Ninoy Aquino’s death disproves myth of ‘peaceful’ uprising Filipinos ready to shed blood in war vs tyrants

August 21st is a sobering reminder that the People Power was never a peaceful revolution as many interested parties would like to paint it to be. Before its culmination in 1986, the Marcoses were already spilling blood left and right. In 1983, dictator Ferdinand Marcos had his rival Ninoy Aquino assassinated at the airport as the latter tried to return from exile. Before that, in 1971, he had the campaign rally in Plaza Miranda bombed to justify the declaration of Martial Law. Nine were killed.

The violence and bloodshed of these dates are just tips of the proverbial iceberg. The Marcos family caused more than 3,257 deaths with 35,000 more tortured and 70,000 more illegally imprisoned. Of the number of murders, 77 percent or 2,520 were salvage incidents. In the Cordilleras, state forces murdered Macliing Dulag in his own home in 1980 for leading the people’s opposition to the Chico Dam. The path that led to the ouster and expulsion of the Marcos family is paved with blood and grief of millions of Filipinos.

The myth of a ‘peaceful’ revolution does not serve the Filipino people who are the main victims of the dictatorship. On the contrary, it served Marcos’ enablers and cronies who jumped ship at the last minute when it became obvious that he was then unpopular beyond redemption. His generals, like Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos, used this card to negotiate absolution for themselves. It served both traditional and incipient politicians who needed a pacified population so that they could divide the spoils amongst themselves and then vie for recently vacated positions of power. It served imperialist powers like the US who protected dictators and despots while ensuring that nothing much more radical than a ‘peaceful’ uprising happens under its watch.

But a revolution is not something that can be avoided in a system that is chockful with class contradictions. Landlords, big businesses and bureaucrat capitalists cause inescapable oppression and poverty amongst the people. But despite their chains, the people fight back. And despite the fascist repressive measures, they recognize the need for a revolution when the indignities become insufferable.

By all indications, the administration of Bongbong Marcos will be just as repressive as his father’s, if not even more so considering he has at his disposal the Anti-Terror Law, the NTF-ELCAC and an established machinery for widespread disinformation. His minions in Senate and in Congress are preoccupied with absurd bills that target dissent and critical thought. Even academic institutions make the mistaken effort of censoring their own materials for ‘anti-government’ propaganda. Recently, opposition leaders and the religious sector are among the targets of the Marcos II regime.

Marcos Jr. might wield these instruments of terror but the people’s democratic revolution has already been proven wholly effective against tyrannical regimes. His own father’s dictatorship is the best example. Fascism pushed seasoned activists to head to the countryside while thousands more continued the parliamentary struggle in urban centers. The national democratic movement grew strong in all fronts.

The Filipino people’s history shows that all revolutions require blood and sacrifice. But even these could not stop the masses from launching a protracted war against their oppressors. Marcos Jr. can be certain that a revolution against the enemies of the people is both just and necessary and the fate of his father could be his own. ###

Long live the memories of Martial Law martyrs! Justice for all Martial Law victims!

Continue holding the Marcoses accountable for their crimes against the people!

Advance the people’s war and weaken Marcos II’s illegitimate regime!

Filipinos ready to shed blood in war vs tyrants