Resist MO 32 as Duterte’s declaration of de facto nationwide martial law

On the occasion of International Human Rights Day this December 10, the National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas calls on the Filipino people to fight the US-Duterte regime’s declaration of de facto nationwide martial law through his Memorandum Order (MO) 32 and to support the armed struggle against his burgeoning fascist dictatorship.

On the one hand, Duterte’s MO 32 shows his intention to impose nationwide martial law other than Mindanao alone; on the other, it is
a declaration of de facto martial law in Eastern Visayas and an intensified crackdown against all opposition – armed or not.

In the region such as in other parts of the country, battalions of reactionary state forces swarm the countryside, waging a lawless war
that does not discriminate between combatants and unarmed civilians. In the name of counter-insurgency, entire peasant communities are
bombed, militarized, forced to evacuate, and subjected to their combat, intelligence and psywar operations masquerading as done by
“peace and development teams” or PDTs. By the hundreds, alleged supporters of the NPA are arrested and dressed up by the AFP as “fake surrenderees”. Programs dangled as assistance such as the E-CLIP and “rewards” for turned-over firearms are actually piggy banks from which ranking officials pocket money. Without respect for their own laws or for international humanitarian law, the AFP and the PNP are the true perpetrators of “lawless violence” in Samar and Leyte, and not the NPA.

In contrast, the people cherish the People’s Army. In them they find defenders, and in the people’s court, true justice. Duterte’s security
officials cite the capital punishment meted out to Samar ex-mayor Ananias Rebato as a reason for the declaration of “lawless violence”
in the island but in truth, it is proof that with the justice system of the People’s Government, individuals who commit grave crimes
against the people are duly punished.

When Duterte declares that the deployment of additional AFP and PNP forces in the region are to secure the 2019 elections, he means that he wishes to secure the elections for himself and his local cohorts. His strongman rule recognizes no opposition, any criticism of him
answered with foul-mouthed tirades and death threats. Lawyers, the media and the clergy are not spared. Strikes and demonstrations borne out of the masses’ outrage over high prices, low wages and an overall worsening economic crisis either fall on deaf ears or are violently dispersed. Activists are silenced through harassments, detentions, or killings. With the arrests of peace consultants diligently performing their work for the GRP-NDFP negotiations, Duterte makes clear his intent to pursue a militarist solution to the decades-old civil war rooted in social and economic inequalities.

As Duterte exposes himself as a true power-crazy fascist, the Filipino masses must defend their democratic rights and engage in all forms of struggle including through people’s war. The revolutionary movement and the broadest unity of those against Duterte must strive to end his reign of terror once and for all.

Resist MO 32 as Duterte’s declaration of de facto nationwide martial law