Mindanao-wide military ops under Martial Law disrupt peace talks

Military forces roam Davao City after the Martial Law declaration. Photo by Davao Today
Mindanao-wide military ops under Martial Law disrupt peace talks

In the four days since Pres. Rodrigo Duterte placed Mindanao under Martial Law, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has carried out air strikes and heavy artillery shelling in eight provinces with the presence of communist rebels, leading to the death of one Moro civilian and evacuation of more than a thousand farmers, according to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

This was cited by the NDFP as the reason why they deem “unreasonable” the demand of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) for a bilateral ceasefire before proceeding with the scheduled fifth round of formal peace talks.

As of this writing, the fate of the talks are still in a limbo after the GRP announced yesterday that they are cancelling the fifth round due to the order of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to the New People’s Army (NPA) to intensify attacks on government forces following the Martial Law declaration.

The GRP panel assured the NDFP that the target of Martial Law in Mindanao is not targeting the NPA despite an earlier statement by Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana, while the NDFP has asked the CPP to reconsider its order.

The NDFP cited the following AFP attacks on both Moro and non-Moro communities in the following areas: Compostela Valley, Davao City, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, Saranggani, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and Bukidnon.

“These areas are at least 100-180 kilometers away from Marawi City,” said Fidel Agcaoili, chair of the NDFP negotiating panel.

On May 25, the second day of Martial Law, hundreds of elements of the 39th IBPA dropped allegedly bombs, shelled and indiscriminately fired 50 caliber machine guns at dominantly Moro communities in Brgy. Salata and Tuael in President Roxas, North Cotabato and Brgy. Tangkulan and Anggaan in Damulog, Bukidnon.

Human rights group Karapatan reported that village officials in Brgy. Salata have confirmed the death of Abdullah Mamansag, who was killed when shrapnel hit his spine and severed his right leg, while Norhamin Dataya, 25, and Dodong (not his real name), 14, were wounded and currently in critical condition.

Dataya was reportedly hit by shrapnels from artillery bombs while Dodong was hit in his chest and stomach.

Karapatan said that 105 Howitzer cannons were used by the military at Brgy. Kisupaan, Pres. Roxas, North Cotabato, causing more than 1,000 residents (252 families) to flee their homes.

Also yesterday morning, two farmer members of the Unyon sa Mag-uuma nga Nakigbisog (UMANA), Nestor Quintaro and Gilbert Rodella, were illegally arrested by elements of the 66th IBPA for still unknown charges, while another farmer, Eranio Lapus, remains missing.

Under Proclamation No. 214, the writ of habeas corpus was suspended, thus allowing warrantless arrests.

According to Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, “The GRP attempts to downplay these violations in the ongoing peace talks in The Netherlands by putting across issues outside the substantive agenda in the negotiations, while the situation of the people in Mindanao is worsening by the minute, with the onslaught of military operations further legitimized by the Martial Law declaration.”

More in News

Bakwit sa Mindanao: ‘Itigil na ang air strikes, ihinto ang Martial Law’

Azlie Ann VillahermosaJune 23, 2017

Mga magsasaka ng Ilocos, umalma sa anomalya sa tobacco excise tax

Bastin AdriasJune 22, 2017

Maranaos to AFP: ‘Don’t burn our city, stop air strikes’

Altermidya.NetMay 27, 2017

Air strikes sa Marawi, sinimulan kahit marami pa ang di nakalikas; 1 sibilyan sugatan

Altermidya.NetMay 26, 2017

CPP: Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao has wider target, purpose

Altermidya.NetMay 25, 2017

Workers urge Duterte on EO to end contractualization

Altermidya.NetApril 27, 2017

Lumad student abducted in Davao del Norte

Altermidya.NetApril 12, 2017

DSWD vows to help Lumad displaced by aerial bombs

Kilab MultimediaApril 6, 2017

Farmers call for ‘free land distribution’ ahead of peace talks

Altermidya.NetMarch 31, 2017

Altermidya (People’s Alternative Media Network) is a national network of independent and progressive media outfits, institutions and individuals in the Philippines.

Subscribe to get the latest updates!

Like us on Facebook!

Copyright © 2015 | People's Alternative Media Network