Bayan Muna strongly condemns the renewed acts of violence and terror spawned by the
present intrusion and occupation of some areas and facilities in the Islamic City of Marawi by
elements of the extremist Maute group.
While we call on the authorities to decisively solve this problem and end the crisis in the
Islamic City of Marawi, yet, Bayan Muna strongly disagrees with and opposes Pres. Rodrigo Roa
Duterte’s extreme response of placing the entire island of Mindanao under Martial Law.
The declaration signals an all-out militarist approach that may prove even more disastrous to
the security, properties and lives of our people, particularly in Mindanao. In the past, these
extreme militarist measures resulted to massive and wanton violation of human rights of our
people by government security forces, particularly in the Moro areas of Mindanao.
We strongly urged Pres. Duterte to immediately lift the Martial Law declaration, especially with
the military’s own pronouncement that the affected areas are now “under control.” We
believed that the problem with the Maute group can be handled by the police and the military
if they only performed their jobs efficiently.
With the earlier military plans of aerial bombings, mortar shelling and all-out military assault,
among others, under the state of Martial Law, it will certainly cause much sufferings to the
civilian populace, considering that the city is also an urbanized area.
Instead of further listening to the extremist advises of the militarist members of his cabinet,
we call on the president to investigate and dig deeper into this clear breach of security -- with
the military and the police apparently totally in the dark despite its vast resources and the
millions of so-called intelligence funds under their disposal.
The declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao is extremely alarming and all democratic forces
should oppose the growing voice of militarist elements within the administration of Pres.
The events in the recent past were ominous of a militarist path: the placing of the entire
country under the state of emergency, the military’s quick declaration of an all out war
against the CPP-NPA- NDF, the continued militarization of many areas in Mindanao, including
the Moro areas, the growing militarization of the civilian bureaucracy, and now, the
declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.
We also call on the people to be constantly vigilant against attempts of anti-democratic forces,
especially the militarists in the government, to orchestrate events that will provoke further
crises, escalate the situation in Mindanao, and, provoke extreme responses from the
government, including the scuttling of the on-going peace talks between the government and
the different revolutionary groups.
We call on the people to initiate actions and activities calling for the immediate lifting of
Martial Law in Mindanao. Only the people’s collective will and action can prevent or defeat
these growing militarist thrust of the Duterte administration.