Malacañang has challenged groups accusing the military of alleged abuses during martial law in Mindanao to show proof or shut up.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque argued that it was unfair to accuse soldiers, who have sacrificed lives and limbs to combat terrorists and other threats, of violating the law without showing evidence.
“Kinikilala natin ang pagiging bayani ng ating mga kasundaluhan. Binibigyan natin sila ng presumption of good faith,” Roque said during a press conference in Marawi City.
“Nasa accusers o ‘yung nagre-reklamo ‘yung burden of evidence, burden of proof nasaan ang ebidensya ninyo, otherwise, tumahimik na lang kayo dahil hindi naman kayo ang nagpapakamatay para sa inang bayan,” he added.
Some concerned groups have called for the lifting of martial law in Mindanao, citing alleged rights violations and abuses by government forces. The cases of abuse remained unreported allegedly due to the victims’ fear of retaliation.
Roque said it was easy to hurl accusations against the military, but the allegations have not been substantiated with evidence.
“Nasaan ang reklamo?” he asked. “‘Yung mga parehong grupo na nagsasabi ng maraming paglabag, hindi naman nagfa-file ng reklamo. Ilabas nila saan ang mga reklamong ‘yan at patunayan nila kung mayroon reklamo ay binalewala ng hukbong sandata-han.” (Genalyn D. Kabiling)