Stop threat of emergency rule, Karapatan tells PRRD

Published June 10, 2018, 12:56 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Chito Chavez

The human rights watchdog Karapatan said President Duterte should stop his alleged threat of emergency rule and martial law in the country.

Karapatan logo  (c)
Karapatan logo

“Amid the worsening human rights situation and climate of impunity in the Philippines, Duterte’s threats to impose a state of national emergency or nationwide martial law will only foment a situation of greater unpeace. His repetitive and nauseating use of worn-out and make-believe reasons betrays his real intent, which is to promote his tyrannical rule and militarist approach in solving the country’s problems, instead of solving the root causes of social problems,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Palabay maintained that Duterte has not only been flip-flopping on his positions on many issues, from free housing for the poor to the implementation of genuine land reform, and he has not achieved anything substantial for his two years in office.

Karapatan maintained that Duterte has used Malacanang as a bully pulpit and as an entertainment center to lull the people into complacency, using his tasteless, rambling hours-long worthless speeches and his “kiss-me” gimmicks and props to spice up his gibberish.

Palabay stressed the recent statements of President Duterte and his mouthpiece Harry Roque on the possibility of declaring a state of national emergency, martial law or “radical changes” to combat criminality or drugs are diversionary stunts since he has failed to deliver on his promises to end labor-only contractualization, raise the national minimum wage, reduce taxes and end criminality within six months of his administration.

The group said that “such threats of Duterte should be vigorously opposed, with his propensity to walk the talk when it comes to using state violence and terror and further promote his thuggish and anti-people governance.”

“The numerous cases of human rights violations in Mindanao during the one-year implementation of martial law is testament to the disastrous impacts of Duterte’s pandering to military rule,” Palabay added.

On May 23, 2017, Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, purportedly in response to the Marawi siege.

From then on until May 23, 2018, Karapatan documented at least 49 victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in Mindanao, with an average of one victim killed every week.

Most of the victims were members of indigenous communities and members of local peasant organizations targeted for their local campaigns for genuine agrarian reform and against militarization.

For the same period, Karapatan also documented 22 cases of torture, 116 victims of frustrated extrajudicial killings EJKs), 89 victims of illegal arrest and detention, and 336,124 victims of indiscriminate gunfire and aerial bombings.

At least 404, 654 individuals have been displaced, largely because of these bombings.

There were also 979 civilians who were forcibly portrayed as rebel surrenderees and whose “surrenders” were faked by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP.)

“We join progressive groups and broad formations in opposing Duterte’s tyrannical rule, as we continue to remain vigilant on the forms of repression employed by the government. We will march with the Filipino people on June 12 to uphold and defend people’s rights,” Palabay concluded. (Chito A. Chavez)