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Extension of martial law in Mindanao, not necessary – CHR

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

 

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QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is not convinced that an extension of martial law in Mindanao is necessary at this point.

CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon said they have been opposing the imposition of martial law in the region because they believe that the power of the President is enough to solve the problems of terrorism in the country.

“Kasi nakalagay sa Saligang Batas, only in cases of actual invasion or rebellion. Hindi po kasama dito ang tinatawag na lawless violence. At patuloy po kaming naninindigan na sa extensions nito ay hindi rin kailangan,” Gascon said.

CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline De Guia, meanwhile, believes the government troops are fully equipped for the job and extension of martial law is no longer necessary.

“It has been the position of the Commission on Human Rights that our security forces are fully capable of addressing lawless violence in the country without the need for martial law,” she said.

She added that: “As such, there has to be a strong reason should the government move for another extension—based on the sound recommendation of our Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police on the real situation on the ground.”

Gascon, meanwhile, stressed that the situation at present is different compared with the martial law during the regime of the late President Ferdinand Marcos in terms of intention.

Nevertheless, the CHR vows to be vigilant in monitoring for possible violations of human rights along the way.

For his part, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay fear the extension of martial law may only be utilized by people with much interest for charter change.

“So exactly the same story that we have during Marcoses time na martial law can be used to expedite charter change,” he said.

But Malacañang clarified that the proposal to extend the implementation of martial law in Mindanao region remains under study by President Rodrigo Duterte. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Makabayan bloc to question martial extension before SC

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 14th, 2018

Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc plan to elevate to the Supreme Court the third extension of martial law in Mindanao which Congress approved on Wednesday.

The group said the government and concerned agencies failed to prove there is on-going rebellion in the region that would warrant a yearlong extension of martial law.

“We will definitely still maximize an arena where we can present our case,” said Anakpawis partylist representative, Ariel Casilao. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Progressive groups in Davao, Butuan slam martial law extension in Mindanao

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 14th, 2018

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Some progressive groups in Mindanao have denounced Congress’ move to approve the request of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend the implementation of martial law in the region for the third time.

According to Carlo Olalo of Kilusang Mayo Uno Southern Mindanao chapter, extending martial law will not stop atrocities but will only further embolden state forces to suppress and oppress the masses.

Olalo said that in Compostella Valley alone, there are more than 100 cases of political killings since the implementation of martial law in May 2017.

Olalo believes that imposing military rule will not help in addressing security threats in Mindanao.

“Ang kining martial law sa Mindanao dili para sa pagdepensa sa security sa katawhang Pilipino kung dili mas gipundar kini kay tungod gusting protektahan ang mga agreements nga musulod diri sa Mindanao. Ilabinanga naay Build Build Build program ni Pres. Rodrigo Duterte nga gipondohan sa Chinese government,” Olalo said.

(The martial law in Mindanao is not meant to protect the Filipino people but to protect the agreements that will enter Mindanao.  Among these is the Build Build Build program of President Rodrigo Duterte which is being funded by the Chinese government.)

The KMU-Southern Mindanao chapter also claims that implementing martial law in Mindanao is Duterte’s way of putting his plans into gradual action, such as his proposal to shift into a federal form of government.

Jay-R Aypag of Karapatan-Southern Mindanao also claims that cases of human rights violations in the region have soared since the imposition of martial law. Aypag also slammed the move to close down community schools for Lumads, especially in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

“Ang pinaka recent na hinahawakan naming ngayon ay yung mismong pagpapalayas at pagpapasara ng Lumad schools sa Talaingod.  In fact, ito yung pinaka common narratives sa mga Lumad at peasant na talagang nagkakampo sa kanilang mga komunidad na wala silang karapatan dahil mayroong martial law declaration sa isla ng Mindanao,” added Aypag.

Isaias Geñorga, a representative of the group PISTON-Caraga, fears that the government will only use martial law to silence its critics.

“Ang critic sa mga progrisibo, dili gusto rehiming Duterte ni ini, suko siya ni ini, ang unsa man nai critic nimu sa rehiming Duterte…..unsa mabdiay gusto ipasabot?  Ang gusto badiay ipasabot nga ang tanan niya nagginahimu ang tanan niyang ginaplano sakto? Pasalamat ngani sya adunay mga kritiko,”Geñorga said.

(The Duterte regime hates to hear the criticisms of progressive groups. What is he trying to say? That everything he does and all his plans are always right? He should be grateful he has critics!)

The left-leaning groups believe that martial law is not the answer to the growing security problems in Mindanao and that the president should just focus on addressing the country’s pressing problems such as providing quality education, high unemployment rate and food sufficiency. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Comelec: Martial law favorable to BOL plebiscite, 2019 elections in Mindanao

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Members of the Philippine army man the checkpoint at the entrance of Maguindanao province, 11 May 2013. Security is tightened as political tension rises two days before the Philippine midterm election in the province. Maguindanao is among the election hot spots tagged by Comelec.

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – On January 21 next year, The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will hold the plebiscite in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), in Isabela City in Basilan, and in Cotabato City.

The plebiscite will determine if residents are in favor of the passage of the Bangasamoro Organic Law that will govern the proposed Bangsamoro region.

According to Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez, a second plebiscite will be held in February in 19 barangays that wish to be included in the new Bangsamoro region.

“Ang unang plebisito ang dedesisyunan niya kung mararatify ba ang BOL o hindi. Ang susunod na eleksyon, ang susunod na plebisito para doon sa mga lugar na gustong sumali kung matutuloy ang pagsali nila sa Bangsamoro,” Jimenez explained in an interview with the program ‘Get It Straight with Daniel Razon’ on Tuesday (December 11).

Jimenez said the poll body has already printed 2.8 million ballots for the plebiscite which they have started distributing in areas where the plebiscite will be held.

Former Commissioner Samira Gutuc of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) hopes that the plebiscite will be a success.

She expressed concern of the possible consequences should the BOL fails citing the impending petition against its passage in the Supreme Court (SC).

“Baka the Supreme Court would look at the petition against the BOL favorably at baka hindi maiakyat ang batas BOL sa implimentasyon. Pagka walang BOL at walang boto ng ‘yes’ ngayong January, ay baka balik tayo sa ARMM at magkakagulo ang Mindanao ulit,” Gutuc explained.

 On the other hand, the former commissioner believes that the recent approval to extend the martial law in Mindanao may not be favorable to the conduct of the plebiscite and the midterm elections in 2019.

“Martial Law will not help a free and shared democratic debate over BOL,” she argued.

Some opposition personalities who are running in next year’s elections agreed with Gutuc on the matter.

“Sa buong panahon na nasa ilalim ng martial law ang Mindanao, hindi umangat ang kabuhayan ng mga kababyan natin doon,” former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada said.

“Ang ikinakatakot natin dito, bumababa yung batayan sa pagdedeklara ng Martial Law kaya pwedeng ikasa na yung lahat ng elemento para magdeklara ng isang nationwide Martial Law,” former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay noted.

“Kapag sinabi nating Martial Law, that is an emergency power. May emergency pa ba sa Mindanao?” argued Atty Jose Manuel Diokno, a senatorial candidate in 2019.

Despite the oppositions, the Comelec and the Palace believe that the extension of Martial rule in Mindanao will benefit both the conduct of the plebiscite and the 2019 midterm elections.

“From the point of view of election administration nakabuti pa actually ang martial law. Ang presensya ng military, it pacifies the area and it minimizes yung mga attack yung mga decedent forces,” Director Jimenez said.

I do not see any relation, what is the relation. In fact, martial law is even acceptable to people of Mindanao precisely because the security is kept. If there will be a plebiscite then people who would want to do something to derail the plebiscite, They will think twice because there is martial law. It’s even helpful,” Presidential Spokesperon Salvador Panelo concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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