Memorandum Order No. 32 enforced a “defacto martial rule” and has “exceeded previous regimes in terms of human rightsviolations,” said Forro. Activists in Iloilo City protest what they describe as “de facto martial rule” in Negros Island, Samar and the Bicol Region due to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Memorandum Order No. 32 that bolsters the deployment of government troops in the three areas wrecked by violence. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN Bayan Panay demanded the scrapping ofthe memo “together with other policies that continue to criminalize dissentslike Executive Order 70 which targets democratic organizations throughprofiling, denial of government service, harassment, and intimidations.” Memorandum Order No. 32 was issued inNovember last year. “These acts are within the metes andbounds of our democratic rights enshrined in the Constitution and fall far frombeing considered as criminal acts,” stressed Forro./PN According to Elmer Forro, secretarygeneral of Bayan Panay, the memo resulted to bloody operations of governmenttroops primarily targeting activists for a year now. The recent Oct. 31 mass arrests ofactivists in Bacolod City and Negros Occ. was a result of Memorandum Order No.32, he added. ILOILO City – Cause-oriented groupBagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan Panay) staged a picket in front of CampDelgado, headquarters of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6), to protestMemorandum Order No. 32 from President Rodrigo Duterte ordering the deploymentof more troops to Negros Island, Samar and the Bicol Region. “Search warrants were irregularlyissued and resulted in hundreds of arrests and killings, particularly inNegros,” said Forro during the Nov. 22 picket. Executive Order 70 issued by thePresident in December 2018 institutionalized the “whole-of-nation approach” incombatting insurgency. Its rationale is: Neither the Armed Forces nor any lawenforcement squad alone can conquer insurgence. All agencies aboard should doits share in ending communist insurgency across the country. The support of allstakeholders must be enlisted. According to Forro, however,anti-people policies such as rice liberalization, oil deregulation, jeepneyphaseout, labor contractualization, privatization of basic social services andutilities, and low wages, among others, are what is pushing the people todissent. Citing data from human rights allianceKarapatan, Forro said political prisoners in Negros reached 91 whileextrajudicial killings of farmers and human rights lawyers climbed to 89.