Bayan says Tokhang-style killing of KMU organizer signals intensified state terrorism under Marcos Jr presidency

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan denounces the extrajudicial killing of Martial Law activist and veteran labor organizer Jude Fernandez.

We hold the government of Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr accountable for this latest terrorist act perpetrated by state forces. Since coming to power in 2022, Marcos Jr has remained mum on human rights issues and has even avoided mentioning the brutal legacy of the Martial Law dictatorship.

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Photo from Kilusang Mayo Uno

But his silence cannot hide the atrocities committed by the military and police against activists, human rights defenders, and state critics. The government’s Bagong Pilipinas rebranding did not include the reversal of notorious programs linked to the bloody war on drugs, the all-out war against the communist movement, redtagging as de facto policy of the state, and weaponization of laws and the judicial process to attack opposition forces.

The failure of the Marcos administration to prosecute those involved in the ‘Bloody Sunday’ massacre in Cavite, Batangas, and Rizal has emboldened state forces to carry out executions in the guise of serving search and arrest warrants.

The killing of a KMU organizer follows a familiar disturbing pattern: police operatives serving a dubious warrant based on fabricated charges, murdering unarmed suspects who allegedly tried to resist arrest (nanlaban), and planting of evidence in the crime scene. Not content with killing an innocent citizen, the police would refuse to hand over the remains of the deceased to his family and comrades.

The brazen killing of Fernandez reflects the worsening human rights situation over the past year. There has been a spate of massacres in rural communities in Negros and Masbate, abductions and enforced disappearances in Bataan and Mindoro, the use of terror law to prosecute activists and church people in Southern Tagalog, and indiscriminate aerial bombings in Cagayan and Mindanao.

These attacks are intended to instill fear and silence the people’s movement which is rallying an increasing number of citizens to speak out and protest against the cost of living crisis, the failure of the government to curb smuggling and lower the prices of basic goods, profligate spending of the president and his family, the anomalous transfer and use of confidential funds of the vice president and other civilian agencies, the expansion of foreign military intervention, and continued plunder of our natural resources.

The regime is desperately trying to evade accountability by violently suppressing dissent. It has no intention of seriously addressing the basic problems plaguing the country which is why it has intensified its attacks against activists and those it perceives as a threat to the reign of greed of the Marcos-Duterte tandem and their cronies. It seeks to normalize tyranny by demonizing the people’s resistance.

We stand in solidarity with KMU and the labor movement in demanding justice for the state-directed killing of Fernandez and other union organizers. We enjoin all freedom-loving Filipinos to push back and counter state terrorism. The struggle continues for genuine democracy and social justice.

Hustisya para kay Jude Fernandez!
Hustisya para sa lahat ng biktima ng terorismo ng estado!
Makibaka, huwag matakot!
Tuloy ang laban!

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
October 8, 2023

Categories: Statements


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