Karapatan statement on the bombing at the Mindanao State University

Karapatan condemns the bombing at the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City yesterday, December 3, 2023, that killed at least four persons and injured scores of others. We offer our sympathies to the victims and their families. 

Attacks on civilians in schools during a religious service are unacceptable. An independent, thorough and evidence-based investigation should be immediately conducted to ascertain and obtain accountability. 

We, however, view with grave concern possible government actions in relation to this incident that may be used as pretext to justify the further militarization not only of the MSU campus and surrounding areas but the whole of Mindanao. The military has already announced that the entire island has been placed on red alert and that Metro Manila is under “heightened alert.” 

Based on past experience, various administrations have used bombing incidents such as this to whip up “counter-terror” and Islamophobic rhetoric to further illegal searches and arrests, and even saturation drives involving entire communities while falsely alleging links between the victims and the suspected perpetrators. 

We are one with the victims, their families and communities in seeking justice. 

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General