Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday called on the government to further look into allegations of human rights abuses in Marawi City as the Congress voted to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2017.
“Mayroong mga alegasyon na mayroong paglabag ng mga karapatang pantao. Tingin ko kailangang tingnan din ito para hindi na lumala pa (There were allegations of human rights violations. I think we need to look into this so it wouldn’t worsen),” Robredo said in her weekly radio program, Biserbisyong Leni.
In a joint session, the Congress approved with 261-18 votes on Saturday President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao until December 31 despite objections from the minority.
Samira Gutoc Tomawis of the Ranao Rescue Team shared in the plenary the harrowing experiences of Marawi locals under martial law, including people being asked to strip down their clothes and to dig their own graves.
Robredo said these were the similar issues raised to her during one of her visits to Mindanao.
“Mahalaga iyong mensahe niya. At ito din iyong mensahe na… Noong pang-ilang baba ko na sa Mindanao, ito din iyong pinaaabot sa akin (Her message is important. This was the same message raised to me during one of my visits to Mindanao),” Robredo added, referring to Tomawis.
And to appease the people’s apprehensions over martial law, Robredo said the government should ensure that what happened during the dark days of Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law will not happen again.
Robredo explained she had raised these concerns with Defense Secretary and martial law administrator Delfin Lorenzana as she visited evacuation centers in Balo-i and Iligan City.
“Sinabi ko sa kaniya, ‘Sec, ang pinapakiusap lang po ng mga tao doon na isali naman sila sa usapan. Pinapakiusap lang po na konsultahin naman sila.’ At ito ay ipinangako naman ni Secretary Lorenzana,” the vice president said.
Inquirer calls for support for the victims in Marawi City
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