Friday, June 23, 2017

CPP/Ang Bayan: Editorial - Heed the cries of Marawi and Mindanao

Propaganda Editorial from the English edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 21): Editorial - Heed the cries of Marawi and Mindanao

Ang Bayan, Editorial
Communist Party of the Philippines

21 June 2017

As the AFP siege and occupation of Marawi and the imposition of martial law in the entire Mindanao drag out, the fog of disinformation and deception grows thicker. Military officials, Duterte and his spokesmen and instigators, daily weave tall tales that seek to bury the truth.

They cook up all sorts of stories about Marawi and control the flow of information. Gun in hand, the AFP issues threats against anyone who will release information, through the media or the internet, that they deem damaging to their image or helping those forces they call enemies or rebels.

It is the task of the revolutionary movement to unearth and reveal the truth about the siege and destruction of Marawi as well as about the imposition of Mindanao martial law which the Duterte regime, the AFP and the US seek to bury.

The war which Duterte and the AFP brought to Marawi City is styled as a war against the so-called Maute Group. Duterte himself claims that the Mautes are involved in drugs, are terrorists or “ISIS.”

In fact, the war was ignited after the AFP soldiers raided the city of Marawi on May 23. They were part of an operation believed to be run by the US military to capture “foreign terrorist” Abu Sayyaf-leader Isnilon Hapilon and pocket the $5 million reward money. Like the 2015 botched Mamasapano operation, the deluge of soldiers in Marawi City was met with resistance by various armed Moro groups, including the Mautes, a prominent family from Butig, Lanao del Sur.

Almost a month has passed since the AFP besieged Marawi, yet it has failed to crush what it calls a “small terrorist group.” In war, a “small” group cannot persist in continuous battle if it has no broad support among other armed groups, leaders and people in the area.

For some time now, armed groups have been coming to Marawi, center of Moro culture and commerce. These are among the emerging Moro groups who wish to pursue the Bangsamoro armed revolution. Some armed groups, like the Mautes, once belonged to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), an organization whose leaders have declared they will no longer wage war.

Some of these groups are furious at the US military and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which they denounce for meddling in local politics. The GRP-AFP-US stoke armed rivalries among clans to divide the Moros and weaken their resistance. US military presence has been building up since 2003 when the US declared the Bangsamoro area as the “second front in the war against terror.”

Arming themselves is the Moro people’s response to their continuing national oppression under the GRP. The Moro people continue to be subjected to the GRP’s duplicity, oppression, violence, rape, punishment and dispossession through its men in the AFP.

Many of these groups are dismayed at the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) being
crafted by the GRP and MILF and some groups in the MNLF. Among the key issues confronting the Moro people is the question of Bangsamoro resources. Hundreds of hectares of land are being coveted by foreign big capitalists and their local partners to turn into plantations.

The Duterte regime is pushing for BBL amendments to attract the Moros to
surrender their arms and subsume themselves to the GRP, AFP and US military. A bloody war, like the destruction of Marawi, is what Duterte promises to those who would not unite with his plan.

The various armed Moro groups emerging are being brought together in various ways by Islam and the Shari’a Law (like the MILF before). Some of their leaders look up to the ISIS (in the Middle East), a group supported and funded by the US to overthrow the elected Assad government in Syria. But for the armed Moro groups, the basic issue behind their taking up of arms is the struggle against oppression and for self-determination.

Like the imperialists, the Duterte regime is fanning “black scare” or Islamophobia (fear of Islam) to justify the oppression of the Moros and obscure their socio-political issues. Duterte labels the present Moro armed resistance as “extremism” even when they have long waged armed struggle for their welfare and rights.

Even without solid basis (except for flying the black flag which is the
universal symbol of Islam), he claims the armed fighters are under the ISIS. Muslims are automatically suspected of “terrorism.” Moro communities in Davao City and in Manila are subjected to surveillance. Muslims in Marawi are subjected to AFP stringent restrictions.

Not even Duterte can deny that the prolonged resistance in Marawi indicates the unity of the Moro people and the armed groups. This is being buried by supposed reports of armed attacks against civilians. Such attacks should be denounced, if true. To gain the people’s support, one must avoid harming civilians and train weapons only against the armed enemies.

Duterte insists that because of “extremism”, a communal war among clans is inevitable. On the contrary, the war ignited by Duterte in Marawi will only bring about greater unity among the Moro people and will push them to open another chapter in the armed struggle for their right to self-determination.

MARTIAL LAW TRAMPLES on the rights of millions of people. Cases of police and military abuses are on the rise. The people are fed up with restrictions against their freedoms and denial of their rights. Under martial law, the AFP’s all-out war against the people has worsened.

The Party strongly denounces the Duterte regime for the US and AFP’s relentless bombing and destruction of Marawi. People’s homes have been plundered and destroyed. The AFP insists only 26 civilians have been killed, while there are reports stating that at least one thousand bodies have been brought to funeral homes.

The Duterte-AFP-US siege of Marawi has resulted in a grave humanitarian crisis. More than three hundred thousand from the city and neighboring towns have been forced to evacuate and currently are without homes or livelihood.

Duterte has virtually unleashed a genocide against the Maranaos and Moros of Marawi. With Mindanao martial law powers, Duterte has fed Marawi to his wild beasts in the AFP hoping to tame the military. The banner of the “war against terror” which Duterte raised is now being used by the US to expand its presence and intervention in the Philippines.

Duterte has declared his plan to impose martial law across the country. The Party and entire revolutionary movement will oppose this rigorously.

The broad masses in Marawi demand justice for all the lives killed by the bombs and cannons and for all their stolen possessions. The Filipino and Moro people must make the Duterte regime account for all the destruction dealt in Marawi.

Everything must be done to help the people of Marawi during their evacuation and in their struggle to return to their city; unite and join their struggle to be justly recompensed for all the damages resulting from the siege of their city.

The Party calls on the entire Filipino and Moro people: Heed the cries of Marawi and Mindanao. End the AFP’s siege and occupation of Marawi! End martial law in Mindanao! Pull out AFP and American troops from Marawi! Make Duterte, the US and AFP pay for all their crimes against the Moro people!

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