Lorenzana: Martial law to ensure peaceful polls in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines — Secretary Delfin Lorenzana assured the public of fair elections in Mindanao in 2019 if martial law would again be extended in the South.
“We can assure the people that the military, and the police will maintain peace and order and will want to have orderly, peaceful, and honest elections,” Lorenzana said during the joint session on the possible martial law extension in Mindanao.
The Defense chief was responding to the query of opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros regarding the role of law enforcers in the 2019 elections under martial rule.
Lorenzana said that President Duterte always reminded soldiers and the police to stay out of politics and take no sides.
“They cannot campaign for anybody, for or against. Nasabi na niya (Duterte) ‘yun noon. All we have to do is to ensure a peaceful and fair elections,” he said.
Security officials have been pushing for an extention of martial law in Mindanao, saying it would help neutralize lawless groups on the island.
In May 2017, Duterte declared martial law in the region after the ISIS-inspired Maute Group laid siege in Marawi City. It has been extended twice and is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2018. /cbb
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