Filipino youth in the US speak out against Marcos’ new regime in the Philippines – People’s World
WASHINGTON—On Saturday, July 23, hundreds of young Filipino activists from across the DC and Baltimore area came to the nation’s capital to denounce the new rule of the Marcos family dynasty in the Philippines.
Filipino and allied organizations, such as Anakbayan DC, Migrante Washington DC, Katarungan DC, Maryland CHRP, Gabriela DC, Bayan-USA DMV, and Malaya Baltimore led the “People‘s State of the Nation Address (PSONA)”. The PSONA is an annual event in the Philippines and around the world in response to the President’s official State of the Nation address. During the protests, people take to the streets to expose the president’s lies, talk about the real conditions in the country and demonstrate the power of the masses.
Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos, Jr., the new president of the Philippines and son of former fascist dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. (1965-1986), delivered this year’s State of the Nation address on Monday, 25 July. Marcos, Jr., was elected alongside Sara Duterte, the daughter of reactionary former president Rodrigo Duterte (2016-22), in May.
The Marcos Sr. dictatorship stole nearly US$15 billion from the Filipino people, extrajudicially killed more than 3,200 people, tortured and imprisoned tens of thousands more, and instituted policies that led to displacement massive.
The Duterte presidency’s just ended drug war policy has resulted in the deaths of 30,000 people and has been accompanied by regular attacks on activists, farmers, indigenous peoples, lawyers, doctors , media and other government critics. The new Marcos government should continue Duterte’s assault on the Filipino people.
The “red tag” – which targets anyone suspected of being a communist or left-wing sympathizer, much like the McCarthy period in the United States in the 1950s and Hitlerism in Nazi Germany in the 1930s – is a another aspect of the government’s repressive repertoire.
This policy led to the attempted assassination by the Philippine military of Brandon Lee, an American citizen, journalist and environmental activist living in the northern Philippines, for his environmental justice work against mining in the region.
Since the enactment of martial law by the Marcos Sr. dictatorship in the 1970s, there has been armed conflict between the New People’s Army (NPA) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the Philippine government. This ongoing conflict has served as a cover for a wide range of violent state policies over the decades, which continues to this day.
In 2017, after the dismantling of the ceasefire previously agreed between the government and the Maoist guerrillas, Rodrigo Duterte declared the NPA and the CPP to be terrorist organizations. In 2018, Duterte signed an executive order creating the so-called “National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict”, which led to extrajudicial executions not only of CPP-NPA members, but also of others. suspected or accused of being communists.
Local Filipino activists in the United States expect these killings and violence to continue under the regime of Marcos II.
The United States has long supported political repression in the Philippines, dating back to its struggle to make it a colonial possession beginning with the end of the Spanish–American War in 1898. During this period, as the Philippines struggled for sovereignty over Spain Typically, the United States murdered over 200,000 Filipinos between 1898 and 1902, using tactics such as indiscriminate murder, civilian concentration camps, scorched earth tactics, and others brutal methods to subjugate the Filipinos in this military conquest.
The United States continued its colonial rule through forced assimilation in education, outlawing nationalism, establishing American military bases, etc. After the Philippines gained independence from the United States in 1946, the United States continued its imperialist and neo-colonial subjugation by exploiting the country’s land and resources and sending billions of dollars worth of arms and weapons. assisting the Philippine military and police in repressing popular movements in the country fighting for national liberation.
Back in Washington this weekend, this story along with current repressive policies were at the center of the PSONA protest. The protest against Marcos, Jr.’s speech began outside the Philippine Embassy, with activists later moving to the home of the Philippine Ambassador to the United States.
Representatives of the sponsoring organizations spoke about the backward conditions in the Philippines and the role of US imperialism in the country. They spoke about the number of political prisoners unjustly detained on false charges, the violence in the country, the lack of medical care for those in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and more. Cultural performances like dancing, singing, spoken word and other activities took place throughout the street protest.
The organizers also spoke out in favor of the passage of the Philippine Human Rights Act in the US Congress, which will “suspend the provision of security assistance” to the Philippines until the government ” brought certain reforms to the military and police forces”.
It would further allow U.S. representatives from the multilateral development banks to veto loans to the Philippine military and police and would allow the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Defense to jointly submit a report to the Congressional Appropriations Committee specifying:
- All United States security assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP);
- Reports from Filipino recipients on the use of said aid; and
- All misuse of said aid by recipients, including but not limited to extrajudicial executions, intimidation, illegal sales and embezzlement.
The Philippines: Colonialism, Collaboration and Resistance
By William J. Pomeroy
Available from international publishers.