Four months have passed since Proclamation 216 which put the entire Mindanao under Martial Law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus was issued last May 23, 2017. We in ALISTO! are concerned about recent developments that could lead to more infractions of human rights processes and procedures, and the outright abuse of these rights.
We are bothered by instances when access to information are being constrained if not denied. We believe that the rule of law must prevail even in an abnormal situation such as Martial Law.
Early September this year, President Duterte himself gave instructions for the Philippine National Police (PNP) not to allow the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to have free access at all times to case folders especially on the recent extra-judicial killings. This is worrisome as the CHR is a Constitutional body mandated to conduct investigations on human rights violations against marginalized and vulnerable sectors of society, involving civil and political rights.
A contradictory report and directive created more confusion when all police stations in the country were barred from releasing the spot reports and journals to media as claimed by Cebu media persons who were just following instructionss from Camp Crame invoking the 2014 PNP memorandum. Then PNP Director General Bato clarified and retracted that there was no directive and even cited Freedom of Information. We in ALISTO! assert that spot reports and police blotter records are public documents covered by the policy of full disclosure of government files.
Access to information, especially in times of duress, can contribute to lessening levels of insecurity brought about by issues of transparency and lack of objective documentation. Hence, we in ALISTO! invoke Executive Order No. 2, the Freedom of Information Order signed by Pres. Duterte last year, which ‘provides for full public disclosure of all government records involving public interest and upholds the constitutional right of people to information on matters of public concern’.
ALISTO! provides a platform for citizens to engage government and its institutions to ensure accountability, compliance with human rights standards and justice protocols, civilian protection, rule of law, and access to real-time information.
We subscribe to active citizenship and community participation as imperatives in a time of Martial Law. These should be expressed not only by securing our neighborhoods and making our homes, villages, and communities safe, but also by establishing an enabling environment where rights of citizens are protected, promoted and fulfilled.
ALISTO! is an independent civilian monitoring platform on Martial Law in Mindanao. ALISTO!, which is based in Davao and is composed of volunteers, promotes the centrality of transparency, accountability and civilian oversight with respect to Proclamation 216.
ALISTO! recommends that actions be taken once cases of HRVs are validated, and advocacy support is needed. ALISTO! helps social movements to effectively safeguard and defend the rights especially of those who are vulnerable. We also contribute to the protest movement against the revival of historical revisionism and the legacies of widespread human rights violations and return to dictatorship.
Further, ALISTO! believes that the “calling out power” of the President is adequate to deal with the situation of Marawi, and that there is no need for the continued imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has repeatedly announced that “the end is near” for the violent extremist fighters currently holed up in Marawi. Martial Law over the rest of Mindanao has also impinged on civilian mobility and privacy, and led to the curtailment of other rights.
ALISTO!, being led by Dabawenyos, appeals to our Dabawenyo President Duterte, to neither extend beyond December 2017, nor expand Martial Law nationwide. We urge the President to cut short and discontinue Proclamation 216 and finally lift Martial Law in Mindanao. We believe that Proclamation No. 55 declaring a “State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence in Mindanao” is enough to provide security guidance with an assurance to defend the fundamental civil and political rights of civilians.
The excessive use of artillery and aerial bombardment, the consequent devastation of Marawi City, and the high costs of war make the achievement of military objectives a ‘pyrrhic victory.’ The sense of historical injustice that the Bangsamoro contend with would be further heightened if government does not heed the assertion of the displaced from Marawi that they be allowed to go back, and that an environment leading to a return to normalcy be created immediately.
To report violations and abuses related to the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao, text or call our
HOTLINES 0945 123 8228 (Globe) and 0949 100 8708 (Smart) or refer to our Facebook account alistodavao.
Sa panahon sa Martial Law, dapat ALISTO!
ALISTO! Martial Law Civilian Monitoring
Ateneo Legal Aid Services, Konsyensya Dabaw (KD), Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro), Akbayan-Davao, Ateneo Public Interest and Legal Advocacy Center (APILA), Coalition Against Summary Execution (CASE), Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS Davao Region), Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC Davao), forumZFD, iDefend – Davao, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP-Davao City Chapter), Katambabayong, Kaubayan – Lumad Mindanaw, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM-Davao), Saligan Mindanaw (SALIGAN), Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP-Mindanao), United Youth for Peace & Development (UNYPAD-Davao Region)