Volume IV, Number 20. 31 October 2022.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ rampage in Himamaylan City, Negros Oriental, has already left at least 18,000 rural community residents forcibly displaced, and thousands more traumatized due to relentless artillery shelling and aerial strafing. Their attacks have escalated to the point where they declared parts of the city ‘no man’s land’ and anyone left behind are to be considered shoot-to-kill targets.
Such barbarism of the AFP is reminiscent of the Marcos dictatorship – a complete destitution of human dignity and the absolute devolution of power to armed military personnel – rekindled under the murderous Duterte regime and intensifying further under the current Marcos Jr. administration.
We cannot forget that such repression and atrocities favor big landlord and corporate interests. Much as the Manila government claims their attacks are targeted towards the New People’s Army, the AFP’s vain attempts to crush the revolutionary armed resistance are inherently aligned with the objective to clear out any opposition to the expansion of extractive industries, mines, plantations and infrastructure projects harmful to the environment and the local communities.
We cannot forget that the brutality of the fascist soldiers further isolates them from the people. Hundreds of communities across the country are currently placed under military blockade – the poor literally held hostage within their own villages! Food blockades are in place while schools are turned into military barracks. Every single day, the peasant population faces state terrorism at the hands of the AFP, meant to break their spirit and shatter their determination to defend their communities.
We cannot forget that such attacks are in clear violation of international humanitarian law and provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. State security forces are committing grave violations of human rights, from the forced displacement of entire communities, military encampment in and around communities, indiscriminate bombings and extrajudicial killings. These atrocities point to the Marcos Jr. administration’s complete disregard for human rights and the reign of impunity much like his father’s dictatorship.
We cannot forget that the Marcos dictatorship was the biggest NPA recruiter in history. The fascist Marcos rule saw the unprecedented rise of human rights abuses meant to quell brewing dissent. But this strategy resulted in the opposite, and led to the downfall of the Marcos regime.
The current administration is taking this same terrorist path: resorting to ever-increasing repressive measures, heightening social conflict and, in the process, pushes more and more people to join the ranks of the armed revolutionary movement. As a result, every single bullet, every single life the state forces take, is an inch closer to Marcos Jr digging his own grave.