Monday, August 21, 2006

Surviving Ninoy (CONTEND Statement, 21 Aug 06)

Surviving Ninoy

In the people�s protracted struggle for the ideal,
death is not death is not death; rather, it becomes an
organ of persistence, a birthing, the fissure from
which collective resistance ruptures stupor and
silences. And in surviving, we perform the radical
nature of our desire for genuine democracy and peace.

Twenty-three years ago, one death heralded an uprising
so popular it brought a despotic government to its
knees. Senator Benigno �Ninoy� Aquino, staunch critic
of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was assassinated at
the Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983
upon returning home from exile in the United States.
Ninoy�s death catapulted his widow, Cory Aquino, to
presidency, and prompted the 1986 anti-fascist
uprising in EDSA. Years of brutal containment under
the Marcos regime culminated in this singular
_expression of collective rage against state repression
and political machination.

Decades later, the country is once again confronted
By an illegitimate president desperately clinging to
the last strands of her political power. As though in
temporal perversion, the government of President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reintroduces us Filipinos to
the dread of killing fields, militia might,
warrantless arrests,parliamenta
ry paralysis, and many
other manifest cruelties reminiscent of Marcos rule.

To date, more than 700 people have died in
extrajudicial executions by death squads while
hundreds fell prey to enforced disappearances since
Arroyo assumed power in 2001. In a fit of desperation,
the Arroyo government had coursed millions of pesos to
beef up the joint counter-insurgency program of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine
National Police against the New People�s Army.
Barangay officials have been deputized, as well, to
ensure the swift demolition of the NPA�s mass bases.
In Central Luzon, Maj. Gen. Jovito �The Butcher�
Palparan, commander of the army�s 7th Infantry
Division, wages a fascist war with brutal alacrity.
Reports of civilians tortured and harassed by the
military in the name of the so-called anti-communist
cedula campaign are reduced to bedtime stories and
fearful whisperings in the rurals. And to cap off
demolition job, the hypocritical President recently
ordered the creation of a new commission that will
probe into extrajudicial killings of militants and

Notwithstanding the horrendous escalation of killings
and abductions of activists, Arroyo continues to crush
political opposition. The second impeachment complaint
was recently junked by the House Justice Committee,
noting that there was insufficiency in the complaint�s
substance. Stifled, too, are new evidence on her
electoral fraud and a suspicious foreign bank account.

Deaths and dissipations, however, are never
finalities. As the Arroyo government
hauls back the state of things to one of predominant
oppression and strife, democratic and patriotic
forces, too, are reminded of their robust power to
rewrite histories,engage hegemonic ideas into the
sharpest ideological line, and strip falsities to
their decaying core. The Filipino people now united in
one movement that seeks to remove Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo from power is one rich with the
highest tools of engagements against ideological
assault. And with fervid belief in the power and
resilience of the masses, every bullet shall find the
people�s front impermeable.


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