AFP to recommend extension of martial law in Mindanao
The Armed Forces of the Philippines will recommend the extension of martial law in Mindanao for at least another year.
AFP chief of staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said feedback from various agencies have called for its continuation.
“We have recommendations already. Ang nakikita namin, lahat ng RPOC (Regional Peace and Order Council), LGU (local government units) and even COMELEC (Commission on Elections) and other agencies have recommended for at least one year,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the flag-raising ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo on Monday.
Galvez said the recommendation will be forwarded to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and would be likely tackled during the command conference after the AFP change of command next week.
“We will be recommending so that we can substantially make significant dent on terrorists… ‘Yun ang magiging position namin; there is really a clamor for the extension considering the terrorists are still lurking in the area,” he said, adding that it will not be expanded to other areas outside Mindanao.
The outgoing AFP chief cited terrorist incidents, including the Basilan blast, Sulu encounters and bomb explosions in Central Mindanao as some of the basis for the recommendation.
“The Sulu problem still persists. We also have bombings in Isulan, Gen San, and continuous bombing in Maguindanao, so there’s really a need to constrict and limit the space for the terrorists to the maximum,” Galvez said.
Mindanao was first placed under martial law in May 2017 after fighting broke out in Marawi City. About 1,000 people have been killed from the five-month siege, while hundreds of thousands were displaced.
Martial law will continue until the end of 2018 after it had been extended twice by Congress last year.
Last month, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the deployment of additional troops to Bicol Region, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental and Samar “to suppress lawless violence.” /je
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.