Marcos is no hero, martial law imprints should be spurned

For the millions of Filipinos who overthrew the Marcos dictatorship and drove it out of power, Marcos is no hero. For the millions of Filipinos impoverished through sky-rocketing inflation and unemployment rates combined with gargantuan foreign debt while the Marcoses and their cronies siphoned public funds into their vaults, Marcos is no hero. For the thousands disappeared, summarily executed, tortured, raped, incarcerated and who experienced unspeakable horrors in the hands of the Marcos fascist dogs, Marcos is no hero. For a country that lived through the shameless puppetry of a despot to US masters, Marcos is no hero.

 

We reiterate that Karapatan stands with the various sectors in Philippine society who oppose the hero’s burial of the deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The move, if pursued, is a mockery of and an insult to the Filipinos’ sacrifices and struggle for freedom and democracy. It is a thickheaded whitewash of the crimes that Marcos committed against the people.

We call on Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to heed the people’s call and reconsider his decision to confer national honors to a dictator, a murderer and a plunderer.

The current situation affirms the need to repudiate the martial law legacy left by Marcos, his family, cronies and subalterns.  Those accountable should be put in jails, not elected into office.  The victims should be the ones recognized and honored. They and their kin should be immediately indemnified. All the imprints of martial law that remain to this day should be spurned. These are among what the President should be paying attention to. 

Among the imprints of martial law are the continuing fascist attacks on rural and urban communities through US-designed counter-insurgency programs; gross disregard of the right to due process of individuals especially the poor; existence of political prisoners; unhampered plunder of people’s money through graft & corruption, and of the country’s resources through neoliberal economic blueprints; and US military presence in various parts of the country.  Very much felt is the dominance of landlords, oligarchs and US interests in the economic, political and social spheres while most Filipinos remain destitute.

It is disturbing enough that such imprints remain. It is even more disturbing and we are aghast at Pres. Duterte’s threat that he will declare martial law.  He should not trifle with the return of martial law even in connection with his war on drugs. There is no excuse for a return to open fascist rule.

We would rather hear about his campaign against contractualization and plunder of our resources through large-scale mining.  Most welcome are his promises to improve social services to reach a greater number of the needy masses, resume peace negotiations and free political prisoners.  We urge him to expand his war on drugs beyond police action which creates conditions for human rights violations. Instead, he can combine it with a relentless fight against high prices, unemployment and poverty all of which push the poor to desperation and hopelessness.###