This past Sunday, February 25th, CPSO together with BAYAN, Migrante, Anakbayan Toronto, Anakbayan Scarborough, ICHRP, and Malaya rallied at the Bathurst & Wilson intersection to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.
The following is the Speech delivered by a CPSO member at the Rally.
Good afternoon. My name is Seren, and I am a member of the Canada-Philippines Solidarity Organization; a group of both non-Filipinos and Filipinos living in Canada who have come together in support of the struggle of the Filipino people for national liberation and democracy.
This year marks the 37th anniversary of the People Power Revolution, also known as the EDSA Uprising. Following the political assassination of Ninoy Aquino by Marcos Sr. and the subsequent fraudulent elections, over 2 million people took to the streets to answer the calls for justice and occupied EDSA from Cubao, Quezon to Makati, Rizal, blocking army convoys meant to suppress the rising of the masses. After 20 years of despotic rule and 14 years under martial law, the Filipino people rose up together to bring down the Marcos Sr. dictatorship.
Today, however, his son, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., sits in power after running a campaign funded by money his family stole from the Filipino people. He now engages in the same shameful activities that his father did: Graft, Corruption, thevery, and political suppression of those who oppose his government. How is it that despite the mass public rejection of Marcos Sr., Marcos Jr. was able to win the presidential election in may?
Both Marcos Jr. and Sr. are traitors to the Filipino people, selling out their countrymen for Western state interests. From the Laurel-Langley agreement, which allowed American businessmen to own land in the Philippines under Marcos Sr. to the continuation of the Visiting Forces Agreement both father and son demonstrate the willingness of the comprador classes to sell out their own people for power and money. And yet, what power do they really have? As the events of the People Power Revolution clearly demonstrated; Without the backing of western imperialist governments such as ours in Canada they can not hope to stand against the masses in the Philippines when they rise up and demand change. The only hope of the compradors is to remain loyal puppets to the west and ensure super profits for the US-capitalists.
Marcos jr. is uninterested in genuine justice and peace in the Philippines. When the people called for the resumption of the ICC investigation into the extrajudicial murders committed by the state under Duterte in January, Marcos Jr’s government stated they would not participate. When the people called for a resumption of peace talks and to address the underlying cause of the armed struggle in the Philippines, Marcos Jr’s government again refused to address the issues of land reform and political repression that have continued on since EDSA.
The limits of the EDSA uprising are clear. The rotten political system in the Philippines was unable to prevent another dictator from taking power in the Philippines, and the same families as in 1986 continue to plunder the Philippines for their resources on behalf of the United States. For this reason, we stand in solidarity with the Filipino National Democratic movement which seeks to address the basic problems faced by the Filipino people, and in doing so challenge the rule of Marcos Jr. and his administration.
We in Canada must join the people of the Philippines in demanding our government Stop this military aid and demand our imperialist allies do the same. We demand an end to the western backed campaigns against the peasants under the guise of anti insurgency war on terror, and against the urban poor under the guise of a war on drugs. We call for an end to the killing and violence against farmers, fishermen, and indigenous peoples and for the AFP/PNP to be held accountable for its war crimes! The Marcos family must return their stolen wealth and face justice for their crimes against humanity, and the Philippine government must commit to resuming peace talks and address the root cases of the armed struggle.
Aquino’s New Democracy did nothing to intervene in the lives of the Filipino masses and address their basic issues. We know from history that it is the masses who will be the decisive factor over the next six years of Marcos Jr.s’ presidency. It is through their movements that true democracy will be expressed.
The people! United! Will never be defeated!
Long live international solidarity!