Is Martial Law in the Philippines’ Future?

Communist guerrillas to step up offensives to resist martial law.

In seeking to resist martial law, the CPP/NPA may well be providing the pretext for Duterte to roll it out nationwide

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has today (Wednesday, May 24) called on its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), to conduct more offensives to resist President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

In a press statement, the CPP said: “The party calls on the NPA to plan and carry out more tactical offensives across Mindanao and the entire archipelago [sic].

“In the face of the Duterte regime’s martial law declaration in Mindanao, the necessity of waging revolutionary armed struggle becomes ever clearer.”
The statement went on to urge the NPA to accelerate its recruitment of fighters.

The president put the entire island of Mindanao under martial law yesterday following clashes with the Islamic State-affiliated Maute Group in Marawi City. The fighting has left five government personnel killed and at least 31 injured.

The CPP has denounced the declaration, and said waging an armed resistance was the “most effective way” of resisting martial law — which it said was proven during the regime of President Marcos.

“As proven under Marcos, waging revolutionary armed resistance is the most effective way of resisting martial law, defending the people’s democratic rights and inspiring them to wage ever greater struggles,” it said.

Meanwhile, the CPP also urged Filipino people to demand the immediate lifting of martial law. “The CPP calls on the Filipino people to vigorously oppose Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao and demand its immediate lifting,” the statement said. “They must carry out and intensify protest mass actions nationwide, banner the demand to end martial law, assert civilian rule and respect for civil and political rights as well highlight the basic demands of the workers and peasants and other democratic sectors.”

The CPP said Duterte’s basis was made on the “narrow pretext” of the armed clashes “in the vain hope of justifying the martial law declaration.”

The group also said Duterte only positioned himself as a military ruler and strongman when he vowed to be harsh against the Maute Group, which it claimed only emboldened the military in committing human rights abuses.

“In doing so, Duterte has practically ordered the AFP soldiers to impose its rule and carry out more abuses with extreme impunity,” it added.

The CPP also warned that Duterte may declare martial law in the whole country. “If Duterte succeeds in securing congressional support for martial law in Mindanao, he will surely be emboldened to impose martial law on the entire country. “He can easily come up with more pretexts such as ‘fighting criminality’ and so on,” it said.

Maybe that pretext will be the CPP’s own call for resistance?