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Letters to the Editor

IPs remember Marcos atrocities

/ 02:10 AM December 28, 2016

Katribu, a national alliance of indigenous peoples organizations in the Philippines, registers its highest condemnation of the thief-like “hero’s burial” and maneuvers by the Duterte-empowered Marcos family in their attempt to revise history and whitewash the many atrocities committed by the deposed despot.

Marcos used draconian tactics to plunder public coffers, aid foreign corporations in ravaging ancestral lands, and institute mass murder and human rights violations against indigenous peoples and their communities.

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We will never forget how Marcos tried to inundate the Cordilleras through the Chico Dam Project and orchestrated the assassination of resistance leader Macliing Dulag. The joint ventures with foreign corporations and his croniesí private companies led to massive land-grabbing and to the mass exodus of indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands.

Marcos created the office of the Presidential Assistant on National Minorities (Panamin) in 1968 which functioned to aggressively recruit and train indigenous peoples as part of paramilitary groups, and aimed at dividing and harassing the ranks of indigenous communities who were capable of resistance. These were the progenitor of the paramilitary groups now ravaging the countryside and systematically used by the previous and current administrations through “Oplan Bayanihan.” The lumad in Mindanao have borne the brunt of their most brutal attacks in recent years.

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From 1972 to 1986, in Mindanao alone, Marcos displaced 300,000 Moro people through a combination of “hamleting” and community takeovers. He effectively pioneered and refined the use of extrajudicial killings against indigenous communities to help foreign mining corporations secure a foothold in our lands.

To even entertain the thought of associating the word ìheroî to Ferdinand Marcos is a betrayal of and an insult to the numerous victims of martial law and the Filipino people.

Marcos’ specter has yet to be dispelled: The Marcosian attacks against indigenous communities have not stopped despite the unilateral, separate ceasefires declared by the New People’s Army and the government. The military is still targeting our communities, even using the vicious antidrug campaign as a cloak to strike against legitimate peasant and indigenous leaders, whose only “crime” is to fight for their democratic right to land and self-determination.

It is in this context that we call on President Duterte to stop paying his “political debt” to the Marcoses. We remind Mr. Duterte that he was elected president not because of the Marcoses’ support but because of people extremely disgusted with the US-Aquino regime. He must
reverse his decision to have Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and end his alliance with the Marcoses or he will be held equally guilty of revising history with them. He should also stop retracing not just Marcos’ footsteps but also the past administrations’, which have all contributed in maintaining Marcos’ political clout and influence.

Ending Oplan Bayanihan is imperative. He should also stop idolizing the late dictator, or he shall suffer the same fate as Marcos did.

We call on the Filipino people: Continue to pressure Duterte and the Supreme Court until a reversal of their decision is made. Join the movement for genuine social emancipation to combat the persistent legacy of martial law by dumping Oplan Bayanihan and other anti-people policies and laws. Join the national democratic movement in its pursuit to end imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism—the concoction that gave rise to and sustains the Marcoses and all social ills in our country today.
PYA MACLIING MALAYAO,
secretary general
Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (Katribu), [email protected]

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TAGS: human-rights violations, Indigenous Peoples, Marcos burial, marcos family, oplan bayanihan
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