Martial law extension plans show failure of militarist solution
Extending martial law will serve as a practical admission that Duterte’s militarist solution to the armed conflict is a big failure. The civil war across the country continues to rage on. The New People’s Army remains strong in Mindanao and across the country. The Moro people’s armed resistance is irrepressible.
By choosing to impose martial law and fascist violence to suppress the people, Duterte has succeeded only in inciting more people to take up arms. Under conditions of martial law, killings and widespread abuses have been perpetrated by the military and police forces with impunity.
Under Duterte’s protection, military and AFP-attached death squads have killed red-tagged personalities. Any expression of grievance or opposition, however legitimate under the Philippine constitution, is being severely suppressed.
Duterte is using martial law to conceal his refusal to address the social and economic demands of the people, especially the problems of the peasant masses and the Lumad and other minority peoples. Military force is being used to push the conversion of ancestral and agricultural lands to favor big plantation owners and mining operations. Self-organized Lumad community schools have been ordered closed. Peasant struggles demanding land have been violently suppressed as in the Sagay massacre.
Martial law and military rule has benefited only the big corporations and big landlords. To the ordinary masses, martial law is equal to government red-tagging and surveillance, arbitrary arrests, torture and state-sponsored killings. Widespread social discontent across Mindanao, Negros, Samar, Bicol and the rest of the country.
Proposals to extend martial law in Mindanao will serve also Duterte’s aim to buttress his declaration or de facto martial law nationwide. It falls right into Duterte’s perpetuation scheme through charter change.
Martial law in Mindanao and de facto martial law in Negros and across the country will continue to rouse the people to resist in all forms and wage armed resistance. Duterte’s armed suppression under martial law is giving the people no other recourse but to support the armed struggle and join the New People’s Army.