Martial law extension discouraging charges vs gov't abuses: Maranao official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 14 2017 07:10 PM

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MANILA - Martial law in Mindanao and its subsequent extension until the end of 2018 are turning residents away from filing cases against government actors over their supposed abuses, a Marawi citizen said Thursday.

In an interview, Samira Gutoc, head of the Ranao Rescue Team, said a 23-year old man was detained from the Saduk area of Marawi City and later experienced abuse from six men in uniform. He alleged that parts of his body were doused with hot water. 

But instead of filing charges, the man instead refused to have his location known, fearing for his safety.

"Martial law definitely, with the extension yesterday, the message is you cannot file cases just like you did in this extended July 22 onwards. People will not file. They do not want their names written on an affidavit, to be located because of possible retaliation," Gutoc told ANC's Headstart.

Lawmakers approved Wednesday President Rodrigo Duterte's request to extend martial law in Mindanao for another year to quell the threat of terrorism.

Duterte placed the restive south, home to 22 million people, under military rule after Islamic State sympathizers attacked Marawi last May 23. On his request, lawmakers in July extended martial law until December 31.

Congress' grant on Wednesday is the second extension of martial rule in the region.