The first year of Marcos Jr.’s presidency in the Philippines was primarily focused on building his public image, as he attempted to rebrand his regime as “Bagong Pilipinas,” reminiscent of his father’s corrupt and violent “Bagong Lipunan” regime, a press release from Bayan-Negros said.
However, no amount of rebranding can conceal the inherent corruption and decay at the core of his administration, Marcos Jr has proven to be incapable of addressing the pressing demands of the people, offering nothing more than an illusion of productivity. This administration is merely an echo of his father’s tyrannical rule, it said.
One of the glaring examples of this is the Maharlika Investment Fund, which was railroaded into law, despite widespread clamor from economists and the broad masses against it. Under this scheme, public funds, including those of pensioners through SSS and GSIS, are jeopardized by false promises of foreign investment. Instead of focusing on strengthening and industrializing the nation, the so-called economic growth is being placed in the hands of foreign companies and private corporations, the press release said.
This is clear evidence that Marcos Jr., like his father, continues to be a puppet of imperialist countries. The investment fund also serves as a means for him to institutionalize cronyism, a notorious characteristic of his father’s regime, which allowed the Marcos family to amass wealth at the expense of the Filipino people, it said.
No amount of rebranding can hide the ongoing violence perpetrated by Marcos Jr’s administration against peasants in rural areas. In Negros, for instance, 21 civilians lost their lives during intensified military operations, with most of them being peasants falsely labeled as “rebels” in staged encounters, which were nothing more than cold-blooded murders, the press release said.
Through propaganda tactics, the administration attempts to shift blame onto the revolutionary forces for the massacres state forces themselves have orchestrated. A heartbreaking example is the Fausto family, where two minors were among the victims. They recycle the old narrative of “purging” to justify their lies and atrocities, it said.
Instead of providing mere band-aid solutions like food stamps or establishing Kadiwa stores, Marcos Jr.’s response to the worsening hunger crisis in the country should prioritize comprehensive, scientific, and people-centered policies and programs toward food sovereignty. Instead of boosting local production, this administration only plans to import from other countries, as is the case in the sugar industry, where the government announced another plan to import 150,000 MT of refined sugar this July 6, the press release said.
It is a shame that as Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary, he has nothing to show for in addressing the historical problem of landlessness for our farmers. As much as we welcome his move to cancel the loans of farmers, it will not uplift them from the current slave-like conditions they are experiencing now. Farm workers continue to suffer from the piece-meal rate and they still remain without land, despite the bogus land reform program Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) it said.
Even the P40 wage increase in NCR is still so far from achieving the P750 across the board demand of progressive groups. Despite the rising inflation rate, Marcos Jr. instead plans to transfer the burden of taxation on regular consumers, rather than on big corporations, it said.
Thus, BAYAN Negros, and all the progressive groups under it, called on all Negrosanons to remain vigilant as the first year of Marcos Jr. will only spell out worse things to come. He will surely unravel in the next years for what he truly is: corrupt, fascist, and a lapdog, just like his late dictator father. We need to be prepared, tighten our ranks, and hold steadfast in our commitment to fight against the corruption and decay of Marcos Jr’s regime. We must not be swayed by the empty promises of rebranding and propaganda; instead, we must continue to expose the truth and hold the administration accountable for its crimes and atrocities, the press release added.*