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 – A group of lawyers and paralegals from at least 18 organizations founded a new group to monitor human rights abuses in Mindanao.

Called Alisto!, the group launched hotline numbers 0945-123-8228 and 0949-100-8708 on Monday, September 25, where civilians may contact to report violations and abuses related to the implementation of Martial Law.

“We subscribe to active citizenship and community participation as imperatives in a time of Martial Law,” said Manuel Quibod, one of the lawyers of Ateneo Legal Aid Services.

Quibod, also member of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao, said the cases of abuses reported through the hotline will be validated first before taking legal actions.

Afterwards, a legal team will go to ground to assess and evaluate the report. Once validated, a case will be filed, or if not, they will bring up the concern to the security sector.

“This will prevent similar complaints from happening in the future,” he said.

Quibod explained that the groups under Alisto! is also part of the multisectoral monitoring group of the Eastern Mindanao Command.

But he said, Alisto! will focus its role in monitoring the ground as to how Martial Law is implemented.

Mags Maglana, convener of Konsyensya Dabaw, said they created the network to provide the public with support groups whom they can reach out to given the geographical size of Mindanao.

Maglana said the culture of impunity still exists and victims are also unconvinced of reporting to authorities whom they perceive as perpetrators of the human rights abuses.

“We want to cover that gap by being a civilian mechanism whom the public may turn to,” she said. (davaotoday.com)

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