Rights group criticizes Duterte’s threats to arrest martial law critics, orders to kill civilians | BICOL TODAY

Rights group criticizes Duterte’s threats to arrest martial law critics, orders to kill civilians

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

President Rodrigo Duterte’s threats to arrest those who oppose martial law in Mindanao and his orders to the military to kill civilians reek of his authoritarian tendencies and his propensity to commit further violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. While he fully lends his ears to militarist thugs such as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Gen. Eduardo Ano, he has turned a deaf and callous ear to the cries of the Moro people’s calling for the lifting of martial law and an end to aerial strikes. With US troops and the military as his only sources of information on the ground, how sure is he that everything these fascist institutions report is indeed true, when they are one of the foremost purveyors of fake news?

Statements of Lorenzana and the Commission on Human Rights that there are no human rights violations since Duterte’s imposition of Proclamation 216 on May 23, 2017 are false. Karapatan documented at least seven (7) extrajudicial killings and 327 individuals illegally arrested in Mindanao, after May 23, 2017. Most of the victims are farmers, Moro and indigenous peoples. The most recent is the illegal arrest of Alicia Tindasan, Jhona Rose Baugto, Rolan Segovia and Estanislao Talledo, members of Compostela Farmers Association (CFA), who were supposed to attend the scheduled barangay-wide assembly of the local peasant organization in Purok 4B, Brgy. Mangayon Compostela, Compostela Valley. They were held by soldiers under the 66th IBPA yesterday, at around 2pm and were brought to Compostela Municipal Police Station, where they were charged with fabricated illegal possession of explosives cases.

Aside from the 400,440 individuals or 84,855 families from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte, cited from the NDRRMC Report as of July 1, 2017, there are 1, 695 families more who evacuated from Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, Matanao, Davao del Sur and Pres. Roxas, North Cotabato affected by military aerial bombings.

No one may be filing complaints before the DND and the CHR, because in many, if not all, of the cases filed against State security forces, nothing has been done to mete out accountability and justice, while victims and their families are harassed if they pursue these cases. They were never seen as instruments of justice, but instead as mere facades that only enabled further impunity.

The people’s opposition to martial law in Mindanao is based on reasonable and just grounds. If homes are bombed for reasons which are seemingly blown out of proportion, and when warrantless arrests and killings are done for the insidious “peace and security” reasons, martial law will indeed be seen as an anathema to people’s interests.

The humanitarian crisis and corresponding rights violations as consequences of military bombings and operations in line with martial law, which is also being used for the government’s counter-insurgency war against the people of Mindanao, are more than enough reasons for the lifting of Proclamation 216. With the recent Supreme Court decision on citizens’ petitions declaring constitutionality of the martial law in Mindanao, the Filipino people are more emboldened to resist these fascist attacks of the Duterte administration.

Cristina Palabay
Secretary General, Karapatan

Posted by on July 4, 2017. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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