By Chito Chavez
Human rights group Karapatan has rejected calls for the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another six months.
Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay said to suggest or imply that martial law should be extended for tourism and commerce is ludicrous.
She said concerned officials and others favoring its extension in the region should not “forget, we are supposedly a democratic country that upholds civilian supremacy’.’
Palabay insisted that martial law cannot be extended in Mindanao merely on the basis of inviting in tourists and businesses.
“There was never a legitimate basis to continuously subject the people of Mindanao under military rule,” said Palabay.
The Karapatan official added that the NPA has existed for almost five decades, and so have other armed Moro groups, yet martial law and other militarist solutions were proven to be a failure in addressing the root causes of the armed conflict.
“If just and lasting peace is what this government truly wants, then the peace negotiations should be their course of action, not martial law extension,” she added.