PNP backs third extension of martial law in Mindanao
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Monday that the country’s police force will support the possible third extension of martial law in Mindanao to maintain peace and order in the region.
Albayalde noted in a press briefing that the prevailing martial law in Mindanao is different from the nationwide martial law imposed during the reign of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. He also said residents prefer having martial law in Mindanao.
“If we think the President or the government is inclined to extend the martial law, we will support it. Kasi hindi naman matatapos ang martial law after the Marawi incident,” Albayalde said.
“Wala namang pag-curtail ng freedom doon. Ang nakikita lang natin ay ‘yung massive ang checkpoint doon at surrender of firearms (There is no curtailing of freedom there. We only have massive checkpoint and surrender of firearms),” he added.
According to Albayalde, extending the martial law in Mindanao would help enable a peaceful plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in January 2019. The BOL would create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao in May 2017 after the ISIS-inspired Maute Group attacked Marawi City, displacing over 200,000 residents including children.
Under the 1987 Constitution, martial law can only be imposed for a maximum of 60 days. But before it expired in July last year, Duterte asked Congress for a Mindanao martial law extension until December 2017.
Duterte again requested that martial law in Mindanao be extended for a year, or up to December 31, 2018, citing continuous threat and insurgency of the New People’s Army in the region. /kga
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