24 February 2023
On the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the Edsa “People Power” uprising, Migrante International calls on migrant Filipinos and their families to keep the spirit of the revolt that toppled the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship alive and fight for our rights and social change.
The fact that the country is marking the 37th Edsa anniversary under the presidency of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr is a cause for serious reflection for the Filipino migrants and people.
This fact only proves that what happened in 1986 is not a revolution, as the ruling classes of big compradors and landlords subservient to US imperialism kept their hold on power. The Marcoses were ousted from the commanding heights of Philippine politics, but their wealth and influence remained intact. It was only a matter of time, but also a lot of scheming and effort on their part, before they can stage a comeback.
The regimes that succeeded the Marcos dictatorship did not renounce and do away with the plunder, fascist repression, puppetry to the US and anti-people policies that characterized the dictatorship. They only embraced variations in the levels of these elements and more.
Now, the Bongbong Marcos regime is proving to be a farcical replay of the Marcos dictatorship: skyrocketing prices of basic commodities, widespread joblessness, repression of dissenting voices, use of public funds for costly international trips aimed at resurrecting the disgraced family name, desperate export of Filipino labor, among others.
It is in this light that we remember that Filipino migrants played an important role in the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship. We opposed the dictator’s efforts to force us to continue being its milking cow and send increasing remittances in order to prop up the economy that he mismanaged and drove bankrupt. We exposed the grave abuse of power and called on the US and other governments to stop supporting the dictatorship.
Now, 37 years after Edsa, we migrant Filipinos are called upon continue fighting for our rights. Using the Department of Migrant Workers, the Bongbong Marcos regime has stepped up its labor export program. It continues to openly extort millions of mandatory fees and intends to siphon off an increasing amount of remittances from us even as it continues to scrimp on services for us. This exploitation and neglect of migrant Filipinos goes hand-in-hand with its handling of the Filipino people.
We migrant Filipinos are called upon to fight for social change. While it may provide immediate relief to us migrants, our families and the country, labor export will not bring about genuine development. The oligarchy that leads the country will continue to be dependent on labor export and to underdevelop the country. We have to fight and weaken them through our militant and organized movement, and bring about genuine people power so we can end labor export, usher in genuine development, and prevent the families of dictators and plunderers from staging comebacks in government.###