Youth groups led by Anakbayan today joins other sectors in a protest outside of Congress in time for a special joint session requested by President Rodrigo Duterte for the extension of martial law in Mindanao up to the end of the year in December 31, 2017.

“If he thinks after inciting the killing of 12,000 mostly poor people in his futile war on drugs and butchering Moros in his disastrous war in Marawi, more bloodshed and destruction will bring peace then he is seriously mistaken,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

“By his repeated inciting violence against the poor and oppressed, Duterte has shown his true colors. Change will never come from an utak-pulbura regime that wrongly believes killings and repression will solve all the country’s problems,” said Crisostomo.

In a statement on Friday categorically cancelling the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Duterte said he has money for armaments and is willing to sacrifice 20 million people in his counterinsurgency war.

“No more talk, let us fight and save enough money for the arms and buy the new ones, the precision-guided missile. And there’s too much of us, 110 million. We can sacrifice about 20. So, it becomes 80. Hindi na overpopulated,” said Duterte in his speech.

“Let the Filipinos sacrifice. Karamihan naman ng mga sundalo mo mahirap, taga-bukid and the Lumads, and the indigenous people. Let them die. Me, I have an Armed Forces and Navy and police,” Duterte added in the same speech.

The youth leader said Duterte’s repeated incitements of violence have resulted in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stepping up military offensives and aerial bombings of civilian communities suspected of sympathizing with communist rebels, especially in Mindanao.

“We have seen a surge of violations of rights and civil liberties under Duterte in just 2 months of martial law and even without it outside Mindanao. Extending martial law will only lead to more abuses by the police and military,” said Crisostomo.

He said martial law has given soldiers further license to harass and kill Lumad, farmers, workers, and activists. Not less than 10,000 have been forcibly evacuated in Mindanao on top of the over 400,000 displaced from Marawi because of the AFP rampage all over the island.

Anakbayan also vowed to join massive protests on Duterte’s state of the nation address on July 24 to register strong opposition to the regime’s plan to extend the duration and even expand the scope of martial law nationwide.


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