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Activists who took part in a fact-finding mission present the results of documented human rights violations during a news conference here on Monday. Speaking on behalf of the group is Rep. Isagani Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna (center). From left: Kalumbay chairman Jomorito Goaynon, Cathy Estavillo of Amihan National, Zarate, Kilusan Magbubukid ng Pilipinas’s Winnie Loable, Misamis Oriental Farmers’ Association’s Jerry Basaylon, and human rights lawyer Czarina Musni. (photo by nitz arancon)

Solons to push for House inquiry into martial law abuses

Correspondent .

THE Makabayan bloc in the Lower House would be pushing for an official inquiry into the alleged martial law abuses in Mindanao.

Bayan Muna Rep. Isagani Carlos Zarate told a news conference here that he would lead the group in calling for the House inquiry based on the report of the just-concluded International Fact-Finding and Solidarity Mission.

The report was the result of the four-day investigation conducted by the group last week and was presented during a news conference here on Monday.

The fact-finding was spearheaded by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and participated in by representatives of organizations of farmers, indigenous people, lawmakers, church people and human rights advocates.

Czarina Golda Musni of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao said the mission “aimed to document the extent of state-sponsored killings and other rights abuses against farmers and indigenous people in Mindanao due to the intensified militarization of peasant communities and expose the lies… that no violations were committed under martial law.”

Among the 54 violations that were reported by people in the communities to the fact-finding mission members were alleged “extrajudicial killings” and frustrated killings, tortures, illegal arrests and detention, filing of trumped-up charges, threats and harassments, forced surrender, and illegal searches and seizures.

Musni said they would submit the findings to the International Criminal Court, United Nations Human Rights Committee, the international body for special rapporteur for indigenous peoples, and the Senate.

She said they were able to conduct the fact-finding mission despite the many cases of harassment allegedly by government troops.


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