July 5, 2017
Bayan calls on the people to resist Martial Law in Mindanao as well as any attempt to impose Martial Law nationwide.
The Supreme Court’s decision upholding the validity of Martial Law provides the basis for the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao beyond 60 days. It also makes the nationwide declaration of Martial Law by President Rodrigo Duterte that much easier. The bar has been set very low. An incident in one area can be used as basis for Martial Law in an entire island region.
The extension of Martial Law will no doubt bring about more abuses by State security forces. We have received several reports of illegal arrests, arbitrary detention, filing of trumped-up charges and militarization of communities in Mindanao. The Supreme Court becomes complicit in the abuses now taking place in Mindanao.
The SC decision will also take its toll in the ongoing peace talks between the GRP and NDFP. The militarists have been emboldened and are intent on using Martial Law against the revolutionary forces despite the ongoing peace talks. Last May, the 5th round of formal peace talks was among the casualties of Duterte’s Martial Law declaration.
The Duterte government must deal with the ISIS-inspired groups without resorting to Martial Law and with full respect for human rights. The government’s scorched-earth tactics only fuel resentment of State forces and further armed resistance by the Moro people. The government must address poverty and injustice in Mindanao as the only means of attaining a just and lasting peace.
Despite the legal setback, we will continue to expose and oppose Martial Law and its abuses. The fight against fascism continues in other arenas. Martial Law will be among the issues we will take up during the SONA rallies.
We continue to stand with Marawi and Mindanao.
*Photo by Neil Ambion