STA. ROSA, LAGUNA – Militant workers united to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of Martial Law. Carrying calls of justice put in ‘black and white’ as a sign of flashback to a bloody, censored part of history.
At exactly 4:00 PM, workers from different industries in the Southern Tagalog region assembled at Amar, Balibago, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna and staged a one-hour program that reminisced the culture of impunity brought about by the declaration of Proclamation Decree No. 1081 or Martial Law in September 21, 1972.
Workers flashed ‘black and white’ colored propaganda materials to signify a momentous recurrence of human rights violations under the US-Marcos regime and the unwavering slogans of the people calling for justice and peace. Calls like ‘Never again to Martial Law’, ‘Justice for all the victims of human rights violations’, and ‘Stop the killings and political persecutions’ bombarded the heavy streets that afternoon.
The Martial Law era under the US-Marcos regime is known to be the epitome of a freedomless country. Human rights were strictly hit and thrashed. From sustaining an organization, expressing one’s personal opinion, to critiquing the flaws and injustices of the administration were valid reasons to tag someone as rebel and radical driving them to a judgment of either criminal case and imprisonment or worse, death.
After 42 years, the ST workers firmly believe that justice has not yet been served to the thousands of victims of HRVs in the region and the whole of the country.
Martial Law continues
42 years have momentarily passed, but still, as of today, Martial Law seems ongoing. With the inhumane policies and blatant double-crossing and deceit the current fascist regime is performing, there shows a clear and certain semblance to that of what happened 42 years ago.
“The US-BS Aquino regime is barefaced in its desire to subsist and reign in its throne through its overbearing, mostly ruthless administration. Southern Tagalog workers are living evidence to this statement – with anti-worker policies such as the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council Manifestos of Commitment (TIPC-MOC) and the ‘No union, no strike policy’ which aim to abolish the unity of the workers deems similar to the restriction of having an organization during the Martial Law of Ferdinand Marcos.” Said Allan Bagas, newly elected Secretary General of the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (Solidarity of Workers in Southern Tagalog – May First Movement or PAMANTIK-KMU).
Bagas also stated that the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) acts as the modernized version of the Philippine Constabulary in leading and authorizing the elements of the AFP and PNP to meddle with the issues between the workers and the capitalists inside their respective enclaves.
In addition to that, the recent ‘back-to-basecamp’ move for the serial killer Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito “The Butcher” Palparan shows where this government lays its support – to injustice and not to its victims.
According to Roque Polido, Chairperson-elect of PAMANTIK-KMU, “Workers from ST show their grave disgust to the current administration. As we are continuously calling for justice to the thousand victims of HRVs during the Martial Law era, BS Aquino vehemently adds insult to injury – with its left and right accounts of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests, tortures, and public-money spending thorugh his DAP and Pork. We will not tolerate this. ST workers will make all the accused accountable, they should pay. We will never forget, we are firm to never again let a martial rule in our country.”
At 6:00PM, a regionally coordinated candle lighting seeking justice to all the victims of state fascism 42 years ago up until today was held. ###
(photo courtesy of MUDSPC-OLALIA-KMU)