The youth group Anakbayan joined the protest march of thousands of urban poor to the US Embassy on the 31st anniversary of the 1986 EDSA people’s uprising that overthrew the Marcos dictatorship to slam the Duterte regime for its Marcosian all-out war, fascism, and puppetry to US imperialism.
“This year’s commemoration of the EDSA people’s uprising comes with a sense of urgency in the context of Duterte’s giving a hero’s burial to Marcos and perpetration of an open reign of terror and fascism reminiscent of Martial Law,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.
The protesters marched towards EDSA after a brief program in front of the US Embassy after they survived a violent dispersal attempt by riot police.
The youth group said its opposition to the devious scheme of the Marcoses to revise history and return to power comes side by side with a firm stand against the Duterte regime’s backtracking on its many progressive promises and its unleashing of all-out war and fascism against the Filipino people.
The group added that it is important to learn the real lessons and limits of the EDSA people’s uprising amidst attempts by warring factions of the oligarchic ruling classes to twist and claim the narrative of the EDSA people’s uprising for their vested interests.
“We stand against the Marcoses and Duterte who belittle the historical import of EDSA in order to further revise and erase the history of human rights abuses and systemic corruption during Martial Law and the heroic saga of people’s struggle against the dictatorship,” said Crisostomo.
He said millennials will never forget the over 70,000 political prisoners, 10,000 victims of torture, and 3,200 murdered by the Marcoses and stand in solidarity with them in their continuing quest for justice.
“Against the Aquinos, De Lima, and Robredo who seek to distort the EDSA uprising as the story of the fight between the Aquinos and the Marcoses, we reclaim EDSA as the culmination of a long history of struggle by the Filipino people against dictatorial rule,” said Crisostomo.
And yet the group also asserted that the people’s uprising at EDSA was hijacked by the Aquinos to establish an elite-dominated pseudo-democracy, including the arrest and murder of scores of activists and civilians and the displacement of communities in brutal military operations.
Anakbayan condemned the Duterte regime for its Marcosian all-out war and anti-poor war on drugs that has led to the killing of over 7,000 alleged drug suspects and scores of human rights violations against activists and the civilian population.
“Blood is in Duterte’s hands as he wages a brutal all-out war against the Filipino people and brazenly flirts with a return to Martial Law, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the revival of the abusive Philippine Constabulary, and re-imposition of mandatory ROTC,” said Crisostomo.
The youth group said the Duterte regime has increasingly relied on the fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in order to consolidate power.
“Duterte has embrace the AFP and hence its biggest sponsor which is US imperialism, retained the presence of US troops, continued the US-backed counterinsurgency war, terminated the peace talks and declared an all-out war against revolutionary forces,” said Crisostomo.
In conclusion, the youth group said the ultimate lesson from EDSA is the need not only for overthrowing tyrants like Marcos but also changing the rotten system itself that is propped up by US imperialist domination, feudal monopoly of land and wealth, and bureaucratic capitalism.
“We call upon the Filipino youth to hold the Duterte regime accountable for its crimes against the people. As we face a regime that idolizes the Marcos dictatorship and sides with the ruling classes, we are called upon to intensify our struggle for genuine social change,” said Crisostomo.