Prolonged period of martial rule in the Philippines could lead to human right violations according to international human rights group Amnesty International.
Although no serious violation was reported since its imposition in Maguindanao, Philippines, late last week, the group is worried
because of the county's dismal record of human rights violations.
The group says about 2,000 people have been displaced as a result of the imposition of martial law in Maguindanao. The military has reportedly arrested about 70 people for questioning.
President Arroyo declared martial law Friday in Maguindanao province in southern Philippines in its effort to quell an impending rebellion after a member of the Ampatuan clan tagged by the police as the prime suspect in the killing of at least 57 civilians in an election-related incident last November 23.
Andal Ampatuan, Jr. Mayor of Datu Unsay town in Maguindanao was arrested and charged with 25 counts of murder The mayor reportedly ordered the killing of 57 civilians including women and children. The victims were on a convoy and on their way to a local election office to file the certificate of candidacy of a vice-mayor and political opponent of Ampatuan who is running for a gubernatorial post of Maguindanao.
About half of those killed were journalists who were with the group to cover the election event.
In congress, Rep. Erin Tanada called on his colleagues in the chamber to oppose the proclamation
of martial law in Maguindanao
“I will focus on the factual bases of the proclamation, its constitutionality and at the possible human rights violations as a result of martial law. Let us not forget that during martial law, news can be blocked and rewritten according to what the military rulers say,” he said in a statement.
Tanada added that “Up to now, reports of human rights violation, be it by the military or by other forces, remain unconfirmed.”