Photo by Office of the Vice President
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo reminded the government to look into the alleged cases of human rights abuses under the martial law in Mindanao after Congress voted to extend it until the end of the year.
“May mga alegasyon na merong paglabag ng karapatang pantao. Tingin ko kailangan itong tingnan para di na lumala pa,” Robredo said on her radio show Biserbisyong Leni on Sunday, July 23.
(There were allegations that there were human rights abuses. I think the government should look into it so that this does not worsen.)
Robredo said that she informed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other authorities about these alleged abuses that she was told. (READ: Robredo on martial law extension: Let's listen to the recommendations)
The Vice President has visited the evacuation centers near Marawi City twice since the military clashes with the terrorist forces ensued in May.
A long-time human rights lawyer, Robredo said that the only apprehansion the public has on the martial law extension is the history of human rights abuses during the dictatorship of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
“Noong nagkaroon ng martial law nagkaroon ng maraming karahasan. Ayaw nating maulit iyon. Palagay ko mahalaga sa patuloy na pagtitiwala ng mga kababayan sa demokrasya at sa proseso na siguruhin na ang masasamang nangyari noon ay di na maulit pa,” said Robredo.
(There was a lot of violence during Martial Law. We don’t want that to happen again. I think it is important for the government to ensure that it won’t happen again so that the people will continue trusting democracy and its processes.)
During the Senate and House of Repreentatives joint session on Saturday, July 22, some lawmakers raised that human rights abuses have occured under the Mindanao martial law. (READ: Lawmakers explain votes on Mindanao martial law extension)
Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas said they found through their inter-faith humanitarian mission that there have been forced evacuations and killings outside Marawi City.
They also criticized the airstrikes of the military, aimed to neutralize terrorists, as a form of extrajudicial killing.
Despite these, Congress, voting jointly, decided to extend martial law in Mindanao by a vote of 261-18.