Lift Martial Law in Mindanao! – Fisherfolk to Duterte
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday scored President Rodrigo Duterte for declaring Martial Law in Mindanao following the clash between the state forces and the Maute Group in Marawi City yesterday.
The fisherfolk group said military rule even in the past has never resolved any lawless violence in the soil but rather, it creates more human rights abuses and hostilities against ordinary civilians.
“We oppose the Martial Law declaration in Mindanao. This will subject unarmed and ordinary civilians to more human rights abuses, warrantless arrests and filing of trumped up charges perpetrated by the state forces. It will also make the civilian communities a battle ground between the government forces and their alleged ‘enemies’, making the civilians as collateral casualties,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said even with the absence of Martial Law, peasant and Lumad communities that have been fighting for right to land and self determination are highly militarized; activists and peasant leaders are being killed. Now that Martial Law has been declared, it will heighten the dictatorial and suppressive character of the state forces.
The fisherfolk group raises doubt on why the martial rule has been declared in the whole of Mindanao when the clash only occurred in Marawi City.
“We fear that the real score behind Martial Law is to curtail the legitimate struggle of the people in Mindanao for land, justice and peace. President Duterte must unconditionally lift his martial law declaration because it is clearly unjustified and obviously dictated by the warmongering military generals in his Cabinet,” ended Hicap. ###