[Statement] 28 years after the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship, cyber-martial law is now here to repress us -SANLAKAS
28 years after the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship, cyber-martial law is now here to repress us
Today marks exactly twenty-eight years since the much-hated fascist Marcos Dictatorship was ousted by the Filipino masses in their millions across the Philippines, especially at EDSA. As the chief architect of Martial Law in September 1972, Ferdinand Marcos, together with his brutish reactionary minions, collapsed and fell under the collective and united will of the broad masses on February 25, 1986. Yet, although they have not totally forgotten our country’s historic past, the people’s political spirit must always continue to remain vigilant and even more aflame today.
The ousted anti-democratic regime was merely replaced with a liberal democratic one under the leadership of yet another faction of the Philippine ruling-elite. This replacement regime, however, never brought about any real and genuine economic, social and political change throughout our society. For nearly thirty years now, our society’s poor majority continues to remain marginalized, exploited and oppressed. Thus after EDSA-1, the 99% social majority was never liberated from a social-economic system that persists in upholding a class-divided Philippine society on the basis of a few rich and powerful elite harshly ruling over the poor working-class masses in a near-permanent manner.
For almost three decades already, all Philippine presidents and their respective governments have only successfully pursued an anti-poor neoliberal policy agenda. In direct collaboration with local and foreign big capitalist interests and deliberately kept under the external dictation of American imperialism, the Philippine state’s traditional political leadership has never consciously committed itself to uphold our people’s general welfare and sovereign aspirations through any necessary systemic change. On the contrary, the highly reactionary ruling elite, largely characterized by the trapo political dynasties, continually tries to find various ways and means to keep the poor masses locked out from attaining a far better life for themselves. As such, even the pursuit of a basic set of much-needed policy reforms to alleviate the dire social-economic conditions of the masses is simply out of the question for all the Malacañang occupiers—from Cory Aquino until her son today, PNoy.
Our country’s present national situation has already clearly reached a dangerously-worse condition. In fact, it is already creeping into a pre-crisis situation given the many political-economic indicators since the start of 2014 alone. These inter-connected developments may yet spark a new and open political crisis that could still put the PNoy Regime into question before his constitutional term is even reached. This is the same fateful presidential lesson that the Marcos Dictatorship failed to understand 28 years ago today.
In fact, today’s Philippine neoliberal economic framework has openly brought about a swiftly deteriorating social-economic situation for many of our poor masses, including the rapidly declining middle class. The institutionalized combination of an economic track that fundamentally upholds a privatization-liberalization-deregulation-contractualization-public-private partnership agenda is only steadily killing and terrorizing the lives of our people and the future of our society. The nightmare of a never-ending cycle of high prices and almost inaccessible basic essential services are just a mere reflection of the systemic monstrosity which the capitalist-controlled post-EDSA-1 Philippine state unleashed upon the masses and which, it never bothered to correct at all. Closely manifested by this capitalist system, is a national dose of near-daily political scandals and scams, almost all of them bearing graft and corruption issues and concerns; an anti-progressive, militaristically-provocative and non-internationalist foreign policy thrust directly aligned with mainly US imperialist-led global interests; and, a climate justice-insensitive mode of thinking which fails to comprehend and prepare for the long-term impacts of climate change upon the Philippines.
And yet in this setting, we now have a recent wave of human rights and democratic freedoms-related threats initiated by no less than the only son of Ninoy and Cory Aquino. In this regard, we continue to witness a trend of human rights violations—in both the civil-political and economic-social-cultural realms—such as those that largely emerged from the Marcos Dictatorship and were again highlighted during the almost one-decade-reign of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Regime. But what is perhaps surprising to some is the factual and democratically-unsympathetic behavior of PNoy himself in relation to the Malacañang-appointed leadership of the new Human Rights Violations Claims Board. In particular, the appointment of a retired police general to chair the Claims Board is bringing about a vicious howl from many pro-democratic forces and individuals from across society. This government body is principally tasked to oversee the process of proper compensations for the victims of human rights violations during the Marcos Dictatorship. Ironically, it is now headed by a former top officer of the Philippine state security apparatus which was directly in the frontline of causing massive human rights violations, grave harm and many deaths to many democracy and social justice activists decades ago.
More ominous still, is the PNoy Regime’s public defense of the Cybercrime Law of 2012 (Republic Act 10175), including its provisions related to cyber-libel concerns and state-security surveillance matters. In effect, what we are now facing under this law is a rising ‘Cyber Martial Law’, or even a ‘Cyber Dictatorship’ environment affecting both the online and offline democratic spaces and freedoms now enjoyed by everybody in Philippine society as a whole—a national condition that was brought about by the hard-fought and well-won struggles of the Filipino masses before, during and after EDSA-1. This is now a frightening specter threatening Philippine democracy if this law is allowed to remain in place.
Thus, as our people today commemorate EDSA-1, SANLAKAS once again calls upon the general public, all true democratic forces and freedom-loving individuals to continue to remain vigilant in guarding our country’s hard-won democratic space and civil-political freedoms. At the same time, SANLAKAS stands firmly and solidly with the broad-based progressive mass movement in our collectively principled struggles aimed at advancing and building a truly politically-free, economically-liberating and socially-just Philippines. And as one of the many steps forward to attain this progressive vision, SANLAKAS now freely states its defiant rejection of the PNoy Regime’s anti-democratic maneuvers to once again repress the Filipino masses. Hence, we loudly and proudly shout out: “Never Again to any type of Dictatorship! Stop Cyber Martial Law! Scrap the Cybercrime Law Now!”.
*For more information, please contact: Mr. RASTI DELIZO
(SANLAKAS Political Affairs Coordinator/Celfone# 09998092461)
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