Former DILG Chief slams CHR for Rejecting Martial Law Extension in Mindanao - The Daily Sentry

Former DILG Chief slams CHR for Rejecting Martial Law Extension in Mindanao

Former DILG Chief Rafael Alunan and CHR Commissioner Chito Gascon, photo compiled from Google
Mindanao was put under the Martial Law after “Marawi Battle” occurred which ran for 5 months. It wasn’t lifted right away after the crisis. The status quo of Mindanao stayed as is for the purpose of maintaining the peace and order in the South, remain extended for the benefit of Mindanaoans.

CHR Rejects Extension 

According to Manila Bulletin, Commission on Human Rights stands firm on its decision on rejecting the proposed extension of Martial Law. This proposal came from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In an interview, CHR Commissioner Chito Gascon says,

“Tumutol ang CHR sa unang pagpataw ng martial law, tumutol sa extension, at patuloy kaming tututol dito dahil sa aming pananaw, hindi po kailangan ng martial law powers sa Mindanao o sa anumang bahagi ng Pilipinas dahil kaya at sapat na ang kapangyarihan ng President as the commander-in-chief.” 

Rafael Alunan Intervene 

The former DILG Chief Rafael Alunan slams Gascon for its opinion on the matter. Alunan believes that the CHR is being used as a political weapon. He then insists that the people of Mindanao should not be divested with their right to enjoy the existence of martial law for their security and safety reasons. Such act of denying them of the privilege to be secured is tantamount to violation of human rights.

Former DILG Chief Rafael Alunan, photo from
Alunan adds,

“If there’s less violence now, it doesn’t mean that martial law is not necessary.” 

Effectivity of Martial Law 

He affirms that martial law in Mindanao is effective in keeping the possible threats and violence at bay. Those harms that mostly come from NPA, Maute, Abu Sayaff, AKM, and BIFF. Added to that, there were bandits, private armies of the elite in the land, and the drug syndicates which lurks in any part of the country.

Relocate CHR

Alunan gave an honest suggestion of relocating the CHR to what he calls “No Man’s Land” in Mindanao for them to experience the problems that the South has been enduring long before. The former DILG chief trusts that the CHR does not fully understand the concept of martial law.

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CHR has been used as a political weapon or mouthpiece for so long for jaundiced reasons. Mindanaoans should not be deprived of their right to want martial law extended for their safety and security against various internal threats. Ignoring or denying them what they find necessary to survive and prosper is wrong and a gross violation of their human rights.

If there's less violence now, it doesn't mean that martial law is not necessary. It means that martial law is effective in keeping armed threats at bay and getting incrementally depleted as preventive and rapid response measures are effectively applied. These armed threats are the NPA, Abu Sayaff, Maute, AKM, BIFF, drug syndicates, abusive private armies of the elite and bandit groups.

Why obstruct unless CHR is on the side of the armed threats? And parroting the fears of the opposition that the martial law in Mindanao today is the same as the martial law nationwide during the Marcos presidency is absurd. It merely exposes the political partisanship of the CHR's leadership. After one and a half years, the track record is pretty clear that their presumption about martial law in Mindanao is wrong.

Suggest relocating CHR to "No Man's Land" in Mindanao to have them experience the problems daily on the ground, and not in the comfort and safety of their air-conditioned offices in Metro Manila.

Source: Rafael Alunan III