MILITANTS held a rally in front of the Camp Aguinaldo general headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to express opposition to the extension of martial law in Mindanao and raise concerns over human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by soldiers in the countryside.
Karapatan’s Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor claimed that they have recorded 29 alleged extrajudicial killings since President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, following the attacks of Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists in Marawi City.
“Many of the victims were members of local peasant organizations and affiliates of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) who were targeted for their local campaigns for genuine agrarian reform and against militarization,” Clamor said.
The protest of the left-leaning groups came a day after Duterte formally signed a proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorists.
Ryan Amper, spokesman of Barug Katungod Mindanao, claimed that even before the issuance of the proclamation by Duterte to the CPP-NPA, the military has been “perpetrating human rights violations.”
“In fact, all of those killed in Mindanao were members and leaders of legal mass organizations such as farmers and workers’ organizations, [which are]all based in Mindanao,” Amper told reporters in Filipino.
Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, director of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), estimated that there were more or less 50 protesters at Camp Aguinaldo. DEMPSEY REYES