18 September 2015
On the commemoration of the 43rd year since the declaration of Martial Law on Sept. 21,
1972, the NDFP-Mindanao and all revolutionary forces and masses honor and remember all
those who have fought against and died during the Marcos fascist dictatorship, and salute
those who have survived through its harrowing years yet continue to fight until today.
We remember the thousands of victims of state terror in all its unspeakable forms –
massacres, enforced disappearances, rape, torture, illegal arrests, maiming, arson, forcible
evacuations, closing down of schools and other forms of curtailment of democratic rights –
perpetrated by mercenary AFP, Phil. Constabulary and paramilitary units. We remember the
indomitable struggle of the Filipino people against Martial Law, which took the form of the
broad anti-fascist movement on one hand and the armed revolution on the other.
After the EDSA uprising of 1986, however, the succeeding regimes, even including that of
Cory’s, did not live up to the aspiration of the Filipino people but instead continued and even
intensified Marcos’s bloody legacy of state terrorism. Today, under Benigno Aquino III’s
Oplan Bayanihan, an intensified terror campaign rages in Mindanao. The following are but
a few proof of this in the island.
On Sept. 1 in Sitio Han-ayan, Brgy. Diatagon, Surigao del Sur, ALCADEV Exec. Dir. Emerito
Samarca, MAPASU Chairman Dionel Campos and Lumad leader Juvello Sinzo were brutally
murdered by the combined elements of the 35th IB, 75th IB, SFB and the AFP-backed
“Magahat/Bagani” bandit group. Samarca, who devoted his life in the service of the Lumads,
was hog-tied and his throat slit. The same armed groups also burned the community
cooperative and several houses, and caused the evacuation of more than 3,200 from five
municipalities of Surigao del Sur and Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
On Aug. 18 in Sitio Mando, Brgy. Mendis, Pangantucan, Bukidnon, members of a Manobo-
Talaandig family consisting of a 70 year-old blind man, two children and two young adults
were massacred by AFP forces. The surviving 13-year old child pleaded mercy for their lives
Hundreds of Ata-Manobo evacuees are still in Davao City because of the marauding of AFP
together with bandits, sowing terror in the hinterlands of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and
North Cotabato. The return of the evacuees is only possible if and when these mercenary
forces altogether stop their combat operations. Their schools and homes are used as camps
by AFP soldiers. This is also the case for Lumads in Loreto, La Paz, San Luis and Talacogon,
Agusan del Sur and a school in Dlumay, Malapatan, Sarangani, which are all terrorized
frequently by AFP and bandit forces.
Since the Mamasapano incident last January, the AFP incessantly terrorized Moro
communities in provinces in Central Mindanao and hundreds of thousands have already
been displaced with no hope of adequate support and rehabilitation.
Since Aquino III took over Malacañang in mid-2010 until the 3rd quarter of 2015, victims of
state-sponsored extra-judicial killings now add up to more than 282 in the entire country,
57 of whom are Lumad people in Mindanao. Murdering Lumad leaders and their advocates
like Mr. Emok Samarca and Fr. Pops Tentorio is intended to terrorize national minority
communities and their support groups, thereby subduing any form of resistance against
foreign and local big business that aim to exploit their mineral-rich ancestral lands, deplete
the country’s natural resources, destroy the environment and displace the Lumad and Moro
from their lands.
The reactionary government held so-called “Peace Caravans” in Loreto, Agusan del Sur;
Ngan, Compostela Valley; Talaingod, Davao del Norte; and Lianga, Surigao del Sur to
camouflage the terror campaign and deceptively create the impression that they have won
against the revolutionary movement in these areas. The most intense combat and psywar
operations are also in these areas.
Under the Aquino III regime alone, there have been over 1000 persons who fell victim to
illegal arrests, 26 to enforced disappearances, 110 to torture, and millions to terrorizing
whole communities during combat and COPD operations and forcible evacuations.
This military terror campaign, implemented through Oplan Bayanihan, is patterned after the
US Counter Insurgency Guide and follows after Martial Law’s template of brazen human
rights violations. When asked about the Lumad killings in Mindanao, Aquino III replied that
“there is no campaign to kill anyone”. However, OPB, with its staggering record of human
rights abuses in the past five years, is in truth Aquino III’s brutal strategy and campaign to
suppress those who oppose the interests of the ruling classes and its US imperialist boss.
The US-Aquino III regime, as with Marcos before, wields the AFP, PNP, CAFGU and bandit
groups as the state’s terror machinery, making sure that, apart from protecting the interests
of US monopoly capitalists, the surging people’s democratic revolution, led by the
Communist Party of the Philippines and carried out in the main by the New People’s Army,
is crushed before its term ends. EastMinCom CO Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad said that “to defeat
the revolutionary movement, it has to be defeated here in eastern Mindanao”. No wonder the
AFP deployed more than 60% of its combat-effective forces to Mindanao, majority of which
are deployed in Southern, North Central and Northeastern Mindanao. However, it has
miserably failed in its intent to crush the revolutionary movement in the country according
to OPB’s six-year timetable.
When Martial Law was declared, it only pushed more and more people to take the
revolutionary path and caused thousands to rise in struggle against the rotten semi-feudal
and semi-colonial system. Similarly, the ruthlessness of Aquino III’s OPB terror campaign
today has attained this effect by creating the condition for broader support for the people’s
militant movement against social injustice and by ever strengthening the resolve of many to
take the path of the armed revolution to smash the reactionary, fascist state.
Thus, on the occasion of commemorating the 43rd year of the declaration of Martial Law, the
best way to honor the martyrs and all its victims of state fascism is to stand united in the face
of Marcosian policies under the US-Aquino III regime and further strengthen the people’s
militant movement against state fascism and imperialist impositions.#
(sgd) Ka Oris