Philippines: Huge rally against Martial Law set on Independence Day

Critics also said that Martial law will just allow law authorities and state-sponsored vigilantes to resort to extrajudicial killings.

Philippine troops rescue Filipino ship captain abducted by militants
Philippines troops in action. Reuters

As the country is preparing to celebrate independence day on 12 June, a huge rally, representing different sectors, is expected to be held tomorrow at Andres Bonifacio Shrine in Manila to dramatise protest on the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao and possibly in other parts of the country.

Around 100 organisational leaders, who were former and present legislators, religious leaders and street activist leaders, will convene in Manila on Monday from 3:30 to 6:00pm to call on the government to halt martial law. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of Martial Law on Mindanao city, after a group of 400 terrorists attacked Marawi City leaving more than 200 people killed in the on-going three week battle.

Organisers of the event called the activity tomorrow as a National Day of Prayer and Action for Peace and Human rights with message opposing Martial Law and the immediate halt of aerial bombings on Marawi City. However, they support any initiative to have a peace dialogue with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and National (MILF) , National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

In a joint statement submitted to the media, the position paper reads, "A regime that trades Filipinos' human rights for vague, ever-moving law and order goals can only add fuel to armed rebellions and set back efforts to address the roots of the conflict."

Organisers also said that Martial law will just allow law authorities and state-sponsored vigilantes to resort to extrajudicial killings that will curtail civil and political rights of Filipinos.

Those signatories of the statement against martial law are former senators Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tanada, Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo, National Council of Churches in the Philippines leader Rex Reyes, artist Maria Isabel Lopez and legislators at the House of Congress.

The petitioners said that the declaration of Martial Law is unwarranted and unjustified because there were no rebellions in other parts of Mindanao and the armed conflict was only confined in Marawi City.