Groups fear more rights abuses in Mindanao
Human rights groups on Wednesday slammed the decision of Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year, saying this would only bring havoc and terror to residents of the island.
In a statement, the rights group Karapatan dismissed the claim of government policymakers that continued enforcement of martial law was meant to maintain peace in the South.
“The Duterte regime has been recycling excuses and repeating lies that martial law is about security and peace, while it cannot be hidden that it only brings about havoc and terror among the people,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Former Human Rights Commissioner Loretta Ann Rosales said the extension was “unconscionable.”
“The executive shows the least respect for democratic processes to establish peace and harmony in Mindanao,” Rosales said.
Konsensya Dabaw, a group in Davao City opposed to martial rule, said the extension would only institutionalize martial law as the “new normal” instead of the extraordinary measure that it was intended to be by the Constitution. —With reports from Mart Salambud, Bong Sarmiento and Jigger Jerusalem