Martial Law in Mindanao
Group slams absence of external security allocation in 2018 defense budget
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday questioned the 2018 proposed budget for the Department of National Defense (DND) that is worth P145 billion if this includes the development of external defense that will uphold our territory and sovereignty against foreign intervention, particularly against China who continues to claim most part of the West Philippine Sea.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA lambasts the large budget allocation for the national defense which will definitely be used for its repressive war campaigns such as the all-out-war and martial law in the whole Mindanao.
“Instead of developing our external defense capabilities, the government is more devoted to its self-declared war against its so-called internal threat which actually targets ordinary civilians on the ground. We are dismayed that President Duterte has no plan to modernize our naval equipments to defend our sovereign rights from China’s illegal occupation and reclamation in our waters,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group says increasing the fighting capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should curtail the external threat rather than using it to intensify attacks against its own people under the banner of total war, war against drugs, and war on terror.
“The budget for defense is obviously a coffer to step up state-perpetrated offensives against the Filipino people especially those who actively resist government’s repressive policies and laws. President Duterte downplays the evident threat to our national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” added Hicap.
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. ###