Rekindle the spirit of the First Quarter Storm!
WITH a fascist, tyrannical, and puppet President, the Filipino people have no choice but to fight back, resist, and reap lessons and inspirations from the First Quarter Storm in fighting for national liberation and democracy.
The FQS of 1970 was the Filipino people’s uprising against late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. It was the peak of arousing, organizing, and mobilizing ever since Kabataang Makabayan was established in 1964. On January 30, 1970 more than ten thousand youth, students, workers, and peasants stormed the Malacanang Palace to demand an end to imperialist and anti-people policies.
These huge mobilizations ascended in monstrous numbers. It rose to 50,00 up to 100,000, filling in plaza’s going to Malacanang and the United States Embassy. It was also an important turning point in the revolutionary mass movement of the country and a catalyst for the creation of mass organizations that expanded beyond rallies and sought to solidify and promote political education to the youth, peasants, and workers.
Relieving the FQS is not only relevant but necessary to topple deranged President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte is, in fact, worse than Marcos. He has killed more than 13,000 in his murderous drug war and even killed thousands more especially from the toiling masses in his counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan and his fetish with the ongoing martial law rule in Mindanao.
In addition to his iron-fist rule, he is leading the torch in drowning the country in neoliberal policies. Currently, he is overhauling the country’s decades-old tax law. One of its goals is to look “attractive” to foreign investors, and it is done at the expense of the lives of the Filipino people. Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion was ratified by Congress without proper deliberation — an actual manifestation that Duterte is pressured to devise a tax reform program that will comply with policy recommendations of the United States under the Partnership for Growth project.
As a trying hard Marcos dupe, he is also suppressing the Philippine press and even created a paid charlatan of propaganda machinery to further the widespread of fake news to fool the Filipino people. Furthermore, several of alternative media journalists, who counter military propaganda in the countryside, are killed, harassed, and arrested on trumped-up charges.
Duterte is full of crap and is totally rubbish. He has failed his promise of a genuine land reform for farmers, an end to contractualization for workers, and a genuine free education program for students. He is a stooge of the United States who has done nothing but to kill the Filipino people for his personal interest. And with the proposed Charter Change, he is moving a step forward to his dictatorial ambition.
The objective condition is already ripe for us to relieve and imbibe the most outstanding period of the Filipino people’s history of democratic mass resistance. More than four decades have passed and every decade only exacerbated the already destructive state of the Filipino people. We must take to heart the lessons of the FQS and fight through and through the three basic problems of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism which has beset the Filipino people for decades.
It is time for the Filipino people to raise their militancy. The spirit of the FQS of 1970 should be rekindled to mobilize millions of Filipinos to advance their democratic aspirations and eventually overthrow a fascist tyrant.
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines and its more than 750 member publications intensely expresses its dissent and is set to protest against the US-Duterte regime this coming February 1 and 23.