AFP on martial law: We won’t allow violations of human rights

Col. Edgard Arevalo| Image from RMN News Nationwide

MANILA, Philippines  –  The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) assured the public it won’t tolerate abuses by the military during the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.

In a press conference on Friday in Malacañang, military spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said the AFP, being a mature and professional organization, will not allow its personnel violating human rights of civilians to go unpunished.

Arevalo said  AFP chief of staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero has been very clear and strict in his order that in implementing the military rule, the soldiers must recognize civilian rights and the international humanitarian law at all times.

“Kung meron po tayong kasamahan na nakakita na [If you ever see any of our comrades], anyone of us committed these violations… that could be made basis of an investigation and prosecution,” said the military official.

In a separate statement at Camp Aguinaldo, General Guerrero said he believes the AFP have proven itself to be worthy of the people’s trust and confidence.

“We have always been professional in our conduct, we have always extended efforts to make sure that we are accountable and responsible for our actions,” the chief of staff said.

These statements from the military came after Congress approved the extension of martial law in Mindanao for a full year until the end of 2018.