Gabriela Women’s Party, together with other women’s groups, held a protest in front of Camp Aguinaldo on Friday morning to express outrage over the military’s excessive use of force and rights violations in Mindanao with the martial law declaration as cover.
“With the SC’s decision, the military will be emboldened in carrying out aerial bombardment of communities, indiscriminate firing, and in using rape as a tool of war against civilians. Today, we show the AFP that the ruling will not silence us in exposing AFP’s atrocities against our Moro brothers and sisters and the people of Mindanao,” GWP Rep. Arlene Brosas said.
Brosas said it was the AFP’s full-scale military operations that have wrecked most of Marawi City, displaced over 300,000 families, and disrupted the livelihood of tens of thousands more across Mindanao.
“Almost immediately after the SC decision, AFP flew a bomber plane and conducted operations in nine Lumad communities in Lianga, Surigao del Sur leading to forced evacuation of Lumad families and the closure of a Lumad school,” the lawmaker said, adding that airstrikes and shelling are being done also in Bukidnon and North Cotabato where there is no confirmed presence of the Maute group.
GWP said the AFP has a long list of violations, from rape to killing of innocent civilians who are tagged as terrorists or supporters of communist rebels.
In 2015, a 14-year old lumad was raped by three soldiers of the AFP in Southern Mindanao. The victim was one of those displaced by militarization in their community. She is one of the at least 12 rape cases documented by GABRIELA and human rights alliance KARAPATAN during the former President Aquino’s administration,” Brosas said.
Brosas also recalled several documented testimonies of rape and sexual abuse as methods of torture during Marcos’ Martial Law.
“We warn the Duterte administration against extending the martial law declaration as it will only amplify the AFP’s abuses against women and the people. We urge all peace-loving Filipinos to unite against this creeping authoritarianism and rise up to defend human rights and civil liberties,” she ended. #