ON THE APPROVAL OF MARTIAL LAW EXTENSION BY SENATE AND CONGRESS

Saturday, July 22, 2017

It is with rage that we greet the approval of Senate and Congress to extend the declaration of martial law in Mindanao up to December 31, 2017. With 261 votes in the affirmative versus 18 in the negative, both Houses have effectively exposed themselves as rubber stamps of Duterte’s militarist policy, especially for as long as it serves their interests.

An extended period of military powers on steroids will give leeway for another period of abuses, violations, detentions, evacuations, and other invasions of human rights especially in Lumad and Moro communities. All of these no thanks to the AFP operatives under the US imperialist command, as it hacks through the increasingly unstable Duterte regime, desperate to regain control of the Philippine and economic landscape.

We condemn the arrest of the #Kabataan8 who launched a lightning protest during the proceedings to register their rightful call to condemn the increased all-out offensives under martial law, especially the recent evacuation of Lumad communities as vocalized by the community teachers of ALCADEV. By answering the dissent with arrests and harassment, the state has exposed its grave hunger to enact martial law.

The heightened offensive of the state will not quell but will only further incite the resistance of the Moro and Lumad and other peoples. Crisis generates resistance. For as long as the state is stubborn on answering the root causes of poverty and crisis, the Moro, Lumad and other minorities will continue their struggle for self-determination. The people, thus, will continue to march for their aspiration for a just and peaceful society, a struggle that cannot be achieved by full-blown military rule. ###