No to Martial Law! Esperon, Lorenzana and Año must go!

May 24, 2017

MANILA – The local affiliate of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) criticized Pres. Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao and called for the resignation of Philippine national security adviser Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr., defense secretary Maj. Gen. Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana, and local government secretary Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año for gross failure of military and civilian command as the Maute terrorist group attacked Marawi City yesterday.

The emergency cut short Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s scheduled four-day visit to Moscow and meeting with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

The ILPS-Phils seriously considers that the Marawi siege is another false flag operation by the United States to keep Duterte in tow.

“Duterte overreacts. The declaration of martial law in the whole island of Mindanao is like using a sledge hammer to kill a fly. The US-trained military is to be blamed for the rise of the Maute criminal gang now posing as Islamic State (IS) militants,” ILPS-Phils Chairperson Bong Labog said.

“Heads of officials should roll, among them Esperon, Lorenzana and Año. Giving them more power by martial law is rewarding them for their gross incompetence. The Marawi incident is not only a failure of intelligence. It is a total breakdown of peace as the military failed for decades to crackdown on the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute group,” he added.

The local kidnap-for-ransom groups have now been rebranded as “international terrorists” to justify a US-sponsored perpetual war.

Labog urged Malacanang to address the grave poverty and injustice in Mindanao as the military continues its offensives in Lumad and Moro communities.

“The military solution is no solution at all to the problems of Mindanao and the country. Duterte should let go of his Junta and devote himself as a peace builder not a war broker for the US, China and Russia.”

We call on the Filipino people to remain vigilant in asserting their rights and appeal to all peace-loving peoples of the world to denounce imperialist wars and militarism.