Filipino Activists: ‘Never Again to Martial Law’

(Photo via The FilAm)

Filipino activists condemned President Duterte’s declaration of martial law on the island of Mindanao at a May 26 solidarity vigil held at the 9/11 Memorial Fountain in Jersey City, reports The FilAm.

On May 23, the Maute rebel group took over the city of Marawi, on the southern island, following a failed attempt by the Philippine army to capture a militant leader. The uprising promoted Duterte to declare martial law on the island.

Joined by about 30 people, Ren Clacer, chairperson of GABRIELA New Jersey and others, spoke of the consequences of martial law and what it would mean for civil rights in the country.

“Martial law is not the answer to the conflicts occurring in the region. Militarization of communities leads to increased violence against women and displacement, [and] it increases the vulnerability of women and children to military abuse as well other human rights abuses,” said Clacer.

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“We condemn the attacks carried out by the Maute group in Marawi. They claim to have affiliations with Abu Sayyaf and ISIS. These are the very same groups that the CIA had trained to cause disruption among communities asserting their self-determination. U.S. and Philippine militarization has spawned terrorist groups in the Philippines that are now being used as scapegoats to further curtail the civil rights of the people,” said Rodrigo Bacus of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns Northeast (NAFCON NE).

Go to The FilAm for remarks from others who attended the vigil.

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