Monday, July 3, 2023

Resistance is the Filipino people's only recourse under the US-Marcos regime

Communist Party of the Philippines

July 03, 2023

The Filipino people are being subjected to worse oppression and exploitation as the basic problems of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism are aggravated under the US-Marcos regime. By all indications, the next five years under Marcos Jr will see unprecedented corruption, state terrorism, foreign subservience and antipeople policies. The broad masses of workers, peasants and the rest of the hardworking people are faced with no other recourse but to wage militant resistance in order to defend their rights and advance their aspirations for genuine national freedom and democracy.


Marcos Jr ascended to power through downright automated cheating during the 2022 elections, evidence of which have been exposed by technical experts showing questionable sources and transmission of votes during the counting. His presidency is thus widely considered illegitimate by broad segments of the Filipino people, a view reinforced by his penchant for expensive overseas junkets, his constant revision of history to burnish the image of his dictator father, and rush to put his dirty hands on hundreds of billions of pesos in public funds.

Sitting on top of the rotten reactionary political heap, Marcos Jr is busy recovering and securing his family's hidden wealth accumulated during his father's 14-year martial law dictatorship. Marcos, his cronies and their heirs—from Juan Ponce Enrile to the Benedictos and Floirendos—are busy taking back their riches, taking advantage of their bureaucratic privileges and perpetuating their political dynasties.

To win the loyalty of the military and police, Marcos continues to pamper and indulge its men with high salaries, bonuses and other perks. Extraordinary funds for so-called "modernization" and counterinsurgency line the pockets of both active and retired military officers.

Marcos uses his powers to extend protection to local big bourgeois compradors engaged in smuggling, many of whom also form cartels to control domestic supplies and prices. They pocket billions of pesos in their quasi-illegal operations, while the broad masses of the Filipino people suffer from spiralling prices.

Marcos is in political collusion with the equally corrupt Dutertes and Arroyos. Marcos owes Duterte his 2022 computer-generated "landslide" victory. In exchange, he provides hundreds of billions of pesos of funding for the Davao and other Mindanao infrastructure projects, and affords Vice President Sara Duterte with key positions in government, extra funding, as well as a special role in the defense sector. As reward for lining up her political retinue for Marcos, Gloria Arroyo has been given a special seat in Marcos junkets to allow her to secure deals and take care of her billions stashed in foreign banks.

The Marcos-Arroyo-Duterte alliance of corruption and tyranny is not monolithic. Cracks are slowly coming to the foreground amid early political posturing for 2028. Attempts to amend the 1987 constitution to remove term limits have so far failed to pass through congress.

Marcos plans to sign the Maharlika Investment Fund soon, likely before his state of the nation address later this month, in order to start using the fund's ₱500-billion to favor the businesses of his cronies and further expand his political patronage. The MIF is set to become the mother lode of the Marcos corrupt regime.

Foreign subservience

The Marcos regime is subservient to foreign powers, primarily to military, geopolitical and economic interests of US imperialism, and its financial agents such as the World Bank and other institutions. It kowtows to superpower China even in the face of outright military and economic intrusions into Philippine territory.

While the US and other big capitalist centers are jealously protecting their economies, Marcos continues to vigorously push for neoliberal policies that destroy local productive forces, dispossess the people of their means of production, and undermine the local economy.

These measures include further liberalization of agricultural imports to the detriment of local producers and the broad masses of the people. As a result, domestic supply of rice, sugar, onions, vegetables and other basic food commodities have become precariously dependent on imports. Local agricultural producers, including small tillers, are being pushed to bankruptcy.

Last year, the agricultural trade deficit shot up to \$11.8 billion, the highest since 1979. Rice imports are set on reaching record levels. Marcos' recent ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is bound to bring forth a deluge of agricultural imports that will cause even more massive economic dislocation. The power of bourgeois comprador cartels, and their foreign partners, to control supplies and prices of food is becoming more and more absolute.

Marcos is auctioning off the country to foreign big capitalists in his drive to attract foreign investments, promising tax-free operations and cheap labor. Foreign investments, however, continue to dwindle amid rising threats of a global economic slowdown.

Marcos is using his portfolio as agriculture secretary to push programs in line with foreign dictates. The sharp increase in the 2023 budget of the Department of Agriculture is being used by Marcos to increase imports of fertilizers and machinery which are then sold or rented out to peasant farmers and small producers. Like his father, Marcos Jr is now closely working with big agribusiness corporations to promote the use of patented seeds, chemical fertilizers and other inputs purportedly to raise the yield of rice land, measures similar to those under Masagana 99 which buried the peasant masses deep into debt.

Marcos' subservience to US imperialism is starkly demonstrated by his acquiescence to US plans to build at least four more military bases, in addition to five existing, under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Two of these bases and facilities are to be built in Cagayan province, another in Isabela and another in Palawan. Other facilities are being built clandestinely, including those in Ilocos provinces, as well as in the Babuyan islands.

The construction of these facilities form part of US plan and strategy to contain China's rising power by encircling it within the First-Island Chain, and threatening to undermine Chinese sovereignty in Taiwan. The close connivance of the Marcos regime, especially officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with the US, is pulling the country into the vortex of the US-China conflict which can lead to open military confrontation and war, to the detriment of the country's national interests.

Marcos' commitment to support US foreign policy was reinforced in the recent signing of the Bilateral Defense Guidelines in the US, which reaffirmed the Mutual Defense Treaty and all other military treaties that give the US extraterritorial rights in the country.

Anti-people policies

While rushing to enact the MIF, Marcos maintains the policy of ignoring the widespread clamor of various sectors for urgent action.

He remains oblivious to the widespread demand for substantial wage increases to enable workers and ordinary employees to cope with the sharp rise in prices and prevent the rapid deterioration of standards of living. The recent order to increase the daily minimum wage in the National Capital Region by ₱40 is a gross insult to workers. It represents less than 7% of the difference between the family living wage of ₱1,160 a day and the current minimum wage of ₱570.

Marcos has paid no heed to the acute problem of unemployment. His economic managers and statisticians try to hide the severity of the jobs crisis by bloating numbers and masking unemployment data with rising numbers of informal, self-employed and part-time workers. Marcos is vigorously pursuing the labor export policy as solution to domestic joblessness, deploying thousands of Filipinos everyday in dangerous jobs overseas, at the same time, mulcting them of their hard earned money through an endless stream of dues, fees and payments.

The Marcos regime turns a deaf ear to the clamor for genuine land reform and urgent economic aid amid widespread agricultural crisis. Instead, it has pushed for a new land use law (National Land Use Act) to facilitate the widespread land-use conversion which in turn will drive away peasants from their land. The race to expand of plantations and mining operations, construct dams and other infrastructure, ecotourism, as well as renewable energy projects, is resulting in widespread rural dislocation and unemployment.

The policies and programs of the Marcos regime are also causing widespread economic dispossession and dislocation, as well as destruction of the environment, where various sectors of the toiling masses are being driven away from their sources of livelihood. These include the so-called "transportation modernization program" which will take away the rights of hundreds of thousands of jeepney drivers and operators to ply their routes. Thousands of poor fishermen are being dispossessed of their sources of living as Marcos push for various land reclamation projects in connivance with foreign capitalists and banks. Small income earners are also being economically dislocated by various anti-poor and anti-people measures.

Marcos has done practically nothing to address the high costs of food and other basic commodities. The token number of Kadiwa stores aims more to bring back images of Imelda and martial law, than actually provide the people with a stable source of affordable rice, sugar and other basic necessities. The Marcos government has ignored the call for state-procurement of agricultural supplies from local producers to help raise rural income and ensure sufficient supplies. It has colluded with cartels to manipulate the supply of rice, onions, vegetables and other produce to justify importation orders, and further raise prices.

Marcos' national budget prioritizes debt servicing, pampering the overly bloated military and police, confidential and intelligence funds, anomalous infrastructure projects and other anti-people programs. Meanwhile, education and health services remain severely underfunded. Public school teachers and health workers are overworked and underpaid. Their bonuses are unpaid. There is a dearth of funds for state universities and colleges, and for the free tuition law, forcing tens of thousands of students to drop out annually from school.

Fascist terrorism

The US-Marcos regime continues to unleash more brutal and pervasive acts of state terrorism. At the same time, the military establishment continues to tighten its control over the entire bureaucracy through the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac, where the AFP directs civilian agencies and civilian functions in the name of its "whole-of-nation approach."

In the rural areas, armed agents of the reactionary state carry out campaigns of suppression against the people with even greater lethal force. Marcos' military, police and paramilitary forces aim their guns, howitzers, jet fighters and helicopter gunships directly against entire civilian communities. De facto martial law reigns across the countryside. The AFP is carrying out a brazen war of deception to prevent the crimes perpetrated by state forces from being exposed in public. It floods the public with disinformation and false news, and issues threats against media and alternative media outfits which do not readily comply with the military narrative. Human rights defenders are vilified and targeted for armed suppression.

The military and police target especially those organizations which are active in advancing the struggle for land reform and defending the ancestral land of indigenous communities, especially against the expansion or incursion of mining activities, plantations, ecotourism and energy projects. Military operations characterized by large-scale mobilization of armed troops, hamleting of communities, aerial reconnaissance and combat operations continue to be stepped up in the desperation to keep up with their declarations of "crushing" the armed revolution. The AFP uses heavy bombs in aerial bombardment and artillery shelling in violation of the principle of proportionality under international humanitarian law.

Violations of human rights and international humanitarian law remain rampant. Extrajudicial killings and massacres by military and police forces of civilians and non-combatants are on the rise, with at least 100 victims over the past year, or almost two victims every week, including five children. There are increasing reports of abductions, illegal and secret detention, torture and incessant harassment. The military and police carry out their campaign to force people to "surrender" on the vague accusation of "supporting the NPA" without being charged or brought to court, in violation of their basic civil and political rights.

In the cities, military and police operations target leaders and members of workers unions, harassing them in their homes. Usually in collusion with company management, state forces aim to coerce them to disaffiliate from progressive and militant trade union centers. Organizations in poor communities also face harassments. There are also cases in which people are enticed by the military and police with promises of "aid distribution" only to find their names being included in a list of "surrenderees." In high schools, colleges and universities, military and police personnel routinely conduct "seminars" in which they threaten students against joining national democratic or other progressive student organizations and alliances in outright violation of their basic rights and freedoms. Organizations of teachers and health workers are constantly threatened and smeared by the NTF-Elcac and its vile mouthpieces in social media.

Get organized and resist

The US-Marcos regime is currently the most concentrated expression of the rotten ruling system. It represents the interests of US imperialism and those of the ruling classes of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords. Its one-year reign is marked by corruption, foreign subservience, and state terrorism. Under the Marcos regime, the Filipino people suffer from worsening socioeconomic conditions and intensifying political repression.

The broad masses of the Filipino people are faced with no other option but to wage all forms of resistance in order to defend their rights and their lives against the fascist terrorist and puppet regime. A movement to get organized must steadily be carried out among the different classes and sectors. Organizations of all forms and kind must be built and strengthened in order for the people to draw courage from numbers and effectively carry forward their struggles.

Workers unions and associations must continue to be strengthened and new ones built in order to vigorously carry forward the fight for higher wages and their clamor for an end to contractualization. The peasant masses must continue to persist in building and strengthening their community organizations and associations, even in the face of outright military suppression of their rights, in order to carry forward the struggle for genuine land reform and other urgent demands. The people must continue to build and strengthen their organizations in school campuses, offices, urban communities, offices and workplaces, churches and wherever people congregate, in order to advance their various democratic demands.

The people must wage economic and political struggles and carry forward the broad antifascist, antifeudal and anti-imperialist movement by mobilizing the greatest number of people. Broad forms of alliances must be built on the basis of a common patriotic and democratic stand on important issues ranging from the MIF to US military bases. Education and propaganda campaigns must be carried out thoroughly and extensively in order to thoroughly expose and isolate the US-Marcos regime for its anti-poor and anti-Filipino policies and make it account for its increasing number of crimes of state terrorism.

The New People's Army (NPA) must continue to wage people's war across the country by strengthening ties with the peasant masses, assisting them in building their revolutionary mass organizations, helping them wage antifeudal struggles, and carrying out widespread and intensive guerrilla warfare. Units of the NPA, including those of the people's militias, must continue to stage tactical offensives in order to defend the people, punish the fascists for their crimes, and seize their weapons to arm more and more Red fighters.

By subjecting the Filipino people to even worse forms of oppression and exploitation, the US-Marcos regime is generating conditions that compel the Filipino people to wage national democratic revolution with even greater energy and determination. Guided by past lessons and inspired by all their heroes, the Filipino people and their revolutionary forces will persevere along the difficult path of struggle until ultimate victory is achieved.

PRWC | Philippine Revolution Web Central


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