Militants, President Duterte Met Despite The Proposed Martial Law Extension
President Rodrigo Duterte meet militants amid the proposed extension of martial law throughout the entire Mindanao region.
On Tuesday evening (July 18, 2017), Mr. Duterte met with the members of left-wing group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) amid his proposal of Mindanao martial law extension until the end of the year.
The president met with Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Isagani Carlos Zarate, Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr., National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Liza Maza, and former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares.
Reyes was reportedly planning to submit to the president together with his group. However, the members of leftist organizations opposed the Duterte’s proposal to extend martial rule in the South until the end of the year.
The militants explained that the proclamation of martial has resulted to countless violations of human right. Duterte’s proposed martial law extension might lead to military dictatorship, according to the statement released by Bayan.
“Neither the situation in Marawi nor the entire Mindanao calls for such a drastic and draconian measure. On the contrary, we have been repeatedly told that the fighting in Marawi is coming to a close and that the Maute group is trapped and dwindling in number,” stated by Bayan quoted by ABS-CBN.
Salvador Panelo, Duterte’s chief legal counsel has disapproved the claims of human rights violation. He said that the residents might be afraid of military abuse, but there have been no reports regarding abuses committed by the military.
Panelo emphasized that the president is against any kind of abuse of power and authority by the military. He also said that Mr. Duterte will surely punish those men in uniform who will be caught abusing their position.
Mr. Duterte called for a joint session of Congress for lawmakers to discuss the proposed extension of martial law in Mindanao on Saturday (July 22, 2017).
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