Esperon: Martial law extension a ‘last resort’
The extension of martial law in Mindanao should be the “last resort” of the government, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said Thursday.
According to Esperon, there should be an extensive study on the possible extension of martial law in Mindanao.
“We have had discussion with that in the national security cluster but we still would like to think that the extension of martial law should be on a last resort basis,” Esperon said in a briefing in Malacañang.
He also said the government should assess first the needs in Mindanao before even thinking of the extension of martial law.
“Kailangan hindi ‘yun (extension of martial law) ang uunahin nating iniisip kung ‘di isipin natin kung ano ‘yung kailangan doon sa Mindanao,” he said.
“We are getting all the feedbacks from the people and it may interest you to know that majority of the people of Mindanao want it,” he said. “Nonetheless, we want the study to be extensive.”
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said he would recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the extension of martial law in Mindanao while the Philippine National Police also supported such a move.
“That will go up to the President when it is time to decide and ask Congress for an extension for another period however long it will be,” Esperson said.
“As I said, it is an instrument for us that will be considered as a last resort but if it is needed as dictated by the situation and the desire of the people, then so be it. We will follow that,” he said. /kga
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