Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Too early to tell fate of martial law in Mindanao: AFP

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 10, 2019): Too early to tell fate of martial law in Mindanao: AFP

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo. (File photo)

It’s too early to tell whether martial law in Mindanao will be extended due to the alleged suicide attack in Indanan, Sulu last Sunday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said Monday.

"Para sa amin (As for us), it's too early for us to say na dapat na syang i-lift o hindi sya dapat ili-lift, ang kailangan natin dito ma-establish muna natin ang seguridad ng (if martial law must be lifted or must not be lifted. What we need now is to establish the security of a) particular area like Mindanao where martial law is now in place,"
he said in an interview with reporters.

The sole fatality in Sunday's attack, which is the second suicide attack in the Philippines this year, is the alleged bomber only.

The AFP spokesperson also said they give premium to statements of local chief executives, asking that martial law be lifted in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

"But we also give premium dun sa mga lugar na nagsasabi mismo or local government officials na pwede nyo nang tanggalin ang martial (law) dito sa aming lugar (in areas where local government officials say that 'martial law can now be lifted in our place') because everything is relatively safer even without martial (law), so of course we take these into account as part of the recommendation ng (of) local chief executive," Arevalo stressed.

But the AFP spokesperson stressed that all decisions concerning martial law will be coming from President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

"But of course the ultimate decision-maker with regard to martial law is siyempre ang atin pa ring Pangulo (of course, our President)," he added.

Congress, in a joint session on December 12, 2018, approved the third extension of martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2019 through a vote with 235 in favor, 28 against, and one abstention.

The AFP recommended another year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao in a bid to totally neutralize terror groups still operating in the region. Martial law in Mindanao was declared on May 23, 2017 following attacks launched by the Maute Group in Marawi City.

The House of Representatives, in a special joint session in July 2017, granted the first extension of martial law until December 31, 2017 at the President's request.

The Senate and House of Representatives, convening in a joint session early December 2017, granted the Chief Executive's second request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period of one year from January 1 to December 31, 2018.


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