45 years after Ferdinand Marcos implemented Martial Law in the Philippines and enforced a policy of cruelty against the Filipino nation, President Rodrigo Duterte has declared Martial Law over Mindanao and threatened to enact Martial law over the whole country. In the strongest terms, U.S. based members of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines condemn the U.S.-Duterte’s regime’s declaration of Martial law, the aggressive militarization of the whole country, and the regime’s increasingly horrific human rights record.
Amidst the campaigns of human rights defenders, lawyers, farmers and church people for just and lasting peace in the Philippines, Duterte quickly stifled peace talks with the National Democratic Front, revealing the true intentions of the regime in its three wars — the war on drugs, the war against the Moro, and the war against the National Democratic Front — all of which ultimately become a war against the basic rights of the Filipino to land and life. An estimated 13,000 have been killed in the drug war, and as of June 30, 2017 Karapatan documented 68 victims of political killings and 842 victims of illegal arrests, nationwide. At least 416,005 individuals were displaced and 357,569 were subjected to indiscriminate gunfire and aerial bombardment.
The actions of the Duterte regime are clear. When the people launched the campaign for Kapayapaan, for just and lasting peace, the U.S.-Duterte regime launched their own campaign, “Oplan Kapayapaan,” a war against the people–a military plan based off U.S. counter insurgency programs that mimics Oplan Bayanihan and Oplan Bantay Laya–wars of his predecessors–well known for human rights violations and forced disappearances.
Duterte’s continuation of war against the people and reconstitution of Martial Law 45 years after it was first declared is evidence that the people’s movement has the tyranny of the U.S.-Philippine State on its heels. The burgeoning people’s movement in the Philippines is demonstrating not only its strength but the relentless will of the people to claim their civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights.
Resistance is the right of the Filipino people. Solidarity is our duty.
As the Pacific Northwest chapter of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, we call for the immediate lifting of Martial law and express our deepest solidarity with the Filipino people’s movement for self-determination. In place of the continuing state violence against the people, we call for the continuation of the peace talks, and particularly the discussion and implementation of the Comprehensive Agreements on Social and Economic Reforms, which holds at its core the sovereignty of the Filipino people to assert their rights, particularly the national minorities, the Moro, the women and children who bear the brunt of human rights abuses under Martial Law.
Lift Martial Law! Continue the Peace Talks! End Tyranny!
Reference: Drew Elizarde-Miller, ICHRP-PNW, firstname.lastname@example.org
*The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines is a global network of organizations outside the Philippines, concerned about the human rights situation in the Philippines and committed to campaign for just and lasting peace in the country. It aims to inform the international community about the grave human rights situation in the Philippines today. Beyond information dissemination, it calls on freedom loving peoples, organizations, political parties and governments all over the world to express their concern about the still deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines and to help the tens of thousands of victims in their quest for justice.