BAYAN-USA joins Filipinos around the world in commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines. Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship of 21 years as President in the Philippines drew international attention to the violent and oppressive regime, especially when his greatest rival, Benigno Aquino Jr., returned from exile and was immediately assassinated on the tarmac of the Manila International Airport in 1983–currently named Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“How can BS Aquino even talk about Charter Change to extend his term, without feeling guilty knowing that his parents fought and died against the dictatorship of the Marcos regime?” questioned Jessica Antonio, Secretary General of BAYAN USA.
“With his current track record of corruption, human rights violations, and now with his push for Charter Change, BS Aquino is following the footsteps of Marcos more so than the footsteps of his parents.”
Ironically, President Aquino is making an appearance at the United Nations summit on Climate Change in New York this week, despite the need for immediate attention to the devastation caused by Typhoon Mario which flooded the Philippine capital Manila causing at least 50,000 people to flee their homes. “Nearly a year after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines, the Filipino people have yet to receive proper relief from the government. Obviously, we can’t expect the government to respond appropriately, when its corruption and self-promotion caused the true disaster in the Philippines in the first place,” continues Antonio.
“It was only through grassroots organizing on the ground that supplies, food, and medical response aid was provided to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. It was also through the People Power movement that the Marcos regime was ousted from Malacanang Palace. And it will be the organized power of the people that will change Philippine society to reflect and prioritize the Filipino majority!” Antonio said. ###