Rights group questions checkpoints for quake aid in Mindanao | Inquirer News

Rights group questions checkpoints for quake aid in Mindanao

/ 07:36 PM November 04, 2019

TAGUM CITY—Checkpoints for relief goods for quake survivors?

The human rights group Karapatan slammed the order issued by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to set up checkpoints at quake-hit areas in Mindanao to regulate the exit and entry of aid.

“This is an insult to groups conducting relief operations in quake-affected areas,” Jay Apiag, secretary general of Karapatan Southern Mindanao, said.


He said the checkpoints’ objective was to “impose control and martial rule” at the expense of the welfare of the quake survivors “who badly need aid.”


The checkpoints would be set up in areas shaken by a swarm of quakes in Cotabato province and other parts of Mindanao starting on Oct. 16.

Lorenzana, who is also martial law administrator, had ordered the military to control the flow of aid in areas that took the brunt of the quakes in Cotabato and another province, Davao del Sur.

“The checkpoint shall control the ingress and egress of people in evacuation centers to ensure that only legitimate and authorized relief workers are granted access to evacuation centers and to receive relief goods and supplies for distribution to the evacuees,” Lorenzana said in his martial law instruction No. 2 issued last Nov. 2.

Apiag assailed Lorenzana for allegedly capitalizing on the quake disaster to limit the movement of people and aid.

“Let us not allow this to prevent us from reaching out and extending help to our suffering fellowmen in Mindanao,” he said./TSB

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TAGS: Cotabato, Lorenzana, Martial law, Mindanao, quakes

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