Intensify revolutionary resistance to counter Martial Law!

Stand with Marawi against terror and fascist military rule!

We, revolutionary scientists and engineers under Liga ng Agham Para sa Bayan (League of Science for the People, LAB), strongly condemn President Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.

We likewise denounce the violence unleashed by the Maute group in Marawi City that continues to sow terror among residents and has forced the evacuation of countless families. We stand in solidarity with the people of Marawi against both extremist terror and blanket military authority through Martial Law.

There is no justifiable reason for Duterte to declare Martial Law in the whole island, much less the whole nation. To use the attacks perpetrated by the extremist Maute group as grounds for doing so is questionable, at the very least.

The Maute group’s strength is of no significant measure to justify the declaration of military rule in the whole island. The AFP cannot even give actual numbers of the Maute group.

Only months into his office, Duterte has already started spewing threats of Martial Law, building in the minds of the populace the illusion of the need for Martial Law—a tactic very similar to how he harped on the drug problem to propel himself to presidency.

This sledgehammer knee-jerk reaction will surely result to countless human rights abuses. Even without additional power and authority, warmongers in the AFP have already committed murders, abductions, illegal arrests and the like to dozens of farmers and Lumads in the region asserting their rights to their lands and livelihoods.

Only a few days into Martial rule, hundreds of citizens have already been rounded up with no substantial reason other than their lack of identification cards to present to the AFP.

We in LAB are no stranger to the evils of Martial Law during the Marcos dictatorship. Scores of our members have been subjected to torture, detention, and enforced disappearances during the period.

If anyone would benefit from Martial Law, it would be the fascists in the military as well as the big landlord-comprador bourgeoisie. In fact, the Chamber of Commerce has outrightly supported the declaration of Martial Law. The ruling class sees the need for military rule to protect their businesses, following the rise of punitive actions conducted by the New People’s Army (NPA) against despotic landlords and compradors.

The declaration of Martial Law cannot come at a more opportune time for the ruling elite and their military pack dogs, days before the start of the fifth round of peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP. The parties was set to finish the discussion on agrarian reform and economic development through National Industrialization in this round.

The ruling elite refuse to hand over their monopoly control over the country’s land and economy, and will pull all stops to derail ongoing negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Socio Economic Reforms. They have high hopes that even a temporary martial rule over Mindanao, which Defense Secretary Lorenzana has said will target the New People’s Army, will be a significant stumbling block to the ongoing peace negotiations.

Military attack dogs of U.S. imperialism, on the other hand, are all too eager to unleash their force and go after the NPA in Mindanao, which has gained tremendously in strength and support in the past decade. We expect to see even more violations to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) under martial rule.

Duterte must recognize that ultimately, addressing landlessness and widespread poverty in the country is the only path for genuine and lasting peace. Terror groups such as Maute and ISIS exploit these conditions to strengthen themselves, leading the masses astray from revolutionary struggle as a just means of addressing their plight.

We thus demand Duterte to lift the Martial Law declaration in Mindanao or otherwise face the full force of the people’s militant resistance. The revolutionary movement is duty-bound to protect the rights and welfare of the Filipino people against tyranny and fascism.

We call on all scientists and engineers, as well as the Filipino masses in the whole country to intensify the revolutionary struggle to counter Martial Law and all forms of terror and fascism. We must step up our efforts to arouse, organize, and mobilize the masses for genuine, just, and lasting peace. ###

Topics: Duterte, Marawi, Martial Law, Mindanao
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