By YOUTH ACT NOW AGAINST TYRANNY BAGUIO-BENGUET
October 19, 2017
In the wake of the military’s announcement of victory over the Marawi crisis, we are calling for the subsequent lifting of the declaration of Martial Law over the whole island of Mindanao and the immediate commencement of a people-led rehabilitation and reconstruction of the stricken city of Marawi.
President Rodrigo Duterte on October 16 proclaimed the “liberation” of Marawi following the neutralization of top terrorist leaders, Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute, during a targeted operation. Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana also said that ultimate cessation of hostilities will ensue in a matter of days.
In light of these pronouncements, there remains no basis for the persistence of the Martial rule in Mindanao. We call for Congress to promptly convene to lift and revoke Martial Law. Such recent development renders unnecessary the stretching of Martial Law until December 31, as earlier decided upon by Congress. As evident in the recent experience, Martial rule cannot go on without grave political and socio-economic effects.
Following this, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi should be swiftly and inclusively implemented. Let local government units resume administration and lead the rehabilitation without military intervention. The soldiers should likewise be ordered to return to barracks and cease operations on field.
In the efforts to heal Marawi, the administration should compensate all displaced families for the destruction of their homes and livelihoods in the midst of the indiscriminate daily bombings by the military. The government must unhesitatingly provide funds for the reconstruction of the new Marawi, as it did with the allotment of budget for bombs and guns.
Moreover, we call on the Congress to set an inquiry or form a truth-seeking machinery to investigate and assess the handling of the conflict. Clearly, accountability should be held for the reported around 1,000 total deaths, more than 400,000 civilians displaced, and the mass destruction of Marawi City, as well as the victims of senseless human rights violations in the rest of Mindanao.
True liberation can only be declared upon the complete and comprehensive restoration of Marawi.
Meanwhile, fascist attacks still haunt the nation. Cases of killings under Oplan Tokhang continues, reports of killings and harassment of activists piles up, violations of democratic rights worsen by the day, and living conditions remain oppressive for the majority. We call on all Filipino youth and people to thrive in solidarity to defeat the dismal umbra hovering the nation that is fascism. # nordis.net