Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the proposal to declare martial law following the Jolo blast

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the proposal to declare martial law following the Jolo blast

Martial law remains to be an extraordinary measure reserved for extraordinary circumstances under the 1987 Constitution. Time and again, the Commission on Human Rights have constantly advised the government against the normalisation of martial law as a default response to threats to national safety.

We continue to condemn terroristic acts and its horrors, especially to innocent, unsuspecting victims. At the same time, we have also repeatedly expressed confidence in our security forces in addressing terrorism within the ambit of their regular powers and those granted upon them by current laws.

In this case, greater collaboration between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police might be the key in preventing future attacks, as well as in making perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

Should the government decide to proceed with such proposal, we hope that declaration of martial law will be guided with the principles necessity and proportionality of the threat identified; limited to an area where it is needed, such as Sulu; and with full respect for human rights as the basis for protecting the people against the harms of unpeace and armed conflicts. ###