September 21, 2016

Reference: Daniel Dunn, Anakbayan New York Member

      Amanda Jimenez, Anakbayan New York Member

      Tanya Villalobos, Anakbayan New York Member



In light of the 44th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines, revolutionary students and youth of Anakbayan New York stand in a firm opposition to Ferdinand Marcos’s burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani (Cemetery of Heroes). Historically, we have seen that Ferdinand Marcos has made himself to be in clear opposition to the interests of the Filipino people.

Marcos’s exploits of his people and country make him ill-fit to be buried in the Cemetery of Heroes. Many people defend the Marcos dictatorship by pointing out his improvements to the infrastructure but they actually proved to be harmful. Most of the funds that were used for these projects were borrowed from the IMF and the World Bank. Marcos’s improvements to the infrastructure actually ended up plunging the Philippines deeper in debt to foreign powers and strengthening the force of imperialism in the Philippines. The projects were overpriced and at one point, the Philippines was sending out more money than it was receiving in loans. In addition, Marcos neglected manufacturing, working conditions worsened and underemployment rose. The result of the Marcos regime was retrogression of development, which put the country and its people in unsustainable debt and contributed to nation-wide poverty and exploitation.

Furthermore, his military experience is entirely invented. Marcos referred to himself as a well-decorated soldier frequently, especially during his presidential campaigns. However, through investigations by journalists, historians, and military officials, his wartime honors and experience were fraudulent. Instead of fighting on the behalf of his nation– particularly the Battle of Bataan and Battle of Bessang Pass, which he was awarded for– he was a non-combatant holding a Civil Affairs position. To continue to honor Marcos and his illegitimate heroism is to insult and defile the lives of true Filipino war heroes, the guerilla insurgency fighting for national democracy, and the countless number of civilians harmed by his dictatorship.

Ultimately, the Marcos Regime was overthrown by the Philippine revolution of 1986. The Revolution was also known as or referred to as EDSA (Epifanio de Los Santos Avenue), the streets where a bulk of the demonstrations took place in Quezon City, Metro Manila. It was a nonviolent revolution that encompassed over two million Filipino civilians. The school in Quezon City— The University of the Philippines, Diliman— was the center of the student and youth revolution throughout the Marcos Regime.

With these things in mind we have to understand the necessity of the armed revolutionary movement. The Filipino people have the right to rebel however they see necessary like they did against the Marcos regime and even today against neoliberal and imperialist forces.