RIGHTS HOTLINE. A group of lawyers in Mindanao launches two hotline numbers where civilians can report human rights violations in relation to the implementation of Martial Law (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Civil-society organizations in Davao urge the public to take an active role in reporting cases of abuses amid the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.

Konsyensya Dabaw convener Maria Victoria “Mags” Maglana told Davao Today in an interview that the public should promote the protection of human rights as civilians are endangered.

“Active citizenship in a time of martial law means upholding the very tenets such as human rights that are at risk from terrorism of any kind,” Maglana said.

Maglana said instead of “adopting a compliant attitude premised on the belief that by surrendering civil and political rights in favor of cooperating with State efforts,” citizens should take a stand in creating an environment that will prevent the creation of sentiments “that favors terrorism.”

Manuel Quibod, dean of Ateneo de Davao College of Law, said they see that the Martial Law in Mindanao has “impinged on civilian mobility and privacy, and led to the curtailment of other rights.”

On Monday, September 25, Maglana and Quibod, who are both conveners of Alisto!, launched the independent network of civil-society organizations which vowed to monitor abuses of martial law.

Maglana said the founding of the Alisto! Network will prevent further violations from happening by offering a platform for the civilians to be more aware of their rights.

The group said the “calling out power” of President Rodrigo Duterte is enough to deal with the situation of Marawi crisis.

“There is no need for the continued imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao,” they said.

They even urged the President to “cut short” Martial Law in Mindanao. They believe Proclamation No. 55 which declares a “State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence in Mindanao” is “enough to provide security guidance with an assurance to defend the fundamental civil and political rights of civilians.”

Duterte signed Proclamation No. 55 on September 4, following the bombing at the Roxas night market here which killed 15 and injured more than 70 people.

The Proclamation still stands even when Duterte imposed the 60-day Martial Law in Mindanao last May 23 following the attack of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-inspired Maute group in Marawi City.

On July 22, Congress approved the extension of Martial Law until the end of this year. (davaotoday.com)

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