Militants protest outside Camp Aguinaldo
More than a hundred militant group members staged their protest in front of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday.
The protest which was joined by members of Karapatan, Barug Katungod Mindanao, KMP and other groups, began around 10:30 am.
During the rally the participants who were holding their banners and placards lined along the northbound side of EDSA in front of gate 2 of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
Cristina Palabay, secretary general of human rights group Karapatan said they are expressing their opposition on President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) New People’s Army (NPA) as a terrorist group.
“Our first message is our opposition on labelling the CPP-NPA-NDF as terrorist, because it will be used in abuse. The establishment of legal organization or even human rights organizations is arbitrary. Even priests are being accused of being members of NPA,” she said.
“If staging continues this will heavily impact on the rights of the people especially against extrajudicial killings, illegal arrest and even torture,” Pqlabay added.
Palabay said their group are also calling for the end of martial law in Mindanao which is set to end this month.
“We are also here to call for the lifting of martial law in Mindanao amidst apprehensions that Malacanang may recommend for the extension to the Philippine Congress. That’s enough because a lot have already suffered due to martial law declaration in Mindanao,” she said.
According to Karapatan, they have recorded at least 29 victims of extrajudicial killings since the martial law was declared in Mindanao last May 23.
“Many of the victims were members of the 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,” it said.
“Karapatan also documented 15 cases of torture, 23 victims of frustrated extrajudicial killings, 58 victims of illegal arrest and detention, 335,676 victms of indiscriminate gunfire and aerial bombings,” it added.
“The rights group also attested to the forced evacuation of 401,730 individuals; 16,612 were documented outside of the Marawi siege, mostly in the regions of Caraga, Southern Mindanao and Socksargen.” Robina Asido/DMS