President Duterte should order an end to airstrikes and lift the martial law declaration in Mindanao following his recent apology to residents of Marawi City, according to Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas.
“President Duterte’s next logical step after his apology to the Maranao people should be the lifting of the martial law declaration. One cannot be sorry and yet continue causing massive damage to Marawi City at the same time,” Brosas, who visited the evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur last week, said.
Brosas also called on Duterte to refuse further US military intervention in the country. “It is becoming clear that the US is exploiting the Marawi conflict and fanning the terror scare to set in motion its military buildup in Mindanao in line with its geopolitical agenda in the region,” she said.
“Keeping martial law in place and allowing more US troops to join the military’s campaign will only worsen the current humanitarian crisis in Mindanao as more and more women and children are cramped into evacuation centers and the livelihood of more ordinary folks are disrupted.
The lawmaker, who participated in the National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission last June 14-15, said almost all evacuees point to the military’s nonstop aerial bombings as major reason for fleeing their homes. She said the government can neutralize the Maute terror group without using excessive force and without the participation of US military.
“We in Gabriela insist that the full-blown militarist approach to the Marawi crisis will never be the solution as it does not address massive poverty. Rather, it is making the ground more fertile for terrorist uprising and recruitment due to dislocation of families.
“What the government must do is to address the massive landlessness and poverty in Mindanao due to the expansion of corporate plantations and mining operations of oligarchs in partnership with foreign investors,” she added.
Gabriela also warned the Duterte administration against using the Marawi reconstruction needs to invite foreign capitalists to supposedly rehabilitate the city, saying the government should solely take up the rehabilitation challenge. #