More cases of il­le­gal ar­rest with ML

Sun.Star Cebu - - OPINION - FOR PEO­PLE’S RIGHTS

For many law­mak­ers and jus­tice of the Supreme Court, mar­tial law has be­come a black or white state­ment of sup­port for the fas­cist poli­cies of the Duterte regime. No longer are the sit­u­a­tion of the Min­danaoans taken into con­sid­er­a­tion nor the rights vi­o­la­tions hap­pen­ing on the ground. It has be­come a mat­ter of defin­ing al­liances, with the real plight of those af­fected re­duced in the back­ground. It seems that the Duterte gov­ern­ment need not fol­low the con­di­tions set by the Con­sti­tu­tion, it only needs to have enough num­bers. This loom­ing mar­tial law ex­ten­sion will breed more rights vi­o­la­tions, ag­gra­vat­ing the al­ready wors­en­ing sit­u­a­tion in Min­danao,” said Kara­p­atan Deputy Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ro­neo Clamor.

Mil­i­tarists in­clud­ing AFP Chief Car­l­ito Galvez has al­ready ex­pressed his sup­port for an­other mar­tial law ex­ten­sion. House speaker Glo­ria Ma­ca­pa­gal Ar­royo also said he would push for an ex­ten­sion of mil­i­tary rule should a pro­posal be filed in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

From May 23, 2017 to Novem­ber 30, 2018, with the im­po­si­tion of mar­tial in Min­danao, Kara­p­atan has doc­u­mented 88 in­di­vid­u­als killed by sol­diers, po­lice and para­mil­i­tary groups, while 128 in­di­vid­u­als are vic­tims of frus­trated killings.

At least 1,450 have been il­le­gally ar­rested, while hun­dreds have al­ready been de­tained on false charges. At least 148 in­di­vid­u­als are be­ing ha­rassed with trumped-up crim­i­nal charges.

More­over, at least 346, 940 were also af­fected by bomb­ings of com­mu­ni­ties by the mil­i­tary.Clamor, how­ever, em­pha­sized that these fig­ures only re­fer to doc­u­mented vi­o­la­tions.

“Those that are un­doc­u­mented would give a much more grim pic­ture of the ef­fects of mar­tial law,” added Clamor.

Kara­p­atan noted that the Duterte gov­ern­ment has in­creas­ingly used the fil­ing of trumped-up charges and the plant­ing of ev­i­dence as ma­neu­ver to crim­i­nal­ize dis­sent.

Among the re­cent cases of such lu­di­crous ac­cu­sa­tions are the fil­ing of traf­fick­ing and child abuse charges against for­mer Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, ACT Teach­ers Partylist Rep. France Cas­tro, and Lu­mad teach­ers of Salug­pon­gan Ta ‘TanuIgkanogon Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­ter (STTICLC) while they were help­ing se­cure teach­ers, stu­dents, and per­son­nel from para­mil­i­tary groups loi­ter­ing in the com­mu­nity.

Mar­tial law in Min­danao has made it more con­ve­nient for crim­i­nals to roam around peas­ant and indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties.

Para­mil­i­tary group Ala­mara, for ex­am­ple, has con­tin­ued to com­mit vi­o­la­tions against com­mu­ni­ties while the mil­i­tary is not only turn­ing a blind eye, but ac­tively cod­dling their fel­low mur­der­ers.

The Ala­mara has been im­pli­cated in many rights vi­o­la­tions against indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties in Min­danao, in­clud­ing the killing of 15-year-old stu­dent Alibando Tingkas in Jan­uary 2016, the killing of 60-yearold Umayam­non tribe leader Matanem Pocuan in Fe­bru­ary 2017, the shoot­ing of farmer Ande Lat­uan in July 2017, and the shoot­ing of 19-year-old Obello Bayao in Septem­ber 2017.

“Mil­i­tary rule re­mains a dan­ger­ous tool, es­pe­cially in the hands of ruth­less mer­ce­nar­ies and de­ranged lead­ers. Mar­tial law eas­ily cur­tails the civil and po­lit­i­cal, so­cial, eco­nomic and cul­tural rights of the peo­ple with im­punity. An­other mar­tial law ex­ten­sion will fur­ther this unchecked gov­ern­ment that can freely pass du­bi­ous deals, plun­der re­sources, kill, and abuse,” ended Clamor.--AL­LIANCE

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