Martial law extension, possible expansion, is “all-out war” against the Filipino people – KMU

Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) denounces in strongest terms Pres. Duterte’s plan to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year.

“Pres. Duterte has become putty in the hands of US puppets General Lorenzana, Esperon and Ano. Extending martial law will not bring forth just peace. Martial law will not stop atrocities by the AFP and the PNP. It will not put an end to the Marawi conflict. It will only further embolden and give license to state forces to suppress and oppress the masses. It will only set the stage for a wholesale violation of the people’s freedoms and democratic rights,” said Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general.

Adonis said that Duterte’s martial law should be exposed for what it truly is, an all-out war against the Filipino people.

“Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao has actually only further ignited the Moro people’s rebellion brought on by their decades-long struggle for self-determination. It has provoked the intensification of armed resistance of the Moro people in retaliation for the AFP’s indiscriminate aerial bombardments resulting in countless deaths and the destruction of Marawi City. Extending martial law will only prolong the agony of the people of Marawi and Mindanao,” Adonis said.

Martial law extension and its possible expansion will also further jeopardize the peace talks between the GRP and the National Democratoc Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

“Lorenzana has made it very clear that the CPP-NPA-NDF is their target as much as the Moro people. His ‘all-out war’ declaration in February has come into full force since martial law has been declared. Attacks against civilian communities have stepped up not only in Marawi but in the whole of Mindanao and other parts of Luzon and Visayas. Lumad people continue to be victims of extrajudicial killings, threats and harassments. Unionists and workers’ strikes have been violently dispersed and suppressed. Illegal arrests and killings of activists and human rights defenders are rampant. Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao or nationwide is an attack against the Filipino people,” Adonis said.

Adonis said that it is also no surprise that big businesses are backing up Duterte’s plan to extend martial law until the end of the year. “Through martial law, Duterte can exercise absolute power to push neoliberal economic policies to the delight of foreign businesses and local oligarchs. Privatization schemes, debt-ridden infrastracture projects, onerous tax reforms and exploitation of our labor and resources, these are all in Duterte’s economic agenda, to the detriment of the Filipino people.”

“Workers will be at the forefront of the Filipino people’s opposition to the extension of martial law in Mindanao and its possible expansion nationwide,” Adonis said.

KMU called on all Filipino workers and the people to join nationwide protests set on Duterte’s July 22 Congress special session, and the massive anti-martial law protest set on July 24, Duterte’s State of the Nation Address. ###