DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The spate of killings in Mindanao is expected to continue after Congress and Senate approved on Wednesday the extension of martial law, a militant Moro group said, noting that it is being used by President Rodrigo Duterte to cling in power.
“We can no longer prolong the agony we are suffering from human rights abuses under martial rule. We are calling for an end to Martial Law and barring of its extension,” said Jerome Succor Aba of Suara Bangsamoro.
Aba said the implementation of martial law in Mindanao has normalized the killings of 154 farmers, Moro, and Lumad in Mindanao.
“Martial law normalized displacement of a thousand people in Mindanao. Martial law normalized the bombing of civilian communities that destroyed our homes, place of worship, and schools. It has thrown our lives into a dangerous and vulnerable situation. Furthermore, it has trampled upon our civil and political rights,” Aba said.
Aba said the approval of the third extension of Martial Law in Mindanao would only empower Duterte’s never-ending lust for power and blood.
“This move to extend Martial Law for a third time is a frail attempt to cover up the Duterte government’s failure in addressing the unrest in Mindanao,” Aba said.
He also claimed that such martial law violated the people’s freedom of movement as government troops installed checkpoints, and imposed curfew hours, among others.
“Martial Law suppresses dissent and freedom of expression, with 700 cases of trumped-charges in Mindanao against civilians, farmer, Moro, Lumad, workers and peace advocates who are not terrorists nor members of any armed movement,” he said.
Meanwhile, Suara said that there’s no actual threat of rebellion and insurgency to justify the extension of martial law in Mindanao.
“The true intention of martial law is to expel the Bangsamoro and lumad from their rich lands. His motive is to threaten and kill the protectors of ancestral lands and territories to pave way for foreign and local corporations,” the Moro group said. (davaotoday.com)