Arroyo, Dominguez and Piol are responsible and must be punished for the continuing atrocities and bloodshed in Mindanao!

Sep. 30, 2008

Statement on the 36th Anniversary of Martial Rule:

Arroyo, Dominguez and Piol are responsible and must be punished for the continuing atrocities and bloodshed in Mindanao!

The people in south central Mindanao have lodged a formal complaint with the People’s Court – Far south Mindanao region against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, of Sarangani governor Miguel Rene Dominguez and North Cotabato vice- governor Emmanuel Piol for the continuing bloodshed and unmitigated atrocities in Mindanao. In a period of just one month or since the Arroyo regime reneged on its avowed commitment to forge peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), close to half a million poor people have suffered the brunt of state terrorism in Mindanao.

For the manhunt of MILF commanders Bravo and Kato, the regime has unleashed an all-out war against thousands of innocent and defenseless civilians. The indiscriminate bombing and shelling of Moro communities in North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Lanao and Sarangani have spelled untold suffering for civilians (mostly women and children) who are forced to seek shelter in evacuation sites. Even during this Holy month of Ramadhan, state persecution of the Moro people continues shamelessly and without letup.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is proud to have so much blood on its hands and Arroyo is a modern-day Hitler who has totally lost her conscience in her manic drive to stay in power and further facilitate the plunder of resources in Mindanao by US (United States) imperialist interests.

Attendant to the national policy of state terrorism are the two most bloodthirsty and divisive politicians in the person of governor Dominguez and vice- governor Piol. Both have instigated an internecine war in Mindanao by arming ordinary civilians to fight against the Moro people. Both have lust and ambition for power, lands and wealth.

In Sarangani, Dominguez with the 73rd infantry battalion (IB) has been quick to mobilize Task Force Gantangan, Tribal Force and other vigilante formations to further whip up a vicious anti-Moro campaign in his province. Under the pretext of hot pursuit operations against the MILF, militarization continues unabated and the poor folk of Sarangani are forced to leave their homes and farms.

In a climate of constant fear, landgrabbing for the big landlords becomes so much faster and easier. This is very favorable and beneficial for the governor who has been itching to get his hands on the vast lands of Sarangani for the biofuel (jatropha) project, the expansion of Dolefil’s pineapple plantations, the entry of largescale mining and the continuing growth of the Alcantara-Dominguez empire. Dominguez takes after his Alcantara grandfather, erstwhile crony of the dictator Marcos whose landgrabbing of Manobo lands for his IFMA plantation sometime in 1994 in Talaingod, Davao del Norte caused the death of so many poor Lumad (indigenous) people. And like his father, Paul, who has been facilitating the development aggression in Mindanao such as the large-scale mining of the much hated Xstrata-SMI, Migs Dominguez is also responsible for the wholesale plunder of Sarangani, the expropriation of ancestral lands and the further marginalization of the Lumads.

For his part, vice-governor Piol has been overzealous in resurrecting the dreaded Ilaga to fight against the Moro people and against communist revolutionaries in Mindanao. It is public knowledge that the Piol family, through the Ilaga fanatics, has been able to build their private army and expand their landholdings. They now have more than 2,500 hectares of prime agricultural land in North Cotabato. and the vice-governor wants more. He has pushed the formation of the Reform the Ilaga Movement and other fanatic vigilante groups like the Muslim-Free Mindanao, Tadtad, Crusade of the Children of God and Tribal Force to wreak havoc among the populace. This will facilitate the easy entry of the US multinational companies, who are very much interested in the natural gas of Liguasan Marsh and the rich agricultural lands of North Cotabato.

The national democratic movement, including the Moro people, strongly condemns and vows to resist this latest assault by the fascist Arroyo regime and its minions in Mindanao. The New People’s Army in far south Mindanao is committed to launch more tactical offensives to defend and fight for the interest and welfare of the poor and oppressed, including the Moro masses. The brutality and the lust for wealth and power of Arroyo, Migs Dominguez and Piol will only further fan the flames of resistance and revolution. Our mass organizations, our political organs and our People’s Court will not rest until true justice is served and those who are guilty are made accountable.#

For reference:

(signed) Ka Dencio Madrigal

Valentin Palamine command

New People’s Army

Far south Mindanao region

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