DECLARATION of martial Law in Negros Oriental will never resolve the spate of killings but will only lead to further human rights abuses.

Isang malaking kalokohan ang nilulutong martial law ng gobyernong Duterte sa Negros Oriental. Tandaan natin na ang sunod-sunod na pamamaslang ay nangyayari sa harap ng 11 regular at espesyal na batalyon ng AFP, PNP, Cafgu at RPA-ABB sa isla ng Negros. 20 sa pinaslang na magsasaka sa Negros ay resulta ng Sempo (Synchronized Enhanced Managing of Police Operations) noong Disyembre 27, 2018 at Marso 30, 2019. Tumindi, mas naging madalas, at maramihan ang pagpaslang matapos ideklara ni Duterte ang Memorandum Order 32 na kumitil sa buhay ng 45 Negrense (Floating the idea of raising martial law in Negros Oriental is a big joke. Let us not forget the successive killings are happening despite the presence of these battalions. Twenty farmers were killed as a result of Sempo on Dec. 27, 2018 and March 30, 2019. More killings took place after Duterte issued Memorandum Order 32 that resulted in 45 deaths.)

No one was held accountable on the brutal killings while state forces continue to put the blame on farmers’ organizations and on the NPA even without evidence.

With the militarization of the agricultural community that resulted in a spate of killings, isn’t that already martial law?

The victims’ kin demand justice. What the Negrenses need is genuine and lasting peace. Militarism will not resolve the massive landlessness and land grabbing in Negros. It will not feed farmers’ families during tiempo muerto. Martial law will only make the state forces “untouchables” while farmers, farm workers and their families remain targets of state attacks and abuses.

We are urging all sectors to defend Negros and to oppose Duterte’s martial law. Let us stand with the kin of the victims of human rights abuses in Negros.