Sunday, June 4, 2017

AFP and martial law: Direct threat to lives and well being of people

"Terrorism and state terrorism have always been threats to lives and well-being. But you do not solve a problem by creating a bigger problem. Maute is a problem, but the Armed Forces of the Philippines and their implementation of Martial Law is a bigger problem," said Dr. Joseph M. Carabeo, Secretary General of Health Alliance for Democracy.

"What should have been a simple police problem and failed intelligence has been rewarded with vast military powers and authoritarian rule, directly threatening people's rights," added Dr. Carabeo. "We must remember that even without Martial Law, the police and military have been the primary violators of human rights in the Philippines. With the suspension of basic rights under Martial Law, we fear worse human rights violations by state forces."

"It doesn't help that fake news probably fueled the declaration of Martial Law, throwing the people of Mindanao into chaos. The people now 'turn to' the foremost human rights violators, the military, as their knight in shining armor," said Dr. Carabeo. "This condition drowns out the voices of the victims of military abuse, at the same time diminishes the evil and discriminatory character of aerial bombings, as if it can only be directed to their target terrorists. But the picture of thousands of people fleeing their communities is enough testament to the worsening situation than the military frenzy hopes to address."

"The peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, which aims to address the roots of our social problems, have also become a casualty," lamented Carabeo. "The panel and the people's hard work towards attaining a just and lasting peace has gone down the drain, at least for now. No justice, no peace, no health."

Health Alliance for Democracy beseechs the help of fellow health professionals, health workers, health science students and health advocates to call for the end of Martial Law in Mindanao. Vast military powers and authoritarian rule under Martial Law is an additional threat to the people of Mindanao. Casualties among civilians will only increase through aerial bombings. Never again to Martial Law!##