(Statement on the commemoration of the EDSA 1 Revolution and the current human rights violations in the region)
It has been 30 years after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship, yet not much has changed for the people.
Human rights continue to plague lumads, peasants, agri-workers especially in Southern Mindanao where 57 defenders against mining, plantations and militarization here have been killed by suspected state forces. Seven of them were killed in 30 days from January to February.
Sectors such as church people, students, professionals, and others are under assault by fascist state forces, who label this enraged population as threats to national security.They display their sickening brutality with trumped-up charges against leaders of people’s organizations.
For them, if they cannot silence the defenders, they might as well burden them with legal actions, thus bastardizing the legal system and mock our democratic rights as a people.
In the past six years, Southern Mindanao has seen the increase of six battalions deployed to the region, along with even more sickening tactics to quash the people’s defiance. The recent torching incident in the lumad evacuation camp in UCCP Haran and the military attacks in Sitio Diat, Post Four, Brgy. Napnapan in Compostela Valley show how savage the Aquino regime is.
The dark days of Martial Law may be over, but the sickening rule of the military over the countrysides and the attack on our legal democratic rights show that the abuses of the state continue to haunt us.
But where there is oppression, it breeds resistance. Where the attacks and plunder continue, so does the peoples’ movement grow. Everyday more Filipinos are awakened to the horrors of state fascism, to the corruption in government, and ineptness over the many ills in society.
The communities in Southern Mindanao may see zones of military rule and plunder from mining and plantations. But more are taking on these tyrants in the streets and in their own land. The people’s continuing resistance will show that democracy and human rights are superior over the desperate attempts of the regime to silence dissent.
The people of Southern Mindanao do not forget the dark days of Martial Law, for they are living in the same worse conditions under the yellow skies of the Aquino. And so, the resistance continues. We survived Marcos’ Martial Law. We will do so again in Aquino’s regime.