Groups protest against martial law extension in Mindanao
Groups opposing the extension of martial law in Mindanao protested on Wednesday outside Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City and decried supposed human rights violations by the military.
The groups Barug Katungod Mindanao and Karapatan led the protests in front of Camp Aguinaldo, headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Citing their own data, Karapatan said they recorded 29 victims of “extrajudicial killings” in Mindanao — 15 from Southern Mindanao — after President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law last May 23.
Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao when Maute-ISIS fighters attacked Marawi City. The 60-day promulgation ended on July 22 but was extended by Congress until Dec. 31 this year.
Some officials have reportedly expressed hope that martial law would be extended in Mindanao.
Karapatan said most of the victims of the killings in Mindanao were members of local peasant organizations “targeted for their local campaigns of genuine agrarian reform and against militarization.”
The human rights group said they also documented 15 cases of torture, 58 victims of illegal arrest and detention, 335,686 victims of indiscriminate firing and aerial bombings.
“[Duterte] has made Mindanao and the test of the country into a killing field, instigating an open season for killings and rights violations, through his counter-insurgency program and martial law declaration,” said Ryan Amper of Barug Katungod Mindanao. /cbb
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