Tell it to SunStar: Never again to military rule

·2 min read

The Kilusan ng Manggagawang Kababaihan (KMK) joined the Filipino people on Sept. 21, 2022 in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

The military rule is regarded as one of the darkest eras in Philippine history.

Despite the lies being propagated by the Marcos family, the Filipino people suffered from incomparable poverty and oppression during the dictatorship of Marcos Sr.

It is estimated that six out of every 10 Filipino families experienced extreme poverty due to unemployment that reached 23 percent in 1984, which was accompanied by soaring prices of basic commodities and a very high inflation rate that averaged 20 percent between 1981-1985. This was coupled with the increase in the number of people who suffered from hunger and malnutrition.

Marcos Sr. also submerged the country in massive debt to fund huge infrastructure projects that were plagued by corruption and anomalies. According to official estimates, the debt left behind by Marcos Sr. swelled to 28 billion US dollars in 1986, a far cry from the 0.36 billion US dollars when he took office in 1961.

While the people suffered, the Marcos family and its cronies lived in luxury and comfort using the wealth they had stolen from the public treasury. The Marcos family swept away more than 10 billion dollars when they were ousted from office. The severe economic crisis and the plight of the Filipino people, particularly among the working class, sparked popular and widespread strikes. Protests throughout the country broke out in the streets and factories including the strike in La Tondeña. However, it was met with fascism and severe human rights violations under Marcos Sr.’s martial law.

These violations include 70,000 detainees, 34,000 victims of torture, 3,240 cases of extrajudicial killings and more than 1,000 disappeared.

For the past 50 years, the Marcos family has done nothing but rehabilitate their name by spending huge funds to systematically distort history and deceive the people.

Therefore, it is a big challenge for the women’s labor movement to persevere in exposing the countless sins and lies of the Marcos family by revisiting the history of martial law and Marcos dictatorship.

Despite the severe poverty, unemployment crisis, rising commodity prices, widespread corruption and growing foreign debt, Marcos Jr. remains a failure in providing a concrete and effective economic plan that will save the country from the global crisis.

The brutal suppression of people’s and workers’ rights continues till this day.

Thus, we need to collectively demand the return of the national minimum wage, an end to contractualization, an end to violence and discrimination against women in the workplace and other forms of violation of the rights of workers and unions.