MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said in his fifth State of the Nation Address that the Martial Law in Mindanao ended ‘without abuses’.
“The martial law in Mindanao ended without any abuse…” Duterte said. “It ended because I know they know how to love the country.”
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The chief executive declared Martial Law starting in May 2017. The said lasted for around two and a half years. It just ended last December 2019.
The proclamation of the Martial Law happened after government forces tried to capture Abu Sayyaf leader. The attempted capture of Isnilon Hapilon developed into a seige in Marawi City.
Later, the president reasoned that there is a need for an extension of the proclamation. He cited that there is an existing threats from Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Daulah Islamiyah, among others.
‘Without abuse’, a fact or a myth?
Karapatan group previously recorded a number of abuses recorded during the declaration of Martial Law. At least 49 individuals were victims of extrajudicial killings.
They also recorded that there are about 22 torture cases, 116 frustrated EJK cases, and 89 illegal arrest and detention cases.
More so, about 336,125 are victims of indiscriminate gunfire and aerial bombings.
About 404,654 individuals moved out of their residences due to the seige.
Karapatan released the report a year into the seige. Therefore, this doesn’t hold coverage of the next half year that the proclamation was in effect.
“Many more reported cases reveal a much graver magnitude of the effects of martial law,” Karapatan told the UN independent experts.
“The dangers of ensuring security in travelling across the area prevent news gatherers and documenters from looking into field conditions so as to fully report on the human rights situation,” it added.