Commission on Human Rights: No rights abuses reported so far under Mindanao martial law

The Commission on Human Rights has not received any rights abuses in Mindanao, since President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire region under martial law.
“Our regional offices have not reported yet any violations arising from martial law,” CHR Commissioner Roberto Eugenio Cadiz said in an interview with the Inquirer on Friday. “But there are concerns this might be used for reasons other than quelling rebellion. It may be used for political reasons. There are fears of that, although wala pa (it has not happened yet).”

“We’re just airing concerns. We’re not saying it is happening. We’re saying it might,” Cadiz added.

On May 24, a day after Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216, declaring martial law, the CHR released a statement.

“The 1987 Constitution enforces the respect for all civil liberties and assures the protection of human rights despite such declaration of Martial Law, which includes every Filipino’s rights to life; freedom from torture, warrantless arrest, and illegal detention,” the CHR statement read.

The CHR listed the following limitations of military or police powers under a state of martial law:

“The police and military cannot issue or conduct warrantless arrests outside the circumstances provided under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court.

“Those who are arrested or detained cannot be charged beyond the period of three days, nor can civilians be tried in military tribunals.

“The declaration of martial law does not suspend the functioning of civil courts and legislative assemblies.

“Any arrest, search, and seizure executed in the area where Martial Law is declared, including filing of charges, should comply with the Revised Rules of Court and applicable jurisprudence.”


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