The Communist Party of the Philippines’ official publication Ang Bayan released on 1 September a 400-page anthology of its key editorials and news articles, “Resistance to Martial Law in the pages of Ang Bayan”, to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. on 21 September 1972.
When martial law was declared, the CPP said, all forms of expression was prohibited, protest demonstrations were banned, the press was padlocked and oppositionists and activists were jailed. Many were killed outright.
The CPP, re-established in 1968, was the only political party that survived the political repression and fought the martial law regime. “Ang Bayan played an important role in reporting what was happening and organizing people’s resistance,” the CPP said.
CPP Founding Chairman Prof. Jose Maria Sison, who also served as Ang Bayan Editor-in-Chief from 1969 to 1976, wrote the Foreword for the anthology. He said the book is timely and highly significant in the face of the “usurpation of political power by Marcos, Jr. and Sara Duterte” based on the lie that the dictator Marcos, Sr. ushered in the country’s ‘golden age’ in his 20-year reign of terror and greed.
This so-called golden age, Prof. Sison said, “eventually caused his overthrow by popular mass uprisings in 1986.”
Numerous activities will take place in September in the Philippines and abroad, to commemorate the Martial Law period and its relevance to the situation today. The International Office of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines will launch an exposition of visual, literary and audiovisual works starting on 18 September in the Netherlands. Testimonies of Martial Law victims will also be heard during the exposition.
The CPP declared, “During this month, the Party pays tribute to all the heroes and martyrs of the democratic mass struggles against the US-Marcos dictatorship including the leaders and cadres of the Party who firmly carried the torch of resistance to serve as a beacon especially during the darkest hours under the tyrannical and terrorist Marcos I regime. They are among those who bore the brunt of the dictatorship’s brutality and became targets of the most cruel forms of state terrorism.”