Press Statement 
December 13, 2017

Reference:  Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
                        Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-979058

Martial law will not absolve dictators and their State forces for abuses, rights violations

​”The massacre of 8 indigenous peoples in South Cotabato and the enforced disappearances of 6 more T’boli and Dulangan Manobo farmers on December 3, 2017 is the real face of martial law; the destruction of the lives and livelihood of those in Marawi and the Moro people is the real face of martial law; the killing of activists, farmers, leaders and members of progressive organizations, and bombing and evacuation of entire communities is the real face of martial law. It is another scheme that is equivalent to rights abuses committed with impunity. A benevolent martial law, or martial law with a heart only exists in the walls of gated villages and mansions where politicans who approved this policy are safely guarded. The only people to celebrate this are the instigators of State terrorism,” said Karapatan secretary general on the approval of martial law’s one year extension in Mindanao.
Today, December 13, 2017, the 17th Congress, voting 240-27, approved President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year. 226 house representatives voted for the extension, while 23 voted against it. The Senate, meanwhile, voted 14-4, with 4 opposing the one year extension.

“Duterte is a militarist, warmonger,fascist monster who is ready for his role as Marcos’ successor — another tyrant mired with corruption,  cronyism,  abuses and impunity. There is no factual basis for this extension,  except the hogwash and non sequitur formulations and of the AFP, PNP,  and its commander-in-chief,” added Palabay. 

Palabay further said that “martial law will not solve anything.  Instead,  it will merely aggravate and proliferate violations and abuses. Martial rule,  implemented by the bloodthristy and trigger-happy elements of the military, will kill relentlessly; it will raise the banner of military supremacy above the Filipino people. With this extension,  this useless government has further betrayed us.”

“This inches us closer to a nationwide martial law,  rubber stamped by super majority coalition in the Congress who are the proud mindless minions of their despicable and authoritarian President.  The people and all human rights advocates are called on to resist,  to fight, and to defeat this dictatorship. We remind the Duterte regime that martial law does not absolve his and his State security forces’ crimes and abuses. The people will no doubt bring them to justice for all the atrocities they have committed against the Filipino people.  Makibaka,  huwag matakot,” Palabay concluded.​


Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties.  It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign. 

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights