The Daily Manila Shimbun


Militant groups urge end to martial law in Mindanao

June 12, 2017

Militant groups urged an end to martial law in Mindanao in a rally at Bonifacio Shrine a day before the Supreme Court holds oral arguments on its legality. "We gather to show our opposition to martial law in Mindanao and possibly other parts of the country. We call for an end to aerial bombardment of Marawi and other conflict areas," a s statement by militant groups said Monday. "As the Marcos dictatorship showed, martial law is not the answer to the complex problems of Mindanao," it added. President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law for 60 days in Mindanao on May 23 as the Maute group, inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and the Abu Sayyaf, attacked Marawi City. After three weeks of fighting, at least fifty-eight soldiers and policemen have been killed in intense battles in Marawi. On Friday, thirteen Marines died as the gunmen attacked them using improvised bombs and rocket propelled grenades. Nearly 300,000 have fled Marawi to other areas, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said last Saturday. Although the groups extend their "solidarity to the victims of the Marawi siege" and "condemn the deliberate acts of terror by ISIS-inspired Maute at the Abu Sayyaf...", they call for a need to "address the roots of the problems-- massive poverty, social injustice, corruption and failure to assert national sovereignty and genuine independence." DMS