The Philippine National Police has insisted that there were no human rights violations reported to authorities in Mindanao since it was placed under martial law by President Duterte in 2017.
“We haven’t heard any or a single case of human rights violation in Mindanao since the implementation of martial law. These are all allegations by the same sectors of society but no case was ever filed,” Director General Oscar Albayalde, PNP chief, said.
Albayalde asked the public to support the extension of martial law and vowed that if they have received reports of possible human rights violations related to the imposition of martial law, the PNP would let the people know.
As for the PNP’s part, a total of 674 police personnel have already been charged for cases related to human rights violations since the start of the Duterte administration, he said.
In a separate radio interview Sunday, Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., PNP spokesperson, said that they have monitored active threat groups in Mindanao, particularly Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, communist rebels, and Islamic State -inspired terrorists, so the extension of martial law will be helpful in dealing with the problem.
He said the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have already signed an agreement recommending the extension of martial law in Mindanao for one more year.
“We are not here to interpret the law or interpret a policy. We just have to provide the necessary inputs and allow the leaders and politicians in Congress to decide whether there’s a need to impose martial law and extend imposition of martial law for another year,” Durana said.
However, opposition groups have continuously slammed the proposed third extension of martial law in Mindanao, saying the 1987 Constitution only allows the declaration of martial law based on two merits: Invasion and rebellion. (Martin A. Sadongdong)