The US-Duterte regime, employs terror tactics and scare propaganda to create scenarios for martial law’s extension in Mindanao and its probable imposition nationwide

Press Statement | 12 November 2018

Ka Joaquin Jacinto
Spokesperson, NDFP-Mindanao

Photo: Reuters

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)-Mindanao strongly condemns the US-Duterte regime for employing, through the Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police (AFP/PNP), extreme militarist measures, black ops, terror tactics and scare propaganda to create scenarios that lay the ground for the extension in Mindanao of martial law, which, highly probably, would be imposed on a national scale by early 2019.

These include, to wit:

1. The series of bombing incidents in Mindanao, such as those that occurred in the province of Sultan Kudarat and the municipality of Midsayap, which conveniently fit into this scheme, whose scare effect was even bolstered by spreading rumors of possible “bombing by terrorist groups” in other areas in the country, including the national capital region.

2. Duterte and the AFP has also conjured and foisted the “Red October” plot, which was a preposterous piece of fantasy about a conspiracy between “the Magdalo mutineers and the Communists” that went ignominiously pffft. This “plot” also became Duterte’s convenient albeit flimsy excuse to skirt from his earlier promise to resume the NDFP-GRP formal peace negotiations in October.

3. To make it appear that “the NPA threat” goes beyond Mindanao, the US-Duterte regime, in its desperation, accused the NPA for the massacre of hapless Sagay sugar farmers, a dastardly crime that, known to many, was perpetrated by state security and paramilitary forces in cahoots with the goons of big landlords in Negros.

4. Under the pretext of “safeguarding the country against drugs,” Duterte has further militarized the bureaucracy, placing former Chief of Staff Gen. Leonardo Guerrero in the Bureau of Customs not to protect the bureau from billions worth of drugs from being smuggled in but to make sure that future drug shipments will enter the country without any scuffle, and secure Duterte’s reign as the biggest most powerful druglord in the country.

5. The AFP is further selling the extension of martial law in the Mindanao as a “necessary tool” to protect the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which is to take place by January 2019. Duterte’s objective of course is to keep Moro resistance, both armed and unarmed, at bay to ensure that his regime’s version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law will get resounding approval from the Bangsamoro populace. Duterte’s BOL in truth does not guarantee genuine respect of the Bangsamoro’s right to self-determination.

6. The Duterte regime will also use the power and influence it musters under martial law to ensure victory for its bets running in the midterm national and local elections come May 2019. This is to further consolidate his power in the second half of his term, ensuring his looming dictatorship.

Martial law’s extension beyond December 31, 2018 in Mindanao is already a done deal, consequent to the extension of the US-Duterte regime’s deadline to “decimate the New People’s Army” by mid-2019. Thus, for the AFP and the PNP to hold so-called “consultations with the people” on whether or not to extend martial law in Mindanao is already moot. The result would most certainly be “lutong makaw,” as these are fake or mock consultations. Since the AFP is conducting it, the people who are supposedly consulted would only be asked under duress, “consulted” under the barrel of a gun.

That martial law in Mindanao has not shown its ugly head is a complete and utter lie. In fact, basic political and civil rights are violated daily in military and police checkpoints that dot every corner of the island, continuing to hassle, intimidate and harass the general public. Consequent to the imposition of martial law, extra-judicial killings as well as the filing of trumped up charges against professionals, church people, mass leaders, media people, activists, peasant and Lumad masses and other innocent civilians have escalated.

The killers, obviously death squads and hired mercenaries coddled by the AFP and the PNP, are emboldened by martial law to perpetrate these dastardly crimes, and launch a crackdown on legal and progressive organizations in all regions in the island. In the Mindanao countryside, the Duterte regime’s Oplan Kapayapaan has further intensified its militarization, raining hell with aerial bombings and shelling that result in deaths, destruction of farms and houses and the massive evacuation of thousands of peasants and Lumad, such as the incidents in Misamis Occidental, Surigao del Sur, Compostela Valley, Bukidnon and North Cotabato.

With martial law in effect, the further persecution of the Bangsamoro people continues. Marawi remains off-limits to the Maranaw people as its full rehabilitation and restitution is intentionally delayed to continue emasculating the Moro people from bouncing back to resist state oppression. But the real reason for this frenzy to extend martial in Mindanao and most probably declare it on a nationwide scale: the US-Duterte regime has not yet fully brought to the fore its fascist dictatorship because the AFP will not be unable to comply with its directive to decimate the NPA by end of 2018.

The NDFP-Mindanao calls upon the people to unite and resist Duterte’s martial law and his looming fascist dictatorship. Oust Duterte now!###