Remembering the Ampatuan Massacre*
Communist Party of the Philippines
November 23, 2010
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the entire revolutionary movement join the Filipino people in marking the first anniversary of the hideous massacre in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, where 57 people, including journalists and political rivals of the Ampatuan warlord clan were mercilessly slaughtered.
We join the relatives, colleagues and friends of the victims of the Ampatuan massacre and the rest of the people in pressing for justice. The people worry that the way it is proceeding, the Ampatuan massacre trial may take years, or even decades, before it can be concluded. In the meantime, witnesses are being killed one after another, with many of them remaining under heavy threats and pressure. We denounce the delays and pathetically slow and tedious system of justice and support the widespread clamor for swift justice.
The Ampatuan warlord clan which aggrandized itself through feudal exactions, spoils of power, gross corruption and the indulgent support of the military and national political leadership continues to wallow in wealth, pomp and privilege, even as their leading figures happen to be under detention. The people of Maguindanao continue to suffer from feudal exploitation and fascist oppression. So do the mass of the impoverished and downtrodden people where feudal and fascist rule prevails, especially in the countryside, where feudal warlords in collaboration with local military and police forces are a power by themselves.
The system that engenders feudal warlordism continues to prevail throughout the country. Feudal power in wide swaths of the countryside continue to buttress the rotten reactionary state. Feudal lords such as the Ampatuans are propped up through the armed suppression of peasants and farm workers. Military and paramilitary units deployed in the countryside are treated as private armies and are at the disposal of these feudal warlords.
The supposed campaign of the national government to dismantle private armies remains a wimp of a call. Neither the rotten national government nor its military and police has shown any real determination to disband these armed groups. They matter most significantly in elections and intra-clan wars, and their important role in the reactionary government's "counterinsurgency" operations continues to be highly regarded.
The demand to dismantle private armies have persistently been raised for the past several decades. Not one reactionary regime has shown genuine resolve to do so. Marcos appeared to dismantle them only to absorb and utilize them under his supreme warlord and fascist rule. His successors even promoted the spread of paramilitary forces that became adjuncts of private armies as well as government military forces.
Recently, they have also become adjuncts of mining companies, corporate farms, haciendas and other big private enterprises. Like all past presidents, Aquino fails to address this demand. The way he protects his clan's Hacienda Luisita, and his camp of the biggest feudal warlords in the country--like Eduardo Cojuangco, Peping Cojuangco and others-- Aquino himself is now the biggest symbol of the feudal oligarchic rule in the Philippines.
In the course of advancing people's war, the people's armed revolutionary movement will continue to resist feudal warlordism and fascist suppression and act to dismantle and disarm private armies and paramilitary units alongside launching offensives against regular government military forces. The Filipino people seek the revolutionary overhaul of the ruling political and socio-economic system and the decimation of feudal warlordism alongside semifeudal and semicolonial rule throughout the country.