This month marks the 50th anniversary of Martial Law in the Philippines under dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
On Sept 21 1972 Ferdinand Marcos Sr signed Proclamation no. 1081 – beginning a decade of Martial Law that in many ways never ended.
During the Martial Law Era around 70,000 people were imprisoned, 35,000 tortured, and 3,257 killed by the forces of the Philippine state and their allies. Freedom of speech was attacked as group assembly was banned, privately-owned media facilities shuttered and those considered threats to Marcos were arrested; from prominent politicians and members of the media to activists and labour organizers.
The Marcos family and their allies in the comprador, bureaucratic capitalist classes are trying to rewrite this dark period in the history of the Philippines as a ‘Golden Age’
Marcos’ closest allies were awarded industries, such as TV and car manufacturing as well as ambitious industrial projects such as the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Most of which were inefficient or going bankrupt. These projects were not for the benefit of the Filipino people. They were designed to create profits for Marcos supporters in the comprador and bureaucratic capitalist classes. While the bureaucrats got richer, the debt of the Philippines ballooned from $8.2 billion in 1977 to $24.4 billion in 1982. It was during Marcos’ dictatorship that the Labour Export Policy (LEP) started, which forcibly separated millions of Filipinos from their families and homeland as they struggle to survive.
The Marcos family alone looted as much as $10 billion from the people of the Philippines. This wealth has been used by Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr., son of dictator Marcos Sr., and his supporters to propagate the myth of the golden age of Martial Law.
Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr. has wasted no time following his father’s dictatorial footsteps and has moved to limit the freedom of the press. He continues to obscure the history of the Martial Law Era by appointing Vice President Sara Duterte as Secretary of Education. Duterte’s father created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), which the reactionary government of the Philippines supported by the forces of western imperialism, continues to use to murder and imprison labour, peasant, and urban poor activists.
There is a clear path from the declaration of Martial Law in 1972 to the material conditions the people of the Philippines are faced with today. Both economically and politically the policies enacted by the Marcos then, as now, oppress and impoverish the people of the Philippines for the benefit of the elites and imperialist west.
Join CPSO in Solidarity with Filipinos around the world in commemorating the beginning of the Martial Law Era and remembering its many victims. Do not allow the Marcos’ and their supporters to change the past in order to control the present. Now, more than ever, we must make sure the true history of the Martial Law Era and the stories of its survivors are heard.
Join CPSO today and support the People of the Philippines in their struggle for National Democracy and freedom from Capitalist Oppression and Western Imperialism.
Please take a moment and sign this UNITY STATEMENT declaring your support for the people of the Philippines in their refusal to never again be subjected to Martial Law and that we will never forget the atrocities committed by the Marcos.