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ML in Mindanao leads to intensified children, human rights violations

"Human rights abuses continue to amass as Marawi siege and martial law in Mindanao enters in its third week. We bore witness to the rampant brutality of both ISIS-affiliated Maute group and the state forces who occupied Marawi City and turned it into a battleground," said Children’s Rehabilitation Center Executive Director Jacquiline Ruiz.
According to Ruiz, human rights violations primarily arising from the intensified airstrikes in Marawi City have resulted to forcible displacements of civilians, both young and old, "while the military has described its aerial bombardments as “surgical” and necessary in defeating the Maute group, it is still disquieting that Moro and Christian communities have comprised the large chunk of war casualties," Ruiz pointed out.
As of June 7, 2017, DSWD said that around 46,412 families with 185,648 children have fled their homes in Marawi City. In 33 designated evacuation centers there are approximately 15,288 children staying with their families.
"Aside from forced evacuation, other violations recorded include destruction of properties, divestment of properties, killings and frustrated killings, illegal arrests and detentions and other abuses which peaked following the declaration of martial law in Mindanao," added Ruiz who shared opinion with other groups in condemning the acts of terror and militarization in Mindanao.
"As child rights advocates, we detest terrorist attacks by groups such as the Maute. They should be held accountable for their acts of terrorism. However, we stand firm that martial law has never been and will never be a solution to armed conflict," Ruiz opined.
Ruiz emphasized that unless poverty, landlessness, lack of decent jobs and living wages, social inequality and injustices are addressed, armed resistance is always an alternative for people who are seeking for social change. "That’s why it is important for the Duterte government to continue with the peace negotiations with revolutionary groups such as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to address the roots of armed conflict," Ruiz ended. ###