Reject Marcos’ false promises of prosperity and peace
Ferdinand Marcos Jr is the chief executive of the neocolonial state. He comes from the Marcos dynasty of bureaucrat capitalists who accumulated monstrous amounts of wealth during their close to two decades of dictatorial rule throughout the 1970s up to the mid 1980s.
Marcos represents the interests of oppressive imperialist banks and foreign multinational corporations in the Philippines, and those of the ruling exploiting classes of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords.
But tomorrow—as he delivers his first state of the nation address before the joint session of the Philippine reactionary congress—Marcos will style himself as representative of “the ordinary Filipino”, or as one who understands or sympathizes with their daily suffering in the face of spiralling prices of fuel and food, low wages and lack of income, onerous taxes, landlessness, homelessness, hunger and poverty.
Marcos knows fully well the widespread discontent being generated by the gross socioeconomic conditions besetting the people in the face of the domestic and international economic crisis. He is determined to pull all the stops to deceive and mesmerize the people with high-sounding promises of progress and conjure illusions of prosperity in order to raise false hopes, and bring the people to a stupor and social paralysis.
Like his predecessors, Marcos will promote the same slew of neoliberal economic policies which, over the past four decades, have ravaged the country’s productive forces, and reduced the Philippines to a beggar of loans and a prostitute catering to foreign capitalists. With his so-called economic managers, all trained by the IMF-World Bank and champions of neoliberalism, it is certain that Marcos will carry out anti-people policies and measures that promote economic underdevelopment to the benefit of foreign creditors and capitalist investors. Marcos will:
(1) prevent wage increases and continue the policy of flexible labor (contractualization); (2) perpetuate land monopolies and feudal exactions on millions of peasants (land rent, unpayable debt, low farm-gate prices); (3) open more land for mining and plantations owned by big foreign capitalists; (4) continue labor-export policy as solution to widespread problem of unemployment and to generate foreign currency; (5) impose more taxes on people’s consumption and small businesses, while granting tax incentives to foreign big capitalist investors; (6) pursue foreign investment liberalization in remaining areas of the economy; (7) continue policy of agricultural production for export; (8) carry out social austerity measures to reduce spending on education, public health, social welfare, and public service; (9) open more foreign-funded infrastructure projects including dams and large-scale reclamation projects that damage the environment; (10) allow public utility operators (water, electricity, internet) to continue raising service costs despite poor service; and others.
These Marcos policies are anti-people and anti-national and are in line with the impositions of imperialist banks and multinational corporations. These will aggravate the conditions of the oppressed and exploited classes of workers, peasants and petty-bourgeoisie. These will worsen the backward, agrarian and non-industrial state of the Philippine economy.
Marcos will try to obscure or draw attention away from these policies by promoting showcase programs accompanied with grandiose but empty promises. For instance, he has declared plans of promoting “food security and sovereignty” but has declared no plans to address the basic problems of feudal exploitation of millions of tenant farmers in rice, corn and sugarcane lands, or stop the expansion of plantations for export crops, or end the policy of import liberalization of agricultural products. He talks of raising agricultural productivity through Masagana 99-like loan programs which buried millions of farmers in mountains of debt. Like his father, Marcos Jr will likely devise his own Nutribun campaign to come up with the appearance of addressing the people’s welfare while actually exacerbating the roots of their poverty and hunger.
Under the signboard of “unity,” Marcos is steadily building his authoritarian regime using the overwhelming power of state security forces. The short period since Marcos assumed power has already been marked by incidents of unlawful arrests and incidents of political repression. Leaders of people’s organizations are being targeted for suppression in order to impose a climate of fear. Military and police officers have raised the level of fascist rhetoric, openly contemptuous of the people’s right to assemble and free expression, and raising the intensity of red-baiting and terrorist-labelling.
In the countryside, martial law measures continue to be openly carried out in villages and communities hamleted, blockaded and occupied by the military and police. The peasant masses and minority people are assaulted and subjected to interrogation in their homes, subjected to ceaseless harassment and forced to cooperate with the military under pain of being arrested, tortured or killed. False flag operations of the AFP are on the rise where attacks against civilians are being blamed on the NPA.
Under the advise of his national security officers, Marcos chooses to ignore the socioeconomic roots of the armed conflict and will instead pursue “localized peace talks,” a smokescreen for intensified psychological warfare and intelligence operations against the peasant masses to force them to surrender the defense of their land. The ultimate aim of Marcos’ “peace” is to pave the way for the entry of plunderous multinational corporations in mining and plantations, as well as infrastructure, ecotourism and energy projects. American multinational corporations are coveting at least 300,000 hectares of agricultural and ancestral lands in Mindanao.
Having assumed power, the Marcoses are set to reconsolidate and expand their ill-gotten wealth estimated at more than $10 billion which they accumulated through plunder and corruption under martial law. The gargantuan wealth of the Marcoses fund not only their ostentatious lifestyle, but more importantly, their ever expanding political dynasty.
Confronted by the anti-people, puppet and fascist US-Marcos regime, the Filipino people have no other course of action but to advance their national and democratic interests through militant struggle. By expanding and strengthening their organized ranks, the people will not allow themselves to be cowed by fascist intimidation and will take every opportunity to resolutely assert their demands and aspirations. The level of the people’s unity must be raised. The highest priority must be placed on building, expanding and strengthening workers’ unions, mass organizations and different types of associations in factories, communities, school campuses, offices, markets, churches and other places of work and congregation. Tactics and methods must be enhanced and adopted for mobilizing and consolidating the politically advanced section of the masses in order to galvanize the middle section into social and political action.
The people’s consciousness and militant determination to defend their political, socioeconomic and cultural rights must be raised through untiring political education and organizing. Burning issues of the day, from fuel and food price increases, to the US proxy war in Ukraine, must be discussed by the broad masses of the people from their democratic and patriotic perspective. The people must press their urgent demands for wage increases, lower prices of oil and other commodities, lower land rent and elimination of usury, higher farmgate prices, fishing rights, free public education and public health, production subsidies, and other urgent demands amid the worsening economic crisis. They must vigorously oppose the imposition of new consumer taxes, automatic debt allocations, wasteful military and police spending, extravagant and destructive infrastructure projects, expansion of mining companies and plantations, and other anti-people policies and programs. These issues must be linked and raised to the basic national democratic demands for free land distribution and national industrialization.
The people must resist distortions of history being promoted by Marcos to cover up widespread rights abuses, corruption and national treachery under the US-Marcos I dictatorship. They must recall and draw inspiration from their epic resistance to the dictatorship, especially in line with the upcoming 50th year of martial law declaration.
At the same time, the Filipino people must push strongly to defend the country’s sovereignty against imperialist intervention and violations of its territory. They must denounce Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea and demand the dismantling of Chinese military facilities, destructive land reclamations and industrial fishing in and around Philippine waters. At the same time, the Filipino people must demand the dismantling of US military facilities inside the camps of the AFP, the withdrawal of American troops in Philippine soil under the Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines, an end to US intervention in counterinsurgency and support for AFP aerial bombing and the abrogation of the Military Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and other lopsided military agreements.
The broad masses must conduct large numbers of group meetings and assemblies in factories, communities and campuses. There must be a proliferation of educational materials, especially printed matter such as leaflets, pamphlets, primers and newspapers, that must be brought from house to house in one community after another, to reach and organize the people in their millions. At the same time, more video documentaries and films, progressive newscasts and other online materials must be produced to counter the Marcos campaign of disinformation being conducted in social media and the mass media.
Underground mass organizations allied with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) must be strengthened and new chapters built. They must conscientiously conduct revolutionary propaganda among the masses and carry out tasks to support the New People’s Army in all ways possible, including gathering financial and material support for the people’s army, and recruiting new Red fighters.
The broad antifascist united front must be further expanded and harnessed in order to fight and isolate the Marcos regime in all fields of struggle. Aside from the basic sectors of workers and peasants, this broad united front must bring together, individuals and organizations from the academe, to the church, the cultural community, teachers, as well as from business, and the disgruntled sections of the ruling classes and within the military and police.
The New People’s Army (NPA) must persevere in carrying forward the people’s war through extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on an ever widening and deepening mass base. The NPA has largely preserved its forces and surmounted the large-scale offensives and aerial bombardment drive of the AFP during the past 3–4 years through guerrilla tactics of dispersal, shifting, and concentration and by deepening and widening its mass base. The NPA is in a position to further expand and grow. It must aim to recruit large numbers of new Red fighters from among the peasant masses, as well as from workers and pettybourgeois intellectuals in the cities. In the face of heightening repression under Marcos, the NPA must be ready to recruit as Red fighters the mass activists and leaders who are targets of extrajudicial killings or arrests, or to provide them sanctuary in the guerrilla zone and base areas.
The Party must continue to strengthen itself comprehensively in order to lead the people in all fields of resistance against the US-Marcos regime. Party units must carry out a vigorous ideological campaign to study Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and its application in the Philippine revolution through the Party’s three-level study course. At all levels, Party units and cadres must conduct assessments, and criticism and self-criticism in order to overcome weaknesses and shortcomings and pull out their root causes. Party branches must be strengthened, and new ones built. The Party must promptly recruit the advanced activists from the underground mass organizations.
Through its thousands of branches, the Party ensures that it is deeply rooted among the people and capable of leading the mass struggles in factories, workers communities, peasant and fisherfolk villages, universities and offices. The Party must strengthen its branches and groups at all levels of the NPA in order to firmly lead the revolutionary armed struggle.
The chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system in the Philippines is bound to get worse under the anti-people, puppet and fascist Marcos regime. Conditions are bound to worsen amid the prolonged international capitalist crisis and rising inter-imperialist armed conflicts that have resulted in disruptions in production and supplies. The backward, agrarian and non-industrial Philippine economy is ever more vulnerable to social and economic convulsions.
The US-Marcos regime’s push for more neoliberal policies, its fascism and subservience to the imperialists are generating conditions favorable for waging revolutionary armed struggle and all forms of resistance. The Filipino people are ever determined to fight for their national and democratic aspirations. The Party must firmly position itself, and lead the oppressed and exploited Filipino in carrying forward the people’s democratic revolution.