What my folks back home are saying…
1) No to Martial Law. It is not the answer and never in history has it led to anything asides from heightened state repression. .
2) The Maute Group, Abu Sayaaf, and pseudo-ISIS groups must be stopped. Folks support that. Martial Law is not needed to do this. .
3) Intensified and indiscriminate military actions. These have displaced people in areas like North Cotabato, not to mention the tens of thousands that have evacuated Marawi City. .
4) Harassment and State Repression. A few hundred people were arrested in Davao City simply for not having ID. My organizer folks there have also noticed possible surveillance by undercover agents. True or not, the new conditions are creating a heightened sense of paranoia and stress for people doing social justice work on the ground. .
5) Peace talks. Super important but seems to get little play outside the PI. The demands by the reds for a just and lasting peace are less about laying down arms and primarily about improving the social and economic conditions of the toiling masses; to address poverty, landlessness, imperialism, and the other root causes of things like extremism and drug abuse (which, by the way, Duterte’s drug war will not resolve). .
6) Martial law will only serve to embolden a military force that is already notorious for human rights abuses, kidnappings, and extrajudicial killings. These actions almost always come at the expense of the poor, women/children/elderly, and indigenous communities. .