Thursday, May 25, 2017

DND martial law memo for AFP still valid - Andolong

From the Philippine News Agency (May 25): DND martial law memo for AFP still valid - Andolong

The Department of National Defense (DND) announced that the memorandum it has issued for the military on how to conduct itself while performing duties related to the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao is still valid.

This was disclosed by DND public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong when sought for a clarification as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus upon his arrival from Russian Wednesday night.

In the said memorandum issued by DND Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Retiree Affairs Eduardo D. Del Rosario, there is a part stating that the writ of habeas corpus is not yet suspended.

"Please be guided that in the declaration of Martial Law in the Island of Mindanao does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplement the functioning of the Philippine judicial and legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction of military courts and agencies over civilian where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus," he said in the memorandum dated May 24.

At that the time, he was DND officer-in-charge as Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was with Duterte on an official trip to Russia.

"The memo was issued at around 11 a.m. yesterday (Wednesday) while the President & SND (Secretary National Defense) was inbound from Russia. President's pronouncement suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was issued upon his arrival the evening," Andolong added.

He also said that the memorandum is still valid except for the part pertaining to the writ of habeas corpus.

"The suspension requires a separate pronouncement. Maybe another one might be issued. The Cabinet is now meeting in Davao City. We find out later," Andolong added.

In the above-mentioned memorandum, the DND has instructed the Armed Forces of the Philippines and all bureaus and agencies of the DND are ordered to observe the rule of law and human rights in place or part of the Philippines where the edict is in effect.

"Any arrest, search and seizure executed or implemented in the area or place where Martial Law is effective, including the filling of charges, should comply with the Revised Rules of Court and applicable jurisprudence," the memorandum stressed.

"DND bureaus and agencies involved in humanitarian activities are hereby enjoined to institute appropriate action on those affected and displaced persons by providing adequate assistance in coordination with other government agencies," Del Rosario added.

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