Document alleged killings of activists, Palace dares rights group

MANILA � MalacaAang on Wednesday challenged human rights group Karapatan to produce documents that would support it claim that one activist gets killed each week since martial law was implemented in Mindanao on May 23 last year.

What I can advise to Karapatan, you should not talk only. If there is really one killed each week, file a case because unfortunately, our legal system will not be triggered without the complaint, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a media interview.

Roque said the human rights group should document all the alleged killings of activists, which Karapatan claimed has reached 72 since the imposition of martial law.

You file the case because if there is no complaint, the legal system will not work, he said.

According to media reports, Karapatan called on the United Nations and the Commission on Human Rights to investigate the alleged human rights abuses in Mindanao.

On the call of various groups to lift martial law, Roque assured that it will be lifted the moment the need for martial law ceases.

Nobody wants martial law beyond the necessity of having martial law but certainly, one year after the (Marawi) siege, the time to lift martial law is not yet here, he said.

Duterte put Mindanao under martial law on May 23 last year after the ISIS-inspired Maute Group seized Marawi City.

The Marawi siege lasted five months, leaving the bustling city of Mindanao in ruins and in need of at least two years of rehabilitation and recovery works.

So it will be lifted for as long as there is no need for martial law, Roque said, referring to Proclamation 216 that has been extended up to Dec. 31 this year. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency