No To Mindanao Martial Law Extension
Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law – CARMMA
February 21, 2019
CARMMA on the 3rd extension of martial law in Mindanao
The Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA) joins its voice with those condemning the Supreme Court decision to dismiss the petitions, and uphold the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao for the third time.
Our memory of Martial Law is crystal clear. The stories of widespread human rights violations perpetrated by the military and the suppression of civil liberties and basic freedoms during the Marcos’ martial law years are numerous. These occurred at the same time as the plunder of the people’s money by the Marcoses and their cronies, as well as the exploitation of our natural resources by foreign companies and their local agents. We do not wish to witness this nightmare to happen again in our lifetime, nor in the years to come. And yet, since the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, such atrocities have been happening, and continue to happen.
Under Duterte’s martial law, incessant rights violations have been perpetrated by state security forces against civilian communities. More than 11,500 Lumad have been displaced from their homes by military and paramilitary operations, 111 trumped-up cases have been filed against parents, teachers, and Lumad leaders, more than 8,000 peasant and Lumad have been forced to declare and parade as NPA surrenderees.
Duterte’s government claims that martial law is necessary in maintaining a secure environment in Mindanao. But the recent serious political developments in the Moro region – the armed confrontation between the AFP and the Maute Group (MG) in Marogong, Lanao del Sur last January 22 and the twin bombings in Jolo, Sulu last January 27 – even with the declaration of Martial Law, have cast doubts on its purported effectivity in keeping the region secure. Government agencies investigating the incident have named the alleged perpetrators of the recent bombings, only for this to be exposed as scapegoating. Police named Mukammar Pae as the suspect, but Pae’s lawyer revealed that he was tortured to admit to a crime that he did not commit, adding that Pae was a tree cutter.
Martial law in Mindanao has given way for these abuses to continue with impunity. We are also deeply concerned at how martial law is going to allow unlimited exploitation of the island’s rich natural resources by foreign corporations and their local partners as is reportedly happening now in Marawi, at the expense of many of the residents.
32 years after the Filipino people booted out the dictator Marcos from Malacañang, we continue to stand against martial law. We repeat: End martial law in Mindanao! Resist tyranny and dictatorship! The book is not closed, our struggle continues.