Extending martial law will erode civilian authority, rights in Mindanao – Anakpawis

People's protest against extension of martial law in front of congress.People's protest against extension of martial law in front of congress.

On joint session
Extending martial law will erode civilian authority, rights in Mindanao – Anakpawis

Manila, Philippines – Anakpawis Party-list Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao today warned against undermining of civil rights and civilian authority in Mindanao if martial law is extended by the joint session on the request of President Rodrigo Duterte. He is urging the members of both houses to oppose extending Proclamation No. 216.

“The 60-day martial law implementation in Mindanao has only resulted the intensified all-out war operations composing of aerial bombings of farmer communities, extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests, mass evacuations and abuses, hence, extending it would only mean approving of these atrocities against the people,” Casilao said in a press statement.

Casilao said that military actions against farmer and indigenous communities are outright violations of civil rights, right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, life, liberty and safety and peaceful environment. The lawmaker collated reports from various media sources and human rights groups, from May 25 to July 5, that at least 3 were killed, wounded 3, illegally arrested 11, displaced more than a thousand, two cases of aerial bombings on farmer communities. These are aside from the plight of Marawi internally displaced people and Moro victims of aerial bombing operations being launched by the AFP. The latest case of extra-judicial killing of farmers were of Boy Cañete, a leader of Humawac farmer organization in Compostela Valley.

“Martial law will give authority to the military, they could ban legal-democratic activities such as protests, they are even blocking relief efforts, they are conducting bothersome checkpoints along highways, interrupting mass transport, they are implementing curfews affecting incomes of business establishments, they could override civilian ordinances or laws enacted by LGU councils. While they keep assuring of civilian supremacy, the point is there is no impediment for them to trample on it,” Casilao said.

Casilao added that martial law is plain and simple rule of the military over the civilian populace, hence, civilian life, enjoyed with the basic rights protected by the constitution is already illusory. ###