“Pres. Duterte and the AFP turned Marawi into a city of rubbles. Now Mindanao is ruined due to the over extension of martial law and All-Out War,” Sandugo co-chairperson Jerome Succor Aba said in front of Camp Aguinado, headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Sandugo, Kalumaran and other Mindanao human rights groups staged an action this morning to denounce continuing martial law and All-Out War in Southern Philippines “that led to the destruction of communities, lives, culture and our future,” Aba said.
According to Barug Katawhan, a human rights organization in Mindanao, there are about 130 documented cases of extrajudicial killings since the declaration of martial law – most of which are peasants and Lumad. “Almost half a million national minorities have been forced out of their communities and are not allowed to go back to rebuild their lives,” Aba said. “Most are still suffering in cramped evacuations centers receiving minimal assistance from the government. Others have sought refuge elsewhere,” Aba said.
“There are now 404 individuals charged with trumped up cases in different courts. Almost all of those charged are national minority and peasant leaders, community organizers and human rights workers,” Aba said. “They are forced to face these false charges. Others go into hiding to secure their lives and their families,” Aba said.
“Illegal arrests are alsorampant. The latest is the case of Clarito Suarez, 70 years old and Ricmic Budta, 17 years old, both residents of Barangay Salvacion, Trento, Agusan del Sur. Both were illegally arrested by elements of the Philippine Army last May 9. The two were at their farm when the 25th Infantry Battalion conducted military operations in the area and took custody of the two. They were brought to AFP headquarters in Monkayo Compostela Valley,” Aba reported.
“This is the face of martial law and All-Out War in Mindanao – destruction. If the Duterte regime thinks he can to solve the problem of rebellion by destroying his people and his own island of Mindanao – then he is wrong. Fascist measures and repression will only push us, the national minorities to further resist, fuelling even more the existing rebellion,” Aba said.
“The Duterte regime should address the roots of social unrest and the on-going civil war. We resist because of the exploitation by big businesses of the natural resources in our ancestral lands and territories. This drives us away from our land and we lose our sources of life and identity,” Aba said.
“The national minorities long for a just peace in Mindanao. We will always work for a just and lasting peace for as long as it takes us. Even if we have to resist Duterte’s martial law and All-Out War,” Aba said.
The group called Pres. Duterte to end martial law in Mindanao and render justice to all the victims of his All-Out war.#