Struggle amid widespread suffering under Marcos

This article is available in PilipinoHiligaynonBisaya

The Filipino people’s struggle has entered a new phase as Ferdinand Marcos Jr takes his place as the new head of the neocolonial state. The people and their patriotic and democratic forces face a great challenge to strengthen the unity of the people and to advance their struggles.

Like his father dictator and predecessors, Marcos the bureaucrat capitalist represents the interests of the ruling classes of big comprador bourgeoisie and big landlords. Marcos took power at a time when the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system is mired in crisis worsened by the militarist lockdown and failed response to the Covid-19 pandemic. But instead of propping up the local economy, he continues to carry out debilitating neoliberal policies amid the global capitalist crisis.

The reactionary government is bankrupted by corruption and wasteful military and police spending. It is drowning in debts accumulated by the previous Duterte regime. The peso is fast losing value against the dollar. The country’s trade deficit is rising due to higher costs of imports. Investments are slow and small businesses are closing down. A fifth of the budget go to servicing loans which people did not benefit from, leaving social spending sorely lacking.

People’s lives are fast sinking. Millions of workers and toiling people are unemployed or earn nothing. Wages and income are grossly insufficient as prices of oil, food, fare, tuition, medicine and medical services, and other goods and services are escalating. Farmers’ livelihoods have fallen due to exorbitant land rents, high costs of production, high loan interests, falling farmgate prices and dumping of imported rice, vegetables, even meat, in the local market. Fisherfolks’ livelihood have also fallen due to restrictions, especially in seas being overrun by China.

Even if people work until they drop, they cannot earn enough to feed their children and give them a decent or comfortable life. The meager aid that government distributes is not enough to alleviate their misery. It is not enough for people to endure and persevere, especially knowing how the ruling classes and government thieves accumulate riches and live in luxury.

The Filipino people are hungry and furious. Faced with the people’s anger, Marcos offers promises and dreams of prosperity, food security and cheap prices. But a few days after he swore and promised, the Marcoses held a secret party in honor of the thief Imelda in the halls of Malacañang—a simple snack, purportedly, but a great insult to the hungry masses who soldier on and persevere.

Nothing good will come out of the Marcos government which seeks to enamor the people with illusions and fantasies. Seeking to placate the people, Marcos foolishly declared he did not believe that the inflation had reached more than 6%. He acts as if he knows more than the people who daily bear the brunt of the soaring prices in markets and stores.

Reject the illusions being conjured by Marcos! Fight for the people’s rights and welfare! Begging from exploiters, oppressors and thieves will amount to nothing. If the people do not rise together, they will not be heard. If they do not march in unison in the streets, the ruling classes will not heed.

The people need to muster a powerful movement to fight for and defend their interests and welfare. Towards this, unions should be strengthened and established especially in the biggest factories and businesses, as well as various forms of democratic mass organizations in rural villages, urban communities, universities, offices, churches and hospitals. Unite the interests of workers, farmers and various sectors, amplify their voices, and organize their struggles.

The people’s awareness about the conditions of the country, of the various sectors and communities and solutions to their problems should be raised tirelessly. Produce pamphlets and newspapers to serve as medium and instrument for uniting the masses. Launch various mass actions to air their grievances and demand for lower commodity prices, higher wages and salaries, jobs, decent housing, free land distribution, lower land rent and interest rates, fair farmgate prices, free education, free medical services, and other urgent people’s demands.

The masses’ will to resist must be tempered in the face of terror and repression by the state’s armed forces. Their unity are their inexhaustible source of courage. No amount of repression and tyranny can defeat their determination to struggle together.

In various parts of the world, from Korea to Ecuador, from Uruguay to the United Kingdom, strikes and protests of workers, farmers, minorities and other oppressed sectors are erupting in the face of crisis, intense suffering and oppression. Like in these countries, the miserable conditions besetting the Filipino people are dry kindling ready to ignite into a great conflagration engulfing the cities and vast countryside.

The Party must continually strengthen and expand in an all-round way to raise its capacity to lead the Filipino people in their struggles. It must recruit and train thousands of cadres to form and lead party branches that have deep and wide roots among the masses, and are in a position to lead them in all fields of struggle.

Struggle amid widespread suffering under Marcos