Makibaka wag matakot! Shatter fear and turn grief into greater resolve to oust the US-Duterte regime!

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Negros condemns in the highest possible terms the brutal murder of lawyer Atty. Benjamin Ramos, Jr. last November 6 in Kabankalan City. The gunmen, undoubtedly, were in the service of those who had all the devious motives to silence and kill the people’s lawyer, the fascist state and the despotic cabal of big landlords in the island.

On behalf of the revolutionary forces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, the NDFP-Negros conveys its deepest condolences to Atty. Ben’s wife, family, friends and comrades who, together with thousands of poor Negrense peasants and workers who have known and cherished the militant lawyer, are now in profound grief.

The exploited masses of Negros have indeed lost a defender. Atty. Ben was not only their counsel in countless agrarian and human rights cases, many of which were pro bono, but he was also constantly one with them in street protests and in their collective land cultivation efforts or bungkalan. He did not only empathize with them, he was with them in the thick of their struggles.

The land reform beneficiaries and farm workers, the homeless, the political prisoners, they all weep for Atty. Ben. They are however certain that their fight against oppression and exploitation, for the right to till, just wages and benefits, decent homes, and freedom, does not end with his passing. They turn their grief into militant courage, into a collective force that will further advance their democratic and patriotic movement against the decaying semicolonial and semifeudal system now being represented by the fascist and puppet Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte and his militarist minions are the instigators of “all-out war,” redbaiting and fabricated terror plots, illegal arrests, extra-judicial killings, the whole mortal gamut of fascist violence and intensified militarization especially in the countryside. He is always ready to protect the interest of big landlords and compradors, to the extent of employing the full might of his armed forces to carry out heinous murders against poor peasants who assert their rights to till, like the nine farm worker victims of the Sagay City massacre that happened barely three weeks ago. Those who decide to stand with such victims become victims as well, like the beloved Atty. Ben himself.

While martial law, officially, is being imposed only in Mindanao, its undeclared, unofficial versions are already being felt in different parts of the country including Negros. Duterte’s growing despotism as put into effect with increasing impunity by his lackeys in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) portends the imminent open declaration of fascist dictatorship nationwide.

Yet, despite the ruthless efforts to sow terror all over the country, the Filipino people will shatter fear and fight fascism. Rather than cower, they are outraged by the Sagay massacre. They are inspired, moreover, by Atty. Ben who was never reluctant in dedicating his life for justice and genuine social change.

The NDFP – Negros calls on all revolutionary forces and organizations to exert all efforts in forming the broadest possible united front against fascism in the region. We must continue to resist Duterte’s tyranny and martial law in Negros being prefigured by the AFP’s declaration of “all out war” against the revolutionary forces and the people in the island. The blatant lies and deception against the revolutionary movement, violations and abuses of human rights and increasing militarization must be exposed and opposed.

Arouse, organize and mobilize the greatest number from the peasants, workers, urban poor, youth and students and also the middle forces of society like lawyers, health professionals, teachers, government employees and the like to frustrate the schemes of the Duterte regime to impose a fascist dictatorship in the entire country. The people are not afraid, they will struggle to completely isolate and eventually oust the fascist and puppet regime of Duterte.###

Makibaka wag matakot! Shatter fear and turn grief into greater resolve to oust the US-Duterte regime!