and domestic economic crisis wrought by neoliberal economic policy. Estrada could not conceal his direct culpability for corruption as he took cash from jueteng and raided the social security funds for shady deals. As in the overthrow of Marcos, the national democratic movement employed the broad united front to isolate Estrada, call for his ouster; and to actually oust him through a people´s uprising. His term of office was cut short as he was compelled to resign by tens of thousands of youth massing at the gates of the presidential palace at the decisive moment.

The US-Arroyo regime ran for 10 years, exceeding the ousted regime in puppetry, exploitativeness, corruption and brutality. The policy of the broad united front succeeded in isolating Arroyo but failed to oust her from power. Upon the prompting of the US and the Vatican, the reactionary classes, their major institutions (schools, churches and mass media) and the pro-Arroyo and anti-Arroyo reactionary politicians spread the line that the people had been stricken by protest fatigue and that the best way to achieve regime change was through elections.

In fact they were frightened that the revolutionary movement could gain strength from the extra-constitutional process of ousting one regime after another thorough mass uprisings, even if unarmed. The forces of the national democratic movement failed at exercising independence and initiative in order to enlarge their own protest mass actions without the participation of reactionary allies and at overcoming the repeated tactics of the anti-Arroyo reactionary allies to keep the focal mass protest actions in Ayala, Makati as well as the
regime´s consistent tactics of harassing, delaying and disrupting lakbayans and intra-city marches. Arroyo was able to prevent sizeable rallies of students at the university belt and marches converging on and occupying the vicinity of the presidential palace.

The current Aquino regime is good at capitalizing on the ritualistic celebration of people power (like manpower or horse power, not people´s power) insofar as it brought down Marcos and brought to power the reactionary Aquino faction of the exploiting classes. In addition, the current Aquino regime is good at pretending to denounce the corruption and human rights violations under the Arroyo regime.

But corruption remains rampant at all levels of the reactionary government. The Aquino regime has condoned and supported the gross and systematic human rights violations under the Arroyo regime. And it is now culpable for the escalation of such human rights violations.

Under the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan, Aquino deceptively calls military operations “peace and development operations” and emboldens the military, police and paramilitary forces ro engage in forced disappearances, illegal detention, torture, extrajudicial killings and the forced eviction of entire communities for the benefit of mining, logging and plantation companies. He is obsessed with seeking to destroy the revolutionary movement by military force and has gone so far as to paralyze the peace negotiations between his government and the NDFP.

The exploitative and violent character of the post-Marcos regimes from Cory to Noynoy Aquino clearly shows that no social revolution occurred in 1986. The Marcos fascist dictatorship which arose in 1972 did not result in a new society different from the semicolonial and feudal system of big compradors and landlords. Neither did the fall of such dictatorship in 1986 result in the national and social liberation of the Filipino people. The perseverance of the revolutionary movement remains valid and just against the persistence of the reactionary ruling system under US hegemony.

As the crisis of the world capitalist system and the ruling system worsens, the reactionaries continue to engage in a bitter struggle for power and bureaucratic loot among themselves. As the Filipino people suffer more exploitation and oppression, more poverty and misery, they are driven to intensify and advance their revolutionary struggle for national liberation, democracy, development through national industrialization and genuine land reform, social justice and world peace.###



Press Statement | September 21, 2012
Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-5003879
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

40 years after the imposition of Martial Law
Impunity persists, legacy of the Filipino people’s valiant struggle continues

It may not be as visible as it was 40 years ago but, human rights violations that are indelible marks of Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law, continue to this day: illegal arrests and detention, torture, disappearance, extrajudicial killings, bombings and hamletting of communities, forced evacuation, use and proliferation of paramilitary groups, among others.

Making things worse is that people in the government, specially the President, hide behind their previous involvement in the anti-dictatorship struggle; banking on their being victims of martial law to escape accountability and responsibility on the current state of human rights in the country.

Thus, the likes of The Butcher, Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. roam freely. Torturers like Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia and Col. Aurelio Baladad are being promoted, despite cases filed against them, similar to Col. Rolando Abadilla, Rodolfo Aguinaldo, and Billy Bibit who were rewarded handsomely by Marcos.

As we remember the 40th year of the imposition of martial law and the dark days that followed it, we underscore the fact that the Marcoses are back in power, occupying various government positions, while justice continues to elude the victims of the tyrannical regime; martial law was lifted but the terror machine, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, continues its violent and terrorist practices such as killings, torture, arrests, and other rights violations; the Civilian Home Defense Force (CHDF) is now called the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) but, with the same paramilitary functions inflicting fear, repression and violence; repressive Marcosian laws and decrees that curtail basic freedom are still enforced and enacted such as the newly passed Cybercrime Prevention Law; and the same land reform program which perpetuates landlessness and legitimizes landgrabbing is in place. Names and positions may have changed but the exploitative and oppressive system remains the same.

The victims are still the same, too — the ordinary Filipinos who aspire for freedom, democracy, and justice; and they who speak up, organize themselves and fight for their rights to land, jobs and decent wages, housing, education and health services. They are branded at best, as nuisance; at worst, as enemies of the so-called restored democratic state.

Forty years and five presidents ago, the “democratic space” that was supposedly restored in 1986 remains a space for the landed, the rich and the powerful. The poor are still poor, exploited and oppressed. Today, social justice remains elusive, and the culture of impunity prevails, like it was under martial law.

Because the same situation exists, the people’s desire for meaningful and thoroughgoing change remains as steadfast as ever. The legacy of the Filipino people’s resistance against exploitation and oppression is passed on to the next generation of activists who carry on the struggle for social justice, freedom and democracy.

Remembering martial law is not too difficult. We only have to look at, and hear the voices of, the people around us—the peasants and indigenous peoples, the workers and the urban poor, the youth, women and children. The current situation bespeaks of the prevalence of martial law. It is when we realize the similarities of the situation now and 40 years ago can we truly say Never Again to Martial Law. Ituloy ang Laban!








Pernicious martial law imprints still palpable
AT GROUND LEVEL By Satur C. Ocampo (The Philippine Star) Updated September 15, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (4)

This week and the next, various groups have organized activities to “commemorate” the 40th year since President Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972. The dominant theme is: “Never again to martial law!”

Last Thursday the Rotary Club of Manila Bay asked me to speak on the topic “Martial law 40 years after.” Let me share some points I cited in that speech on this question:

Why have the pernicious imprints of martial law remained palpable 40 years after Marcos imposed one-man rule, and 26 years after a popular uprising ended his dictatorship?

I pointed out that under martial law 70,000 citizens were arrested and detained, several thousands of them tortured. Thousands others were either extrajudicially executed (“salvaged”) or abducted and “disappeared” presumably by state security forces. Hundreds of thousands more were displaced from their communities by counterinsurgency operations, driven to hunger and sickness for months or years.

Till the present time, the victims of these martial-law abuses and human rights violations have not been accorded the justice that they deserve. Not only that. Several thousands more have been similarly victimized — also without any redress — under ALL of the succeeding post-martial law governments.

None of the key martial-law authors and implementers has been called to account and appropriately penalized for his or her crimes against the people. Some of them have even cunningly transited to power in the post-Marcos governments, including the Marcos widow, Imelda, and children Imee and Bongbong.

Why have such conditions prevailed after martial law officially ended? Why have the military-police abuses and human-rights violations not been effectively curbed, despite every new administration’s vow to stop them? Why did Gloria Arroyo dare to try approximating what Marcos did, when she proclaimed a state of national emergency in 2006?

Let me count the reasons why.

1. Foremost is IMPUNITY. (This is understood as the inability of those in authority, since the martial-law era, to identify, arrest, prosecute and penalize the perpetrators of such criminal acts as killings, plunder of state coffers, abuse of power by circumventing the Constitution and other laws, and human-rights violations.)

Although the Presidential Commission on Good Government filed more than 100 cases against Imelda Marcos, the Ombudsman appointed by President Ramos dismissed, on technical grounds, almost all of the cases. In one fund-misuse charge wherein Imelda was adjudged guilty, she appealed to the Supreme Court and secured an acquittal.

2. All the governments after Marcos have recognized his actions as legally binding, except those that were nullified either by President Cory Aquino’s executive fiat early in her administration or by the Supreme Court.

3. President Cory, who vowed to make her government the “exact opposite” of the dictatorship, retained certain Marcos repressive decrees, against the strong recommendation of Jose W. Diokno, then chair of the Presidential Human Rights Committee.

Among these are: General Order 66 (authorizing military-police checkpoints); GO 67 (authorizing warrantless arrests); PD 1866 (penalizing illegal possession of firearms in relation to rebellion); BP 880 (restricting the right to public assembly); and Executive Order 129 (authorizing demolitions of urban-poor communities).

4. Cory adopted en masse the Marcos-era AFP, without ordering a top-down roster review to identify and prosecute or weed out the corrupt officers and those involved in gross human-rights violations.

She may have wanted to retain the “integrity” of the AFP by putting it in the hands of the two key martial-law implementers, who turned “balimbing” only when Marcos’ political isolation worsened after the Ninoy assassination: Juan Ponce Enrile, as defense secretary, and Fidel Ramos, as chief of staff.

5. When Enrile was arrested and detained for alleged complicity in the late-1980s coup attempts, the Cory government charged him with “rebellion complex with murder.” That allowed Enrile to question the charge before the Supreme Court on solid ground: in 1956 the SC had ruled in the Amado V. Hernandez case that such a charge wouldn’t hold water, since the political offense of rebellion subsumes all other crimes, however serious, committed in its pursuance.

Sure enough, the SC dismissed the case. Enrile should have been charged with simple rebellion, for which he could have been convicted and penalized with imprisonment.

In this regard, note that the P-Noy government filed a weak case for electoral sabotage, a non-bailable offense, against Gloria Arroyo. Because it was weak, the trial court allowed bail and freed Arroyo from detention. She may end up acquitted if the prosecution fails to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

6. Against strong public demand to dismantle the Marcos paramilitary forces, Cory issued EO 264 legitimizing the CAFGU (Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units) by placing them under AFP supervision. These groups are notorious for being major human-rights violators — under Marcos, Cory, and all succeeding administrations.

Pressured like his mother to dismantle the CAFGUs and other paramilitary groups, P-Noy has decided to retain them, claiming they are needed to augment the AFP troops in confronting “threats to national security.”

Reports consistently show that AFP-PNP actions in the field — notwithstanding their “respect-for-human-rights” orientation and their “peace and development” counterinsurgency mode — have basically, or largely, sustained their martial-law mindset.

* * *




Remember martial law, persevere in the correct and just revolutionary struggle

NDFP-Eastern Visayas
Septyembre 21, 2012

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today joins the Filipino people in remembering the martial law proclamation of the Marcos fascist dictatorship forty years ago. “The dictator Marcos imposed martial law to monopolize power over the reactionary ruling system that was then in the throes of crisis,” said NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago Salas. “The so-called new society of Marcos was the same old semicolonial and semifeudal system made even more exploitative and brutal. But even after the downfall of the dictatorship in 1986, the Filipino people never saw genuine change. The post-Marcos regimes are all US puppets who uphold the reactionary ruling system of big compradors and landlords.More than ever, history as well as current events uphold the perseverance of the people's revolutionary struggle as correct and just.”

Fr. Salas also scored the Aquino regime as a great pretender of democracy, when in fact it is rife with corruption as well as escalating human rights violations through its US-designed Oplan Bayanihan. “The Aquino regime has undisguised contempt for the common people and its fixation on serving the interests of the big compradors and landlords is exemplified in two words: Hacienda Luisita. For a son of a man who was shot to death by a dictator, Aquino also relishes going for the gun by unleashing Oplan Bayanihan against the people and amassing his own bloody record of extrajudicial killings, torture, illegal detention, forced evictions of urban and rural poor in favor of big businesses, and other human rights violations. Aquino even mimics the Marcos dictatorship, which preened and called its rule a smiling martial law, by also putting a smile on the ugly face of fascism in calling military attacks on the people under Oplan Bayanihan as “peace and development operations.”

Fr. Salas added that the catchphrase of “peace and development” is a cruel joke on the people. “How can there be peace when the Aquino regime seeks to destroy the revolutionary movement by military force and has thus paralyzed the peace talks? The plight of the NDFP peace consultants such as Eduardo “Ka Edong” Sarmiento of Eastern Visayas describes the continuing political repression and the limbo to which peace has been consigned. Ka Edong was tortured and imprisoned twice fighting the Marcos dictatorship, he was also thrown into jail by Arroyo, and now Aquino refuses to release him and other NDFP peace consultants and political prisoners. The people also continue to suffer under the pseudo-development agenda of the Aquino regime such as the short-term 4Ps dole-out scheme, imperialist mining, privatization of basic services through the Public-Private Partnership, and other impositions of neoliberal globalization. The people moreover face more exploitation and oppression ahead from the US imperialist assertion of hegemony over the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region.”

The NDF-EV spokesperson called on the people to never forget the lessons of martial law and to persevere in the revolutionary struggle. “There will never be genuine change under the reactionary ruling system of big compradors and landlords that benefit from the semifeudal and semicolonial character of the Philippines. It is also true that the people can depose a regime in power as they did to Marcos and Estrada. But the people must continue the revolutionary struggle for national and social liberation to attain a just and lasting peace and fundamental changes.”#

Roy Santos
NDF-EV Media Officer
Connect also to Roy Santos through Facebook.

NDFP-Eastern Visayas

Pahayag ha Mantalaan
Septyembre 21, 2012

Hinumdumon an balaud-militar, magpursigi ha tukma ngan makatadungan nga rebolusyunaryo nga pakigbisog

Nakikig-usa yana an National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas ha katawhan Pilipino ha paghinumdom han proklamasyon han balaud-militar han pasista nga diktadurya ni Marcos kwarenta anyos na an naglabay. “Gin-imponer han diktador nga hi Marcos an balaud-militar agud ma-monopolisa an poder ha reaksyunaryo nga naghahadi nga sistema nga nakada ha butnga han nagkakaladkad nga krisis,” sering han tagapagyakan han NDF-EV nga hi Fr. Santiago Salas. “An ginsesering nga bag-o nga katilingban o new society ni Marcos pareho la gihapon han kadaan nga baga-kolonyal ngan bagapyudal nga sistema nga ginhimo la nga mas matalumpiguson ngan brutal. Pero bisan pa man kahuman han pagbagsak han diktadurya hadton 1986, waray nakit-an nga tinuod nga pagbabag-o an katawhan Pilipino. Ngatanan nga rehimen kataliwan han kan Marcos papreho nga mga niyutiyo han US nga nag-uundong han reaksyunaryo nga naghahadi nga sistema han dagko nga kumprador ngan agaron-maytuna. Yana labaw ha naglabay, ginpapamatud-an han kasaysayan sugad man han presente nga mga panhitabo an katukmaan ngan ka-makatadungan han paningkamot han katawhan ha rebolusyunaryo nga pakigbisog.”

Ginsukna gihap ni Fr. Salas an rehimen Aquino nga usa nga dako nga ipokrito para ha demokrasya, kundi ha kamatuoran putos hin korapsyon sugadman han pagpagrabe han mga panalapas han tawhanon nga katungod pinaagi han Oplan Bayanihan hini nga gindisenyo han US. “Waray anuman nga pagtahub an rehimen Aquino ha pagmenos ha ordinaryo nga masa ngan ha karuyagon hini nga serbihan an interes han dagko nga komprador ngan mga agaron-maytuna, kun diin buhi an ladawan hini ha duha nga pulong: Hacienda Luisita. Para ha usa nga anak han tawo nga ginpusil-patay han usa nga diktador, ginkakalipay ni Aquino an iya pagigin utok-pulbura pinaagi han implementasyon han Oplan Bayanihan kontra ha katawhan ngan ha iya pagtirok han kalugaringon nga duguon nga rekord han mga ekstrahudisyal nga panmatay, tortyur, ilegal nga detensyon, pwersado nga pagpaiwas han mga kablas ha kasyudaran ngan kabaryuhan pabor ha dagko nga mga negosyo, ngan iba pa nga panalapas han tawhanon nga katungod. Ginsusubad gihap ni Aquino an diktadurya ni Marcos, nga nagpagwapo ngan gintawag an paghahadi hini nga mahiyom-hiyom nga balaud-militar, pinaagi han paghatag hin hiyom ha maraksot nga nawong han pasismo ha pagtawag hini ha mga pangatake han militar kontra ha katawhan ilarum han Oplan Bayanihan komo “mga operasyon ha ngaran han kamurayawan ngan kauswagan” (peace and development operations).

Gindugang pa ni Fr. Salas nga an darahunon nga “kamurayawan ngan kauswagan” usa nga maraut nga tiaw ha katawhan. “Tiunan-o magkakamay-ada hin kamurayawan kun ginmamalakab-ot han rehimen Aquino nga hibangon an rebolusyunaryo nga kagiusan pinaagi han pwersa han militar nga ha sugad nagparalisa ha erestorya pankamurayawan? An kamutangan han mga konsultant ha kamurayawan han NDFP sugad kan Eduardo “Ka Edong” Sarmiento han Eastern Visayas naglaladawan han nagpapadayon nga pulitikal nga pananalumpigos ngan an nagpapabilin nga kawaray kasiguruhan han kamurayawan. Makaduha hi Ka Edong ng gintortyur ngan ginpriso ha pag-ato ha diktadurya nga Marcos, ginpriso gihap hiya ha panahon ni Arroyo, ngan yana nadiri hi Aquino nga buhian hiya ngan an iba pa nga mga konsultant ha kamurayawan han NDFP ngan mga pulitikal nga preso. Padayon gihap nga nagkukuri an katawhan ilarum han kuntaloy kauswagan nga adyenda han rehimen Aquino sugad han temporaryo nga limos nga eskema han 4Ps, imperyalista nga pagmina, pribatisasyon han mga batakan nga serbisyo sugad han Public-Private Partnership, ngan iba pa nga mga imposisyon han neoliberal nga globalisasyon. Dugang pa nga ginkakaatubang han katawhan an ginpagrabe nga pananalumpigos ngan panraugdaug ha tidaraon tungod han pagpinirit han imperyalista nga US han paghahadi hini ha Pilipinas ngan ha Asia-Pacific nga rehiyon.”

Nanawagan an NDF-EV spokesperson ha katawhan nga diri hingalimtan an mga liksyon han balaud militar ngan maningkamot ha rebolusyunaryo nga pakigbisog. “Diri magkakamay-ada hin anuman nga tinuod nga pagbabag-o ilarum han reaksyunaryo nga naghahadi nga sistema han dagko nga komprador ngan agaron-maytuna nga nakakatagamtam tikang ha bagapyudal ngan baga-kolonyal nga kinaiya han Pilipinas. Tinuod gihap nga marurumpag han katawhan an usa nga rehimen nga aada ha poder sugad han ginhimo nira kan Marcos ngan Estrada. Pero kinahanglan nga ipadayon han katawhan an rebolusyunaryo nga pakigbisog para ha nasyunal ngan pankatilingban nga pagtatalwas agud makab-ot an makatadungan ngan panmaihaan nga kamurayawan ngan mga pundamental nga pagbabag-o.”#



Press Statement
September 16, 2012

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 09175003879
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

From martial law to Noynoy Aquino
After 40 long years, ML victims still invisible
to the government —Karapatan

“Many of the victims of human rights violations under the Marcos dictatorship have left us without seeing justice rendered, 40 long years after the imposition of martial law. Even the barest gesture of justice, the Marcos Victims Compensation bill, remains at the backburner. The governments that followed after the dictatorship, from Cory Aquino to her son Noynoy, showed tolerance and gave concessions to the Marcoses. They all should be held accountable for perpetuating the crimes of the Marcoses”

Thus said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, as 68-year old Nicolas Sanchez passed away early this week. Sanchez was a victim of torture, illegal arrest and detention during the infamous sona (zoning of communities) in Brgy. Tatalon, Quezon City in July 23, 1985. The sona was conducted by elements of the Marcos’ Philippine Constabulary, when residents resisted the demolition of their community to give way to the development plan of the Aranetas, in-laws of Marcos’ daughter, Irene. Two persons reportedly died during the incident, while many were arrested, including Sanchez.

Sanchez was brought to Camp Crame where he endured torture. He also witnessed the torture of several others, including that of Trinidad Herrera, leader of the urban poor group Zone One Tondo Organization (ZOTO) during martial law years. This year also saw the demise of martial law activists and victims such as Romy Luneta, Maita Gomez and Bong Barsoles.

Palabay asserted that “the immediate passage of a law that would acknowledge the State’s moral and legal obligation to render justice to the victims of the worst forms of rights violations, during Martial Law, will serve as a beacon and a reminder to everyone not end such violations and injustice.”

While Pres. Aquino, in his first two State of the Nation addresses called on both Houses of Congress to pass the Marcos Victims Compensation bill as an urgent measure, he seemed to have omitted this in his July 2012 SONA.

“What a callous act of ‘remembrance’ on the 40th year of the imposition of Martial Law! It is no wonder that the Marcoses continue to flaunt, with impunity, their political power as well as Imelda’s manic possessiveness of her jewels which, are testament to the plunder of the nation’s coffers during the Marcos dictatorship,” she said.

Karapatan, SELDA and Bayan will lead a protest action of Martial Law activists and various organizations on September 21 to strengthen the call for justice for victims of human rights violations from Martial Law up to Noynoy Aquino. ###


Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.




For Immediate Release
21 September 2012

Martial Law @40: Dictatorship legacies of fascism, cronyism continuing under Noynoy

On the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, the youth group Anakbayan said that the dictatorship is ‘continuing in essence’ under the administration of President Benigno ‘Noynoy Aquino III.

“There is no change, except in name: from Martial Law to Oplan Bayanihan, from cronies to ‘KKK’” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan.

He pointed out that despite repeated claims that ‘our family was a victim of the Marcos regime’, Noynoy’s first two years has been marked with rise in the number of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests, and other forms of persecution against activists and other government critics.

So far, there have been 102 cases of extra-judicial killings, the latest of which was a 23-year old lumad youth leader in Agusan del Sur. Majority of these people are anti-mining activists, other environmentalists, journalists, and peasant leaders.

There has also been an upsurge in the number of political prisoners. The military and police have arrested 107 activists, filing trumped-up charges against them. Many, such as National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants Tirso Alcantara, Allan Jazmines, and Renante Gamara, have been subject to torture and inhumane living conditions.


Cronyism continues under the current administration, according to Crisostomo, but albeit under a new name: KKK or Kaibigan, kaklase, at kabarilan (friends, classmates, and shooting-range buddies).

The youth leader pointed out as proof Aquino’s recent political appointments: DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, who was the president’s running mate in 2010, and Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, who favored the retention of Hacienda Luisita in Cojuangco-Aquino hands in a 2011 decision.

The struggle continues

“Forty years after, the same social ills plague our nation. The only difference is the name of the president who presides over the military repression and names his cronies” said the Anakbayan leader.

“The struggle for genuine social change, justice, and peace continues under this administration” he concluded. ###

Reference: Vencer Crisostomo, 09238618369
#89 K7 Street corner Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City
Twitter: @anakbayan_ph

Anakbayan is the comprehensive mass organization of the Filipino youth, advocating genuine national independence and democracy as a solution to the nation's problems. It is open to anyone from 13 to 35 years old, and currently has a 20,000-strong membership across the Philippines and in several cities in the U.S and Canada.

It is not a partylist group and is in no way affiliated with the pro-Aquino group Akbayan.




21 September 2012

Reference: GERT RANJO-LIBANG, Deputy Secretary General (09209836266) / Public Info Dept (09174661522)

FORTY years after the declaration of martial law in the Philippines, the military and the government it defends still employs physical, sexual, and social violence against women as one of its instruments in cowing the people who are struggling to assert their human rights.

This is the statement of GABRIELA, a fighting organization defending women’s rights and that was established under the Marcos dictatorship.

The group joine d a massive mobilization and protest march on Mendiola to remind the nation of the brutal treatment of the people under a military dictatorship. The women activists maintain that military rule is still in place in the form of a deeply entrenched combined force of an oversized military and a powerful police state hiding behind a yellow veil of liberalism yet permeates communities whether urban or rural.
Gert Ranjo-Libang, deputy secretary general of GABRIELA, said that men in uniform continue to abuse women as they conduct military operations in communities.
“Soldiers inflict sexual violence on women and children as part of their machismo-based weaponry. They systematically use rape of women they brand or tag as activists or part of the New People’s Army as a standard part of the counter-insurgency strategy of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under Aquino, much like as it was under the Marcos dictatorship.

GABRIELA is flooded by reports of rising incidences of war-related rape committed by military forces paramilitary forces and even irregular private armies linked to the AFP. Included in the reports are the case of a 15-year old girl gangraped by soldiers inside a military camp in Tanay, and another case of a CAFGU recruit who raped a minor in Batangas.

“This is part ang parcel of President Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan, which is disguised as a civilian-military project delivering social services, but in reality is a killing machine in search of any sign of opposition to be destroyed and neutralized in any area,” Ranjo-Libang added. “The masses, instead of enjoying peace, are even in constant anxiety over violent attacks that soldiers unleash on women and children.”
The women’s group are working to expose the liberal disguise of the Aquino government and belie its posturing as a defender of people’s rights. GABRIELA expects that Aquino’s bare knuckle fascism will further be made more visible as it launcher even more attacks against women and the people.

FILIPINO language version

Apatnapung taon makalipas ang batas militar, patuloy na ginagamit ng militar at ng pamahalaang pinoprotektahan nito, ang karahasan sa kababaihan bilang instrumento para supilin ang mamamayang lumalaban para sa kanilang karapatan. Ito ang pahayag ng grupong GABRIELA, isang organisasyong lumalaban para sa karapatan ng kababaihan at ipinanganak noong panahon ng diktaduryang Marcos.
Lumahok ang grupo sa kilos-protesta sa Mendiola upang ipaalala sa mamamayan ang mapait na karanasan sa ilalim ng Batas Militar, at ang anila’y nagpapatuloy na pananalanta ngayon ng pwersa ng militar at kapulisan sa mga komunidad, sa lungsod man o sa mga probinsya, na pilit itinatago ng dilaw na tabing ng pamahalaang Aquino.

Ayon kay Gert Ranjo-Libang, Deputy Secretary General ng GABRIELA, nagaganap ang pang-aabuso sa kababaihan ng mga sundalong nasa gitna ng kanilang mga operasyon sa mga komunidad. “Nagaganap ang sekswal na pang-aabuso ng mga sundalo sa mga babaeng biktima ng kanilang marahas na machismong kakabit ng kanilang kapangyarihan. Ginagamit din ng militar ang panggagahasa bilang pinakamalupit na pag-atake sa mga babaeng pinaghihinalaan nilang aktibista at NPA” ani Ranjo-Libang.

Sa kasalukuyan, dumadami ang mga iniuulat sa GABRIELA na mga kaso ng panggagahasa ng mga militar at ng mga para-military sa mga kababaihan sa

 komunidad. Kabilang dito ang kaso ng isang 15 taong gulang na ginahasa ng mga sundalo sa loob mismo ng kampo sa Tanay at ang kaso ng isa pang menor de edad sa Batangas na ginahasa naman ng CAFGU. “Ito ang bunga ng Oplan Bayanihan na programa ng rehimeng Aquino na kunwaring naghahatid ng mga serbisyo sa komunidad pero ang tanging layon ay ang sawatahin ang anumang disgusto at paglaban ng mga tao sa lugar” wika pa ni Ranjo-Libang. “Sa halip na makaramdam ng kapayapaan ang komunidad, lalo pang nililigalig ang mga mamamayan dahil sa mga kahayupang ginagawa ng mga sundalo ng gobrno sa mga kababaihan at bata.”
Umaasa ang mga kababaihan na tuluy-tuloy na ring mahuhubaran ang gobyernong Aquino na umaasta pa ding tagapagtanggol ng karapatan ng mamamayan, at mailalantad ang tunay na bangis ng pasismo na patuloy nitong ginagamit laban sa kababaihan at mamamayan. ###




September 21, 2012


On September 21, 1972, then President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Declaration 1081 declaring Martial Law. The declaration was a response to the growing unrest and dissent against the Marcos regime whose policies further marginalized the poor and whose iron hand deprived the people of their rights.

With the declaration, curfews were imposed, gatherings banned, protests silenced. Publications, radio and television stations were shut down. Organizations were deemed illegal. Communities were heavily militarized. Those critical against the government were tagged as subversives. They were arrested, detained, and tortured. A number became victims of summary executions or ‘salvaging’ or became victims of enforced disappearance and are still missing up to this day.

For many, it was a time of great anxiety, grief and sadness over the absence or loss of a loved one.

People who lived through this refer to the Martial Law period as a dark season of being in a constant state of fear. A false sense of peace and development enveloped Philippine society under the banner of a New Society or Bagong Lipunan.

Yet, during these most trying times, there were those who, with great self-respect and dignity, raged against the Marcos dictatorship.

We remember the struggle of the communities along the Chico River against the World Bank funded dams project.

“In 1974, the National Power Corporation (NPC) work camps, which were set up in Maswa, Basao for survey purposes, were dismantled twice by the people. A number of tribal leaders were picked up and confined at the stockade, sparking off a long line of maltreatment, arrest and detention of Kalinga natives in relation to the project.
The people resorted to bodily prevention of the survey work by physically disallowing the NPC to unload their equipment in the survey sites. At Tomiangan, the site for Chico IV, the PC- Police and the NPC tried to set up their work camps four times under armed protection, and four times were these camps torn down by the people, even under threat of death. The fourth time, the people carried the materials from Tomiangan to the PC-Police camp at Bulanao, a distance of 35 kilometers, in a silent protest march of around 250 people, lasting through the night and the curfew hours.”*

Civil disobedience in different forms such as this like the 1975 La Tondena strike and the 1978 noise barrage snowballed into waves of mass actions culminating in the toppling of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.

Forty years after September 21, 1972, have things changed?

Under President Benigno Aquino III and his Oplan Bayanihan, peace and development continue to be a farce.
In the region, militarization and other human rights violations are perpetrated with impunity similar during the Martial Law period.

Peace and Development Teams (PDT) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continue to encamp in communities using schools and daycare centers and even civilian residences for military purposes.

Last July in Ifugao, a farmer was illegally detained in his own community and tortured for hours by the AFP. Wooden panels inside his house were torn down as his belongings were ransacked by elements of the 86th IB.

Last February, rape was committed against two minors from Mankayan, Benguet by Captain Danilo Lalin of the 86th IB.

From July to August 2012 in Baguio City and in Kalinga, legal people’s organizations critical of the government were politically vilified as enemies of the State in counter-insurgency lectures for Grade 6 and high school students in violation of the Convention of the Rights of the Child and R.A. 7610 “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”. This was committed by the Charlie Company of the 5th Civil Military Operations Battalion, 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army. The political vilification of people’s organizations and institutions has legitimized the attack of State security forces on civilians and is being used to justify human rights violations. The violation is made worse because this is being taught to students in the effort to further stomp out the legitimacy of the right to dissent against a repressive government in the minds of the younger generation.

Mining and energy projects facilitated by the government continue to threaten the indigenous peoples rights to their land and resources. Last September 17, the Philippine National Police with the support of the AFP attempted to disperse the people’s barricade against the expansion operations/drilling operations of the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company in sitio Madaymen, Mankayan, Benguet. Residents sustained minor wounds in the scuffle and Save Mankayan Movement (SMM) Vice President Tony Ugalde was handcuffed and arrested during this incident.

At a national level, extrajudicial killings especially among indigenous peoples resisting mining projects continue.

Justice is still elusive with the culture of impunity prevailing. James Balao continues to be missing after four long painful years of search. Justice is yet to be delivered for the extrajudicial killings of Romy Sanchez, Albert Terredano, Pepe Manegdeg, Jose Doton, Markus Bangit, Alice Claver and the more than one thousand victims of extrajudicial killings under the Arroyo regime.

After forty years, we remember Martial Law against this backdrop.

To walk through the memories of Martial Law is to remember the lessons that repression was faced with organized resistance, fear was met with courage and human dignity was reclaimed even in the darkest and most difficult times.

We are obliged to live by these lessons and teach the future generations that never again should we allow this dark period to be upon us.


For reference:
Atty. Reynaldo Cortes

Jude Baggo
Secretary General
Cordillera Human Rights Alliance

Contact number: 09189199007

*A History of Resistance: The Cordillera Mass Movement Against the Chico Dam and Cellophil Resources Corporation by Joanna K. Carino