Resist Duterte’s scheme to declare nationwide martial law

Public Information Office
NDFP National Council
Press Statement | September 6, 2018

Photo: AFP

The NDFP National Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the bombing attacks in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat on August 28 and September 2 that killed five people and wounded at least 52 others. It denounces the Philippine National Police (PNP) for maliciously insinuating that “Communists” were responsible for the attacks. The NDFP moreover calls on the Filipino people to resist any attempt by the Duterte regime to use these bombing incidents as pretexts to Red-tag and crack down on the legal democratic movement and declare nationwide martial law.

The NDFP views with great suspicion the eagerness by which Duterte’s cohorts have invoked the Isulan bombings to support moves by Malacañang to extend martial law in Mindanao. Other Duterte allies have also pounced on the incidents to call for the swift adoption of amendments to the Human Security Act (HSA) that would make the latter an even viler instrument of repression. 

It would not be farfetched for Duterte to have masterminded the Isulan bombings, follow this up with other acts of violence against civilians, have these blamed on other so-called threat groups and use this to pave the way for nationwide martial rule. He is following the example of his idol Marcos who masterminded bombings and purported plots to bring down the government, and blamed these on the NPA and the CPP to justify the declaration of martial law.

Duterte’s martial law authorities have dotted the whole of Mindanao with checkpoints and are in virtual control of the island. Only Duterte and his minions have the means and opportunity to cause such carnage. With his contempt for the welfare of civilians, Duterte would not hesitate to shed more innocent blood to serve his evil end of imposing martial law beyond Mindanao.

One year of martial law in Mindanao has already resulted in 49 extrajudicial killings, with most of the victims belonging to Lumad or local peasant organizations demanding genuine land reform or resisting militarization. The human rights group Karapatan has also documented 22 cases of torture, 116 victims of frustrated extrajudicial killings, 89 victims of illegal arrest and detention and 336,124 victims of indiscriminate gunfire and aerial bombings from May 23, 2017 to May 23 this year. At least 404,654 persons have been displaced in the same period, largely due to military air strikes on their communities. 

Any extension of martial law within or outside Mindanao will mean killings, torture, illegal arrests and detention, aerial bombings and forced evacuations on an even wider scale.

The people can cast out the looming specter of barefaced fascist rule nationwide by forging their broadest possible unity and rising up in ever greater numbers against Duterte’s rising tyranny.