CUPE expresses solidarity with our partners (ACT and COURAGE) in the Philippines and the people in Mindanao following the declaration of martial law in May 2017.
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law for the southern island of Mindanao, following an armed confrontation between the Maute Group, an Islamic State affiliate suspected of plotting terrorist acts, and the armed forces of the Philippines.
We are disappointed that it appears this incident is being used to derail the ongoing and fragile peace process between the Philippine government, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and other liberation groups. We fear it will contribute to further destabilization in the area and lead to an increase to human rights violations.
We are deeply concerned that the suspension of ordinary law will increase military abuses against the Indigenous Peoples in the region, who are defending their lands against the extraction of natural resources, energy projects and plantations, and the militarization of their communities.
CUPE stands in solidarity with the Filipino people in these challenging times. Grounded in our mandate to uphold peace based on respect of human rights, we urge President Rodrigo Duterte to:
- Heed the call of its citizens and lift his declaration of a state of martial law. We further call on President Duterte to order a stop to military operations in Mindanao so as to allow a process of healing, reconciliation, and reconstruction for affected communities.
- Conduct a thorough investigation on the armed encounter in Marawi.
- Resume peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to address the root causes of armed conflict in Mindanao and across the country.
As we affirm our support and solidarity, we also appeal to the international community to act in unity with the people of the Philippines in their quest for a just and lasting peace.