“Duterte is becoming more like his idol Marcos by the hour,” Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said.
KABATAAN Party-list strongly denounces Duterte’s threat once again to impose martial law in Mindanao, and to ignore “collateral damage” in ordering state forces to “flatten the hills” and perform all-out and indiscriminate bombing that will endanger the lives of civilians in the guise of pursuing state enemies.
“Either tulungan ‘nyo ako or I will declare martial law tomorrow for Mindanao,” Duterte said to Mindanao local officials in Davao City yesterday, March 9.
“Martial law is the only logical conclusion in the Duterte administration’s maneuvers to reinstate an atmosphere of fascism and terror in the country,” Elago said, citing the administration’s previous maneuvers starting with the war on drugs, the moves to reinstate ROTC, and recently, and Duterte’s political leveraging that led to the approval of the death penalty in congress.
“Martial law will only pave the way for more greater and graver state-sanctioned atrocities and killings, and would worsen the number of casualties since the start of all-out war. Hindi pa ba tayo natututo?,” Elago said.
According to Duterte, martial law “would open the doors of every house there, the arrest of every person, the detention of every person, every one, anyone. The military and the police would be allowed to just pick you up from the street and detain you.”
“Duterte has already demonstrated his fascist iron fist with the 8,000 and counting indiscriminate killings under the war on drugs and Oplan Tokhang and Double Barrel. Despite his efforts to deodorize his annihilation campaign by enticing the Church to get on board, the body count continues to rise,” Elago added.
In addition, reports cite at least 39 political killings of activists and farmers while at least 30 political prisoners have been arrested under Duterte. Thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes in the course of Duterte’s counterinsurgency Oplan Kapayapaan and all-out war.
“Sowing fear and terror will not solve the root causes of poverty, crime and armed conflict. In fact, even Duterte admits he could not control the armed insurgency. But what makes him think imposing martial law will stop it? Marcos and his succeeding regimes have tried to flatten mountains and drop bombs to quell the armed groups but to no avail,” Elago exclaimed.
“Duterte’s stubbornness and refusal to resolve roots of poverty, hunger and massive social inequality will only fan the flames and rage of the Filipino people. It is only a matter of time, before Duterte unveils himself as no different from his predecessors,” Elago said.
“His promise to uplift the lives of the Filipino people thru the abolition of contractualization, free education – will soon lose its luster. His populist rhetoric is nothing but a veneer for intensified neoliberal attacks against the people. It is his administration that is losing support from the people,” Elago added.
“And just like the dark days of Martial Law, the Filipino people will rise up and unite against the fascist rule. The youth is ready to fulfill its role as agents of political change. Together with the workers, peasants and other sectors in their millions, we will link-up with them and smash the system that has long betrayed us and build a better future without oppression,” Elago concluded.
Youth groups held protests at the Department of National Defense office this morning to condemn these pronouncements and protest the continued violations under Duterte’s ‘all-out war’.
UP Diliman students under the Tanggulan Youth Network for the Defense of Human Rights and Civil Liberties also held protest actions against fascism and impunity under Duterte at the UP Palma Hall today 5:30 in the afternoon. ###