Gov’t won’t tolerate alleged military, police abuses in Mindanao—Palace
Malacañang on Saturday vowed to investigate possible human rights abuses in Mindanao amid the implementation of martial law in the region.
“The President, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and the Department of National Defense Secretary, who is the Mindanao administrator for martial law, do not encourage or tolerate abuses by the military or the police in Mindanao or elsewhere,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“We will investigate and if evidence warrants, prosecute and punish all those who committed abuses, especially sexual violence against women,” he added.
Abella’s statement came after the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Lanao del Sur Chapter condemned the reported illegal searches and seizure in Marawi City.
“The IBP-Lanao del Sur Chapter hereby expresses its severe outrage and condemnation over illegal searches and seizure in Marawi City by military men, police and other law enforcement agencies which results in rampant loss and deprivation of properties and possessions of innocent civilians,” it said in a statement on June 9.
Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas also claimed that soldiers threatened to rape women in Marawi.
Abella, however, echoed the statement of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that no human rights abuses were recorded so far in Mindanao.
“Should there be, proper complaints must be properly filed,” he said.
“In the meantime, unless based on fact and evidence, we ask critics and advocates to be more considerate in their judgment of the efforts and context of our soldiers’ challenges and be more supportive of their efforts to protect the Filipino way of life,” he added. IDL
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