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With martial law extension in Mindanao, Lake Sebu massacre is a carnage waiting to happen again – Karapatan

Amid the escalation of human rights violations, Karapatan assailed the Duterte regime’s move to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year. The group cited the “cold-blooded massacre” of eight indigenous people in Brgy. Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato on December 3, 2017, which also resulted in the enforced disappearance of six other T’boli and Dulangan Manobo farmers, and the forcible evacuation of at least 15 families. The massacre was perpetrated by elements of the 27th and the 33rd Infantry Battalions of the Philippine Army.

 

 

Martial law will not absolve dictators and their State forces for abuses, rights violations

"The massacre of 8 indigenous peoples in South Cotabato and the enforced disappearances of 6 more T'boli and Dulangan Manobo farmers on December 3, 2017 is the real face of martial law; the destruction of the lives and livelihood of those in Marawi and the Moro people is the real face of martial law; the killing of activists, farmers, leaders and members of progressive organizations, and bombing and evacuation of entire communities is the real face of martial law. It is another scheme that is equivalent to rights abuses committed with impunity. A benevolent martial law, or martial law with a heart only exists in the walls of gated villages and mansions where politicans who approved this policy are safely guarded. The only people to celebrate this are the instigators of State terrorism," said Karapatan secretary general on the approval of martial law's one year extension in Mindanao.

Environmental activist illegally arrested in Ilocos

“The Duterte regime is once again showing its contempt for human rights and its advocates. Yesterday, Shewin De Vera, a human rights and environmental advocate, was illegally accosted by elements of the police while on his way home. There is now a trend of attack against human rights defenders who have been consistent in opposing Duterte’s anti-people policies. This fascist regime is now on a roll – incessantly curtailing people’s rights through killings, arrests, aerial bombardment, harassment, among other forms. With the escalation of these attacks, human rights and its advocates are put more at risk,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the arrest of Sherwin De Vera.

 

 

 

Martial law (ML) extension in Mindanao, an inch closer to nationwide ML

Karapatan, on December 11, 2017, questioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to extend martial law for another year, following the AFP and the PNP’s recommendation. This is despite the AFP’s declaration of “victory” in Marawi.

“What, then, is the basis for extending martial law for another year? This is a dangerous precedent that inches the entire country closer to a nationwide declaration of martial rule. Martial law in Mindanao has paved the way for the intensification of rights violations – both within and outside of Marawi. We cannot expect the institution to benefit most from another year of martial law to decide against it. If this is allowed in Congress, speculation will be enough to put the entire country under martial law, creating an environment for State security forces to continue violations without accountability,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Karapatan’s Statement on International Human Rights Day 2017

“Today, we are once again confronted by the truth that governments do not grant people their rights. We always have to fight for our rights. We are once again faced by a very difficult and perilous situation, as we are confronted by State terrorism which knows no limit. Our response is to stand our ground and staunchly make our voices louder and our actions stronger against tyranny and impending full pledged dictatorship,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay on December 10, 2017, International Human Rights Day. 

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