CHR warns danger of ‘normalization of martial law’
MANILA, Philippines — “There is danger in normalization of martial law.”
This was the reaction of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) after Congress voted to approve another extension of martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2019.
Last Wednesday, in a joint session, a final vote of 235 for extension, 28 against and one abstention, Congress approved a third martial law extension in Mindanao.
However, CHR disputed the third extension, saying there were reports on human rights violations in Mindanao.
“There have been reports from the ground coming from human-rights defenders involving different violations such as: massive numbers of internally displaced persons, arbitrary detention, profiling, threats, torture and killings,” CHR Chairman Jose Luis Martin Gascon said in a statement late Wednesday.
CHR also urged the government to look into such reports.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law in May 2017 after the ISIS-inspired Maute terrorist group attacked Marawi City.
At the request of Duterte, the Congress extended martial law twice, the first extension ended last Dec. 31, 2017 while the second extension will end on Dec. 31 this year. /jpv
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