Resist Arroyo’s martial law and brazen attempts to remain in power

By CPP Information Bureau

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today called on the people to resist Gloria Arroyo's proclamation of martial law in Maguindanao as well as her brazen attempts to remain in power. "Gloria Arroyo's martial law in Maguindanao is an attack on the people, not serving justice on the Ampatuan clan, and thus must be confronted with a strong movement of the people," said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson. "It is in line with Arroyo's avowal to remain in power, through running for congress and other opportunist acts in her favor. The people must thus do their utmost and fight Arroyo and martial law today and in the coming months. The people must raise the clamor for Arroyo's ouster the more she remains intransigent."

Fr. Salas averred that the martial law proclamation was a ploy in Arroyo's favor. "Declaring martial law will not render justice to the victims of the massacre or make the election better in Maguindanao, where many believed the Ampatuans and Arroyo connived in 2004 and 2007 for their mutual interests. It is instead an act of the superior taking charge over the messy affairs of the subordinate to ensure the survival of their common interests, especially keeping Arroyo in power.

"The Ampatuan clan accused of responsibility for the massacre of over 50 people is closely allied with the Arroyo government. The mass killing is attributed to the clan's private army, largely composed of state-sponsored paramilitaries.Confiscating a staggering amount of guns and ammunition from the Ampatuans in fact has the marks of a charade: the government just taking back what it had given in the first place. It is also a grim message to the people that the real lethal armed force is not that of the Ampatuans, but of Arroyo and her military."

The NDF-EV spokesperson said that the martial law proclamation boded ill for the people. "With Arroyo's record of lies and underhandedness, today, it is Maguindanao, tomorrow it could be the whole country. Martial law gives Arroyo the undue advantage, if not in totally imposing a dictatorship, then in greatly manipulating the election that she wants to be a launchpad for prime ministership. Thus the people must not only actively prepare to cast their ballots, but even more actively take to the streets and other protest actions to register their strong resistance. As an expression of support, the New People's Army will also continue to step up tactical offensives to prevent Arroyo from focusing the military on coercing the people, and to pave the way for the overthrow of the reactionary ruling system so the people themselves can seize political power."