Karapatan slams move to extend martial law in Mindanao
An alliance of human rights groups criticized President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to extend martial law in Mindanao, saying it would lead to a “collision course” against “people’s rights.”
“The plot is becoming predictable. Dependent on the dictates of US-loyal military lapdogs, Duterte has set the stage ready for martial law extension and its possible expansion,” Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay said during a protest action at Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame on Thursday.
Palabay said the military influenced Duterte’s actions under the veil of national security.
“The three main operators of militarism, DND chief Delfin Lorenzana, AFP chief Eduardo Año, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, [are] driving the Duterte government in a collision course against people’s rights,” Palabay said.
Karapatan said there had been 68 victims of political killings and 842 victims of illegal arrests as of June 30. At least 416,005 individuals were displaced and 357,569 were subjected to indiscriminate gunfire and aerial bombardment in Marawi, North Cotabato, Bukidnon, Davao del Sur, and Davao del Norte, among other areas in Mindanao, it added.
AFP: No rights violations
Spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said there had been no reports of rights violations since martial rule was imposed on Mindanao.
“We are on its 57th day, I believe, of the enforcement of martial law, at so far, wala po tayong ulat, ng report ng pag-abuso sa ating hanay (We have no reports of abuses from our ranks),” Arevalo said during a press briefing on Thursday.
“Ganunpaman, atin pong patuloy na inaanyayahan ang ating mga kababayan na nakaranas, kung meron man, ng pag-abuso (Nevertheless, we continue to invite our fellow citizens, who experienced, if ever, any abuses) from anyone on our rank to come over and inform us about it and we assure you that we are going to take action against those who might be faulted or found guilty of violation,” he said.
Arevalo, however, assured the public that the possible extension of martial law would strictly adhere to existing laws, including human rights.
“If martial law will be extended at all, ito po ay ipatutupad ng ating mga kawal, ng ating mga sundalo nang may paggalang sa batas, nang may pagkilala sa karapatang-pantao, at ang ating patuloy na pagkiling sa legal na pamamahala at pagpapatupad ng martial law,” Arevalo said.
Congress is set to convene on July 22 to discuss Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao until December 31 of this year. Rogelio Nato, Jr., INQUIRER.net trainee
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