PRESS STATEMENT: Minda-wide group protests vs Martial Law, clamors for Duterte ouster

October 23, 2018


Minda-wide group protests vs Martial Law, clamors for Duterte ouster 
Cagayan de Oro City — Around 5,000 protesters held a march rally this city today to call for the immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao. The Mindanao-wide delegation, composed of human rights advocates and people’s organizations, denounced the scores of human rights violations perpetrated by state forces since the declaration of President Duterte of the law last year.

Cagayan de Oro City — Around 5,000 protesters held a march rally this city today to call for the immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao. The Mindanao-wide delegation, composed of human rights advocates and people’s organizations, denounced the scores of human rights violations perpetrated by state forces since the declaration of President Duterte of the law last year. 

“The Mindanao Day of Protest Against Martial Law aims to expose the human rights violations against the people and the legitimate people’s organizations including illegal arrests, filing of trumped-up charges, harassment and intimidation and extrajudicial killing. President Duterte aims to silence the people’s clamor for genuine social and economic reforms by branding legitimate organizations as ‘enemies of the state’ and giving license to the police, military and the courts to go after the opposition using flimsy excuses and wrongful accusations,” Fr. Alejandro Abejo, IFI of Movement against Tyranny Northern Mindanao Region (MAT-NMR) said.
According to Fr. Abejo, MAT-NMR has documented five (5) cases of extrajudicial killings, eighty nine (89) cases of illegal arrests and detention, ninety (90) cases of trumped-up charges and 720 victims of forced or fake surrenders.

“Ang mga target sa martial law sa Mindanao dili man mga armado nga rebelde kundili kami nga mag-uuma nga nagtinguha sa tinuod nga reporma sa yuta. Bugti sa among pagduso sa among mga katungod ug tinuod nga kabag-uhan mao ang kabangis sa militar ug pagpanghadlok sa korte nga gipakita karun sa estado (Martial law in Mindanao targets not the armed rebels, but the farmers who are aspiring for genuine land reform. The state responds to our legitimate struggle for rights and genuine social change with brute military force and harassments in the courts),” Michael Pineda of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Northern Mindanao Region (KMP NMR) also said.

Mr. Pineda further stated that their leaders including Ireneo Udarbe of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Northern Mindanao Region (KMP-NMR), Alfredo Abao of Balingasag Farmers Association, Jerry Basahon of Misamis Oriental Farmers Association (MOFA) and Merlita Dorado of Gabriela Misamis Oriental were illegally arrested and detained for trumped-up charges of murder and frustrated murder for their alleged participation as members of the New People’s Army (NPA). 


However, Mr. Pineda asserted that the pattern of demonizing legitimate organizations as NPAs is systematic and state-sponsored. He stated that the crackdown aims to silence peaceful dissent and hide the true economic situation of the country — one that favors the local elite and the foreign corporations.

KMP-NMR also said that their contingents from Valencia Bukidnon were barred yesterday from attending the Kampuhan sa Mag-uuma (Camp-Out of Farmers) while on their way to this city. Two of their members were also illegally arrested and detained. While the members were released and the delegation was able to attend the rally today, KMP NMR insisted that the government, through martial law, jails the critical voices while the plunderers such as Gloria Arroyo and the Marcoses are left to roam free. 

“Ang kalisod ug kagutom nga nahiaguman sa katawhan karun ug ang pagpanumpo sa mga nagapangita og kabag-uhan mas labaw pa sa diktaturya sa panahon ni Marcos. Ang pagpangilog ug yuta sa mga mag-uuma, ang pagpalayas sa mga Lumad sa yutang kabilin, ang kamahal sa pagkaon ug serbisyo, nagpakita sa pagkakontra-katawhan ni Duterte ug ang pagkadugta sa iyang rehimen. Gihinay-hinay og patay ang katawhan sa kalisod samtang gipriso ug gipatay ang nagtinguha nga maundang ang kalisod (The poverty and hunger that the people are experiencing today and the persecution of those who seek genuine change is worse that the Marcos dictatorship. The proliferation of landgrabbing of the lands of farmers, the forced evacuations of Lumads from their ancestral domain, the expensive food and services, shows that Duterte is anti-people and that his government is rotten. The people are killed slowly by poverty while those who seek to end poverty are jailed and killed),” Datu Jomorito Goaynon of Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization also said. 

Datu Goaynon also said that if President Duterte remains in power, poverty, hunger and fascism will continue. He said that the people are left with only the resolve to collectively assert their rights and welfare in the streets and to call for the ouster of President Duterte. He further said that Duterte should also pay for his crimes in court along with other human rights violators.


The activity started at 10:00 in the morning with a march rally. The group carried flags and placards and chanted their calls while en route from the Press Freedom Monument, Provincial Capitol Grounds to Magsaysay Park, Divisoria where they held a program. 


The Mindanao Day of Protest against Martial Law was spearheaded by MAT-NMR, Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization and KMP-NMR. The group is also commemorating the International Peasant Month and held series of activities including the Kampuhan sa Mag-uuma yesterday where they brought their concerns to various government agencies. 

Human rights advocates and church people were also sighted attending the rally. Among them are bishops and priests of Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) who were also reported to have experienced harassments by military state forces.

 
The rally ended at 4:00 in the afternoon with the burning of a Duterte-gera effigy and community singing.


Reference:
Fr. Rolando Abejo, IFI, Spokesperson, Movement Against Tyranny Northern Mindanao, 09980263642
Datu Jomorito Goaynon, Chairperson, Kalumbay, 09367848134
Michael Pineda, Council Member, KMP-NMR, 09552454611

Source:

Movement Against Tyranny – Northern Mindanao Region

Date: October 23, 2018