Karapatan’s comments on the current issues pertaining to martial law and the proposed legislation on the national ID system

Dear friends,

Please find Karapatan’s comments on the current issues pertaining to martial law and the proposed legislation on the national ID system. You may attribute the comments to Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay for your reports. Thank you.

Karapatan Public Information Desk

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On the Con-Com’s proposal to include “lawless violence” as basis for declaration of martial law

The proposal of Pres. Duterte’s Consultative Committee on charter change to include “lawless violence,” referring to “terrorism” and “violent extremism,” as basis for the President to declare martial law is a dangerous prelude to a nationwide declaration of martial law.

Aside from its dire implications on the ongoing peace processes with revolutionary movements, there is great probability that the inclusion and subsequent interpretation of the proposed provisions will enable curtailment of basic rights and freedoms, denial of legal remedies, and further establishment of military rule in the country.

On Malacanang’s refusal to lift martial law in Mindanao

The Duterte regime’s adamant defense for the continuing imposition of martial law in Mindanao speaks of its militarist and ineffective approach in addressing the root causes of the social problems that spawned the armed conflicts in Mindanao and elsewhere.

Martial law is among its tools to suppress the exercise of legitimate dissent and of people’s direct actions to uphold basic rights and democratic interests. This is evidenced by the cases of intensified human rights violations in Mindanao during the one-year implementation of martial law. (Please refer to Karapatan’s report on civil and political rights violations during the said period: Mindanao Under Martial Law, A Year of State Terror)

We also advise Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque to make an accounting of the efforts done by government officials and agencies on the several complaints of human rights violations by state forces during the period of implementation of martial law in Mindanao. Instead of outrightly dismissing these complaints, Roque should know that several of these complaints have been filed in courts, before the Commission on Human Rights and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Negotiating Panel in its peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

On the Congress bicameral conference committee approval of the national ID system

The proposed measure is designed to infringe on the citizens’ right to privacy, the right against surveillance and the right against government witch hunts against its so-called enemies and critics. Such draconian measure should not be used to deny basic social services to all Filipinos. 

For reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 09173162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 09189790580