Military to uphold human rights amid Mindanao martial law- army official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2017 06:31 PM

Government forces will "give primacy to human rights" amid the military rule imposed Mindanao, an army official said Wednesday.

"WMartial Lawe give primacy to human rights. We intend to pursue our operations anchored on the Constitution. We don't want to abuse. We don't want to take advantage of the situation," Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 1st infantry division spokesperson, said in an interview on ANC.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the southern part of the Philippines under Martial Law Tuesday after clashes between government troops and the Maute terror group in Marawi City. 

Duterte on Wednesday said martial law in Mindanao would be no different from the martial law period during the time of President Ferdinand Marcos, saying he will deal harshly with terrorists.

Analysts warned that the government should be "sensitive to the historical injustice suffered by the Moro people" this time around as Marcos' iron fist rule "fueled the rebellion" in the south.

"We have to be careful na hindi nga ito magba-backfire and it will cause more damage than good," lawyer Benedicto Bacani, executive director of the Cotobato-based Institute for Autonomy and Governance, said in a separate interview.

Herrera said troops are still "waiting for the operation details" of Duterte's Martial Law. He said the marching orders were to protect civilians and avoid collateral damage.