We resist the deployment of troops from the 14th Civil Military Operations in Negros Island for the implementation of EO 70 last February 27, 2020, a violence-tainted Executive Order issued by the Office of the President. The said deployment is to augment the existing soldiers of the 303 Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The sole motive of this state-sponsored military response is to heighten the ambiance of fear in Negros island; it is never ethical to use war as an instrument of peace – President Rodrigo Duterte and his military mad dogs want more bloodshed than peace!
We ask the Provincial officials (Occidental & Oriental) and the local officials in Negros Island to withdraw support in this total war approach of the Duterte administration, aware that the priority need of Negros island is social justice. With this, in the name of just peace, we reiterate our call for both public officials and civil society organizations (and even individuals) to not endorse this National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELAC). Our officials would rather pressure the Duterte government to investigate and end the spate of killings in the island.
As church people, we believe in social transformation as a way to achieve just peace, not in the name of a pseudo Martial Law. To gamble peace, in a state-sponsored violent approach of war is morally wrong!
As church people, we call on the AFP must withdraw from Negros rather than augment the number of executioners!