DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Human rights group Karapatan questioned Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana’s order to set up checkpoints in areas in Mindanao affected by the series of earthquakes.
“While our fellow Mindanaoans are undergoing a deeply distressing experience and at the same time, in dire need of immediate assistance due to series of strong tremor, a fascist-mercenary and US lapdog such as Delfin Lorenzana, is bustling too much in showcasing his futility,” Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region secretary general Jay Apiag said in a statement.
Lorenzana, who is also the Martial Law administrator in Mindanao, ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to set up checkpoints in areas in Davao del Sur and North Cotabato.
“The checkpoints shall control and screen the ingress and egress of people in evacuation centers to ensure that only legitimate and authorized relief workers are granted access to evacuation centers, and receive relief goods and supplies for distribution to the evacuees,” reads Lorenzana’s order issued on November 2.
The order shall take immediately and will be valid until further notice, Lorenzana added.
“This move only further exposed that his top priority is not the welfare of the in-need majority. (This) government official who enjoys a huge chunk of the people’s taxes has a nerve to impose such,” Apiag said.
Apiag assailed Lorenzana for allegedly “capitalizing” on the existing martial rule in Mindanao to “limit” the aid reaching to the people.
Karapatan urged the public to continue to give support to the displaced families in the affected areas.
“Let us not be fretted by this desperate step to limit or hamper our unstinting hearts to keep on reaching out and extending aid to our fellows especially in these trying times,” Apiag said. (davaotoday.com)