AYIPN calls the Philippine government to lift the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.
We also condemn the terrorist attack of Maute group to Marawi City, Mindanao and the outgoing military operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Mindanao as a result of the declaration of martial law against the alleged Islamic State-linked Maute group and Abu Sayyaf. The intensified martial law and all-out war against terrorist and rebel groups only heightens human rights violations, destruction of private and public properties and increased casualties in particular national minorities in Mindanao.
Clashes between government troops and terrorists from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups erupted May 23, and has since left at least 140 members of the Maute group, 58 soldiers, and 21 civilians dead and is still increasing as of today. At least 70,000 evacuees are in different evacuation centers still not able to return to their homes. We urge President Rodrigo Duterte to lift the martial law declaration as it is not a solution to terrorism.
We are alarmed that the martial law declaration will only add to the abuses experienced by the indigenous Lumads and Moro in Mindanao even before the declaration of martial law. Martial law will intensify military operations against communities that only long to protect and defend their lands against destructive projects implemented by multi-national companies.
AYIPN is also in solidarity with the Filipino people in their quest for just and lasting peace. We urge that the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to continue peace talks in order to address the roots of the armed conflict in the country.
We, the indigenous youth of Asia, must stand firm and support indigenous peoples in Asia in their fight to self-determination, land rights, and just and lasting peace.