By Reynard Magtoto
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) strongly denounces the Duterte regime for imposing martial law in Mindanao and subjecting the Filipino people to military rule.
Recently, Duterte has placed the entire Mindanao under martial law in response to the attacks perpetrated by ISIS-affiliated Maute group in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. He said in reports that the martial law in Mindanao will not be different from 1972 Martial Law of the late Dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Declaring himself as “as harsh” as former President Marcos, Duterte has practically ordered the AFP soldiers to impose its rule and carry out more abuses with extreme impunity.
The martial law imposition, was made on the narrow pretext of armed clashes in Marawi City between the AFP and the so-called Maute Group, a bandit group whose leaders have known links with military officials. In the vain hope of justifying the martial law declaration, the fascists are turning Marawi City into a wasteland in the same way that parts of Zamboanga City was razed to the ground in 2013 by the AFP with aerial bombardments and heavy gunfire.
By declaring martial law in Mindanao, Duterte has gone beyond the threats and theatrics of the past months according to CPP’s press statement. “The civil-democratic rights of the people across Mindanao are being curtailed as they are subjected to checkpoints, warrantless arrests, curfews and other restrictions,” the statement added.
With martial law imposed in Mindanao, CPP stated that the reactionaries will surely be more barefaced in employing military and police forces to suppress the struggles of workers and peasants and other sectors for genuine land reform, higher wages, better living conditions as well as environmental protection against foreign mining operations.
With martial law, “Duterte has further emboldened the AFP to intensify its campaign of extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, indiscriminate firing, military occupation of communities, forcible evacuation and hamletting of communities, aerial bombings and a myriad forms of military abuses,” CPP stated.
The imposition of martial law and the worsening human rights abuses that will come out of it will surely be brought forward in peace negotiations as violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) according to CPP.
According to CPP, Duterte has declared martial law in Mindanao in the face of persistent contradictions among the ruling classes, threats of coups and other machinations. By doing so, he is asserting his role as commander-in-chief in the hope that he can ingratiate himself with the military echelon and preempt plans of certain military officials from undertaking a coup d’etat. Along the same objectives, he has also appointed an increasing number of military officials in his cabinet and other government agencies.
“He aims to employ his dominant majority control of congress to get support for his martial law declaration and give him the authority to extend it to a full 60 days or more,” CPP stated. “With Marcos-like authoritarian powers, he can push for the implementation of large infrastructure projects beyond public scrutiny.”
If Duterte succeeds in securing congressional support for martial law in Mindanao, CPP is sure that he will be emboldened to impose martial law on the entire country. “He can easily come up with more pretexts such as “fighting criminality” and so on,” CPP added.
CPP calls on the Filipino people to vigorously oppose Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao and demand its immediate lifting. They must unite all forces to oppose military rule in Mindanao and resist plans to impose all-out authoritarian rule in the country according to CPP.
CPP encourages the people to carry out and intensify protest mass actions nationwide, banner the demand to end martial law, assert civilian rule and respect for civil and political rights as well highlight the basic demands of the workers and peasants and other democratic sectors.
In the face of the Duterte regime’s martial law declaration in Mindanao, CPP said that there’s a clear necessity for revolutionary armed struggle. The communist group advises its New People’s Army (NPA) to plan and carry out more tactical offensives across Mindanao and the entire archipelago. (BaretangBikolnon.com)