February 24, 2018
BAYAN joins the nation in remembering the 32nd anniversary of the fall of the Marcos dictatorship through the EDSA People Power uprising. The uprising was the culmination of years of fierce resistance to the US-backed dictatorship, which included huge mass protest actions in the cities and armed struggle in the countryside by the CPP-NPA, MNLF and MILF.
We remember the heroism of the many martyrs who made the greatest sacrifice fighting the fascist dictatorship.
We salute the youth and students who walked out of their classes on February 23 to protest the Duterte regime’s fascism and anti-people policies. This is unassailable proof that “people power” is alive and well among the current generation.
EDSA reminds us that dictatorships do not last forever. It is a warning to all would-be tyrants that the people will always resist and triumph over authoritarian rule, no matter how long and no matter how difficult.
Such lessons are relevant today as the Duterte regime carries out a bloody war on drugs, all-out war against the people, Martial Law in Mindanao and Charter change maneuvers to centralize power and extend terms of elected officials.
It is a supreme irony that the President labeled himself a dictator on the very same month the people are commemorating the fall of the Marcos dictatorship.
The President’s absence during this year’s EDSA rites does not come as a surprise, given his recent support for the Marcos family, including Ferdinand Marcos’ interment at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Past official celebrations have also been reduced to reminiscing the role of personalities, while downplaying the importance of “people power” as a means to effect change.
In these dark times, Bayan calls on the people to be ever vigilant and ready to resist tyranny in all its forms. We call on the people to frustrate moves to amend the Charter and install a fascist dictatorship masquerading as pseudo-federalism. We call for the lifting of Martial Law in Mindanao and a stop to attacks on communities and human rights defenders. We call on the people to stand for a free press and oppose moves to stifle press freedom. We call for an end to political persecution and the filing of trumped-up charges against activists and critics of the administration. We call for the resumption of peace negotiations between the NDFP and GRP and an end to all-out war in the countryside.
We demand genuine freedom and democracy, not Charter change and tyranny. ###