Martial law in Mindanao not needed — CHR spox
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Human Rights (CHR) spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia underscored on Thursday that security forces are capable of addressing lawless violence in the country without the declaration of martial law.
“It has been the position of the Commission on Human Rights that our security forces are fully capable of addressing lawless violence in the country without the need for martial law,” De Guia said in a statement.
The CHR official also reiterated that under the 1987 Constitution, only invasion and rebellion merit such declaration.
“As such, there has to be a strong reason should the government move for another extension—based on the sound recommendation of our Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police on the real situation on the ground,” she added.
President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to make a stand on the issue but Gen. Carlito Galvez, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as well as Philippine National Police Director Gen. Oscar Albayalde, said they would want another one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao, which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2018.
Duterte first declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, 2017, after the Islamic State-inspired Maute terrorist group attacked Marawi City.
The Congress, upon his recommendation, later extended it until the end of 2018 despite the government’s declaration of an end to fierce urban fighting in the war-torn area.
Several lawmakers opposed the proposal, with Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman saying it has no “constitutional basis” and would mean “an admission that the military has failed to achieve the purported objectives of the previous martial law extensions.” /je
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