Bonifacio Day, Marcos regime: migrant Filipinos continue the struggle

Press Statement
30 November 2022

Today marks the 159th birth anniversary of working-class hero Andres Bonifacio, who led the Filipino revolution against Spanish colonization of the Philippines. This is the first Bonifacio Day under the government of Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., who won the 2022 national elections through large-scale disinformation and downright deception using the wealth stolen by his family and by his oligarchic allies.

This Bonifacio Day is therefore an important occasion to highlight the necessity of independent consciousness and action among working-class Filipinos — free from, and opposed to, the consciousness and action being imposed by the rulers who exploit and oppress us. If Bonifacio believed the lies of the Spanish colonialists and if followed what they want, he would not have led the anti-colonial revolution.

Bonifacio did not let poverty limit his knowledge and action to what the Spaniards imposed on him. He studied the history of his people and that of other peoples of the world, and he opened his eyes to the realities around him. He did not let colonial tyranny stop him from doing what is right for his fellow working and colonized people. He educated fellow Filipinos about the realities of colonialism and called on them to emancipate themselves from mental, spiritual, physical and other forms of slavery. 

So today, we at Migrante International call on migrant and all Filipinos to  wake up and rise up against the deception and repression being imposed by the Marcos regime. Like all previous presidents, and like the Marcos dictatorship, this Marcos regime is not working for the interests of the working people and all Filipinos. It continues previous government’s legacy of serving the neocolonial powers lording over the country and the country’s elites, especially its cronies. 

Let us continue to fight for our immediate and long-term interests. Let us support the more than 10,000 construction workers from Saudi Arabia who were retrenched from work in 2015-2016 and fight to receive their wages and benefits. Let us fight for the lowering of prices and higher wages, demands that are most needed and just amidst the skyrocketing prices of food and other basic necessities. Let us fight for land reform, a demand which Bonifacio himself fought and died for. 

Let us fight for the ideals that Bonifacio devoted his life to — national freedom and democracy. Let us continue his fight, which remains relevant 159 years after his birth and more than 126 years after the start of the revolution that he led. Our present is not the future that Bonifacio dreamed of and died for. 

Today, Filipinos inside and outside of our country are oppressed and exploited in our work and society and we are being fed with deception by the government. We have every reason to continue Bonifacio’s himagsikan para sa kalayaan, the revolution for our freedom!