Mike Legaspi, Educational Development Officer, Anakbayan New York
Chrissi Fabro, Secretary General, Anakbayan New York
Phone: 646.469.4608   Email:


Anakbayan New York is outraged at the brutal open fire on Lumad and farmers in Cotabato by the police and calls on Filipino youth to intensify the people’s struggle to end state repression and win national democracy in the Philippines.

On Wednesday March 30, more than 5000 farmers and Lumad from different areas of Cotabato province in Mindanao set up a human barricade across the Cotabato-Davao highway to demand immediate relief in the form of 15,000 sacks of rice from the devastating drought.  The drought began as early as November 2015 and has affected many farmers and Lumad in the province, however, the government has not yet responded to the people’s basic need for food and water.

Last night, in response to the people’s demands, the police opened fire on the human barricade, the latest update stating that 3 people have been killed, 87 people (6 of whom are children) are missing, and 116 people are injured.

The People’s Struggle Intensifies
As this recent massacre took place, the elections season in the Philippines continues. It is business as usual for the reactionary ruling elite and their puppet masters, for the US and other imperialist powers. It is business as usual for the people who benefit from our people’s poverty. The same system of oppression and exploitation that forced the farmers to act in the first place is the same system that is continuously upheld by the Aquino puppet government and its US imperialist masters.

The local reactionaries, the big landlords and big comprador bourgeoisie who starve the peasants in the countryside and leave the workers in the cities living in shantytowns and tattered rags cannot keep their hold on power without the military aid from foreign imperialists such as the United States. As of November 2015, US military aid has reached $79 million. This aid goes directly to the repression of the people’s just resistance against their oppressors as this recent incident in Cotabato shows. The shooting of unarmed protestors exposes the cowardice of the Malacañang government and their desperation to hold onto their power.

In January of this year, the Philippine Supreme Court ruled to uphold what they deem is the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. This agreement allows for the US military to train the Armed Forces of the Philippines and set up facilities and have full access to and control of facilities, supplies, encampments, and bases of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In other words, the Philippine reactionary military itself does not even have full control (independent of the US) of its own facilities and bases. This is all in response to the intensifying struggle of the oppressed masses of the Filipino people.

In the cities, the militant mass movement has grown and strengthened and stands as a shining alternative to the the conservative and pro-fascist, pro-imperialist ideologues and politicians who pollute our cities. The youth, women, LGBT, workers, urban poor, and all exploited masses in the cities have continuously asserted their basic human rights in the face of the Aquino puppet government and the very gates of the government bureaucrats who hold them subjugated under the crippling poverty of our country.

In the countryside, where the vast majority of the Filipino people live and where the oppression and exploitation against the impoverished peasant masses is unbelievably harsh, the people have no other recourse but to take up arms to defend themselves and their families against the brutality of the fascist military directed by the US-Aquino regime.

Deepen Participation in the National Democratic Movement
There are many things in the Philippines we cannot truly call our own. The fact that peasant farmers and indigenous people had to engage in a protest action to ask for rice and water–basic human necessities–shows that the people who create the wealth of our country can never own the fruits of their labor so long as the basic problems of US imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism remain firmly in place in our society.

It is only the National Democratic Movement that our people can truly call our own.  It is a movement based in the masses and for the masses. It is a movement that affects tens of millions of the most exploited sectors of society. The ND movement with a socialist perspective is correct and just because it openly challenges the core problems of our semi-feudal and semi-colonial society. It is National because we seek to defeat foreign domination of our economy and politics and establish an independent and self-sufficient country. It is Democratic because we seek to address the struggle for land–the main pressing problem of the majority of the people–by implementing genuine land reform, distribution of land collectively amongst the farmers who work on it.

The history of the Philippines has shown that the only solution to the problems of the semi-colonial semi-feudal society of the Philippines is for the toiling masses to wage and intensify the struggle against the local reactionaries and foreign imperialists who get richer off of our people’s misery. This is why it is important for us as Anakbayan to strengthen and expand our organizing work to push for the victory of National Democracy with a Socialist Perspective. We call on our fellow progressive and revolutionary-minded Filipino youth to take an active role and stand for the ND movement and help shape a new Philippines that upholds the rights of the workers, peasants, youth, women, LGBT, and all other exploited and oppressed sectors of our society.

It is Right to Rebel
For us as Anakbayan New York, we understand the justified resistance of the people against state repression and the fascist encroachments on the people’s rights. As youth and students in France take up the struggles of the workers in their country and students at San Francisco State University rise against the defunding of Ethnic Studies on their campus, we as progressive and militant youth must take up the responsibility to stand up and fight for our people’s rights and welfare.

We must be firm in our stand against the brutality of our oppressors and closely link ourselves with the exploited masses of workers and peasants in the Philippines, learn from their struggles and strongly support them. We must understand that it is our duty as Filipino youth to fight for National Democracy in our country and that in the face of crushing oppression and violence it is always right to rebel.

The open fire on the human barricade is just one example of the intensifying state repression against our people as part of Aquino’s regime to quell all forms of resistance before he ends his term this May.  This intensifying state repression, however, is all the more fuel for our people’s movement to intensify our struggle for national democracy with a socialist perspective.

We demand food for our people, not bullets.  We call on Filipino American youth to condemn the state violence against the masses of the Philippines and demand a cut to the US military aid to the Philippines. We call on Filipino youth to join the struggle for genuine democracy and liberation in the Philippines. ###