Press Releases

NO TO EXTENSION OF MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO!

Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO)

December 14, 2017

NO TO EXTENSION OF MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO!

CODE-NGO strongly condemns the extension of Martial Law and the suspension of writ of habeas corpus in the entire Mindanao until the end of 2018.

We are deeply alarmed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s communication to House of Representatives (HOR) Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III to extend Martial Law in Mindanao citing alleged continuous threat of terrorism in the region following the Marawi siege, and the consequent approval of the HOR and the Senate of the act.

We believe that Martial Law is not a solution to addressing terrorism and the conflict in Mindanao. A military approach will not achieve genuine and lasting peace for all. Peace can only be attained through non-violence with the active and inclusive participation of all stakeholders.

Further, extending Martial Law clearly violates the limitations set by the Constitution. Our Constitution requires the following conditions as to when and to what degree the President can declare martial law, i.e.  “in case of actual invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, the President may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.” Since the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has long declared victory over Marawi City after it has defeated the Maute terrorist group which tried to take over the area, and that threats of remaining terrorists, armed groups or incidents of violence involving communist rebels do not constitute “actual invasion or rebellion,” then, there is no basis for the President to declare Martial Law.

Therefore, we condemn the acts of the President, the House of Representatives (HoR) and the Senate in extending the Martial Law in Mindanao until the end of 2018.

We appeal to the President, the HOR and the Senate to instead focus on addressing the root causes of conflict in Mindanao and to stay committed to the peace process.

We call on our member networks and base organizations and other civil society organizations to continue supporting the efforts of the humanitarian community in providing prompt and culturally sensitive aid for the affected residents of Marawi City and nearby communities and to fully participate in their recovery and rehabilitation.

Finally, we call on our citizens to remain vigilant and to continue promoting truth, justice and democracy in the country.

No to Martial Law extension! Never Again!