Stop Martial law in Mindanao, intensify revolutionary struggle

New People’s Army Regional Operations Command
Southern Mindanao Region

Press Statement
May 25, 2017

The New People’s Army Regional Operations Command in Southern Mindanao calls Proclamation No. 216 dated May 23, 2017 of GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte imposing State of Martial Law and Suspending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the whole of Mindanao a recipe to intensify revolutionary struggle against the ruling system.

The proclamation is not a knee-jerk reaction to the Marawi incident but a long-thought of plan by the military generals that helped catapult Duterte to the GRP presidency. As hatched by the rabid, ultra-right, anti-communist diehards of his administration, among the targets of Duterte’s proclamation according to Gen. Delfin Lorenzana is the revolutionary movement in Mindanao. Thus, in doing so for such period of time, Duterte has given the NPA the de facto and compelling reason to do away with ceasefire for the time being and intensify tactical offensives against his government.

Duterte attempts to consolidate his power, not by siding with the interest of the masses, but by fulfilling the wishes of military generals to resurrect full-blown martial power over the civilian bureaucracy. His appointment of Gen. Año as Martial Law administrator after the latter’s assignment to the GRP’s DILG post is proof of the AFP’s hand in resuscitating the Marcosian rule by undermining civilian powers and promptly installing a military government. Gen. Lorenzana would later be designated as the Martial Law administrator while Gen. Año as chief implementer.

In less than 48 hours, Duterte’s declaration gave a chilling effect as senseless arrests and apprehension of Moro civilians and other civilians were made, movement and usual routine in business establishments were regulated, and travel and movement by ordinary workers and commuters were stifled. Cities are being transformed into garrisons, while struggling peasants, workers and leaders of people’s organizations are even made more vulnerable to harassments, abuses, torture, and threats.

Ordinary citizens, professionals and most importantly, the peasants, workers and other basic masses should rally against Duterte’s foolhardy proclamation to protect their fundamental rights to life, security, expression, assembly, due process, movement, privacy and other basic rights. Duterte’s proclamation is driving the Filipino people to take up arms and struggle against this government—ironically, acts of rebellion and insurrection which his proclamation seek to stifle.

Thus, all NPA subregional, front and other territorial units are directed to protect and defend the people in their areas of jurisdiction. The NPA shall complement efforts of the People’s Democratic Government in all levels in the region to campaign against and stop the Martial law. Red fighters shall defend the masses in the offensive mode by launching tactical offensives against legitimate military targets. All NPA units shall pre-empt abuses by military and police officers by imposing arrests and checkpoints against these Martial Law implementers.

There is no other way for the people to enjoy its precious freedoms but by actively protecting such basic liberties. And it cannot be fought for without waging arms and advancing the war.

Rigoberto F. Sanchez