Karapatan on Memorandum No. 32: “Ito ang galawang diktador at terorista”

“Ito ang galawang diktador at terorista. In addition to the already worsening attacks on people’s rights in the country, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte through his Executive Secretary released Memorandum Order No. 32, adds another weapon in the current administration’s arsenal of directives that will certainly up the level of State terrorism against the people, especially in Samar, Negros Oriental and Occidental and in Bicol,” Karapatan secretary general said on the issuance of Memorandum Order No. 32 which reinforces guidelines under state of national emergency on account of alleged lawless violence in the aforementioned regions. 

Palabay added that “placing the said provinces and regions under state of national emergency based on highly questionable reports of “some sporadic acts” of “lawless violence” is a trademark dictatorial move, one that is used by desperate regimes like Duterte’s to justify their killings, illegal arrests and detention, torture, illegal searches, and other State sponsored crimes against the people, committed in pursuance of the bankrupt goals of Oplan Kapayapaan. Such tired old lines have already been used to justify and prolong the martial law declaration in Mindanao, where many reported violations on human rights are shrugged off by this regime as non-existent.”

The Karapatan official also noted that the memorandum’s provision on the respect for constitutional rights of citizens is a non-assurance as this administration tramples, spits on, and wantonly violates people’s rights. “We have Marcos’ martial law and the ongoing martial law in Mindanao as glaring reminders that such assurances are mere lip service. On the ground, however, State forces arbitrarily kill, detain, and violate rights with impunity and unaccountability.

Palabay questioned the said memorandum, adding that it reeks of the Duterte regime’s ulterior motives of installing a full-blown dictatorship. Recently, in a speech at the 35th founding anniversary of the AFP Reserve Command in Tanza, Cavite, Duterte said he no longer needs to declare nationwide martial law because he can arrest and kill whomever he wants. He then goes on to lecture people about remaining loyal to the flag and mentioning democracy.

“The hypocrisy is off the charts! He has said he will not declare nationwide martial law, but he has contradicted himself numerous times on previous statements. Certainly, Duterte is master of deception and double-speak. He also mentions democracy while openly declaring that he can kill and arrest anyone!  He is utterly shameless but altogether very dangerous. His policies have contributed to the worsening rights violations in the country and now he intends to shower his security forces with more power to abuse. This is indeed a creeping dictatorship, characterized by piecemeal implementation of repressive and fascist measures,” Palabay added.

“We call on the junking of Memorandum Order No. 32 and the martial law declaration in Mindanao. We demand the junking of Oplan Kapayapaan and an end to this despicable government’s fascist attacks against the people,” Palabay concluded.