BAYAN USA marks Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr.’s inauguration as president of the Philippines with fierce protest across the country. We are united with the millions in the Philippines and all over the diaspora who reject the illegitimate and murderous Marcos-Duterte regime. We vow to intensify our fight until they are out of Malacañang and the people can establish a government that is truly democratic.
The Filipino people are facing an unparalleled economic crisis. For the fourth week in a row, corporations have hiked up oil prices, which has threatened the livelihood of jeepney, tricycle, and other motorists on the one hand, and on the other has resulted in massive price increases for basic goods as transportation costs increase. Last month, inflation rose to 5.4 percent, the highest in almost four years. Coupled with a decline in real wages—a drop of 10 percent since the beginning of Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2016—the Filipino people have sunk deeper into hunger and poverty. Underlying the worsening economy is the massive P12 trillion (USD $218 billion) debt and the administration’s continued mismanagement of the pandemic.
Rather than propose concrete solutions in his inaugural speech, Marcos Jr. gave empty promises to get things done. If anything, Marcos’ appointments for his cabinet and staff all but guarantee that the condition of the Filipino masses will worsen. Among those appointed include an economic team—Benjamin Diokno, Arsenio Balisacan, and Felipe Medalla—with a long history of support for anti-people neoliberal policies. Marcos Jr. even had the audacity to appoint himself as Secretary of Agriculture.
Other appointees, such as National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos and Justice Secretary Boying Remulla, will only intensify repression against those who fight against economic and political injustice. Carlos has declared she is not in favor of continuing the peace talks to address the roots of poverty and civil war in the Philippines, while Remulla is infamous for red-tagging and spearheading the cancellation of the ABS-CBN franchise. The crackdown against activism and independent journalism has already escalated, as the National Telecommunications Commission ordered internet service providers to block the websites of progressive groups and media, including BAYAN.
Despite the clear threat the Marcos-Duterte regime poses to the Filipino people, the Biden administration accepted Marcos’ invitation to attend his inauguration. Leading the seven-person delegation is Douglas Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband. The delegation exposes the US’ true imperialist character, which will not hesitate to support dictators if it means further securing geopolitical strength and economic control in the Asia-Pacific. It makes even more urgent the grassroots campaign to cut US security assistance to the Philippines through the Philippine Human Rights Act, knowing that without mass pressure, the US will continue to send hundreds of millions of dollars to a murderous regime.
On this first day of the new administration, BAYAN USA calls on all Filipinos and our allies to ensure the Marcos-Duterte regime knows no peace. For all those who mobilized in the fight against Marcos and Duterte during the electoral campaign: the fight is far from over, and you are far from alone. The mass issues that mobilized us in the millions to the polls still exist, and it will only be through sustained people power that we can address them. The house to house campaigns must continue, this time to form the lasting grassroots organized strength necessary to weather and defeat the impending dictatorship. We cannot wait six years. Join us in neighborhoods, classrooms, work places, congress, and most especially the streets in the most important struggle for democracy in our lifetime.
Reject and fight the Marcos-Duterte regime!
Struggle for genuine democracy!
Attend an action in a city near you:
Los Angeles: 6PM, Philippine Consulate, 3435 Wilshire Blvd
New York: 7PM, Times Square, Duffy Square. RSVP: tinyurl.com/NE-REJECT-MAD
Baltimore: 6:30-8PM, NoMüNoMü Art Space, 709 N Howard St
Chicago: 6-8:30PM, Labagh Woods, Grove 4. RSVP: tinyurl.com/KMNIGHT2022
Portland: 6:30-7:30PM, Terry Schrunk Plaza, 431 SW Madison St
San Francisco: 6-7:30PM, Philippine Consulate 447 Sutter St
Seattle: 6PM, Jose Rizal Park