On Lorenzana’s hypocritical posturing for Mindanao martial law non-extension

1. The people of Mindanao have had enough of martial law. They demand an immediate end to military and police abuses and violations of people’s democratic rights. They seek freedom from state-sponsored extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment, harassments and intimidation.

2. Defense Secretary Lorenzana claims martial law can be not extended in Mindanao. This is hypocritical public posturing because, in fact, under EO 70 and its National Task Force, the entire country is now under undeclared martial law. Military abuses are bound to worsen with proposals to amend the Human Security Act to give the state more powers of suppression.

3. It is not enough that martial law in Mindanao be not extended beyond December. The structures and system of military control and rule it has built in Mindanao and across the country must be dismantled. Specifically:

– All residents of Marawi City should be allowed to return to their homes. They should be remunerated for the destruction caused by the wanton bombing ordered by Duterte. All AFP and US military forces in the area must be withdrawn.
– All military units occupying communities in the pretext of “peace operations” must be withdrawn to allow civilians to live in peace.
– All CAFGU and other paramilitary units must be dissolved. Their bunkers in and around villages, must be removed.
– Aerial and artillery bombardment near communities must be put to stop because it puts civilians in danger.
– All military and police officers involved in cases of violation of human rights must be charged and punished.
– Red tagging and surveillance against mass-oriented organizations must be ended.
– All political prisoners, most of whom are facing trumped up criminal charges, must be released.

4. The Duterte regime has declared “counterinsurgency” as its central objective. It aims to silence all forms of opposition and criticism against government anti-people programs. Duterte’s self-serving aim is to lay out the conditions to perpetuate himself and his family and political clique in power.

Wielding the National Task Force and the AFP/PNP, Duterte has mounted a crackdown against mass-oriented organizations. He is brazenly aggrandizing and abusing state powers.

Undeclared martial law has also given the military and police overarching powers to determine state policies at the national and local levels. Elected officials, as well as court judges, are unable to function freely outside of military supervision. They are constantly under threat in the face of military Red tagging and drug listing against those who oppose Duterte.

5. By carrying out widespread repressive measures, Duterte’s EO 70 and undeclared martial law are driving more and more people to support and join the New People’s Army. Indeed, Duterte is becoming the No. 1 recruiter of the NPA. The NPA now serves as the Filipino people’s strongest weapon against Duterte’s de facto martial law rule.

End martial law in Mindanao!
Scrap EO 70! Dismantle the fascist National Task Force!
End the de facto martial law regime!
Overthrow the US-Duterte regime!