51 Years Since Martial Law Declared

This September 21st, marked 51 years since Ferdinand Marcos Sr. signed Proclamation no. 1081, thus declaring the entirety of the Philippines under Martial Law. What followed was a decade of fascist dictatorship characterized by extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances, corruption, state terrorism and the rampant thievery of the wealth of the nation by Marcos.

It is important to recognize US imperialist backing to this dictatorship, in which Canada is a junior partner. Imperialist powers saw great profit off of Marcos’ selling out of the Philippines, bankrupting its people to serve his overseas imperialist masters. To this day banks such as RBC fund the manufacture of arms to the AFP, who use these arms to massacre the people of the Philippines. Canada is complicit in the crimes against the Filipino people.

During his rule, Marcos is thought to have stolen up to $10 billion. Marcos Sr. used the IMF as his personal bank, thus enacting economical devastation through debt to this US Imperial institution. Now his son Marcos Jr. is amassing state funds in the “Maharlika Fund,” more parallels drawn to the blatant and widespread theft of Filipino wealth by his father.

We honour the martyrs of Martial Law as well as the thousands who in the years following have been murdered through the mechanisms of state violence.

Corruption continues to this day, we are now over a year past the election that saw a second Marcos take power, where two of our members went to observe the elections, and they found what was to be expected from the son of a dictator, corruption, vote buying, intimidation. Marcos Jr. engages in the same fascist activities that his father did: Graft, Corruption, thievery, and political suppression of those who oppose his government. Marcos Jr. continues the bloody legacy of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), through which the reactionary government of the Philippines supported by the forces of western imperialism, continue to use to murder and put labour, peasant and urban poor activists in prison without charges.

Leading up to the election we witnessed a grand campaign of disinformation, historical revisionism. This continues now with Vice President Sara Duterte as Secretary of Education, ensuring the time of Martial Law is obscured in classrooms, distorting the next generations view of history. Martial Law, despite what bourgeois economists and politicians may say, was far from a “golden era.” It is with ever increasing importance that we continue to hold vigil, marking the beginning of this brutal period, for the generation of Filipinos who lived through Martial Law will never forget, so neither can we.

Canada Philippines Solidarity Organization continues to stand in solidarity with the Filipino people in their struggle for emancipation from state terror, for a genuine peace and in their fight for national democracy.

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