STATEMENT: On the Marawi clash and the declaration of martial law in Mindanao

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The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) condemns in strongest term the terror attack done by Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf in Marawi City. This latest attack by the said terrorist organizations must be stopped, especially that there are many civilians who are greatly affected by the ongoing turmoil in the city.

However, we denounce the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to declare Martial Law in Mindanao as it paves way to possible abuse perpetrated by the state military apparatus. This will only intensify exponentially the militarization of urban and rural areas in the south, making the civilians suffer even further.

The government is insincere and duplicitous in its assertion that the declaration of Martial Law is meant to safeguard the Filipino people. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana openly admitted in Moscow that the reason why military rule is instituted was to curtail the activities of all those who rebel against the government. It is evident that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) took advantage of the situation for its counterinsurgency drive that is now unrestricted and uncontrolled because of the suspension of writ of habeas corpus.

The declaration of Martial Law by President Duterte will only result to unabashed military harassment to our populace and is detrimental to the attainment of a just and lasting peace in the region. The government should solve the root causes of the armed conflict and not rely on military means.

The decades-old insurrection in the south is linked to systemic plunder of our natural resources and systematic land grabbing to the farmers done by big multi-national companies and powerful clans. Most of the poorest provinces in the country is located in Mindanao.

Moreover, the mayhem that is happening in Marawi City will also be used by the government and United States to push for more military exercises in the country. This year alone, there are around 250 scheduled joint military exercises in the Philippines. They will justify that the presence of American military is essential to our own national security.

It can also be noted that the United States helped to create and fund ISIS in the early years of Syrian Civil War. Abu Sayyaf, a known ally of ISIS, is also a terrorist organization which is believed to be formed by the United States in ARMM. Furthermore, the Maute Group also swore its allegiance to ISIS.

If there is to be blamed in the chaos that is happening in Marawi City, it should be the imperialist greed of United States. If they did not help create and fund these terrorist organizations for their own interest, none of this would have happened. Aside from this, their companies have long plundered Mindanao, depriving its people of the richness of their land.

The Guild stands with the people of Marawi City in this tumultuous moment and is one with the Filipino people in seeking justice for those who were affected by the terror attack.

Posted by on May 25, 2017. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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