Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Workers assert martial law in Maguindanao will not bring justice to massacre victims

Press Release
December 9, 2009

The labor party-list group Partido ng Manggagawa joined today’s multi-sectoral mobilization initiated by the newly-formed November 23 Movement to demand justice for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre and call for the lifting of Presidential Proclamation 1959 imposing martial law in the province. Calling the martial law imposed on Maguindanao as “a cure worse than the disease,” PM called on Congress to revoke the Presidential Proclamation 1959.

Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson said that “Martial law means giving full power to the military to rule over Maguindanao yet the AFP itself is suspect in coddling and colluding with the warlord clan of the Ampatuans. The large cache of buried military-issue weapons found near the property of the Ampatuans reveals their unholy alliance with AFP. How then can the military rule deliver justice to the victims of the Maguindanao massacre when it has a cozy relationship with the suspect Ampatuans?”

A contingent of workers and poor from PM trooped this morning to the assembly site in front of UST Espana and then marched to Mendiola. The PM contingent brought a makeshift backhoe made of carton with the message “We will not forget the women, journalists, media workers and other victims of the Maguindanao massacre.”

PM is asking voters to watch how the senators and representatives will act on the review of PP 1959. “The elections are coming to town in just a few months and so the solons should bear in mind that people are looking who will be naughty and nice. We appeal to the people not to vote for legislators who will affirm PP 1959,” Magtubo declared.

PM argues that sustaining PP 1959 will lead to more abuses. “Already the AFP vice chief of staff for operations is recommending an extension of martial law up to the elections supposedly to ensure peaceful and credible elections. This is classic example of military intelligence. It is precisely the military-controlled areas in Mindanao which are notorious for poll cheating and stories abound of wholesale fraud in military camps where election watchers are easily intimidated,” Magtubo asserted.

“In a bid to explain the incredible, ex-General Jovito Palparan has confessed to the fact that indeed the military was arming the Ampatuans on the sorry excuse that they were allies in the fight against Muslim rebels. Yet the Ampatuans are not just allies of the AFP against the MILF, they are collaborators of GMA in past fraudulent elections. There may be a hidden agenda in the imposition of martial law in Maguindanao,” he added.

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